Kim Park Nelson ‘93 and Owen Duckworth ‘06

Two Macalester alumni – Kim Park Nelson ‘93 and Owen Duckworth ‘06 – are among the 24 individuals from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography who have been selected for 2023 Bush Fellowships. 

“Each of this year’s Fellows has already made vital contributions to their communities,” said Anita Patel, vice president, grantmaking for the Bush Foundation. “The Bush Fellowship is an investment in their potential to lead even greater change in the future so that our region works better for everyone.”

About the 2023 Bush Fellows

Kim Park Nelson (Minneapolis, Minn.) 

Kim Park Nelson views labor unions as key pathways for creating racially equitable and inclusive communities. A Korean adoptee and professor of ethnic studies, she has contributed foundational scholarship to build the field of critical adoption studies. She also has led transformation in her own faculty union. She observes that while many unions want to increase diversity within their governance structure, they lack actional plans to do so. She wants to leverage her success leading change to help people from marginalized backgrounds build power in all types of work settings. She believes cross-union coordination around shared racial equity goals can develop new leaders and opportunities. To realize this vision, she will take time to study unions nationwide that have had success with racial justice transformation. She will also seek formal training in facilitation and intercultural mediation and mentoring from Asian American women and other leaders of color in unions.

Owen Duckworth (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Owen Duckworth believes relationships are at the heart of change. A consensus builder, organizer, and artist, he seeks to eliminate the entrenched housing and wealth inequities in the region. From his leadership work with The Alliance and Equity in Place, he sees how relationships across disciplines can build trust and help groups reach solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. His successful track record includes leading collaborative efforts focused on eviction moratorium and rent stabilization. To achieve policy changes and investments in communities of color and low-wealth neighborhoods, he aims to support a stronger ecosystem of housing justice organizers, advocates, attorneys, and community leaders. During his Fellowship, he will increase his knowledge about housing policy, explore opportunities to pair his organizing work with his musical talents, and take the time to reconnect to the places and cultures of his African and European immigrant parents.

About the Bush Fellowship

The Bush Fellowship is a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that supports accomplished leaders to take their leadership to the next level and to have a more and bigger impact in and across communities. The Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to define what they need to become more effective and equitable leaders. More than 2,000 people have received support from the Fellowship over more than 60 years.

This year, 590 people applied for the Bush Fellowship. Fellows were selected through an in-depth process that included interviews and mentoring sessions with community leaders, Bush Fellow alumni, and Bush Foundation staff.

June 15 2023

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