Alisha Carr joined MIGIZI in November 2019. She is from Tama, Iowa, and is a Meskwaki tribal descendant. She has over 10 years of experience in education and has previously served as a substitute teacher, Native American tutor aide, second grade teacher, third grade teacher, and English language (EL) teacher. She has taught in Scottsdale, Arizona; Tama, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Alisha earned her BA in elementary education from University of Arizona and MS in education from University of Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and spending time with her nieces and nephew.
Strategic Projects Director
John Gwinn has been at MIGIZI for 11 years. Before that, he led his own youth media nonprofit called PCTV, Phillips Community Television. He also co-founded the Twin Cities Youth Media Network and is on the community faculty at the School of Social work at the University of Minnesota. He has also produced his own media productions and is a writer and can been seen playing drums in some local bands.
Jane Zamora is an enrolled member of Red Lake. Jane earned a two-year degree in general studies from MCTC and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. She has worked for MIGIZI since January of 2019. She has been in the youth work and education field since 1988 and has worked for various Native and non-Native organizations, including: PACER, St. Joseph Home for Children, MPS Indian Education, Head Start on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, and Anoka Hennepin Indian Education.
Jane is excited to work with MIGIZI, for the opportunity to bring creativity to her work with young people as an Academic Support Specialist. Working with South High allows for the opportunity to collaboratively and strategically address student learning styles. Working with youth since 1988 has given her the ability to learn from different generations, respond to a variety of learning styles, and effectively mentor Indigenous students. The word that describes Jane's work with youth is enthusiasm, because everyday is different and there is always something to learn from the youth-she is 53 and still learning from the youth she serves. Jane's hobbies are horseback riding, watching movies, and spending time with her kids. Jane has three kids-one son, and two daughters. Jane says she is proud of their individuality.
Lead Green Jobs Instructor
Brian Dragonfly was born and raised in the Twin Cities. He has lived his whole life here with the exception of a year in Germany as an exchange student. While living in
Germany, Brian was exposed to DIY and commercial renewable energy systems. He
graduated in 2008 from the University of Minnesota as a bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. During the economic downturn of that year he found himself working in education and he was enjoying his work. He then received a Masters of Education from the University of Saint Thomas and worked as a high school math teacher before joining MIGIZI as the Green Jobs Instructor.
In his free time he enjoys sharing his love of the outdoors with his children.
He is passionate about our environment and he says he sees an opportunity for our
society to apply technology in a sustainable way. For Brian, this begins with
society gaining the knowledge to create renewable energy systems that
Lead Media Specialist
Binesikwe Means was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe in Pine Ridge South Dakota. Her name Binesikwe (Bi-Nay-See-Kway) is from the Ojibwe language meaning “Thunderbird Woman”. Binesikwe has worked as a teaching artist with In Progress for six years in many schools and tribal communities. She currently has worked for Migizi Communications for three years as a New Media Team Lead for First Person Productions a youth led social enterprise that produces videos, design work and social media campaigns for small businesses and non-profits. Over the summer, Binesikwe worked with Summer Media Institute’s 12 high school age youth interns who produced both personal projects and promotional videos for clients. First Person Productions has worked with the University of Minnesota, American Lung Association and Minneapolis Indian Education.
Youth Development Specialist
Bio coming soon!
Marketing and Communications
Melannie Bice is from Northeast Minneapolis and is in her senior year at Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis. Melannie is Ojibwe from White Earth Nation. She previously had an internship at MIGIZI in the summer of 2018. She came back to work for MIGIZI in November 2019 as a Marketing Coordinator. She has worked as a teacher's aide for kindergarten and 1st grade students, an Aquatics Attendant and had a media internship. Melannie's goals following graduation are to attain her Associates Degree of Science at a 2 year institution and transfer to a 4 year institution where she will complete a Bachelor of Science.
Her favorite school subject is photography. She enjoys attending concerts, trying new foods, and traveling. She plans to visit Greece, Italy and Indonesia.
Prior to joining MIGIZI in November 2018, Kelly served as founding President and CEO of the Tiwahe Foundation for seven years, Tiwahe is an American Indian community foundation which focuses on providing micro grants to American Indian communities, strengthening leadership initiatives and network building. During her 20 years of philanthropy and non-profit work, Kelly has worked with the Jewish Community Foundation, The Family Partnership, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and New Foundations – a Project for Pride in Living program. Kelly currently serves on the Saint Paul Foundation Community Impact Grants Committee, The Family Partnership Board of Directors and other projects that benefit American Indian Woman and youth. She holds a M.A. degree in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Kelly currently lives in NE Minneapolis with her husband and two children.