Twin Cities media report on lawmakers’ Cuba trip organized by Augsburg College center

A bipartisan group of five state legislators, staff, and some family members traveled to Cuba as part of new interest in strengthening ties between the two countries and preparing for potential trade opportunities. Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education and Experience helped to organize the trip, which was mentioned in Twin Cities-based print and broadcast media.

KSTP aired a story covering the trip, which will be unofficial and self-funded by the participants. According to the television news organization, the trip will focus on increasing the lawmakers’ understanding of Cuba and its economic climate.

The Star Tribune also published trip information prior to the departure of participants.

Read: Five Minnesota legislators, staff head to Cuba on the newspaper website.

Sabo Symposium: Funding for Minnesota education

sabosymposiumBy Jenny Pinther ’15 with Wendi Wheeler ’06

The spring 2012 Sabo Center Symposium featured two Minnesota task force members in a discussion about how to spend $100 million on racial integration programs in the metro area public schools. Peter A. Swenson and Scott Thomas were the co-chairs of the task force who spoke at Augsburg’s Sabo Symposium.

Their discussion was moderated by educational leaders Bill Green, Augsburg professor of history who also served on the task force, and Nan Skelton, director emerita of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. Continue reading “Sabo Symposium: Funding for Minnesota education”

Reflections on violence in Norway, U.S.

Spikersuppe_Fountain
Photos courtesy of Frankie Shackelford: Spikersuppe is a downtown park and Storting (lion statue) is the national Parliament

Sonja Blackstone ’12 and professor Frankie Shackelford reflect on the violence in Norway which occurred this summer and its connections to Sept. 11, 2001. Blackstone and Shackelford were in Norway during the attacks for the Nobel Peace Scholars program.

9/11-7/22

By Sonja Blackstone

I was living two miles from downtown Oslo this summer, studying peace and conflict at the University of Oslo. On the afternoon of Friday, July 22 my friends and I were enjoying the beginning of our weekend when we thought we heard thunder. Twenty minutes later everything changed. Word of an explosion began murmuring through campus, students who had been downtown flooded back, scared, with stories of broken glass and people running. Continue reading “Reflections on violence in Norway, U.S.”

A Preamble Movement

boyte_preambleHarry C. Boyte is the co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on organizing theory and practice at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and is in demand as a keynote speaker with faculty, students, and professionals.

Americans this election season are in an angry, anxious mood that defies easy labels. As Joel Klein describes in a Time cover story based on conversations across the country, “People told personal stories and made complicated arguments that didn’t fit neatly into their assigned political categories.”  Continue reading “A Preamble Movement”

Getting around at the Capitol

capitolIf you want to get in front of the state’s lawmakers, especially during the legislative session, you’ve got to know your way around the system—and around the state Capitol building. Jay Benanav has no problem with either.

Last fall Benanav was hired as Augsburg’s Director of Government Relations, a role his illustrious career helped him fill easily. “One thing that helps me is that I have some credibility. I’ve known these people for more than 20 years.”

Since he completed law school in the late 70s, Benanav has been counsel to the Minnesota Senate, was a practicing attorney, was the deputy commissioner in the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, served as president of a private insurance agency, sat on the St. Paul city council, and manages a consulting agency that helps students and families get into college and avoid unmanageable debt. Continue reading “Getting around at the Capitol”