Delegate profile: Yolanda Lehman

(An occasional introduction to some of the Minnesota delegates to the national political conventions)


Name: Yolanda D. Lehman

City: St. Cloud

Political affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Adjunct professor St. Cloud State University. Teaches a class called “Race in America.” Former pastor of Resurrection AME Zion Church in St. Cloud.

Family: Husband – Dr. Christopher Lehman, professor at St. Cloud State (ethnic studies), Daughter (7), Son (6 months)

Pledged to: Barack Obama

“I was introduced at the DNC through his amazing speech that I watched on television. I remember sitting on the floor in a hotel room watching the speech with tears running down my face and I said, “this man will certainly be the first African American president of the United States and we must do what we can to help him get elected.” (listen – mp3)

How she became a delegate: I did not know that I would become a delegate. That was a happy surprise. I got to the CD6 convention and realized I’d need to quickly fill out some paperwork and give a little speech. I gave my little speech. At first there was a large field so none of us had the votes we needed. As the field whittled, I was left as the delegate… ” (listen – mp3)

Looking forward to: The in-service day Minnesota delegates are holding on Wednesday, preparing Meals on Wheels. My hope is they will allow my daughter to stand with me and do that preparation because that’s something I want to sow seed into her — service. (listen-mp3)

Most inspiring person she’s met: My father is a Harvard MBA who has chosen not to pursue glory and wealth but publishes the St. Louis Black Pages, a combination magazine-directory that promotes African American businesses. In his free time he goes about the city doing as many good works as he can around issues of integrating people leaving prison into the community, helping entrepreneurs start up businesses, very active in the community supporting people who have need.”

Favorite book (other than the Bible): : Uprooting racism: What white people can do to work toward racial justice (Paul Kivel) (listen – mp3)

Favorite movie: Malcolm X “I have to admit I liked Denzel Washington a lot, but I also liked the movie a lot.”

Favorite music: “I listen to a lot of gospel music.”

The piece of advice she most often gives: I read this quote that says ‘all is well, all is well, all matters of things are well.’ That is the principle by which I try to live my life, with a philosophy of abundance. Everything that I will need will be provided to me as I need it. I am an eternal optimist. Most people are intrinsically good. We don’t have to sit around and be despondent…” (listen – mp3)

Getting to Denver: We are going to pack my six month old son and our seven-year-old daughter into our Honda Civic and my husband and I are going to drive through the night, praying that they stay asleep.the 14 hours to Denver. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring, especially, the seven year old into the process and see the sights and smell the smells and hear the things that are going on. She door-knocked for Kerry and she’s really passionate about politics. (listen – mp3)

  • Mac Wilson

    That photo looks ‘shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few ‘shops in my time. I don’t think that’s actually Barack Obama.

    In all seriousness, these profiles are great. Before the 2004 conventions, I assumed that all delegates were higher-ups in the party. I was interested how “average people” wound up becoming delegates — that’s what interests me the most.