COMMUNITY VOICES | All voices are heard at OUTspoken’s first Queer Open Mic event.

The Fox Egg Gallery in Minneapolis was packed full of nearly a hundred queer identified individuals and allies on Wednesday, October 9th 2013. Nikolas Martell, wearing a shiny purple bandeau with matching green hotpants and black high heels, and Paul Canada with a shiny red robe and a pearl necklace walked to the stage to host the kick off to the first ever OUTspoken Queer Open Mic event. “We want this to be an inclusive space, respect that please.” Says Martell. OUTspoken was started by Martell and Canada as an idea for an inclusive art space for queer identified individuals in the Twin Cities Area “Queer artists in the Twin Cities have needed this space for a really long time.” Says Renee Schminkey, the featured artist for the night’s event. The idea began when Martell and Canada were talking about ways they could “improve the community, bring the community together and find space for new voices.” One day Canada sent Martell a text message: ‘Queer open mic?’ to which Martell simply replied ‘Yes.’ and from there OUTspoken began to form together. Continue Reading

Lao Family Community of Minnesota: A struggle in the right direction

A well known organization in the Hmong community has been undergoing a large change since March 2013, and it’s being spearheaded by a group of six young Hmong women who just recently graduated from college. Under Lao Family Community of Minnesota (LFC), the Hmong Higher Education Scholar Program (HHESP) was developed to encourage educational attainment and leadership in the Hmong community. Not only does this signal a change of direction for the organization, but a change of leadership.Lao Family Community of Minnesota (LFC) is a 30-year-old organization that was founded in 1977 to lift the Hmong refugee community, coming from Thailand and Laos, up by providing social services, educating the Hmong population on American culture, and also providing cultural activities. Today, youth make up the bulk of the Hmong population, gender norms are changing, and refugee issues are no longer ‘issues.’ But in recent years, instead of being known for its leadership or community activities, LFC has come under fire for charges of corruption, clan politics, election fraud, and struggles to maintain relevance in the Hmong community.“I guess from the beginning I didn’t know we had an option to work with Lao Family,” said Ka Lia Lor, a member of HHESP. “It’s never really been that kind of community organization where you just walk in and contribute your ideas. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Terra Cole: One Minneapolis mayoral forum was sexist to female candidates

I would first like to start off by saying how extremely blessed I was to have experienced the One Minneapolis Mayoral forum which took place this past Thursday. Over the past six months, I have had the opportunity to either be a part of the planning of or working at least four other mayoral forums this year. I will tell you without reservation that the One Minneapolis forum by far was the best attended, most diverse and posed the most thoughtful questions to the candidates. I was very pleased with the care and meaningfulness of the questions that were posed to the candidates as well as the individuals who asked them. The One Minneapolis forum was truly put on for the people and by the people. Continue Reading

Do you see what I see?

Much has been made of Rush Limbaugh’s use of the terms “slut’ and “prostitute” to degrade Ms. Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student who testified in favor of affordable contraception for all women. I too, felt outrage at his remarks. What he said next, however, reached even deeper than anger or outrage to me. He suggested that women who support Ms. Continue Reading

To Koryne Horbal . . .

and other “feminists” who say they’ll reject Barack Obama and write-in Hillary Clinton as their presidential preference:
“McCain promised that, if elected, he would follow President Bush’s model in choosing Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
“That could establish a large conservative majority on the court for years. With conservatives in full control, the court would probably overturn Roe vs. Wade and the national right to have an abortion.”*
During their campaign for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and many of her “feminist” supporters had no qualms about playing the “gender card,” the “race card,” the “assassination card” and finally the “petition card” to defile and defeat Barack Obama. Will she now allow her supporters to continue playing them, or will she truly back her party’s nominee?**
*”John McCain and Barack Obama: Two visions of the Supreme Court” www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-scotus19-2008may19,0,5298248.story
**”Feminist leader says no to Obama”www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=19416774 Continue Reading

The “assassination card”

Bill and Hillary Clinton have been widely criticized for playing the “race card” in their relentless campaign to recapture the White House. And now they’ve ignited a media firestorm by playing the “assassination card.” On Washington Week, reporter Karen Tumulty said this isn’t the first time they’ve played it; and on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, columnist Mark Shields said it was “absolutely reckless.”(1,2)
“We have seen an x-ray of a very dark soul,” wrote Michael Goodwin, a New York Daily News columnist. “One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?”(3)
Per an international Reuters report this is what she initially said:
“SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota. Continue Reading