MPR News on March 17 featured the final keynote address for the 2021 Forum on Workplace Inclusion, a conversation between MPR News host Angela Davis and Eddie Glaude Jr., a professor at Princeton University. Glaude made a call to action for conference participants, encouraging them to tell the truth about what has gotten in the way of full inclusion and to allow people to bring the fullness of themselves to the table. The MPR News site offers a complete audio version of the conversation, “The ‘workplace revolution’ with author and academic Eddie Glaude Jr.”
William Green, M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professor of critical race and ethnic studies, was one of the experts interviewed in a PBS NewHour story on the Chauvin trial.
Green commented that, while he was hopeful, he also was concerned that there may not be lasting change, even if Chauvin is convicted. “The very nature of a trial narrows down the issue to a focus that may not deal with any kind of systemic change at all,” he said.
About Augsburg Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.
Lupita Benavides, a student in the Master of Arts in Nursing program’s transcultural nursing track, is administering COVID-19 vaccines in this KARE 11 story. The February vaccine clinic, sponsored by M Health Fairview and St. Mary’s Health Clinics, targeted members of the Latinx community in St. Paul, which has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
FOX 9 recently featured Minneapolis South High School students Gabe Chang-Deutsch and Clara Conry, who are part of the nation’s top-ranked debate team in the January 2021 National Coaches Poll. Minneapolis South High School is one of the schools that participates in Minnesota Urban Debate League, a program of Augsburg University.
Chang-Deutsch noted that the Urban Debate League’s coaching has helped them be competitive with students from prestigious private schools. Amy Cram Helwich, executive director of the Minnesota Urban Debate League, also was interviewed.
Elaine Eschenbacher leads civic and community engagement at Augsburg University, but when COVID-19 hit, she was tapped by the first lady of Minnesota and Augsburg’s president to help the state get through the pandemic. She became the higher education operations lead for the COVID-19 Testing Work Group at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
In this role, she collaborates with members of the testing workgroup, leaders at colleges and universities, the team of epidemiologists at MDH that focuses on higher education, and others. Eschenbacher remains employed by Augsburg, which has a contract with the state for her time.
On January 20, William Green, M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professor of critical race and ethnic studies at Augsburg University, gave a lecture titled “What Happened in This Region to Create the Disparities That Black Americans Continue to Experience Today?” The lecture was part of a series on racial justice sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Foundation. In it, Green spoke about moments in history, such as the Civil War, when people addressed injustice; reflected on whether or not the protests following the death of George Floyd signaled major change; and spoke about the need for leaders to make racial equity a priority if the work is to continue.
President Paul Pribbenow was quoted extensively in “Private college presidents turn focus from pandemic to insurrection,” an Inside Higher Ed story about how college and university presidents are responding to the recent attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pribbenow and others learned of the violence during a plenary panel he was leading as part of the Council of Independent Colleges’ virtual Presidential Institute. Among the topics he addressed were concerns about how the historic trauma faced by students of color can be exacerbated by images from January 6 and the need for institutions of higher education “to model healthy democratic engagement.”
Professor Jeanne Boeh, chair of business administration at Augsburg University, was one of three experts in WCCO’s “Good Question” segment on December 28, 2020. Boeh and two other economists answered the question, “How is the economy doing?” She expressed concern based on the unemployment rate and spoke about the potential for foreclosures if people don’t get back to work soon.
The December 17, 2020, MPR news story “‘Who you are is valuable’: How Black male teachers in Minnesota are recruiting others to the profession” opens and closes with the story of Augsburg student Kaiyre Lewis ’23. Because there are so few Black male teachers in Minnesota, the nonprofit organization Black Men Teach is working to recruit Black male high school and college students for teaching careers. Lewis has connected with Black male teachers through the nonprofit and recently decided to change his major from political science to elementary education.
How can Minnesotans face the truth about racism, past and present? Columnist Myron Medcalf explored that subject recently in the Star Tribune and interviewed Augsburg History Professor William Green.
Green said reading a wide range of material about Black history is the key to knowing the steps that have led to this critical moment. Many Minnesotans were surprised that George Floyd could happen here in part because so many hadn’t grappled with the state’s true history of race relations. “Some people throw their hands up and say, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ ” Green said. “The conclusion is they do nothing. But that’s not the solution.”