In a recent MinnPost article, Harry Boyte said that commonwealth was a way for ordinary citizens to develop authority for their claims to equality. The commonwealth vision of civic construction made possible the creation of churches, schools and colleges, women’s organizations like the Council of Negro Women and labor groups like the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Boyte said.
“In a time of eroding faith in democracy and looming threats to the commons, from schools, colleges, and libraries to water resources, coastal areas, and public parks, remembering the commonwealth and the tasks of civic repair can generate the hope we need,” said Boyte, in the article. “The commonwealth vision makes democracy a way of life, not simply a trip to the ballot box, and puts citizens back in as its agents and architects.”
Boyte is a Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg University. He is the architect of the center’s public work approach to civic engagement and democracy, and the creator of Public Achievement.
In the 1960s, he worked for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a field secretary with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Civil Rights Movement, where he learned about the commonwealth and the claims from civic construction.
Clergy leaders from around Minneapolis gathered at the Augsburg University athletic field to film a football-themed video hosted by the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. The purpose is to raise funds and awareness to end homelessness through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and to promote unity across faiths, races and politics.
“With the world’s gaze on Minneapolis because of the upcoming Super Bowl, it was important for leaders to take a strong stand” said Pastor David Shinn
Former Vikings star was present to give orders to the team of interfaith clergy leaders. “Today is a little different… One heart. One mind. One spirit,” explained Greg Coleman.
“And do a line of scrimmage with the Catholics and the Protestants and the Rabbis and Imams and the Hindus and the Unitarians all on the same team, pulling in the same direction, working on the same goal – all working to prevent homelessness. Something is happening in the interfaith community here that is pretty unique in our nation and it will be something our country and world needs – how we bridge these differences and our traditions. We had a common cause and football and the image of the field and diverse team really clicked with everybody all these traditions on the same team.” said Tim Hart-Andersen of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Downtown Minneapolis.
“The Avengers: First They Marched, Now They’re Running,” reads the headline across the cover. This year, a record number of women are running for office, and among them is Leah Phifer, adjunct faculty at Augsburg University, where she teaches Politics and Policy of Immigration, Introduction to American Government and Political Methodology.
Pifer is running for the DFL nomination for the 8th district seat of the U.S. House. Leah has served Minnesotans through her work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security and has also worked for the FBI, enforcing laws written in the name of national security.
“Of course, electing more women in Congress would not necessarily lead to an instant federal paid-family-leave plan or national child care. Female lawmakers of both parties tend to elevate issues that men ignore.” states Charlotte Altar, the author of the TIME magazine article. “Women have a long way to go to get to parity in American politics. They hold less than 20% of seats in Congress, just 25% of those in state legislatures and only six of the nation’s 50 governorships.” adds Altar.
Leah’s picture is just below the “T” in “The Avengers.” Part of the word “First” is directly over her hair. This appears in the January 29, 2018 issue of TIME.
Thousands of federal employees were furloughed across the country due to the government shutdown that began on Friday, January 19. Fortunately, things do not look so bad for the state of Minnesota.
“We have fewer things that are funded by the federal government, in fact we tend to send in more than we get back from the federal government.” Andrew Aoki, political science professor at Augsburg University explains. However, the shutdown has affected both the Mississippi National River Visitors Center and the Science Museum, as both had to close.
More than 900 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2017 Fall Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.
Amid the opioid crisis, recovery programs on college campuses are quickly multiplying, with over 100 campuses across the country. Augsburg University is one of them.
Students like Neil King, who is addicted to painkillers, now wants to recover and keep his life on track. King heard about Augsburg University’s StepUP® program from his hospital roommate during recovery and decided to apply.
“When King first moved in to StepUP®, he was in a perpetual state of crisis. He stabilized, got used to being back in school and worked through the initial difficulties of recovery with the help of his counselor. The staff also helped him get necessities; he had shown up to school with only a duffel bag and two trash bags filled with clothes.” Explains Sanchez on the article.
King will be graduating in just a few months with a degree in clinical psychology. He thanks his recovery to the community he was able to find at StepUP®.
Emily Reinert, assistant director of Augsburg’s Strommen Center for Meaningful Work, spoke with Star Tribune’s Lee Schafer about the approach Augsburg takes when helping students find meaningful work. “Vocation” is a word that students at Augsburg hear often. Career counselors value the importance of helping students find jobs that match the student’s vocation, that is, jobs that are meaningful to the student and are bigger than just a paycheck.
Although many college seniors seem to have a clear vision of their future, others are still stuck and wonder what is next for them. “I see the need to prod them a little to get them to go talk to people about work and careers. Their first choice for information is going to be a computer or smartphone. Google is clearly useful in a career search. Finding a way into a meaningful job is a process. It’s not like there’s a quick career research boot camp, and you’re ready to go now.” Reinert explains.
Augsburg’s Strommen Center for Meaningful Work works closely with students to help them create meaningful connections with working professionals and guide them to find jobs internships in their chosen field.
Mike Sime, Augsburg StepUP® program advisory board chair, talked with Paul Douglas on WCCO Radio Friday about the program’s foundation, success, and work to support other institutions in establishing recovery programs. Douglas called StepUP® a revolutionary program, as it currently is the largest residential collegian recovery program in the U.S. The program is dedicated to students in recovery from drug of alcohol abuse and provides a sober living environment and counseling.
“I look at it as a parent. If you have a student who is newly in recovery, has been sober and now you think about sending them off to college, that would be my worst nightmare, so to have a safe and supportive environment that they can come to that is clean and sober with other students, it really makes sense and creates an unique environment,” expressed Mike about the importance of having such program.
The program began after a student in recovery shared his need for a sober environment, explained Mike. The student expressed that his experience would have been easier if he had a community who was also in recovery with him. Augsburg made the commitment to develop StepUP® and through it, the program has helped over 750 students in 20 years.
Star Tribune’s Richard Chin refers to Brian Krohn ‘08 as a “Minnesota Genius” in his article. Among Krohn’s creations are surgery tools,wizard staffs, a cycling workout app, and more recently, Soundly, a cell phone application designed to help people who snore by getting them to play a voice-activated game to strengthen their upper airway muscles.
While at Augsburg, Krohn switched majors from film to chemistry, that’s when his interest to becoming a scientist began. His undergraduate research led him to “Good Morning America” where he talked about a process to produce environmentally-friendly fuel, which was later commercialized in the development of a $9 million pilot plant.
“A lot of times I get a little bug about something, I kind of just do things and see where they go” says Krohn about his ventures.
Housing prices are going up, and so are the number of evictions in the Twin Cities. Evictions are specially affecting some of the most disadvantaged populations. Matthew Demond, professor at Princeton University, spoke at Augsburg University about his Pulitzer prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”. In this book, he follows eight families in Milwaukee and documents their struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
“Oftentimes evictions aren’t a condition of poverty, they’re a cause of it. In the Midwest, with cold winters, evictions spike in the summer because many people who struggle to pay for housing expenses pay their landlords in the winter, when utilities companies are banned from shutting off the gas, and switch to paying the utility company in the summer”, Desmond explained to a packed house at Augsburg University.