Board of Directors
Education Organizer at MN NOC
Amber Jones is currently the Education Organizer at MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). Amber draws her passion for education and activism from the educator leaders in her family: her grandmother, parents, aunts and uncles. Born and raised in Southside Chicago, Amber has spent the past five years in Minnesota where she studied African-American & African Studies and Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Amber also found her love for community organizing through seeing her family strike against inequity in public education in 2012. Amber is also passionate about preserving the living history and culture of people of African descent for the youth to embrace for generations to come. Amber is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and an inaugural AALF Josie R. Johnson Leadership Fellow.
Shii-Anna Mudie was raised in arguably the best place on either coast New York City. She received her bachelors in mechanical engineering from Howard University and currently works in the Twin Cities as a product manager. As a Brooklyn native Shii-Anna was fortunate to enjoy a rich cultural experience through various African centered community programs. This exposure equipped her with a keen self-awareness and a deep love for her community. These experiences have made Shii-Anna extremely passionate about serving her community especially where youth is concerned.
Shii-Anna currently serves as the secretary in A New BAM, a volunteer at Imhotep Science Academy, and a member of the Howard University Alumni Association of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Shii-Anna believes that institutions such as A New BAM offer youth a nurturing environment where they can learn and explore while being their authentic selves. Shii-Anna is excited to be of service in this space. Shii-Anna’s hobbies include traveling, the performing arts and binge watching Korean dramas.
Shakita Thomas is a native of Chicago, Il. Shakita spent the past nine years in Minnesota as a student and educator: volunteering, mentoring, advocating and fighting against
systemic inequalities. As the youngest of three girls, but the first to graduate from college and obtain a graduate degree, she understands the challenges and importance of education as well as the importance of culturally responsive programs. Shakita served as an AmeriCorps member for two years with College Possible at Saint Louis Park High School. In addition, she worked in six schools within the St. Paul Public Schools District as an Advisor and later the Assistant Director through the TRIO Educational Talent Search program at Century College. Shakita will be returning to school this fall at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to pursue her doctorate in Culture and Teaching.
With her experience, passion for social justice and education reform, she is excited to serve on the board and work with others to advance the mission and vision of ANEW BAM.
Leavon D. Fields born and raised in St. Paul is currently an Intervention Specialist at Parkway Middle School in St. Paul Minnesota a middle school girls softball coach and Mentor for African American boys 8th-12th grade. He has a well-rounded 15 plus year background in education that includes seven years working in Special Education at Jackson Elementary and five years working in the Program for Social Development (P.S.D.) at Harding High School.
He also was Site Coordinator and Lead Teacher for Project S.P.I.R.I.T. after-school enrichment program for thirteen years. During the summer months for the last five years he has been a Site Coordinator for Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, serving over two hundred children every summer in a reading based summer enrichment program.
Realtor and Social Media Specialist
My name is Protea. I a mother of two wonderful children, a Realtor and specialize in social media connectivity. I’m passionate about creating a community where all of our children have the capacity to develop into well rounded individuals. I am an advocate for black economic development therefore strive to teach my community the importance of home/business ownership and hope to help as many as I can along in the process.
A graduate of The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Felicia Sherrod is an artist and educator who has served Saint Paul as a teacher, tutor, and cultural and behavior specialist for seven years. Felicia is passionate about art and history, so as she studies to receive her Social Studies teaching license, she is working on infusing art, history and social studies together in order to be an innovative yet effective middle and high school teacher. Felicia comes to us by way of The network for the development of children of African descent (NdCAD) where she has spent most of her professional career learning from some of the greatest African American educators/leaders.
Executive Director of Minnesota Civic Youth
Amy is the Executive Director of Minnesota Civic Youth. Before joining MCY, she was the General Manager at Class 5 Energy, a consulting firm that helped K-12 schools reduce their energy use and costs by engaging people and inspiring changes in attitudes, behaviors and decision-making. Prior to that, Amy was a senior counselor at Himle Horner and the Director of Marketing at the University of Minnesota. She has an M.A. degree from the University of St. Thomas and a B.A. degree from the College of St. Benedict. Amy grew up in Rochester, Minnesota with parents, teachers and friends who strongly encouraged her to take part in civic life. She realizes that not all young people are so fortunate. She is passionate about creating opportunities for young people that help build the next generation of activists and leaders.
Mrs. Sawyer considers St. Paul home since 2008. Born and raised in Chicago. A mother of two teenagers who attend Highland Park Senior High School and a wife for 17 years. Joined Anew BAM Executive Board in 2015 and is currently serving as the Treasurer. She currently works for the St. Paul Promised Neighborhood (SPPN) at Jackson Preparatory School (Frog town) in The Center for Culture, Families and Learning (CCFL) as the School Partnership Coordinator (SPC).
Ms. Sawyer is a longtime volunteer and tutor /mentored for after-school and summer programs Project S.P.I.R.I.T. and Freedom Schools Express for the benefit of students and families from grades Kindergarten through 8 th . Nine years of service for St. Paul Public Schools and CDF Freedom Schools St. Paul Minnesota. Former co-chair for PAASAC school district parent group and current member. She presently serves as Vice President for the newly formed PTSA “The Village” St. Paul PTA Chapter. She has experience in sales/marketing, accounting, administration, special education, program recruiting, meeting facilitator, creating partnerships and developing programming for African American families and children much more.