ChangeMakers

A logo that reads changemakers

ChangeMakers is a series from MPR News showcasing Minnesotans from diverse, often underrepresented backgrounds who are making an impact. Whether they’re making history or making a difference for just one person, these individuals are leaders building new futures for their communities. Scroll down to meet our ChangeMakers.

Brittanie Hernandez-Wilson leads the conversation on ableism and intersectionality
Brittanie Hernandez-Wilson is equity and justice director for The Arc Minnesota, an organization advocating for the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Andrew Start’s journey in policy change is just beginning
Between volunteering with the Plymouth Fire Department, playing baseball and learning guitar, 21-year-old Andrew Start has been training to advocate for himself and others with Down syndrome.
‘Tangled’: Madison Rubenstein paints what it feels like to live with invisible illness
Madison Rubenstein, a painter and visual artist from Bloomington, creates large-format paintings in their Minneapolis studio, drawing on experiences of chronic illness and disability.
13 trans and nonbinary people making an impact in the Twin Cities and beyond
They’re pioneering gender-affirming health care, bringing trans and nonbinary representation to city and state government, paving the way for trans and nonbinary musicians and comedians, and more.
Care about punk music, trans history or both? You need to know Venus DeMars
DeMars, 63, formed her first band and came out as trans in the ‘80s. She’s full of stories and wisdom from more than three decades as an out trans rock star in Minnesota.
ChangeMakers: Jeong Eun Park’s cabaret troupe is by and for transgender people
Park, 52, has made a career of an unlikely collection of skills: drag and therapy. The Minneapolis-based therapist not only provides relationship and family counseling, but also organizes the performing troupe Transcendence Cabaret.