Nonprofit leader Ron McKinley killed in motorcycle accident

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passing_on_ron_mckinley.jpgRon McKinley, a philanthropic leader who campaigned for education for minorities was killed in a road accident July 21. He was 64.

McKinley, of St. Paul, was riding a motorcycle in Washington state when he and a passenger, St. Paul resident Ann K. Johnson, were killed.

Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, said McKinley worked to make sure people of color were included in foundation decision-making.

“He made our institutions more fair, and he made them much more

inclusive places,” she said, “so everywhere that he was, he was making

sure that the table was set in a way where we could get the most

perspective and we could make thoughtful decisions.”

McKinley (who

was Mescalero Apache) founded several nonprofits and served on many

boards, both national and local. He worked on programs that help

low-income people succeed in college, and founded the Minnesota Minority

Education Partnership, a group that promotes educational advancement

for people of all races.

“The biggest surprise to me as the news was

spreading of his passing was all the people around the country that I

got phone calls and emails from, that just wanted to express what an

amazing person he was, what an impact he had,” Harris said, “because I

really think of him as sort of a gift just for Minnesota, and it was

just a good reminder for me of how far his reach was, but yet how deep

his roots were here.”

McKinley is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard over MPR’s statewide radio network or online at mprnews.org.