Happy 2021! The trend of this past year being full of the most uniquely historic of events continues into the start of this calendar year. Some recent events have allowed us to see the worst of our collective humanity, others have inspired us to know that there is always light if only we're brave enough to see it and be it. As the days start to grow longer, we can find hope in the healing transitions that have taken place and put faith in those yet to come as we move through this continuously unprecedented time in our lives and world.
In the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right." (Letter from Birmingham City Jail). May it be so as we begin anew in 2021.
Who Leads in Minnesota?
For Minnesota to be its best, we need talented leaders from the many diverse communities that make up our state to ensure our institutions work well for all. But who leads in Minnesota? It's difficult to determine because cross-sector data on who holds key leadership positions in institutions have not been readily available or easily accessible. Minnesota Compass (a project of Wilder Research) with the support of the Bush Foundation just launched "Who Leads in MN?" to share a holistic picture of leadership in institutions across the state. The data, inspiring examples of progress, and actionable ideas will be available free-of-charge on the Minnesota Compass website, as will materials to help organizations and individuals share and use the information. [Learn more.]
Call for Volunteers: Nonviolent Peaceforce
Learn how to protect yourself and your community. You’re invited to join Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) Peace Teams in the Twin Cities. The Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is a global civilian protection agency (NGO) based in humanitarian and international human rights law. As a part of their growing work in Minnesota, they are organizing continued direct protection and violence prevention response for both the upcoming and ongoing racial justice protests and community-based protection initiatives. Peace Teams will consist of a core group of community members, national and international allies. Accepting inquiries until February 5, 2021. [Learn more.]
This month’s Winter Solstice marked the shortest and darkest day of 2020, an unprecedented year that will be remembered for global pandemic, collective loss, and civil uprising. Our interdependence is clearer now than ever, along with our ability to withstand change, and in some cases, to allow these shifts to provoke deep transformation. There is now a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as multiple vaccine options become available, institutions begin to fulfill their commitments to anti-racist resources and action, and global shifts in leadership are anticipated in 2021.
Please continue to take good care of yourselves, and others as you are able, with the hope that in the new year you will come to know that you are stronger than you thought you were. Wishing you peace and wellness, on this final day of 2020, and in all the days to come!
Call for Submissions to Anthology Project
Ode to George: Reflections on George Floyd’s Memorial Site at 38th and Chicago | In an effort to celebrate, honor, and preserve this space that has sprouted and flourished under the care of community, this call for submissions seeks PERSONAL ESSAYS, POEMS, AND VISUAL ART that reflects on the significance of this space as articulated by Shanene Herbert in “A Guide for White Allies in Black Spaces of Mourning.”
All Are Welcome to Submit: This call is for emerging (including young people) and established artists from the local, national, and international community. Given this book’s impetus and mission, this anthology will prioritize the voices of Black and local artists. [Learn more.]
Reckoning to Rise Together
In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 91st birthday and kicking off a week of hope and healing, join the Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI) on Friday, January 15 from 12 noon - 1:00 pm for an exclusive virtual screening of their new documentary-short, Reckoning to Rise Together.
A moderated discussion and Q & A with Twin Cities' business owners Jim Mills (J-Klips), Kiara Ellis (The Nail Bar), and Tim Wilson (Urban Lights Music) will follow the film screening.
The Center for Economic Inclusion is a cross-sector organization committed to strengthening the Minneapolis-St. Paul region's civic infrastructure and collective capacity to disrupt systems and influence market forces to catalyze shared prosperity and advance an inclusive economy.[Register online.]
November marked Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance, Native American Heritage Month, and the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving. A month, at its best, focused on honoring our origins and intricacies, and growing giving and gratitude. We can bring this awareness forward into the future by contributing with pride via #GivingTuesdayLGBTQ, understanding with counsel from the Native Governance Center about Tribal sovereignty and governments and why treaties matter, and practicing in spite of our differences of identity and opinion, Turning Toward Each Other as we navigate conflict and complexity.
Day by day, we are making it through 2020, this year of pause and pandemic. Individually, and together. Much gratitude this month and always for your continued readership and connection!
Give to the Max Day 2020 and Giving Tuesday
GiveMN salutes your generosity. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans and people around the world answered the call on #GTMD20, giving tens of millions of dollars to thousands of causes across our state. On behalf of GiveMN's nonprofit and school partners, thank you for continuing to support communities across our state and fueling their critical work. And on December 1, you'll have the chance to be a part of a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on Giving Tuesday. [Contribute online.]
We Care for Us: Care Package for Grounding and Action
Minnesotans have been joining together across race, class, and zip code to defend our democracy and activate joyful politics. We're caring for ourselves. We're caring for our communities. As Minnesotans, it's what we do. Our strength comes from care, solidarity, collective action, and our stories: we keep us safe. TakeAction Minnesota created a virtual care package for grounding + action. Inside you will find resources and tools on caring for you, caring for your community, and taking action together. [Read more.]
October marked Indigenous People's Day, commemorating Native American peoples and their cultures as the first peoples on this land we currently inhabit, and as we transition into the next month, we celebrate El Día De Los Muertos, which allows us to honor the souls of all those who came before us and who are the other half of humanity. Situating ourselves now in this place and among the people around us, we can turn our attention toward the future. That future will be significantly influenced by this coming Tuesday's 2020 United States General Election.
On Thursday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ballots arriving after 8:00pm on Election Day in Minnesota must be separated because they may not be counted. If you haven't already voted, your options now are to:
Hand-deliver your mail-in ballot by 3:00pm on Tuesday, November 3rd OR
Vote in-person between now and 8:00pm on Tuesday, November 3rd.
You can check your voter registration, locate your polling place, learn how to vote early in person, find out what's on your local ballot, and more at: www.mnvotes.org.
Minnesota has traditionally ranked the highest in voter turnout and civic engagement across the nation. Let's do our parts to vote, support others to do the same, and continue to engage and advocate for a better Minnesota in 2020 and beyond.
Give to the Max Day 2020
Give to the Max Day will be back on Thursday, November 19, 2020! Plan to join GiveMN and thousands of Minnesota nonprofits and schools in raising millions of dollars together for the organizations which make our communities stronger. Donors may make their Give to the Max gifts when Early Giving begins on November 1. All gifts made from November 1 through November 19 will count toward Give to the Max Day prizes. Through the first decade of Give to the Max Day, donors have given nearly $200 million to more than 10,000 nonprofits and schools in just eleven giving days! [Learn more.]
Books for Breakfast 2020
You're invited to 826 MSP's second annual Books for Breakfast--and this year, they're coming to you! Spend the morning VIRTUALLY with special guest, Marlon James, to benefit 826 MSP's youth writing programs. Grab your breakfast and join in to learn about anti-racism in education, show support for 826 MSP, and hear from our special guest, local educators, and the young people who are writing us all toward a better future. Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 19 from 9:00 -10:00am. [Learn more.]
The leaves change color, the days grow shorter, and the temperatures drop as we mark the transition to the autumn season. The cycles of our natural environment are recognizable even as our human conditions become increasingly unfamiliar. Our country and communities are burning: from wildfires, from centuries of racialized aggression and oppression, and from the widening social distance betwixt one another as COVID and our polarized perspectives challenge our sense of collective trust. Rather than turn away, these dual pandemics call for us to turn toward one another and invest in the community fabric that remains as well as to sew together new threads.
Activating an anti-racist lens to our historical and current challenges as a nation, casting votes for Presidential and municipal elections to advance greater civility and inclusivity within our elected leadership and culture, and supporting mutual aid and connections in our daily lives and communities are part of the key ways we can show up for ourselves and each other right now. Specifically, there are opportunities to text voters with CAAL during upcoming phone banks, write letters to voters to increase turnout, and continue learning and engaging via the opportunities within this Dispatch. Through all of this, tending to individual and communal social and emotional well-being are critical, and ultimately may result in healthy practices and ways of being we might not have otherwise developed if not for our time in quarantine. Take good care as we all make a new way.
Tapping the Potential of Community Engagement
This 4-part workshop series is designed to deepen your knowledge, broaden your perspective, and sharpen your skills as you explore the potential for community engagement to create equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities. The sessions are for anyone who is interested in learning more about community engagement, or for those who wish to deepen their work with community. Session Topics: -Session 1: What is Community Engagement? -Session 2: Shifting Power: Moving from Service to Engagement -Session 3: Healing through Community Engagement -Session 4: Moving Forward: Integrating Community Engagement Practices and Shifting Work Culture [Learn more.]
It's Time to Talk: Forums on Race™
It's Time to Talk: Forums on Race fosters a space for racial justice engagement that is open to all people, no matter where they are in their racial justice journey. Participants connect with a network of people committed to racial justice and attendees leave the event ready to advance inclusion at work, in the community and with family and friends. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, YWCA Minneapolis has shifted the event to a virtual platform and expanded our event program to address the issues most impacting our community. It's Time to Talk attendees will have access to exclusive workshops and events leading up to October 21. This virtual event will feature a conversation with Khaled Beydoun, moderated by Dr. Erika Lee. [Register online.]