Meet The Team
The individuals behind the scenes that keep the organization running.
The Current Team
Leesa Kelly is an activist, writer, public speaker, and curator. Leesa is the Founder and Executive Director of Memorialize the Movement, a grassroots organization that preserves, displays, and educates the public on the protest plywood murals that emerged after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in 2020. Through her work with Memorialize the Movement, Leesa has spoken at over 17 conferences and universities, organized large-scale exhibitions in the Twin Cities and New York, and has led workshops on cultivating BIPOC representation and visibility in the museum and conservation industry. She believes in dismantling oppressive systems and rebuilding new systems that work for ALL people.
Leesa’s passion for social justice and activism was formed during her college years at her alma mater, Western Michigan University. After graduating, Leesa worked as a political organizer for the campaign of Hennepin County Commissioner, Irene Fernando. In the winter of 2022, she became a McWatt Fellow, where she worked to strengthen Black history research & community engagement with the Ramsey County Historical Society, Hennepin History Museum, Anoka County Historical Society, and the Dakota County Historical Society. When Leesa is not planning the next exhibition or facilitating a workshop, she can be found snuggling with her dog, traveling, and working on self care.
Artist Liaison Intern
Amira McLendon is currently a Senior at the University of Minnesota double majoring in Art and AMES (Japanese Sub-track). Art has always been one of her passions, so being involved in the development of anything art related, and BIPOC centered especially, is where they want to be.
Hannah is a graduate student pursuing her Master of Public Health in Community Health Promotion at the University of Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Beloit College in Psychology and Museum Studies. She is passionate about abolition of the carceral system, health equity for BIPOC communities, and making art accessible for all.
Content Manager Intern
Shameela is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota majoring in International Relations and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She is a true INFP homebody who enjoys spending time indoors and making wired jewelry, watching dramas, and creating content. Shameela is also a self-taught graphic designer, illustrator and a polyglot!
Alessia Guzman Huaman
Administrative Assistant Intern
Alessia is a 23 year old senior at the University of Minnesota. They major in Chicane Latine studies with a minor in Spanish. They hope to do advocacy and interpretation for their community! Besides that, they are a Virgo Sun, Sagittarius Moon, Gemini Rising. They love to doodle and go out and about with their besties!
Past Team Members
Past Communications Intern
Dani was a University of Minnesota student studying Communications with minors in Digital Media Studies, Cultural Studies, and Chinese. She graduated in the spring of 2022. She is most passionate about community advocacy and social justice, in particular how communications media can be used to create change.
Past Community Engagement Intern
Semhar is currently a sophomore in college. She was born and raised in Minneapolis her whole life, growing up in St. Anthony. She is definite and decided on her goals towards helping build a community that thrives in the preservation and enrichment of each other's stories, backgrounds and differences. The uprising of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd showed her that standing up and using our voices to speak up for what we believe in is powerful and beautiful.
Administrative Assistant Intern
Zaynab is a senior studying biology and public health at the University of Minnesota. She is very passionate about local environmental justice and racial justice efforts. She is also a published poet who enjoys creative writing and performing original spoken word pieces. Some of her other hobbies include being outdoors, reading and traveling.