Communities

Review: "Life on the Edge of the Forest: Russian Traditions in Wood" at The Museum of Russian Art

(Photo via Museum of Russian Art website)

Minnesota’s forests helped to build the state we know today, but the forests we see today are far smaller than what used to exist.  In 1858, over half of Minnesota land was covered in deep sha

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Michelle Gross: Police-community relations, body cams and the cooptation of the community agenda

(Photo by Ken Hawkins published under Creative Commons License)

These are interesting times.

For nearly 25 years, I’ve been trying to get people to pay attention to and act on the very serious issue of police brutality, 14 of those years as part of Communities United Against Police Brutality. Mostly it’s been an uphill battle. White folks largely have responded with disbelief and the idea that the victims “must have done something to deserve it.” People of color have been much more aware of the issue but often resigned to the idea that little could be done to effectively take it on.

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Review: "Winter Holidays in the Soviet Era" at The Museum of Russian Art

(Photo via Museum of Russian Art website)

I’ve always thought of December as a glittering month.  Twinkling lights appear around buildings and swirl around trees, while festive music is played and coffee drinks mixed with eggnog or pe

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Dazzling holiday lights and sights in Twin Cities (and beyond)

(Photos by Paige Elliott)

Now is the time to shine, light-seekers! Holiday sparkle is back, illuminating cold, dark winter streets with bursts of vivid color and community spirit. Below, we’ve made a list – and checked it twice – of a few choice spots to see holiday lights around the Twin Cities and beyond. Scroll down to see how you can share your photos and add light displays in your community to our list!

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Students challenge who defines U of M diversity, President declines invite to meet off-campus

(Photos by Charles Hallman)

Whose Diversity? is a diverse “collective” of University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students who came together at the beginning of the year to argue against what they call a “cosmetic” commitment to diversity at the school. After they presented a list of “diversity demands” to President Eric Kaler, the group was featured in an MSR June front page story (“Student group presents ‘diversity demands’ to U of M officials: ‘Whose Diversity?’ resists cooptation, wants more than ‘sprinkling a few faces of color in catalogues,’” June 12, 2014),

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OPINION | From a letter to lunch: Refusing the prisoner-community disconnect

(Photo by Ben published under Creative Commons License)

Driving away from Lino Lakes Correctional Facility late in the afternoon, I felt the ache of disconnect emerge. For the entire day, I and my colleagues, including organizers, professors, and legislators, were deeply connected with a group of 150 inmates at Lino Lakes.

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St. Paul honors one of its most dedicated citizens: Come spring, look for Debbie Montgomery Street

(Photo courtesy of St. Paul Councilmember Dai Thao’s office) Debbie Montgomery (front row, third from right) with attendees of the street naming ceremony.

After a long career in public life and many achievements and distinctions, St. Paul’s Debbie Montgomery recently racked up another one: having a large section of a major St. Paul street renamed in her honor.

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Bridging the generations: Hmong families come together in St. Paul

Two organizations, Hnub Tshiab (New Day) Hmong Women Achieving Together, and Koom Tes (Cooperation) hosted a two day intergenerational retreat for Hmong families in St. Paul on Oct. 11-12, 2014, at Wilder Foundation Center for Social Healing.

“I can be the role model that I’m searching for.”

That was the comment of one participant at the “Intergenerational Retreat,” a two day event that brought Hmong men and women together to discuss gender issues within the family system and in the community to learn to be more intentional about addressing intergenerational conflict.

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It's not over

On the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot, November 22, 1963, a classmate told me that she could see why I was upset, as I was a Democrat, like the president. But why should she, a Republican, feel bad? Something like that is going on now, with the Ferguson/Michael Brown grief and protests. Now, as in 1963, the voices that say “their sorrow, their problem, not mine” are wrong. We are all in this together.

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OPINION | Catholic Worker House confronts local frac sand mining

One day I sat down to write in my journal. I typed the date and then the year— 2914. I looked at the year a couple of times and thought, “That doesn’t look right.” Finally I grasped that it was 900 years from now. Nine hundred years!!! Not just the future, but THE FUTURE. Holy cow! I felt the wonder I always feel when I contemplate primordial, ancient or medieval times—The passing of time. I started wondering about my great-great-great-great, etc. grandchildren. Who would they be? How would people live? Would people pair up into couples or would they form intimate pods of threes and fours? Would there still be races? Would Minneapolis still be here? How much of North America would be under water? Would there have been a nuclear holocaust? It was a strange, mystical experience.

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