Who we are
In 1993, Fargo - Moorhead metro area leaders held several forums to identify community issues needing urgent attention. It was determined that the community needed to embrace its increasing ethnic diversity and assist diverse populations in overcoming barriers to community participation. Consequently, a cultural diversity project was established in 1994 with programs to increase understanding of the value of diversity, inclusiveness, develop a permanent system-wide framework aimed at celebrating the ever increasing cultures of the community and reduce racial, social and economic disparities.
A project development team was formed to develop the mission and long term goals; to coordinate involvement with key stakeholders in the community; and to seek funding for the project. Consequently, Cultural Diversity Resources (CDR) was incorporated in 1998, as a 501 © 3 tax exempt non-profit organization. CDR serves the Fargo/Moorhead metro area, Cass County in North Dakota, and Clay County in Minnesota.
CDR serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsor in 2021 for antipoverty, with programming in economic opportunity (employment and financial literacy) and education (tutoring and after-school activities)
Our wonderful staff
Yoke Sim Gunaratne, Executive Director Cultural Diversity Resources (CDR) since its inception in 1994. She has more than 27 years of knowledge and work experiences on nonprofit issues working with ‘Black, Indigenous & People of Color’ (BIPOC) population and diversity issues. Past work experiences include: Community Development Officer at North Dakota State University and Refugee Resettlement Manager with Lutheran Social Services of ND. She has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree and a Master of Arts (Sociology). She provides diversity, equity and inclusion training and consultation to diverse organizations and businesses.
Precious is the Community Coordinator with the AmeriCorps VISTA at CDR in 2021 and a founder & CEO of the nonprofit organization called WIN-Liberia since 2017-Current.
She saw that change needed to happen for other single mothers—youth were becoming disconnected and important traditions and core values were being lost. She decided to work with other women in the community to create a space with activities and support services that cater for the specific needs of single mothers, youth, and vulnerable adults in the Liberian and New American community in Fargo, North Dakota. Before moving to the United States, Precious earned a BBA. in accounting with a minor in economics from the United Methodist University in Monrovia Liberia. Her passion to learn professionally pushed her to join the AmeriCorps VISTA by applying through the CDR website in December of 2020. Precious is a single mother and blessed by God with three handsome boys. Like Malala Yousufzai, Precious raises her voice not to shout, but for those without a voice to be heard by caring for them. We, as VISTA Members, cannot succeed when more than half of the community of the people we serve are held back.
Precious Garpeh Dweh
Julia Schott, Vista Member assigned to CDR as their Communications Manager since January 2021.
From the Dominican Republic, she has more than 10 years experience as a teacher in her home country, and over 6 years experience as a Spanish Interpreter in the FM area, working for several agencies including Lutheran Social Services of ND, working in hospitals, schools and the court system, along with being a translator for different businesses.
Her background is in the Arts, with a degree in Design with a minor in Photography, but she's always enjoyed working in PR the best.
She's also responsible for the web and mobile sites, and Social Media communications. Her job is to tell others about the wonderful work these women do every day.
She's also a board member for Kondial Kel International, a non profit focused on bettering the lives of women through education and community related activities.
Rachel Stone- Founder of P’s & Q’s Etiquette & Motivational Speaker.
Rachel Stone wears many hats as she is the Founder and Executive Director of P’s & Q’s Etiquette in Fargo, ND. While working for both Fargo and Moorhead Public Schools for several years, she identified many needs specifically around disadvantaged and students of color. So she set out to be part of the solution and created a leadership and empowerment program. In 2017, P’s & Q’s Etiquette became a nonprofit organization, and now serves students in Fargo ND, West Fargo ND, and Moorhead MN. She is also a motivational speaker as her passion is to inspire others to overcome obstacles, dream big, and to live with purpose. In 2006, she made history when she ran and became the 1st African American woman to be crowned Mrs. North Dakota International. This opened a great door for her to venture out and she also became a national spokesperson for the Headstart program. Rachel has traveled and volunteered and worked with a diverse range of organizations including SENDCAA Headstart, YWCA, United Way, Charism, Fargo & Moorhead public schools and many more. She also now serves on the Moorhead School Board
Youth Activities Coordinator
Joan Bachman, RN, NHA(ret), BSBA, has more than 40 years’ experience in healthcare, serving as a nurse, CEO, and consultant in rural hospitals and nursing homes, and as administrator of a state health facility regulatory agency.
She has consulted in the start-up of small health related businesses and provides training in management of small helping organizations.
Joan is a grant writer and a published author. She has served on boards and committees of a variety of organizations and businesses.
Volunteer Resource Manager
Cleophace Mukeba, a BA Cum Laude in Political Sciences and a master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy, came to the US as a refugee in 2005 from the Republic of Zambia, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR) which he fled due to war conflict in 1996, and resettled in Winooski, Vermont. He and his family moved in June 2022 to Moorhead, MN- from Burlington, Vermont. He is married to Malinga and together they have four children- Bernadette, King, Amani and Nyota.
Cleophace is fluent in French, Swahili, and Lingala languages, serving as an interpreter and translator for several agencies. He’s also been a guest speaker for the University of Vermont on Cross Cultural Competency, and part of a pilot project called RAFT- Relationship Among Families and Teachers. He has also worked with financial institutions as a bank teller.
He founded the Vermont Ibutwa Initiative, served as Director of Outreach and Education with the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, and also Team Lead-Cultural Liaison with the Howard Center. In 2020, the Governor of Vermont nominated him to serve in their Racial Task Force.
Cleophace currently also functions as the Executive Director for Baraza La Afrika, which he founded with his younger brother Jules.
Community Resource Manager
Attorney, District Public Defender, retired
Tax Credit Property Manager
Executive Director, Daughters-of-the Earth nonprofit
Past executive Director, Fargo Housing & Urban Development, retired