Person

Anika Robbins

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Small business/nonprofit owner

Anika Robbins is a small business owner and nonprofit manager based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the executive director of the Anika Foundation. A left-liberal activist, she was appointed to the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights by Mayor Betsy Hodges (D) in 2018. [1]

Early Life

Born Lashawnda Anika Lee, Anika Robbins was raised and educated in Lagos, Nigeria. [2] After moving to the United States, Robbins then attended Aveda Institute Minneapolis, a local branch of a national cosmetology school. [3]

Career

In 2005, Robbins began her first small business: ANIKA International Cosmetics, which sells beauty products in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, and Lagos, Nigeria.

Shortly afterwards, she created ANIKA & Friends, a boutique production consultancy whose clients are primarily local small businesses and nonprofits. [4] Most of its projects were taken on in the early 2010’s, with its more recent work being for Robbins’ other organizations.

In 2012, in partnership with her husband, Dr. Juneau Robbins, she opened the Robbins Urban Wellness Center, an expansion of her husband’s existing chiropractic practice to include a paid business incubator service and health product store. [5]

It was out of the Robbins Urban Wellness Center in 2013 that Robbins officially created her nonprofit, the Anika Foundation. Initially, the Anika Foundation, in its “Health Equity” and “Economic Empowerment” programs, merely built off the services that the Wellness Center already offered; this helps to explain the fact that the Anika Foundation has historically never had more than $50,000 in gross receipts.

In 2016, Robbins founded the “Black Votes Matter MN” program of the Anika Foundation, which quickly became the Foundation’s most publicized activity. According to a 2018 interview with the blog Visual Collaborative and the Black Votes Matter MN website, Robbins was inspired in doing so by Black Lives Matter and President Barack Obama. [6]

Political Appointments

Because of her work with the Anika Foundation, Robbins was appointed in 2018 by then-Mayor of Minneapolis Betsy Hodges (D) to the city’s Commission on Civil Rights. A two-year term, her term will end on December 31, 2020. [7]

She was also selected in 2018 as a member of the Minnesota Complete Count Committee, a state-run committee consisting of community leaders to get state residents to complete the 2020 Census. [8]

References

  1. “Chair and Commissioners.” Chair and Commissioners – City of Minneapolis. Accessed March 3, 2020. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/commission/civil-rights_commission_commissioners. ^
  2. “LaShawnda Anika Lee Robbins .” trademarkia. Accessed March 3, 2020. https://www.trademarkia.com/correspondent-lashawnda-anika-lee-robbins-1-1063899.; “Anika Robbins.” Visual Collaborative, April 2019. https://www.visualcollaborative.com/anika_robbins/. ^
  3. “Board & Staff.” anikainternational. Accessed March 3, 2020. https://www.anikainternational.com/copy-of-our-partners. ^
  4. Maxxposure. “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Couple Launch Urban Wellness Center in North Minneapolis, Open House Series Kickoff Feb. 1st, 3pm-7pm.” themaxxposuregroup.wordpress.com, January 24, 2012. https://themaxxposuregroup.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/for-immediate-release-couple-launch-urban-wellness-center-in-north-minneapolis-open-house-series-kickoff-feb-1st-3pm-7pm/. ; “RECENT PROJECTS.” anikainternational. Accessed March 3, 2020. https://www.anikainternational.com/copy-of-services. ^
  5. Maxxposure. “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Couple Launch Urban Wellness Center in North Minneapolis, Open House Series Kickoff Feb. 1st, 3pm-7pm.” themaxxposuregroup.wordpress.com, January 24, 2012. https://themaxxposuregroup.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/for-immediate-release-couple-launch-urban-wellness-center-in-north-minneapolis-open-house-series-kickoff-feb-1st-3pm-7pm/. ^
  6. “Home: Black Votes Matter MN.” bvmminnesota. Accessed March 2, 2020. https://www.blackvotesmattermn.com/. ^
  7. “Chair and Commissioners.” Chair and Commissioners – City of Minneapolis. Accessed March 3, 2020. http://www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/commission/civil-rights_commission_commissioners. ^
  8. “Minnesota’s Statewide Complete Count Committee – Census 2020.” Minnesota’s 2020 Census, March 2, 2020. https://mn.gov/admin/2020-census/involved/ccc/statewide/. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Anika Foundation (Non-profit)
    Executive Director
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