Dena Laurent Sorenson Profile in Courage Award

This award recognizes individuals who have made personal and/or professional progress by overcoming obstacles through exceptional courage, fortitude and adherence to the high ideals which exemplify the urban management profession.


2020 Winner

Chante' Mitchell

Chante' Mitchell
(MPA 2018)

Chante' Mitchell (MPA 2018) currently serves as a Program Director for Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL). Chante' was nominated by 10 of her classmates in the fall of 2020 for the courage she displayed as a student challenging her classmates and faculty alike to broaden the lens on thinking about diversity in local government. After graduation, she went to work in Brooklyn Park, MN, a community deeply impacted by the murder of George Floyd. Chante's resolve was strengthened and she became a leader in organizing spaces for dialogue in supporting BIPOC employees. She spoke out on social media encouraging young people to get involved in local government, and organized drives for food, clothing, and hygiene products for those in need due to the pandemic and civil unrest unfolding in Minnesota.

Past Winners

2020Chante' Mitchell
2018Angela Harness Cline
2015Walter Denton
2013Rachel Hut Bremen
2010Stan Stewart
2007Carol Nalbandian
2005Kate Smith
2004Sandra Tripp Jones
2003Tansy Hayward
2001Dena Laurent Sorenson
1994Teddy C. Ryan, Jr.
1993David Davis