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September 17th is Constitution Day


Constitution Day is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is celebrated on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia.

September 17th Celebrate the Birthday of Our Government Constitution Day


Make a plan to vote on November 7.

This year local elections will be held on November 7 and Augsburg has made election day a holiday during which classes are canceled so that all eligible voters have time to vote. The office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has sample ballots and information about voting. If you have questions feel free to reach out to the Sabo Center staff, we’d love to help.

Introducing the Bonner Community Leaders (BCL) Program at Augsburg University

Dear Augsburg University Community,The Bonner Program: Access to education, opportunity to serve.

We are thrilled to announce an exciting transformation within our Program. Formerly known as LEAD (Leaders for Equity, Action, and Democracy) Fellows, we are proud to introduce the Bonner Community Leaders (BCL) program, in partnership with the Bonner Foundation. Whereas students in the program were previously referred to as “LEAD Fellows” they are now “Bonner Leaders.”  This transition marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering leadership, scholarship, and social justice on our campus and in the communities we get to be a part of.

As we deepen our collaboration with the Bonner Network, we embrace a renewed vision for the BCL program, building upon the foundation laid by LEAD Fellows. This shift brings forth a wealth of resources and opportunities that the Bonner network offers, including access to national conferences and trainings for both our staff and students. This expanded partnership will enhance the impact of our program and provide an even stronger support system for our justice-minded cohort.

The BCL program remains rooted in its core values of civic engagement, community-engaged learning, and the pursuit of a more just world. Our program will continue to embody these values as we continue collaborating with the communities surrounding Augsburg University. By forging meaningful relationships and working alongside community members, BCL participants will actively contribute to building a more equitable society.

One of the key advantages of our new partnership is the opportunity for deeper engagement within the Bonner Network. Students in the BCL program will have access to national conferences, where they can connect with like-minded individuals from across the country, exchange ideas, and gain insights into innovative approaches to community engagement. These conferences will serve as invaluable platforms for learning, networking, and amplifying the impact of our collective efforts.

We are excited about the potential for growth and development that these resources will bring to the BCL program and our wider Augsburg community.

The Bonner Community Leaders program aligns with Augsburg University’s mission to educate students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. By participating in the BCL program, students will deepen their understanding of social justice issues, develop practical skills through community-based work, and contribute to positive change in our world.

With these changes– WE ARE RECRUITING! We invite students with at least two years left at Augsburg University to apply for this transformative program. The BCL program offers an immersive four-year experience, providing a unique opportunity to build lasting relationships with a cohort of justice-minded peers and dedicated staff members who will support students throughout their academic journey. Visit the “Apply to be a Bonner” page to learn how to get involved.

We are excited to embark on this new chapter with the Bonner Community Leaders program, and we believe it will further strengthen our commitment to educational excellence, community engagement, and social justice. We appreciate all the love, support and advocacy the Augsburg community has shown this program over the years, and we look forward to building the capacity of this program together!


In solidarity,

LaToya Taris-James

Program Manager

Bonner Community Leaders

Environmental Stewardship Team Celebrates & Reflects

Today past and current Environmental Stewardship team (ESC) members gathered in the Community Garden to celebrate this year’s accomplishments, reminisce about fun times we’ve had together, eat local food, and reflect on what the work and team has meant to each of us.


In a tradition started this year, graduates from 2022 and 2023 ESC teams planted Arikara Yellows Beans. This planting acts as a symbol of the gifts each of our graduates, Alexa, Alyssa, Elan, Gigi, Grace, Mercy, and Zoe, have given to the work of advancing environmental sustainability at Augsburg and in our neighborhood. Although most may not see the results of the work they have started and propelled along, their legacies will be felt in small and profound ways by future Auggies, ESC members, and neighbors. These seeds, as their past work, will be stewarded by current and new ESC members. The dry beans will be cared for this summer, harvested in the fall, dried, and used to feed the community. Some seeds will be saved for the 2024 ESC graduates to plant anew. The cycle will continue and with each planting the soil will continue to be nourished as will the work of environmental sustainability be advanced. This is how changes happens – with joy, community, and the sharing of gifts.


Thank you Alexa Carrera, Alyssa Parkhurst, Annabella Castillo, Elan Quezada Hoffman, Elijah Abdullah, Gigi Huerta Herrera, Grace Muchahary, Malachi Owens, Mercy Zou Taithul, Summer Bordon, Wren Doyle, Yousra Tinsley, and Zoe Barany. Your collective leadership, equity-mindedness, authentic teamwork, wisdom, and organizing power has moved environmental sustainability work forward in profound and meaningful ways. The garden is continuing to be more connected to campus and advancing food sovereignty for its gardeners. The ShareShop has become a welcoming resource for many Auggies, a way to rethink waste diversion, and a catalyst for mutual aid on campus. Although renewable energy is still on the horizon, the steps to get there have become clearer and excitement is building. Thank you to each of you for your leadership, stewardship, and collective action.


A Reading & Conversation with Erin Sharkey and Michael Kleber-Diggs

A Darker Wilderness book cover

What are the politics of nature? Who owns it, where is it, and what role does it play in our lives? Does it need to be tamed? Are we ourselves natural? Erin Sharkey and Michael Kleber-Diggs will discuss, A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, a collection of personal and lyric essays in conversation with archival objects of Black history and memory. The collection explores stories spanning hundreds of years and thousands of miles, traveling from roots to space–finding rich Blackness everywhere. Together we will consider the significance of nature in our lives and on the role of nature in the lives of Black folks.

Augsburg’s Environmental Action Committee, Pan-Afrikan Student Services, and MFA Department, along with our friends at the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS), invite the Augsburg community and partners to an evening of exploration into the intersections between People and Planet: Intersectional Environmentalism.

Light refreshments will be served. Parking is available in Lot D. Our friends at Strive Publishing & Bookstore will have books for sale in person at the event or you can order them online at Milkweed Books. Photos from Augsburg’s Pan-Afrikan Archive will be on display.

Location: Augsburg University’s Hagfors Center, Room 150 & Zoom (Register in advance for virtual option here)

Contact: Monica McDaniel, Sustainability Officer (

Erin Sharkey photo

Erin Sharkey Bio: Erin Sharkey (she/her/hers) is a writer, arts and abolition organizer, cultural worker, and film producer based in Minneapolis. She is the cofounder, with Junauda Petrus, of an experimental arts collective called Free Black Dirt and is the producer of film projects including Sweetness of Wild, an episodic web film project, and Small Business Revolution (Hulu), which explored challenges and opportunities for Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities in the summer of 2021. Sharkey has received fellowships and residencies from the Loft Mentor Series, VONA/Voices, the Givens Foundation, Coffee House Press, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and the Jerome Foundation. In 2021, Sharkey was awarded the Black Seed Fellowship from Black Visions and the Headwaters Foundation. She has an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University and teaches with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.


Michael Kleber-Diggs photoMichael Kleber-Diggs Bio: Michael Kleber-Diggs (KLEE-burr digs) (he/him/his) is 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and a poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions 2021), won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, the 2022 Balcones Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award. Michael’s essay, “There Was a Tremendous Softness,” appears in A Darker Wilderness: Black Nature Writing from Soil to Stars, edited by Erin Sharkey (Milkweed Editions, 2023). His poems and essays appear in numerous journals and anthologies and he teaches Creative Writing in Augsburg University’s low-res MFA program. Michael is married to Karen Kleber-Diggs, a tropical horticulturist and orchid specialist. Karen and Michael have a daughter who is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance at SUNY Purchase.

This event is part of Earth Month 2023. Visit the site to learn more about other events happening during the month of April to celebrate and engage in Environmental Stewardship at Augsburg.

Campus Cupboard keeps our community well-fed and thriving

Written by Imogen Page, MSW Intern with Campus Kitchen

On the ground floor of the Anderson residence hall, the Augsburg Campus Cupboard is buzzing with activity. A student worker reminds fellow Auggies to grab a box or a bag for their free groceries, and around 15 students are shopping in AugFour campus cupboard workers smiling.sburg’s free food cupboard.

Today, there is plenty of fresh produce – salad greens, apples and pears, onions and potatoes in addition to fresh herbs and berries. A refrigerator stands full of milk, yogurt, cheese, and dairy alternatives, and a freezer contains frozen chicken, ready-to-eat meals, and tortillas. The week before, the cupboard distributed a shipment of halal beef, goat meat, and salmon. Students browse canned goods, fresh bread, dried beans, pasta, and rice in addition to coconut milk, oil, vinegar, ketchup, fish sauce, Tabasco, and salad dressings. 

“These condiments literally kill, dude” one student says to his friend as they choose from the shelves.

This is all part of the daily routine at the Campus Kitchen, where a team of student workers, interns, and staff operate the Campus Cupboard six days a week. We’re always busy – whether unloading boxes of produce from our trusty old van, stocking shelves, distributing hot meals and groceries to our neighbors, or cooking together in the food lab. 

Abi Hilden at the Augsburg Echo recently covered Campus Kitchen’s work, interviewing student worker Heldon Centellas about the cooking workshops, grocery distribution, SNAP application help and other work we do in our community.

“During the summer and fall months on Saturdays, we glean leftover produce from local farmers at the Mill City Farmers Market and redistribute it to our neighbors at Riverside Plaza! On Fridays during the majority of the year, we help distribute free produce to our neighbors there!” shares Centellas. In addition to these seasonal efforts, Campus Kitchen “[has] a community garden for people to grow their own food behind the Hagfors building, meal deliveries to Ebenezer Towers and Bethany Church, serving warm food at the Brian Coyle Center, provide assistance in SNAP applications, host giveaways, have open Food Lab hours, offer Cupboard online orders, and more!”

Our work at Campus Kitchen is possible because of support from Augsburg’s community. With growing food insecurity in our communities and the rising price of basic essentials, we need your help to keep providing nutritious food in our community. Your donation today helps to keep our community well-fed, healthy, and thriving. You can give here, and designate your gift to “Campus Cupboard.”

100% Clean Energy Bill signed into law!

Last night, Governor Walz signed the 100% Clean Energy by 2040 bill into law. It requires Minnesota utilities to provide 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by 2040 taking great steps to combat climate change and expand clean energy jobs in the state. This is an exciting moment for Minnesota in furthering its climate action goals and has great potential to expedite  Augsburg’s climate mitigation efforts. 

In 2007, Augsburg University became a charter signatory to the Second Nature President’s Climate Leadership Commitment to actively reduce its carbon footprint and set goals to become carbon neutral. Over the years, the Augsburg community has advanced these goals and been a quiet leader in this work, particularly in regards to electricity generation and consumption. In 2018, Augsburg began to purchase solar offsets for its energy consumption, helping its utility company Xcel Energy further prioritize carbon-free electricity sources. More recently, Augsburg has also worked to lower its electricity consumption through the campus-wide installation of LED light bulbs. Students understand the urgency, so through Day Student Government climate resolutions, they have championed and lobbied for Augsburg to generate its own renewable energy through the installation of solar panels onsite.

Although we as a community are advancing clean energy usage and lowering our energy consumption, Augsburg’s carbon neutrality goals cannot be achieved in isolation nor on our own. Utility companies like Xcel Energy, play a vital role in Augsburg’s and Minnesota’s shift to carbon-free energy sources. We at Augsburg, especially our students, know this. Many on the Environmental Stewardship team have been champions for climate legislation through marches at the State Capitol, discussions with elected officials like Attorney General Keith Ellison, and community organizing work with community-based groups like ISAIAH’s Young Adult Coalition. Last week, senior and Environmental Studies major, Zoe Barany, was a co-author for this Commentary piece in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder where she and peers from universities across the state advocated for the very 100% Clean Energy legislation that Governor Walz signed into law yesterday evening. 

Environmental Stewardship team discuss climate mitigation with Attorney General Keith Ellison

In 2021, 51% of Xcel Energy’s electricity generation came from fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas. With this legislation, 100% of Xcel’s electricity, and thus Augsburg’s electricity, will be generated from carbon-free sources like wind and solar! As our state sees less and less ice on its lakes and more rain in January, this is exciting news for our state and thus our university. These climate mitigation changes can’t come fast enough!

Day at the Capitol 2023

Join us for Day at the Capitol 2023 where you can advocate for increased funding for education. Your legislators need to hear from you about the Minnesota State Grant program and other causes that are important to you.

What happens at Day at the Capitol?

You’ll attend a Minnesota State Grant advocacy and lobbying training with student advocates from Augsburg and other Minnesota private colleges. Then you’ll meet with legislators (we’ll make appointments for you in advance) and have lunch at the Capitol. The Minnesota Private College Council will host a Q&A session with public policy experts and policymakers and will provide everything you need to be a successful advocate.

Wednesday, MThe Minnesota State Capitol building.arch 1, 2023 from 9:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Register here by Wed. Feb. 22 at 11:59 p.m. to learn first-hand how legislation is made and meet your legislators.

When signing up for the 2023 Day at the Capitol, you can also join Advocates for Minnesota Student Aid to receive occasional (a few times a year) legislative updates and action alerts on important issues facing Minnesota and federal financial aid.

The group from Augsburg will take the light rail to and from the Capitol together. There will also be an optional pizza night on Tuesday, February 28 to meet other advocates from Augsburg and get ready for your day of civic engagement.


Support Augsburg’s Campus Cupboard to address food insecurity

The Sabo Center’s Campus Kitchen program invites you to support our 2022 Give to the Max fundraiser. This year, we are raising funds for two important initiatives: The Augsburg Campus Cupboard and food access programming in Cedar-Riverside.

photo of fresh vegetables

First, the Campus Cupboard provides free groceries to Augsburg students. Campus Cupboard use has rapidly expanded in the last three years, in response to increased food insecurity among Augsburg’s diverse student population. In 2019, an average of 50 students visited the Campus Cupboard to pick up free groceries each week. By September 2022, that average increased to 220 students per week. We regularly receive feedback from our students that the groceries we provide make a huge difference in their ability to access high-quality, healthy foods. Many students and their families now see this service as a critical piece of meeting their basic food needs.


In order to expand this work, we are raising funds to purchase culturally appropriate food items for our diverse student population. With your support we will be able to offer a wider variety of foods, providing our students with the specific staple foods they request regularly.


Second, we are seeking support for our food access and education work in our surrounding community of Cedar-Riverside. The Campus Kitchen program provides free meals, fresh produce, and cooking programming for our neighbors in Cedar-Riverside. A $60 donation covers supplies needed for one cooking class for neighborhood youth. Your donation will make a significant difference in our ability to meet the growing and diverse food needs of Augsburg’s student body and our neighbors in Cedar-Riverside.


Please support this work with a donation here.

Thank you for your generosity.


Auggies Vote!

Vote November 8

Tuesday November 8, 2022 is election day and the Sabo Center is here to help you get registered and make a plan to vote. There are no classes at Augsburg on election day so you’ll have time to do your civic duty and have your voice heard.

Need help?

Need help getting registered or learning about what’s on your ballot, finding information about candidates, or making a plan to vote? Sabo staff and student election volunteers will be available in the lobby of Christensen Center during the following times.

  • Tuesday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, November 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Keith Ellison on Campus November 1

Want an opportunity to hear directly from Minnesota’s Attorney General? Keith Ellison will be visiting Augsburg on Tuesday, November 1 at 11:30 in the Christensen Center’s East Commons. Come hear from Keith, get your election questions answered, and grab a cookie.


Statement about the state grant program

Write a note to legislators to support education funding

The Minnesota State Grant program provides financial support to nearly half of all undergraduate
Minnesota residents attending college in our state — including Augsburg students. To make sure the State Grant program continues, your legislators need to hear from YOU!

Augsburg and the Minnesota Private College Council invite you to write a short note to
your legislator to help ensure you and future generations of students continue to receive this
crucial support. We’ll provide everything you need.

Christensen Center Lobby on November 1, 10:30 am. – 1:00 p.m.

September 17th is Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day!

235 years ago the Constitution of the United States of America was signed on September 17, 1787, and nine months later it was ratified and became the official framework of the US government. When the Constitution was signed, the United States population was 4 million. It is now more than 332 million. The Constitution was signed in Philadelphia which was the nation’s largest city at the time, with 40,000 inhabitants.

The National Constitution Center is hosting a Constitution Day Celebration on SeConstitution Day 17 September graphic with flag and capitol building image.ptember 16 and 17th. Some of the events include:

  • A live-streamed reading of the Preamble
  • A Congressional conversation on Common Ground and Compromise
  • A virtual walking tour of historic Philadelphia
  • and much more.

Make a plan to vote on November 8.

Midterm elections are coming up and Augsburg has made election day a holiday during which classes are canceled so that all eligible voters have time to vote. The office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has sample ballots and information about voting. If you have questions feel free to reach out to the Sabo Center staff, we’d love to help.