Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Registration Open: Announcing the 2011 Catalyst Summit!

Last month, I was fortunate to spend some time with the Youth Board members of Catalyst, a statewide movement of young people based in Minnesota working on healthy eating and fighting the tobacco industry. In between cooking competitions and rock climbing, we also managed to work out their plan for hosting the 2011 Catalyst Summit and their strategies for engaging and recruiting others to their movement. Want to support these awesome youth leaders and their powerful work on critical issues? Help spread the word to any high schoolers you know about a great event coming up this April that will allow them to use hands-on activism and advocacy to shape a healthier and more engaged Minnesota!

Announcing the 2010 Catalyst Summit!

Date: April 9-10, 2011

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Cost: FREE! All you have to do is get there

Catalyst is looking for new activists to get involved in a movement to change school food, and get people more physically active. At Catalyst, we look for innovative, interactive ways to get out the message about healthy eating--from guerrilla art, to music, to online media. The annual Catalyst Summit is an opportunity to get trained on the facts, network with other passionate teens, and gain the skills that it takes to be an effective activist. Our summit is for anyone who wants to help get the message out and be part of a movement of passionate leaders looking to make a change.

Breakout Sessions:

Learn the Facts: The first day of the summit we will cover the basic facts of what we're fighting for. Here are the basics of some of the sessions:

School Food Policy?

Want to change what's for lunch in your school? We're getting deep in this session to find out how.

Guerrilla Art

Screenprinting, button making, this hands on session will teach you to a guerrilla activist!

Food Marketing

Do you know Tony the Tiger? Lucky the Leprechaun? How about the Trix Rabbit? In Food Marketing we'll explore how the food industry markets unhealthy products to youth, and how U.S. advertising compares to countries around the world. Catalyst Cooks Get hands on in the kitchen and learn how to make a variety of afterschool snacks, and easy meals.

Spread the word

The second day of the summit we will be going to downtown St. Paul to get our message out. We will be doing a huge activism event, and having a press conference. It's going to be mind blowing!

Click here for all the information and sign up form

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Registration Open: 16th Annual Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Conference

Join the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow for their 16th Annual LOTT Women's Leadership Conference, sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund. The one-day event will take place in Rochester, MN this year and is a great excuse for a spring road trip just 1.25 hours down south of the Twin Cities! Yours truly will be in attendance and participating on a panel entitled, "Getting Engaged in the Community." Join me, and other collegiate and emerging women leaders, for some great conversation, opportunities for introspection and reflection, and a lively day in southern Minnesota!
An exciting one-day event of speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and networking for collegiate & emerging professional women leaders. Focused on personal progression, leadership and inspirational advice to promote success as you embark on your leadership journey!

Saturday May 21, 2011
Kahler Hotel, Rochester
More information/Registration:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Congressman Keith Ellison to speak on "The Generosity of Inclusion"

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. And the belief that everybody counts and everybody matters. Join Representative Keith Ellison, from Minnesota's 5th, and most culturally and ethnically diverse, congressional district to hear his proposal that a politics of generosity and inclusion is a practical, realistic, and economically viable approach that is more likely to end wars and achieve peace. Stand up and be counted amongst attendees this Thursday at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Photo Credit: MPR

Congressman Keith Ellison
The Generosity of Inclusion: Everybody Counts, Everybody Matters
Thursday, February 24
Noon – 1:00PM

Westminster Presbyterian Church
Nicollet Mall and 12th Street
Downtown Minneapolis

Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, he is the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress. Before his election to national office, he served two terms in the Minnesota State Legislature, representing District 58B. In an era of fear and polarization, he offers a message of hope, reconciliation, respect, and inclusion.

Music precedes the forum at 11:30 AM. Public reception follows at 1:00 PM. Free and open to all!

Questions? Contact Susan McKenna at 612-332-3421, or

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You're Invited: Headwaters Foundation Focus Groups

Got an opinion and want to share it? Good news! The Headwaters Foundation for Justice is hosting several focus groups over the next couple of weeks to learn what kinds of issues interest young professionals and members of communities of color in the Twin Cities, and what kind of messaging resonates with them. If you've got something to say on the matter, you can email Jodi Williams or contact her directly at 612-879-0602 #12!

Headwaters is conducting a few focus groups at the end of February and beginning of March for young professionals (under age 40) and members of communities of color in the Twin Cities. The purpose is to find out what specific issues people are interested in (esp. social issues like racism, sexism, etc.), and what kind of messaging resonates with them.

Focus groups are slated for the following times and would be held at a Minneapolis or St. Paul restaurant with 5-7 other individuals:
  • Wednesday, February 23rd – 6 to 7:30 p.m. YP group – Uptown Minneapolis
  • Monday, February 28th – 6 to 7:30 p.m. YP group- University Ave - St. Paul
  • Wednesday, March 2nd – 6 to 7:30 p.m. POC group – Selby-Dale neighborhood - St. Paul location
The kind of questions we will be asking are: What are you passionate about? How do you find out about the issues that concern you? Why are you interested in those issues? Do you use tools like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin? In whole, your participation will inform one organization’s communications effort and give us a window into better understanding the interests of those under age 40 (our young professionals focus group) and/or those from our local communities of color.

Participants will not be paid but the focus group organizers are providing light appetizers and refreshments at this 90-minute session. You need not be familiar with Headwaters to participate.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Use only what you need

"If you want to make a difference on the planet, this is it: Have nothing in your home or life that you do not know to be useful, believe to be beautiful or know that you will strive to keep in your life forever."

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Inside Scoop: A Bipartisan Discussion with Legislative Leaders

The political landscape in Minnesota has flip-flopped again in this last election cycle and the Citizens League is hosting a bi-partisan conversation with legislative leaders about how they're getting their House (and Senate) in order. Join Senator Geoff Michel (R-41) and Representative Melissa Hortman (D-47B) to discuss what work needs to take place in the next 2, 4, and more years in order to keep Minnesota on top!

The Inside Scoop: A Bipartisan Discussion with Legislative Leaders

Tuesday, February 22
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location Aloft Minneapolis
900 Washington Ave South
Minneapolis, MN

For the first time in several years the Citizens League is actively advancing work in a number of policy areas, and with new leadership at the Capitol, 2011 is shaping up to be a year of opportunity for charting a new course for Minnesota's future.

Join the Citizens League for a bipartisan discussion with Sen. Geoff Michel (R-41) and Rep. Melissa Hortman (D-47B). We'll discuss the policies that elected officials will be focusing on during the 2011 legislative session and the issues that Minnesotans and our elected officials should be working on to sustain and improve Minnesota over the next 25 years. Discussion topics are likely to include education, health care, the state budget, and energy.

Register now by going to
Fee: $10.00 Citizens League members, $15.00 for non-members

Become a Citizens League member by joining at!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

YNPN-TC 2011 Emerging Leaders Network Lunch Series

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC) recently announced their topics for the 2011 Emerging Leaders Network Lunch Series and if you haven't been able to made it to one yet, you're in luck, because the next one is tomorrow! These free and informal lunches allow for exploration of a relevant topic with peers, encourage information-sharing and resource-swapping, and always begin with a round or two of "speed networking." Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and insights, business cards, and of course, lunch!
2011 Emerging Leaders Network Lunch Series
Interested in growing your leadership skills? Attend any (or all) of our new line-up of Emerging Leaders Network Lunches (ELN), co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Each month you will explore a topic with your peers, share information, swap resources, and build on skills you can take back to your organization. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, perfect for getting to know your nonprofit peers.

Bring your lunch, business cards, questions and ideas on the 3rd Friday of each month!

2011 Session Dates & Topics
January 21 – The CafĂ© is Open
February 18 – Building your Network and Make it Work for You
March 18 – Foundations 101
April 15 – The Gray Area: How to Navigate the Line Between Professional and Personal
May 20 – How to Ask for What You Want
June 17 – Board of Directors 101
July 15 – Say What? How to Communicate with Different Personality Types
August 19 – Development 101
September 16 – Leading from the Middle
October 21 – Civic Engagement and Nonprofits
November 18 – Finance 101
December 16 – Is being an Executive Director in my future

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TORCH Community "Spirits of Diversity" Tasting Event

Torch Community knows how to recognize and celebrate diversity in all its forms. And of course, how to make it a fun time! Early bird registration for their March 3rd shindig, entitled "Spirits of Diversity" Tasting Event, ends tomorrow. So sign yourself up for a good time and a chance to learn more the importance of liquor in history and how to properly taste spirits, all in effort to make you a connoisseur of a diversity of spirits!
March 3, 2011
5:30 – 8:30 PM
International Market Square
275 Market Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405

$10 before February 17th
$15 until March 3rd
$20 at the door

The distinct flavor of every liquor is shaped by the society & traditions that produced it. Likewise, our background & cultural heritage makes each of us unique. And just as we revel in the variety of tastes that spirits have to offer, there is a wealth of experience to be found in the diversity of human cultures.

Please join Torch Community on Thursday, March 3rd, as we dive into the world of spirits—both human and alcoholic. Our guides on this journey are Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, the cocktail mixologists collectively known as Bittercube. They’ll be teaching us about the importance of a liquor’s background & history, how to taste spirits properly, and how to become connoisseurs of alcoholic drinks. And along the way, we’ll discuss how our backgrounds & cultures provide an animating force throughout our lives. This promises to be unlike any diversity event you have ever attended.

Mix & Mingle 5:30-6:00 PM
Event Program 6:00-8:00 PM
More Mingling 8:00-8:30 PM

Light hors d’oeuvres are included at this event, and a cash bar will be provided.
This event will highlight Torch Community’s Diversity Partners.

Event Keynote Speaker: Philomena Satre, Vice-President, Diversity, Wells Fargo
Event Faciltators: Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz of Bittercube

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 19th Annual Blake Diversity Symposium with Dr. Johnnetta Cole

The days are growing warmer, the sun is out, and love is in the air (remnants from Valentine's Day). To allow the feeling of re-birth and inspiration to linger, stop by early at tonight's 19th Annual Blake Diversity Symposium to hear from ground-breaking leader, Dr. Johnnetta Cole. And of course, keep the chocolate within arm's reach for another day or two!
The 19th Annual Blake Diversity Symposium
Tuesday, February 15 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location Juliet Nelson Audtorium, Northrop campus
511 Kenwood Parkway
Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Johnnetta Cole will be the featured speaker at The Blake School’s 2011 Diversity Symposium. She is the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Cole is an inspiring groundbreaking leader, human rights advocate, corporate board pioneer, anthropology professor, author, museum director and an internationally recognized leader on a wide variety of fronts. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so please plan to arrive early.

Cole is an inspiring groundbreaking leader, human rights advocate, corporate board pioneer, anthropology professor, author, museum director and an internationally recognized leader on a wide variety of fronts.

Dr. Cole’s life of transformative leadership has taken her on many paths including:
  • serving as the first African American woman college president of Spelman College. Dr. Cole returned to teaching in 1998, as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women's Studies and African American Studies at Emory University. In 2002, Dr. Cole became President of Bennett College where she founded the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute.
  • being the first woman elected to the board of Coca Cola Enterprises and serving on the boards of Home Depot, NationsBank and other leading Fortune 500 companies.
  • educating the nation about African Art as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art.
Dr. Cole is dynamic speaker and world citizen whose remarkable journey will resonate with all who aspire to become engaged, transformative citizens of the 21st century. The event is free but seating is limited, so please arrive early.

Monday, February 14, 2011


"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live."


Friday, February 11, 2011

Warm Up in the Wild with AZUL and the Minnesota Zoo!

AZUL is a new community of like-minded young professionals eager to actively connect through conservation, education, and social events in support of the Minnesota Zoo. Their first social event is right around the corner, and not soon enough for those animal lovers and heat-seekers amongst us! Don't forget to bring your flip flops and friends when you Warm Up in the Wild at the Minnesota Zoo!

Don’t miss AZUL’s first ever social event! Join us for Warm Up in the Wild. Get out of the cold and into the tropics! Put your feet in the sand, walk through the Minnesota Zoo’s Tropics Trail, play beach games, and enjoy tropical cocktails – the first one is on us!

There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar so you can quench your thirst as you bask in the heat of the tropics!

Guests will have the chance to win a weekend stay at one of Mexico’s most celebrated eco-luxury retreats, Playa Viva, and other great giveaways! Airfare for two will be provided by Delta Air Lines.

DATE: Saturday, February 19, 2011
TIME: 6:00PM-9:00PM

LOCATION: Tropics Trail at the MN Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Map It: Click here

6:00PM - 7:30PM Networking, Cocktails and Food in the Tropics Trail
7:30PM - 8:00PM AZUL Welcome & address from Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke
8:00PM - 9:00PM Music, Cocktails, Networking & Beach Games

Tickets are $25 for non-members & FREE for members - For only $85 you can become an annual member of AZUL and receive a variety of benefits like this. Join Today!

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are limited so be sure to register today.

Your Flip Flops!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Minnesota Rising] February 2011 Update

The Un/Conference Follow-Up Strategy Session on Saturday, January 15, was full of great people, energy, and ideas, as hopefully evidenced by the 5 areas of work we defined for 2011. Read below for a brief recap and put next month's meeting on your calendar to sort out the workplan and roll up our sleeves!

Minnesota Rising 2011 Areas of Work
  1. Minnesota Rising Council Conversations (quarterly gatherings to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration)
  2. 2011 Un/Conference or large convening (Fall event focused on network-building and skills development)
  3. Minnesota Rising Blog
  4. Begin defining generational principles or common theme (as part of likely 2-year process)
  5. Mentorship
Do any of these topics resonate with you or the work your organization is doing? Email minnesotarising[at] to say so and join the conversation as we move forward with these initiatives!

Save the Date: 5 March 2011 Minnesota Rising Working Meeting

Please RSVP to minnesotarising[at] for next month's working meeting focused on fleshing out the outcomes of our January strategy session. We hope to see you and your great ideas there!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
10:30AM - 12:30PM
Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 55401
Room N-202, Mark E. Johnson Conference room

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jefferson Awards Students In Action Leadership Conference

Tarcy Thompson has been hard at work in Minnesota with the Jefferson Awards since this past summer, and they'll be hosting a Students In Action Leadership Conference at the end of this month. Celebrate their quick success and help support it, too! If you know of high school students or young people who would benefit from a day of learning and team-building, participating in service projects, and spending time with inspiring, like-minded peers, send them her way!
Are you a high school student that wants to expand your leadership potential? Do you know any high school students interested in developing their leadership skills? If you answered ‘yes’ to either, then you should sign up for and tell students about the Jefferson Awards’ Students in Action Leadership Conference!

When: Saturday, February 26, 2011
Time: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Where: University of Minnesota Campus
Cost: FREE! (Includes breakfast & lunch)
Who can attend: Any high school students in MN
Register online at

Students attending the conference can expect to participate in fun leadership- and team-building activities, engage with inspiring speakers and fellow students, participate in service projects and learn how to develop their own service project. It promises to be a fun-filled, inspiring day! Hope you can join us!

If you have any question, feel free to contact Tarcy Thompson, Regional Director of the Jefferson Awards, at 612.708.2922 or

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why We're Here: Twin Cities

You've probably already seen the video, but even if you haven't, you've probably heard what these folks have to say about why it is that we're here (yes, even in these dark, cold winter months) in the Twin Cities. See if your answer appears or head to Seven and Sixty Productions to share your response. Isn't this conversation and our proud civic tradition and discourse, after all, part of why we're here?

Why We're Here: Twin Cities from Seven and Sixty Productions on Vimeo.

With all the possibilities around the world, what is the “it” that keeps people here in the Twin Cities? We suspected the answer to the question "Why We're Here" was both simple and incredibly nuanced -- worthy of art. We took our camera to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul to find people willing to talk, unscripted, on film. The result is our collective love poem to the Twin Cities.

Why We're Here: Twin Cities is a six-minute film that explores what unites us, and unites us here, in the Twin Cities. Filmed on location the spring and summer of 2010 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, the film features an original score by John Munson of the New Standards, the Twilight Hours, Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare.

Visit to post your response and tell us, with all the possibilities that exist in the world, why you’re living where you do.

Produced in association with the Minnesota Culture Club. Visit them at

Monday, February 7, 2011

Barefoot in the spring

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Accepting Applications: 2011 American Express NGen Fellow

Minnesota could proudly claim two members of last year's cohort of the 2010 American Express NGEN Fellows as its own. As the American Express NGEN program accepts applications for its 2011 Fellows, here's hoping that we're continuing to put forth some quality candidates to represent our fair state. Would you or someone you know benefit from a program committed to contributing to the cultivation of new talent, emphasizing the role of younger leaders in the development of the broader nonprofit community, and expanding and improving the nonprofit talent pool of emerging leaders? I thought so. Take a gander for more details below and remember, half of leadership is just showing up. So let's make sure your application is there for consideration on February 21!
Photo Credit: Independent Sector

Recognizing that the leaders we need tomorrow are making important contributions today, Independent Sector introduced the American Express NGen Fellows Program in 2009 to honor and connect 12 under-40 leaders at IS member organizations. This program enhances IS's NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program, which is designed to expand and develop the nonprofit talent pool’s leadership skills and practices and to strengthen under-40 leader networks.

This fellows programming, anchored by the IS Annual Conference, offers online and in-person activities that will help nurture fellows’ leadership skills, strengthen their professional networks, and elevate the visibility of this cohort’s accomplishments on a national level.

American Express NGen Fellows will be selected from diverse and talented under-40 staff at IS member organizations. Applications are are due by February 21st, 2011. Those selected will be notified in early May.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You're Invited: Atlas Corps February 15 Minnesota Info Breakfast

I met Scott Beale at an Arsalyn Foundation conference on youth civic engagement in 2003. Since we discovered our Youth Venture connection and I learned about his Millennial Manifesto, I've kept track of him and his efforts to start up Atlas Corps, which is a completely new kind of social venture taking a new approach to facilitate international cooperation in the citizen sector. Now, Atlas Corps is coming to the Twin Cities and you can learn more about how to be a Partner, Fellow, Volunteer, or Supporter by attending the upcoming Atlas Corps Minnesota Info Breakfast!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Girls Rock! the Capitol on February 21

Girls Rock! the Capitol is one of my favorite annual Minnesota Women's Consortium events. Having been a trainer in the past at several of these daylong gatherings, I can tell you these young women are smart, a great deal of fun, and committed to making their families and communities even better. Know a girl who might benefit from a chance to see herself as a leader? Let her know that she rocks and that she belongs at the Capitol on February 21!

Girls Rock! flyer
To download registration materials, click here. Registration is one first come, first serve basis and girls from member organizations of the Minnesota Women's Consortium are given priority. Registration fills up fast, so get your materials in early.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Accepting Applications: Grassroots Solutions Winter-Spring 2011 Internship

I love my job because of the projects, passion, and people I encounter every day. Whether organizing a phone bank to preserve healthcare for the poorest of the poor in Minnesota, advocating about the implications of the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in industrial animal farming, managing a daily doorknocking canvass in rural turf for a hotly contested congressional race, or enjoying a milkshake with coworkers from the Grassroots Solutions malt machine, I'm aware daily of the privilege I have in doing work I love to do with people who inspire and challenge me to do it better. Want to roll up your sleeves and get a glimpse into this world? We're currently recruiting an intern for the 2011 Winter-Spring season and welcome all comers. See below for the details and job description and maybe I'll be able to call you colleague soon enough!

grassroots solutions has an immediate need for an intern in our beautiful Minneapolis office near University Ave and Highway 280. Ideal for a motivated individual interested in learning more about grassroots organizing, advocacy, program evaluation, and related activities. Position runs from early February through May 27, 2011 and pays a total stipend of $595 per session/semester. A commitment of 15 hours per week is required. Schedule is somewhat flexible, but typically hours are put in between 8:30am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday, with a minimum shift of 3 hours per day. We will coordinate as needed with students who wish to receive academic credit for the internship.

If you are interested in learning more about grassroots organizing and advocacy, this is a perfect chance to gain new skills and get your feet wet. Activities may include:
  • Conducting phone outreach; organizing and tracking phone call data
  • Recruiting supporters face-to-face and by phone
  • Assisting with various types of logistics
  • Interacting with attendees at events
  • Some administrative/clerical tasks such as answering our incoming phone calls, filing, etc.
  • Performing research
  • Assisting client service staff
  • Conducting marketing and social media research and outreach
  • Performing data entry and data hygiene
Applicants should be highly motivated and outgoing, with excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills. Love of grassroots organizing and advocacy a plus. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

At least some college education, a working knowledge of MS Office, and good written communication skills preferred.

Before applying, ask yourself if you can answer the following questions affirmatively:
  • Am I highly responsible and dependable?
  • Do I have a strong work ethic?
  • Am I comfortable calling and approaching new people?
To apply, send resume and cover letter ASAP to grassroots solutions’ Intern Coordinator, Pam Wetterlund, at Please put “Intern Applicant” in the Subject Line of your email. Resumes accepted until positions are filled. Please do not apply if you cannot make a definite commitment to the time frame.

grassroots solutions is a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots organizing, strategy, training, and evaluation. Since 1999, grassroots solutions has worked across the country with nonprofit and labor organizations and their funders, political campaigns, corporations, and government entities to expand their grassroots capacity, win elections or legislative victories, address community concerns, or position brands on the market. See additional information on grassroots solutions on our web site:
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