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Leading Through Grief

A Conversation with Nina Robertson and Brandon Williams

George Floyd’s murder has sparked outrage and change in Minneapolis and around the world. During this heavy, traumatic moment, how do Black leaders continue to drive change and take care of themselves? Nina Robertson, Step Up’s Youth Employment Program Director, and Brandon Williams, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Criminal Justice and Safe Communities Fellow, are living it. Chanda, Nina, and Brandon talk about their personal experiences with the police, their involvement with the Minneapolis Foundation’s Fund for Safe Communities, and the importance of fighting for transformational change – even at a time of exhaustion.

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About Our Guests

Nina Robertson

Nina Robertson is the Director of the Step Up Youth Employment Program. Nina is a North Minneapolis native with a background in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota. She is a dedicated youth and family advocate, with expertise in collaborative program design. Nina has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Movement, the Minneapolis Beacons Network, YMCA Greater Twin Cities, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, and the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Nina has over 10 years of youth development and advocacy experience and is passionate about effective, progressive community development.

Brandon Williams

As the Criminal Justice and Safe Communities Fellow at the Foundation, Brandon’s responsibilities include chairing the advisory board for the Fund For Safer Communities, supporting the Senior Vice President of Impact with community-oriented work, and working to further ensure justice and safety in our community. Brandon came to the Foundation in September of 2019 after working in the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office over the summer as their Criminal Division Intern — gaining valuable experience with the building, investigation, and trial preparation of cases. Brandon is a 2019 graduate of Augsburg University with a degree in Political Science: Pre-Law. He previously served as President of the Augsburg Day Student Government and is still an active member of his alma mater community.