One of my favorite jobs, before this one, was 25 years ago at The New York Times, where I led a project to create a CD-ROM about the Vietnam War. A team digitally amassed from the newspaper’s archives 1,000 articles, 700 photographs, biographies, maps, and the Pentagon Papers. I enjoyed personally finding content to connect with hyperlinks — then a new concept — so visitors could “click” for deeper dives. The end result: a timeline of how leadership got us into an unwinnable chess game. 

For me, it was fascinating to reveal patterns and truths through space and time — to show how this led to that, and what that person later admitted actually happened. 

If only our everyday lives came with hyperlinks, so we could see at a glance how this comment relates to the past, what the results of that decision might be, and why a single moment is connected to everything else. 

Yet today, it seems, we tend to be even less able to see context. Newspapers are giving way to social media — both vehicles are feeds of momentary headlines. It is not easy to see into the horizon and plot a long-term course of action when we are reacting to the distractions of daily news.


How Can We Connect in Communication?

Although the CD-ROM was a short-lived experiment, my experience with that project made me excited about the potential for stronger communication with wider community. 

What if, instead of merely offering today’s news, we blend voices that enable us to see things in new ways? What if we offer multiple perspectives that circle, again and again, around complex topics, so we can see the interlocking tentacles of issues? What if we build a cumulative space for solutions, rather than relying on certain leaders to create them? 

It is an experiment in storytelling I envision for Minnesota Women’s Press and womenspress.com. Ask me how you can help the Storyteller Fund (editor@womenpress.com).



What Is Progressive Solidarity?

On October 16, we brought together more than 130 powerful, everyday women at “MWP Conversations: Using Our Voice and Vote.” Senator Patricia Torres Ray and Nekima Levy Armstrong delivered a strong keynote address together. 

They pointed out that progressive Minnesota is proudly associated with the concept of “We all do better when we all do better,” articulated in the speeches of the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. In the 20 years since that became the chant of progressive Minnesotans, how well have we practiced the solidarity it requires of us? 

Not very well, said Sen. Torres Ray and Levy Armstrong. For society to thrive, they said, we need to genuinely walk the talk, away from the notion that we are all on our own. They asked women in the room to consider: 

• How can we use positions of influence alongside grassroots leadership to empower others to speak for themselves?” 
• How can we put as much energy into creating inclusive human environments as we put into ecological ones? 
• How can we reframe the stories in our heads so that we move away from being a society that calls 911 simply because human beings of color are seen as a threat?
• How can we recognize that when tensions and frustrations bubble to the surface, the solution is not to exclude, but to talk to find resolutions together?
• Can we get comfortable feeling uncomfortable? 

Find video and powerpoint from the evening here.




Revisiting Until We Have a Stronger Collective Vision

Minnesota Women’s Press is about sharing the viewpoints of women who tell powerful stories about who they are and what they stand for. Our stories are not about finding answers for everyone to agree with, but about widening our access to points of view. 

As we make our final choices in mid-term election voting booths this month, we offer in this magazine three different, but related perspectives on this question: How might trauma and historically white-led policy-making be connected to Minnesota’s wide disparities in public education? What can we do about it?

Our future changes thanks to the visionary thinkers and doers who take us a step further. This magazine showcases many of them in this, the Year of Powerful, Everyday Women.

FIND OUR TABLE OF CONTENTS HERE