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Photo: New Hope Village
Mortenson Family Foundation
MAILING: 700 Meadow Lane North
Minneapolis, MN 55422
OFFICE: 4150 Olson Memorial Highway Suite 415
Minneapolis, MN 55422
Maryan grew up in a farming and camel nomadic community in East Africa known to her and her people as Arlaadi (“our lands/the lands”). Maryan’s work is influenced by the knowledge and memories of the Arlaadi, its people, and the teachings of her grandparents.
Most recently, she led Hope Community Inc.’s Food, Land and Community program. As part of her role at Hope, Maryan was a member of the City of Minneapolis’s Green Zones Policy Recommendations Design Team and has served two terms on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Environmental Justice Advisory Group. Prior to being at Hope, Maryan worked with the Land Stewardship Project and did her internship with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where she worked with their Environmental Justice team on Community Engagement. Maryan currently serves on the boards of Philadelphia Community Farm in Osceola Wisconsin, A Somali women wellness collective in Minneapolis, and an energy research organization based in Kenya and Somalia.
Maryan lives in the suburbs of St. Paul with her family where they enjoy growing food, hiking, cooking, reading, and storytelling together.
Camille has a diverse range of disciplines that comprise her research and training background. She has conducted research to identify inclusive and equitable practices within donor advancement, the classroom, and the faculty and staff at St. Olaf College. Through these experiences, Camille became even more passionate about promoting inclusive and equitable practices within the nonprofit sector. She now brings this experience and passion to the Mortenson Family Foundation, working as its Grants and Program Coordinator.
Camille holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, Anthropology, and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College that includes coursework at the University of Oslo (Universitetet i Oslo) and National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學).
Rabya Hassen grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia surrounded by a community of folks who poured much wisdom and love into her. A community that inspired her learning about herself, how interconnected we are to each other but also to everything around us and more importantly what it means to truly witness and serve humanity.
Rabya has spent much of her career as a Youth Worker- supporting, walking alongside and co-creating with BIPOC youth and young adults in different capacities. In the past several years Rabya has been walking alongside youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Most recently she served as the Youth Policy Specialist and Homeless Program Grants Administrator at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, overseeing various homeless program grants, working on policies that impact youth experiencing homelessness and providing technical assistance to youth providers across the state of Minnesota.
Previously, Rabya served as the Manager of Homeless Youth Programs at Face to Face Health and Counseling Inc. Overseeing multiple programs that support youth across the continuum of care. In that role, Rabya alongside the leadership team ensured that youth had a permanent seat at the decision-making table by forming a Youth Advisory Council that became the heart of the organization.
Rabya lives in St. Paul and enjoys spending quality time with friends and family cooking, drinking Ethiopian coffee and having a good laugh.
Margretta is a dedicated reproductive justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in community engagement, program design, and evaluation. Growing up in Liberia, she was instilled with a strong sense of the value of education and community involvement, which has shaped her work throughout her career. Her commitment to dismantling systemic barriers that limit access to resources and information is reflected in her work in various community engagement and outreach capacities.
Margretta is passionate about community building, strategic partnerships, and creating inclusive spaces. She is a Community Instructor for the Senior Seminar in Social Justice at the University of Minnesota. Most recently, she served as a DEI Program Consultant for the University of Minnesota Foundation. She is also the Co-Founder of the African Immigrant Professional Development Conference, which supports underemployed African Immigrant Professionals to network and gain the skills to find jobs comparable to their experience and education.
Margretta earned her B.A. in Global Studies and Social Justice from the University of Minnesota and her M.A. in International Development and Service from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. She is an avid Chelsea FC fan. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and watching soccer.
Ambar moved to Minnesota from the Dominican Republic in 1997. Since moving to the U.S., Ambar has been committed to working with and for immigrant communities and communities of color to have equal opportunity and access to higher education, jobs that provide livable wages, health, housing, and safety. Ambar is passionate about working with and for communities to promote social change through strength-based community engagement efforts. After serving in the role of Community Relationship Officer at the Foundation since 2019, Ambar moved into the role of Executive Director in July of 2022.
Ambar holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Ambar lives with her partner and two children in South Minneapolis, where they enjoy dancing, hosting gatherings, and taking music lessons together.