Fresh Perspectives

Photo by Sarah Whiting

I headed to New York at age 22 to seek my future in publishing. Today, my role is much broader — and frankly more fulfilling: to seek out and amplify the voices of others who are emerging as present and future leaders, organizers, and innovators.

This “Under 30” magazine theme evolved from a reader suggestion. Last year at this time, when we were seeking input on 2019 themes, a reader said she wanted to hear the perspectives of younger women. We convened two planning sessions of women under the age of 30, to talk about the ideas and issues that matter to them. The results of those discussions are in these pages. The team voted for their favorites from the dozens of story ideas generated in our sessions, and wrote and edited the stories.

Interestingly, the overwhelmingly agreed upon contemporary issue of focus was about reproductive rights. To get greater clarity on the various angles of that topic, I sat down with Dr. Carol Ball, who has connected with people at the handful of clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota that offer pregnancy-related services for decades. She said she regularly tells women that if they have any ambivalence about their choice to seek abortion care, they should come back to her another day.

That type of conversation — talking over options, and letting individuals make their own choices — is an embodiment of the feminist approach.

I had another powerful reminder of what it means to be co-creators on equal footing when a group of women gathered recently over dinner to talk about their histories with this magazine. The group included present and former staff, founders Mollie Hoben and Glenda Martin, and previous owners Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson. The conversation was richly rewarding.

When we empower everyone to offer their own passions and skills, we widen the circle of people who build a stronger community. I believe it is that power that scares others who seek to limit individual choice.

I am excited about the powerful young voices that not only led us to the content and feel of this magazine theme, but to the creation of a new category: Sexuality, which will be an ongoing column.

Hildegard of Bingen, a pioneering woman in music, theology, and natural science, once said: “We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others.” She said it is our mission “to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”

This issue of Minnesota Women’s Press is about listening to the vision and voices of our new, empowered, feminist leaders.

COMING UP: Tapestry for October

Our October theme is written by women who envision a new future, and know how to build it. We are asking readers to submit for our Tapestry section their response (which could include artwork) to this creative question:

“You are writing a science fiction story about the future — utopian or dystopian. What have we become, and how did it happen? Offer your thoughts about what you see (or want to see) in the year 2050.” Send 300 words or less, no later than September 10,

Calling Native Storytellers

Our November issue is focused on “Storytellers from Turtle Island.” If you are from an Indigenous community, reach out to