Kevin Whelan, Executive Director
For more than 20 years he has organized and led professional communications efforts for groups pursuing racial and economic justice. He sees the climate crisis as an urgent call to build a winning, inclusive movement for more sustainable and just society.
Kevin has worked with organizations including Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). From 2012 – 2014 he served as National Campaign Director of the Home Defenders League. In addition to work with MN350, he works closely with Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (MN NOC) and volunteers with the international non-profit Give Us Wings.
Kevin earned an M.A. focusing on Cultural Studies at the City University of New York and a B.A. from the University of Redlands. He and his family, including two great, spirited daughters, live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Kate Jacobson, Program Director
Kate has been an advocate for sustainable agriculture, social justice and resilient communities for the past 15 years. Her love for dirt, sunshine, all living species and serving community has only strengthened as she joins her six-year-old daughter in discovering the world around us. Kate has a B.A. in Environmental Studies, operated an organic market farm in northeastern Iowa and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. In addition to being a full-time mama, she is Interim Executive Director for MN350 and is fortunate to be working together with Minnesotans committed to urgent climate action that is building a movement for a just and sustainable world.
“Similar to many of the most important things in our lives; relationships, careers, school – addressing climate change by transforming the way we live and interact with ourselves, each other and the world around us takes commitment of healing energy, resources and courage. We can be the change. We must be the change, together.”
Andy Pearson, Midwest Tar Sands Coordinator
Patty O’Keefe, Divestment Coordinator
Patty O’Keefe has lived in the metro area of Minnesota her whole life and is committed to being a change agent within her community. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Youth Studies degree and youth work within social movements is one of her life-long passions.
She sits on the steering committee for the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network and has helped develop curriculum for two after school outdoors programs. She currently works at MN350 as the Minnesota Divestment Coordinator supporting fossil fuel divestment campaigns in the state and across the midwest. Other interests include learning about the intersections of social injustices and climate change, and identifying the barriers to building powerful movements addressing systemic oppressions.
Dominique (Nikki) Allen , Northern Organizer
Nikki was born and raised in the heart of Northeast Minnesota. While she has moved out of the area and traveled often, she is always drawn back to the Zim – Sax bog she calls home. A lifelong activist, Nikki has fought to impact change all her life, most passionately for economic and education equity, the rights of girls and women, and our environment. She got her first taste of protest actions in middle school when The Lullaby Project worked to protect white pines by chaining her and a few friends to the ancient trees. The trees are still standing in Grand Marais, and she’s been hooked ever since.
Nikki has spent the last decade putting her degree in English Literature to work writing grants and programs for various non profits in the Arrowhead region and couldn’t be more thrilled to join MN350. When she isn’t working as a change agent, Nikki will be out wandering the bog, teaching youth to camp and canoe, working on her start up farm, singing with local musicians or simply relaxing in her woods with a good book.
Coordinating Council (Board of Directors):
Carolyn Ham (Board Chair), Kurt Kimber (Treasurer), Anne Bauers, Akilah Sanders-Reed, Brian Nowak, Mayhar Sorour, Charlie Thayer
Campaign Strategy Group:
Kathy Hollander, Chuck Prentice, Lois Norrgard, Brian Nowak, Nikki Allen, Patty O’Keefe, Andy Pearson, Kate Jacobson
Anne Bauers serves on the MN350 fundraising team and is also a member of the Coordinating Council. She is grateful to be able to combine her experience as a grantwriter and fundraiser with her passion for creating a more just and livable future for us all. Anne is the mother of three future activists, who remind her every day why action on climate matters so very much.
Tar Sands Team Lead & Legislative Liaison