In the News: April 2020

Recovery for Nurses 

In February, Wayside Recovery Center launched the first mental health and substance use disorder outpatient treatment program for nurses in Minnesota. Nurses experience challenging work environments, with secondary traumatic stress, work-related injuries, and physical violence. The World Health Organization named 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife to “highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce.” 

Many nurses struggling with substance use disorder battle stigma, shame, and the fear of losing their license. While these concerns persist, the risk factors in nursing have only increased. Says Erin Murphy, former Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association, “It is important that the system not toss people out because they are using but instead, we hold people and help them find their way back into recovery and back into practice.” 


Community Artists Awarded Grants 

Forecast Public Art has awarded 13 artists $86,000 in grants to support statewide independent projects, development, and collaborative problem solving in community art, thanks to support from McKnight and Jerome Foundations. 

Some of the 2020 recipients: 

Alyssa Baguss: Open Water Project — 12 artist-led boat tours with visual, performing, and social practice art projects aboard the Minneapolis Water Taxi (Duffy Boat) on the Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis. 

Katrina Knutson: Cross County Arts — build connections and relationships across Minnesota counties, bridge gaps between urban and rural communities, and promote public art and artists from smaller cities across Minnesota to create a mural in their town. 

Dyani White Hawk: Mosaic Mural — creation of a mosaic mural for Seward Redesign at the Five Square building in Minneapolis. Last year White Hawk received a Forecast Professional Development Grant for residency in Munich, Germany, during which she learned about the process of mosaics. 

Missy Whiteman: Expanded Cinema Experience — Coyote Way: X will be a new form of Indigenous storytelling with 360 VR, video synthesizer, projection, performance, and a live score, rooted in ancestral knowledge, cellular memory, and traditional stories. 

Camila Leiva Anderson: Aquí Estamos y No Nos Vamos — a community-driven outdoor mural to be painted on the Azteca Restaurant on main street in Worthington. This immigrant-owned Mexican restaurant is a gathering site for the Latinx community. Anderson will lead the project with a group of Latinx youth. 

Kao Lee Thao: Illuminated Folktale — an oversized lantern installation with projected Hmong folktales animated on the surface, presented at the Little Mekong Night Market. 

DejaJoelle: Healing With Dance — a new dance technique to promote healing and self-love, as well as hosting three community events in which the practice will be shared and further developed. 

Margo Gray: Iron Range Auditory Exploration — develop an app-based interactive audio experience for the Mesabi Trail between Grand Rapids and Ely, MN. This narrative journey will allow participants to see the places they pass through in a new way. 

Tori Hong: Coming Home — traditional craft arts (paj ntaub and hanji) to explore what coming home means as a queer, second-generation American, for Hmong and Korean people who have historically been displaced by discrimination, genocide, and war, and as an adult renter in the face of gentrification. 


Grants for Pollinators 

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is accepting applications for the Lawns to Legumes program for Fall 2020 projects. This program aims to increase residential habitat for at-risk pollinators across the state by providing residents with workshops, free planting guides, and opportunities to apply for reimbursement for gardening projects. The application period will remain open through June 2. 

Anyone who lives in Minnesota and has an area for outdoor planting can apply to be reimbursed for up to $350 in costs associated with establishing new pollinator habitat in their yards. Awardees provide a 25 percent match, which can include in-kind time spent planting or maintaining plants. Apply online: 


Women’s Employment and Health 

The 2020 Best and Worst States for Women were identified in a WalletHub report using 24 metrics and data from sources ranging from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, Minnesota ranked second for women, behind Massachusetts. Minnesota’s rankings from Best (1) to Average (25) included: 

  • 1st: Unemployment Rate for Women 
  • 8th: Share of Women Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election 
  • 11th: Women’s Preventive Health Care 

Source: WalletHub 

Trauma and White Nationalists 

YES! Magazine features an article about the transformation of Shannon Foley Martinez, a former neo-Nazi in Athens, Georgia, who now works to deradicalize people who are still in the movement. 

As she wrote to one young white nationalist: “Most of my change in worldview had literally nothing to do with the ideology. It had to do with why the ideology was seductive and felt empowering to me in the first place. I needed an explanation for why the world seemed like a threatening and brutal place for me. I wanted to believe in something that felt like it mattered and was part of something bigger. 

“After five years of that way of life,” Martinez continued, “I began to see how it really kept me looking at the world through victimhood, and that blaming/targeting Jews, blacks, and other races/ ethnicities didn’t make me actually feel any safer or more empowered. It just kept my world really small and kept me focused on hurt and pain.” 

In every case of nationalism she has ever encountered, Martinez said, she’s been able to identify some type of unhealed trauma. Deradicalization involves identifying the trauma, and finding new resources, behaviors, and networks outside extremist groups to meet those needs. 

A report by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness shows that more than half the suspects involved in 32 domestic terrorism incidents in 2018 were white supremacists. A report by the Anti-Defamation League concluded that right-wing extremists were responsible for all but one of the 50 domestic extremist-related killings in 2018.