FINDING COMMON GROUND IN OUR COMMUNITY

The APMG mission is to enrich the mind and nourish the spirit; to expand the perspectives of our audiences; and help them strengthen their communities. Given that THEIR communities are OUR communities, it is up to us to better understand the communities where we operate if we want to be part of strengthening those communities.
Community

Posted by Mickey Moore

Saturday, my family joined over 5000 people walking to end Alzheimers disease.  My father had Alzheimers, and our family was greatly supported by the resources of the Alzheimers Association of Minnesota-North Dakota.  We learned to appreciate the moment, and we were directed to studies and support groups.

Alzheimers, one of today’s most pressing health issues, has been covered by Minnesota Public Radio from many angles. 

Despite Alzheimers, Couple Holds on Tight to Memories: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/npr.php?id=196250975

Alive Inside, Music Improves the Lives of Alzheimers Patients.  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/04/26/daily-circuit-alzheimers-music-alive-inside

Managing Finances AFter an Alzheimers Diagnosis

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/03/07/daily-circuit-alzheimers-finances

Posted by Katie Robinson, MPR Intern

As someone who believes that social and economic justice are the most pressing issues her community is facing, Crystal, of Minn., has chosen to highlight Rick Strickler, a volunteer at Our Saviour’s Emergency Shelter (OSH) where she works. OSH provides free educational services, including English speaking and reading, math skills, computer skills, and citizenship preparation. They also offer and emergency shelter, transitional housing, and longer term housing for over 600 people experiencing homelessness each year. Much of this work is done by their 1400 annual volunteers, like Rick:

“He began volunteering at the shelter desk three times a week to welcome and assist anyone who found their way to our door – people experiencing the hardships of homelessness, donors of in-kind goods, dinner volunteers, and even the mail carrier. He greeted them with a smile, baked goods and coffee, friendly conversation, and a grateful demeanor. Everyone looked forward to their next interaction with Rick because he made them feel important and worth his time. Not too long after Rick’s first few months, he desired to increase his volunteer commitment at OSH….No task was too random or beneath him; rather he would initiate any task that would assist the staff and residents of OSH. His generosity was impossible to miss.”

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“This is a picture of Rick and the group he coordinated to serve dinner at Our Saviour’s Housing. He is the second person from the right.”

This story was produced with the help of the Public Insight Network. Share your community’s story of real change here

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Posted by Katie Robinson, MPR Intern

In addition to youth, community members and church members showing up to one of last month’s community paint parties for the Central Identity Project, there were also offerings of free organic produce. From who, you ask? Well, in the wake some controversy surrounding worker’s rights at the food-providing Minneapolis non-profit Sister’s Camelot, striking canvassers started their own food-sharing organization, called the North Country Food Alliance. Having just been approved as a non-profit in July, the alliance’s main project is gathering and distributing leftover and slightly damaged organic produce from co-ops around the city and delivering it to residents of local food deserts for free. In addition, they also lead weekly wild food foraging trips, and have urban gardening and community meal programs in the works. The Alliance is IWW unionized, completely worker-run, and are looking to grow in the coming months. Look out for them at Twin Cities community events!

APM/MPR senior leadership had the opportunity to tour the Northside with Northside Achievement Zone Executive Director, Sondra Samuels and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak.

Education is one of the areas APM/MPR intends to have positive community impact.  The Northside Achievement Zone NAZ) is a nonprofit organization that is taking a cradle to college approach to end generational poverty in North Minneapolis.  At the core is education, and at the core of education success is the family unit.  So, NAZ partners with over 20 organizations to truly address the myriad issues faced by scholars and their families in the zone.  Mayor RT Rybak and NAZ Executive Director Sondra Samuels led the senior leadership team on an empassioned tour of the Northside, including a historical perspective and a visit to Harvest Prep, one of NAZ’s partner schools.  At Harvest Prep, we were priviledged to meet two scholars - both 8th graders.  One who intends to be “the next Bill Gates” and another future scientist.  There are great opportunities to learn more and to get involved.  If you are interested, contact me.

Post by Mickey Moore, Managing Director of Inclusion and Community Impact

APM/MPR areas of intended impact include education, the arts, health, the economy and the environment.  The work of In Progress in developing young artists sits at the intersection of many of these areas of impact.  I had the pleasure of visiting with Kristine Sorenson, Executive Director on a recent afternoon in the sunny In Progress space just off of Rice Street in St. Paul.  The above photos are from a recent project asking people just to submit  photograph that shows something about their story.

 The best description of their work can be found on the In Progess website:

In Progress is a small non-profit arts center dedicated to paving the way for new voices in the field of digital arts. In Progress has been promoting the voices of newly developing artists since its inception in 1996. The organization offices out of a store front in Saint Paul Minnesota but most of our activities extend well beyond this location. Our artists work throughout the United States in partnership with youth, communities and schools to develop opportunities for young people to develop their skills as digital storytellers.

Kristine’s passion for youth and developing artists is palpable and now spans more than one generation. Check out their website and these photograhs from a recent exhibit.

An original painting by Allan of Portland, Oregon.

Posted by Katie Robinson, MPR Intern  “The point is that there is a Portland whose essence is a gritty, hardcore river city with no tolerance for bullshit. That essence is going to emerge, and people like me, the ignored and marginalized because of snobbery and location, will be finally able to take back OUR city.” Allan tells us that the Portland creative class are his city’s unsung heroes. They may not have been successful where they came from, but they’ve built a community in East Portland that is gritty and thriving in it’s own ways.”

This story was produced with the help of the Public Insight Network. Share your community’s story of real change here

Ever seen one of these adorable houses?

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More than likely, its a Little Free Library. The idea is simple: take a book, leave a book for free. The phenomenon that began in as one small carpentry project in Wisconsin has since spread around the world, not only in the form of little libraries, but in a multifaceted campaign for literacy. To participate, you can do anything from building a little library for your own yard, to organizing community builds, to supporting multiple literacy projects, around the world. Last year, a particularly innovative program used the libraries for another form of community good. Inmates at the the Prairie Du Chien Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, began building the boxes for their communities, as part of a vocational training program the prison offers. Seems like the good these Little Free Libraries can do is endless.

“Long-term acquisition of “green space”, protection of our water, and defining non-car-intensive transportation and access plans. I am not a fanatic on these matters, but see that we have limited windows of opportunity to address the issues — especially the “water” topic.”

- Steven of Gainesville, Florida, on a way to improve his community, especially considering North Florida has the world’s largest concentration of fresh-water springs, which also are under profound threat.

This story was produced with the help of the Public Insight Network. Share your community’s story of real change here


There have been multiple times when I have yearned for a yoga class, but been unable or unwilling to pay the 10-15 dollars it usually requires. Living in California, I have done classes by places like Yoga To The People, which employs a college-student friendly donation-based, model, but was unable to find a similar studio in the Twin Cities. And then I found Yogasol. The studio, which opened up about a year and a half ago, is also donation-based, meaning I can pay 5 dollars instead of 10. They offer a range of classes for all levels, and a calming candlelight class after 6:00, that is actually my candlelight. At the risk of inundating their studio I encourage everyone to get the word out about the affordable Yogasol!

“Asian America isn’t a monolith but a patchwork quilt, and each square — so to speak — needs to be regarded through a slightly different lens.”

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Doris Truong, Multiplatform Editor at the Washington Post, saw a problem with the news coverage of her community. The stories about the Asian-American community of which she was a part catered to the common “positive” stereotypes of Asian-Americans: middle-class, well educated, with lots of opportunities and resources. This was a stereotype that the Hmong community was largely not a part of, and thus, their stories were being glossed over. She would like to see more diversity in the stories of her local news, as well as in the staff which reports them. A writer herself, she believes that a strong community is a well informed community.

This story was produced with the help of the Public Insight Network. Share your community’s story of real change here