2024 Annual Meeting

April 13, 2024 @ 9:00 am

Are you a member of the ACLU of Minnesota? We're gearing up for the (virtual) annual meeting, and all members are invited.

Members will vote on new board members, hear reports about the organization's activities and financial condition, and conduct other business via Zoom.

Registration is required. We'll send you the meeting link after you register. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, April 8.

Register here

Not sure if your membership is up to date? Email gsledge@aclu-mn.org to double-check.

Nominated New Board Members Seeking Election

Amanda Furst (she/her) is the assistant dean and chief of staff at the University of Minnesota Law School. She additionally directs the Saeks Public Interest Residency Program and is a Lecturer in Law for the Remote Semester Field Placement and the Public Interest Field Placement. Amanda previously served as the Director of Public Interest Programs at the law school from 2012 to 2019, providing career counseling and oversight for externship and fellowship programs. A 2008 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, Amanda started her career as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow in New Orleans, La. She received the Advising and Mentoring Award from the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly in 2015 and was honored by Minnesota Lawyer as an Unsung Legal Hero in 2018. Amanda previously served on the board of Gender Justice, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit that advances gender equity through the law, including as board chair from 2019-2021.

John Gordon (he/him) served as executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota from 2017 through 2021, leading the organization’s rapid expansion in size, strength, and stature. John practiced law in Minneapolis for four decades, representing a variety of clients from large corporations to individuals, including LGBTQ+ students in Anoka-Hennepin Schools, immigrants seeking asylum, guardians for at-risk children, plaintiffs challenging Minnesota’s “conceal-carry” statute, and victims of domestic violence. John has been an adjunct professor at the law schools of the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas, and has been active with the Edina Human Relations Commission, Edina A Better Chance, Energy Alley, Minnesota Environmental Initiative, Minneapolis Indian Women’s Resource Center, Open Book, and Milkweed Editions. He has held leadership positions in the American Constitution Society, Hennepin County Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Fund for Legal Aid, Infinity Project, Amicus Society, Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education, and the District of Minnesota Local Rules Advisory Committee. John received a bachelor of arts from Princeton University and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Bonnie Padilla (she/her) helped drive the financial success and compliance of individuals and businesses for more than 30 years as a CPA. Bonnie drove growth, finessed client service, and recruited, mentored and guided new generations of tax, auditing and accounting experts all while serving as an industry thought leader, speaker and published author. Since retiring in 2015 as a partner at Wipfli, a national tax, auditing and accounting services and business consulting firm, Bonnie has focused wholeheartedly on serving and protecting the governance, compliance and sustainability needs of advocacy and community organizations. These include board roles and consultancies with entities that directly provide opportunities to underrepresented individuals, advance civil liberties across the state, and shape the structures and safety of our local communities. In each of these roles, Bonnie has provided strategic guidance and insights, worked across teams to prioritize and make what are often tough decisions, and served in a variety of leadership capacities. Along the way, Bonnie steadfastly promotes and supports the democratic ideologies and institutions intrinsic to our lives – her support ranges from Planned Parenthood to Gender Justice, and a host of other organizations that fight for individual freedoms.

Rachel Seals (she/her) is a director, employee relations counsel with Target Corporation. She joined Target Corporation in 2023, when she returned home to the Twin Cities after living in Seattle, Wash. Prior to Target, Rachel worked for Microsoft Corporation as principal corporate counsel on the U.S. employment law team. In Seattle, Rachel also spent several years as a public servant for the city of Seattle, including as assistant city attorney with Seattle’s City Attorney’s Office and in-house labor and employment attorney for Seattle Police Department. She also spent several years in private practice in the Twin Cities after graduating from law school. Rachel has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Korean American Bar Association of Washington, Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee of Washington, Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Committee, and Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Beyond her legal practice and bar engagement, she helps others through pro bono representation. She recently helped an Afghan refugee obtain asylum protection following the fall of the Afghan government and helped an unaccompanied minor from Mexico seek asylum. Rachel earned her undergraduate degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and her law degree from Mitchell | Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul.

Dr. Angela Spranger (she/her) currently serves as the inaugural senior diversity officer for the Carlson School of Management. In addition, she is the founding director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence at Carlson, which has as its charter to consult, convene, and collaborate with external organizational partners across the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities region, and beyond. Angela previously served in the same role at Christopher Newport University after eight years as faculty in the Luter School of Business while offering consulting services in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region. In addition to having earned certifications in human resources at the senior level, Angela holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Regent University, master of arts in education in human and organizational learning from George Washington University, master of business administration with marketing concentration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and bachelor of arts in psychology from Duke University.

Since completing the doctorate, Angela has published several articles and book chapters and supervised multiple student research projects and award-winning student research presentations. Her research has focused on women’s leadership development, the community of practice as a change initiative for inclusion, the impact of social media movements on human resource management policy in organizations, and the concepts of employee engagement and effective followership.

Aaron Zimmerman (he/him) is executive director of PFund Foundation, the upper Midwest LGBTQ+ community foundation. He is a career fundraiser and nonprofit executive who has supported social justice nonprofits in the Upper Midwest through comprehensive communications, strategic planning, and development. As a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), he utilizes best practices to support missions important to him and the community. Previously, he served as PFund Foundation’s interim executive director and as director of development; as a major and planned giving officer at Twin Cities PBS (TPT); and as the director of development and communications at the Domestic Abuse Project. He has his master’s degree in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He focused his capstone on the history and practice of white supremacy in philanthropy in the United States. Additionally, he has presented on topics for nonprofit professionals and corporations, including corporate charitable engagement, community-centered fundraising, white supremacy in fundraising and philanthropy, website best practices for fundraising, and successful online campaigns. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Russian language and political science. Aaron volunteers on the boards of Social Venture Partners Minnesota and Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Nominated Board Members Seeking Re-election 

Tamara Cabán-Ramirez (she/her/ella) is originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, and is a long-term resident of the Twin Cities. Her solo practice of 15 years focuses on criminal defense and immigration law. Her practice is bilingual and serves diverse clients with a focus on the Latinx and immigrant communities across the state. She works with a constituency that includes a diversity of social, economic, racial, and religious groups in both urban and rural settings. Tamara’s experience includes substantial public service and volunteerism. She has a deep network of community partners equally committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity issues affecting our state. She is a past-president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and currently serve on its Judicial Endorsement Committee. She also serves as deputy regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, co-chair of the Special Committee on Puerto Rico, and the ImmiGRANT Defense Fund Task Force. Most recently, Attorney General Keith Ellison appointed her to the newly created Minnesota Attorney General’s Conviction Review Unit advisory board. Additionally, she serves as member at-large of the Windom Dual Immersion School Parent Teacher Organization and the MPS Joint Immersion Coalition, an advocacy group of families with children in immersion programs in the Minneapolis Public Schools system.

Ron DeHarpporte (he/him). Except for two years in the U.S. Army, Ron has lived within eight miles of where he was born in South Minneapolis all his life. He graduated from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and the University of Minnesota. After working in the corporate world for a few years, Ron started his own company in the consumer electronics business and operated it for more than 30 years before selling it to his employees in 2001. He has been interested in preserving our civil liberties since high school and served as a volunteer intern for the ACLU of Minnesota at the old office on Central Avenue during college. He joined the ACLU-MN Board of Directors in 1972 and has remained – with the exception of breaks due to term limits – ever since. Ron is pleased and proud to be asked to serve on the board for another term, and he looks forward to helping continue the excellent work of the ACLU-MN toward creating a better and fairer society.

Kimberly Ferguson (she/her) is the chief administrative officer of U.S. Bank Wealth Management, responsible for driving execution of strategic initiatives for all client segments. With more than 20 years of wealth management experience, Kim is known for making business objectives and team alignment a priority in driving strategy and turning vision into reality. Throughout her career, she has proven her ability to conceptualize and launch a business, exceed revenue targets in tumultuous markets, develop business solutions, and identify untapped opportunities to increase sales. Her community interests include working for the empowerment of families and children. She currently serves on the YWCA St. Paul Board and Finance Committee. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Spelman College.

Shannon Geshick (she/her), citizen of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, is executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC). MIAC is the official liaison between state and tribal governments in Minnesota and is the only tribally-led agency within the state enterprise. In this capacity, she works to protect tribal sovereignty and promote the well-being of all American Indians in the state. Shannon served as the board chair for the Roseville and Saint Paul School Districts’ American Indian Parent Committees and was recognized as the Parent of the Year by the Minnesota Indian Education Association. She is a founding member of the Indigenous Employee Resource Group at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In 2023, Shannon was elected as treasurer of the Governor’s Interstate Indian Council. She also sits on the State-Tribal Partnership Committee of the Children’s Justice Initiative. Shannon is passionate about socioeconomic justice and increased access to institutions historically limited or denied to American Indians and people of color. Shannon graduated high school while homeless, but since has earned her bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies with a focus on Indigenous studies and a master’s degree in tribal administration and governance from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Shannon takes pride in learning and practicing the traditional and cultural ways of her ancestors. She enjoys fishing and excels at listening to good jokes.

Mai Neng Moua (she/her) was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 2007 and to the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota in 2018. She received her Juris Doctor from William | Mitchell College of Law. In March 2023, she merged her law firm with Swanson Law Office to create Moua & Swanson Law. The firm continues to focus on providing excellent full-scale immigration services in serving clients all over the U.S. and the world, including assisting with family and employment-based immigration petitions, asylum applications, naturalization applications, waivers of inadmissibility, removal defense, and federal court litigation.

As the president and CEO of her own leadership and organizational development consulting firm, Mai has more than 20 years of experience in helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential. Her mission is to empower leaders and teams to create positive change in their communities and workplaces, especially in the areas of culture, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. She is fluent in English and Hmong and has been vice president of the Hmong American Bar Association. Mai also served as the chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) – Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter and sits on numerous other boards. She was recognized by Minnesota Lawyer in 2017 and 2021 as one of its Attorneys of the Year.

Summra Shariff (she/her) serves as executive director and president of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP). Since taking on the position in 2018, Summra has built on the organization’s past successes by re-energizing programming at all levels to maximize TCDIP members’ ability to attract, recruit, advance and retain attorneys of color in the Twin Cities. She also leads the Wanton Injustice Legal Detail (WILD), which is focused on leveraging the collective power of the legal community to end anti-Black racism and all forms of racism.

Prior to TCDIP, Summra worked with underrepresented groups, including communities of color. She was the diversity and inclusion and pro bono coordinator for a national law firm. She’s a former long-term member of the Minnesota Justice Foundation’s Board and Executive Committee and a former board member for the Housing Justice Center. She formerly held a leadership role with the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Summra is on the board of Gender Justice, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Legal Services Advisory Committee.

Sharon Kennedy Vickers (she/her) is a technology leader with two and-half decades of experience envisioning and leading the ethical and equitable implementation of transformative digital solutions. Sharon is the CEO of Software for Good, a digital agency that builds technology that enables the public and private sectors to solve some of the world's toughest problems by understanding the human needs of the people and communities it will touch. Prior to this role, Sharon was appointed by Mayor Melvin Carter to serve residents in Saint Paul and the national civic technology community as Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO, she was responsible for ensuring the city used data and technology to create a more welcoming, just, and inclusive Saint Paul.

She is a champion for tech equity and is intentionally focused on creating an inclusive digital economy. Sharon is co-founder of Techquity and co-organizer of Code Switch, a civic hackathon. She serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Twin Cities United Way, PPL, and Minnesota Technology Association. She is also a fourth-generation farmer. Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in African American studies and political science from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s in computer science from Clayton State University.

Cathy Wassberg (she/her) is the general counsel of Hamline University. Hamline is both the state’s first university and the first in Minnesota to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees to both women and men. Cathy has an extensive background in higher education and employment law, corporate litigation, non-profit board governance, strategic planning, and legal consulting. Prior to working for Hamline, she served as associate general counsel at Northwest Airlines/Delta. Before that, Cathy was a partner and co-chair of the labor and employment department at the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago, Ill. Cathy earned her bachelor’s from Northern Illinois University, and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

Cathy has been an adjunct faculty member at Mitchell | Hamline School of Law and at several Chicago law schools. She co-coached the same Special Olympics softball team for over a decade and provides legal representation pro bono, through the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, to children who are wards of the state or in foster care. Cathy has served on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota since 2017.

ACLU-MN Board Selection and Recommendation Process