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.
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.
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?
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
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.