Our veterans, our stories: Veterans Voices Month

Minnesota has led the way on many issues, one of the most recent being the designation of October as Veterans’ Voices Month to honor those who served in the military.


Power and privilege... to patronize? Part 2

Power misappropriated becomes patronizing by telling others what they should do without accounting for their needs and wishes. To patronize is to treat others as children, needing to be cared for and unable to make good decisions. However, unlike my friend Manuel, (SEE PREVIOUS POST) many who have less social power (race, class and education) will often not speak up to defend their desires. Often because of internalized racism, lack of confidence, or a fear of losing a resource they need, people will “accept” what they are being told by the person in “power”.


Connecting health, equity and transportation

The increase in the minimum wage is the biggest public health legislation passed in the last legislative session, according to Minnesota health commissioner, Dr. Ed Ehlinger. Moving from lowest twenty percent income level to the second-lowest twenty percent income increases life expectancy by three years. Public health is also closely tied to transportation, said Ehlinger in his keynote address to the October 25 St. Paul Healthy Transportation for All forum. His insights offer a lot of food for thought.


Cedar-Riverside residents voice concern with area homelessness

(Photo by August Schwerdfeger published under Creative Commons License)

At a Cedar-Riverside neighborhood meeting earlier this month, a Somali elder stood and addressed attendees, painting an image of a recent frightening encounter with what he believed was a gang of drunken, homeless individuals.


Power and privilege: To empower, patronize, or pimp? Part 1

It was the first real big job he had as a contractor…

Manuel had been working as a handyman getting paid by the hour, but this was a contract; one price for labor and all materials, a contract, a step towards independence in the world of construction. No longer just a laborer but now a self employed contractor. I hadn’t processed all of the above at the time, but my friend had, and our difference in perspective is where our conflict began.


Community health overview: Vietnamese Americans

According to the 2010 U.S. Census the eight largest Asian American populations in Minnesota are the Hmong, Asian Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, Laotian, and Cambodian communities. Specifically, 27 percent of the total population identify themselves as Hmong, 15.5 percent are Asian Indian, 11.7 percent are Chinese, 11.1 percent are Vietnamese, 4.9 percent are Laotians, and 3.9 percent are Cambodians (See Figure 2).[i]


Libraries transform to meet the needs of community – to promote community

I was watching the following video with my 10 year old. “What are you watching?” she asked, “The future of libraries.” “Oh did they get more books?” Aargh!


OPINION | Building equity in Dayton's Bluff and beyond

Until recently, many Twin Cities residents were oblivious to the fact that our metro region ranks among the worst in the country when it comes to racial disparities in employment, education, housing and incarceration. These disparities are particularly bad between whites and African Americans, and whites and Native Americans. But disparities have become a common theme in politics in the Twin Cities. Politicians are constantly talking about eliminating disparities and closing gaps.


Confessions of an unaffiliated Jew

In the 14 years that I’ve lived in Minnesota, our family has been invited to exactly five Jewish holiday celebrations, and three of them were within the last month.

I think this “statistic” speaks to one big reason why our family is still unaffiliated.


Creeps, crawls, candy and more: Halloween highlights in the Twin Cities

(Photo by Henry Hendricks)

Halloween is lurking around the corner, promising another year of spooky good times and monstrous spending. The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual consumer spending survey projects Halloween spending could reach total sales of $7.4 billion this year, up from $6.9 billion last year.

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