2017 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows

Tuesday, December 13, 2016



MCF has selected the 2017 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows. The Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship prepares high-potential individuals from communities underrepresented in philanthropy for careers in the sector. The 2017 cohort features two individuals who bring curiosity and diverse experiences to Minnesota’s philanthropic field.

Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows are employed by MCF and placed at participating foundations for three years. This year’s Fellows will both be working at the Bush Foundation where they will start on January 23, 2017, as Community Innovation Associates. Awale and Kristell will be responsible for implementing projects and making grants that inspire and enable communities to create innovative solutions to their challenges.


“We are incredibly excited to bring two powerful voices in Awale Osman and Kristell Saucedo into the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship. Their unique backgrounds will bring the kind of new perspectives to Minnesota’s philanthropic community in exactly the ways this program was created to foster.”

-Alfonso Wenker, director of program strategy and racial equity, MCF


Meet the 2017 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows:

  • Awale Osman has a variety of experiences expanding community organizing and program development in nonprofit, K-12 and higher education spaces. Awale has lived disparate experiences—from war-torn Somalia, to Kenyan refugee camps, to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in  American classrooms, to high academic honors—and created much change—expanding after-school opportunities for youth in Twin Cities suburbs, building capacity and confidence in the youth of Rochester, MN, impressing upon U.S. congressmen the value of federal department of education TRIO programs, opening the campus climate for underserved students and increasing the retention rate of Black community college students. He most recently served as a TRIO Student Support Services advisor at Normandale Community College. 

“I’m excited to work with Minnesota Council on Foundations and the Bush Foundation to continue building a future where dignity and opportunity exist for all.”

  • Kristell Caballero Saucedo was born in Mexico, raised in Minneapolis and graduated from North High School. As a low-income, first-generation immigrant woman, her work is committed to social justice that puts race and kyriarchy [a social system or set of connecting social systems built around domination, oppression and submission] at its nexus. Kristell holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from St. Olaf College. Most recently, she has worked as a New Sector Alliance Fellow at Northside Funders Group where she led and created a racial equity framework and toolkit. As a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, Kristell focused her research on Afro-Mexican rights. She spent a year volunteering for International Roma Rights in Hungary. Kristell is a salsa dancing enthusiast and Crossfit addict.

"I am thrilled to learn from and work with communities in the Bush Foundation’s footprint, and propel community-led efforts for change and prosperity."


About the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship

The Fellowship is dedicated to the late Ron McKinley, a longtime member of the philanthropic and nonprofit communities who embodied justice and equity and worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure that those form underrepresented communities were afforded equal access, opportunity and the resources necessary to fully participate and be heard. The Fellowship was launched as a partnership with the Bush Foundation in 2013. These two new fellows join 11 currently working at seven Minnesota foundations. For more information, visit https://www.mcf.org/equity-inclusion/philanthropy-fellowship.

About the Minnesota Council on Foundations

The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) works actively to expand and strengthen a vibrant community of diverse grantmakers who individually and collectively advance the common good. MCF members represent three-quarters of all grantmaking in the state, awarding more than $1 billion annually. Members include private family and independent foundations, community and other public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. For more information, visit www.mcf.org.


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