Our theory of action centers the leadership of Jewish People of Color in our region. Meet our team!
Shahanna McKinney Baldon
Shahanna McKinney Baldon is a longtime educator in Jewish and public school settings. An active Jewish diversity advocate and thought leader for over 20 years, Shahanna brings past experience serving in a range of organizational leadership roles that have focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in schools and communities. She comes from a large Midwest US African American and Ashkenazi family with Seminole, Cherokee, Blackfoot, and Sephardi heritage.
A life-long Chicagoan, Jackie is a community organizer with a wide range of activist experiences including registering voters, voter education work, political campaigns, and volunteer work with multiple grassroots organizations. She currently serves as a community organizer with Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago. Among her duties in this role, Jackie acts as coordinator for JCUA’s Kol Or Jews of Color caucus. A Columbia College graduate with a B.A. in Marketing / Communications, Jackie has also done extensive work as an educator and realtor. She attends Beth Shalom B’Nai Zaken EHC, and in her free time, Jackie likes to spend time with her daughter, Racquel.
A native Wisconsinite, Chelsea uses her experiences from living abroad and on both United States coasts, while serving in both the education and health field, to impact her home on a broader scale. As a Blewish woman (Black+Jew), she is no stranger to navigating spaces with conflicting identities. Her background propels and enables her to make the most change in this world. She holds degrees from Brown University and Johns Hopkins. Her profession is her passion: electing over-qualified candidates to serve in office. Advocating for diverse, safe, educated, and healthy communities are the types of challenges that Chelsea relishes. Chelsea brings passion, a desire to learn, dedication to serving the community, and enthusiasm to the world.
Rafi Forbush is an entrepreneur and active member of the Twin Cities Jewish community, serving as a teacher, coach, and mentor for Jewish youth. Since 2014, Rafi has worked to create awareness for issues related to race, religion, and the intersection of the two, through his work as a public speaker. Rafi is also the founder of the Multiracial Jewish Association of Minnesota which focuses on creating a space for Jews of color to connect to one another through the community, education, and advocacy.
Tamar Ghidalia (she/her) is a Sephardic Jew with roots in Tunisia, France, Israel, and Minnesota. An educator and musician with many years of experience in leadership, Tamar’s most recent leadership role was that of Executive Director of Urban Arts Academy, a non-profit serving diverse students and families through art-infused education. She has received numerous awards for her work in racial justice, and recently completed the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) JewV’Nation Fellowship.
Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in suburban Chicago, SooJi Min-Maranda is the executive director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the umbrella nonprofit for the Jewish Renewal movement. SooJi has served as executive director of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and Korean American Community Services, a comprehensive social service agency in Chicago. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards and fellowships for her work in the health field and for her leadership in the social justice community.
Sara Greenhalgh (she/her) was born in Wonju, South Korea and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. She has a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work with a specialization in Child Welfare, currently serves as a Board Member for Jewish Community Action, is an activist within the Twin Cities, and has been involved in racial equity work with her synagogue for many years.
Yoshi Silverstein is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, coach, speaker, husband, and father. He is a seasoned Jewish community professional and founder of Mitsui Collective, which builds resilient community through embodied Jewish practice and multiracial justice.
Ramona is a Jewish Latina (Jewtina) with Mexican/Indigenous and Dutch ancestry. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has unwavering commitment to the principles and values of anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and has held several leadership positions in these spaces within healthcare, research, non-profit and academic settings. Currently, she is the Founder and President of Broader Impact, LLC, a professional consulting firm that assists clients in achieving the broader impacts of their mission through professional consultation, research, grant, and strategic analysis services. Ramona’s passion for justice draws inspiration, guidance, and direction from the Jewish ethos of Tikkun Olam.
Lasha Tilsen is an Indigenous and Ashkenazi mother and early childhood educator with experience in JCC and Montessori settings. She is an enrolled member of the Brotherton Indian Nation of Wisconsin, with family at White Earth Reservation and Oglala Lakota Nation – Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Lasha is a certified doula and lactation consultant, and an expert at connecting families and children with community resources.
Robin Washington is an award-winning American journalist and filmmaker, born in Chicago in 1956. As a journalist and editor, he was worked for newspapers in Boston and Duluth, Minnesota, as well as for NPR. Robin grew up in a family of Black and Jewish civil rights activists, and has made documentaries about the civil rights movement and the lives of African Americans in the United States. A longtime Jewish diversity leader, he was one of the founders of The Alliance of Black Jews. Robin is currently the host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Simply Superior.
Kendra Watkins (they/them) was born and raised in Metro-Detroit and has returned to Detroit after a quick detour down South to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. They bring a deep love of Midwestern (and Southern!) Jewry to Edot and are committed to centering the voices and experiences of Jews of color and queer Jews.