Board of Advisors

Barbara Forster

An outstanding community leader, Barbara was a trailblazer in the banking industry for more than 30 years, holding executive-level and director positions at several regional banks in Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado, and Montana.
Throughout her career, Barbara was a highly active civic leader in the Minneapolis community, leading by example and holding numerous volunteer leadership roles. Among the many awards and recognitions presented to her, Barbara has been honored in recent years with the 2009 Blake School Outstanding Alumnae Award, University of Minnesota Regents Award, Metropolitan State University Alumni Award, University of Minnesota Medical School Dean’s Award, Headwaters Foundation Human Rights Award, the YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service, and Junior League Volunteer of the Year Award. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey officially made October 5th “Barbara Forster Day” in the City of Minneapolis.

Dr. Soolmaz Abooali

Dr. Soolmaz Abooali is a professor, author, and practitioner working at the intersection of sport, diplomacy, and conflict resolution. In this capacity, she designs and implements sport-based programs for a diverse group of actors such as government, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic, figures seeking to address social and political conflict through soft power methods. Dr. Abooali is also a world champion and 14-time US national champion in Traditional Karate.”

Dr. Antonia Felix

Antonia Felix, Ed.D., education consultant and researcher specializing in racial and gender equity; author of 24 books including biographies of women leaders Ruth Bade Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Condoleezza Rice, and others.

David Matas

David Matas, an international human rights, refugee, and immigration lawyer practicing in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; member of the Order of Canada; 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Dr. Donna Hughes

Donna M. Hughes, Ph.D., Eleanor M. & Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair and Graduate Director, Gender & Women’s Studies at Rhode Island University; Editor-in-Chief, Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation & Violence.

Dr. Judy Patacsil

Judy Patacsil, Psy.D., Counselor/Professor and International Education Coordinator at San Diego Miramar College. At Miramar College she initiated Filipino Studies and Filipino language courses to serve the large Filipino community of San Diego. She is also a licensed psychotherapist who leads Mental Health Services at Miramar College.

Mandy Sanghera

Mandy Sanghera, award-winning philanthropist, community consultant and global campaigner as well as international human rights activist. Her work includes supporting victims and survivors of honor-based violence and cultural abuse, such as FGM and forced marriages.

Dr. Aminah Beverly (McCloud) Al-Deen

Dr. Al-Deen is professor emerita of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University. In 2006, she founded the United States’ first undergraduate baccalaureate program in Islamic World Studies. She is the former Editor in Chief of the Journal of Islamic Law & Culture. Her book publications include: African American Islam, Questions of Faith, Transnational Muslims in America, Introduction to Islam in the 21st Century, Global Muslims in the 21 st century, History of Arab Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots and Muslim Ethics in the 21st Century. Dr. Al-Deen is a Senior Fulbright Scholar, host of Critical Talk a Muslim Network TV production, executive board member of IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network) and the American editor for the Muslim Minorities in the West Series for Brill Publishers. She is also an editor of Anthropology and Ethnology Open Access Journal.