Publisher’s Letter: Transformation

Minnesota Women’s Press publisher
and editor Mikki Morrissette

As we examined in our March “Money” issue, women’s economic power is not what we wish it would be. In times of crisis, which can be chronic for many of us even without a pandemic, women are creative about sustaining themselves and their families in collaboration with community. Yet there is a cycle of fatigue around finances that directs our lives.

The pay gap has not closed, despite decades of conversation. Inequalities are widening, and the numbers of people of all ages who are struggling is increasing quickly. The situation is propelling an increasing number of women into politics. There is a deep need to reallocate priorities in funding and policy in order to rebuild infrastructure. 

The pandemic brings that need into even sharper focus. People — especially women of color — have been working for many years to transform the economy. There is no time better than the present to strengthen our vision of a new world.

Using a neighborhood movie theater’s virtual pass, my mother and I recently watched the documentary “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” As global economy analyst Rana Foroohor put it in the film, “We have a mythology that what is good for Wall Street is good for Main Street, but that’s never been true.”

The film makes the point that politics shape the way we think about the economy — such as blaming immigrants for taking jobs — and that we can be inspired to make different choices by telling different stories. 

The intention of Minnesota Women’s Press this summer was to embark on a listening tour of the state, connecting in conversation with women about the economy and the ecosystem. Instead, we will be working virtually with extended community to talk about how to deepen community-based economies. 

We are in the planning stages of a long-term campaign — tentatively called “Doulas to the New Economy” (inspired by this Winona LaDuke essay), in order to tell new stories. 

In our second Quaranzine issue, “Eco,” we looked at how nature reminds us that borders are figments of mind, not biology. In this “Transformation” issue, we explore how the coronavirus can reset our expectations and capabilities.

It was 400 years ago that the U.S. economy was built on Native land with slave labor. It was 100 years ago that some women finally won the right to vote. It was 50 years ago that pop culture started to focus attention on the environment. In 2020, it is time to acknowledge that a new economic system is possible. 

The mission of Minnesota Women’s Press is to amplify the voices and vision of women as community-based journalists and storytellers. The transformation of society will rely on how well we create solidarity around narratives that bring us to a new future. Please join us.

Use the comments field below to offer your ideas: “What community-based economies in Minnesota do you suggest we write about?”

Contact if you want to be part of an advisory committee we are building about future story coverage that meets consumer and entrepreneur needs.

Read this related story about the Community-based Economy as articulated in a series of books published by two women economists.

Read this reflection by Ileana Mejia, “Community Care,” about her thoughts on connections and money after visiting her father’s Dominican Republic culture.

Read this story by Tess Montgomery, “Managing Without Much of Anything.”

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Minnesota Women’s Press has been sharing the voice and vision of women since 1985. Gender-based violence, pay inequity, women in politics, equal rights, and ecofeminism have been some of the topics visited again and again in our pages, starting at a time when some thought “women’s stories” were meant to be relegated only to the lifestyle sections. 

The biweekly newspaper began as a largely women-funded investment, survived the 2009 recession by transitioning into a monthly magazine, and was bought by the current publisher in December 2017 with a business loan and crowdfunding donations. 

Since then, the new team has been gathering a diversity of perspectives and networks for solutions-based journalism that responds to issues our community faces. 

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