Meet Our Team
Mr. Jacob Bell
Jacob Aaron Bell comes from a large family of artists, community organizers and activists. In 2005 Jacob moved to the Midwest from California with his mixed race parents and 4 biracial siblings. He attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, studying The Fine Arts with a concentration in Acting and a minor in Communications. Jacob has over 15 years of experience working with diverse communities, with the goal of strengthening and developing social assets of the Black community. He is one of the creative minds behind Freedom Youth Startups, which is an entrepreneurial development program aimed toward changing the narrative of what it means to be a Black business owner in the Northland. As the executive director of Family Freedom Center, Jacob guides the organization according to the principles of his predecessors and community members while working towards building up unapologetically Black spaces and achieving goals that fulfil and surpass the dreams of our elders.
Freedom Farms Coordinator
AC Kirk is Family Freedom Centers Garden coordinator. AC brings a desire to help people to his role, something he learned from his momma, who was in the business of helping folks that struggle in strenuous circumstances in the Duluth area. In the Garden AC does more work than talking. He believes “gardening helps me find peace. I feel like other black people that struggle a lot internally can find peace in the work. Feeding your fellow people and doing hard work in fresh air. There's a dutiful pride that comes with the work that I'd like to see spread throughout my people like wildfire.”
Digital Navigator and Elders Support Specialist
Terrence "T" Sain
T is Family Freedom Center’s youth program coordinator. He brings creative energy to the team and works hard to ensure that programming is successful. T is also one of the first participants in the Freedom Youth Start-Ups program for young entrepreneurs, through which he plans to become a certified real estate broker, a project he hopes will help him create equitable housing opportunities along the North Shore. Through his work with FFC, he has also been able to connect his friends with business-resources in support of their business goals. T is attending Lake Superior College while continuing to develop his business acumen and develop new youth programming at FFC.
Vista - Americorps
Audrey is a youth services intern at the Family Freedom Center working closely with the youth programs and it’s coordinators. At the College of St. Scholastica, they are majoring in Peace and Justice Studies with a minor in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. They feel that the Deaf community is incredibly underrepresented and they want to be an advocate for them. Since Junior year of high school, they’ve had a passion for social justice work and creating change for marginalized communities with an emphasis on Black youth. They want to understand the process behind non-profit organizations and how to create a successful youth program. Audrey hopes to have their own non-profit organization someday which assists to Black youth, at-risk youth, and young mothers. Through the Family Freedom Center, Audrey hopes to learn the processes of building an organization such as this one and building the confidence to become a reliable outreach director.
StartUps Coordinator / ABC's Instructor
Dr. Olaf Kuhlke wears multiple hats in the world of entrepreneurship. For the Family Freedom Center, he coordinates the Freedom Startups programs and teaches the Entrepreneurial sessions of the Adulting Basics Courses. For Integrative Resources LLC, he serves as president and offers occasional workshops on leadership. His full-time job is being an Associate Professor of Geography and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he currently offers courses on cultural entrepreneurship and the creative industries. Dr. Kuhlke is a passionate advocate for the establishment of cultural entrepreneurship as an academic discipline and practice, and has several publications about the theoretical foundations of this new form of entrepreneurship emerging out of the liberal arts. Olaf originally hails from Germany. He loves to cook, read, and spend time outdoors on his fat bike.