From the beginning, Inclusivi-Tee’s goal has been to bring together a group of diverse, passionate progressives to join the Inclusivi-tee team. Our board consists of six members of varying ages and includes voices fromthe LGBTQ community, the African American community, and the Muslim community. We are committed to running our company openly and honestly and striving to demonstrate our progressive values in everything we do.
Lori is a licensed clinical psychologist. She began her career working with adults and children who had experienced personal trauma in Newport, Rhode Island, a city of significant economic disparity. Through this work, Lori witnessed the effects of poverty on the ability to access resources and on child development, family relationships and mental health. She also witnessed great resilience, strength, kindness, and growth.
When Lori moved to Minnesota ten years ago, she began working in geriatrics. And again witnessed the effects of poverty and limited resources on vulnerable members of our society. But again she witnessed resilience, hope, strength and considerable kindness. Lori has grown through these experiences and is now bringing her passion, knowledge, intelligence, patience, excellent work ethic, kindness, understanding of human nature, openness and progressive spirit to Inclusivi-tee.
“While working on Inclusivi-tee, I have become stronger, more passionate, and better informed. I have met amazing, diverse, wonderful people and I have challenged myself in ways that I never thought possible. No matter what happens in the future, this is a journey I had to take.”
Lori’s husband, and talented artist, Ray has been involved in Inclusivi-Tee since its inception. He officially joined the board, bringing his art expertise and critical eye, when he retired from his full time job at the University of Minnesota in November, 2019, to focus on art.
Negebe Sheronick has been a public school teacher since 1987 and has a Master’s Degree in teaching and learning. She considers it her highest purpose to help young people find their value and develop their personal talents. She has three children.
Negebe was raised in a bilingual home where both English and Arabic were spoken. She grew up in a/the Muslim community while also being active in the public schools in her Midwestern town. As a result, she saw the value of diversity, communication and building friendships across cultural groups.
“As a Muslim-American woman, whose mother is an immigrant from Lebanon, I am deeply interested in immigrant rights, women’s rights, and religious freedom. As a mother and teacher, I am deeply interested in finding ways to work together so future generations are protected and respected. Inclusivi-tee give me a way to fight for the rights of all people, protect the earth and help people connect with others through respect and appreciation of our common humanity.”
M.P. joined Inclusivi-tee's board in 2017 as a financial advisor and acting C.F.O. M.P works as a full-time financial advisor and has ownership in both Prudent Accountants and Nutmeg Brewhouse.
SHARON NWAEBUBE (COO)
Sharon understands the importance and need for sustainable apparel and the positive impact it would have on the environment. She brings eight years of public and private sector experience in mergers and acquisitions, project and product management, and venture capital. She has worked in the real estate, financial technology, telecommunications, and healthcare industries. In addition, Sharon has experience in consulting with various Fortune 500-1000 companies on different strategies they can use to increase their revenue and customer loyalty. She currently advises women and minority led startups on strategic ways to build traction so they can attract more diverse investors. She also helps small businesses to grow and scale by advising and training them on effective customer success and business development strategies.
BOBBI JO BOGGS
Bobbi Jo is a K-12 gifted education teacher in rural Iowa and the mother of an 12-year-old boy. She has been a public school teacher for many years and recently earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
As a teacher, Bobbi has always had a deep concern for the welfare of our children and their futures. And during the past year she has become increasingly convinced that something has to be done to ensure our children grow up in a world where human rights and the earth are more respected. Bobbi brings to our board considerable creativity, intelligence, a real willingness to work, problem-solving strengths, experience with group dynamics, excellent communication skills and a deep belief that we can do better.
“When Lori asked me to be on the board of Inclusivi-tee, I immediately said yes. I had been feeling like I needed to do more to make a difference in this world, but was not certain how to accomplish this. Through Inclusivi-tee, we will be able to educate people not only about progressive causes and ways to be inclusive in their own lives, but we will also inform them about opportunities to make a bigger difference in the lives of those around them."
KATHERINE MYREN MANBECK
Katherine is a 26-year-old graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. Her current research addresses racial inequality, with a particular focus on racial disparities in health care and on the prison industrial complex that criminalizes blackness.
Katherine is devastated by the structural inequalities in our society and strives to serve those most affected by those inequalities, especially our Black and Latinx populations. She has an undergraduate degree in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality studies and is similarly-passionate about feminism and trans* issues. Katherine brings to this company creativity, intelligence, passion, great organizational skills and experience gained from interning for a political candidate and sitting on the board of the Minnesota chapter of the Public Interest Research Group.
“I have been an advocate for equality in many forms. Starting with a firm feminist foundation from having children’s books read to me with gender pronouns changed (after all, why does the puppy always need to be a boy?) and marching with my family in pro-choice rallies. In high school, I developed a passion for trans* rights and organized events and participated in GLBT legislative action. And today, my professional work continues to fuel my passion for equality and inclusivity.
FORMER BOARD MEMBERS
Aiden Waidner-Smith is a lifelong Tulsa, Oklahoma native with the red dirt of the Sooner State in his bones. He has worked in the renewable energy industry, specifically with electric utilities, for more than a decade and is currently Vice President of Power Marketing and Transmission Strategy for the Southwestern Power Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Aiden is also a transgender man and has worked with various human rights organizations focused on serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Oklahoma. His volunteerism has varied from serving in leadership on boards to running support groups and service programs for transgender people and youth. Aiden has witnessed the profound importance of celebrating diverse people, living authentically and being empowered in and by our differences. Aiden shares his time with his beautiful wife, three large dogs, two cats, good books and an occasional home-brewed beer.
“I am very excited about helping Inclusivi-tee achieve its goal of uniting people through art and the support of progressive causes.”
SHALETTE CAULEY WANDRICK
Shalette is an award-winning web designer and graphic artist as well as a teacher, coach and entrepreneur. She is the past president of the Nimbly Pan African Dance Company, a non-profit dance and drum organization in Minneapolis. While working for The Science Museum of Minnesota she served on the design team for the new museum and as an exhibit designer. In addition, she has worked with at-risk children through the Community of Arts program and was recently one of the lead designers of a Twin Citeis park honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Shalette brings to Inclusivi-tee her record of exceptional leadership, community involvement and experience as a public artist. She understands what it’s like to be displaced, uprooted and bussed to another neighborhood. And she knows what it feels like to be the only person of color in your environment. Shalette is excited to be a part of this board and to work with a group of dedicated, caring, goal-directed, mission-inspired leaders.
“As a woman and a member of the African American community, I have seen prejudice and bias firsthand. So I’m excited to join the Inclusivi-tee team. I share their belief that being human is what matters, that supporting non-profit organizations is critical, that sharing beautiful art is a creative way of promoting the progressive community and that just talking about an issue is simply not enough.”
BARBARA WEINER | FILMMAKER
Barbara Wiener is a working filmmaker in the Twin Cities. Her work focuses on girls and women, diverse communities and stories of hope in hard times. Barbara is the executive director and founder of TVbyGIRLS, a nonprofit that uses media making to engage girls in community social justice and leadership development.
“Inclusivi-tee is an amazing organization that is combining heart and mission with social entrepreneurial values. America is having some tough times right now but I believe that people’s engagement with important issues will revitalize our democracy. Inclusivi-tee helps bring that all together. A site that I can trust to guide me to action—at whatever level I can do at the time. And stories of hope to fuel the work—who is doing good work around the country. We can gain strength from each other and I think Inclusivi-tee is making that happen. And I get a beautiful tee-shirt on top of it!”
TIERNAN BOGGS | YOUTH ADVISOR
Tiernan Boggs is the son of Inclusivi-tee board member Bobbi Boggs. He is an eleven year old sixth grade student at Connections Academy, and will be attending Grinnell-Newburg Middle School next year. Tiernan’s interests include reading books of many genres, but he particularly likes Rick Riordan and the Harry Potter series. He is also very into computer and console gaming, particularly role playing games. He currently plans to attend college after high school to prepare for a career in some kind of scientific field.
“I became part of Inclusivi-tee because my mom is involved. I believe in the cause of bringing all people together as a community. If we work together as humans, instead of thinking of ourselves as divided groups of people, it’s better for all of us. I think Inclusivi-tee will bring people together this way. Being part of it has already made me more aware of the things I can do to be less judgemental and more accepting of other people.”
JIM MELZER | COPYWRITER
Jim Melzer is a marketing communications consultant with more than three decades of strategy, planning, writing and print and broadcast production experience. He has been a company communications director and editor; an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and Vice President and partner in his own advertising agency Musta Melzer. Jim has won awards from The Show, the American Advertising Federation and the National AgriMarketing Association. He has been active in progressive and inclusive causes since 1971, when he attended his first political caucus.
Jim has done volunteer consulting for the This Old Horse rescue program, the Pike’s Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, The Citizens Project, his church and multiple progressive political candidates. He enjoys singing in the Colorado Springs Chorale and traveling and helps his brother manage their farmland and horse stable in Southern Minnesota.
DAVID GRANT | WRITER, ACTIVIST
David Grant is a Twin Cities-based writer. As a playwright, he has been commissioned to write new work for the Minnesota Science Museum, Minnesota Historical Society, VocalEssence, The Playwrights’ Center, Mixed Blood Theater, The History Theatre, The One Minute Play Festival, and Bedlam Theatre, in collaboration with Voices of Cedar Riverside.
As a screenwriter, he has written for Russell Simmons’ Def Pictures, HBO, and the Showtime Network, in addition to numerous projects for the producers of informational/training DVDs and web series.
He has been a recipient of screenwriting fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation. He and Twin Cities Public Television, were awarded the 1990 Regional Emmy, Best Original Dramatic Program, for “The Screenplay Project: Four Shorts.” A DVD about one of Hazelden Foundation’s programs, “Healing the Healers,” for which he wrote the script, was awarded the 2009 Cine Golden Eagle. He has served, along with poet Ethelbert Miller, as mentor to the 2013 Fellows of the Givens Foundation’s Collaborative Retreat for African American Writers.
He has recently completed work as writer/consultant on the feature documentary film, “Word of Honor: Redeeming Mandela’s Promise,” for Monde World Films, and is commencing work on the feature-length documentary, “Killing Mookie,” for Bully Productions.
Mr. Grant has taught screenwriting at The Loft, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas and the Augsburg College MFA in Creative Writing Program. He currently teaches screenwriting at Independent Filmmaker Project North.
“These are trying times for Democracy in America. At a political moment when there is not only tremendous disunity within the country as a whole, there is a disappointing degree of disunity among progressives as well. If we are to going to make strides toward reviving a strong and viable progressive agenda, we have to find new ways in which to bridge the gulfs that divide us, and work together effectively. And we have to do it NOW. The good folks at Inclusivi-tee offer an important pathway toward that goal. One hundred percent of the profit from their gorgeous, artist-designed tees goes to support progressive organizations. But beyond that, their goal is to serve as a kind of clearinghouse for up-to-the-minute information about what each one of us can do, locally and nationally, to support political and social progress in our country.”
MELANIE IZRAEL | LEAD DESIGNER
Melanie is a young Argentinian textile designer with a commitment to eco-friendly fashion and a special interest in the use of up-cycled clothing. She has consulted with Inclusivi-tee on product development and demonstrated a strong passion for our mission. Melanie has already spearheaded her own small clothing company and demonstrates commitment, creativity, and considerable design skill