This week, Andy Aoki, department chair of political science and Sabo fellow at Augsburg College, was a featured analyst on Political Insider, a weekly news segment broadcast on KSTP.
Aoki joined Larry Jacobs, a University of Minnesota faculty member, and provided input on a variety of local and national political stories including Minnesota’s health care affordability issue and confirmation hearings for President Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet members.
This week, Andy Aoki, department chair of political science and Sabo fellow at Augsburg College, appeared on Political Insider, a weekly news segment on KSTP.
Aoki joined Joe Pescek, a Hamline Univeristy faculty member, and provided input on a variety of local and national political stories including President-Elect Donald Trump’s social media commentary and a potential career move for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.
“You’d never expect to find a leafy arboretum in a high-density, high-diversity, high-traffic neighborhood,” says MinnPost writer Jay Walljasper. “But that’s exactly what Augsburg College is planning for its unmistakably urban campus in the heart of Minneapolis, which borders Fairview Riverside Medical complex, the high-rise Riverside Plaza towers, two freeways, two light rail lines, busy shopping districts on Franklin Avenue and Cedar Avenues, plus one of the largest Somali communities outside of Africa.”
Walljasper, a senior fellow for the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, described Augsburg’s ambitious plan to transform its campus into a living laboratory in a recent article on the history of the urban college, its intent to plant native Minnesota species, and its brainstorming and decision-making processes for the landscape design project.
Read: “Augsburg College looks to transform its campus into an urban arboretum” on the MinnPost site.
KARE 11 television recently interviewed a group of 5th graders who created a multicultural cookbook as a way to promote diversity and tolerance. The students are part Public Achievement, an Augsburg College program designed to teach democracy and citizenship through service projects.
The segment also featured program director Dennis Donovan. “There are a lot of issues in the world, and we need people to come together and solve these problems,” he said. “Having young people participate in public achievement gives them a skill-set and process that normally they would not have.”
Watch and read Students create cookbook to promote diversity on the KARE 11 site.
Harry Boyte, senior fellow at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently published an article for Education Week about democracy in education. The article is part of a conversational series between Boyte and Deborah Meier, senior scholar at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.
Boyte argues that we should view democracy as “an empowering way of life,” and not merely a decision-making process. “We need to combine the ‘head,’ which makes decisions, the ‘heart,’ moral imagination and emotion, and the ‘hand,’ civic muscles that power action in the world,” he writes.
In regards to education, Boyte offers an antidote to a culture that separates the hard sciences, the arts and the professional or vocational fields, parallels to the “head”, “heart” and “hand” metaphor. He argues in favor of Cooperative Education, “a method that combines academic study and classroom learning with practical work experience for which students can receive academic credit.”
Read the article, which also was published on the Huffington Post Education site.
The Pioneer Press reports that St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has appointed Erik Skold, leader of the North Star Worker Fellowship at the Minnesota Department of Education and the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, as director of Sprockets, the city’s network of after-school programs.
Skold has been serving as the program’s interim director since the departure of previous director. Skold holds a master’s degree in youth development leadership from the University of Minnesota.
Read St. Paul’s Sprockets program gets new director on the Pioneer Press site.
Harry Boyte, senior scholar in public work philosophy for the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, shared in a recent Huffington Post article his experiences working with the Center’s namesake: the late Martin Olav Sabo ’59. Prior to the 2009 merging of the Sabo Center and Augsburg College’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Boyte had met Sabo while working for the Reinventing Citizenship initiative in 1993.
Boyte writes of Sabo’s reputation as a respectful, bipartisan advocate for democracy. He states that Sabo exemplified the values of Augsburg College “in extraordinary ways, believing in the positive role of government and also the need for a much bigger environment of civic interaction.” He further notes that “Martin was enthusiastic about our work to… create public discussions on the purpose and future of colleges and universities that can reframe what is now often a polarized and narrow debate.”
Read Martin Olav Sabo and the Spirit of Democracy on the Huffington Post site.
As part of an ongoing conversation about democracy in education, Harry Boyte, senior scholar in public work philosophy for Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently contributed an article to Education Week in which he argued in favor of free spaces–“places where people find it easy and enjoyable to swap stories, plan adventures, and discuss and argue politics.”
In the article, Boyte draws on his experiences with Sabo Center colleague Dennis Donovan, national organizer for Public Achievement, to articulate the importance of providing places for challenging yet compassionate dialog.
Read: Free Spaces in Democracy Schools on the Education Weekly site.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article covering the return of pharmacist Tom SenGupta’s well-known political conversations. Once held after hours at a St. Paul Schneider Drug, a pharmacy SenGupta owned and operated from 1972 to 2015, the new public forum will be held at the Common Table and hosted by Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. SenGupta’s conversations were known for their rational tone and the makeup of their participants, which ranged from former Sen. Paul Wellstone and other local politicians, to university professors and the general public.
At a recent planning meeting, SenGupta and his partners decided upon the first topic for the talks, which will be held Thursday, January 21, with a discussion of the legacy of slavery in America. “America is a mature society now. Can we finally confront our history of slavery?” SenGupta asked.
Known for his friendly, inspirational demeanor, the former pharmacist intends to let those who show up for the talks decide what their outcomes will be and what future work they will inspire. He does hope that the new round of discussions will be more bipartisan, saying, “Oh, we had plenty of Republicans come, but not Republican candidates. I invited them, but they never came.”
Read: A welcome return of drug-store democracy on the Star Tribune site.
The Star Tribune recently published an editorial column that featured an interview with Minneapolis DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein, a senior fellow in Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The column discusses the widespread use of Hitler and Nazi references in U.S. political rhetoric. The topic has both personal and professional significance for Hornstein; his grandparents were killed by the Nazis and he intends to author a book about the Holocaust’s impact on modern political discourse.
In regard to frequent comparisons between political opponents and Hitler, the article quotes Hornstein as saying, ““If everyone is Hitler, who is Hitler really? When you go right to a Hitler analogy, you’ve already lost the argument. You’ve cheapened the debate.”
Read: Forget Nazi comparisons — find other ways to reject hateful speech on the Star Tribune site.