What Matters to Us: Editor’s Letter and TOC

I was recently at a house gathering in Farmington 40 miles south of my home in Minneapolis, where a group of people were in the habit each month of hosting a “city” person with an interesting background or diverse perspective. A friend who is a former-evangelical-minister-turned-atheist was the featured guest and brought others from the Twin Cities for the informal mixer.

For me, it was a great, simple example of how people live out their values to interact, purposefully, with others who are not in their existing bubble.

This magazine issue was created to honor the ways that people around the state reflect on the biases they confront, in themselves and in others, and how they are trying to shift things with a new lens.

The political system often puts our values into sharp competition, as is evident in the story this month about the ethnic studies debate in Minnesota. But when people connect and build trust that leads to vulnerability, social awareness and change are more likely to happen.

Katya Gordon in northern Minnesota writes about a shifting approach to living her values on land, after years at sea, and the importance of learning how to navigate alongside people who do not think the same way.

We capture voices from our recent event about gender- based violence. Michele Braley of Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice notes that the purpose of the legal system is to determine: “What law is broken? Who did it? What punishment do they deserve?” If we were to support the transformative approach, she suggests, more healing and change might occur. Restorative justice is focused on questions such as: “What happened? How did it cause harm? What will you do to make things better?”

UyenThi Tran Myhre asks: “How does one become fluent in the narratives reverberating across the diaspora?” She wonders how we might share histories that language alone is inadequate to convey.

This summer, our solutions-and-action arm of story development, Changemakers Alliance, will take these kinds of conversations and opportunities for reflection on the road in a traveling series of listening sessions called “Hometown Values & Vision.”

With the help of skilled facilitators and collaborative partners, we will gather for future stories what people in Greater Minnesota are doing, thinking, and debating. We will talk to people about what matters to them about public safety, identity, and healing trauma.

Understanding the perspectives of Minnesotans not in our own circles is how we might begin to do a better job collectively in rethinking the questions we ask, the resolutions we seek, and the solutions we support.

Table of Contents

Changemakers Alliance: Breaking the Cycles That Lead to Violence

Healing: Global Mind-Body Circles

Identity: How to Learn a Language

Art of Living: Q&A With Amanda Cortés

Education: Division Continues Around Multicultural History

Thoughts: Swallowing Your Problems Whole

Adventure: Navigating at Home

Education: Supporting Underserved Students

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