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WHO WE ARE

South Dakota Voices for Peace and South Dakota Voices for Justice are sister organizations working together on grassroots empowerment and building strategic allyship as well as countering top down legislated hate and fear-mongering against Muslims, immigrants and refugees in SD. Working on both ends of the social change continuum, we strive to live out our vision “to create a SD where the fabric is rich, diverse and inclusive.”

SD Voices for Peace is our educational and legal service arm of our work. SD Voices for Justice is our lobbying and advocacy arm.
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MEET THE TEAM

Our vision is a South Dakota where the fabric is rich, diverse and inclusive.

Taneeza Islam, Esq.

Executive Director 

Taneeza Islam is a community activist, immigration and civil rights lawyer based in Sioux Falls, SD. Her immigration practice is focused on domestic violence survivors and unaccompanied minors.

Lori Cannizzaro Miller

Research Director

Lori Miller is a native Californian who has made Rapid City her home for over 20 years. She was raised in a military family and has been exposed to people from different ethnicities, religions, and cultures her entire life.

Board of Directors

Dr. Naomi Ludeman Smith’s personal vision statement is “To have an Impact for Peace.” This vision for living and leadership is motivated by a deep conviction that all people have the right to pursue safety, happiness, and prosperity.
Lori Miller is a native Californian who has made Rapid City her home for over 20 years. She was raised in a military family and has been exposed to people from different ethnicities, religions, and cultures her entire life.
Dr. Michael Saba worked in Malaysia and Thailand in the 1960’s and was a training coordinator for Peace Corps programs in Africa in the early 1970’s. He joined Mobil Oil in the mid 1970’s and has been an international business adviser since 1980.
Michael Huber grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Masters in Business Administration.  He is currently a financial advisor and a yoga instructor in Sioux Falls.
Pastor Jean has recently retired from Spirit of Peace United Church of Christ in Sioux Falls after 15 years of successful ministry. Jean has the heart of a teacher, the prophetic voice of a preacher, and the hands and feet of an activist. She is a community organizer and believes there is deep truth in the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Jean loves spending time with her 23 year old daughter, Lizzie, and her pets, dog Gracie and cat Cleo.
Jen Dreiske has been presenting and leading complex conversations for many years on topics of Diversity and the Spiritual Tapestry of South Dakota to religious communities, law enforcement, medical systems, school districts, colleges and private businesses.  Through heartfelt discussions, Jen is committed to helping people discover and remember their own potentiality.
Yesenia was born in Guatemala and grew up in California. For the past 7 years she has made Sioux Falls, South Dakota her home. She’s a Housing counselor at Sioux Empire Housing Partnership. Prior to SEHP, she worked with runaway youth from diverse backgrounds at Angel’s Flight Youth Shelter located in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. Yesenia is the co-founder of the Hispanic Business Network and currently participates in the Sioux Falls Thrive’s Housing Action Team, Young Professionals Network, Que Pasa Sioux Falls and Hand In Hand. She’s passionate about bridging gaps through cross-cultural collaboration.
Susan Kroger has 15 years of nonprofit experience and has served in leadership positions in several organizations in South Dakota. She holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently completing a doctoral degree in Sociology from South Dakota State University. She spent six years as a therapist working with young mothers and families.
Susan enjoys helping nonprofits get off the ground and has consulted with several local organizations on development and strategic planning. Her research interests include gender and policy and social movements. Other interests include telescopes, design, and tacos. She lives in Sioux Falls with her six year old daughter and five year old son. Dr. Susan Kroger received her Ph. D in Rural Sociology from SDSU.

Advisory Board

Dr. Kapaska has served as Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan University Health Center since October 2010 – the 16th administrator in the 100-year history of Avera McKennan.
Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen has served as Mayor of Aberdeen since his election on June 1, 2004 and was re-elected in 2009 and 2014. Prior to serving the City of Aberdeen, Mayor Levsen was employed by the YMCA in Aberdeen, South Dakota as Youth Director from 2002- 2004.
Stan Adelstein is the first Jewish SD state Senator in the history of the state. A member of the Republican Party, Adelstein is a member of the South Dakota Senate, representing the 32nd district.
Betty Oldenkamp has served as the President and CEO for Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota since March 2006. LSS/SD is a diverse, multi-service agency touching over 50,000 lives each year with a presence in 30 communities.
Valerie  lives here with her husband Kurt and has three children: Daniel(26), Andrea(22) and Grant(17). Valerie is co-owner of Grand Prairie Foods, where every day she and 150 of the best people in town work together to “Make it Easy for their Customers to Enjoy Great Food!”
Musheera is an Assistant Professor as USD, and has worked as a child psychiatrist in Egypt. Her work was mainly with patients and families affected by mental illness and childhood psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Fathi Halaweish is a Professor of Chemistry at South Dakota State University. His current research interests are focused on the chemistry, metabolism, synthesis, tissue culture production of the biologically active organic natural products and their utilization as pharmaceutical and agrochemical agents.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Join a coalition to spread accurate information about Islam, Muslim, immigrants, and refugees through a statewide storytelling campaign in South Dakota so our neighbors understand our collective experiences in being South Dakotan.