Our History.

The many variations of mica minerals come from the diverse ways in which they are formed. Easily recognizable by the brilliant shine of its crystalline layers, mica is responsible for the flashes of light seen in many composite rocks. When combined with other minerals, mica forms the strongest of rocks.

Every culture has its own unique brilliance and strength. The MICA Group brings other “minerals” – in the form of partners – to our projects so that, when combined, cultures and nations form the strongest of rocks.

The MICA Group – a Multicultural Initiative for Community Advancement – was created in 2006 by a multicultural group of visionaries who recognized the need for a trusted intermediary to bring indigenous and underserved peoples together with funders who could partner with them to achieve their goals.

After three years under the umbrella of MICA co-founder and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller’s nonprofit organization, One Fire, MICA has been fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center since 2009.

MICA Founders.

Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee)
First woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Ford Foundation Trustee, and Congressional Medal of Freedom recipient, Chief Mankiller’s vision and spirit imbue MICA today.

Della Warrior (Otoe-Missouria)
First woman Chair of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, former President of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), member of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame, Ms. Warrior currently serves as Director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Veronica Gonzales
Ms. Gonzales currently serves as Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. She formerly served as Executive Director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC).

Rosana Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Recently retired as Director of Development of the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), Dr. Rodriguez is a former project manager of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Jacqueline Knox Brown
Ms. Brown currently serves as President and CEO of Metric, Inc., and is a former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.