Other + Wise is a Native nonprofit organization.
Founder and Director
Vance Blackfox (Cherokee)
From a very young age, Vance has been called to serve Native people and the Church. Having had extraordinary youth-ministry and leadership-development experiences during his own adolescence, he has dedicated much of his career to giving others similar experiences. Whether it be during his professional service at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, California Lutheran University, Youth in Mission, or any of the congregations that he has served, he has produced resources and experiences that encourage church leaders of all ages to value multiculturalism, diversity, cultural competency, anti-oppression, peace, and social justice.
As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Vance comes from a small, Indian community in Oklahoma. Growing up, he encountered a continuous stream of church groups on “mission trips,” hoping to bring Jesus to his people through service projects and “mission work.” Even though he lived in one of the oldest, Protestant, Christian, Native American communities in the U.S., churches continued to want to bring Jesus there. This kind of paternal “mission work” is still happening today all over the world, and Vance is working to change that with Other + Wise as a new type of leadership and mission experience.
Kinna is a Luther Seminary graduate who serves part time as the Director of Youth and Family Ministry at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in a suburban-turned-urban neighborhood in Aurora, Colorado. Kinna is compelled through scripture and the Holy Spirit to be an accomplice for her siblings in Christ who are different from her. She gets a great deal of wisdom from the young people and families of color and different backgrounds that she accompanies, as well as her mentors and colleagues of color, with different genders, abilities, and backgrounds.
Board of Directors
- Vance Blackfox (Cherokee)
- Pamela Johns (Red Lake Nation of Ojibwe)
- Rachelle Renfrow (Cherokee)
- Sarah Beams (Choctaw)
- Ashley Wheeler
- Joannie Romero (Pueblo of Cochiti)
- Irene Kao
- Rebecca Allen (Cherokee)
- Christopher Long
Other+Wise wishes to express its gratitude to the Other+Wise VIPs who have been generous in their support of the development and growth of Other+Wise. We are grateful to these volunteers for their time, resources, and talents over the past years in support of our journey and yours.