Two of our staff members, Alice Glenn and Jenny Miller, are always on the move. They are continuing to grow in their work at the Foundation and outside of it too. They reached their one-year mark in August. Each has handled numerous grant requests, evaluating proposals for documentaries and culture camps, vehicles and technology upgrades, even potato farm equipment and an X-ray machine for raptors.
They have helped with special events and immersed themselves in the world of Alaska nonprofit organizations.
They came to us as Momentum Fellows through a partnership with Philanthropy Northwest “to prepare professionals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.” Alice Qannik Glenn is an Alaska Native Iñupiaq born and raised in Utqiaġvik. She received her bachelor’s degree in aerospace studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2014 with a focus in aerospace life science, space studies and math. Jenny Irene Miller also is Inupiaq and originally from Nome. Jenny is an artist — see Jenny’s website here — and received a bachelor of fine arts in photomedia from University of Washington’s School of Art and a bachelor of arts in American Indian studies—also from the University of Washington.
Alice created and is hosting a podcast, Coffee & Quaq. In Iñupiat, the latter means raw, frozen meat or fish. The podcast celebrates and explores “contemporary Native life in urban Alaska.” Episodes so far have covered modern interpretations of traditional Iñuit tattoos, Alaska Native foods and current and traditional Native views in the LGBTQ community.
Meanwhile, Jenny is one of the regional artists being featured in a show that will open Feb. 9 at the Portland Art Museum. The “The Map is not the Territory” exhibition aims to reimagine the Northwest and frame “a generative conversation about our connections to the land, efforts toward decolonization, bringing indigenous values to the forefront, and a celebration of the region’s kinship.” It will stay open until May 5 and will be worth a visit if you are in Portland.
At this week’s First Alaskans Institute Elders & Youth Conference, Jenny co-hosted a Monday afternoon community engagement workshop on indigenous feminism, gender and the LBGTQA+ community. The other leaders were: Enei Begaye, executive director of Native Movement, and Charlene Apok, researcher at Southcentral Foundation.
At the Alaska Federation of Natives convention this week, Alice is one of the emcees for the Quyana dance night. Come show her your moves!
Both attended their second Momentum Fellowship retreat Aug. 15-16 in Portland, Ore., an event hosted by Philanthropy Northwest to help them think about post-fellowship plans. One activity that resonated with Alice in particular was identifying work that aligns with passion through a fun “head, heart, and hustle” exercise. Hearing about the work of other fellows, alumni and philanthropic leaders was inspiring, Alice said. Michelle DePass, president of Meyer Memorial Trust, shared her professional journey as a woman of color. One Fellow is helping to integrate diversity, equality and inclusion — DEI — into rural Oregon organizations. Another helped to set up bail bonds for people of color. A third worked to create an emergency grant program for time-sensitive projects.
“Our cohort is filled with really talented, respectful, hardworking, and inspirational individuals and I always enjoy having time to spend with them!” Alice said. “We’re all early career women of color.”