Intra-Action: Editor’s Letter and TOC

Publisher Mikki Morrissette

We are not disconnected; we are always moving together.

A reader introduced me to the term “intra-action,” created by feminist theoretical physicist Karen Barad. Barad says “interaction” implies separate bodies that intersect, whereas “intra-action” allows for the dynamic forces at work in a world full of constant motion, exchange, and influence.

The intra-generational pairings featured in this January magazine are continuously learning from one another. We invited five duos to talk with each other about how they have formed bonds and built trust.

When Joan Blakey was a recent college graduate 24 years ago, she worked with Patricia Torres Ray at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. They connected over a shared belief that the lived experiences of people of color must inform policy-making in government. They reflect on their long-standing allyship now that Blakey is director of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and Torres Ray has stepped back fully into life as a community advocate after serving in the Minnesota Senate for 16 years.

Tina May, Land O’Lakes vice president of rural services, and Benya Kraus Beacom, Lead for America co-founder, first connected during a cold call Beacom initiated to generate support for her new social enterprise. Because of their shared love for small towns, they co-created the idea for American Connection Corps, bridging the digital divide in rural communities, while also supporting one another’s personal growth.

Writers Carolyn Holbrook and Taiwana Shambley are awed by each other’s evolving creative processes. As new writer Shambley articulated: “How you give feedback really does matter. If you are giving feedback in a way that feels like you are trying to tear someone down, or trying to prove you are smarter than them, it doesn’t work.”

Technologists Sharon Kennedy Vickers and Cassi Johnson transcend racial and gender barriers to amplify one another’s leadership in the often-homogenous industry.

Farmer Chris Burkhouse became a mentor after Emmalyn Kayser took over the organic farm Burkhouse stewarded for more than 30 years.

Mentorship is not about achieving a goal. Instead, it is about evolving in a dynamic process with other people — new and long-term, of various ages and backgrounds.


Coding a Better World: Sharon Kennedy Vickers and Cassi Johnson

From Cold Call to Warmth: Benya Kraus Beacom and Tina May

Feedback With Love: Taiwana Shambley and Carolyn Holbrook

Building a Bench: Patricia Torres Ray and Joan Blakey

A New Life for Foxtail Farm: Chris Burkhouse and Emmalyn Kayser

Changemakers Alliance — How to Evolve Together

Pets Guide — Healthy Horses

Camp and Kids Guide — Making One Heart

Thoughts — A Piece of Family

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