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Upcoming Think Again MN Community Forums


Modern Media - Stone Arch Discussion Group Print E-mail
Written by John Farrell   

 With Christopher J. Ison

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

University of Minnesota



Saturday, May 13, 2017 – 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Wilde Cafe and Spirits: 65 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414


christopher j. isonChris Ison was the Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative Projects at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis from 2001-2004. He was a reporter at the Star Tribune for 15 years, working on the investigative team, and, earlier, covering federal agencies, local government and gambling. He covered state politics, local government, police, and courts for the Duluth News Tribune from 1983-1986. Ison and fellow reporter Lou Kilzer won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1990 for a series of stories on arson and links between the St. Paul (MN) Fire Department and profits from arsons and suspicious fires.

His stories have won various national and state awards, including awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club, the Associated Press and other organizations. He supervised projects that won national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ison teaches courses in news reporting and writing, investigative reporting, and media ethics. He is co-author, with School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professor Jane Kirtley, of the book "Media Ethics Today: Issues, Analysis, Solutions."

As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.




Equity in the Cities - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail



Employment, Policies, and Programs



Tuesday, May 16           6 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social           6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

Please RSVP to Facebook or to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Facing a strong demand to rectify disparities, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park became two of the early MN cities to work on reducing racial disparities. For Mpls, having staff members devoted full time to advancing racial equity was new so there was not a lot of precedent for what an equity and inclusion manager does. Equity leaders have forged ahead to create ways to increase equity.  Staff, volunteers, and residents in suburban cities are invited to celebrate their journey toward equity at the May Think Again Brooklyns forum by sharing the ways their own cities and organizations are increasing equity.




joy m. stephensOne Minneapolis - Reversing the Racial Disparity Trends


Joy Marsh Stephens is an Equity and Inclusion Manager in the Minneapolis City Coordinator's Office. She will speak on the varied responsibilities of her position which involves working with city departments to tie their goals to racial equity outcomes, aligning racial equity work through the city's engagement design team, program evaluation, and working hand in hand with the community to advance racial equity. The most exciting work that Joy and her team will be leading in the years ahead is the 5 year federal grant the city was awarded to work alongside communities to address their capacity to be resilient in the face of stress and trauma. 



wokie c freemanA Thriving Community with Opportunity for All


Wokie Freeman is Brooklyn Park's Assistant City Manager. Her wide ranging responsibilities including assisting with the day-to-day operations of the City, Community Engagement, Communications, Human Resources, and special projects allow for multiple ways to promote equity.  Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in Minnesota with more than 80,000 residents, 52% of whom are people of color.  400+ employees serve the people of Brooklyn Park. Wokie will explain how Brooklyn Park includes equity principles and policies in its departments, activities, and employment practices.




A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.




Thank you to our Partners



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Who Are Refugees and Why Are They Here? Print E-mail
Written by Kelly Guncheon   


westside progressives banner



Tuesday, May 16

     6 p.m. - Doors Open                           6:15 p.m. - Dinner                        6:45 to 8 p.m. - Program 

Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane N, Plymouth

(1 block west of Highway 169 on the South Side of Schmidt Lake Road)



Who Are Refugees and Why Are They Here?


With Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO
American Refugee Committee




Media coverage and political bantering have distorted who refugees are and why. Join us to hear from Daniel Wordsworth, President & CEO of the American Refugee Committee, an international humanitarian aid agency that works with refugees around the world to help them take back control of their lives.

During his tenure, the American Refugee Committee has expanded both the depth and the breadth of its global programming, refocusing its efforts on quality and customer service, recognizing the intensely individual experience of each refugee and utilizing human-centered design methodology to launch breakthrough new efforts. He’s also overseen a geographic expansion into Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and Syria and smoothly integrated subsidiary Questscope and its Jordan operations into the ARC family. In 2012, the organization was awarded the Peter F. Drucker award for Non-Profit Innovation in recognition of its work with the Somali Diaspora globally.

Westside Progressives, a non-partisan educational forum that encourages civil and thoughtful discussion about progressive issues, normally meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Church of the Epiphany, located at Schmidt Lake Road and Nathan Lane in Plymouth. $10 lasagna/salad dinner. 6 p.m. doors open, 6:15 dinner, 6:45-8:00 pm program.

Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon by Sunday, May 21, or sooner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For more information, please visit us on Facebook:     If you don't want to order dinner, please let Kelly know when you RSVP.







 Reports and Videos for Think Again MN Forums


and Related Articles


"Undocumented" is not a state one chooses. Print E-mail




julissa arceJulissa Arce worked her way up to become the vice president at Goldman Sachs by age 27 while being an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. When she gives lectures at colleges and universities, people often ask, "Why don't "illegals" get in the back of the line, and do it the right way?"  She notes that "the line" is a mythical place that distracts from the need for immigration reform.  Most undocumented immigrants cannot complete an application, go through a process, or pay a fine to start the process of becoming U.S. citizens.  Read Arce's CNBC article:  "Here's the myth about being an undocumented immigrant that drives me crazy."








NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail



Great Business and Employment Resources

at North Hennepin Community College Fair



Speakers from Everyone In, the City of Brooklyn Park Business Department, the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, the Neighborhood Development Center, and EMERGE together with representative of 18 organizations that hosted tables, provided a wide range of information and resources at the NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair.  The Fair was held in the Grand Hall of the NHCC Business and Technology Fair the evening of Tuesday, February 21.  It was sponsored by NHCC, Hennepin Technical College, and Think Again Brooklyns with the help of cosponsors incuding the City of Brooklyn Park; Everybody In; the Human Rights Commission; and the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters.


nw business and employment opportunity fair sam grant on disparities 22117


Sam Grant, Executive Director of Everybody In, gave the opening talk on Minnesota's worst in the nation disparities between whites and immigrants and people of color.  Everybody In is serving as a clearinghouse for data, insights, and best practices for closing the disparity gap.


Seated are the other speakers:  Rob Smolund, Finance Director at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers; Mohamed Ali, Associate Director, and Fatima Muhammad, Director of Workforce Development, at EMERGE; Teshite Wako, Finance Director of the Neighborhood Development Center; and Adeel Ahmed, Brooklyn Park Business Coordinator.  Michael Birchard, the Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer at NHCC moderated the forum.


nw business and employment opportunity fair thea gaither from women venture 22117

nw business and employment opportunity fair jean maierhofer hosting the htc table 22117Left - Jean Maierhofer, Chief Diversity & Affirmative Action Officer at Hennepin Technical College, hosted the college's table at the Fair.


Right - Thea Gaither, Client Services Specialist at Women Venture, explained to a Fair attendee the services Women Venture provides for women planning to start or expand a small business.

                                                                                                           Photos by Linda Freemon





Over 100 Attend Westside Progressives Forum on February 21 Print E-mail
Written by Kelly Guncheon   



The Role of Print, TV, Radio, and Social Media in Today's Society


westside progressives on journalism today with chris ison 22117


With Chris Ison - University of Minnesota Journalism Faculty Member


chris isonProfessor Chris Ison drew an audience of over 100 people at the Westside Progressives forum at Church of the Epiphany in Plymouth on February 21.  Ison teaches courses in news reporting and writing, investigative reporting, and media ethics at the University of Minnesota. He is co-author, with Jane Kirtley, Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, of the book Media Ethics Today: Issues, Analysis, Solutions. 

Christ Ison was the Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative Projects at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis from 2001-2004.  Before that he was a reporter at the Star Tribune for 15 years. Ison worked on the investigative team, and earlier covered federal agencies, local government, and gambling.





Professor David Schultz Talk before the Election about What the Media Is Missing Print E-mail



westside progressives with david schultz 10252016

Great conversation and information at the Westside Progressives October 24
about what
the mainstream media is missing in this   election cycle
with Prof David Schultz. 
So fun to have a packed house!





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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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