Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Citizens League Action Groups Kick-Off 2010-2011!

Are you an emerging leader looking for a volunteer opportunity that goes beyond a service role? The Action Groups are self-led groups of young members who will organize to advance work in core Citizens League policy areas while receiving support and training from the Citizens League. You need not be a member to sign up. Learn more at the kick-off event; RSVP here. As a participant in the first two iterations of the Action Groups, I wholeheartedly encourage checking them out and perhaps signing on to contribute lots and learn even more!

Thursday, April 15
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
We will meet in the northeast corner of the market, in the space with red curtains

Light dinner will be provided from La Loma Tamales
We will validate up to 3 hours of parking in the 10th Avenue ramp just north of Lake Street. Please bring your ticket with you.

About the Action Groups Program
The Citizens League started the Action Groups project a few years ago in response to demand from young members for more substantial engagement opportunities. Many had experience volunteering in service roles, but they told us they wanted to take on more responsibility.

The 2010-2011 Action Groups will be self-led groups of young members organized to advance Citizens League policy work while receiving support and civic leadership training from the Citizens League. Potential areas for policy focus include:
  • Education
  • Health and Medical Care
  • Long Term Care
  • Pathways to Prosperity
  • Transportation
  • Water
The goal of the Action Groups project is to give young people opportunities to build their civic leadership and active citizenship skills and their networks while advancing important policy work.

This goal is both for the participants as individuals and for the Citizens League as an organization: to build civic capacity in Minnesota, and to engage young people who go on to take leadership roles in the Citizens League and the other organizations in which they are involved.

Tasks for the Group
The first step for any group is to identify the skills, interests, experience, and knowledge that members bring.

Each group will create and carry out a project in the policy area it focuses on. This can be a project that advances the Citizens League’s recommendations on the topic or a policy question that the group will address. Agreeing on a project is generally an Action Group’s most difficult task.

Once the group has determined what it will work on, it can develop and carry out its work plan. To do the project, groups may decide to partner with other organizations, to do some fundraising on their own, to contact the media, etc.

At any point, groups may want to reach out to other individuals within or outside the Citizens League for input or collaboration.

Resources and Support
The Citizens League will support the Action Groups with:
  • Trainings on skills and practices relevant to the projects.
  • A connection to a group “mentor:” a member who has been through the action groups process before, and who can help the group overcome some familiar challenges.
  • Connections with subject matter resources, experienced Citizens League members who can share skills such as public speaking, identifying and working with power and resources, media relations, etc.
  • Funding: Thanks to a grant from the Comcast Foundation, each group will receive some funding to carry out their project.
  • Membership: Action Groups participants receive a one-year membership to the Citizens League.
Groups’ conveners will meet regularly with each other and Citizens League staff to check in on the projects and share questions and advice. Groups may also want to connect with other Citizens League staff or members working directly on the policy topic they are addressing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute

Friends and colleagues often jokingly refer to me as the "Conference Queen," because I've happily attended more than my fair share of them early on in life. I hope this lends me a bit of credence when I say that the Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute is one of the two most impactful leadership programs or conferences I have been fortunate to be a part of. Attending the 2006 conference, speaking on a panel in 2007, and serving as a Faculty-in-Residence (FIR) in 2008, I am an avid supporter of this program and would encourage anyone interested in this comprehensive, amazing opportunity, to apply!
The Tri-College NEW (National Education for Women's) Leadership Development Institute will be held June 5-9, 2010 at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The intensive five-day residential program is designed to provide leadership training, inspiration, and support for women in the upper Midwest who do not have extensive leadership experience. There is particular emphasis on recruiting women from groups that have typically been underrepresented voices in the political process.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, there is no cost to participate. Participants will have the option of registering for a three-credit course in Women’s Studies, Sociology, or Social Work. Those who choose to register for course credits will have to pay for the course registration expenses. In addition, some scholarships are available to assist with travel and/or childcare expenses.

For information and applications visit or call Deb White at 218-477-2041.

Participants attend workshops on running for office, public speaking, fundraising, public policy advocacy, and working with the media. They meet with over twenty women leaders, including state and local officials, women in tribal government, and grassroots activists. Participants and some women leaders reside on campus throughout the institute, extending learning beyond the formal daytime sessions.

We seek applicants with interest in politics, public service, or community service who desire to develop their leadership skills. They need not be college students. Approximately 50 college and community women will be accepted.

Due to a web page problem, the deadline for applying to participate in the Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute has been extended to April 2, 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Volunteer to Party with MINN!

I recently joined the Social Committee of the Midwest International NGO Network (MINN) in hopes to better facilitate relationship development amongst current MINN members and to help spread the word about a wonderful resource to those in the Twin Cities interested in international relations and affairs.

Founded in Spring 2005, the Midwest International NGO Network (MINN) is a Minnesota-based forum for international practitioners and supporters to network and exchange professional experiences and best practices. MINN serves to connect international humanitarian and development practitioners and supporters based in the Midwest, through education, networking, and information resources.

This weekend, in celebration of nearly five years of volunteer-run programming and in anticipation of (at least) five more, MINN invites any and all people who have an interest in volunteering with MINN and/or have volunteered their time to MINN, to our first Volunteer Party. Details below; don't forget to RSVP to volunteer to party with us!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
7:00PM - 11:00PM
10** Lincoln Ave (RSVP at for house number)
St Paul, MN

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NAAAP-MN Open House + Leadership Seminar on Millennials

The National Association of Asian American Professionals is hosting a couple of events this next week worth highlighting to anyone interested in networking and leadership development. As Professional Development and Programming Chair of the NAAAP-MN board, I'm pleased to invite you to attend one or both of the upcoming events, further detailed below!
NAAAP-MN's mission is to promote the career advancement of Asian American professionals in all fields through networking, leadership development, supporting cultural awareness/diversity, and community service.

This Saturday, March 27th, is NAAAP-MN's 2010 annual Open House. This is an opportunity to network, meet our board members, hear Schwan's VP of HR speak, participate in breakout sessions and enjoy a FREE brunch from Panera Bread. Also, meet the New President, Vice
President and new board members of NAAAP-MN. This event is FREE and open to the Public, thanks to the Schwan's Food Company.
SATURDAY, March 27th: NAAAP-MN 2010 Open House (10:30-12:30pm)

Join the NAAAP-MN Board at the annual Open House for a special opportunity to network, meet board members, presentation by Schwan's VP of HR, participate in breakout sessions to understand the value and purpose of NAAAP-MN! Also, meet the New President, Vice President and new board members of NAAAP-MN.

Enjoy a FREE brunch from Panera Bread. Please bring your business cards for the Speed Networking session as well for door prizes!

NAAAP-MN is honored to have The Schwan Food Company as the Sponsor for this Open House. Arnie Strebe, Vice President of Human Resources, will present: The Schwan Food Company: Enriching the Lives...

Breakout Sessions:
-Corporate Relations
-Professional Development
-Leadership and Community Involvement

Open House agenda:
-Ice Breaker
-Schwan's Presentation
-Speed Networking
-Breakout Session #1
-Breakout Session #2
-Closing and Door Prizes

LOCATION: Public Radio International, 401 2nd Avenue North, Suite 500 Minneapolis, MN 55401

Parking is available in a ramp on the corner of 2nd Ave and 4th St; there is also metered parking on 2nd and 4th, and a paid parking lot next to the Sawatdee on 4th.

This event is FREE and Open to the public, thanks to The Schwan Food Company.

Please RSVP to Diane,, by Friday, March 26th.

NAAAP National is offering FREE Leadership Webinars for NAAAP members. The next Leadership Webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 30 at 8:00 PM CDT and features Dr. Vu Pham, one of NAAAP's Senior Advisors. Dr. Pham will discuss survey results of a study of Generation Y's self image and how other generations perceive them.

To register for the Webinar now, please follow:

Dr. Pham will discuss survey results of a study of Generation Y's self image and how other generations perceive them. "Gen Y lacks willingness to pay their dues." "Young professionals in this millennia work better in teams." Whether you are a Gen Y person or older person working with one, you'll want to know how Gen Y views itself in comparison to how others generations view them.

Anecdotal perceptions about Generation Y or the Millenials, born between 1978 and 1995:
-Gen Y lacks willingness to pay their dues.
-Today?s young employees expect frequent rewards.
-They?re digital natives and can wield technology best.
-Young professionals in this millennia work better in teams.

As a Partner of Spectrum Knowledge, Inc., Vu H. Pham, Ph.D. works with dozens of organizations from the Fortune 500 to governmental and non-profit agencies to boost employee performance and strategic effectiveness. Dr. Pham conducts interactive training and data-driven research and is a prolific publisher and popular keynote speaker. He currently conducts research at the Center for Research on Employment and the Workforce (CREW) at California State University?Fullerton, and for the Asian American Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Pham is also a Senior Advisor to NAAAP. His work has been featured on national and international multimedia venues, such as CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press, Voice of America, The Los Angeles Times, KSCI International Television, Strategic Innovators, Asia in Play, Asian Week, Radio Free Asia and The Orange County Register.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers

Written by the staff of, the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers and the Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for Sector Switchers are wonderful resource guides to careers in nonprofits. The books are available for free online as PDFs via or can be purchased in paperback online.

Read below to see which guide is right for you, and don't forget to donate as you are compelled to Action Without Borders, which maintains "Action Without Borders connects people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives."
The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers is a free resource for emerging professionals pursuing their first position in the nonprofit sector. Whether you're a current student, a recent graduate, or someone entering the workforce for the first time, this book is meant for you.

The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for Sector Switchers is a free resource for transitioning professionals pursuing new career options in the nonprofit sector. If you call yourself a "mid-career transitioner," a "re-careerer," an "encore careerist," a "bridger," or a "sector switcher," this book is meant for you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Coming to a shower near you: The Minnesota Idea Open!

The Minnesota Idea Open is coming . . . and I am amped to be an evaluator for Challenge I proposals! Led by Minnesota Community Foundation and its partners, Ashoka Changemakers, Citizens League, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Idea Open is a collaborative initiative bringing together all Minnesotans for one purpose: to solve critical issues facing our state. Check out the cross-posting below to learn more about Challenge I, how you can submit or support ideas, and some of the best reasons why you should take your idea out of the shower and into the Open!

What is Minnesota Idea Open?

Have you ever had one of those light-bulb moments when you solved world peace – while taking a shower?

Okay, maybe you didn’t solve world peace but you came up with a really good idea to solve a really important issue. When you have that moment, do you also think: Gee, too bad no one but my bar of soap will ever hear my idea?

Now someone will.

At, you will be able to share ideas, view ideas, discuss ideas and vote for your favorite ones.

Get your best thinking out of the shower and into the Open. You could receive $500 and see your idea become a reality.

What is Challenge I?

Ideas for Addressing Obesity

How could your community use $15,000 to help people eat smart and be active?

Obesity has become a household word across America as more attention is paid to what we eat, how we deliver health care and how we maintain active lifestyles. However, the word "obesity" does not begin to tell the story of the complex world that has led us to increasing rates of overweight Americans, spiraling health care costs associated with the problem, and the struggle of real people battling to achieve a healthy weight.

Figuring out together how we better support families to maintain healthier lifestyles and instill lifelong healthy habits in children is an important investment with significant long-term dividends.

Rather than search for a silver bullet, we aim to seek out innovative ideas that can tackle a piece of the problem in our own communities.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Participate in the MN Idea Open

10. For years, you have been sitting on the mother lode of good ideas but did not know how to share them. Now you do.

9. You can submit your idea while at work. (We won't tell your boss.)

8. You can redeem yourself with just one good idea that cancels out the not-so-good ones, like painting yourself Vikings purple. (You’re still a shade of lavender.)

7. Your grandmother posted her idea and Tweeted about it. Now all your friends are following @GrandmaGuru.

6. You are tired of debating issues with yourself. Now you have a soapbox and an audience.

5. The increase in daylight and temperatures has invigorated you. You’re primed to solve the world’s problems. In shorts.

4. Your mother has been telling you for years to be part of the solution, not the problem. Darn it. She was right.

3. The entire state is listening.

2. Peer pressure. Everyone is doing it.

1. You need something to fill the coming Oprah void.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Space of Her Own: The Minnesota Women's Consortium

In honor of International Women's Day yesterday, I can't help but to briefly highlight the Minnesota Women's Consortium, where I'm honored to be a member of the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. With a mission "to achieve full equality for women and girls by connecting organizations and individuals that share this common goal," the Consortium is a clearinghouse for leadership, information, and action!

The Minnesota Women's Consortium is uniquely one of a kind nationwide. As a statewide collaboration of 160+ member organizations, the Consortium serves as a resource center to enhance equality and justice for women and children. As a clearinghouse, the Consortium keeps member organizations informed on issues pertinent to their work, increasing members' strength and impact. Since 1981, Minnesota women have come to the Consortium for opportunities to connect with other members and to discuss their concerns and proposed solutions. The Consortium is a national model in supporting vital local organizations working toward heightened awareness on women's issues, sound public policy, and ultimately, full equality for women. The most powerful testimony of the Consortium's collaborative efforts is their diverse and awe-inspiring membership, which spans the vast fields of women's issues, health, education, environment, good government, and more.

Check out the latest issue of the Consortium's bi-weekly Capitol Bulletin update and so you don't miss out, subscribe today!

The Minnesota Women's Building, home to the Minnesota Women's Consortium and the League of Women Voters Minnesota , located two blocks from the Capitol, has various offices for rent. Availability ranges from the North Suite comprised of five various office sizes, reception area, conference room on the second floor to the Northeast Suite containing a small lobby, two offices, conference room on the first floor, and a small office on the first floor. For more information, contact Lorraine at

Read more about the Minnesota Women's Consortium and feminist issues on their blog, Equality Quilt.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sun Never Says.

The Sun Never Says Even After all this time, The sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me." Look what happens With a love like that, It lights the whole sky. -Hafiz, 12th-century Persian poet From: The Gift 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Theaters: Half the Sky LIVE + RESULTS

On Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:30pm (all time zones) in theaters nationwide, CARE will present its 2010 International Women’s Day event, Half the Sky LIVE. Inspired by moving stories from the critically-acclaimed book “Half the Sky” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky LIVE will feature an uplifting night of music, celebrity discussion and the world premiere of “Woinshet,” a powerful short film co-directed by Academy Award® winner Marisa Tomei that chronicles the struggles of an Ethiopian woman who triumphs over violence and discrimination.

Along with several other RESULTS Minneapolis volunteers, I will be tabling on behalf of CARE and RESULTS this Thursday at the AMC Arbor Lakes Megastar 16 in Maple Grove. Ten theaters across Minnesota will be showing the film with a percentage of ticket sales will support CARE’s work in more than 70 countries.

Find a theater near you and purchase tickets on the Half the Sky LIVE website to participate in one of the most visible International Women’s Day celebrations on the planet!

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