brings 20+ years of community leadership to her work as founder of FullThought. LaBlanc is widely recognized for launching innovative and successful approaches to addressing complex contemporary issues facing families, youth, neighborhoods and diverse populations. From her extensive facilitation work, she has developed a strong faith in the genius of different thoughts, cultures and life experiences – and has seen first hand the transformative power multiple voices can bring to problems big and small.
As a mother, stepmother and grandmother, LaBlanc is committed to work that improves the world in which our children grow, develop and come of age. The formation of FullThought is an effort to create a place to share and make contagious the simple truth about the power of listening and simple mechanisms of conversation that allow it to happen.
Thomas LaBlanc is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Nation. Thomas uses thought, music, and words to be a teacher of respect, peace, and forgiveness. He is a published author, a recording artist and a recognized teacher. He has been an activist for indigenous people and all people world wide through his work in local non-profits, the International Treaty Council, and the American Indian Movement. Currently he is co-founder of the One-People Trust located in Norway built to foster musical collaboration among like minded artists around the world to promote peace.
Melvin Carter worked in the St. Paul Police Department from the 1970’s – 1990’s a time when explosive drug dealing, drug addiction, and the accompanying violence and devastation hit the inner city African American community. While he and his wife dedicated themselves to protecting and inspiring their children, they witnessed the crisis unfold around them in the lives of their extended family and within many other families they loved and admired. In 1994 Melvin formed a non-profit organization with a mission dedicated to the prevention and reclamation of African American youth involved in the criminal justice system. He continues to speak out and respond to this tsunami that much of America fails to recognize as the public health crisis that it is.
True Thao, LICSW, a licensed clinical social worker, is solo practitioner of True Thao Counseling Service, which serves the Hmong community in the Twin Cities. Arriving to the Twin Cities in 1996 from the east coast extensively trained and experienced in social work True quickly became a valuable asset to local service providers struggling to build truly bi-cultural models of service for Hmong clients. True draws heavily on three cultures which have nourished and raised him: the Hmong world view and wisdom; American social economics; and American practices of social work. He is much sought after for the lovely way he informs and inspires these three worlds.
Long Vang came to America as a 2 year old refugee of the US secret war in Laos. He has learned to walk in a world defined by the strengthens and challenges of two very different cultures. From early in his teen years he recognized the unique place his generation held to support his family and the Hmong community through the profound changes they are currently living. For 14 years he has guided families in conversations to open communication between husbands and wives; and children and parents. He has a unique love for and attention for the families of youth involved in our juvenile justice system. His mantra is strong communication builds strong families. Strong families lead to a stronger world for all