Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You're Invited: Laugh in Peace Tour

Poverty, hunger, and cultural conflicts are grave issues that we have to contend with in our communities. These challenges are to be taken seriously. But just as much as we need critical thinking and compassionate dedication, we also need fun and good humor to be able to sustain ourselves personally and to grow our creativity. Enter the Minnesota Idea Open III and the Laugh in Peace Tour coming to the Varsity Theater next month. Join the rabbi, minister, and Muslim trio that brings a message of peace and unity, and start brainstorming your way to a #MIO3 submission!

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So a Rabbi, Minister and Muslim Comedian Walk Into the Varsity...

comedy trio

This is no knock-knock joke. The Minnesota Idea Open is proud to bring the Laugh in Peace Tour to Minnesota. Join us on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis for the first-ever Idea Open comedy show!

Be prepared for your face to ache as we laugh together across cultures and faiths! Our very special guests are professional stand-up comedians Rabbi Bob Alper, Rev. Susan Sparks and Azhar Usman.

Alper founded the Laugh in Peace Tour. To him, the most natural thing to do after serving congregations for 14 years as an ordained rabbi was to become a stand-up comedian. Makes sense to us. He's been doing the latter for more than 20 years, including appearances on Comedy Central and Showtime.

An even funnier story is the one about the trial lawyer turned comedian turned Baptist minister. Sparks is senior pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City and tours nationally with the Laugh in Peace Tour. She also is the author of "Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor."

Alphabetically last but certainly not least is funny man Usman who describes himself as "intellectually White; emotionally Japanese; spiritually Indian; psychically Persian; physically Arab; artistically Southeast Asian; romantically Latino; and psychologically Black." (That's a long title for a business card.) He is co-founder of the comedy show, "Allah Made Me Funny," which features America's top Muslim comedians.

Join us for this very special Idea Open event! Click here to get your tickets online. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the show begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $5 with a valid student ID. All tickets include complimentary valet parking. Ages 11 and up are welcome! After the show, join us for light appetizers and a chance to enter the Idea Open and submit your best idea to build bonds and work together across cultures and faiths in your community. Your winning idea could receive $15,000 to become a reality.

Volunteer for the Interfaith Build Event

We're looking for volunteers with tool belts to participate in a unique interfaith event. Sign up now for the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) and Idea Open event: Building Together Across Cultures and Faiths. TCHFH is hosting several special construction days that bring together volunteers from diverse backgrounds to build homes - and ideas - for the community.

There is still room to sign up for a variety of dates between February 28 and March 24. Be sure to spread the word to your friends, family and networks! No building experience required! Learn more at

Stay Connected

The Idea Open is always cracking jokes on Twitter and Facebook.

The Idea Open Challenge III: Working Together Across Cultures and Faiths and Laugh in Peace Tour are made possible by One Nation and three affiliates of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners: Minnesota Community Foundation, Multicultural Endowment and Facing Race. Learn more at and

Game On.

Minnesota Idea Open


A venture of Minnesota Community Foundation swoosh

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You're Invited | The Non-Nonprofit: Should Nonprofits Operate More Like Businesses?

As the rise of L3Cs and social enterprises continue, it is clear that doing good is no longer relegated to the nonprofit or social sectors. While lines continue to blur between nonprofits, for-profits, and all the shades of gray between, Ashoka and the Greater Twin Cities United Way are hosting a forum to consider how nonprofits can leverage business practices for increased innovation and growth. Registration is currently capped, but you can still sign up for the waitlist for this free event!


UW logo

Ashoka and Greater Twin Cities United Way Present:

The Non-Nonprofit: Should Nonprofits Operate More Like Businesses?

March 6; 4-6 p.m.

United Way--Stuart Wells Room

404 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Join United Way, Ashoka Twin Cities and local nonprofit leaders for an innovative and practical panel discussion on how nonprofits can measure what counts, be market driven and create economic value from social impact.

Nonprofits are changing and sector boundaries are blurring. In an increasingly entrepreneurial and competitive environment, a premium is placed on metrics of success.

Steve Rothschild, author of "The Non-Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success," will address critical questions confronting the sector, drawing on his experience-based principles to ensure nonprofits remain competitive. Our panel of social entrepreneurs, academics and nonprofit leaders will provide a variety of viewpoints and practical examples that you can take back to your organization.


  • Steve Rothschild - Ashoka Fellow and founder of Twin Cities RISE!
  • Joe Soss - Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota; co-author of "Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race."
  • Sarah Caruso - president & CEO, Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Tony Wagner - executive leadership fellow, Center for Integrative Leadership; former president, Pillsbury United Communities
  • Terrie Rose - Ashoka Fellow and founder of Baby's Space

Moderated by Laura Bloomberg, executive director, University of Minnesota Center for Integrative Leadership

Register Now

Contact Spectra Myers at Ashoka Twin Cities or Brian Paulson at United Way with questions.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Respond to the gift

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

"To give thanks is to recognize what has come to you.... How does the seed give thanks? It flowers. You take what you have, who you are, and you respond to the gift of that beingness with a course of action that aligns with it. You do what is in your nature."
-Patrice Vecchione

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fun | Guante "Starfish"

Last month, I attended a benefit concert supporting a group working on the issue of massive foreclosures, largely in North Minneapolis neighborhoods. Guante was one of several spoken word artists and talented local musicians to grace the stage that night, performing his piece proclaiming, "I was struck by lightning." In it, he posits that those whom undergo powerful experiences, whether positive or negative, are given just that much energy, and that its their own choice whether and how they funnel it back out into the world. It's a compelling case that those who go through some of the hardest and most trying of struggles may be very well the most courageous and superhuman among us.

Below, for some Friday fun, I'm sharing Guante's "Starfish" piece. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You're Invited: League of Women Voters of St. Paul Young Professionals event

With new redistricting maps out this week and a bevy of potential constitutional amendments proposed at the state legislature, there's plenty of politics and policy to be talking about. Find yourself in good company at the League of Women Voters St. Paul's first Young Professionals event. Enjoy drinks, free appetizers, and a wonderfully wonky environment for men and women alike!

The League of Women Voters of St. Paul is launching its first Young Professionals event!

Come enjoy drinks and free appetizers with policy students from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs!

Learn about volunteer and leadership opportunities with the League of Women Voters!

Come learn about and discuss Voter ID!

Open to Young Professionals and Student

Men and women welcome!


Mark your calendars!

March 1st


The Republic

221 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


Connect with us on:

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The League of Women Voters of St. Paul is a non-partisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. More information about LWVSP is available on our website:

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You're Invited: Connect Open House

Hard hats, market trends in the housing industry, and door prizes. Aeon Connect will bring 'em all together at their Open House next week! Drop in to hear from a green building industry leader, learn about opportunities to engage with Aeon Connect, and take a tour of the new Aeon office site to be completed in mid-March. See more details below and reserve your spot in the fun by this Friday!

Connect Open House

Connect, Aeon's Young Professionals group, is seeking new members to become a part of our Leadership Team. Join us for a time of informal networking and a brief program about team member roles, benefits and volunteer opportunities. There will also be a few fabulous door prizes, courtesy of US Bank!

Aeon donor Scott Weicht, President and Chief Innovation & Development Officer at Adolfson & Peterson Construction, will also be on hand to share his thoughts about market trends in the multi family housing industry, as well as the importance of building sustainably. A&P is a leader in green building - don't miss this opportunity to hear from him - and get your questions answered by an expert!

Additionally, you will be able to take a hard hat tour of Aeon's new office. Aeon will re-locate its administrative staff to this new space in mid-March.

Event Details

Wednesday, February 29

5 - 5:45 p.m. Check in & Mingle
5:45 - 6:30 p.m. Program
6:30 - 7 p.m. Hard Hat Tour
Refreshments and snacks will be served

Aeon's new office space
901 3rd Street North, Minneapolis 55401

There is a free surface parking lot, adjacent to the building

Space is limited. Please RSVP by Friday, February 24. We hope to see you there!

Can't attend but are interested in learning more about Connect?
Visit our webpage:

Contact Jenny Johnson at
or 612-341-3148, ext. 237 with questions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You're Invited | Graze 4 Good: A Fundraiser to Benefit Fourth Generation

As an aspiring foodie who's been to two of the three restaurants of the chefs featured at the upcoming Fourth Generation's Graze 4 Good event, I've got to say that my tastebuds are tickled! You're sure to enjoy sound nutrition advice, gain some insight into the local food community, and taste some savory treats while grazing for good. Buen provecho!

Graze 4 Good:  A Fundraiser to Benefit Fourth Generation

Calling all foodies!
Graze 4 Good

Eating amazing food is great. Eating amazing food while supporting an important cause is even better. Grab a group of friends and join Fourth Generation as we Graze 4 Good. We'll enjoy tasty bites from three local chefs:

Doug Flicker
Chef/Owner of Piccolo

Steven Brown
Partner/Executive Culinary Director of Tilia

Mike Brown
Chef/Owner of Travail Kitchen and Amusements

All funds raised at Graze 4 Good will support local nutrition and food justice programs.

Graze 4 Good is hosted by Fourth Generation members, a group of young professionals who donate time, skills, and money to make an impact on some of our community’s most pressing issues. A short program will begin at 4:30pm. You'll learn more about nutrition and food justice and hear from these talented chefs on their own experiences sourcing and cooking with local food.

Between member donations, matching gifts and proceeds from this event, this year we anticipate granting out over $30,000 to local organizations working in the area of nutrition and food justice. From community gardens and food shelves to support services for local farmers, members will identify and award grants to effective local nonprofits who are increasing healthy, accessible food for everyone in the Twin Cities. If you would like to make an additional contribution towards the grant making efforts please donate here.

Thank you to the chefs/owners of Piccolo, Tilia and Travail for their time and effort!

Tilia logoTravail Logo

About Fourth Generation

Fourth Generation, a program of The Minneapolis Foundation, is the place for young professionals to learn about effective, meaningful charitable giving. Members pool their resources, learn about an issue in the community, make an investment in local nonprofits, and make a difference.

Whether you’re part of a family of givers, starting out on your own or you give with money, time or talents – Fourth Generation teaches skills to help you get the most out of your giving.


If you have any questions about this event please contact Jeanna Hensler at 612.672.3837

The Minneapolis Foundation Logo

The Minneapolis Foundation | 80 South Eighth Street | IDS 800 | Minneapolis, MN 55402

Monday, February 20, 2012

In the service of that which is right

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

‎"But the safety of the world, in some sense, depends on your saying 'no' to inhumane ideas. Standing up for one's own integrity makes you no friends. It is costly. Yet defiance of the mob, in the service of that which is right, is one of the highest expressions of courage I know."
-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Friday, February 17, 2012

You're Invited | Inter-Generational Policy Tour Series: Transportation Policy

Right on the heels of its 60th birthday, the Citizens League will be hosting an interactive inter-generational event! You can witness policy in action (and on tour) by learning about transportation policy and visiting the MnDOT Regional Transportation Management Center site. Space is limited, so reserve your slot today to get your wheels in motion around transportation and transit policy!

Tuesday, Feb. 28

5:30-7:30 p.m.

MnDOT Regional Transportation Management Center

1500 County Road B2 West, Roseville

Free for Citizens League members; $10 for non-members

Light snacks and beverages provided

Register now

Transportation policy affects us all: How we commute to work, what foods we can buy and whether we show up to a birthday party on time.

The Citizens League Emerging Leaders group presents the first event in its Inter-Generational Policy Tour Series, exciting opportunities to get behind-the-scenes looks at notable locations in Minnesota, followed by discussions with leading policy thinkers.

Discuss transportation policy and the nuts and bolts behind MnPASS lanes and other decongestion efforts with Brian Kary from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Adam Harrington of the Metropolitan Council and the Citizens League's Bob DeBoer.

Space is limited to the first 25 people to register.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You're Invited: Extreme Mind Makeover Edition‏!

"Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny."

This anonymously authored poem reminds us how critical it is to reflect on our conscious and unconscious thoughts, as they help to shape the world in which we operate and how we interact with others. To address how we can too easily be consumed with negative self-talk or just be unaware of our operating assumptions, Network Buzz is offering an interactive session to explore your day-to-day thoughts and how you can consider changing your thought patterns for a more productive and happier life!

Stella's Fish Cafe
1400 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Driving Directions

Wednesday February 22, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM CST
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Have you ever said to yourself...

  • "What was I thinking?"
  • Why do I keep hearing these same old messages in my head?"
  • "How do I get rid of this head trash?"

Now's your opportunity to explore what you currently think and how it impacts your day-to-day life. When you intentionally change your thoughts, the end result is a happier more enjoyable life.

Please join us for this interactive session with Karen Black, an expert in leadership development, teambuilding, conflict resolution and executive coaching!

If you're interested in attending, click the link below to RSVP. For more information or to pay the $15 entrance fee, visit theNetwork Buzz website.

Register Now!
I can't make it

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You're Invited: Being the Diversity Competent Leader

Minnesota Rising is pleased to partner with Torch Community on their upcoming event, "Step Up to Diversity! What Can I Do NOW: Being the Diversity Competent Leader!" Join us for an interactive evening with emerging leader peers, filled with engaging conversation topics and activities, and a sure-to-be-inspiring keynote speaker, Jermaine Davis. Register below and we'll see you soon!

You are invited to the following event:

Step Up to Diversity! What Can I Do NOW: Being the Diversity Competent Leader

Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (CT)

Wells Fargo Center
90 South 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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Step Up to Diversity! What Can I Do NOW: Being the Diversity Competent Leader Thursday, March 1st
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We hope you can make it!

Torch Community



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