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Upcoming Think Again MN Community Forums


Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin - January Stone Arch Print E-mail


peter mclaughlin


Saturday, January 14, 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Wild Roast Cafe, 65 SE Main Street, Minneapolis, MN 554l4


This month, we’re joined by Peter McLaughlin. He’s been a Hennepin County Commissioner since 1991, and serves most of the eastern portion of Minneapolis. He’s been a champion of transit options, including light rail and bicycle transportation, as well as leading an effort to join the Cool Counties committed to greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 80% by 2050.


As usual, invite anyone interested--free and open to the public. Come, buy your coffee (the law is you can't bring food or drinks into a restaurant), learn a lot and have your questions ready.





Increasing Education and Income Equity in MN Print E-mail


htc tab nhcc logos



Present a Forum in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Free and Affordable Career Certificate and College Degree Programs



Tuesday, January 17

6 p.m. - Free Pizza Buffet and Social                6:30 p.m. - Program


Please RSVP on Eventbrite (You can register for more than one person)

or RSVP and share on Facebook


Hennepin Technical College Cafeteria, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park - Map




martin-luther-king-march 63Though it has been over 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed, Minnesota has fallen far short of the ideals of equity espoused by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  The Think Again Brooklyns January forum, presented in collaboration with Hennepin Technical College and North Hennepin Community College, will give an overview of racial disparities in MN and an introduction to new education programs in MN public high schools and colleges which aim to prepare students for good paying jobs with long term career potential.  


Your children and grandchildren or nieces and nephews in middle school and high school are welcome.  Because taking courses that count toward college in high school often requires prerequisite courses offered in middle school, it's important that middle school students plan ahead and start setting goals related to their college and career possibilities.


jean maierhofer head                

                 Moderator - Jean Maierhofer
      Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer
                  Hennepin Technical College



MN's Demographic Change & Worst in the Nation Disparities


craig helmstetterCraig Helmstetter, Senior Research Manager at the Wilder Foundation, will address the challenges and opportunities of the changing age distribution in the MN and US population as the Babyboomer generation reaches retirement age.  Based on data from the US Census Bureau, the MN State Demographers Office, and the Department of Education, among others, he will explain the wide variation in education, employment, and income for people of different racial and cultural backgrounds in MN and the importance of closing MN's disparities.


As a Senior Research Manager, Craig oversees a research unit focusing on data-driven projects including the Compass quality of life initiative, which provides information on an array of topics relating to community well-being, and the Sprockets database, in use by providers of out-of-school time activities for children in Saint Paul.



Raising Achievement through Student Centered Education


alex leonardAlex Leonard, Dean of Students at Patrick Henry High School, will speak on Patrick Henry's student centered approach which contributed to the school achieving the highest graduation rate in the Minneapolis School System in 2015. Mr. Leonard will focus on the approach the Ujima Collective is taking to increase black males' interest in education and achievement. Ujima is a Swahili term meaning collective work and responsibility. The collective is a group of educators who observed that African American males begin to lose interest in their education after 4th grade and decided to meet to discuss ways to support the success of black male scholars.



alison leintzPost Secondary Enrollment Options and Taking High School Courses for College Credit

Alison Leintz, Academic Program Coordinator, Hennepin Technical College




  felipa cespedesEarnings and Unemployent by Education, Degree Programs at NHCC,
  MN Dream Act, Work/Study

   Felipa Cespedes, Latino Outreach and Success Specialist, North Hennepin Community College



  A Question and Answer discussion will follow.



HTC and NHCC are affirmative action, equal opportunity employers and educators.



cosponsors-bp everybody in lwvbpomg bp human rights





Where We Progressives Will Go during the Next Four Years, How Environmental Holdings Will Fare Print E-mail
Written by Kelly Guncheon   


westside progressives banner


Tuesday, January 24

6 p.m. - Dinner                6:30 p.m. - Program          

Church of the Epiphany, 4900 Nathan Lane N, Plymouth

(1 block west of Highway 169 on the South Side of Schmidt Lake Road)



Where We Progressives Will Go during the Next Four Years

How Environmental Holdings Will Fare


kelly guncheonWe will have a discussion about where we as progressives go from here during the next four surreal years.  We will also field suggestions for upcoming speakers/themes.  Then Kelly Guncheon will talk about socially responsible investments, including how environmentally focused holdings will fare under the new regime.

Westside Progressives, a non-partisan educational forum that encourages civil and thoughtful discussion about progressive issues, usually meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Church of the Epiphany, located at Schmidt Lake Road and Nathan Lane in Plymouth.  $10 for lasagna/salad dinner. If you don't want to have the dinner, please let Kelly Guncheon know when you RSVP.

Please RSVP to Kelly Guncheon, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail


nhcc htc and tab



"Last Place Isn't the Right Place for a Winner"

NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair


Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - Please RSVP:

5 p.m. - Information Tables 6 p.m. - Light Supper and Social 6:30 p.m. - Program


North Hennepin Community College, Center for Business and Technology

Grand Hall (Room 195) - 7411 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park - Map


michael birchardModerator - Michael Birchard, Chief Diversity andcurt boganey

Affirmative Action Officer, North Hennepin Community College

Welcome - Curt Boganey, Brooklyn Center City Manager



sam grantMN Disparities in Employment and Business Ownership


Sam Grant, Executive Director of Everybody In, will give us an overview of MN's low ranking when it comes to racial disparity in employment. He will explain why this is a problem, not only for minorities, but also for the state as a whole. He'll also tell us about Everybody In's role as a clearinghouse for data, insights, and best practices.

adeel ahmed head
Business Development in Brooklyn Park


Adeel Ahmed, Brooklyn Park's Business Development Coordinator, will present an overview of the ways the city helps businesses in the initial planning stage as well as those ready for growth.


rob smolundOpen to Business Program


Rob Smolund, Business Advisor, for the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), will explain the role of MCCD's Open to Business program, which provides new & expanding small businesses with technical help and loans. He will also tell us how Brooklyn Park and MCCD work together.

Incubating Small Businesses and Helping Them Growteshite wako


Teshite Wako, Finance Director, Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), whose mission is to build neighborhood economies from within. He will explain how NDC provides entrepreneurship training, loans, incubation in ethnic marketplaces, and business development services to help businesses get started, grow, and create jobs.


                    EMERGE Workforce Development and Cedar-Riverside Opportunity Center

fatima muhammedmohamed aliFatima Muhammad, Director of EMERGE's Workforce Development, will speak on Emerge's training, job finding, & supportive services. EMERGE Associate Director Mohamed Ali will introduce the Opportunity Center to open in spring and the Unity Opportunity Collaborative. Funded by the MN $37M fund to reverse racial disparities, the collaborative will work to overcome economic disparities African Americans and African immigrants face.

A Question and Answer discussion will follow.

HTC and NHCC are affirmative action, equal opportunity employers and educators.


cosponsors-bp everybody in lwvbpomg bp human rights





Professor David Schultz Talk before the Election about What the Media Is Missing Print E-mail



westside progressives with david schultz 10252016

Great conversation and information at the Westside Progressives October 24
about what
the mainstream media is missing in this   election cycle
with Prof David Schultz. 
So fun to have a packed house!







Reports and Videos for Think Again MN Forums

and Related Articles


Patrick Henry High School Featured on Channel 5 Eyewitness News and Think Again Brooklyns PDF Print E-mail


Principal Yusuf Abdullah Interviewed on Success of School

yusuf abdullahPrincipal of Patrick Henry High School, Yusuf Abdullah, was interviewed about the success of Patrick Henry High School by Channel 5 Eyewitness News on the 10 p.m. news on March 16.  The school achieved the highest graduation rate in Minneapolis in 2015, 87% in comparison to an average high school graduation rate of 64% in the district.  It was given the third highest rank among Minnesota high schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.  Mr. Abdullah, who spoke at the March 16th Think Again Brooklyns forum, noted that it is especially important to meet the needs of nineth grade students because students who pass nineth grade are very likely to graduate.  See the Eyewitness News report.


Yusuf Abdullah's Presentation at Think Again Brooklyns

Principal Abdullah spoke on what has contributed to the success of Patrick Henry High School, especially its graduation rate and spoke on the school's vision and action plan developed through Community Cafes and a Strategic Planning Team at the Think Again Brooklyns forum March 16, 2016.  Watch the 40 minute video of his presentation with Power Point slides.


Shaping an Identity Affirming Space for
Black Males at Henry High


By the Ujima Collective, Twin Cities Daily Planet, April 6, 2016


“Imagine entering a place every day where you can gain the skills you need to make your dreams come true. A place where you are nurtured, loved and valued. Your unique skills are recognized and celebrated, your experiences validated. Your sense of self affirmed. . .   this is how Black male scholars describe their ideal school experience.”

Read the Ujima Collective's description of how their group of Henry High School teachers created an effective learning environment for Black male students.   Ujima is a Swahili term meaning collective work and responsibility.  As educators, the members of the collective are guided by the term and see it as crucial to the success of Black students.


Positive Behaviors Lead To Academic Success - Minneapolis

An Achievement Gap Committee Brown Bag - April 26, 2016

The Chief of Minneapolis Public Schools and three principals discuss how those schools are led, how they maintain a positive school climate with staff and students, and how this leads to academic and life success for students:

  • Michael Thomas, Chief of Schools for Minneapolis
  • Michael Bradley, Roosevelt High School 
  • Yusuf Abdullah,  Patrick Henry High School 
  • Ronald Salazar, Fowell K-8  

See the video





The Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children PDF Print E-mail


Weblinks to Videos related to February Think Again Brooklyns Topic



mike tikkanen samuel mwangiand mike troy

Mike Tikkanen, Samuel Mwangi, Dr. Mike Troy


Three highly informed speakers alerted an attentive audience to the importance of giving attention to domestic abuse at the February Think Again Brooklyn forum on “The Impact of Domestic Abuse on Children.”  Mike Tikkanen, founder of Kids at Risk Action, author of Invisible Children spoke on his work with over fifty children in the County Child Protection System as a volunteer in the Guardian ad-Litem program as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA).  He emphasized that children in the Child Protection System are not kept safe and only half as many children reported as abused in MN were checked on in comparison to other states.  He noted that the children he worked with suffered very serious abuse and that the cost to society is huge in terms of disruption to classrooms and foster families, and health care costs that can run into the millions of dollars by the time a child reaches 18.  "We don't provide the services children need.  We use drugs instead.  It's cheaper."  If you missed the forum, see the two minute videos he showed during his talk:


Rich Gehrman, Founder of Safe Passage for Children, on Inadequacy of Child Protection Program


Overview Trailer for TPT Series on Neglect and Abuse of Children

Dr. Mike Troy, Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, described the rapid development of child’s brain that begins before birth and continues during the child’s first five years.  He noted the big contribution that nurturing parents and others in the child’s life make to the child’s brain development and emphasized that a child born to a poor family can thrive if given the attention it needs.

If you missed the forum, listen to the presentations on early childhood development at Think Again MN's Achievement Gap Committee forum.  Click on the title:


mike troypamela chawlaThe Early Years
Setting the Pathway for a Lifetime

Dr. Pamela Gigi Chawla, MD

Senior Medical Director
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Dr. Mike Troy

Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services

Associate Medical Director, Neuroscience Program
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Starts at 20:40



Sam Mwangi, founder of the Global Fatherhood Foundation, presented his survey findings on domestic abuse in the West African diaspora.  Almost 70% of the 205 Africans in diaspora surveyed "either knew somebody going through gender violence or they're victims themselves."  68% of the survey respondents said that husbands were the main perpetrators of violence while 51% attributed the violence to wives.  Over 70% said that they stayed together in spite of the violence because of their children.




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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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