Wenda Weekes Moore Internship &
Reatha Clark King Fellowship Program
Building a Pipeline of Emerging Women of Color Leaders in Philanthropy
In 2001, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota recognized the overall lack of women of color in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership and development.
In response, the Women’s Foundation launched the Internship & Fellowship Program — comprised of Diversity Interns, Philanthropy Fellows, and Program Fellows — in 2002. The program represented an opportunity to provide intense, focused training and professional development to women of color for future careers in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership, essentially building a pipeline of emerging leaders.
In 2015 and 2007, respectively, the Women’s Foundation established the Wenda Weekes Moore Internship and the Reatha Clark King Fellowship in honor of two remarkable women, Wenda Weekes Moore and Reatha Clark King, each pioneers in philanthropy and community leadership. In 2015, the Internship & Fellowship Program was renamed the Wenda Weekes Moore Internship & Reatha Clark King Fellowship Program.
Through the program to date (2002-2016), the Women’s Foundation has engaged 34 women of color in all aspects of its operations, including evaluation, fundraising, grantmaking and administration. The Women’s Foundation program also provides rigorous training and professional development opportunities. Interns and fellows receive professional coaching; attend workshops on emotional intelligence, executive presence, and action planning; receive one-on-one mentoring; and attend workshops and national conferences, including those held by the Women’s Funding Network, Minnesota Council on Foundations, and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
The program has proven its effectiveness to build a pipeline of emerging women leaders of color and strengthen multicultural competency in philanthropy. A majority of program participants advanced to careers in leadership within nonprofits and government agencies in the United States and abroad. Five program participants were also hired and promoted as staff within the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
In addition, the Women’s Foundation program has served as a model and resource to inspire other philanthropies to launch similar internship and fellowship programs, including the Bush Foundation and Minnesota Council on Foundations. The Women’s Foundation remains committed to working with philanthropic institutions to enhance their diversity and inclusion practices.
Wenda Weekes Moore Interns:
Kalice Allen (2016-present): Kalice Allen is a senior at St. Catherine University majoring in public health. She is certified as an emergency medical technician and has worked in community health services at a Twin Cities nonprofit. She is also a literacy tutor and participates actively in college and community life. Kalice is excited about the opportunity to experience the Foundation’s work in increasing gender equity, and is particularly eager to learn how to influence change on a systems level. She will graduate in May 2017.
Ruby Oluoch (2015-2016): Ruby Oluoch is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying Environment & Sustainable Development. She pursued an internship with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota because of her passion and interest in women’s equality, particularly in women’s education and anti-sexual violence initiatives. Ruby previously worked as an intern at the Metropolitan Council where she worked on promoting healthy communities as part of regional plan implementation. She hopes to use these experiences to help her explore future career options in the public and non-profit sector.
Paida Chikate (2014-2015): Paida is a 2013 graduate of the College of Saint Benedict with degrees in Gender Studies and English Literature. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School Of Public Affairs with a Master’s in Public Policy. Paida is now working for an international organization in New York on women’s rights and policy analysis. Prior to her internship at the Women’s Foundation, she worked at the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. and at OKC Youth Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Paida is from Zimbabwe.
Lulete Mola (2013-2014): Lulete joined the Foundation in 2013 as the Diversity Intern. Her primary focus was to support two key events: The Stir, the Foundation’s annual fundraising event, and the Annual Grantee Conference. Lulete is also the Founder of SHE, a young women’s leadership program in select Minnesota high schools. Lulete has previously designed and conducted qualitative research on East African immigrant professional development and civic engagement in Minnesota. Lulete is a recipient of the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship, Humanity in Action Fellowship, Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project Fellowship, and the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity Award. Lulete graduated summa cum laude from The University of Minnesota in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Family Violence Prevention.
Sarita Mutha (2013): Sarita joined the Women’s Foundation in 2013 and assisted in the planning and organization of The Stir, the Foundation’s annual fundraising event. While at the University of Illinois, Sarita served as Resident Advisor for the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering Living Learning Community. There she fostered a strong commitment to supporting women in typically male-dominated careers. Sarita has a Master’s of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology & Genetics. She completed her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and provides direct representation to unaccompanied immigrant children as an AmeriCorp Legal Fellow.
Sharon Hwee (2012): Sharon became the Diversity Intern in 2012 and assisted in planning and logistics of The Stir, the Foundation’s annual fundraising event, and leading the online auction. Sharon also helped the Foundation’s Program Team launch its first-ever cross-programmatic Grantee Convening in April 2012, “Igniting Change: Fueling Progress for Women and Girls.” Her passion for social justice, especially equity and equality for women and girls, fueled her work for the Foundation. Sharon graduated cum laude from Macalester College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Asian Studies. She moved to Seattle, Wa., and is the Assistant Coordinator for Programs and Operations for The Arc of King County, a nonprofit helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families. She is also pursuing her Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington.
Sia Moua (2011): Sia graduated from Denison University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Communication. She is committed to protecting human rights and ensuring social justice, and has been involved in these efforts since college. Sia served with AmeriCorps from 2009-2010, where she developed a service learning program on human/sex trafficking in Minnesota. She also served with the Peace Corps in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania as a Girls’ Education and Empowerment volunteer. During her Peace Corps service, she taught countless number of English and computer classes, and developed projects/programs for girls and women in the community. Sia is an avid traveler and has traveled to countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Linda Nguyen (2011; staff 2012-2013): Linda began as a Diversity Intern for The Stir and became a member of the Foundation staff as Communications Associate. Linda double-majored in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and American Studies at Macalester College, and obtained a Masters in Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University. Linda also worked as a Reference Assistant at the Minnesota Historical Society Library, and taught English to speakers of other languages through the Minnesota Literacy Council at Rondo Community Outreach Library. In the summer of 2013, Linda moved to San Francisco to obtain a position in her field of Library Science.
Astrid Ollerenshaw (2010); Astrid came to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota as a volunteer at The Stir and progressed to Diversity Intern in 2010. After she left the Foundation, Astrid became the Community Liaison at the Chicano Latino Affairs Council. She has been a community and family liaison in schools and a bilingual case worker for the state of Oregon. Astrid was chair of the planning committee of the Leadership Institute at St. Catherine University, as well as a board member at ECHO Minnesota. She holds a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of San Buenaventura, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources from the Foundation for International Services, Inc., and an MBA from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon. Astrid is originally from Colombia and enjoys returning home in the winter months.
Anna S. Min (2009): Anna is a 2009 Macalester College graduate in Economics and Statistics. She has been active in her local community since she was a teenager. Her service began with lobbying and organizing work with the Welfare Rights Committee; thereafter she joined the Board of Directors at District 202 where she served as Secretary. Today, Anna serves on PFund Foundation’s Communications Committee and is a member of the Women’s Foundation’s Social Change Fund Committee. Professionally, Anna has worked with Wells Fargo Private Banking and also Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group. This summer, she will be training at ROR Tax Professionals and is looking forward to a potential partnership position with the firm. In her spare time, Anna enjoys hosting shows as an emcee, DJing, and photographing people and events in her communities.
Naweichi Temu (2009; staff 2010-2011): Naweichi joined the Foundation as the Special Events Diversity Intern to assist with The Stir and the girlsBEST convening. She was the hired to serve as the Coordinator of MN Girls Are Not For Sale, an emerging initiative of the Foundation’s to end the commercial sexual exploitation of girls. Naweichi has a Master’s degree in psychology from the University of Baltimore. Prior to joining the Foundation, Naweichi served as a student counselor at the Mercer County Community College in Trenton, New Jersey.
Kimsuka Iyer (2009): Kimsuka began volunteering with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in 2009 as a Diversity Intern on the Joint Dinner annual fundraising event. Kim is now a junior at the University of Minnesota in the honors program, and is majoring in Global Studies, and has a minor in economics and management. She has interned and volunteered in both in India and in Minnesota on a variety of projects, including event management, advertising, and refugee education.
Jie Lu (2009): Jie Lu (Jayce) began volunteering in February of 2009, working closely with the Foundation’s events manager on the Joint Dinner, the organization’s annual fundraising event. Jayce graduated with honors with a Master’s in hospitality management from the University of South Carolina. New to the Twin Cities, Jayce was eager to gain experience in the hospitality industry. Jayce was a tour guide in China and has worked on various large events, The Master’s Golf Tournament, World Leisure Expo, World Buddhism Forum, and West Lake Expo.
Selena Mei Moon (2008): Selena, a graduate of Smith College, worked on the Foundation’s Status of Women & Girls In Minnesota Road to Equality research policy report in the summer of 2008. Selena is bilingual in Japanese and English, legally blind, conversant in Spanish and American Sign Language, and is familiar with Mandarin Chinese. Selena was a history major, with a concentration on women’s history, and advanced to pursue a law degree at William Mitchell College of Law.
Robina Rai (2006): Robina is a graduate of the College of Saint Catherine’s (St. Paul) with degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies. In 2005, Robina was the recipient of the Nicholle Miller Justice Award and Sister Alberta Huber Intercultural Leadership Award. As a Diversity Intern during the summer of 2006, Robina helped the Foundation’s Development Department with prospect research for its four-year, $15 million endowment campaign.
Sarah Eldred (2006): Sarah interned in the Development Department in 2006, focusing on donor advised funds and foundations. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Sarah has assisted with grants administration at the Catholic Community Foundation and most recently accepted a position in the Development Department at The Saint Paul Foundation.
Christine Belfrey (2005 and 2007): Christine interned at the Foundation in 2005, focusing on programming for the girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) annual convening. At the time, Christine was working on her Master’s in Education at Saint Mary’s University, and prior to that had worked as the Diversity Coordinator for the Anoka-Hennepin School District. She brought invaluable youth development expertise to working with girls to fully engage them in the convening, from their participation in a Girls’ Fair, to facilitating workshops with girls at the convening.
Mai Yi (2005): Mai Yi graduated from the College of Saint Catherine’s (St. Paul), studying Sociology and Criminal Justice. As an intern in 2005, she helped organize the Foundation’s press conference regarding its latest research report, “Status of Women of Color in Minnesota.”
Mahmooda Khaliq (2004): Mahmooda joined the Foundation as Diversity Intern after work on her Master’s in Public Health Administration at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. She spent summer 2004 at the Women’s Foundation organizing its UpStart events, analyzing volunteer recruitment needs, and assisting in the accounting department.
Jessie Buendia (2004): Jessie graduated from Macalester College in 2005. As a Diversity Intern she helped organize grants information meetings throughout greater Minnesota in July and August of 2004. Jessie then came back in spring 2005 to help with the Foundation’s girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) grantee summit.
Chantell Redday (2003): Chantell served as a Diversity Intern during 2003. She provided support through the restructuring and organization of the donor management system. Chantell is from St. Michael on the Fort Totten American Indian Nation, North Dakota. After completing her internship, Chantell began working on a 2-year degree at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Lisa Garces (2003): Lisa started with the Women’s Foundation in 2003 and provided research compilation and analysis for its research report, “Status of Women in Minnesota, County by County” released in 2004. Lisa also assisted with fundraising and gave key presentations, such as one for the Foundation’s UpStart events on Latinos in Philanthropy. Lisa values the importance of Latinos in fund development, as well as their impact on Latino-serving nonprofit organizations. In addition to the Women’s Foundation, she worked at El Fondo De Nuestra Comunidad providing grantmaking support. Lisa graduated near the top of her class at the Humphrey Institute’s Public Policy program and moved to Houston, Texas where she accepted a position as a Senior Giving Officer for the Girls Scouts.
Prisca Lupambo (2003; staff 2004-2007, 2014-present): Prisca joined the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in 2003 while completing her master’s degree in Communications from Bethel College in Arden Hills, MN. As an intern, her focus was on policies and procedures and then she was promoted to full-time employment in 2004 as the receptionist/bookkeeper. In April 2005, Prisca was promoted again to coordinate the Foundation’s four-year $15 million comprehensive campaign. Prior to her move to the United States, Prisca worked for World Vision International for five years as a program development and evaluation manager. She also worked for CARE International as the executive assistant to the CEO and was the confidential secretary to the Cabinet Minister of Zambia for Foreign Affairs. She has program development and micro-credit experience in over 11 countries, including The Grameen Bank System in Bangladesh, India. Prisca reports, “Traveling throughout the world has provided me with additional knowledge wherever I’ve gone.”
Wairimu (Nimu) Njoya (2002): Wairimu (Nimu) came to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in 2002 as a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. She is from Nairobi, Kenya and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Nimu was instrumental in assisting with web development, fundraising and media relations. She went on to a Master’s program at the University of Amsterdam and as part of her MA studies, she conducted research on the oldest international women’s fund, Mama Cash. Nimu went on to earn a PhD in Political Science from Rutgers University in 2010, and is currently teaching in the Department of Political Science at Williams College. In her academic research and teaching, she has continued to focus on women’s rights and feminist movements, and is a member of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Advisory Board at Williams.
Reatha Clark King Fellows:
Lulete Mola (2014-2015, Program Coordinator): Lulete was promoted to the Reatha Clark King Fello | Program Coordinator position after serving as a Diversity Intern with the Foundation. In this position, Lulete was responsible for supporting the Foundation’s programs and grantmaking, including grantmaking committees, grants administration, and events. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Minnesota, Lulete is passionate about intersectional social justice concerning the rights and leadership of women of color and #BlackLivesMatter in the U.S. This passion directly contributes to her ongoing devotion to community organizing. Lulete is also the Founder of SHE, a young women’s leadership program in select Minnesota high schools. Lulete has previously designed and conducted qualitative research on East African immigrant professional development and civic engagement in Minnesota. Lulete is a recipient of the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship, Humanity in Action Fellowship, Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project Fellowship and the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity Award. Lulete graduated summa cum laude from The University of Minnesota in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Family Violence Prevention.
Naomi Marx (2013-2014, Program Coordinator): Naomi joined the Foundation as the Reatha Clark King Fellow | Program and Development Coordinator in 2013. Naomi is currently working towards her Master’s in Public Administration at Hamline University. Naomi graduated from Winona State University with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science. After college, she worked as a Communication Intern for the Mayo Health System, Customer Representative for Prostaff, a Co-facilitator for Community Action, she also dedicated most of her time working with the elderly. Most recently, Naomi was a key volunteer for the Wilder Foundation’s Capacity to Care Project. In the summer of 2014, Naomi accepted a position with the Minnesota Council on Foundations as an executive assistant.
Nicole Cooper (2012-2013; Philanthropy Fellow; 2009-2012; 2008 Diversity Intern; promoted to staff Communications Associate in 2013): Nicole started as a girl grant maker for the girlsBEST (girlsBuilding Economic Success) Fund in 2002. She continued to stay involved in the Foundation as a donor and volunteer while studying Psychology and Sociology at the University of Minnesota. After graduation in 2007, she took an internship at the Foundation and was promoted to the Philanthropy Fellow position in 2009. While in this fellowship, Nicole obtained her Masters in Nonprofit Management and Business Administration at Hamline University in the fall of 2011. In the summer of 2013, Nicole was promoted to the full-time position of communications associate. Nicole left the Foundation in June 2014 to pursue interests aligned with her Master’s degree, and is currently employed at Breck School.
Sheila Carrington (2008-2009, Philanthropy Fellow; 2009-2012): Sheila began as the Foundation’s Philanthropy Fellow in 2008 and was promoted to the Reatha Clark King Fellow position in December 2009. Sheila has been actively involved in issues around youth development for over 21 years. Sheila was excited to merge her personal interests with a dynamic role at the Foundation, which allowed her to develop and deepen her programmatic and development knowledge. Sheila is currently executive director at Edina A Better Chance Foundation, which is dedicated to providing strong educational opportunities to students of color.
Sida Ly-Xiong (2006-2009): Sida was the Women’s Foundation’s first full-time Reatha Clark King Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from Macalester College, St. Paul, and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Sida is also a board member of the Hmong American Partnership, which provides cultural social services to Hmong families in Minnesota. Sida left the Foundation to join CAPI as their Impact and Innovation Manager. Sida is currently a consultant working in evaluation and project planning for nonprofits.
Shunu Shrestha (2006-2007): Shunu was our Philanthropy Fellow from 2006-2007. Shunu originally came to the Women’s Foundation as a Diversity Intern in early 2006 and provided extensive support by organizing the development archival system. Shunu is deeply passionate about women’s issues. She graduated from the College of Saint Catherine’s with a degree in Women’s Studies and English. Previous to her studies in the United States, she was a program officer for the Beyond Beijing Committee in Kathmandu, Nepal, her home town. She has completed a Master’s program at Columbia University. Shunu is currently the Trafficking Coordinator for a collaborative project of Program to Aid Victims of Sexual Assault and American Indian Community Housing Organization in Duluth, Minn. The project focuses on building a community response to decreasing sex trafficking and identifying and changing system and service gaps that lead to the re-victimization of trafficked women and girls.
Ahlam Hassan (2005-2006): Ahlam attended the University of Minnesota majoring in Journalism and German. Ahlam was a McArthur-Mellon Undergraduate Honors student and an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grant recipient.
Dorothy Skobba (2004; staff 2005-2013): Dorothy came to the Women’s Foundation in 2004 as a Development Fellow. Four months later, she was promoted to Development Associate, a full-time staff position. In 2005, she was promoted again to the Development Manager position. Dorothy managed the Foundation’s development database as well as assisted in event planning and coordination of all direct mail appeals. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. in Retail Management and worked in retail for a number of years before transitioning into the nonprofit sector. Dorothy currently works as a wish coordinator at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota.
Chingwell Mutombu (2003-2006): Chingwell was the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s first Philanthropy Fellow in 2003 (which became the Reatha Clark King Fellowship in 2007.) In addition to an advanced degree in Public Administration, Chingwell has professional experience in program planning, program development, research and evaluation. Prior to her two-year fellowship, Chingwell developed and implemented an evaluation program for Medical Students for Choice in Oakland, Calif. Chingwell also developed and administered an evaluation system for the Youth Employment Program at United Neighborhood Houses of New York. Chingwell left the Foundation to found and direct the First Step Initiative, a micro finance program that supports women and families in the Congo.
Datra Christie (2002-2004): Datra was the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s first Development Fellow in 2002. During her two-year fellowship, she attended and then graduated from Macalester College. At Macalester, she was actively involved in organizations such as the Black Women of the Diaspora Collective, the Caribbean Students Association, and Student Government. During Datra’s fellowship, the Women’s Foundation sent her to participate in the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT), a national program training people of color in social change philanthropy. Additionally, Datra’s senior thesis was inspired by her internship – it focused on the philanthropic contributions of individuals of color. After completing her fellowship in 2004, Datra went back to her home country Nassau, Bahamas to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.