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Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship Receives Local Public Health Hero Award

Last week, the City of Minneapolis honored the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship with a Local Public Health HeroAward in the category of Healthy Living and Healthy Food Systems. Project Manager Jenean Gilmer, Food Initiatives Program Manager Natalie Jacobson, and Director of Community Relations Steve Peacock were specifically recognized for their efforts. Paula Guinn and Sieglinde Thetard from The People’s Center nominated the Sabo Center for their food access work in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. They wrote:  

“Augsburg University’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship works to build community connections and engagement in pursuit of more equitable systems and resources in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The Center plays a major role in food access and systems work through the Cedar-Riverside Food Initiative group, which draws representatives from healthcare organizations, community-service centers, higher education institutions, and local non-profits. They have shown great leadership in their dedication to continuing food access work as a collective, which is exemplified by their commitment to uplifting diverse community voices to shape and direct food initiatives. 

“The Center has been instrumental in connecting neighborhood organizations and community members with fresh produce and healthy shelf-stable items. For example, the team works with Health Commons, a healthcare collective, to distribute thousands of pounds of free fresh produce to community members in and around Riverside Plaza. The Center has also made a significant impact in building sustainable food-distribution models that incorporate grassroots organizations into existing food distribution frameworks and community programming. With so many long-term partnerships, The Sabo Center has a broad range of organizations and community members engaged in adapting existing and future programming to healthy living and healthy food system goals.”

Learn more about Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship and how you can get involved.

KSTP’s Political Insider program features Andy Aoki

Andy Aoki on set at KSTPThis 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.

Andy Aoki appears on KSTP’s Political Insider program

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 1.39.40 PMThis 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.

MinnPost unveils Augsburg College’s urban arboretum plan

MinnPost - logo“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.


Dennis Donovan discusses cookbook created by Public Achievement students in KARE 11 segment

kare 11 - logoKARE 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 writes for Education Week

Education Week - logoHarry 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.

St. Paul’s Sprockets program names Erik Skold as director

Pioneer Press - logoThe 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 remembers Martin Olav Sabo ’59 in Huffington Post article

Huffington-Post - logoHarry 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.

Harry Boyte writes on free spaces for Education Week

Education Week - logoAs 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.

Sabo Center sponsors rebirth of legendary drug store political conversations

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoThe 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.