Youth

Candles for Peshawar

I lit a few candles yesterday. Reading the gruesome report of the events in Peshawar had me rattled. Two days prior I was hanging little ornaments on my tree in memory of each person killed in Newtown, MA and now 148 lives were gone at the hands of the Taliban. Children and teachers were shamelessly killed.

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Princess talk

I am sick of talking about princesses. I am sick of my daughter talking about how much she loves princesses, but I’m also sick of hearing and reading about parents hating princesses. So when a review copy of The Princess Problemlanded on my desk at work, I rolled my eyes and ignored it for a while.

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VIDEO: "Dear unborn black son, don't jaywalk, don't eat sandwiches…"

(Still from video below, by Bill Sorem)

Minneapolis Southwest High School student Laye Kwamina reads his poem “Letter To My Unborn Black Child” at the Human Rights Day Rally on December 6, 2014.

His poem, laden with references to violence against blacks such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, held the crowd spellbound. In it, he contrasted the stark realities of life for blacks in America with the unending love parents have for their children.

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Mental health services for kids at new Washburn Center

(Photos by Alex Schlee) Therapy classrooms are designed to offer children a safe place where they can cope with the challenges they may be facing in the company of other children and clinicians who can help them heal.

Families of children needing mental health services now have a place a little closer to home and certainly more conducive to healing. And families who have been helped encourage those who haven’t yet, to seek help when they need it.

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Harambee: Let's pull together to dismantle the cradle-to-prison pipeline

During my recent travels to Tanzania, I had the opportunity to learn more about the education system. The most important lesson I learned was community members play a key role in the building a network of support for each student. This network plays a critical role in accelerating academic achievement and advancing personal development. While visiting classrooms in Tanzania, I met aspiring doctors, lawyers, engineers and even a young woman who stated confidently, “I will be president of Tanzania.” Throughout our visit, I witnessed firsthand community members working together to help children learn, thrive and grow. I also watched as the adage that it takes a village to raise a child came alive. One example is the notion of “harambee” which means “let’s pull together.”

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Gender-open housing moves forward at University of Minnesota

(Photo by jonsson published under Creative Commons License)

The University of Minnesota is making progress on a gender-based housing initiative it announced about a year ago.

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Homeless students invisible on campus

(Photo by Joey Coleman published under Creative Commons License)

After a full day of studying or working, Adrian Martinez leaves school at about 5 p.m. each night to secure a space at a local homeless shelter.

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Same-sex conversion therapy: What is it? Where is the movement to ban it in Minnesota?

The movement to ban same-sex conversion therapy in Minnesota picked up the support of GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and other key GLBT organizations.

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Promise Zone could invigorate north Minneapolis, some question its efficacy

(Photo by Ron Reiring published under Creative Commons License)

Lesa Clarkson started connecting Minneapolis’ middle and high school students with University of Minnesota undergraduate tutors last year.

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