Korina Barry is a licensed social worker, educator, activist, and community organizer. She is a lifelong Minnesota resident. Living between the houses of many relatives, she has called many of our South Minneapolis neighborhoods home. Korina’s life experiences growing up with two parents struggling with addiction and incarceration presented many challenges, yet ultimately led to her long-lasting commitment to supporting children and families.
Korina has advocated for children and families for over 15 years in nonprofit, county, and university settings. Korina is currently the Director of Outreach at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW). Korina develops and maintains the Center’s collaborative relationships including, University, county, tribal, state, and community stakeholders. Korina works closely with faculty on digesting research and developing training products and publications for child welfare professionals. Korina manages the Center’s conferences and coordinates the Center’s public policy efforts.
Korina previously worked for Hennepin County, where she supported American Indian children and families involved with child protection, under the Indian Child Welfare Act. Korina co-developed and managed a program at the Division of Indian Work that supported American Indian youth who were placed in foster care, many of whom were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Through this work, she supported youth with their everyday living needs, as well as helped connect them to their community and culture.
Korina is active in the community, supporting various agencies and initiatives. Korina is a co-founder and previously organized for KWESTRONG Indigenous Women’s Wellness for the last six years. This grassroots movement is committed to empowering Indigenous women and their families through health and wellness activities. Korina believes that health and wellness are important for all people, and initiatives like KWESTRONG help make this happen.
Korina has seen and felt directly how policy and government can harm low-income families, families of color, and Indigenous communities. She understands that there is rich culture, tradition, and values within our communities. Korina believes in community-driven solutions around how we lift up and best support our most underrepresented groups. Korina is dedicated to bringing those voices to the center.
Korina is a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology and American Indian Studies with an emphasis in Ojibwe language, as well as a Master of Social Work degree with a focus in Child Welfare.
Director of Outreach, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare
Community Faculty, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
Roy Wilkins Community Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Senior Social Worker, Indian Child Welfare, Hennepin County
Youth Worker, Healthy Transitions – Homelessness Prevention, Division of Indian Work
Research Assistant, Indigenous Peoples Task Force
Family Court Enhancement Project (FCEP) Subcommittee 4, Member
State Guardian Ad Litem Board, Vice Chair
Division of Indian Work, Board of Directors
KWESTRONG Indigenous Women’s Wellness, Co-Founder and Organizer
Social Work Equity Workgroup, Children’s Hospital, Member
American Indian Community Liaison Advisory Board, Children’s Hospital, Member
Women of Nations, Board of Directors, Chair
Boys and Girls Club, Youth Mentor
Twin Cities Alumnae Association, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Co-Founder and Member
Master of Social Work, Child Welfare focus, University of Minnesota
Bachelor of Arts, Child Psychology, American Indian Studies with Ojibwe Language emphasis