One Year Later: 19 Americans React To The Election Of Donald Trump *New Video*

One year ago, America elected a man many believed had no chance (nor place) in politics. Today, we look back at that night that changed America through the eyes of some Mennonites, a college student, a Millennial husband & wife, two Native Americans, a Hmong flower salesgirl, and a handful of others. These 19 Americans share…
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Why I Made My Video About The Confederate Flag

One thing I learned traveling the South and interviewing Southerners about the Confederate flag, is that they have a deep respect for their region, their history, their culture. Thus, they feel a duty to acknowledge the thousands who fought and died gruesomely for this cause, for something bigger than themselves. Leaders on both sides of…
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Stay Free Of Today’s Political Drama; Build Your Own Sand Castle

As was the case during the US presidential election, and again during the inauguration, unrest dots the American landscape today. Those agitated are protesting. Those angry at the protesters are scoffing. In all, there are large amounts of activity and time spent attacking one another. It’s so easy to get caught up in the back…
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“The U.S. Is Like An Old Man”: A Chinese PhD Student Shares Her Thoughts On America–And China

Xi (Cassie) Guo is an international student at the University of Minnesota. In the lab, she studies diseases. Outside of school, she’s made some interesting observations about life in the U.S.–as well as about her home country.  After sharing some of these insights with me, I asked Cassie for an interview. Graciously, she responded to my questions…
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My Southern Experience: Religion (& Politics) And The South

The South is religious, right? That’s the stereotype. Maybe it’s only in appearance. An attendee at my presentation in Minneapolis theorized that Minnesotans are just as religious. But they’re Lutheran–so are reserved, don’t wear their spirituality on their sleeve, and conduct a drastically different worship style. Short of any research on who is more spiritual, I can…
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The Sun Will Rise Tomorrow: Try Not To Fret About Today’s Election

“The change you’ve been waiting for your entire lives.”  These words were spoken by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just two days ago (and just miles from my home) at a campaign stop in Minneapolis. Political persuasions aside, I think we can agree such claims are a bit misleading. Yet the the audience cheered Trump’s words–as…
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Five Ways Cultures Can Learn From Each Other: A Presentation

*This Saturday I’ll be a panelist at Global China Connection’s Midwest Conference taking place at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Titled “Global Leadership,” the conference’s aim is to “build a platform to get students more involved, early in their college life, in the real world outside college.” It’s an all-day event with speakers from…
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Education Is Bigger Than Politics (A Lesson From My Year In China)

Having been in China just 10 days, it was funny how the detail of teaching English–my vehicle for coming out to China–became lost on me. But it was no accident. I didn’t want to think too much about it, because honestly, I didn’t think too much of it. Tons of others before me had gone abroad to…
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Labor Unions: Effective. Political. Necessary?

I work for a school. Last week there was a board meeting, and as communication coordinator I was there to stay current on new business. Unbeknownst to me, the teachers had decided to attend as well. They came in large numbers filling the library and all wearing blue T-shirts with yellow lettering reading, “Because our…
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Election In East Africa

Ever since I got to my village in Tanzania, there has been campaign buzz regarding a recently-vacated seat of parliament due to the untimely passing of this area’s representative. The Iringa region was to elect a new official on March 16th. Within days of my arrival at the end of January, the first signs of…
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