Presentation In Minneapolis, Next Up: Bemidji And Duluth

For those in the Twin Cities, this is a look back at my kick-off event and a thank you for your attendance. For those in other communities of the upper Midwest, this is a look ahead to presentations in your cities. *** On the evening of Tuesday the 19th, I held the opening event of the…
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Facing Minneapolis’s Biggest Problem: Faces Of 2016’s Inner-City Homicide Victims

Shortly after ringing in 2016 at a New Year’s Eve house party, 20-year-old James Bills noticed something outside he didn’t like. “There was a young lady that was getting beat up…” said James’s uncle, Will Finley. “James came out and interrupted it.” For doing so, the guy attacking the woman pulled out his gun and shot…
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Characters On Parade At The Minneapolis May Day Festival

The annual May Day Festival is a mix of hippie, pagan, bohemian, eclectic, and other alternative arts and fashions rolled into one. It’s not my scene–but that’s not relevant when admiring the expression and variety of humanity on display last Sunday. Here were just a few of the shots I grabbed at this year’s event. ***…
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Interview With A Mother And Fiance Of A 2016 Innercity Homicide Victim

Andre Riley Jr. was shot and killed at a late-night block party July 3, 2016. The shooters thought he was somebody else. The shooters have never been caught. On April 17 of this year, Andre’s mother and former fiance shared about the man who died, the events of that night, and the struggles of inner-city black…
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Fund Drive For Tanzania School — Culminating On The 50th Floor

Remember 2014?  That was the year Russia annexed Crimea, the year of the Ebola outbreak, the year Germany won the World Cup, and the year I spent at the small village school in central Tanzania. Three years after I brought computers to Magulilwa, the secondary school continues to thrive as an educational beacon in this…
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Facing The Biggest Problem In America Today

When I was a substitute teacher in Minneapolis a handful of years ago, I was blown away by the behavior of some of the students. I expected some unruliness in the rougher schools, but I didn’t anticipate crying, screaming, and desks strewn about. For the toughest classes, stages of shock and frustration were followed by…
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Black Lives Matter: Both Sides Of The Coin

In 2015, I researched a story about inner-city struggle: the conditions and the residents who suffer within, the organizations that help them, and the blended liberal/conservative philosophy that makes them so successful. What I found is that if we want to help the inner-city communities, we need to support these organizations that recognize “that both empathetic liberal…
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From College Protesters To Those Suffering From Addiction: Dealing With Groups In Need

Many judge and name-call. There is a better way to respond. “When I was young I was grateful to have a job.” These words were spoken last Saturday by my 50-year-old friend Terry. Terry owns a business with 25 employees and said the younger ones (in their early twenties) are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy.…
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Visiting A Theater Costume Warehouse For A Halloween Costume

An invitation to a Halloween party this weekend had me in search of the perfect outfit. After having tried a few conventional methods for getting a costume (party store, online retailers), a Google search inspired another source. On Saturday I pulled into the parking lot of Costume Rentals in Minneapolis, provider of an enormous collection of costumes used in Twin…
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Fighting Sioux, Lake Calhoun, The Confederate Flag: Symbols Serving Symbolic Battles

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -Juliet A name is a word or term used for identification. A name is arbitrary. Whether my parents called me Brandon or Brendan or Brayden or Romeo, I likely would be the same man I am today.…
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