Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis: Women's retreat

I’ve been working on documenting the nuns at the Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis, a project I hope to continue for some time. I’ve known them for something like 18 years, so it’s been fun to photograph them and their lives. They live in two houses in North Minneapolis, praying for their neighbors and the world, offering hospitality and love to the people who come to their door. These photos are from the arts and crafts portion of their annual women’s retreat for neighbors and friends, held at Ascension Church.


A great tree fell: Reflections on Maya Angelou's passing

It seems only fitting that I spent some of yesterday saying good-bye to a phenomenal woman, Maya Angelou, as she sang her last song on earth before flying freely into other worlds while I am in the heat of trying to raise my own phenomenal woman. My girl and I are facing some hard times, some sort of predictable challenges that come with being a young woman but with a bent that is worrisome to me.


Minneapolis declares June "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month"

The Minneapolis City Council approved a resolution on Friday [May 23, 2014] declaring June to be “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month” in the city of Minneapolis.


COMMUNITY VOICES | Small town Gay Pride celebrates decade of change

The entrance to Voyageur Park on pride day.

Sunday, June 1, Voyageur Park in Pine City, Minn.


Christian group wants to rent Gay 90s, infiltrate Twin Cities Pride, and convert gays

An evangelical group has spent 5 years planning an infiltration of Twin Cities Pride to “save” LGBT people from “the lifestyle.” Their mission includes a plan to set up safe houses to help LGBT people become “ex-gay” and convert to Christianity.


Shining stars: Stargirl Initiative aims to help young girls feel empowered

Being a teenager sucks. Being a teenage girl sucks more.


Legislature invests in health equity

While Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the nation, our state also has some of the worst disparities in terms of health outcomes between white residents and people of color. This February, Minnesota’s Department of Health (MDH) released Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota, which documents just how severe these disparities are and makes recommendations for how Minnesota can make sure all Minnesotans have the opportunity to live healthy lives, regardless of factors including race, income or sexual orientation.


Reflections of New Minnesotans: Queer identity, immigrants and communities of color

In this episode, Qais Munhazim joins host Julia Nekessa Opoti to discuss his own experiences as a gay, Muslim immigrant, as well as general issues of queer identity in Twin Cities communities of color. [Audio below]

Close harmony: The singing Steele sisters reflect on love, family and music

If you know Minnesota music, you know the Steele Family. Two sisters - Jearlyn and Jevetta - and three brothers - JD, Fred and Billy. Raised in a gospel singing family in Indiana, they migrated one by one to the Twin Cities. (A third sister, Janice, lives in California.)


Minnesota rallies in support of abducted Nigerian girls

A protester at a May 10, 2014 rally at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota carries a sign condemning the enslavement of Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram. (Photo: Senah Yeboah-Sampong/Mshale)

A May 10 rally condemning the abduction of more than 200 students from a school in Chibok, Nigeria brought members of the state’s Nigerian population and the broader African Diaspora together in St. Paul. Held in the State Capitol rotunda, speakers at the rally voiced concern for the victims, questions about the Nigerian government’s level of accountability, and the potential role the United States could play in securing their return.

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