Where We Begin

“The past is an inheritance, a gift, and a burden. It can’t be shirked. You carry it everywhere. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it.” — Jill Lepore

Action = Change Initiative

Starting this year, we will create digital tools to spotlight organizations and resources involved with a few specific issues. This initiative starts with our Origins theme. We want to develop a guide to organizations that help people get new starts: those who help with transitions out of homelessness or incarceration, who offer meaningful job training programs, and who provide healing and restoration after trauma. The guides will include action steps readers can take to offer support.

How you can make this happen: Join our community as a Supporting Subscriber, starting at a $100 level, or with a monthly membership that can start as low as $5/month. This contribution goes toward our Storyteller Fund. To learn more: womenspress.com/subscribe-donate


Minnesota Women’s Press publisher and editor Mikki Morrissette

The first interview I ever did for Minnesota Women’s Press was with author Sheila O’Connor 15 years ago. I loved connecting with her in conversation, as I have with others I have met through this magazine — the longest running feminist print publication in the country. Sentimentally, it is a pleasure for me to include Sheila in this Origins issue, where she uses her creativity to explore the story of her grandmother as a 15-year-old and its wider implications.

As we dig into the archives of Minnesota Women’s Press for a retrospective book about our rich history amplifying women’s voices, we find 35 years of coverage about gender-based violence, inequities, and the politics of women. It is eye-opening to see how long it takes society to make change around women’s issues. It is also fascinating to see the first conversations in these pages with barrier-breaking women like Ann Bancroft, Winona LaDuke, and Lizzo.

The intent of this Origins theme: to look at where we come from and what we do, individually and collectively, to get where we want to be.

I took the helm of this magazine two years ago to share the beauty of Minnesota Women’s Press, which is its unique focus on first-person storytelling. The women in these pages tell their own stories in their own words.

We tend to think of our lives as linear, partly because that is how storytelling lays it out. We are born, we get an education, find a job, build a family, pursue passions, and eventually prepare to leave it all behind. Yet in reality, we are all parts of a greater whole. We need unique storytelling to reflect that — to remind us of the value in widening our view of the circle, and of the inevitability of our contributions to the future beyond our lifespan, just as we reap from those who came before.

The stories in Minnesota Women’s Press this year will spotlight how we evolve, not in isolation, but through intersection.

Stories shift. Our narratives as a country today are not what they were in the 1920s, and we will not be the same tomorrow. This magazine (and our upcoming book) enables us to offer perspective. How are our stories changing, or not, over time? How are women helping us see things in a new light? Who is taking us in new directions?

Davina Baldwin ad

Contents

Tapestry: Commentaries about starting points and roots

Changemaker Gala: Photo Gallery and Highlights

GoSeeDo: Native Minnesota, Landscape Arboretum

Art of Living: Witness Waves, by Alison Price

Identity: Indigenous Roots, by Lydia Moran

Money & Business: Unintended Journey, by Marcia Malzahn

Action = Change: My Journey to Labor Rights, by Nimo Omar

Policy & Politics: Failing Mothers & Children

BookShelf: An Unknown Origin Story, by Sheila O’Connor

Perspective: Orphans of Skynet, by Sun Yung Shin

LGBTQ+: The Struggle to Build a Family, by Nancy Lyons, as reported by Erica Rivera

In the News: Midwives, Pharmacists Sued, Police Funding

Sexuality: 21 Grams, by Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli

New Year: How to Have Fun, by Teresa Thomas

Education, How Are Minnesota Students Faring?, by Kassidy Tarala

Camp: Into the Wilderness, by Ava Bleifuss, Evelyn Fontaine, and Eve Wandering

Classified Ads



Recommended Reading

Thanks to an affiliate partnership with Magers & Quinn booksellers, Minnesota Women’s Press readers who want to dive deeper into our monthly themes are able to place online orders that contribute a percentage of sales to our Storytelling Fund. Visit “Self: Books” at womenspress.com for articles that display the Magers & Quinn link.

This month’s recommended resources come from a panel conversation at Hamline University, led by Conflict Studies professor Colleen Bell. Two panelists discussed the generational trauma that is perpetuated by separating incarcerated and detained mothers from their children. These six books were among those suggested.

  • Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States, by Rickie Solinger
  • Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, by Victoria Law
  • Inside This Place, Not Of It: Narratives From Women’s Prisons, by Robin Levi
  • Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women, by Susan Burton
  • Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better, by Maya Schenwar
  • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander