OPINION | Show up … more than once

Somewhere in the bleak midwinter of 2003, I wandered into a squat brick building in the shadow of our state Capitol. In a spare conference room in the building’s basement, I found a room decorated with familiar round signs that I’d seen in rally photos from the late ’60s forward. I noticed a skinny young woman at one end of the table slapping a nametag marked ERIN onto her Riot Grrrl T-shirt. I was in the right place: an open house for new members of Minnesota NOW (National Organization for Women).There is always a tendency to romanticize, in hindsight, those moments that set major life changes in motion. I wax nostalgic about this two-hour event in St. Continue Reading

A walk toward power

Kimberia Sherva is a smart, funny and energetic mom of two, a woman who not only picked up her own power, she grabbed it, wrestled with it when it became unruly, and absolutely refused to let it go. She is the force behind the upcoming SlutWalk Minneapolis.A brief primer on the SlutWalk movement: In January of 2011, a Toronto police officer, Michael Sanguinetti, told a group of college students that “women should avoid looking like sluts in order not to be victimized.” What began as a grassroots plan to protest the police attracted widespread attention (due in no small part to the action’s purposely confrontational name), and an estimated 1,500 people gathered on April 3, 2011 to raise awareness of sexual stereotypes and the persistence of victim-blaming in Canadian society. Since then, SlutWalks have been replicated in London, Stockholm, and Sao Paulo, with walks in the works in Mexico City, Johannesburg, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.Sherva thought our Twin Cities community needed a SlutWalk of its own, and she took on the challenge of planning it. In addition to raising her two sons, Sherva is a full-time student with a work-study job, and she’s neither an event planner nor a political activist by training. Continue Reading