Meet the Team
Sindy Morales Garcia is a Guatemalan immigrant and co-founder of the Courageous Change Collective. She is passionate about bringing together diverse communities to co-create transformational and sustainable change. Morales Garcia has over a decade of professional experiences working in higher-education advocacy, direct services, community-driven racial equity initiatives, and systems change collaborations in both the Twin Cities and New York City. Prior to founding the Courageous Change Collective, she worked for over five years on the Community Initiatives team at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. She served as a community representative on the Metropolitan Council’s Equity Advisory Committee, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Community Engagement Institute at Nexus Community Partners. She utilizes the lenses of racial equity, inter-cultural competency, network weaving and social justice in her work. She is a trained facilitator in the Art of Hosting and a Qualified Administrator in the Intercultural Development Inventory. Morales Garcia graduated from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College with a Masters of Social Work and a minor in Public Policy, and from Union Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity.
Kirsten M. Johnson is a co-founder of the Courageous Change Collective working to grow communities of love and justice through transformative facilitation. Johnson’s work focuses on community engagement, collaboration and systems change. She brings the lenses of emotional intelligence, intercultural competence and network weaving to all of her work. Johnson learned to navigate systems as a result of growing up in poverty and being the first person from her white working-class family to attend college. She studied Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Minnesota and has worked in the nonprofit sector on collaboration and racial justice for over twenty years. Johnson is co-author of Collaboration: What Makes It Work, a practical resource for those collaborating to create change. She is a trained facilitator in the Art of Hosting and a Qualified Administrator in the Intercultural Development Inventory and a Human Systems Dynamics Certified Associate. Before founding the Courageous Change Collective, Johnson worked for over a decade, leading initiatives at Wilder Center for Communities. Previously, she supported various nonprofit organizations, including the StreetWorks Collaborative, VEAP, and Arc Greater Twin Cities.
Nou Yang is a Hmong-American refugee woman and a co-founder of the Courageous Change Collective. She is passionate about creating spaces for collaborative learning and dialogue. Yang has 20 years of professional experience, including direct service work, community engagement efforts, and management of youth leadership development programs, providing training and technical support to organizations, crisis intervention services to families and vulnerable adults, and gender equity work. Yang is on the Friends of the Mississippi board. She is a 2011 alumnus of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship leadership program, which fosters connections between the United States and Europe in building a cadre of transatlantic leaders. Yang graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master's of Science in Human Development and Family Studies.
Sindy, Kirsten and Nou each began developing their skills as change agents from an early age as their
beloved communities struggled to overcome systemic oppression.