Community Voices

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Sofia Gronquist: New Year, new view!

If we were color blind we would identify each other as one race, and we wouldn't have to stereotype and make assumptions.


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.


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


Ahmed Tharwat: My 800-words torture report

The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report has brought back painful memories. Now everyone knows that our government has “tortured some folks,” as President Obama has put it when he wanted to be homey and cute. As someone who was tortured himself in an Egyptian jail, such charm is wasted on me. And contrary to what CIA director confusing knowable and unknowable thing, nothing is unknowable about Torture; The emotional and physical details remain vivid in my memory even after more than 40 years.


Legacies, leadership and the Lao literary arts

Next year, the Immigration History Research Center is partnering with the Lao American Writers Summit to host a symposium marking 40 years of Lao in the United States. Saengmany Ratsabout framed the event by noting 'Lao refugees have been resettling in the United States since 1975, following a civil war complicated by U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War."


Sofia Gronquist: Why you should tip...

Being a server means your income is based on minimum wage, and the amount of tips you earn. Serving in America is a hard job. Surviving as server means you depend on many factors for your income.


Tow cuts Christmas short for new St. Paul resident

St. Paul residents should be on alert this winter. One parking mistake can turn into a $300 fee. St. Paul resident Myriah Austin found this out the hard way.


Minnesota Department of Education and student data sharing

With frequency, education policy finds itself at the crossroads of political contention and debate. Last decade, disputes arose over the implementation of federal “No Child Left Behind” requirements. Today, “Common Core” standards have raised similar controversies.


Tom Heuerman: Relieving our pain

We do live in times of great pain and suffering—locally, nationally, and internationally.


Minnesota must continue to lead on clean energy

For the past two months I’ve been furiously working to collect comment cards from Twin Cities area youth in support of the EPA Clean Power Plan before the public comment period ends on December 1. To curb climate change, the plan calls for nationwide emissions reductions of 30 percent by 2030, and would require Minnesota to reduce its carbon emissions by more than a third in that time. Together with my fellow students from Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN), the high school program of the Will Steger Foundation, we collected 649 comment cards supporting the plan.

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