Donisha Shepherd, msw
Donisha Shepherd (she/her) serves as Political Outreach Coordinator & HEARTspeak Facilitator with Full Circle Strategies. Donisha had dedicated her work to the long-term goal of decolonizing the profession she has dedicated her life to. She believes that anti-racism work is necessary and provides an opportunity for everyone to “rethink what we think we know”, unlearn the teachings that divided us, and learn how to utilize our differences as building blocks to becoming better as a whole. Donisha became heavily politically engaged as a voter registration official in Harris County and other counties surrounding Houston. Donisha has extensive political organizing and education experience. She is founder of D_Political Social Worker where she provides education and resources on a non-partisan platform in efforts to support more Texans to get involved in voting, political advocacy, and to understand how the system works. Before joining Full Circle, Donisha participated in the Texas legislative session where she was able to analyze policy based on its impacts on working class Texans while assessing the lack of urgency Texas leaders had on issues that disproportionately impacted Black and Brown Texans.
Donisha is a graduate of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) where she received her Master’s degree in Social Work with a Macro concentration.
Kenya Minott, PhD, MSW
Dr. Minott’s commitment to this work is reflected in her racial justice advocacy background and in her work as an educator. Before leaving her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, she engaged in community organizing work in the Penrose-O’Fallon community. She learned community organizing skills while working alongside local activists and civic leaders committed to achieving social justice throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area. After relocating to Las Vegas, she was trained as a dismantling racism facilitator through the Western States Center in Portland, Oregon and Race Forward in Chicago, Illinois. From 2005-2011, she facilitated multiple training sessions for grassroots organizers, college students, labor groups, government employees, and non-profit organizations throughout the Midwest and Western regions. During this time, she also served on local, state-wide, and national coalitions committed to addressing various forms of systemic oppression. Her racial justice advocacy work intersected with education, youth civic engagement, health equity, and environmental justice. In 2009 she assisted the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada in the development of Nevada’s first racial equity report card intended to rate the policy work of Nevada’s legislators.
Dr. Minott has direct political engagement experience with organizing communities and facilitating grassroots mobilization efforts that increased voter engagement, especially in communities of color. She advised political candidates, elected officials, and coalesced with grassroots and grass tops leaders during and in-between election cycles. Dr. Minott has over twenty years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels having taught various courses in sociology and social work. She has extensive community-based mental health experience having worked with children and their families. She has received numerous awards for her community activism work.
Dr. Minott relocated to Houston, Texas in 2012 where she continued to advocate for the dismantling of system racism particularly through education. In 2020 she and Dr. Kim Baker co-founded the Race Equity Leadership and Research Collective. This nonprofit - also known as the “RE Collective” - is the culmination of her life’s work as it is dedicated to the advancement and leadership cultivation of Black, Indigenous, Latino/a, and other people of color through leadership, research, and advocacy. In addition to this work, Dr. Minott currently serves as the facilitator for the HOUSTON 2036 Task Force.
Dr. Minott grew up in the Pine Lawn community and graduated from Normandy High School. She received her Bachelor’s in social work from University of Central Missouri in 1994 and her Master's in Social Work from Saint Louis University in 1997. In May 2021, she completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work. She is married to Army Veteran, Patrick Minott and together they have three children ages 22, 18, and 14.
Kim Baker, DR.PH
Dr. Kim Baker (she/her) is co-owner of Full Circle Strategies. She has dedicated her career to addressing health disparities and advocating for health equity through program, policy, and practice. She works full time in public health as an Assistant Professor where she researches topics related to reproductive health & justice and public health practice. She manages We Can Do More/Own Every Piece, a multi-partner systems level intervention to increase access to contraception for women in Harris County. Here she is conducting research on implicit associations among reproductive health providers and working to reduce them through storytelling. Dr. Baker has also developed multiple health interventions using participatory methods targeting African-American male teens, faith institutions and health providers.
She has years of facilitation experience and has trained hundreds of educators in sexual health topics including curriculum delivery, consent, managing bias/controversy and answering hard questions. Most recently Dr. Baker's work in maternal health has highlighted the need for more thoughtful training and engagement among health professionals, med students and nursing students on their personal beliefs and how they impacts care delivery. Dr. Baker received her Bachelors in Biology from Hampton University in Hampton, VA in 2003, her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2006 and her Doctorate in Public Health from The University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in 2013. She is married with two small children.