Who We Are

Mission Statement

Our mission is to assist nonprofit entities and educational organizations with resources development to promote positive and lasting change in their communities. We will fulfill our mission by providing technical support, partnering opportunities, and resource building to organizations serving at-risk and underserved populations, with the goal of advancing community strengths through a focus on education, environment, and social justice.

Meet the Founders:

Nancy Van LeuvenNancy Van Leuven, Ph.D., has over three decades of academic and practitioner experience in marketing, community development, and social justice. Dr. Van Leuven has worked for nonprofits, governmental agencies, and global corporate clients, ranging from the International Red Cross and Taco Bell to public and international development agencies. Her most recent research explores issues in global communication and health, especially the relationships between women and indigenous populations within projects of social justice and international development. She has recently published articles/chapters and books on health care for rural populations, how social media is embedded in public agencies, and why global initiatives, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, are facing obstacles with Western audiences and other stakeholders.

Deniz LeuenbergerDeniz Zeynep Leuenberger, Ph.D., is the Chief of Staff for Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. Dr. Leuenberger is also the immediate past Faculty Director of the Institute for Regional Development at BSU. Prior to entering Higher Education, she worked 15 years as an administrator in human services delivery. Dr. Leuenberger is the co-author of the book Sustainable Development in Public Administration. She has recently published articles/chapters on sustainable development, strategic planning, budgeting, and women’s caring labor in the journals Administrative Theory and Praxis, Public Works and Management Policy, State and Local Government Review,PA Times, the Public Manager and in the books Comparative Public Budgeting: A Global Perspective and Women in Public Administration Theory and Praxis.

Danielle Newton

Danielle Newton received a master’s degree in English from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. Before beginning her career in teaching, Danielle worked as a professional writer for education and non-profit organizations in California and Washington state, including the California Institute for Rural Studies, the American Lung Association, and Green River Community College. She has also lectured internationally on women’s empowerment issues, Native American rights, and preparing international students for the American classroom. Danielle has published extensively on these and other issues, with her most recent articles published by Praeger Publishing and IGI Global. While in Washington state, Danielle taught writing at Bellingham Technical College. Currently, she is a full-time Lecturer in the Writing Programs at CSU, Sacramento.

 

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Kelsey

Kelsey Leuenberger is studying Art History and Sociology at Bridgewater State University. She works at BSU TV Studio part-time and specializes in photography, with an interest in travel photography, social justice, and women’s rights issues.

 

Meet the Board Members:

Celeste Manoucheka Manoucheka Celeste, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and African-American and African American Diaspora Studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her research interests include media representations of blackness, immigration, gender, and class, with a focus on the United States and the Caribbean, particularly Haiti. She has published research on Beyoncé Knowles and black women in popular culture, Haiti and Cuba in U.S. news, and women of color in academia. Her book Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the African Diaspora: Travelling Blackness is under contract with Routledge. Dr. Celeste earned a doctorate in Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Women, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Washington. She also holds a B.S. in Journalism and a M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida, where she was inducted in the Hall of Fame. She is founding director of Mentoring Circle, a mentoring program designed to enhance student success, particularly first-generation college students. Dr. Celeste was also a co-founder of the Women of Collective at the University of Washington and also serves on the boards of the Rural Women’s Health Project and The Power to Do Something Foundation.

Luana Ross

Dr. Luana Ross (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, located at Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana) has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oregon and has been a professor at the University of California at Davis and UC Berkeley. Dr. Ross is currently Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington and is the co-director of Native Voices Graduate Program.

She has conducted extensive research on the experiences of women in prison, which resulted in many publications including a book, Inventing the Savage. This book was awarded the “Best Book of 1998” by the American Political Science Association. She was also awarded a Newberry Library Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Fellowship. She has also published numerous articles including, “Race, Gender, and Social Control: Voices of Imprisoned Native American and White Women” in Wicazo Sa Review, and “Native Women, Mean-Spirited Drugs, and Punishing Policies” in Social Justice. In addition, Dr. Ross has contributed chapters to important Native Studies and sociology texts, including Reading Native American WomenNative American Voices: A Reader, and States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons.

Dan HartProfessor Daniel Hart has been teaching at the University of Washington in American Indian Studies since 1999. He is the co-Director of the UW’s Native Voices Program and is the Director of the Canadian Studies Program. Professor Hart received his M. F. A. in Film and Television from Temple University School of Communication in 1984.

Professor Hart is an award-winning documentary producer and director who has been working with Native American and First Nations educators, media producers, and youth for over 20 years. He is deeply involved with the development of indigenous pedagogy and indigenous research methodologies. He is involved in a multipart project, which is developing K7-12 health curricula for Native American schools. His films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Vienna Film Festival, as well as many other venues around the U.S. and abroad. He was named “Producer of the Year” by the National Native American Film Festival.

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