Minnesota Women’s Press publisher Mikki Morrissette at the opening of the “Celebrating Badass Minnesota Women” event at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
My birthday happens to coincide with the 38th anniversary today of Minnesota Women’s Press launch. I have always wanted an occasion to intersect the two and I thought this is the time to do it. We have all had a rough few years, and it is still a little rough out there, but it is also a great time to celebrate the awesomeness of some of the people that we have here in Minnesota.
The people in this room, the people you are going to see on the stage, the people you are going to see on the screen are all amazing. It is my privilege to be able to connect with these people on a regular basis who are working to transform Minnesota into a more equitable and just and healthy society. I have been in this wonderful role now for four years.
This year Minnesota Women’s Press is focused on solutions. We are also kicking off the extension of our first-person narratives and our social justice reporting with Changemakers Alliance — which is focused on bringing those stories and solutions to life in solidarity with people around the state who care about making Minnesota a state that is more of a collective, transformative space than one of individual transactions. You are going to hear more about that in a few minutes from the legislators.
We have wonderful readers who helped the magazine stay alive during the pandemic. We are very grateful for the donors who stepped in and the subscribers who stepped in — our subscriptions have gone up 62 percent since 2018.
Changemakers Alliance membership is going to help us build storytelling projects. I have been in the industry now for several decades. As I get towards that later end of my career, I realize what I really want to be doing is joining forces with the advocates, the grassroots organizers, and doing more that goes beyond storytelling into solutions. A lot of that is because we see the same stories that we have been running in Minnesota Women’s Press for 38 years related to gender-based violence and inequities and justice that really haven’t been fixed.
Changemakers Alliance is designed to bring people together from around the state to build projects that focus on ways that we can tell stories and take action, in ways that media should be part of. We are starting with stories related to healing trauma — you will see a clip of that in a few minutes. And women in politics — it is a big year for women in politics. As well as a project that is coming up for our June issue about community supportive housing.
You are going to hear from 11 women on the stage today. Each of them has five minutes to give us what we are calling an Energy Bolt that is part of our Power Hour — explaining their passions, their hopes, their fears, their joys, and the action steps that they would like for us to take with them.
After that we are going to have a group conversation with everybody in the room — something Changemakers Alliance has normally so far been able to do only online. This is about what questions you have about what you have heard today, what passions you have that you would like to share, what action steps you wish to see, how we might be able to connect about, making things happen instead of simply being aware of the needs and the stories that so many people have.
So, let us get the party started!