Embody Deep Democracy






Sam Grant Systems Facilitator

Sam Grant

Afro–Ghanaian Sam Grant, MS⁄MA is a life–long organizer, who has constantly worked on the intersections of cultural, economic, and environmental justice. He co–founded the following organizations; AfroEco, Full Circle Community Institute, Organizing Apprenticeship Project, the Wendell Phillips Community Development Federal Credit Union, the Green Institute Eco-Industrial Park, Grassroots Public Policy Institute, among others. He has been on faculty at Metropolitan State University since 1990, and has trained thousands of social justice facilitators around the world. He is certified in Human Systems Dynamics and Permaculture Design.

At the age of 7, Sam had his first experience of extreme racial violence when his family “integrated” a white neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida. He spent the next decade of his life having to literally fight for survival, and carries the inner–scars of a war survivor. An organizing and movement–building mentor, Jimmy Boggs connected Sam to ubuntu psychology, and this, finally brought him toward his current transformative path of organizing and facilitation, that he brings through the Movement Center for Deep Democracy. His “source” for improvisation and innovation comes from his healing path as a drummer and his years performing with a small jazz ensemble while in college. He continues to drum. He continues to heal. He continues to offer space for improvisational social movement forms.

SPNN Forum
Social Innovation Lab
Passive House by CLAM — affordable housing

Radio Interview: Environmental Justice

Email: sam@embodydeepdemocracy.com

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Zainab M. Hassan Evaluation

Zainab M. Hassan

Somali Zainab M. Hassan is a writer, poet, researcher, and human rights activist living in the Twin Cities area. Currently, she is an Independent Consultant in the areas of strategic development and planning, philanthropy, international development, evaluation and facilitation. From July 2007 to September 2012, she was a generalist and then education Program Officer for The Minneapolis Foundation“s (TMF) community grantmaking, and provided oversight and management of special purpose funds. She also represented TMF’s interests to public and private agencies, donor, funding partners and the community at large, and conducted research and analysis on current issues and topics, linked opportunities in the nonprofit community with the resources of the foundations, and provided oversight for evaluation. Previously, she worked as director of projects, researcher, program evaluator, and consultant for foundations, international organizations, and local nonprofits. She also worked as Cultural Services Coordinator for Metropolitan Health Plan (Hennepin County).

As a member of the African diaspora philanthropy, Zainab is a member of the African Women’s Development Fund USA Minnesota Network, and Pan–African Women’s Philanthropy Network Founding Member. Zainab also serves the Steering Committee of HOPE — Horn of Africa Peace Engagement, a group promoting peace, integration and economic prosperity and empowering young people to contribute to peaceful co–existence in the region. She is also an active member of the Somali diaspora civil society and has presented and participated in many local, national, and international forums about philanthropy, good governance, security, peace building, human rights, social and environmental justice, and gender equity. She was the chair of Pan Somali Council for peace and Democracy known as Israaca (the largest organization for Somali intellectuals in the Diaspora at the time). Currently, she serves several advisory boards and committees for local, national and international organizations.

Academically, Zainab holds a Masters of Public Affairs and a Certificate on Program Evaluation from University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in Environmental Health with a minor in Chemistry from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is 2012 James P. Shannon Leadership Institute program alumna, and was the recipient of several fellowships notably the Otto Bremer Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship on Philanthropy and Human Rights; the Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship; and The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities’ PLACES Fellowship.


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