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WHAT'S NEW IN THE COMMUNITY
Friday, August 02 2013
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Flanagan Named Executive Director for Children’s Defense Fund
whats_new_peggy_flanagan_named_executive_director.jpgPeggy Flanagan, an experienced community organizer, advocate, teacher and trainer, has joined the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) as its executive director.
CDF-MN is a nonpartisan, nonprofit child advocacy organization that seeks to ensure a level playing field for all children by championing policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a solid foundation for success.
 
“I am thrilled to join such a well-respected organization like Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota,” said Flanagan. “I am passionate about ensuring that all of our children have what they need to be happy, healthy and successful young people. I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all kids in Minnesota.”
 
Flanagan joins CDF-MN after eight years with Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, and most recently as director of External Affairs. She also serves as adjunct faculty for George Washington University’s Native American Political Leadership Program.
An enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Flanagan has been active in community and political organizing for more than a decade. She is a nationally recognized expert in nonpartisan voter mobilization and civic engagement, especially with Native Americans and people of color. She was named as one of the top 100 most influential people in Minnesota politics by Campaigns & Elections magazine in 2010. Other experiences include positions at the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches and the Division of Indian Work.
 
An active community member, Flanagan served on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2005 to 2009, becoming the first Native American and youngest individual to serve on that board. In addition, she has held board positions on the Native American Community Development Institute, Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota, Harbor Theatre Group, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Young Elected Officials Network and Sojourners. She is a 2002 graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies and child psychology.

MIGIZI Receives $1.2 Million Federal Education Grant
MIGIZI Communications, Inc. has received a $1.2 million grant to launch Native Academy Connections (NAC). This 48 month demonstration project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education.
 
NAC is a supplemental educational enrichment program serving American Indian high school students in Minneapolis. The program will provide interdisciplinary connections bolstering relevance and student performance; core content area academic support; peer connections through Study Circles; college connections in cooperation with high school counselors and college recruiting offices; and significantly increase participation in dual credit opportunities. The program will also offer supplemental project-based courses and activities during the school day, after school and during the summer.
 
NAC will work with 50 Indian students progressing from 9th -12th grades, and an additional 150 Indian high school students each year of the project for an unduplicated total of 350 students over the course of four years. This number represents approximately 40% of the Indian high school enrollment in Minneapolis schools. By working with a significant percentage of Indian high school students, MIGIZI’s goal is to demonstrate a replicable model for dramatically improving the on-time high school graduation rates and postsecondary preparedness of urban Indian students.

Tiwahe Foundation Announces American Indian Family Empowerment Grant Recipients
The Tiwahe Foundation has awarded ten grants to Native American individuals in the Twin Cities seven county metro area through its American Indian Family Empowerment Program (AIFEP). The program awards $70,000-$80,000 annually to American Indian individuals and families seeking financial resources to achieve their goals, shape their future and make positive contributions to their community through three priority areas:  Economic Self-sufficiency; Education and Cultural Connections.
 
Grants range from $500 to $2,500. During the May grant round individuals received awards in the following focus areas:
In the Preserving and Renewing Native Cultural Connections category, grantees include:?Moses Mahto-Strong and Rosy Simas.
 
In the Educational Achievement category, grantees include: Katherine Beane,  Antonia Funaro-Gladis, Kimberlee Kleinheksel, Adrian Martinez, and Joseph Vital.
 
In the Economic Self-Sufficiency category, grantees include: Samuel Little Cloud, Colin Wesaw, and Dyani White Hawk.


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