MRM Diversity Digest
February 5, 2018
“As a learning environment that fosters socially responsible citizens who are lifelong learners and problem solvers, Many Rivers Montessori aspires to be a multicultural community with a welcoming spirit.”—Excerpt from MRM’s Diversity Statement, posted in full on the school’s home page.
Welcome to Issue 12 of the Diversity Digest, brought to you by the MRM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. We are pleased to offer this summary of cultural events, broadcasts and workshops at MRM and around the Twin Ports—as well as some resources to explore on your own. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit timely events. Remember to check out our new shareable calendar for all events: DEI Digest
February is Black History Month, founded by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This year’s nationwide theme is African Americans in Times of War. Check out upcoming and past themes dating back to 1928 at asalh.org. Tons of events celebrating Black History Month are scheduled throughout the Twin Ports Area.
Tuesday, February 27. 6:00-8:30 PM. 2018 MRM Diversity Forum, The Language of Inclusion: Understanding the Issues and Learning to Talk about Them. MRM Jefferson Campus. Workshop will be conducted by Kevin Skwira-Brown of Cultural Fluency Associates, an organization that provides valuable training on diversity, equity & inclusion for organizations all around Duluth, including several prominent nonprofit organizations. Kevin has also provided well-received professional training to our staff this year, and we are extremely excited to be able to bring his expertise to our parent community too. We are hoping this will help equip parents with a framework we can use to talk to our children, and also to apply to our own lives and our families’. Inclusion requires that our words and actions result in everyone feeling like they belong and can fully participate. Among the obstacles to such inclusion are dynamics of privilege. Understanding how privilege and oppression play out in unintended ways is essential if we are to create environments where all feel welcome. This workshop will discuss privilege in a way that sidesteps the blame and defensiveness that too often accompany such conversations. You will leave with clarity as to what privilege is, how it shows up and what we can do to promote an environment that is genuinely welcoming and inclusive. This will be a great session for those seeking an understanding of privilege and anyone looking for effective ways to talk about it. The workshop is open to all MRM families, including students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Contact email@example.com if you need childcare. Sponsored by MRM’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.
On Your Own
Winter Reading (Without Walls). The Duluth Public Library’s (DPL) Winter Reading 2018 is a 6-week challenge for the entire community. The challenge runs through February 24. Sign up at DuluthLibrary.org to keep track and log your progress for chances to win. All youth participants from birth to 12th grade get one drawing entry at signup and for every 5 hours of reading time logged (up to 100 hours). After 10 hours of reading time, get a free book of your choice at any DPL location. All youth participants who complete the “Reading Without Walls” challenge will be entered into a bonus Grand Prize drawing for a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble! It’s easy: 1) Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you; *or* 2) Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about; *or* 3) Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read, like a chapter book, graphic novel, book in verse, etc.
Around the Twin Ports
Monday, February 5. 3:15-5:00 PM. If These Halls Could Talk. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Montague Hall Room 80, 1211 Ordean Court. A documentary presented by the Committee on Equity, Race and Ethnicity (CERE) in preparation for its 2018 Summit, "Creating Inclusive Communities," (February 21). Eleven college students discuss what it is like on campuses across the country today. Their stories are starkly emotional and raw, filled with incredible tenderness, courage and pain. The diversity issues that they challenge us to look at are equally provocative, begging to be heard and confronted. This is the second of 2 films directed by Lee Mun Wah, the keynote speaker for the 2/21 Summit. Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folkteller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer.
Wednesday, February 7. 4:00 PM. Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Montague Hall Room 80, 1211 Ordean Court. Growing up in rural North Carolina, Moises Serrano fell in love with a country that refused to recognize his full humanity - both as an undocumented immigrant and as a gay man. The documentary Forbidden follows Moises’ personal journey as an activist fighting for the American Dream. Free of charge, open to the public. Sponsored by the UMD Office of Diversity & Inclusion.
Friday, February 9. 5:00-7:00 PM. The Life, The Work, The Fight: Black Duluth in History. Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, 222 E. Superior Street, Duluth. Join us for the Art Exhibit Opening Reception of, The Life, The Work, The Fight: Black Duluth in History, Curated by Jordon Moses, Photographs by Daniel Oyinloye, Project Director and Historical Researcher, Heidi Bakk-Hansen, Assistant Project Director, Drew Digby. This event is free and open to the public. This exhibit will be on display in the Zeitgeist atrium gallery through February 28th. This project combines excerpts of recent oral histories of African American elders in Duluth with historical profiles dating back to the late 19th Century to show the depth and complexity of the journey that living in Duluth has been. Each of the leaders in these stories have been influential in setting the stage for each new generation of the African American Community. These stories and experiences are relevant not just to black folks but to all people who are part of the community because of how they shaped the city that Duluth is today. Sponsored by Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc., with the support of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.
Sunday, February 11. 7:00-10:00 PM. Black Student Union Soul Food Dinner. University of Wisconsin-Superior, Yellowjacket Union, 1605 Catlin Avenue, Superior. See related event on 2/24. Add this event to my calendar
Monday, February 12. 7:00-9:00 PM. Exploring Laponia: A Cultural Landscape of Global Significance. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Library Annex, 416 Library Dr. Celebrate Sami National Day with this informative program about Laponia in northern Sweden, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The 3,600 square mile area contains 4 national parks and 2 nature reserves and is home to Indigenous Sami reindeer herders. Presented by the Minnesota Sea Grant Program's Tom Beery, who has studied in the area for many years and is a specialist on the cultural landscape of Laponia. Kid friendly! Hosted by the Sami Cultural Center of North America and the Kathryn A. Martin Library.
*Tuesday, February 13. ARE Youth Spoken Word Open Mic. Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, 222 E Superior St, Duluth. The ARE Youth Spoken Word OPEN MIC is a FREE platform for all Twin Ports youths to sharpen their performance skills while having fun with the community at large. It is organized by ARE and seeks to transcend the culture of spoken word in the Twin Ports for all.Ages 13 to 19 get first dibs. Contact Daniel O., firstname.lastname@example.org, (952) 201 7352.
Wednesday, February 14. 6:00 PM. Poet Too Black. UMD Kirby Student Center, 1120 Kirby Drive, Rafters. Too Black is a Spoken Word Artist, public speaker, activist and educator based in Indianapolis, IN. The name TOO BLACK was developed as a challenge to society on the perceptions of blackness and humanity especially in the United States. Influenced by a wide variety of artists and historical figures – from Malcolm X to Gore Vidal, from George Carlin to Audre Lorde – TOO BLACK fuses these multiple perspectives, his life exploration and passionate performance bringing them to life on the stage. His working dialogue draws from personal experiences, historical and current events and the culture of Hip Hop in which he was born. He describes his performance as a “conversation” in which he talks with his audiences and connects their shared experiences. Sponsored by the UMD Black Student Association.
Saturday, February 17. 6:00-9:00 PM. Feast of Nations. UMD Kirby Ballroom and Marshall Performing Arts Center. Join the International Club for the 50th annual Feast of Nations! Featuring a worldly selection of foods, fashion, and performances from around the globe! A sumptuous dinner and a fashion show begins at 6 pm in Kirby Ballroom. Then the event moves to the Marshall Performing Arts Center (MPAC) at 7:15 pm for performances.
Tickets will be sold outside of the Kirby bookstore (lower level). Tickets always sell out, so purchase in advance. Ticket Information: College Students ($10), Non- Students ($15), Show only ($7), Children 5 and under (free). For more information contact Emily Drevlow at 218.726.7720 email@example.com.
*Tuesday, February 20. 6:00 PM. First Foods Workshop Series: The Importance of How we Used Plants in the Past. 1854 Treaty Authority, 4428 Haines Rd, Duluth, MN (one block from the airport). Fond du Lac's 13 Moons program coordinator Nikki Crowe will share information on wild fruits and jams, including some ethnobotany with research on diet and diabetes and the importance of knowing how we used plants in the past. The first of a 3-part workshop series held by the 1854 Treaty Authority. To increase awareness of traditionally harvested resources of both ecological and cultural significance, this series will focus on nutrition, research on diet and health, and traditional ecological knowledge, preparation and storage. Workshops on wild fruits, local fish and a food sovereignty project will provide the platform for collaborators and participants to share their knowledge. These programs are FREE, but space is limited! Register online through the QuickLinks on the 1854 Treaty Authority website homepage. The 1854 Treaty Authority is an Inter-Tribal Natural Resource Management Organization that manages the off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights of the Grand Portage and Bois Forte bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa in the territory ceded under the Treaty of 1854.
Tuesday, February 20. 6:30-8:30 PM. Through the Banks of the Red Cedar. UMD Marshall Performing Arts Center 1215 Ordean Court. Film and panel discussion. The movie’s title is a play on the Michigan State University (MSU) fight song. This story follows the 50-year legacy of filmmaker Maya Washington’s father, legendary Vikings wide-receiver Gene Washington from the segregated South to MSU alongside highly decorated teammates as they become members of the first fully integrated football team in America, later making history as first round picks in the 1967 Draft. As Ms. Washington uncovers both the triumphs and defeats of her father's team, she develops a newly formed appreciation for the game and a deeper connection to her father, just in time to witness MSU Spartan Football team ascend to national prominence 50 years later. Sponsored by the UMD Athletics Department, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Black Student Association.
Wednesday, February 21. 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Summit on Equity, Race and Ethnicity: Creating Inclusive Communities. University of Minnesota Duluth 1049 University Dr, Duluth
Creating Inclusive Communities will be hosted at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. UMD’s Commission on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity (CERE) invites proposals from interested community members and organizations for interactive workshops, presentations, lectures, posters, films with discussion, and other educational formats. For more information about the Summit, contact CERE Chairpersons Mia O’Brien (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Katie Stainbrook (email@example.com).
Friday, February 23. 5:00-8:00 PM. Freedom Fund Dinner & Reception: Groundwork of the Revolution. Clyde Iron Works 2920 West Michigan Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55806. Duluth’s NAACP chapter is excited to announce its revitalized Freedom Fund Dinner Awards Ceremony. Following in the footsteps of the national NAACP, recognizing this is a time for action and change, the theme aspires to raise awareness of inequities and injustice and encourage us to mobilize our communities to work together for change. In these challenging times of political division, racial injustice and racial inequity, there remains much work to be done. With renewed commitment and outreach, Duluth’s NAACP Chapter is actively involved in the community. Since the recent rise in acts of racial and social injustice, local membership has more than tripled with monthly meetings welcoming new faces who have eagerly stepped up to work to affect positive change. The event will showcase ongoing efforts and accomplishments of the local chapter, recognize and celebrate the work of our members, and host a nationally acclaimed activist and speaker, Seitu Jones to inspire and motivate.
Saturday, February 24. 5:30-8:30 PM. Soul Food Dinner. University of Wisconsin-Superior, 1800 Grand Avenue, Yellow Jacket Union Great Room. Hosted by the UWS Black Student Union. Tickets $5 for community members. (See related event on 2/11).
Saturday, February 24. 6:00 PM. Soul Food Dinner. Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 200 W 1st St, Duluth. It’s the 27th Annual Soul Food Dinner hosted by UMD's Black Student Association! The event is child-friendly and open to the public. Tickets for dinner and the show for general public are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Children under 5 are free, or $7.00 if child needs a chair.
Tuesday, February 27. 6:00-8:30 PM. 2018 MRM Diversity Forum, The Language of Inclusion: Understanding the Issues and Learning to Talk about Them. MRM Jefferson Campus. This workshop is this year’s highlight of MRM’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and will be conducted by Kevin Skwira-Brown of Cultural Fluency Associates, an organization that provides valuable training on diversity, equity & inclusion for organizations all around Duluth, including several prominent nonprofit organizations. This will be a great session for those seeking an understanding of privilege and anyone looking for effective ways to talk about it. The workshop is open to all MRM families, including students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need childcare. More details above.
Wednesday, February 28. 5:00-7:00 PM. Hidden Figures. University of Minnesota-Duluth, Montague Hall Room 80, 1211 Ordean Court. Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, the movie tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Jonson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn, a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race. The visionary trio crossed all gender and racial line and inspired generations. Sponsored by the NAACP and the UMD Office of Diversity & Inclusion.
Wednesday, February 28. 6:00 PM. Spanish Book Night. Mt. Royal Branch Library, 105 Mount Royal Shopping Cir, Duluth. It's story time in Spanish! While the kids enjoy the stories and activities, a language teacher will be on hand to talk with parents about how to support their children's literacy and biliteracy development. Books in Spanish will be available to check out. The event is a partnership between the public library and Nueva Visiόn Spanish Immersion (Lowell Elementary School) and is targeted toward 4 to 6 year olds. You don't need to speak Spanish to attend.
* Recurring or ongoing events
Planning ahead? Visit the DEI Digest Calendar for updates, corrections and more upcoming events.
Many Rivers Montessori values diversity in every aspect of the school community. It is the policy of MRM not to discriminate in violation of the law on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation or disability in the administration of its admissions policies, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic programs and other school-related programs.