Issue 60— July 3, 2023
founded by Minnesota Women's Press, a media pioneer since 1985


Media That Makes a Difference

Changemakers Alliance (CALL) is a supporter-driven, action-oriented expansion of Minnesota Women's Press and that brings people together in conversations about values, solutions, and action steps.
Seward Co-op supports our local economies and ecosystems stories
Reflections from Mikki, publisher
Last week, Crystal and I visited Peace House near downtown Minneapolis to participate in a conversation circle with a mix of volunteers, formerly unhoused individuals, and unhoused people. The current space in a residential neighborhood was custom-built to their needs for a large gathering room and kitchen with library, space for art projects, and pictures of community members — including those who have passed.

It is a respite and resource center, where more than 16,000 meals are served each year. It was started in 1985 by Sister Rose Tillemans with a mission to provide a welcoming space for those who would never be invited over for dinner, to meet with friends and escape the chaos of everyday life — "a ministry of listening to the stories of those who had no one to listen to them. ... what people need after they have been fed and clothed."

According to director Marti Maltby, since the pandemic there has been an increased number of people using the space, open to all for five hours a day. Since then, however, the number of volunteers have dropped by half and many are retiring from active engagement.

Massage therapists, haircut practitioners, and even a criminal defense attorney who does bike repair, are among the volunteers who spend time with the daytime visitors. Hygiene kits and occasional Twins tickets are made available.

One of the women who shared her story while we were there — in a group conversation about the balance between the positives and negatives in daily life — was a powerful voice of hope, loss, generosity, and love. She is no longer unhoused, but visits regularly because she feels connected to the community there.

Contact Peace House to participate in their 10:45am group discussion. Read Marti's insights. Learn about ways you can volunteer or donate.
“It’s shocking to a lot of people to see some folks in the same space, enjoying each other, understanding that we can have varied opinions and life experiences and still have a shared respect for each other. For me, that is a huge win. It helps curb some of that division that you see, especially when it is polarized by politics. We can still have opposing political views and be able to work together."

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"I tell them not to focus on why they were shot or stabbed but focus on the fact that they are still breathing — that it is a blessing to be here, with another opportunity to get things right in life. ... People can go back to issues from way back in childhood that they have been holding in for years. Helping people unpack that has been an incredible experience.”

From Other Media

End of Affirmative Action (Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder)

Please Support the Work We Do
Thanks to generous CALL members and donors, we have funding to add a few more places to our "Hometown Values & Vision" tour, for future writing and to connect with storytellers from Greater Minnesota communities.

We were in Fergus Falls to meet with artists ... Chisholm for a Juneteenth celebration ... Lewiston to learn about water issues ... and next week we will be in Ortonville to talk with women entrepreneurs and sustainable agriculture practitioners. These stories will roll out soon. With new funding we will be in Duluth and Worthington for co-hosted discussions, and are starting to build contacts to connect in Grand Rapids, Faribault, and Willmar.

As we commemorate Fourth of July, the independence we are committed to is sharing the stories of people who work to collectively empower our multiracial community.

This video by Dragonfly Eye Productions tells the story of Changemakers Alliance.

We would like to co-host our conversations about transformative justice and housing around the state.
Can you help us raise the funds we need?

Share this with others who might be able to support the work as well. You can use a tax deductible option thanks to our fiscal agent relationship with Tiny News Collective.

Thanks to Our Underwriters
Valvoline supports our Hometown Values & Vision statewide listening sessions and
our conversations about reducing gender-based violence
Vote Run Lead underwrites our story development about
Hometown Values & Vision and Re-Imagining Public Safety
Contact to support content development campaigns
Minnesota Women's Press photography and website have been recognized three years in a row by the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
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