Healthy Minds Initiative
Andrea Longo grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, but found her home in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2016. While finishing her degree in American Studies at Oklahoma State University- Tulsa she championed local democratic campaigns, as well as serving a term as Chair, reestablishing the Oklahoma Stonewall Democrats. Today, she works as the Administrative and Project Coordinator at Healthy Minds Policy Institute. In her free time, she enjoys snuggling her dogs, drinking wine, and crocheting.
Don James McLaughlin
University of Tulsa
Don James McLaughlin is an assistant professor of 19th-century and early American literature at The University of Tulsa. Specializing in the medical humanities, disability theory, and queer literature, he has published on the importance of disability history to understanding the life and writing of poet Walt Whitman. His book in progress explores the development of phobia as an available social and psychological diagnosis among writers ranging from Cotton Mather to Frederick Douglass. While completing his PhD, he partnered with Women’s History Curator Connie King to create an exhibit on LGBTQ history at the Library Company of Philadelphia titled “That’s So Gay: Outing Early America.” In his free time, Don James enjoys rock climbing, gardening, traveling, and playing fetch with his dog Parker. A dedicated advocate for queer interfaith representation in higher ed, Don James is honored to be joining the Little Blue House community.
United Way of Tulsa
Lexi Bollis is a Tulsa transplant, though living for six years in the 918 has her thinking she can claim to be a local. She moved to Tulsa upon joining Teach for America and taught Kindergarten and 1st Grade in Tulsa Public Schools. Now, she is the Community Engagement and Equity Specialist at Tulsa Area United Way, where she has worked for four years. Originally from St. Louis, Lexi earned her B.A. in English, Creating Writing from Kenyon College in 2017. She has since studied and earned her credentials as a Certified Diversity Professional. Her biggest accomplishment, however, is her role as cat mom to Jackie. Lexi is proud to serve on the Little Blue House Board and promote peace, justice, and equity in our community.
Amanda Chastang is a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at ONEOK in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Having a passion for equity, social justice and diversity, Amanda received a bachelor’s degree in conflict studies with a focus on race, ethnicity and culture conflict and gender conflict from DePauw University. She then continued her journey in higher education at The University of Tulsa (TU) by earning an MA in history with a concentration on the intersections of race, women and gender. During her time as a graduate student working in the Office of Diversity and Engagement, now the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Amanda became fluent in diversity-related policies and best practices by assisting in the development of the university’s Diversity Action Plan. After graduation, Amanda became TU’s Director of Multicultural Affairs, Diversity Officer and ultimately the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion before transitioning to ONEOK. Amanda continues working in an effort to revitalize and implement diverse initiatives that reflect our ever-changing environment. As a Tulsa native, Amanda is passionate about and committed to using her platform to promote inclusivity, diversity and belonging within ONEOK, Tulsa, and communities throughout the United States.
Green Country Psychology
Rebecca is a licensed psychologist and native Oklahoman. She earned her B.A. in Psychology
from Knox College and an M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education, an M.Ed. in Community
Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Rebecca
worked in college mental health for twelve years, where she served in several clinical and
leadership capacities and has been an advocate for social justice and equity within systems of
higher education. She has been actively engaged in collaborative initiatives to make university
classrooms more inclusive and to provide gender-affirming medical care for trans and gender
nonbinary students. Rebecca currently works as a clinical psychologist in Tulsa and serves as an
Adjunct Instructor in the Clinical Psychology program at The University of Tulsa, an Affiliate
Faculty for the Institution for Anti-Racism and Equity in Mental Health, and a Psychological
Consultant for IES Abroad. She is excited to serve on the Little Blue House Board and to
promote equity and justice within our local community.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains
Linda is a Tulsa native who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Southern Methodist University and her Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management at Goucher College. She has served in the Tulsa nonprofit community for nearly 20 years—with six of them being the executive director for the Little Blue House! In her spare time, Linda is a dancer with Oklahoma Movement, an avid consumer of all things true crime, and spends time with her human and animal children. Linda is a staunch activist for women’s rights, LGTBQ rights, and the environment, amongst other causes. Linda is also the reigning champion of the Little Blue Lip Sync competition. She would like for you to challenge her next year!
Tulsa County Election Board
A product of the Cold War, Bruce Niemi was born in Tulsa during the closing days of the Berlin Airlift. On May 1, 2019, Bruce was sworn in as vice chairman of the Tulsa County Election Board following a long career in education and public affairs. From 1984 to 2014 he taught history and social sciences at Tulsa Community College. He served a term in the House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma from 1990 to 1992 where he passed legislation mandating training in mental illness as part of the curriculum police certification as a peace officer. In addition to teaching, Niemi was employed as city manager of several municipalities municipalities in the Grand Lake region, and a city planner in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. In 2010 he reorganized the town government of Boynton, Oklahoma, when it was shut down by the District Attorney of Muskogee County. In the late 1990s Bruce was a member of the Board of Directors of Morton Comprehensive Health Services during which time the clinic’s board regained status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Primary Care. Previously as executive director Bruce got the Tulsa Community Action Agency back on its feet after federal regulators threatened to withdraw funding from the local anti-poverty, Head Start organization. In recent years, Niemi became associated with several community and civic organizations as a member the board of trustees for the Coalition for the American Dream Little Blue House, the Urban League of Greater Tulsa, and the United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma. He also serves as a lector at Trinity Episcopal Church. Bruce holds the B.A. degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in occupational and adult education from Oklahoma State University. He is enrolled in the education for ministry program of the School of Theology of the University of the South (Sewanee). Dr. Niemi is married to the Honorable Theresa G. Dreiling, Judge of the Tulsa County Juvenile Court, and is the father of two adult daughters, Meredith and Julie.
Amanda Swope is a Tulsa native that grew up in the public school system before receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University and a Masters of Public Administration with a focus in Public Policy from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. She is descendant of the Osage Nation and a citizen of the Muscogee Nation where she is currently employed as the Tribal Juvenile Justice Program Director. In addition to this role, Amanda serves as the youngest and first indigenous Chair ever elected of the Tulsa County Democratic Party. She has worked on numerous state and local campaigns since 2010 and brings policy and data analysis, and research experience to the board as well as management, fundraising, grant writing, and strategic planning experience for progressive nonproﬁts in the Tulsa area. Amanda is looking forward to helping drive the conversation of social justice in Tulsa through an interfaith lens with the Little Blue House.
Take Control Initiative
Tommy Yap is a self-described policy wonk and currently serves as the Legislative & Policy Analyst for Metriarch®, a think tank focused on advancing women’s public health in Oklahoma. Tommy comes from a family of public servants and has been excited about civics since childhood. He earned a B.A. in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from Cal Poly Pomona. Tommy holds the core belief that policy and civics should be understandable to everyone. He is dedicated to breaking down issues, concepts, and physical barriers to constituent and voter access, having joined the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa board in 2022. He is known for his ability to take even the muddiest policy and break it down into concise meaningful pieces for the everyday Oklahoman. His efforts have included writings, the creation of interactive graphics, video, organizing, and presentations to a wide range of groups, including the Oklahoma Legislature. He is excited to continue his statewide social justice work to the local level with the Little Blue House and TU students.