Civil Rights: How Far Have We Come? PDF Print E-mail
It's 50 Years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Passed!
An Update for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 20
6 p.m. Pizza Buffet and Social            6:30 p.m.  Program

Hennepin County Technical College,  Cafeteria
9000 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Park 55445

RSVP: Click here to RSVP and Share on Facebook.

martin-luther-king-march 63
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at March on Washington, 1963

   jean maierhoferModerator - Jean Maierhofer                       
Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer                     
Hennepin Technical College   


Civil Rights when Stopped by Police         
Joshua Newville - Civil Rights Attorney, Madia Law

joshua newvilleJoshua Newville will speak on racial disparity trends for stops and arrests in Minnesota and Brooklyn Park, on the impact disparities have on people of color, on citizens' civil rights when stopped by the police, and on actions  citizens can take to reduce crime and assure just policing.
As a civil trial attorney focusing on employment law and civil rights litigation, Joshua Newville is a passionate advocate for victims of discrimination and unfair treatment. Josh serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and on the advisory board for Orrery Consulting. An active member in the community, Josh has also served as a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and has provided pro bono legal advice to various community organizations.  Hw also has over six years of teaching experience, including at the University of Minnesota Law School and Political Science Department. 

michael birchardA Story on a Police Stop

Michael Birchard
Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer
North Hennepin Community College


paula van averyResponding When Stopped
Brooklyn Park Police/Community Liaison Program
Paula Van Avery
Brooklyn Park Police/Community Liaison

linda freemonHow to Address a Discrimination Problem
The Human Rights Police/Community Relations Committee

Linda Freemon
Chair, Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission

Question and  Answer  Session

Parking and Directions: Student Lot 4 - See Campus Map:

Enter the large door marked J2.  The cafeteria will be to the right.

RSVP: Click here to RSVP and Share on Facebook.





MN Department of Human Rights, Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail



Equal Opportunity in the 21st Century


Tuesday, November 18
6 p.m.  Pizza Buffet & Social              6:30 p.m.  Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N
Please RSVP and Share on Facebook
or RSVP to Carol Woehrer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Though it is a half century since the U.S. passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is a lot of work to be done by both citizens and government officials before our state and nation comes close to reaching a goal of freedom from discrimination and racial disparities. 

kevin lindsey mn hr commissionerCommissioner Kevin Lindsey

MN Department of Human Rights

Commissioner, Kevin Lindsey manages the Department whose mission is to make Minnesota discrimination free. The Department of Human Rights investigates approximately 1,000 charges of discrimination a year. It ensures that large state contractors who do business with the State of Minnesota provide equal employment opportunity, and it helps the Governor of Minnesota develop policy to reduce disparities that exist in the areas of education, employment, health, criminal justice, public accommodation, and public services.

Commissioner Lindsey's discussion will include updates in the legal requirement for diversity and inclusion in state hiring and in state contracts with large employers as well as recent legislation such as Ban the Box and the Women's Economic Security Act. He'll talk about recent instances of discrimination in employment and education that have arisen due to the ebola crisis. He'll describe the requirements for filing a claim and the assistance that is available for filing a discrimination charge.

A question and answer session will follow Commissioner Lindsey's presentation.  Please bring your observations on the kinds of disparities to which you think our state needs to give attention and your ideas on the policies and programs which could reduce or eliminate the disparities.


Kevin Lindsey was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in February 2011. He had previously served as a civil litigation attorney in the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney, and has 20 years of experience in resolving complex legal and public policy questions.

Sponsored by Think Again MN, The Brooklyn Park Human Rights Commission, the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team, and the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters.


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Your Vote Makes a Difference PDF Print E-mail



Be Inspired by our Speakers and Pass the Inspiration on!

Your Vote Makes a Difference


Tuesday, October 21
6 p.m. Pizza & Social 6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

RSVP and Share on Facebook

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

david schultz office photoDavid Schultz - Author and Professor of

Political Science at Hamline University

Why It's so Important to Vote and the Consequences of Not Voting

David Schultz teaches classes in American politics, public policy and administration, and ethics. Professor Schultz has authored 28 books, including his two most recent, Election Law and Democratic Theory (2014) and American Politics in the Age of Ignorance (2013).  A Fulbright scholar who has taught extensively in Europe, Schultz is the winner of the national 2013 Leslie Whittington Excellence in Public Affairs Teaching Award.  He is a favorite speaker at forums in the  west metro suburbs, who has shared his expertise and wisdom for many years.



bobby joe championjim abeler at capitol

Senator Bobby Joe Champion


Jim Abler

Former MN Representative


Just What Do Legislators Do?



Winning an election is just the beginning.  Two popular Minnesota legislators will give us insight on just what the MN Senate and House do and how the legislature's decisions  affect our lives.  Senator Bobby Joe Champion served for four years in the MN House and has been in the MN Senate for 2 years.  He is an attorney and award winning choir director.  Jim Abeler was a MN Representative for 16 years and is a chiropracter.

Senator Champion and former Representative Abeler will explain the committee process a bill goes through before it comes to the floor to be voted on in the Senate or House.  They will discuss why the two branches of the Legislature don't always both vote on a bill or pass a bill and what happens to it then.  They will also describe how the MN Senate and MN House reconcile their two different versions of a bill and what is involved in the negotiation that takes place between the Legislature and the Governor.



Please invite your friends. Everyone is welcome.

Thank you to our sponsors, Think Again MN, the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team, and the Brooklyn Park, Oseeo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Park Chapter of the League of Women Voters, and to our recorder and broadcaster, Tmz Radio International.



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Resources for Managing Your Money PDF Print E-mail


Make Your Dreams Come True

Control Your Money, Debt, and Credit



You can manage your money so you don't need to incur the huge costs of payday loans.  Yes, going to a payday lender to cash a check or take out a loan is easy, and the people who serve you are often friendly.  However, that friendly assuring manner comes with a big cost.  You will typically be required to pay back three times as much as you borrowed.  You can find out how to manage your money so that you can keep more for yourself and your family by taking advantage of workshops offered in and near Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center as well as online courses.




financial planning couple 2Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin offers workshops on budgeting, controlling your debt, and maintaining a good credit rating, as well as on the rights and responsibilities of renters, home ownership, and financial management for senior citizens.  You can find the upcoming courses by clicking on the homebuyer, renter, and financial literacy courses in the left hand column of their website:

TopLine Credit Union offers a variety of seminars related to youth financial literacy, paying less for college, survival budgeting, getting out of debt, retirement, insurance, homebuying, and business. You can find them at:


Online Education


financial planning couple

TCF Bank has an online Financial Education Center.  It offers modules that include an summary of what is included in the learning module, the instructions on the topic, and a brief quiz to check if you understood the lesson. Each module you complete is checked off. Eight lessons are currently included at the TCF Bank Education Center: Savings and Investments, Mortgages, Overdrafts, Payment Types and Credit Cards, Credit Scores and Reports, Identity Protection, Insurance and Taxes, and Financing Higher Education.  You will need to check in with a password which you enter the first time you use the Center.  Get started at:

Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin has online instruction for home buying at:





NY Times Calls for Rate Cap on Payday Loans PDF Print E-mail


The New York Times called for a rate cap on payday loans.  ". . .  the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that hidden fees and charges on payday loans were so high that only 15 percent of borrowers could raise the money to repay the total debt on time without quickly borrowing again."  See the New York Times editorial.





Payday Lending Power Point from Senator Hayden PDF Print E-mail


jeff haydenSenator Jeff Hayden was not able to attend our last forum on "Low Cost Alternatives to Payday Lending."  He sent the Power Point which he had prepared for his presentation. 


You can download it at:







Low Cost Alternatives to Payday Lending PDF Print E-mail
Beat the Huge Cost of Payday Loans

Tuesday, September 23
6 p.m.  Pizza & Social              6:30 p.m.  Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

financial planning coupleBloomberg Business Week reports that interest rates on payday loans range up to over 900%! (September 15-21, 2014)  The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service notes that about 68 million Americans -- more than a quarter of all households -- have no checking or savings account and are under-served by the banking system. Senator Elizabeth Warren notes that "Collectively, these households spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees for non-bank financial services like payday loansfinancial planning couple 2 and check cashing, which works out to an average of $2,412 per household. That means the average household without an account at a bank or credit union spends roughly 10 percent of its annual income on interest and fees -- about the same amount they spend on food."
This forum will address the ways the Payday Lending Bill, authored by MN   Senator Jeff Hayden, would reign in Payday Lending costs. The speakers will explain some of the ways individuals and families can reduce the need for using very high cost payday loans.

Senator Jeff Hayden

(SD63) - Chief Author, Payday Lending Regulations

The High Costs of Payday Lending, Ways the Provisions of the Payday Lending Bill Will Reign in the Costs, and Current Status of the Bill


wayne doeWayne Doe

Minnesota Health Insurance Program Representative
Minnesota Department of Human Services

Importance of Health Care Insurance for Financial and Physical Well Being

mitchell davis jr smallMitchell Davis Jr.

Director, Health and Workforce Intersections
Minneapolis Urban League

The Subsidies Available under MNsure for the Underserved Population


vicki ericksonVicki Roscoe Erickson

Vice President, Marketing
TopLine Federal Credit Union

Credit Unions - How They Work, How Credit Unions Compare to Banks, Low Cost Checking and Other Services

Marcy Harris
- Community Action Partnership of Surburban Hennepin County (CAPSH)

Gain Control of Your Money, Your Debt, and Your Credit:  Resources for Managing Your Finances

Upcoming CAPSH Financial Literacy Classes, Renters' Rights and Responsibilities, Resources for the Homeless Forum, Financial Counseling, and Tax Assistance

TCF Financial Learning Center

Please bring your questions for the Question and Answer session which will follow the speakers' presentations.  





Early Childhood Education's Huge Benefits PDF Print E-mail


Early Childhood Education Boosts
Academic Achievement and Career Success

Tuesday, June 17               6 p.m. Pizza and Social           6:30 p.m. Program

Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N

Please RSVP and Share on Facebook
or RSVP to Carol Woehrer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



"Talking to Babies Is an Investment Worth Making"

- 5 Minute Film from The Economist.
early childhood education

Early Education's Benefits for Children's Learning Potential and Success as an Adult

Mike Tikkanen - Executive Director, Kids at Risk Action (KARA)  and Tiffani Flynn Forslund - KARA Board Member and Early Childhood Educator

mike tikkanenMike Tikkanen and Tiffini Flynn Forslund will discuss the big payoff of early childhood education for a children's long term education and for their success as adults.  Based on their experience as Guardians ad Litem, they will also explain how child abuse presents a huge impediment for children's ability to learn and why it is essential for abused children to be rescued early in life.

Successful entrepreneur and author of Invisible Children:  The Americantiffini flynn forslund Cycle of Abuse and its Costs, Mike Tikkanen combines his business acumen with his passion for  neglected and abused children. 
Tiffini Flynn Forslund’s  baccalaureate education is in Early Childhood Education and Child Development, and she is working on her Master's Degree in Urban Teaching.

Racial Disparities in Disciplining Children of Color

markeesha zigbuoMarkeesha Zigbuo - 5th Grade Teacher, University Avenue Elementary School

Markeesha Zigbuo will explain how negative experiences in early childhood education can cause lasting damage that negatively impacts a child’s academic performance all the way to High School.  Ms. Zigbuo is working with ISAIAH on racial disparities in early childhood education.

Education in the Home, Parent Aware - MN's Quality Ranking System, Scholarships

Carlos Gallego - Community Outreach Manager, Think Small 

carlos gallego Carlos Gallego will use data from the Osseo Schools to explain why early childhood education is so important, and he will share things parents can do to help their chidren get a good start at home, no matter the parents' own language or education.  He will also discuss the Parent Aware Rating System, early education options and opportunities, and the Early Learning Scholarships available to families.

Osseo Early Childhood Education Programs

Kandi Engelmann – Coordinator, Early Childhood Special Education Program

A Question and Answer session will follow the presentations.

Thank you to our sponsors:  The Maple Grove, Osseo, Brooklyn Park, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters; Kids at Risk Action, KARA; African Immigrant Services; the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team; Think Small; District 279 Early Childhood Programs; and Think Again MN.

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Planning for Development around the Bottineau Light Rail Stations PDF Print E-mail


planning for bottineau lrt development tab - may 20 2014

               The crowd listening to Janna King  discuss strategies to help facilitate 

          economic development along the light rail transit corridors.  The Think

          Again Brooklyns forum May 20, 2014 aimed to prepare residents of

          communities along the Bottineau LRT corridor for participating in work-

          shops for planning development in the areas surrounding the LRT



          One of the big questions during the Question and Answer  session was

          who pays for the transit system.  The project is estimated to cost about

          $1 billion. Funding is expected from the Counties Transit Improvement

          Boards' transit sales tax in the metro area (30 percent), the Hennepin

          County Regional Railroad Authority (10 percent), the State of Minnesota

          (10 percent), and the Federal Transit Administration (50 percent).                                                     

                                                                               Photo by Linda Freemon






Planning around the The Bottineau Light Rail Stations - Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail


Planning for Areas Surrounding

Brooklyn Park's Bottineau LRT Stations

Tuesday, May 20
6 p.m. - Pizza and Social            6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

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


light rail station photo


Brooklyn Park, Crystal, and Robbinsdale residents will be asked to participate in planning for the development around the Bottineau Light Rail Transit stations. It is not too early to start getting ready for this planning process.  Before construction starts, we can expect businesses and developers to  begin buying land in the most favorable locations. Since few residents have a background in urban planning or have participated in a planning process before, it would be helpful to acquire background on what the process involves so they can begin to think about the options for future development.  Everyone is welcome to join us.

bill smith biko associatesUrban Planner Bill Smith of Biko Associates will explain how citizens can get involved in the planning process for the areas surrounding the Bottineau Light Rail Stations.   Biko Associates approach to urban planning is explained on their home page:

"Biko Associates believes participation from the community is fundamental to successful planning. Because ideas and assumptions formalized early in a planning process shape the outcomes of planning studies, early participation by community residents is essential and initial project ideas and assumptions should be developed by the people affected by project outcomes. "

pierce canserjanna kingJanna King, an economic development strategist with   Economic Development Services, Inc., will join us to discuss strategies to help facilitate economic development along transit corridors. 
Pierce Canser, a planner with Metro Transit, will discuss station area design.


Todd Larson, Senior Planner for Brooklyn Park will give an introduction to the forum.

In the past few months, there have been two forums on the Bottineau Light Rail Line in Brooklyn Park and a conference on business opportunities along the Bottineau transit line.  If you were not able to attend any of these events, watch the 7 1/2 minute virtual tour of the Bottineau line which explains the route and location of the stations:

If you have questions, please contact Gail Hanson, 763-229-5448 or Carol Woehrer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sponsors include the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters; African Career, Education & Resource, Inc; Think Again MN; African Immigrant Services, and the Brooklyn Park Diversity Team


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Page 6 of 9


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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