Category Archives: Columns

Black Lives Matter

Young women take charge to fight for change
By Sara Dingmann

Photos by

Yezi Gugsa is tired of hearing people say that kids these days don’t know what they are talking about.

“It’s just not the truth anymore,” Gugsa says. “The truth is we’ve done extensive research, and we’ve done our best to educate ourselves. In most cases, we’ve done more research than a lot of adults have.” Continue reading


Learning from the Experiences of Others
By C.H. Armstrong

The race-related events of the last few months have left our nation shaken. In Minnesota, the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer hits especially close to home. The officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, ignoring Floyd pleading, “I can’t breathe.” In the aftermath, many of us are struggling to understand how this could happen in our own backyard.    Continue reading

Corona-Style Theater

Continuing to “play”
despite a pandemic
By Emily Watkins & Misha Johnson

The arts are of critical importance right now. Art awakens curiosity and allows us to be in the moment with our thoughts and feelings. It also reminds us of our humanity, bringing us necessary beauty in times of struggle. Continue reading


A Musical Family Affair
By Debi Neville

Four sisters in Spring Valley not only live together, but rehearse, plan, work, travel and sing together. “It’s a bit unusual,” concedes Mandy, their mother, considering their age differences. Zena (21), JLee (17), Elsie (14) and Shelly (12) don’t see this as an issue. In the Blankenship household everyone is treated equally, work is divided and everyone’s talent is nurtured and appreciated.  Continue reading

Vegan Five Elements Dumpling

The balance of life in the form of homemade dumplings
By Tiffany Alexandria
Photos by CHOOCHOO-ca-CHEW | Tiffany Alexandria

My mom is known for her homemade vegan dumplings. They are packed with vegetables of different textures and a rainbow of colors. Making vegan dumplings is a tradition for our family during the Chinese New Year, but these dumplings are so good, my mom gets requests for them all year long. She’s always happy to share the recipe, but she would share it in the true fashion of an experienced cook: “Blanch vegetables, squeeze out moisture, chop everything, season with a bit of this and a pinch of that. Easy!” Continue reading

America, Land of Opportunities

Making my dreams come true
By Dina Abo Sheasha

My mom’s voice echoed through the house: “We are going to America.” As a young Egyptian Muslim girl living in Doha, Qatar, the idea of America was a dream to me—or more specifically, the land of dreams. I saw America as the land of opportunity—beautiful lifestyles, success, happiness, skyscrapers and a melting pot of different cultures. Continue reading

Local Elections 2020

Women in Office,
Part 1: Primary Candidates
By Brittney Marschall

Despite generations of strides, barriers persist for female candidates and officeholders. According to the Association of Minnesota Counties, a mere 15% of county commissioners identify as women. Approximately 30% of those who hold city council seats are women, and women make up roughly 40% of school board members.
Nor does leadership on a federal level mirror the population it represents. In the U.S. Congress, about 20% are people of color, and 20% are female. While people of color are expected to represent a majority of the U.S. population by 2040, government representation has a long way to go to reflect this change. Continue reading

The POWER of Gardening

A Regrowing Pastime
By Jen Jacobson
Photography by Fagan Studios

After months of social distancing or teleworking, you may feel isolated and bored at home.  Or perhaps you’re stressed over close contact at the grocery store or worrying that the aisles will be picked over again in the coming months. Or maybe you just need some beauty in your life to combat all the yuck that 2020 has dealt so far. Continue reading

Stopping the Doubt

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
By Gina Dewink

Since the 1970s, perhaps as women came into more widespread positions of power, a phrase emerged. Frequently spoken about at conferences and in management keynotes, it is known as “imposter syndrome.” Though it is a psychological term coined by clinical psychologists, there is no official diagnosis. It is a stream of negative self-talk that should not be ignored.   Continue reading


Traveling in the Time of Coronavirus
By Maka Boeve

Wanderlust is strong right now.  Although it was for the common good, the stay-at-home orders and sudden halt in traveling felt like being “grounded.” As restrictions are adjusted, questions arise as to what exactly is safe and how to return to some sense of normality. Continue reading