Volume 1 of Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota includes the following human rights and social justice champions:
- Joshua Boschee
Joshua Boschee was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in the 2012 state elections. A member of the North Dakota Democratic Party, he represents the 44th District in the legislature, serving alongside Blair Thoreson in a dual-member district. He is the first openly gay candidate ever elected to the state legislature in North Dakota.
- Barry Nelson
Barry Nelson is one of the founding members of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, and currently works as the organization’s only paid staff member as a community organizer. The NDHRC is a broad-based coalition of individuals and organizations with an interest in the furtherance of human rights in North Dakota. Over the last 13 years, the volunteer led organization has worked toward the enhancement of human rights in North Dakota through information, education and legislative action.
- Sue Koesterman
Sue Koesterman is currently the Executive Director of Churches United for the Homeless, providing shelter, support, free hot meals, and case management services for homeless men, women, and families in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Her work embraces the “housing first principles”, striving to move residents from shelter to stable housing as quickly as possible. Koesterman was also one of the initiators and leaders for the FM Sheltering Churches Project, a volunteer-run organization built on the partnerships between area shelters and churches in the Fargo-Moorhead metro to provide shelter to the homeless during the North Dakota and Minnesota winters.
- Stacy Schaffer
Stacy Schaffer is one of the founding members of the 31:8 Project. a nonprofit organization that educates, advocates and raises awareness about human trafficking to prevent and combat labor and sex trafficking through the United States and the world, specifically within North Dakota.
- Ruth Buffalo
Since 2004, Buffalo has been working in tribal communities to improve their members’ quality of life. For seven years, she has led a wellness program at a tribal college to form coalitions against substance use, and recently she led her tribe’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Her public health background and indigenous perspective guide her work to address the social determinants of health. Buffalo believes poor health is a result of poor policy.
- Deb Dawson
Deb Dawson is the co-founder and executive director of African Soul, American Heart (ASAH), where she leads the organization’s mission to protect, educate and empower orphaned girls from the Republic of South Sudan who would otherwise face a life of forced marriage at puberty, early and dangerous childbirth, illiteracy and poverty, and ongoing civil war.
We’re continuing to add additional Champions to the project. Do you know of someone who should be included? If so, complete the form below and send their contact information to us. If you’re willing to also provide your contact information in case we have any questions, that would be great.