Pastor Kelly Chatman, who served as Redeemer Center for Life Executive Director from 2002 – 2008, rejoined the Redeemer Center staff in January, 2013. Pastor Kelly also serves as Senior Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, and brings a wealth of leadership experience and passion for serving the community. He is a graduate of Gettysburg Seminary, Gettysburg, Pa., and has served as a leader at various levels throughout the church. He served for five years as director for Youth Ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has been a distinguished church leader in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pastor Kelly has served on boards for Camp Amnicon, Aeon Housing Development, Gustavus College, Cookie Cart, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Youthprise, Harrison Neighborhood Association, and the Wheat Ridge Foundation.
Rev. Robin R. Bell, Ed.D., joins Redeemer Center for Life as Organizational Developer. Robin is professor of cultural, youth, and theological studies at University of North Western Saint Paul. Robin also serves as adjunct professor in Sociology and Reconciliation Studies program at Bethel University. Robin brings a vocational healthy youth development and inter-religious perspectives for equity and human flourishing. His work includes partnerships with community organizations, and his scholarly research and practice focus on the role of human development, and how it intersects with and informs leadership development within inter-religious, inter-cultural faith-based community organizations for social change. Robin was pastor of Augustana Lutheran church in Milwaukee, associate pastor of Zion Lutheran and Judson Memorial church in Minneapolis. Robin has over 15 years serving faith-based non-profits as vice president, grant writing, program evaluator, ethnographic researcher, program director, organizational development trainer, congregational based organizer and curriculum designer for social justice education.
Taylor joins RCFL as Finance Administrator and Grant Writer. She completed a BA in English and Religion at St Olaf College with a focus on intersections of community, religion, and creativity. She has a background in food justice, sustainability, and development through her LVC work at Tricklebee Cafe--a nonprofit dedicated to equitable access to healthy food in the Sherman Park Neighborhood of Milwaukee. The Redeemer community meets her passions for writing, community-driven work, and connecting with people over shared meals.
Tyrone Wade maintains facilities for both Redeemer Lutheran Church and Redeemer Center Life. With a background in housing construction, Tyrone brings considerable expertise and dedication to his work. Tyrone enjoys interacting with the variety of people part of the Redeemer community and helping make sure that Redeemer stays clean and runs smoothly. Tyrone has five adult children and enjoys swimming, playing basketball and chess.
Bex began at Redeemer Center for Life in the fall of 2018 through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She has continued as the Director of Donor Development and Communications, planning outreach events, assisting with communications and donor development, and producing RCFL's first podcast Due North: Stories from North Minneapolis. A graduate of Carleton College, Bex is passionate about food justice, intentional communal living, and Jewish community organizing.
Traiveon moved to the cities from Houston Texas. He is musician and youth worker, striving to one day run his own company, D2R to bring arts back into the hands of our youth. He has been on staff at Redeemer for 4 years apart of the music ministry and youth outreach program. He hopes we succeed this year in connecting more with the youth in the community, and providing safe and productive space for them to become future leaders.
Karis Thompson anchors and advances the holistic community development work of Redeemer Center for Life and Redeemer Lutheran Church. Since 2013, she has been exploring avenues to preserve a meaningful density of affordable housing and preempt involuntary displacement within Harrison's gentrifying context. Karis previously worked with Redeemer Center for Life from 2006 - 2009 as director for strategic advancement, and has served on the boards of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, the North Dakota Humanities Council and Wheat Ridge, Chicago, IL. Karis earned an M.A. from Luther Seminary and a B.A. from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and has received fellowships through the Creative Community Leadership Institute, Next City Vanguard, Forum for Theological Exploration and a Fulbright award to teach English in South Korea.
As a Development Consultant Neisha brings her love for North Minneapolis and professional knowledge of philanthropy, place-making and public service to advance Redeemer’s commitment to being part of an engaged, equitable and thriving community. She holds an 11 year perspective as a resident of Harrison Neighborhood - reflecting on her experiences as a single parent, a mentor, a renter and a homeowner whose personal life has been deeply impacted by Redeemer’s work. Neisha previously resided in Redeemer’s 16-plex apartments and served on the Redeemer Center for Life Board. She holds degrees in Business and Public Administration and is an avid practitioner of Technology of Participation (TOP) Facilitation Methods.
Bertha McKinney has served for the past four years as Community Liaison for Health Common’s at the Living Room, a position underwritten by Fairview Health Services. Bertha has a background working as a restaurant manager and personal care assistant and is deeply connected to the North Minneapolis community where she lives with her daughter and six grandchildren. She brings her investment in North Minneapolis and love of people to her work connecting community members to the integrative health services offered at Health Commons.
Ian joins us as the General Manager of Venture North, RCFL's Social Venture. He got his start at Redeemer Center in 2017 through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps as the Administration and Communications Assistant. After his service year ended, he was hired on as Communications Director and utilized his skills of photography, web design, and marketing to advance RCFL's mission. Having recognized his new-found passion for Venture North and the biking community, Ian shifted his focus from the office to the bike shop. Ian has a background in cultural anthropology, photography, and interfaith studies and is glad to be able to invest his skills into a community of loving and courageous people.
Zoe Massaquoi joins the Finance Department of Redeemer Center for Life. She is a former Assistant to two Former Bishops’ Assistants at the Minneapolis Area Synod. Zoe hails from Liberia, West Africa where she served as Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Debt Management and a Former President of the National Housing and Savings Bank. Zoe also served as a Former Lecturer of Accounting at the University of Liberia. Her last job was as Tax Associate with the H & R Block. It is her intention to foster meaningful relationships here at Redeemer Center for Life.
Meet the LVCers
Beck joins Venture North through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a year long service program that combines intentional community living and practical non-profit work experience. He is from Pittsburg, PA and recently graduated from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY with a double major in Linguistics and Computer Science. He is looking forward to learning more about coffee and bikes, getting involved in the North Minneapolis community and learning about the best spots to visit in Minneapolis.
Alexa joins Redeemer Center for Life through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a year of service program focusing on social justice, intentional community, and non-profit work experience. She will serve as the Youth Program Organizer at RCFL. Coming from Braunschweig, Germany, Alexa is eager to work with the youth and community at large in North Minneapolis by offering her skills and knowledge. She also hopes to promote RCFL programs through social media.
Through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a year long service program, Becca will offer her time and skills as the Administrative Assistant for Redeemer Center for Life. She grew up in LaCrescent, MN and recently graduated from Luther College where she double majored in Religion and Nordic Studies. She is excited to work with RCFL to uplift the North Minneapolis community and form relations with those living in the area.