How We Work.

For each unique project, MICA calls upon a diverse team of specialists in community development, government relations, grant writing, technical assistance, fundraising, project management, program development, public/private partnerships, establishing nonprofits, board development, marketing, media, strategic collaborations, and prevention campaigns.

Our team has expertise working with American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Latino, Hispanic, and African American communities, as well as the indigenous peoples of Latin America, Southern Africa, and the Pacific.

Fiscal Responsibility

MICA was recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service in June 2017.

MICA’s Cultural Resource Fund project is fiscally sponsored by NEO Philanthropy. Passionate about its work as a funder intermediary, deeply committed to social justice and human rights, NEO has more than 30 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations and funders build movements for justice, equity and dignity. For more information about NEO Philanthropy, click here.


Peggy Mainor, J.D., Executive Director

Peggy Mainor brings 25 years of management experience to the MICA team. From 2008-2010, she was the Director of Program Development for the Office of the State’s Attorney for the City of Baltimore, with responsibility for high-level community and governmental partnerships.

She previously served as Executive Director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, a private nonprofit organization that coordinates Baltimore’s child abuse investigations and provides multidisciplinary services for over 1,200 children each year.  In that capacity, she reported to a 12-member Board of Directors including the Baltimore Police Commissioner, the Director of the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, and the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. The Baltimore Child Abuse Center was recognized as Maryland’s most outstanding domestic violence program in 1995.

From 2001-2003, Ms. Mainor served as Senior Counsel to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), which represents 37 American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities.

In 1999, Ms. Mainor was named the American Bar Association’s Child Advocate of the Year, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation selected her as a Child and Family Fellow. During her Fellowship, she lived and worked on the Ft. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Reservation in Montana and worked in the White House as Fellow to President Bill Clinton’s Senior Advisor for Indian Affairs.

From 1982-1986, Ms. Mainor was Counsel and then General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts (D-Minority).

She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in Native American Studies and co-chaired the Native American Students Association (NASA). Her law degree is from Georgetown. While there, she taught legal research and writing to first year students and served as an Equal Justice Foundation Fellow.

Ms. Mainor and her husband were emergency foster parents for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services from 1987-1994.  They have two daughters.

Linda Logan, M.S.W. (Oklahoma Choctaw) (1954 - 2017) Although she is no longer with us, she will always be in our hearts.

Linda Logan is the President/CEO of Native American Pathways, which provides training and technical assistance to Tribal communities and non-native organizations. She served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Federal Advisory Committee – Office of Victims of Crime National Coordination Committee on American Indian Alaska Native SANE-SART, National Children’s Alliance Cultural Competency Accreditation Task Force, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA) American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiians Expert Panel.  She is on the National Indian Child Welfare Association Board of Directors and is the Program Committee Chair.

While working with a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public education, Ms. Logan created a competitive grants program. She serves as a professional peer grant reviewer and has conducted reviews for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Social Security Administration.

She has personally raised over $10 million from various grant sources. She has provided training and technical assistance in the area of fundraising, strategic planning, program development and management, partnerships and media.

Ms. Logan formerly served as the Executive Director of the Native American Children’s Alliance, a national intertribal nonprofit that supports Tribal communities in strengthening community response to investigation and prosecution of child abuse crimes within reservations. More recently she was with ZERO TO THREE where she held the position of Technical Assistance Tribal (TA) Specialist to provide support to Affordable Care Act Tribal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) tribal grantees.

Ms. Logan holds a B.A. and M.S.W. from Boston College.

Gerald Carty Monette, Ed.D. (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Dr. Monette served as President of Turtle Mountain Community College for 27 years. Under his leadership, the college developed into a nationally recognized institution of higher education, assuming an important role in bringing quality education and sustainable economic growth to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the surrounding community.

Dr. Monette has also served as principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s Tribal College Rural Systemic Initiative, which provides technical assistance to numerous Tribal communities to promote their desire for systemic change in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, on reservations and K-12 schools.

Dr. Monette was appointed by the President of the United States to serve on the Commission for the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and the NASA Educational Advisory Board. He has served on numerous Tribal, state and national education boards, including as President of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), a member of the national advisory group of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Higher Education Policy Center’s New Millennium Project, the North Dakota HighTechnology Council and as President of the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges.

Dr. Monette currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Quality Education for Minorities Network (QEM) in Washington, D.C. He holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of North Dakota.

Mona Polacca, M.S.W. (Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa)

Ms. Polacca, a Hopi, Havasupai, and Tewa Elder, is the Executive Director of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She also serves as President/CEO of the Turtle Island Project, a nonprofit that promotes wellness by providing transcultural training to healthcare institutions. The focus of her work is international justice. She has worked on issues of Indigenous peoples relating to water, and social and health issues, including issues realting to Native Elders.

Ms. Polacca is a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, and serves on several United Nations committees. She is a featured author, speaker and educator on Indigenous Peoples’ human rights.

Ms. Polacca holds a Masters’ Degree in Social Work.

Erin K. Bishop, M.A.

Ms. Bishop is the owner and primary consultant of WOBA Consulting. She comes to The Mica Group with over 10 years of combined private sector and government administrative and office management experience. She served as Director of Human Resources for a non-profit health and human services organization for the latter 3 years of her corporate career where she focused on building organizational structure, redeveloping data management systems and bringing a mindful approach to the business.

Ms. Bishop holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Frostburg State University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Integrative Coaching from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH).  She received a graduate certificate in Life Coaching from MUIH, and has worked with executives, office staff, and community members to optimize their personal and professional development. Ms. Bishop assists MICA in building outstanding customer service, email management, project and data management, research and development, social media, public relations, and accounting.


Jacob Manatowa-Bailey (Sac & Fox) Language Project Advisor

Rosana G. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Evaluation

Dr. Rodriguez has over 30 years’ experience in education. As Director of Development at the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), she oversaw projects to increase school/family/community partnerships and strengthen diverse community networks. She was instrumental in designing and establishing Texas’s federally-funded Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC), an information and resource center for under-served populations. She guided the process and implementation of ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education), a national initiative designed to increase opportunities for Latinos to enter and complete college through partnerships.

Dr. Rodriguez is a former Program Director for Youth Development, Education, and Higher Education at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In that capacity, she managed projects and reviewed and assessed proposals in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She also directed the Foundation’s Department of Human Resources, where she managed recruitment, training, development, and evaluation.

Dr. Rodriguez was Assistance Superintendent of Personnel and Chief Negotiator for the Grand Rapids Public Schools. She also served as the City’s Community Relations Commissioner. She consults on strategic planning, project and program evaluation, and impact assessment. Born in Venezuela and raised in the Dominican Republic, she began her career in the United States as a teacher and writer of bilingual curricula. She has taught in elementary and secondary schools and in higher education.

Dr. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Aquinas College, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Wayne State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Michigan. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Jacqueline Knox Brown

Jacqueline Knox Brown has a long history of service in government, the private sector and in the community. She held various staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate as a legislative researcher, legislative assistant and staff director. After more than 15 years on Capitol Hill, she served as a senior policy analyst on two Presidential Commissions. In 1989 President Bush nominated Ms. Brown to serve as Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, heading the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this capacity she was responsible for all departmental interactions and communications with the Congress, Governors, local officials and a significant number of public interest groups and stakeholders. She served in this position for more than three years until she moved on to support the Department of Energy’s mission in several other critical areas including Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.

Since 1994 she has been President and owner of METRIC, Inc., a management-consulting firm with expertise in management, engineering, technology, research and information consulting. METRIC, Inc. works extensively with other small businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and federal government agencies in the areas of business development, contract management, program development and project management.

Currently she is an advisor to several non-profit organizations focused on services to displaced women and victims of domestic abuse. She provides advice and support to an international non-profit that serves to maintain the minority manufacturing capability in the United States. Ms. Brown has a degree in Economics and Political Science from Howard University, Washington, DC and completed graduate courses in International Business and Finance at George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Linda Spencer, Communications

Ms. Spencer is a strategic communications consultant and a partner in Blue Fox Communications Group. She brings 30+ years experience working with diverse national and international programs, including as the Creative Department Manager of the US FIFA World Cup, and for the past decade as Director of Communications for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation where she functioned as the Tribe’s public affairs and community relations liaison, leading a senior management team in developing programs and initiatives targeted to meet tribal objectives. She guided the repositioning of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation tribal brand and the development of its Séka Hills retail brand across all platforms of communications, public relations, design and marketing materials. In 2012 she was a lead on the planning team that produced the NCAI Annual Conference cultural night in Sacramento.

Ms. Spencer specializes in culturally sensitive messaging, and projecting an organization’s core identity through creative solutions that reflect its authenticity and intention. She has expertise in public affairs, public relations, branding, marketing and design and has produced major collateral programs, websites, environmental programs and public events.

Aleena M. Kawe (Yoeme) Language Project Facilitator

Aleena M. Kawe is an enrolled member of the Texas Band of Yaqui Indians with cultural ties to Old Pascua Pueblo in Tucson, Arizona. Aleena has more than 20 years experience working with indigenous communities in the U.S., and more recently in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Much of her work has focused on strengthening partnerships to advance shared goals in the areas of public health capacity, tribally-driven and participatory research practices, community health assessment, and improvement planning. She is a strong advocate for indigenous self-determination and healthy communities.

Aleena has a Master’s degree in Public Health, Community Health Practice Concentration, from The University of Arizona, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Prior to Red Star, Aleena served as Education Director for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, where she led the development of a culturally based charter high school and tribal library. She served as the administrator for the American Indian Research Center for Health at the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, and worked in Native American student affairs at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College.

Aleena is married to Frank Te Mihinui Kawe (Ngāti Ranginui/Ngāti Kahungunu), who is active in the traditional voyaging practices of the Maori people of Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Amanda R. Tachine, Ed.D., (Navajo) Language Project Advisor

Amanda’s work at the Center for Indian Education  advances ideas and strategies to increase Native college student success. She joined the center after receiving her doctoral degree in Higher Education at the University of Arizona. Amanda received the American Educational Research Association dissertation of the year award for “Division J” and received honorable mention recognition from the International Congress Qualitative Inquiry Dissertation Award. She led innovative mentoring programs where students mentor students in a cascading format (grad students help undergrads, undergrads help high school students).

Amanda also participated in the Op-Ed Fellowship,  published in the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and The Hill.  President Obama recognized  Amanda through the White House Champion of Change program.


Suzan Harjo, Ph.D. (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee)

Dr. Harjo is an advocate for Indigenous Peoples. She is a poet, writer, curator, and policy advocate who has helped Native Peoples recover sacred places and more than one million acres of land. After co-producing with Frank Ray Harjo (Wotco Muscogee) the first Indian news and analysis program in the U.S., and serving as Director of Drama and Literature for WBAI-FM Radio Station in New York City, the Pacifica Network’s free speech flagship station, she moved to Washington, DC, in 1974, as News Director of the American Indian Press Association to work on national policy issues. She was a political appointee in the Carter Administration and served as Special Assistant – Indian Legislation & Liaison; as Legislative Liaison for the Native American Rights Fund and for the Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver Law Firm; and as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians.

Dr. Harjo is President of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization. Since the 1960s, she has worked with myriad Native and non-Native students, scholars, families, Native Nations, and other governments, schools, churches, social justice organizations, and businesses and other private entities to remove “Indian” images, names, and symbols in American sports. By 2013, two-thirds (more than 2,000) of the race-based stereotypes in sports were eliminated due to these collective public campaigns and the anti-mascot movement from 1960 to today.

President Barack Obama awarded Dr. Harjo the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, at a 2014 White House ceremony with 17 other awardees.