Thursday, February 19, 2015

Minnesota Rising Story Lab: A recap in reading recommendations

The Minnesota Rising Story Lab: Our Story, Our Future on "Recognizing and Valuing Diversity" took place on Thursday, February 5th at Hamline University Minneapolis. Participants came from a variety of sectors, including: city and state government, nonprofit organizations, business development consulting, and arts and culture.


Introducing themselves, their interest in coming together to explore issues of race and privilege, and their favorite books, we generated a healthy list of reading recommendations (thoughtfully compiled by Angie Hugen) which can be found at the bottom of this post.

As captured on the flipchart notes below in words and images, participants then reflected on the value of stories to define and communicate who we are, as well as to connect with others whose stories may be different than our own.


One attendee commented on the theme of unity, sharing that despite our differences, we also have commonalities. "We share things: we all blink; all have beating hearts."


Considering the importance of ensuring that multiple experiences, perspectives, and identities are heard on the individual and systemic level, participants indicated it was important to recognize privilege, question singular views, and create safe places to share and listen openly.

Individual: The word dialectic means that two things can be true simultaneously. Just because one perspective is viewed as right doesn't mean that the other perspective is wrong. If we can hear each other's stories and think of it as a dialectic, it allows for validation of all feelings and emotions, which is the foundation from which you can begin to engage in frank, difficult, and transformative conversation and work. 

Systemic: Be aware of implicit bias, in the workplace, and elsewhere. Recognize that today's race-based disparities are the legacies of economic and policy structures and practices historically privileging white Americans over other groups, particularly African Americans. Reading recommendations:
At the conclusion of the morning, participants reported out about new insights and their (re)new(ed) commitments to crafting and sharing their and Minnesota's story in effort to initiate vulnerability, bridge gaps, and strengthen our shared narrative by including previously missing perspectives.



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Additional Resources

  • Minnesota Humanities Center http://mnhum.org/
    • Absent Narratives
    • Veterans Voices
    • Reading Together Project
  • Lee and Low Books https://www.leeandlow.com/
    • Independent publisher of multicultural literature for young readers.
Upcoming Events
Favorite Books
  • Candide by Voltaire  (Free eBook on Amazon)
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery  ($.99 eBook on Amazon)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane & The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman  (under $7 eBooks on Amazon)
  • Jim the Boy by Tony Earley  ($9.99 eBook on Amazon)
  • Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell  ($7.99 paperback on Amazon)
  • Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard  ($1.99 eBook on Amazon)
  •  The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  ($5.99 eBook on Amazon)
  • Tortoise & Hare fable by Play Tales ($.99 eBook on Amazon)
  •  The Hunger Games trilogy & Gregor the Overlander (5 books series) by Suzanne Collins  ($17.99 series eBook on Amazon)
  • We the Living by Ayn Rand ($5.99 eBook on Amazon)
  • Uncle Wiggily's Adventures by Howard Roger Garis (Free eBook on Amazon)
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet ($4.99 eBook on Amazon + 980 pages long!)
  • The Bible  (Many Free eBook versions on Amazon)
  • Makes Me Wanna Holler by Nathan McCall  ($9.99 eBook on Amazon)
  • Talking to the Ground & Cities of Gold by Douglas Preston ($5.99+ in Hardcover only)
  • The Golly Sisters series by Betsey Cromar Byars ($3.99 paperback only)
  • Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand ($4.99 eBook on Amazon)

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