RUTH BUFFALO, CHAIR
Ruth is a public health professional and educator. She is a volunteer to several local and statewide boards which focus on improving the quality of life for all people. She is a member to various advisory councils focused on women’s health, women’s leadership and local food systems. Her consultant and independent contract work has included; ACLU of ND, Honor the Earth, Sacred Pipe Resource Center, and the MHA Nation. Her work includes advocacy, community capacity-building and continued reconciliation efforts through education. Ruth hopes her efforts will contribute to policy changes in all levels of government for future generations. She is a community advocate for all people. Her passion is safe and healthy communities. Ms. Buffalo has served on the Board of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition since 2011.
ARUNA SETH, VICE-CHAIR
Aruna’s biography is forthcoming.
DAVID LANPHER, TREASURER
Committees: Executive, Fund Development
Dave Lanpher is Broker Associate at Park Co. Realtors in Fargo, ND since 1998. He as a degree in history from Asbury University and Master of Divinity from the Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY. He has been a member of the Fargo Human Relations Commission since 2008 and was chairperson from 2009 to 2014.
KEVIN R. TENGESDAL, MEMBER AT LARGE
Committees: Executive, Marketing
A Maxbass, ND native, now living in Bismarck, Kevin is a professional graphic designer, a community theatre actor, a Navy veteran, and a social justice advocate. He graduated in 1997 from Columbia International University in South Carolina with a Bachelors in Biblical Studies and in Biblical Languages, with one year studying in Jerusalem. Kevin is purposeful in advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, practicing his Christian Faith, and learning the concerns of marginalized communities. He moderates the Facebook page “Prairie Rainbow” promoting positive and encouraging information for gay Christians in the Upper Great Plains region. Kevin was nominated to the board of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition in 2015. In addition to NDHRC, Kevin is a member of the North Dakota Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, and a founding member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL LGBTQ+ Caucus.
2018 NDHRC BOARD
Robert’s biography is forthcoming.
Nandita’s biography is forthcoming.
Darren Buttke was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota. Although he grew up in the city, he is a country boy at heart due to a great deal of time spent on the family farm. After earning his master’s degree in English Literature from North Dakota State University, he has been fortunate to work within fields which have allowed him to engage with the issues closest to his heart including racial justice, women’s rights, and immigrant health and welfare. For the past four years he has worked as the Executive Assistant at Family HealthCare in Fargo. In his spare time he enjoys reading, running, traveling, and spending time with family.
Sean Coffman is an award winning independent filmmaker from Fargo, North Dakota. He is committed to developing and producing work that brings context to local and world issues by giving a voice to the underserved, the neglected, and the oppressed. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Human Family, which facilitates the North Dakota Human Rights Film & Arts Festival, which is committed to educating, engaging and facilitating discussion in North Dakota around local and world-wide human rights topics through the work of filmmakers and artist. Coffman has a BA in Social Theory, Social Structure and Change with an Emphasis in Global Social Theory from Empire State College; studied Humanitarian Diplomacy through the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies; and has studied in Geneva at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
Committees: Executive, Programming/Events
Janelle R. Miedema was born and raised in North Dakota and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Janelle has been a practicing social worker for 32 years in the Fargo-Moorhead community with practice emphasis in children, youth and families, specialized foster care, prevention programs for youth at risk, mental health, program development and program/clinical supervision. In August 2013, Janelle began as Assistant Professor of Social Work at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Janelle’s areas of interest include the study of human diversity and the importance of understanding various forms of privilege and its impact on practicing social workers and their clients.
DR. MARCIA MIKULAK
Dr. Marcia Mikulak is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Dakota. As a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Mikulak specializes in the cultural constructions of childhood, human rights, violence, and identity. Along with her work as a university professor and anthropologist, Dr. Mikulak is a Country Specialist with Amnesty International for Brazil and is an accomplished concert pianist with degrees in music performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College.
RABBI JAMIE SERBER
Rabbi Jamie Serber is a recent graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (2017). She currently holds the title Rabbi and has her Master of Hebrew Letters degree. Social justice is very important to her, and it helps to inform her daily life. Her chaplaincy skills have served her well, as she is currently teaching a course on Death and Dying at UND. Rabbi Jamie is incredibly excited to be serving her new community.
Committees: Executive, Fund Development
Stacy L. Schaffer is the Development Officer for the North Dakota Humanities Council and an adjunct professor at the University of Mary . She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Before attending Hamline, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Behavioral Sciences from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. With a passion towards serving others, Stacy has dedicated much of her time towards advocating for human rights. Before returning back to North Dakota this past spring, Stacy worked with several non-profits to create and implement fundraising programs throughout the United States. She is looking forward to being back in the state and a part of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition!
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors, please apply at www.ndhrc.org/bod-application.
Barry Nelson is director of the Head Start/Early Head Start Program at Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency, Fargo. Nelson proudly calls himself a community activist and believes that ALL people should be able to participate fully in their community be it in housing, employment, access to services and/or choice of relationships. He is board member with RiverKeepers, and is active with his district political party. He was one of the charter members of the NDHRC board and returned as a board member in the fall of 2009.