Whose country is this?

There were many disadvantages to being brought up in a restrictive part of the country in the 40’s and 50’s, even if you were white and middle class. In my mother’s New England, in the broken land and stunning autumn months and soft spring times of my childhood, I was told, in words and gestures from both teachers and parents that I had only a limited role to fill in this world. In my privileged home, oldest of five children, it was assumed that marriage would define me and that it was indeed unseemly of me to want more. I was not denied the chance to explore the world around me, to go on those long hikes I have written about or swim in dangerous water. At the same time I was expected to settle down, and to content myself raising a large family. My mother did not work. I would not work.


Interviewing skills, values help MPR reporter uncover church's secrets

Photo by Keoni Cabral published under Creative Commons License

Madeleine Baran isn't used to being in the spotlight. The Minnesota Public Radio reporter is more comfortable asking the questions and listening to others' stories.


Crossroads Panorama uses theater arts to build coping skills amongst troubled youth

Joyce Marrie

If you’re going to salvage a community, the important populace to focus on is the young. And, face it, the urban African American community is seriously imperiled, which renders a program like Crossroads Panorama — Youth Education Through the Arts ( — helmed by determinedly committed Executive Director Joyce Marrie, Ph.D., a vital resource.


Conservative Christians protest Anoka-Hennepin's planned LGBT inclusion

Photo by Mark Fowler published under Creative Commons License

Two years after the Anoka-Hennepin School District entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice after multiple suicides of LGBT students, and a lawsuit by six students alleging rampant bullying and discrimination, conservative Christian parents continue to fight the inclusion of LGBT students in the district.


Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th anniversary: A primer in leadership

The exercise of leadership is the foundation for creating social change. Freedom Summer of 1964 serves as a primer on how to lead social change movements. In 1964, over 700 students from across the nation gathered in Mississippi to take a stand for justice. Their work is evidence that leaders play a critical role in setting the moral compass of a nation. This transformative power is leveraged through the exercise of influence. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described the power of influence when he stated: “I refuse to accept the idea that man is […] unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.”


OPINION | Youth Congress commemorates Mississippi Freedom Summer

The 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer was celebrated June 25 – 29 during a convening in Jackson, Miss.


Youth, sports, and life

It is hard for me to become enamored with sports where the only scoring is penalty kicks or multiple overtimes. But watching what I have of the World Cup has been an education. A lot of people want to guide kids who might play American football into soccer, but the World Cup shows that the image of “safe sport” is an illusion. Not many kids who play American football end their season with cracked vertebrae like the leading scorer for Brazil. I’m sure our football beats the brain up worse than soccer, but the excessive use of the head for ball movement in soccer can’t be particularly good for the brain either.


An isolated existence: Autistic teens battle hidden demons

“Call me crazy, but I hear things that torture me on an unrelenting basis that never, ever, ever shut up. And they’re basically the same voices that I was surrounded by in class that were whispering about me.”


'Partnership for Early Learning' targets North Minneapolis for new center

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and University of Minnesota officials point out that additional slots for early childhood learning, especially on Minneapolis’ North Side, are needed more than ever because the number of children and families are increasing. U of M Educational Psychology Professor Scott McConnell told the MSR last week that last year, after the state legislature allocated funds for early children education and “promised to focus on high-poverty communities,” he and another faculty member looked into North Minneapolis.

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