A CCSRE Advisory Board member since 2018, Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, of Cherokee ancestry, will lead the Advisory Board as Chair, assuming the new role for a three-year term as the Center approaches its 25th Anniversary.
"The 25th Anniversary is a great time to reflect on the past accomplishments as well as look ahead to what is possible," Red-Horse Mohl said.
She continued, "The work of CCSRE is foundational to Stanford and should be woven into the fabric of the entire institution. I see such amazing passion and accomplishments from the students themselves—the Who’s Teaching Us Campaign, as an example—and yet sometimes I mention CCSRE and I am met with a quizzical expression. I want to change that – I’d like to see a rebranding with a strong tag line and identity based on our mission statement that everyone knows."
Speaking on structural changes currently being discussed, Red-Horse Mohl stated, "I am excited for both the Advisory Board and Staff to really push forward on an ambitious development plan, as I believe that is essential for our growth, influence and longevity. I also think cultivating even more partners and fostering mutually beneficial relationships will be key as the Center grows."
Having earned her degree in film from UCLA, Red-Horse Mohl experienced a great deal of frustration in the industry, particularly in terms of Native American representation. “The studios would never hire me or I would have to work with materials that reinforced stereotypes,” she explained. After one audition, she recalled a white male director whom told her, “You sound too educated to play a Native American woman.”
These experiences led Red-Horse Mohl to begin her own film production company in 1994, Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc. “[The stereotypes] made me angry and I realized there was a gap in dignified storytelling from Native American life – and that we had to create the production company, write the scripts, direct the films, and educate people ourselves,” she asserted.
Soon after, she established the Red-Horse Financial Group, Inc., an advisory firm focused on tribal finance and economic development for American Indian tribal nations. Today, Valerie Red-Horse Mohl continues to lead in community sustainability and racial justice more broadly as the Executive Director of Social Venture Circle, a non-profit membership network that supports and empowers socially conscious businesses.
"Val, who directed and produced a film about Cherokee activist Wilma Mankiller, praised Mankiller’s leadership style as one that fostered consensus building and organizing community with quiet influence and humility. These are skills that Val has as well and I am so thrilled that she will be leading our Board," Director Jennifer DeVere Brody said.
This Spring, Red-Horse Mohl will teach the CCSRE course Entrepreneurialism for Racial Equity and Social Impact. The youngest of her three children, Chelsea Red-Horse Mohl (’20), plays for the Cardinals Beach Volleyball team.
Red-Horse Mohl succeeds Loren Kieve as Chair. "We are so grateful to Loren Kieve for his outstanding service as Board Chair for the past three years and are pleased that he will continue as a member of the Advisory Board. His contributions to CCSRE, which include endowing the Anne & Loren Kieve Distinguished Lecture, have been and will remain crucial to our efforts," DeVere Brody stated.