Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Best Minnesota Rising Posts of 2010!

From hosting the inaugural Minnesota Rising Un/Conference to engaging 17+ Network Partners to connecting with emerging leaders across the state, it's been a banner year for Minnesota Rising!

Thanks again to all you readers for your support and engagement this year! For your reading pleasure, may I present the Top 10 Minnesota Rising Blog Posts from 2010:

1. Community: Here, There, Everywhere A post about finding community in any and every place.

2. Power and Possibilities: Balancing All Of Our Selves A summary of some nuggets of knowledge from the third annual Power and Possibilities Leadership Conference at St. Catherine University.

3. Scholarships: The charitable donation loans? When we give because we are grateful for scholarships that supported our attendance at educational institutions or professional development programs, instead of calling it paying it back, should we refer to it as paying it forward?

4. Beloved Beads Jewelry by Molly Doran Molly and her jewelry are awesome. So is the fact that all the proceeds benefit great organizations doing great work in the community. Yeah, I know. I just said she was awesome.

5. Will you run? Amber Collett for SWCD2 Amber is great example of a young person who ran for office based on her values and desire to make a difference. Rather than admire her from afar, perhaps you would likewise use the political system to make manifest the world you wish to see?

6. Reportback: "Trailblazers: Charting a Course for the Future!" The Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Conference came back better than ever in 2010! Check out highlights and insights from those leading today and those readying to do so for Minnesota's future.

7. Community means strength that joins our strength Who doesn't love an awesome poem?

8. @MinnesotaRising Meets: Brian Bell This second interview in a short-lived vlog series highlights an engaged and thoughtful emerging leader. And a friend of mine. Check it out. Brian's a cool kid with an interesting story.

9. Positive Posters: Be The Change You Want To See Positive Posters is an international poster design competition that gives graphic design students/professionals, illustrators and other creatives the opportunity to visually communicate socially positive messages to the world.

10. Minnesota Rising Initial Conversation Reportback and Next Steps! One year after this blog was born and many, many years after I first considered the power of building networks early on in hopes of more effectively tackling our generation's most pressing challenges, I expressed an overwhelming sense that the time was right to come together and move forward in this blog post. This, of course, is my favorite post of 2010!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Glossary, courtesy of the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative

I often use terminology in discussing civic engagement and public work that I worry can be considered jargon. To attempt to remedy this issue and support my future blog posts, I'm sharing a brief, but useful guide from the September/October 2009 Minnesota Journal published by the Citizens League. Find out more about the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative, to which the League belongs, and their work behind these words.

Active citizen • An obligated, governing member who contributes to the common good.

Civic infrastructure • The interrelated economic, physical, political, and social structures, processes, and practices that support and drive a democracy.

Civic capacity • The ability to contribute to the good of the whole within the tensions between democratic ideals and the real social, economic, and environmental situation. Civic capacity is developed through practice in everyday institutions using the skills of public deliberation, public problem solving, and public policymaking.

Civic leader • A leader with an intentional agenda to increase the civic capacity of self, the institution, and the whole with attention to the economic, ethical, and civic consequences of his
or her actions.

Civic organizing • The political work of developing public relationships among individuals and across institutions in order to establish a base of citizen leaders with the power to create the
common good and justice.

Common good • Found in the tension between what is good for the parts and what is good for the whole. Understood by engaging people with diverse interests and negotiating to find agreement based on shared civic values, that is mutually acceptable.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seeking Volunteers: Headwaters Foundation Social Justice Scavenger Hunt

Trista Harris is a nonprofit rock star and here's more reason why - the organization she heads is planning a Social Justice Scavenger Hunt. If there are two things in the world that excite me, they are exactly those. Are your feelings mutual? Get in on the fun by joining the call for volunteers. And be a nonprofit (or other) rock star, too!

The Headwaters Foundation for Justice is looking for volunteers to help plan our first annual Social Justice Scavenger Hunt! This fun and hands-on event will engage a diverse group of Young Professionals and the broader community around social justice and introduce them to Headwaters and some of our fabulous grantees. Creative minds are wanted to help us plan a multi-media outreach extravaganza!

Join us for our first planning meeting:
Wednesday, January 12
4:30 – 6:00pm
Headwaters Foundation for Justice
2801 21st Ave S Ste 132-B
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407
Questions? Contact Ady at 612-879-0602, ext. 16.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Marcel the Shell (with shoes on)

Marcel the Shell has gone viral of late, but that doesn't make him any less delightful or adorable. Consider this video a holiday treat, and don't forget that sharing is caring. Enjoy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays, dear readers! It's a pleasure to have your company here at Minnesota Rising as we go about ruminating on the great people, good work, and inspiring hope we have for the future of Minnesota! In the spirit of the holiday, I want to send a note of gratitude to all of you for keeping up with and reading the blog, an acknowledgement that you are part of the powerful community of changemakers in our state, and some wishes that we will have more of a chance to work together in the new year to come. Thank you and happy holidays!

Diane Tran

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Congratulations 2011 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows!

It was a challenging process to narrow down the final cohort for this year from the broad range of talented and passionate applicants, but we are thrilled with the selection and anticipate a banner year for the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows program. The League of Women Voters Minnesota recently announced the 2011 Fellows on their blog, some of whom are Minnesota Rising readers. Congratulations and good luck to this year's cohort!

LWV Minnesota is pleased to announce the 2011 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows. We welcome 2011 Fellows and are excited to start the new year of women’s leadership development.
  • Jordyn Arndt, St. Catherine University
  • Lindsay Bacher, Minnesota Reading Corps
  • Ashley Bailey, University of St. Thomas
  • Kate Bailey, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Ashley Dean, University of St. Thomas Graduate School
  • Abbie Dille, Southeast Technical, Minnesota State Colleges
  • Anne Dutton, St. Olaf College
  • Erin Hagen, University of St. Thomas
  • Jessica Hennesy, Hamline University
  • Kristi Kehrwald, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Jestina Koenigsmark, Hamline University
  • Breana Lucius, St. Thomas University
  • Nikki Weisenburger, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The LOTT Fellows Program is designed to develop young women's leadership potentially to lead professionally, personally, and in their communities.

The program consists of:
  • Intensive seminars
  • One-on-One Mentoring
  • Networking with today's promising young women
  • Networking with today's women leaders
Over the course of 5 months, Fellows and Mentors embark on an exciting journey of partnership, reflection, coaching, and inspiration. Activities include interactive discussions, a variety of guest speakers, and one-on-one mentoring.

Interested in becoming a LOTT Fellow? Applications for the 2012 program will be available in Spring 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Accepting Applications: 2011-2012 White House Fellows

My former colleague, Adam Taylor, served as a White House Fellow in 2009-2010. Established by Lyndon B. Johnson to expose talented young professionals to government administration, I anticipate that I will know at least a handful of Fellows during my lifetime. Perhaps you will be one of them? Learn more about the program below or on their YouTube Channel. Whether the time is now or next year, it's always in fashion, and a worthwhile endeavor, to be in service to the public.

Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program is one of America's most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government.

Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.

Selection as a White House Fellow is based on a combination of the following criteria:
  • A record of remarkable professional achievement early in one's career.
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service.
  • The skills to succeed at the highest levels of the Federal government, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.
  • All these qualities combined with the strength of one's character, a positive attitude, and the ability to work well with others are taken into consideration when selecting a class of White House Fellows.
The selection process is very competitive. There can be as many as 1,000 applicants for the eleven to nineteen fellowships. The White House Fellows Program office processes the applications and former Fellows screen the applications to identify the most promising candidates. Approximately 100 of the most qualified applicants are selected to be interviewed by eight to ten regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Based on the results of their interviews, the regional panels select approximately thirty candidates to proceed as national finalists.

All national finalists are required to undergo comprehensive background investigations to ensure that they qualify for the security clearance necessary for their fellowship work assignments. Every year, the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, which is composed of approximately thirty outstanding citizens who represent a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions, selects a class of White House Fellows. Members of the Commission are appointed by the President; some have served through several administrations and some are former Fellows. During selection weekend, the President's Commission on White House Fellowships interviews finalists at a location near Washington, D.C. After spending selection weekend interviewing, interacting with, and observing the national finalists, the Commission recommends those individuals it finds most qualified for the fellowship to the President for appointment as White House Fellows.

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel.
  • Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education and be working in their chosen professions.
  • There are no formal age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Americans the experience of government service early in their careers.
  • The Commission awards Fellowships on a strict non-partisan basis, and encourages balance and diversity in all aspects of the program.
The online application will be available on December 1, 2010 and must be submitted with supporting documents by January 14, 2011 at 5:59pm (EST).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Small Staff NEW YEARS Bowling Party!

Are you a member of a small staff? Is your office a bit too tiny for its own holiday blowout? Here's your chance to join up with other small groups of good folks doing great work. This time, though, the objective is fun and festivities! See below for the holiday event invitation and details from Bill Breon at Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF).
Small staff events are a time for the collective small staffs to unite in conversation and fun. Since Nov and Dec are packed with awesome events, our former HOLIDAY PARTY is now a NEW YEARS BOWLING PARTY!

PLEASE share this party with your friends!

Who: Small staffs of 10 or fewer (+ volunteers, etc).
What: Bowling, food, and beverages.
When: 5pm - 8pm, Jan 7th 2011 (Friday).
Where: MEMORY LANES - 2520 26th Ave S, Minneapolis 55406. (612) 721-6211,

Whether you are swinging by or fielding a team, please RSVP if able by visiting: If you have any questions, please contact Bill at STLF.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beloved Beads Jewelry by Molly Doran

Molly Doran, amongst several other fabulous things, is a self-described, "Philanthropic Entrepreneur." The money she receives in exchange for her fantastic Beloved Beads creations goes to the many causes (Children's Grief Connection, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities Young Professionals Group, to name a few) that she supports with her time and contributions in the community. The iPhoto of the clear bead ring she designed me as a gift below does not do the beauty and intricacy of her artistry justice, but for a closer view, connect with Molly to order your own custom item and support nonprofits in the greater Midwest. It's a win-win, especially in the midst of a gift-giving season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Accepting Applications: Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize

Mixing social justice, innovation, and young energy, Grinnell College is launching a new awards program to honor extraordinary leadership and creativity in pursuit of positive social impact. Like to be on the leading edge? Maybe this awards program is for you. And maybe you should be among the first to win it!
The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize is a new annual awards program to honor individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Up to three individuals will be honored annually. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice, for a total of up to $300,000 in prize awards each year. The deadline for 2011 nominations is Feb. 1. The first prize recipients will be announced in May 2011.

Prize Criteria

Up to three $100,000 prizes will be presented annually to individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Half of the monetary prize will be given to the recipient, and half will be contributed to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice. Nominees may be nationals of any country and the program encourages a global and diverse pool of candidates.

The record of the individual’s achievement to date will be key to the selection committee’s appraisal; promise for ongoing advancement of his/her work will also be considered. In keeping with the history of Grinnell College, recipients will be individuals who have advanced social issues in ways that embody the values of a liberal arts education and collaborative leadership. Areas of accomplishment may include, but are certainly not limited to: Science, Medicine, the Environment, Humanities, Business, Economics, Education, Law, Public Policy, Social Services, Religion, Ethics, and projects which cross these boundaries. The program will make a special effort to seek nominations of individuals who work in areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business.

Nominees should meet the following criteria:
  • Prize winners will not yet have turned 40 by January 1, 2011
  • Prize winners will have an exceptional record of substantive, innovative contributions within their chosen field that have enabled them to become a force for social justice.
  • Through their actions, prize winners will embody the Grinnell College ideal of using their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.
  • Prize winners will reflect the diversity of the Grinnell community and the world in which we live. Prize winners may come from any country. No affiliation to Grinnell College is required.
  • Prize winners will have demonstrated the essence of Grinnell College’s broad liberal arts education through critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and free inquiry.
  • Prize winners must be nominated by a third party.
  • Prize winners and organizations must be verified and validated by Grinnell College.
  • Prize winners must participate in an on-campus symposium and awards ceremony.
Nominations must be received via the entry form no later than Feb. 1, 2011.
Winners will be announced in May, 2011.

Prize & Nomination Process

Note: The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize winners must be nominated by a third party.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 Un/Conference (photos in lieu of a thousand words)

Minnesota Rising Un/Conference attendees have beautiful minds and faces. See for yourself in some of the select images below from the November 13 Un/Conference and tag yourself and friends in the Facebook album!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Minnesota Rising 2010 Un/Conference Network Partners

Minnesota Rising is proud to be part of the network of emerging leaders in Minnesota and acknowledges that often the best work comes from efforts conducted in community. As such, we would like to recognize the promotional and programming support of our Minnesota Rising 2010 Un/Conference Network Partners, highlighted below. Thank you to these and other emerging leader groups, which are helping to cultivate and deepen the civic capacity in our communities!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities Young Professionals
Launched in 2010, the Young Professionals Group was created to expand awareness for the agency's programs, recruit volunteer mentors and raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Citizens League Emerging Leaders
Representing the Citizens League's fresh, forward-thinking approach to expand and engage its young adult membership, the Emerging Leaders Committee formed in 2008 to create events and opportunities for younger generations.

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Minnesota Chapter (EPIP)
The Minnesota Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy are professionals at foundations, government and corporate grantmaking entities, and philanthropy support organizations (such as regional associations of grantmakers, affinity groups, and financial advisory firms).

Engine provides a revolutionary way for talented professionals and nonprofits to work together. Our model enhances the capacity of nonprofits while professionals develop their skills, network and civic engagement.

Fourth Generation
The Fourth Generation Fund came about as an evolution of the long standing partnership between The Minneapolis Foundation and Community Capital Alliance. Community Capital Alliance historically operated as a giving circle for young professionals, and we’re using that model for the Fourth Generation Fund.

Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT)
The LOTT Fellows Program inspires college-aged and emerging professional women to envision themselves as future leaders. The program is designed to develop young women's potential to lead professionally, personally, and in their communities.

Minneapolis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP)
The Minneapolis Urban League Young Professionals are a chapter of the National Urban League Young Professionals, which is a network of young professionals across the country who provide leadership development, economic empowerment and community volunteer opportunities for other young professionals.

Minnesota Jaycees
As a civic organization for young people, the Minnesota Jaycees are developing the next generation of leaders by providing opportunities to stand up and take initiative in their community.

National Association of Asian American Professionals - Minnesota (NAAAP-MN)
The National Association of Asian American Professionals - Minnesota Chapter (NAAAP-MN) is a non-profit, professional organization that promotes the career advancement and leadership development of Asian American professionals in all fields through networking, respecting Asian multiculturalism and supporting diversity, and community service.

Propel is an organization of young professionals dedicated to furthering the mission of Jeremiah Program through engagement in volunteer opportunities, social activities and fundraising efforts.

Students Today Leaders Forever
"Promoting initiative and living with passion...believing one student can make a difference."

Twin Cities Rotaract
Developing high energy, young professionals who strive to make a difference in our community and beyond, in the spirit of growth, optimism and fun.

Torch Community
Our goal is to connect young professionals with communities that matter to us. These types of communities are focused on career development, diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, and the arts.

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Twin Cities (YNPN-TC)
The Twin Cities chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is a community of nonprofit staff, volunteers, supporters, and allies: current and future leaders who want to connect with others in the social sector.

Young Professional Communicators of the Twin Cities (YPCTC)
Young Professional Communicators - Twin Cities is dedicated to connecting those starting out in the fields of advertising, journalism, marketing, and public relations.

Young Professionals of the Twin Cities
Young Professionals of Twin Cities was established in 2007 to provide a place where young professionals can connect with other young professionals.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CANCELED: Minnesota Rising Strategy Session 11 December 2010

Good morning, folks! By now, I'm sure most of you have seen that the upper Midwest, and thus the Twin Cities, are expecting to see quite a bit of snowfall, cold temperatures, and windy conditions during this weekend's Winter Storm. Which of course, like the weather we saw during the Un/Conference, poses a challenge to our Minnesota Rising event.

Well, it appears there is fluffy white stuff all around us and that near-whiteout conditions are possible later today. Since every other place I know has canceled their activities and festivities, let's also go the way of the smart Minnesotans and reschedule today's meeting for Saturday, January 15 from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Watch for more details soon, but in the meantime, hope you have fun building snow forts and making snow angels!

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Accepting Applications: Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program

In these difficult economic times, hunger has become more rampant for many in our communities, and for those who have known it regularly as normal life, even their experiences are gaining heightened media exposure as hunger begins to more deeply affect those in the mainstream. Making strides on this issue, which affects billions across the globe daily, is an ageless challenge. Fortunately, there are initiatives and opportunities devoted to this effort, including the work of the Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) and their Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellowship and the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program. The CHC is seeking applicants for both programs now, though you can find more details on the Emerson Fellows program below. The CHC seeks Emerson Fellow applications by January 18, 2011, from those who reflect the Center's values of leadership, diversity, and commitment to social justice.

The Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) is excited to offer a unique opportunity to be actively involved in the movement to end hunger and poverty. CHC is a bi-partisan organization committed to making access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food a national priority. Every year, we look for promising young leaders who care about addressing the problems of hunger and poverty in communities across the nation. Our national initiative, the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, trains, inspires and sustains a tight-knit community of emerging leaders committed to social justice. The program provides Fellows with an opportunity to gain practical experience fighting hunger and poverty, work with community-based and national leaders, deepen their analysis around poverty and develop leadership skills. Each year, twenty Emerson National Hunger Fellows help shape and implement local social justice programs all over the U.S. and then research and support national policy initiatives in Washington, DC.

Participants are selected for this eleven-month program based on the criteria below. Fellows are placed for five months with urban and rural community organizations involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grassroots organizing groups, food banks, local advocacy groups, economic development agencies, and faith-based organizations. They then move to Washington, D.C. to complete the year with five months of work at advocacy and public policy organizations involved in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work at the national level. This unique program allows Fellows to bridge community grassroots efforts and national public policy. Applications are encouraged from candidates reflecting diverse educational, cultural, personal and experiential backgrounds.

A living allowance of $14,500, health insurance, housing in the field, a housing stipend in D.C., travel expenses,professional development training opportunities, and a $3,500 end of service award are included.

The application deadline for the 2011 – 2012 program is January 18, 2011.

Selection Criteria

  • Commitment to social justice
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Commitment to anti-racism
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Flexibility and ability to adjust to new situations
  • Creativity and initiative in problem solving
  • Willingness to learn from experts in the field, and commitment to the search for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work

Semifinalist selection will be complete by mid-February; interviews will be scheduled in Washington, D.C. in March; and final selection decisions will be made in April. Hunger Fellows arrive in D.C. for Orientation and Field Training in late August 2011.

For more information about the Program and for details on the application process, please visit our website: If you have questions, please email or call (202) 547-7022 ext. 29.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

[Minnesota Rising] December 2010 Update

Minnesota Rising 2010 Un/Conference Recap
Thanks to all of you who attended the Minnesota Rising 2010 Un/Conference! Nearly 70 of you made your way to CoCo, fighting the snow, traffic, and Saturday morning sleepiness (and some of you from Rochester, no less) to attend an amazing and historic event with your fellow emerging leaders! The day's discussions were engaging, the participants were thoughtful, clever, and fun, and the outcome clear: we're committed to working together, now and for the years to come, to make our mark on Minnesota! If you haven't filled out the event evaluation, please do so by Friday, December 10, 2010, so we can pass remarks on to presenters and share ideas at Saturday's strategy session!

11 December 2010 Minnesota Rising Strategy Session

Please RSVP for this weekend's brainstorming and strategy session to minnesotarising[at] We hope to see you and your great ideas there!

Saturday, December 11, 2010
10:30AM - 12:30PM
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 55401
Room N-402
, B.C. Gamble and P.W. Skogmo Conference Room

Network Announcements

  • The grassroots solutions 2nd Annual “Organizer of the Year” Contest Is Now Open! | Due by December 10

    Do you know a young up-and-comer who has inspired you with their grassroots organizing? Would you like to see their face beaming up at you from the front of the grassroots solutions 2011 holiday card? Then “like” us on Facebook and post your nomination for the grassroots solutions “Organizer of the Year" on our wall today. Please include the organizer's name, the campaign or organization they worked or volunteered for, and why you think they deserve to win. Nominations close on December 10, so post your nominations now! The top three nominations will be put to a vote on Facebook December 13 – 20, and the winner will be notified on December 21.

  • Join the Young Nonprofit Professionals of the Twin Cities Board! | Applications due by December 10
    YNPN-TC strives to provide and promote opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals. So here is one huge opportunity to develop leadership skills and build and greatly expand your network: YNPN-TC is now accepting applications for new board members! Our board of directors is a working, all-volunteer board. As a part of the board, you will be expected to attend monthly board and committee meetings, participate in online decision-making and discussion, and go to YNPN-TC events. For more details on expected duties and time commitments, read the full job description. To apply, please complete the application AND send your resume to no later than December 10. We welcome a diverse applicant pool.
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals (MN) Mingler Event | 15 December 2010 from 6:00-8:00PM
    NAAAP-MN Minglers are the perfect, no pressure way to network. Meet other Asian American professionals and enhance your business connections. We encourage you to bring your friends, colleagues and business cards. LOCATION: Target Lounge at the Guthrie Theater [Level Four], 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis. The Target Lounge is a perfect place to grab drinks after work. This elegant venue offers signature cocktails, extraordinary views, and live music on certain nights. *Guests cover their own food/beverage costs at the Guthrie Theater. For details, visit
  • MinnPost's YPN is currently forming two volunteer committees and we need your participation!
    We want to utilize your wide-ranging skills and expertise to make YPN a fun, informative, and helpful resource for young professionals across Minnesota. Participating in a YPN committee will insure your great ideas and innovations get heard and allow you to shape YPN going forward. Committee meetings will be held no more than once a month, at the MinnPost offices in Minneapolis.The first committee meetings will take place in mid-January. If you are interested in joining one of the YPN committees, please email before Monday, Dec. 20, 2010.
    • The Event Committee will help with planning and securing sponsorship for special events such as happy hours, trivia nights, bowling nights, group leader get-togethers, and full-scale all-member parties.
    • The Aquisitions Committee will primarily help curate and develop content for the YPN page. This group will also help in the development and implementation of marketing strategies to spread the word about YPN and increase member and community involvement.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Be a Youth Venture "Arts to Venture" Advisor!

Youth Venture envisions a world where everyone is a changemaker and where that changemaking starts young! Do you support that vision, too? Make your vision a reality - you can serve as an "Arts to Venture" Advisor and support young, artistic entrepreneurs with engaging their creative talents for designing a better world. Details below, and don't forget to check out the Ashoka Twin Cities Solutions Forum tonight!
Arts to Venture Advisor

Youth Venture is proud to be working in partnership with Intermedia Arts to present our Arts to Venture program! But, we need your to support Minnesota’s young artistic entrepreneurs in making their ideas a reality. Please consider serving as an Art to Venture Advisor during our inaugural year.

Arts to Venture will guide four teams of students through a process of designing and launching an arts venture, providing guidance, seed funding of up to $1,000, how-to’s, and a process for making their idea a reality. Selected teams attend workshops that will help polish arts venture plans and build the skills needed to successfully make positive change in the community. Full program details can be found at

A value of our work is to provide as much support to our youth teams as possible, a value we realize in large part through our Advisors. Advisors are adults in any sector who have a strong commitment to supporting the professional and personal development of young people. They are culturally sensitive, have useful skills and networks, and appreciate the role of arts in creating social change.

Arts to Venture will have 4, four-hour workshops sessions on Dec. 11th, Jan. 8th, March 19th, and April 26th. They will run from noon – 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays at Intermedia Arts in Uptown Minneapolis. The Community Panel – the opportunity for teams to present and make their pitch for funding - is on Thursday, February 24th in the evening.

There will be an Advisor training session on December 11th from 10:00am to noon.

We ask that Advisors commit to:
  • Participating in all of the workshops
  • Leveraging their knowledge, skills, and networks to support the teams in developing their Venture and accessing resources
  • Be open to potentially serving as an ongoing mentor to any of the teams, as appropriate. If you want to work more intensively with one of the teams, you will need to complete a background check
Other teams have submitted ideas on using spoken word to address community issues, documenting the stories of the homeless, and creating a marketing campaign to elevate youth voices.

If you are willing to be an Advisor for Arts to Venture, please let us know as soon as possible. Just call 612.455.1628 or email smyers@youthventure to speak with Spectra Myers about the opportunity.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Accepting Applications: Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Twin Cities Chapter

Some of my favorite people in Minnesota sit on the board of Twin Cities Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. I admit I'm a bit biased. But truly, if you have interest in nonprofit leadership, professional development, and associating with completely awesome people, serving on the board of YNPN-TC may be just the ticket! The deadline is fast approaching (Friday), so get those resumes and applications in asap. You could be hanging out with the cool kids soon enough!

Join Our Board!

YNPN-TC strives to provide and promote opportunities for the development of young nonprofit professionals. So here is one huge opportunity to develop leadership skills and build and greatly expand your network: YNPN-TC is now accepting applications for new board members!

Our board of directors is a working, all-volunteer board. As a part of the board, you will be expected to attend monthly board and committee meetings, participate in online decision-making and discussion, and go to YNPN-TC events. For more details on expected duties and time commitments, read the full job description.

To apply, please complete the application AND send your resume to no later than December 10. We welcome a diverse applicant pool.

Monday, December 6, 2010

With flourish

Photo Credit: Diane Tran

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”
-Paul J. Meyer

Friday, December 3, 2010

2010 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans: Melissa Palank

A 2008 recipient of the Minnesota Jaycees TOYM designation, I was so pleased to have recommended that my friend and former colleague, Melissa Palank, be selected as a 2010 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotan! A smart, savvy, and powerful advocate for change, Melissa is a true asset to Minnesota. Honorees will be awarded tomorrow evening at the annual Minnesota Jaycees Banquet at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Congratulations and thanks for your leadership, Melissa!
Melissa Palank

Melissa Palank has demonstrated a long-term commitment to effecting change in her community by focusing both her professional and personal life on causes she is passionate about. She has worked hard to build the leadership and political capacity among young women in Minnesota through her work with the White House Project and the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow program. A commitment she made to an HIV positive family member drives Melissa's ongoing commitment and years of service in the area of HIV/AIDS awareness. Additionally, Melissa has devoted a great deal of her time and talent to serving on many nonprofit boards including: Minnesota AIDS Project, Twin Cities Women's Choir, American Marketing Association- MN Chapter, University of St. Thomas Alumni, and League of Women Voters. Melissa is an example of a young leader tying her profession to her vocation throughout her career- always using her professional life to work for the betterment of her community. She currently works at Nonprofit Solutions as Director of Client Services providing strategic level guidance and consultation to nonprofits.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nominate a Grassroots Solutions 2010 "Organizer of the Year!"

I remember getting a frantic phone call from a nominator while I was in San Francisco last year, asking whether voting for the Grassroots Solutions "Organizer of the Year" had closed yet. Indeed, the 5:00PM CST deadline had come and gone, and Alessandra Williams of the HIRE Coalition had earned the inaugural title (and her picture on our annual holiday postcard)!

This year, the contest goes nationwide, with intention, and the competition will be even more fierce. To make sure the organizer you think most collaboratively, tirelessly, or powerfully made a difference in the grassroots organizing this year gets a nod, head to the Grassroots Solutions Facebook Page to make your nomination. And soon - nominations close December 10. Happy organizing (on behalf of your favorite organizer)!

Last year, grassroots solutions launched its inaugural “Organizer of the Year” contest. The grassroots community took to our Facebook page and nominated their favorite organizers to be recognized and immortalized on the grassroots solutions holiday card – an unconventional tradition we started over 10 years ago to celebrate the January 30th birthday of Saul Alinsky, the pioneering community organizer and author of Rules for Radicals.

Holiday Card

The grassroots solutions 2nd Annual “Organizer of the Year” Contest Is Now Open!

Do you know a young up-and-comer who has inspired you with their grassroots organizing? Would you like to see their face beaming up at you from the front of the grassroots solutions 2011 holiday card? Then “like” us on Facebook and post your nomination for the grassroots solutions “Organizer of the Year" on our wall today. Please include the organizer's name, the campaign or organization they worked or volunteered for, and why you think they deserve to win.

Nominations close on December 10, so post your nominations now! The top three nominations will be put to a vote on Facebook December 13 – 20, and the winner will be notified on December 21.

Help Us Spread The Word

We know there are hundreds of community activists and organizers out there who dedicate their lives to effecting social change. Help us find them! Forward this message to your friends across the country. Share the contest with your Facebook friends. Tweet about it on Twitter. And don’t forget to nominate your favorite organizer for the 2nd annual grassroots solutions “Organizer of the Year” contest today!

Ashoka Twin Cities Solutions Forum: The Business of Social Innovation

As a former Youth Venturer and supporter of Ashoka's systems-changing work, I'm excited about the upcoming launch event for the Ashoka Twin Cities chapter. Ashoka Fellows Andy Lipkis and Jill Vialet will be on hand at the Ashoka Solutions Forum, and you're invited, too! RSVP though, as space is limited. See you, and your solutions, soon!


Announcing the first Ashoka Twin Cities Solutions Forum

The Business of Social Innovation

You're invited to an inspiring evening of learning, sharing and creative thinking around new solutions to advance lasting social change.

Join other Twin Cities private and citizen sector leaders including media personality, Rick Kupchella, who will interview Ashoka Fellows Andy Lipkis and Jill Vialet. The event is free and will be held at the Walker Art Center on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow.

By applying lessons found in nature, Andy Lipkis improves cities by creating sustainable urban ecosystems. more

Jill Vialet leads a comprehensive school-based program that creates safe and inclusive recess play. more

Their experiences share insight into the business of social innovation and can help further your own work.

Ashoka is the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs-men and women with system-changing solutions for the world's most urgent social problems. Ashoka sources the best social innovations, mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people to create change and enables businesses, the media, policy makers and "changemakers" to work together to create global impact.

This forum is the debut event of the new Ashoka Twin Cities chapter. Space is limited, so reserve your place today to be a part of the Ashoka network in the Twin Cities from the very beginning. RSVP Today

Ashoka Solutions Forum

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

Forum begins at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

Walker Arts Center, McGuire Theater

Reception begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Skyline Room

The event is co-sponsored by InCommons and The Knight Foundation.

InCommons is a new statewide initiative launching in Dec. 2010 that will connect Minnesotans through local gatherings and web networking, so they can find and share credible tools, knowledge and resources to solve problems and improve the quality of life in their communities.

Knight Foundation's Communities Program aims to improve the quality of life in the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The organization has identified the Twin Cities as a hub of social innovation.

Learn more about Ashoka Fellows in the United States at

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