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Meet The Board of Directors
Immigrant Legal Center
Monica Meier (she/ella) is a bilingual, bicultural clinical social worker. She grew up in a small Nebraska town and was privileged to be able to travel to Colombia (where her mother is from) on many occasions, including attending school there in the summer and living there for a year after graduating with her MSW.
She is currently the Director of Social Work at Immigrant Legal Center. She has worked in the social service field for almost 20 years. She has a strong passion for working with historically oppressed, marginalized, and vulnerable populations – this includes immigrants, refugees, people of color, and those who have been formerly incarcerated.
She works through the lens of intersectionality to best help individuals heal in the way they feel they need to heal. Monica is also co-chair of Omaha Area Sanctuary Network, a group established to assist undocumented immigrants or those in immigration proceedings connecting to community resources. She lives in Omaha with her husband and their two children.
Green Omaha Coalition
Addie Gengenbach is the Executive Director at the Green Omaha Coalition, which is an organization that brings together individuals and organizations to share, promote and collaborate on events environmental causes. Addie has over 13 years of experience in communications. She is passionate about serving her community both in her work and personal life.
Addie’s other passion is food and everything to do with it. She is an avid gardener, former line cook, and enjoys reading and writing about food history. Her personal research in Southern American food history naturally led her to learn more about African food and culture and its link and influence on American foodways. When she met chef Jamil, who used to work as a line cook with her, they found themselves talking and dreaming up ways to promote African food culture in America. In America, Africa is one of the only parts of the world with cuisines that are often overlooked and seen as homogenous, says, Addie.
Addie is excited to serve on the board of Eat ’n Talk Africa and to be part of changing the perspective on Africa’s wonderful and diverse foodways!
Chef Jamil Djibril Bah-Traore is an immigrant from Togo in West Africa. He came to America to study accounting. After graduating college, he worked in corporate America, for 13 years and gave everything up after. He enrolled in the culinary program at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, following his passion for food instilled in him by his mother.
After years of working in restaurants and hotels, he witnessed how little Africa's Culinary Heritage is represented. He subsequently founded House of Bah, a catering company, and Eat N talk Africa, a Non-for-profit organization to promote diversity and inclusiveness in the US hospitality marketplace and share the rare delicacies of modern African cuisines.
Chef Jamil Bah-Traore also has a bachelor’s in business from Bellevue University and a Master's in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston as well as a Certificate in IT Project Management from the University of Illinois in Springfield, and a Facebook Digital Marketing Certificate from Metropolitan Community College.
Shereece Dendy-Sanders is a long-time resident of Omaha, Nebraska. She obtained her Juris Doctor in 2009 from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Shereece is an attorney and is responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection and nonprofit laws. To balance out her commitment to the legal field,
Shereece often finds solace in the world of creativity and self-expression; which turned the hobby of candle making into the birth of a luxury candle company brand.
After a year and a half of product development, Shereece, along with Kalisha Reed, co-founded islasimone candles, LLC in January 2021. islasimone candles' purpose is to create a legacy for theirs daughters while delivering high quality candles with pleasant, aromatic experiences to customers across the country.
The dedication and passion that Shereece applies to her work extend to her community. Among other commitments, she is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Links Incorporated.
Shereece also enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her husband, Raheem, and her daughter, Isla.
Folly is very passionate about helping people and being actively involved in the community. He is a culture junky who enjoys solving problems creatively, with extreme mindfulness. Folly is an experienced graphic designer who worked on famous African businesses like Makassi Energy drinks, Sexy Togolais, House of Bah, Omaha, Diversity Experience, Midlands African Chamber, and many more.
He believes in always simplifying the message for the end-users in a creative, intelligent, and aesthetically pleasing way. Folly is an avid entrepreneur himself and Co-Founder of the AfrOmaha Festival, the biggest African Cultural Festival in the Midwest.
As a Visual Communication artist, Brand architect, and Brand strategist, he believes, like Stephan Sagmeister, that Design will save the world.
When Folly is not busy designing, he promotes African Food, Music, and dance through various Omaha venues. He organized the best Afro mixtures to celebrate diversity and inclusion in our communities.