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  2021 Graphic Notes by artist: Jendayi Berry  


Explore opening and closing keynotes from local leaders, exciting workshops that deeply examine change, connections over Happy Hour, and a showcase of local businesses!


Join us Friday, November 11th, 2022 at the W Hotel in Minneapolis to help shape a new era of action that shifts the state of inequity across South Minneapolis.

1 PM - WELCOME + Check In

KEYNOTE: Robert Lilligren



Keynote: Irene Fernando

5:15 PM - Connect Happy Hour




Opening and closing keynotes from local leaders will root the conversation that connects attendees in driving real change in partnership with our community.

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  Robert Lilligren  

President & CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI)

Robert Lilligren, a citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation, has been President and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) since May of 2016. NACDI is an asset-based community development organization promoting the community’s vision of the American Indian Cultural Corridor in South Minneapolis. Robert served for 12 years as the Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, the first Tribal member elected to public office in the City of Minneapolis. In 2019 Robert was appointed by the Governor as the first Native member of the Metropolitan Council, the regional governing body, and he is Secretary of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID), a 50-plus year-old Twin Cities regional leadership forum comprised of the executives of some three dozen Native
organizations. He volunteers on a number of civic bodies, and on the capital campaigns for several Native organizations.


Robert began his community involvement after moving to the Phillips area in 1982 by organizing at the block, then neighborhood levels before his first campaign for Minneapolis City Council in 2001. He is a small-scale housing developer, an avid reader, a policy wonk, and a bicycle commuter. After 36 years in the Phillips West Neighborhood, he now lives in the Loring Heights Neighborhood in South Minneapolis with his husband, Steve.

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 Irene Fernando  

Hennepin County Commissioner - District 2

Irene currently serves as Hennepin County Commissioner for District 2, which includes Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, southeast Plymouth, St. Anthony, North Minneapolis, Northeast Minneapolis, and the North Loop and Bryn Mawr neighborhoods in Minneapolis.


Irene was elected to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in November of 2018. Together, she and Commissioner Angela Conley (District 4) were the first people of color elected to the County Board in Hennepin’s 169 year history. She is the youngest woman to serve in this position, and she is the first Filipino-American elected in the state of Minnesota.


Before joining the County Board, Irene worked in not-for-profit and corporate settings, and she instructed college courses. Her expertise is in youth development, social entrepreneurship, shared leadership models, talent development, and systems change. Irene studied at the University of Minnesota where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership, and she is also currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Human Resource Development.


Irene lives in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis with her partner Kent. She loves this community and can often be found out on her front porch chatting with her neighbors or cheering on the Minnesota Lynx!



  The Power of What We Know  

Participants will help to complete a statement, visual, poem, etc. of why community well-being is linked to all the elements of community

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Signe V. Harriday

Artistic Producing Director, Pillsbury House + Theatre

SIGNE V. HARRIDAY is a fierce visionary and powerful storyteller who crafts theatre that awakens our individual and collective humanity. As a director, multidisciplinary artist, activist, and facilitator, she uses theatre as a catalyst to ask questions about who we are and who we are in relation to each other. 



  Unraveling Change  

Reflect on and discuss core impediments to social change and collaborative work.  Ideate ways that community-based collaborations can change in service of furthering equitable change

Leon Dixon

Vice President of Human Dignity and Inclusion, 

St. Mary’s University

Leon Dixon assists with establishing an innovative culture of diversity, inclusion, and engagement within the Lasallian Catholic tradition. He is charged with engaging faculty, staff, and students in building a welcoming culture of hospitality.


In Dixon’s own words about his work: “The opportunity to document and support what diversity, equity, and inclusion can be as viewed through the lens of Human Dignity and Inclusion is exciting, as is the ability to walk with individuals through complex issues and trying times. The dignity of each person is at the core of my work and is the vision I try to provide others as they seek to build stronger relationships, healthier communities, and a better world.

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Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow community champions!  Create new networks and strengthen existing ones to uplift and build community.


Included with every registration!  Fill up your Southside Summit gift bag with goods and services from locally owned businesses. 

Wine and Cheese
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