Lars Christiansen discusses Friendly Streets Initiative

Lars ChristiansenAssociate Professor Lars Christiansen teaches courses in Augsburg’s Department of Sociology and Urban Studies Program. Christiansen puts his scholarship into practice as director of the Friendly Streets Initiative, a St. Paul-based organization that facilitates community organizing through creative public engagement events. The group aims to help communities envision positive change to public spaces, collect and analyze data, and assist neighbors in navigating city planning processes.

Christiansen described the successes of the Friendly Streets Initiative to author Jay Walljasper for a chapter of the new book, “America’s Walking Renaissance: How cities, suburbs, and towns are getting back on their feet.” Walljasper serves as a senior fellow in Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and his writing explores how new ideas in urban planning, tourism, community development, sustainability, politics and culture can improve citizens’ lives.

An excerpt from “America’s Walking Renaissance” was published by MinnPost and included a photo of Darius Gray ’15, a community organizer with FSI.

Read, “Friendly Streets: Bottom-up St. Paul project changes the way people look at their city” on the MinnPost site.

 

Bill Green lends historical perspective to Black Lives Matter media coverage

Summer 2016 Pinterest6

What does it mean to matter?  What does it look like to matter?

With the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of racial equity have ignited important—and difficult—conversations in communities and courtrooms, on political campaign trails, and at college campuses.

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He teaches U.S. Civil Rights subject matter, and he recently has been called upon to share his expertise on these topics to assist media outlets covering Black Lives Matter news in the Twin Cities.

Green was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists,” Green used the history of the Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

On August 5, Green also appeared on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” program where he provided a comparison between contemporary protests or demonstrations and those occurring decades — perhaps even centuries — earlier. Green explained that the tactic of making a public display can be useful when a group is seeking to meet a particular goal.

“The trick with the demonstrations, of course, is somehow helping society turn the corner so that … a community doesn’t feel the need to resort to desperate measures,” he said.

The interview with cohosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola is available on the TPT website and begins at the 31:55 minute mark.

Green’s comprehensive knowledge of Minnesota history has been cultivated over decades, and his latest book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912” chronicles conditions for African-Americans in Minnesota in the half-century following the Civil War. The publication picks up where his previous book, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869,” left off. Green spoke with MinnPost about the publication, describing his interest in state history.

“The history [of Minnesota] is amazing, particularly when you look at who was here before statehood and how they interacted with each other,” he said. “I found that we were lacking a good accounting of the black people who were part of that history. Most of them didn’t leave a written record, which looks like they had nothing to say, but of course they did. They were part of this experience.”

The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.

Michael Lansing writes for MinnPost

Michael Lansing, associate professor and History Department chair, recently penned an article comparing the United States’ contemporary political landscape with periods in the late 1960s and late 1970s.

Lansing is a historian of the modern United States, and his research focuses on political history, environmental history, and other topics. In his Community Voices commentary, Lansing argued that the state of American democracy and milestones occurring in 1979 are similar to current events.

Read, “To understand this summer, look not to 1968 but to ’79” on the MinnPost site.

 

Andy Aoki discusses influence of vice presidential picks

Andy Aoki
Andy Aoki

WCCO TV recently sought counsel from Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, to answer a question about how much a presidential candidate’s vice president selection influences voters.

“How Much Does The Vice President Pick Matter?” was the focus of the recent Good Question segment.

Aoki provided a straightforward answer.

“It doesn’t usually matter a lot,” he said. “The vice presidents tend to get a lot less attention, so it’s not that easy for people to make their pick based on them because you don’t know much about them.

Read and watch the Good Question segment on the WCCO site.

Bill Green lends historical perspective to MPR News article

bill_green
Bill Green

Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Green studies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He recently was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.

In the article, Green called on the history of the U.S. Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

Read, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists” on the MPR News site.

Stadium expert Kristin Anderson speaks with
Star Tribune

Kristin Anderson gives tours and presentations at Target Field focusing on architecture, sustainability issues, and art at the ballpark.

At Augsburg College, Kristin Anderson teaches courses on the history of art and architecture, and she’s prepared to talk about works ranging from the Mona Lisa to the Metrodome.

Anderson’s current writing and research are focused on sports architecture, and she is co-authoring a book on the history of athletic facilities in the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis’ new U.S. Bank Stadium is scheduled to open its doors to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 22, and Anderson offered an explanation in the Star Tribune as to why the facility’s design needed to be bold.

“Every sports broadcast will open with a view of the stadium, the skyline shot, the establishing view of the city,” she said. “If it weren’t distinctive or if it were ugly like the Metrodome, that’s not the statement you want to make.”

Read, “As stadium opens, Vikings and city sail into new era” on the Star Tribune website.

Andy Aoki discusses international politics with WCCO-TV

AokiAndy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, recently spoke with WCCO-TV about the implications of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a move now referred to as “Brexit.”

Aoki noted that visitors to the United Kingdom may benefit from the devaluation of the pound, but Britain’s unexpected political move also had far-reaching negative effects on financial markets around the globe.

“If you’re going this summer, you’ve kind of hit the lottery because the pound doesn’t look to recover much in the near future,” Aoki told reporter Rachel Slavik.

Economic and immigration issues were in the spotlight as the British debated whether or not to pull out of the European Union, and Aoki also provided Slavik with background on how these issues are influencing the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States.

Watch, “UK’s ‘Brexit’ Decision Could Have Worldwide Impact” on the WCCO website.

Kristin Anderson discusses new football stadium, history of athletic facilities in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kristin Anderson — a sports architecture expert, Augsburg College archivist, and art history professor — recently spoke with Minnesota Public Radio host Cathy Wurzer about the Twin Cities’ athletic stadium history.

The Vikings football franchises’ new U.S. Bank Stadium will celebrate its grand opening in approximately one month, and Anderson provided context on how the facility continues some local legacies while innovating in other regards.

Listen to, “U.S. Bank Stadium marks a new chapter in stadium history” on the MPR website to learn more.

Auggie Shannon Schuler ’17 earns scholarship from holistic nurses association

Augsburg College student and registered nurse Shannon Schuler ’17 was awarded the 2016 Charlotte McGuire Scholarship at the annual conference of the American Holistic Nurses Association held May 31-June 5. The Charlotte McGuire Scholarship Program was named in honor of the AHNA founder and is intended to recognize and celebrate individuals who are dedicated to practicing holistic nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Schuler is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing and is focusing on caring science, transcultural nursing and holistic approaches to nursing. She also is studying to become a master in reiki and a graduate from the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute in how to apply yoga philosophies and practices in the professional medical environment.

Augsburg alumnus and business owner leaves small community big gift

As a local dentist, Augsburg College alumnus Dr. Pat Patel ’75 served the small communities of Clarkfield and Cottonwood, Minnesota, for decades. The Advocate Tribune of Granite Falls and Clarkfield recently published a story detailing Patel’s career and the unusual way he’s leaving his business upon his retirement. Instead of selling his dental practice property, Patel opted to donate his assets to the city of Clarkfield so that they could be awarded as an incentive for young dentists seeking to start their own practices in the area.

According to the article, Patel did not want Clarkfield to be without a dentist after his retirement and sought a way to “give back to the community that he spread his roots in.”

Read, “Dr. Patel retires with an abundance of smiles” on the Advocate Tribune site.