Democracy Augsburg Teach-in: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement

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Join us Tuesday, September 25 at 4:00 p.m. in Hagfors 151 when Harry Boyte delivers the first Democracy Augsburg Teach-in of the year, Addressing the Crisis in Democracy- Lessons from the civil rights movement. Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy at the Sabo Center, served as a field secretary for Rev. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the southern freedom movement. He will lift up lessons from the movement, including the key role young people played, and relate them to our current crisis in democracy.

Relational Skills for Bridging Divides

In our current climate of political polarization, people with differing perspectives and opinions struggle to engage in productive conversation. We tend to be quick to defend or demonize, deepening the divide that exists in the American people. Even when we want to reach out to those with different perspectives, we often don’t know how.

In response to these issues, The Sabo Center with the Civic Studies Fellows is offering this day-long workshop will feature a Better Angels skill building session in which participants will learn effective ways to communicate with others who differ from them politically or ideologically. Over luncBetter Angels logo, How to Talk Across the Political Divideh Dr. William J. Doherty will deliver a keynote address. Bill Doherty is the an educator, researcher, therapist, speaker, author, consultant, and community organizer who designed the Better Angels process. In the afternoon participants will practice their communication skills in deliberative dialogues on an array of hot topics.

Image of Bill Doherty
Bill Doherty

Relational Skills for Bridging Divides

Saturday, November 3, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hagfors Center, Augsburg University

 

Thanks to support from Augsburg University and the Kettering Foundation, there is no cost to attend this event but registration is required. Registration will open September 25.

Summer Intern Reflections – Food and Community

Campus Kitchen hosted two high school interns through the Minneapolis Step-Up program again this summer. Davonte returned for a second year, bringing confidence to share his previous knowledge and to ask brave questions in staff meetings, and Rahma for the first year, bringing lots of Cedar-Riverside neighborhood knowledge and incredible baking skills.

This summer I’ve had the pleasure to work with Campus Kitchen. Over the summer I participated in meetings where complex ideas were discussed and I had the liberty to share my own thoughts and ideas within an inter-generational group which was a knowledgeable experience for me. I had the privilege to learn about vegetables that were unfamiliar to me at first and then figure out how to use these vegetables to make healthy and creative foods such as zucchini chocolate chip muffins, zucchini chocolate chip cookies, and cucumber brownies. My cooking skills grew very much this summer as I had lots of opportunities to practice thanks to Campus Kitchen. I’m also much more comfortable in a garden setting now. I got to work in the campus community garden a lot which strengthened my agricultural skills and knowledge. Throughout the summer I participated in many garden activities such as watering, trellis building, plant identification, harvesting, checking the soil and some landscaping. On Saturdays, I participated in the weekly gleaning where we received donations of produce from farmers at the Mill City Farmers Market who were willing to give. After this we sorted through and bagged the produce to give to The Cedars, which are low income apartments for the elderly in Cedar-Riverside. There we would have to communicate with the elderly whom often didn’t speak english. Usually we’d have leftover produce from the Saturday gleaning which we used to make a delicious and healthy lunch every Tuesday in the aforementioned garden. On Thursdays we prepared meals for about 50-60 elderly people who live in the Ebenezer Tower and Seward Towers East/West. Some Fridays we’d prepare and serve dinner for some of the residents at the Ebenezer Tower. Campus Kitchen allowed me to grow my knowledge of food desserts, positive/negative food environments, food oasis, ugly vegetables, school lunches, food rights in our community, fast food, food insecurities, the food process (where food comes from/how it gets to us), and composting. We did many projects and research to further our knowledge on these subjects such as making a food glossary, conducting a market basket survey, a research project on food desserts, and a presentation about school lunches. I’m now much more aware and conscious of food waste thanks to Campus Kitchen. I thoroughly enjoyed my second summer of working with Campus Kitchen and I’m thankful for the experience.

-Davonte Hall (South High School, class of 2021)

Hey, My name is Rahma Farah and this summer I worked in for the Campus Kitchen as an intern.The Campus Kitchen at Augsburg is an on-campus student program that is a member of a national nonprofit organization. We did all sorts of different things such as work in the community garden to help the gardeners’ plants grow and build many trellis so that their tomatoes could grow on them. We also got a lot of donated fresh produce from the Mill City Farmers Market that we give out to The Cedars, which are a low income apartments for the elderly in Cedar-Riverside, and the Campus Cupboard, which is a food shelf for Augsburg students. Every Tuesday we’d use some of that produce to make a garden lunch where anyone could come grab a bite to eat. On every Thursday we go to Ebenezer Tower, Seward Tower East and West and prepared about 60 meals in total. And every other Friday we go back to Ebenezer Tower and serve and eat dinner with them.

Throughout this experience I gained many skills. By going to the Friday dinners, it boosted up my communication skills because I would talk to a different person every time we went. By working out at the garden, I gained knowledge about plants such as how to identify them and take care of them. I also learned how to manage my time, since some days we were given a list of tasks that had to be done and we’d get it done with time to spare. We did all sorts of different projects like learning about food deserts in our neighborhoods and food securities in the elderly community. We did a market basket survey about the grocery stores in the area and their prices for certain items. I also became more aware about food waste and compostable items. This summer has been full of great experiences and I want to thank the Campus Kitchen team for an amazing first job experience.

The first photo is us learning how to build a trellis.

The second photo is of us brainstorming a food system.

-Rahma Farah (South High School, class of 2021)

students build a garden trellis

students brainstorming

New Frontiers in Civic Revitalization: Local Democracy Summit

The Public Work Academy at Augsburg University and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service are co-presenting a local democracy summit in Wausau, Wisconsin.

New Frontiers in Civic Revitalization:
Local Democracy Summit

November 15, 2018 • 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

UW Center for Civic Engagement
625 Stewart Ave Wausau, WI 54403

 Register Now!   Registration is limited to the first 75 attendees

The theory and practice of “public work” are transforming civic and professional practice in the United States and abroad.           – David Mathews, President, Kettering Foundation

Communities across the nation face fragmentation and polarization. Yet cities and towns, large and small, also have the potential to be the seedbed for a rebirth of citizenship and democracy – providing an alternative to the national politics of blame and gridlock.

This summit at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service will introduce civic leaders from Wisconsin to the new Midwest Public Work Academy’s Small Cities Democracy Network located at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Participants will:

  • Engage in a high-level conversation with thought leaders across multiple sectors – including business, education, government, health care, foundations, and more.
  • Share perspectives, examples and leading practices in citizen-centered efforts to address public problems and create shared community resources across partisan and other differences.
  • Learn from case studies of effective citizen-government and cross-partisan partnerships for the common good such as “Clear Vision Eau Claire,” “Better Angels” and “Public Achievement.”
  • Receive training from internationally recognized leaders in public work, including Harry Boyte, Marie Ström and Mike Huggins.
  • Receive a free copy of Harry Boyte’s new book, “Awakening Democracy through Public Work.”
  • Learn about how your organization or community can plug into the growing movement around public work being organized by the new Midwest Public Work Academy based at Augsburg.

Cost: $75 per person (includes lunch and book) For information, contact info@wipps.org or call 715-261-6388.

Auggies Engage

 

Auggies Engage​ aims to co-create a shared vision of civic and campus life with fellow students, problem-solving for the benefit of the whole community. Do not underestimate the power of your voice. We don’t.

Throughout September and October, incoming first year and transfer students meet with a student leader on campus to build a relationship and explore your power and purpose at Augsburg University. Your student leader will reach out to you via your Augsburg email account to schedule a time to meet.

As an incoming Transfer or First Year student, you will have the opportunity

  • To connect with current student leaders with whom they may not necessarily connect to create understanding around shared interests, values, goals, and passions;
  • To begin to inform students’ sense of agency and community on campus; and
  • To ask any questions or share any concerns they have regarding their first few weeks on campus.

Engaged Student

Engaged Students operate from a mindset that campus and community change is a possibility, and that new realities can be realized. They build relationships and alliances with fellow students, staff, and faculty; and attempt to build their capacity by understanding others’ values, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences (adapted from Strom, 2006).

Contact Auggies Engage

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your student leader or to the Auggies Engage team at auggiesengageprogram@augsburg.edu.

Marina Christensen Justice Award

Every year at Commencement, one graduating senior receives the Marina Christensen Justice Award for demonstrated dedication to community and working in solidarity with marginalized people. This award recognizes work that is in keeping with the personal and professional life of Marina Christensen Justice, who courageously and effectively reached out to disadvantaged people and communities.

Nominations are submitted in the spring with nominations for other Augsburg Leadership Awards, and are judged on the following criteria:

  • The depth and breadth of community involvement
  • A strong commitment to addressing the systemic roots of the issues
  • A personal and professional commitment to work with marginalized communities
  • Bold and courageous leadership
  • Authentic and sustained engagement with community and issues.

 

Minnesota Campus Compact Award Winners

Each year Minnesota Campus Compact presents awards at their annual statewide summit. At this year’s summit, an Augsburg student, staff member, and community partner were recognized for their leadership and collaborative work. The 2018 award recipients were:

Student Leadership Award: Janet Nguyen

As the student food shelf coordinator this year, Janet built a base of committed volunteers, increased participation and donations, and even navigated a successful recovery from a small fire. Janet brought a bold, equity-focused lens to the food shelf by diversifying offerings and working to destigmatize food insecurity.

Civic Engagement Steward Award: Jane Becker

Jane Becker, Augsburg’s Head Volleyball Coach, organizes more than 500 athletes and their coaches each year to engage with youth in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood and beyond. She has created new summer sports clinics, an on-campus homework help program, and an alternative spring break program for young people.

Community Partner Award: Cedar Riverside Community School

Cedar Riverside Community School is the only school in the Cedar Riverside constantly adapts to best serve the educational needs of an ever-changing population. School leaders and teaching staff are committed to deep, reciprocal partnership with Augsburg, so that CRCS and Augsburg students are prepared successful futures.

 

 

RELATIONAL SKILLS FOR BRIDGING DIVIDES

In this climate of political polarization, people with differing perspectives and opinions struggle to engage in productive conversation. We tend to be quick to defend or demonize, deepening the divide that exists in the American people. Even when we want to reach out to those with different perspectives, we often don’t know how.

May 7, 2018, 1:30-3:30 p.m. | Marshall Room, Christensen Center

This workshop offers a sampling of two different strategies to engage more productively. The first hour will be devoted to learning some of the skills developed by Better Angels for listening and speaking in difficult conversations. In the second hour we’ll put those skills into practice with a deliberative dialogue on How to Prevent Mass Shootings in the United States.

This event is free and open to the public. Register here to participate.

As participants in this workshop you will be the first to be invited to a full-day seminar on these themes and practices will be offered on November 3, 2018.

PUBLIC MISSION: LESSONS FROM THE EAST PROGRAM

The Sabo Center’s Public Mission series will feature presentations and conversations on our institutional public purpose and the ways in which we work toward it. At this first Public Mission event, Audrey Lensmire, Associate Professor of Education, presents key lessons from the East African Student to Teacher program and explores how these lessons might apply to other diversity and inclusion efforts at Augsburg University.

Wednesday, March 28th
12:00-1:00pm
Oren Gateway Center 100

Since 2013 the EAST Program has been awarding full tuition scholarships to people of East African descent who wish to become licensed K-12 teachers. Funded by the state of Minnesota, EAST is nationally recognized for its efforts to diversify the teacher workforce. EAST’s success can be attributed to the committed and collaborative efforts by diverse stakeholders across campus and the local community.

Audrey Lensmire

MARTIN OLAV SABO SYMPOSIUM: Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement?

Organizing the religiously unaffiliated in today’s climate of polarization.

This symposium features an address by Phil Zuckerman, professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, with responses by Jacqui Frost and Evan Stewart of the University of Minnesota.

A panel of community organizers and elected officials, moderated by Penny Edgell, will follow the address.

Wednesday, February 28th
6:00-8:00pm
Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion

This event is free and open to the public.