Luis Ortiz is the Enrollment Manager at the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) and also serves as an adjunct professor. Mr. Ortiz is a first-generation college student who graduated from the College of Menominee Nation in 2008, with an Associates of Arts and Sciences Degree in Business Administration. Upon graduating from CMN, he continued his educational journey at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB). Mr. Ortiz triple majored in 2012 in Economics, Public Administration, and Environmental Policy and Planning. During that time, Luis also received a certificate from the Environmental Management Institute of Business. In the spring of 2015, Mr. Ortiz was selected as a Master’s Degree Fellow by the American Indian College Fund. Luis is currently waiting on the final approval of his capstone project to get his master’s degree in Sustainable Management.
Highlights of his educational and professional experience include volunteering for the Menominee Indian Economic Development Authority in 2010. In 2011 in honor of Native American Heritage month, Luis took on the leadership role of planning a Social Dance at UWGB’s Richard Mathue Center. Luis was selected by his supervisors in 2014 to participate in the Shirley Daly Leadership Academy. He was selected as a guest speaker at the STEM Academy for Renewable Energy and Research Conference in 2015. In 2017, Luis studied abroad in Chile studying their economic and environmental issues and strategies to combat them. Lately Mr. Ortiz is exploring his interests in data analytics and will be awarded a certification in December 2019.
My name is Shannon Jefferson. I am a 34 year old wife and mother of 5. I currently serve as Vice President of the Board of Directors for We All Rise African American Resource Center. I joined the team to further my involvement in the betterment of my community. I am very passionate about healing generational trauma through education, resources and encouragement.
I graduated from the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Early Childhood Program in May 2019. I have been employed with Green Bay Public Schools through the Head Start Program for over 5 years and have served on the Head Start Policy Council executive board, in various capacities, for 4 years. During my education and employment I noticed a lack of representation, validation, and respect for black children and black culture in general. I noticed that many black parents weren’t involved with their children’s education on an extracurricular level, and with what I had to go through as an involved black mother, I didn’t blame them. No one wants to be in a place where they don’t feel welcome. Their presence was so important to empower their young ones to standup to the negative bombardment they are faced with in the school system. But that empowerment can only come from those who feel empowered themselves. When adults heal past trauma within themselves, that power has nowhere to go but to the next generation.
I am currently apart of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Therapeutic Massage Program, and plan on furthering my education into prenatal massage, infant massage and Doula support. By furthering my education, I plan to manifest a culture of healing, communication, and connectedness for the most vulnerable ones in our community. Mothers and children. Our fathers play a pinnacle role as well, by being that strong hold which protects the legacy of wellness in the family unit. They too have the need for growth and support.
Healing doesn’t come easily and for most of us, it doesn’t come naturally. Certain self-destructive behaviors in response to past trauma must be unlearned. Black families have needed a space where their vulnerability is validated and nourished for far too long. I am honored to be a part of the We All Rise movement. I am proud to be a part of such a triumphant moment in the history of our people. I am now a greater asset to the community and the catalyst to ending generational trauma forever.
Lanise Pitts born September 29, 1971 on the far south side of Chicago, Illinois is a mother, teacher, former foster parent and mentor. Lanise currently teaches First Grade at Howe Elementary. Aside from parenting and teaching, Lanise also provides respite care for children with special needs.
Lanise has a passion for working with children especially troubled youth. She is also on the Board of Directors and a good standing member of Generational Guidance Group in Appleton. She desires to make a difference in neighborhoods much like the ones she was born and raised in; both with youth and adults. Aside from parenting and teaching, Lanise also provides respite care for children with special needs. She believes that nothing is more powerful than helping other people by providing them with opportunities for growth and sees We All Rise as a vehicle to make that possible.