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Five New Members Join Change Inc. Board of Directors

Change Inc. is welcoming five new members to its’ Board of Directors as Delta Larkey, Ray Krause, Jose Santos Jr., Peter Hayden, and Annmarie Becker have completed two-year terms. Beginning their terms for fiscal year 2024 are Alfred Jaryan, Amy Lauricella, Jamil Payton, Karen Thompson (returning Board member), and Mitch Walking Elk. With an array of professional backgrounds, this group of individuals is well suited to provide guidance to Change Inc. as an organization. Learn more about the joining members below.

Alfred Jaryan

Alfred became a therapist after healing from his childhood trauma. He experienced nine years of civil war trauma in his homeland of Monrovia, Liberia before coming to the United States of America to start a new life. Alfred graduated with his master's degree as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from Argosy University, Twin Cities in 2016 and now works as a Mental Health Supervisor for Fraser. Through his past, he recognized his passion for helping others overcome their underlying traumatic life experiences that cause various mental health challenges and believes people are worthy, despite their imperfections, wounded life experiences, and traumatic damages.

Alfred is currently working on publishing his first book with Wise Ink Publishing Company, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The book focuses on methods and concepts geared towards assisting people in the community to heal from cultural traumas through the development of four central healing foundations and the life healing model. His relationship and connection with Change Inc. and its mission provides him with the knowledge and understanding necessary to serve effectively during this stage of his professional ongoing learning career in the mental health field.

Amy Lauricella

Amy Lauricella received her law degree from Northwestern School of Law and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the past decade, Amy has worked extensively on public policy issues pertaining to criminal justice reform and gender-based violence within state and international criminal and legal justice systems. Amy now works for the MN Department of Corrections as the Policy Director to identify gaps and inequities requiring legislative and internal policy change.

Amy’s legal career has also included roles at Standpoint, a statewide nonprofit providing legal advice and advocacy, technical assistance, and systems change through legal analysis for victims of violence, and Global Rights for Women (GRW), an international NGO dedicated to ending violence against women and girls through systems change. Prior to her nonprofit work, Amy worked as an employment attorney at Drinker, Biddle & Reath handling civil rights lawsuits with a robust pro bono practice working with victims of violence and immigrants in need of DACA and U-visa protection in Cook County, Illinois.

Jamil Payton

Jamil has been in the field of education for 22 years. In 1998, Jamil began as a social studies and language arts teacher in an alternative school in South Minneapolis. Since then, Jamil has been a family and cultural liaison, academic dean/school administrator, assistant principal, and principal. Jamil has worked at both private and public schools, including, most recently, Osseo Area Schools and Minneapolis Public Schools where he was the principal at Hmong International Academy. Currently, he is the principal in St. Paul Public Schools at Johnson High School. Jamil was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of De La Salle High School, Metropolitan State University, and Argosy University. He holds his K-12 Administrative Licensure from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is currently completing his Superintendent Licensure from Minnesota State-Mankato.

Karen Thompson

Karen is a lifelong resident of St. Paul’s West Side neighborhood and has been involved in many of its community organizations. She came to GAP School after the United Way suggested to Sister Giovani, GAP’s founder, that she should get more people on the board with business backgrounds. Sister G attended a meeting in the community chaired by Karen and told Karen she was looking for a strong woman to join the board. After learning more about her, Sister G knew Karen was the person GAP needed.

Karen has worked at Securian for 40 years and has held many positions at the company. She also served as the international president of Executive Women International — an organization of over 1,000 career-oriented women in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Karen brings leadership and community involvement to what is now Change Inc., taking pride in the education and holistic support brought to students and families.

Mitch Walking Elk

Mitch retired in 2022 from his position at GAP School as the Coordinator of the Indigenous Youth Ceremonial Mentoring Society – a mentoring program he created. One of Mitch’s highest achievements in his work with Indigenous Youth was a project addressing the oppression and tragic consequences caused by the “doctrine of discovery” – he was able to bring his group of mentees to Rome to appeal to the Pope to repeal the Papal Bulls that support this doctrine. Mitch was born in Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe of Oklahoma and he is part Hopi and Choctaw as well. Mitch is an accomplished singer, songwriter and musician. He has toured five continents and has nearly 20 tours of countries in Europe to his credit. In his retirement, he continues to tour and to advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world.

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