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Our staff

Director- Michael Walker

Michael Walker brings a career focus on youth development and assisting black youth to achieve success. He earned his undergraduate degree in physical education from Southwest Minnesota State University and his master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls as well as his administrative license from St. Cloud State. From 1998 to 2006, Walker served as community outreach, program and youth development director at the YMCA of Minneapolis and Greater St. Paul, where he developed programs for social, academic, athletic and employment skills for youth and served as the coordinator of the Black Achievers program. Walker worked as a career and college center coordinator for AchieveMpls at Roosevelt High School (2006-2009) before serving Minneapolis Public Schools as Roosevelt’s dean of students from 2009 to 2011 and assistant principal from 2011 to 2014. He is the inaugural director for the Office of Black Male Student Achievement, where his sole responsibility is changing outcomes for Black Males who attend Minneapolis Public Schools. Walker is a product of Minneapolis Public Schools.


Educational Equity Coordinator- Dena Luna


Dena Luna is a native of St. Paul’s Westside, where she developed a passion for cultural diversity and community engagement. Dena studied Psychology and Communication at the University of Minnesota Duluth and graduated from Hamline University School of Law. She has spent her life dedicated to working with underrepresented communities to disrupt the systems that have been created to hold us down. Dena is married to her high school sweetheart and together they have four beautiful children, Israel, Milo, Tolchi and Imani.


Queens Program Manager- Nneka Abdullah

Nneka is passionate about making connections with and learning more about the young people she encounters in her career as an educator. She has an interest in being in partnership with Black girls as they learn more about their relationships with themselves, each other, and their connections with their communities. Nneka believes that to build a strong foundation, Black girls need opportunities to connect with Black women, make bonds with other Black girls, and need multiple opportunities to develop their identity and build upon their leadership and inquiry skills.  

Nneka grew up in North Minneapolis and is an MPS alum. She attended the University of Minnesota in Duluth where she earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology in Child and Adolescent Development. Nneka later attended Concordia University in St. Paul, earning her master’s degree in Family Life Education. In her role as OBSA Program Manager, Nneka will lean on her experience as a Life Coach, Educator, Career & College Advisor, and Project Manager to guide her in bringing awareness to the issues and inequities Black students experience. Nneka is humbled to be on a team that is working to change the outcomes of Black students in Minneapolis Public Schools. 


Classroom Coach- Jamil Jackson

Jamil Jackson is a community expert classroom coach for the OBSA. He is also executive director of C.E.O (Change Equals Opportunity) a life skills mentoring program for males of color ages 12-25, assisting in the areas of college, career and cultural exposure. As the executive director of Run and Shoot EBL (Elite Basketball League), he uses sports as a way to build authentic relationships with young Kings of the community, help assist with college recruitment/placement, and bring together both youth and adult males to fellowship and learn from each other about what “Being a Man of Character is”.  Jamil was raised and resides in north Minneapolis where he coaches youth sports at Farview Park. He is an active board member for the Farview Area Community Council,  TakeAction MN, and Core Team Member for J4A (Justice For ALL) working to reform our criminal justice system and build relationships with incarcerated men to help assist their transition back into our community. 


Classroom Coach- Richard Mgembe 


Richard grew up on St. Paul's East Side. He graduated from Johnson High School and is currently a coach for the schools football team. After high school Richard attended St. Cloud State University where he received a bachelor degree in social work. He would later go on to recieve a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from Argosy University. Richard then went on to work for St. Paul Public Schools as a teaching assistant at both Hancock Elementary (four years) and Johnson High School (one year). In 2012 prior to becoming a member of the the Office of Black Student Achievement Richard joined Minneapolis Public Schools as a School Support Program Assistant at Stadium View School. Since 2015 Richard has served the Kings of South High School, Field Middle School, and Folwell Middle School as a Class Room Coach.


Classroom Coach- Marques Walker


Marques Walker will be entering his 5th year teaching the BLACK Culture class at Minneapolis North Community High School. King Marques also has been a classroom coach at Fair, Franklin Middle school, Olson middle school, Bethune elementary, and Henry High school. King Marques is also one of the Assistant Football Coaches for North High's amazing Football program. He is a 2005 graduate of North High, and has done continuous work throughout the Northside community. He graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead with a bachelors degree in sociology. He currently works for The Office of Black Student Achievement, whose focus is to take an equitable approach to the challenges that exist for Black students in Minneapolis Public Schools.


Classroom Coach- Isa Kibira


Isa Kibira has nearly half a decade of experience doing racial equity work in the public sector in his hometown, Minneapolis.  Isa grew up in Northeast and graduated from Minneapolis South in 2014.  He received his undergraduate degree from Occidental College, majoring in politics and minoring in education, and has completed post-graduate coursework in the digital humanities department at the University of California, Los Angeles.  After completing his undergraduate degree in 2018, Isa joined the Office of Black Student Achievement as an Americorps Promise Fellow.  Isa’s year of service was spent supporting King Marques Walker with his classes at North High School.  Isa is now in his second year as a classroom coach of the BLACK Culture class at Fair High, Northeast Middle and Patrick Henry High Schools.