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Press Release

Young Leaders Share the Mic with Minnesota Changemakers on March 26

WFMNXSHARETHEMICMN Collaboration Amplifies BIPOC Voices for Change in Women’s History Month

In their third month of collaboration, #SHARETHEMICMN and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) are amplifying the voices of WFMN’s Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota with #WFMNXSHARETHEMICMN to elevate the work, lives, and stories of the brilliant young BIPOC women and people leading today. Recognizing that every sector in our state needs the voices and solutions of young Black, Indigenous, women of color and gender expansive people, the #WFMNXSHARETHEMICMN partnership is seizing the moment to amplify a movement for change.

As we mark Women’s History Month, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and #SHARETHEMICMN announce its most robust set of mic sharing will take place across social media on March 26. On this date, young Black, Indigenous, women of color and gender expansive people will take over the social channels of cross-sector leaders to demonstrate the vision and solutions of Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota leaders across Minnesota. On March 26, featured mic shares will include:

  • Jacquie Berglund, co-founder and CEO of Finnegan Enterprises, will share the FINNEGANS Instagram channel with Melinda Kassandra Lopez, who graduated from high school in rural southern Minnesota with a nursing degree and now attends medical school, who will amplify the importance of educational opportunities and mentorship prospects with young women.
  • Anjali Bhagra, Professor and Medical Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at the Mayo Clinic, will share her Twitter mic with entrepreneur Hilal Ibrahim, founder of Henna & Hijabs, who will share her passion for fostering a healthcare system that is representative and reflective of its patients, including creating accessible and culturally appropriate health care attire.
  • Jeanne Crain, CEO of Bremer Bank, will share her mic on LinkedIn with Kathy Santamaria-Mendez, a Young Women’s Cabinet alumna who will share her perspective on attending law school as one of few women of color.
  • Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota, will turn the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Instagram channel over to Mercedes Van Cleve, a Young Women’s Cabinet member and founder of Chi Maingan’s 7th Generation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide culturally based equine support services to Native youth across the nation.
  • Rachel R. Hardeman, the Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health & Racial Equity and the Founding Director of the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, will share her LinkedIn mic with Montana Filoteo, a WFMN Innovator alum, public health researcher, and creator of The MYST Project. They pursue research as an avenue for change, and challenge Minnesotans to invest in youth and recognize their expertise, innovation, and knowledge.
  • Duchess Harris, Professor of American Studies at Macalester College, will share her mic on LinkedIn with Amy Zhou, a Cabinet member who will share her perspective as a young, queer, Asian American woman fighting to take up space in government and policy, at a crucial point at the intersections of history, culture, identity, oppression, and power.
  • Heather Malenshek, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Land O’Lakes, will be paired on LinkedIn with Benya Kraus, a Young Women’s Cabinet alumna and co-founder of Lead for America, who will share the story of rural homecomers, especially young women entrepreneurs who have returned to rural places and reinvested in the future of their communities.
  • Jasmine Brett Stringer, founder of #SHARETHEMICMN and Carpe Diem with Jasmine, will share her mic on Instagram with Ponny White, a member of the Young Women’s Cabinet who will uplift the importance of Black women’s and nonbinary people’s emotional and mental health as they lead movements, organize change, keep our leaders accountable, and advocate for their communities.

“Women’s history is being written today,” said Gloria Perez, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. “Each person sharing the mic on March 26 is leading now – not waiting for the future. Together, we are building power and relationships with young women and gender expansive people leading movements for social change and transforming the world by amplifying their voices, leadership, and solutions.”

During the first quarter of 2021, 15 young women and gender expansive leaders, representing eight communities across Minnesota most impacted by inequities in economic opportunity, safety, and leadership, have taken over the social media channels of statewide leaders to highlight the change that is possible when we put young women who have been pushed to the margins at the center of solutions.

Each month, the social media channels of prominent Minnesotans are taken over by leaders from WFMN’s Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, including current and past members of the Young Women’s Cabinet, appointed by the Office of Governor, who have been trained as policy advocates, directed nearly $1 million in grants to nonprofits and individuals to advance equity, and engaged in leadership development. Also sharing the mic are WFMN Innovators who received microgrants investing in their ideas and solutions to create a state where all young women thrive.

WFMN and #SHARETHEMICMN share a vision of an inclusive and equitable Minnesota where every young Black, Indigenous, and woman of color thrives. Founded by Jasmine Brett Stringer in June 2020, #SHARETHEMICMN expands the reach of Black and Brown women in Minnesota with connections that extend beyond a one-day media takeover. “Collaborating with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s Young Women’s Initiative is a natural fit for #SHARETHEMICMN because it supports our greater mission of making Minnesota a more equitable state. It’s important that we bring disenfranchised and often unheard younger women on the journey with us and help them amplify and expand the reach of their voices as it pertains to the impactful work they’re doing in their communities and our state,” said Jasmine Brett Stringer, founder of #SHARETHEMICMN and Carpe Diem with Jasmine.

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