Insights, News

Together in the Twin Cities: GreenLight’s 2024 Staff Retreat

May 31, 2024


GreenLight’s staff has grown exponentially to support and drive our expanding network and impact. Although we regularly collaborate virtually across time zones, the opportunity for in-person engagement is invaluable to our ongoing success as an organization. 

Each year, colleagues from across the country gather in person for our annual staff retreat as an opportunity to connect, advance meaningful work, and re-energize our collective purpose. A few weeks ago, the GreenLight Twin Cities team hosted us in Minneapolis, where we spent two days team building, collaborating, and learning more about their work in the community. To kick off the retreat, we centered our refreshed organizational values and engaged in interactive activities to further embed these values into our daily work. 

While it’s hard to capture all the moments of the retreat, one theme was the opportunity we had to hear and learn from many incredible local leaders. Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter emphasized the importance of community engagement in decision-making: “You can’t solve what’s wrong if you don’t know what’s right about your community.”

Adair Mosely, CEO of the African American Leadership Forum and GreenLight Fund board member, highlighted the need for equity and innovation in leadership: “You can’t solve the paradox with simple solutions.” 

To learn more about GreenLight Twin Cities portfolio organizations Let Everyone Advance With Dignity (LEAD) and Irth and their local context, Miamon Queeglay, Hennepin County Public Health Practitioner/Project Manager, moderated a powerful panel discussion with LEAD’s National Director, Najja Morris-Frazier; Minneapolis LEAD Case Manager, Pinki Garcia; Irth Founder, Kimberly Seals Allers; and Hennepin Health Chief Health Equity Officer, Dr. Nneka Sederstrom.

Miamon Queeglay, Najja Morris-Frazier, Kimberly Seals Allers, Pinki Garcia, and Dr. Nneka Sederstrom engage in a powerful panel discussion on the initiatives of LEAD and Irth.


Adair Mosely and Simone Hardeman-Jones (GreenLight Twin Cities Executive Director) answer questions from staff.


A particularly moving part of our time together, which was both emotional and inspiring, was the opportunity to visit George Floyd Square. It serves as a reminder of the collective power within communities to transform tragedy and injustice into a movement that drives us toward hope and liberation. At the same time, it underscores the “why” behind our work and the pressing need to continue striving for equity and repair in all of our communities.

Leaving the retreat, we feel reinvigorated and energized for another year of meaningful work ahead. As we grow and welcome our 14th city next year, we remain fueled by community-driven change and the commitment of our incredible team.

During our time together, we captured words and phrases from the leaders we heard from and the experiences we had together onto a mural (excerpt above). We are taking those forward as we continue our work with communities.