MLK Assembly panelists advise students on how to actively support anti-racism

Meghan Joyce

Meghan Joyce, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Panelist biographies (from left to right):

Paul Applebaum

Criminal defense attorney with Applebaum Law Firm. Paul Applebaum has spent over twenty years dedicated to representing minority civil rights plaintiffs in court and has brought lawsuits against police officers successfully many times. His professional life has exposed him to the racial tensions that are currently under examination in our country as we question the policing, legal system, and overt racism in the wake of events such as Ferguson.

Chris Lollie

Resident of St. Paul, Chris Lollie was assaulted and arrested by two police officers in the skyway in front of his son after waiting to pick him up from New Horizon Academy in the skyway. He used his smartphone to film the instance of police brutality and the video went viral. Since then he has been active in the fight against police violence towards people of color, and has been a speaker at protests throughout the Twin Cities.

Lonna Stevens Hunter

Has worked at Council on Crime and Justice, Intermedia Arts and Wellstone Action and is a  self proclaimed “results-oriented public policy advocate, community organizer, activist and fundraiser.” At the Council on Crime and Justice, Lonna worked to provide pro-bono legal assistance for victims of crime in Minnesota through the federal OVC grant as well as organized, lobbied and passed a bill for Minnesota to become the fifth state in the nation for strangulation to be a 5th degree felony in non-lethal cases.

Jaylani Hussein

Executive director at The local Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR-MN. Hussein, whose family moved to Minnesota from Somalia in 1993, has been CAIR-MN’s outreach director. Before that, he worked as community liaison officer at Metro State University and was a planner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.CAIR-MN was founded in 2007. The group says last year it “handled over 200 cases, including employment discrimination, school bullying and harassment, land use opposition, bias-motivated crimes, racial and religious profiling, and extra-judicial exile.”

Ashley Johnson

Is a Junior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. An SPA graduate of the 2013 class, Ashley dedicated her high school career to Social Justice within our community and was President of Intercultural Club. She now double majors in Political Science and Africana Studies, with a minor in Educational Studies. In addition to three other jobs, Ashley is an intern with Bowdoin’s Dean of Mulicultural Affairs.

Sarah Herder

The Advocates for Human Rights helps individuals fully realize their human rights in the United States and around the world. For over 30 years, The Advocates’ innovative programming has touched the lives of refugees and immigrants, women, ethnic and religious minorities, children, and other marginalized communities whose rights are at risk. The Advocates strengthens accountability mechanisms, raises awareness, and fosters tolerance. Adapting traditional human rights methodologies to conduct cutting-edge research, The Advocates has produced 75 reports documenting human rights practices in 25 countries

Biographies by Intercultural Club