I moved to Eastern Europe two months before Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, and I relocated to the Twin Cities in September 2020. Plenty of jokes have been made about how I managed to “escape” nearly all of Trump’s presidency, and I’ve grown accustomed to chuckling uncomfortably while knowing that this isn’t really true. The Trump presidency impacted countless aspects of my four years living abroad and taught me several valuable lessons about how people overseas view America.
This past summer in the Twin Cities has been revolutionary.
As many organizations made the important pivot to working from home to minimize the impact of a global pandemic, our community suffered the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers, and residents were activated to hit the streets demanding justice.
Mutual aid distribution sites sprung up overnight to aid South and North Minneapolis communities who lost important neighborhood storefronts, which eliminated access to groceries, household goods, and critical medications.
And we carried on because our work didn’t stop. For many, it intensified.
The problem with ignoring pain is that it doesn’t go away. We just start to work around it, maneuvering in maladaptive ways.
Content Warning: Readers should be aware that this blog includes references to the topic of sex trafficking. Alternatively, you can review Alyssa Scott’s earlier YNPN-TC blog on responsible storytelling or the resources listed at the end of this blog.
Communicators have the honor to interview and share the stories of people around us—both those who have lives like our own and, when appropriate, those with experiences that are far different. When sharing stories based on the words and life experiences of another person, we should feel two responsibilities.Read more
I look up from my laptop screen to see my mom taking a photo of me. “MOM!” I scream at her.
“What honey? It’s funny that you are working on homework in the ER, and this really needs to be documented.”
That was not the first and not the last moment I asked myself, “What am I doing here?” Well, okay, I knew why I was in the emergency room. I had tripped over a pothole while going for a run and got a hematoma (essentially internal bleeding) on my leg that needed to get checked out. During the long wait at the hospital, I found myself laying on a hospital bed with a leg injury and needing to prep for a graduate school group project meeting I had later that night. So, essentially, I knew why I was in the ER, but I found myself questioning yet again why I decided to go back to graduate school. Why was I putting myself through the mental and, apparently, sometimes physical, stress of pursuing a second degree?Read more
While I don’t consider myself a writer, I highly respect those who write for a living or for pleasure. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I looked to someone I’ve always admired: Oprah Winfrey. I admire Oprah as a black woman and as a millennial who grew up watching her become an influential and powerful voice for women. Her book “What I Know for Sure” came to mind when I started brainstorming how to start writing. The book is a straightforward account of her biggest adversities in life and how overcoming her greatest challenges allowed her to learn the important lessons i.e. what she knows for sure in her life. So here it goes.Read more
For the podcast Sugar Calling, Cheryl Strayed interviews authors during quarantine. In a recent episode, Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States, read and recited poetry. Collins is a poet who reminds me that I like poetry. In the podcast, he quoted Irish poet Eavan Boland, “Poetry begins where language starts: in the shadows and accidents of one person’s life.”
If ever there was a time that felt like a shadowy accident, it’s now. Thus, I can’t write anything resembling advice. Dozens of COVID-19 think pieces exist or will soon, and I can’t do that to you or to myself. Also, I have no sourdough tips.
So instead of a blog, I’ve written a poem, followed by some poems I enjoy.Read more
I have a friend that within the last few years made a career shift. They went directly from being a pharmacist to being the Executive Director of a non-profit center addressing women’s health in a rural area of my home state. No in-between job. No experience with non-profits. Did I mention that this friend is a cis-gendered, white man?? Look, I am not upset at my friend. I am tired and irritated with our sector.Read more
I’d be willing to bet you’re reading this from home. As you should be! It’s a strange and uncertain time for all of us right now, and although we’ve all had routine changes and things that have flipped our day-to-day inside out, we still have to work.Read more
As the late, great Paul Wellstone said - we all do better when we all do better. Whether you agree with his political beliefs or not, you can’t disagree with this statement.Read more