Meet Our Leadership


Leslie Redmond, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Redmond is currently a 2018 JD/MBA Candidate at the University of St. Thomas. She is a first generation college graduate and received her B.A. in Political Science and minor in African Studies from Barry University in Miami, Florida. In addition, she is a community activist who believes in the power of the collaboration.


Steven "Philli" Johnson, Creative Director

Steven Johnson, better known as Philli Irvin, is a 20 year-old entrepreneur from North Minneapolis. Johnson's ultimate goal as an artist is to provide opportunity and resources to young artist to excel in their field of art. His street art style is jovial, punk, and  contemporary. Johnson illustrates to communicate messages to the youth about the infinitude of life. Illustration allows Johnson to reach outside of his physical space to other people to let them know they aren’t alone in their experiences and that anything is possible.


Cory Kemp, Communications Director

Cory Kemp is the Communications Director for Win Back the Community. He is a resident of Saint Paul, Minnesota and is a graduating senior from University of St. Thomas with a degree in Marketing. His expertise is community outreach, marketing, and website development.


Marissa Abara,   Communications Editor

Marissa Abara is the Communications Editor for Win Back the Community. She is a born and raised Minnesotan and has dual citizenship for both United States and Nigeria. She is currently studying Communication and Journalism at the University of St. Thomas. She holds expertise in public relations, writing, and radio broadcasting.



Bella Dawson, Civil Engagement Coordinator

Bella Dawson is a senior at Washburn High School. In the fall, she will begin studying political science and film production at Augsburg College. Dawson has participated in the following Social Justice activities:  canvassing for the African American DFL, acting, facilitating, and writing in the Black Box Social Justice Theatre, advocating for youth in the criminal justice system, and working as a student ambassador in the Social Justice Fellows Civil Rights Research Tour. 


Papa Mbye, Artist Outreach Coordinator

Papa Mbye is an 18 year-old illustrator based in North Minneapolis. Growing up, his influences included: Tom Richmond, Nuri Durr, and Marcus Williams. Mbye has doodled his entire life. However,  it wasn't until his junior year in high school that he finally realized art was his passion. Since then, Mbye and a collection of other creative individuals started Young Vision, a brand dedicated to changing the world with their crafts.

Awa Mally, Photographer

Awa Mally is a Togolese born, Minneapolis raised photographer and activist. From childhood she shared a huge passion for helping others and for the arts. y. She uses photography not only for her own release but to display the beauty and uniqueness in people of the African Diaspora. She strives to bring access to the arts to young people in the Minneapolis while excelling in her own work.