January 21, 2021
African-American Farmers: How Their Struggles Shed Light on Our Community’s Struggles
Stephen Carpenter, Deputy Director of and Senior Staff Attorney at Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc., and Shirley Sherrod, director of the Southwest Georgia Project, shared their stories of leading in the African-American farmers movement.
December 17, 2020
Mass Incarceration & Restorative Justice
Professor Jessica Siegel, University of Saint Thomas, and Brenda Burnside, Restorative Justice trainer and practitioner, discussed mass incarceration, racial injustice in the criminal justice system, and the way faith community volunteers can help through restorative justice circles. Download a PowerPoint
November 12, 2020
Voting Rights with Dr. Yohuru Williams
Dr. Williams explored the history of voting, with particular attention to the historic restrictions placed on suffrage for Indigenous people, immigrants and Black Americans, as well as contemporary challenges to voter participation.
October 13, 2020
Racism in Education – Looking back and forward
Gaye Adams Massey, CEO YWCA Saint Paul, and Deena Zubulake, Director of Programs, YWCA Saint Paul, discussed the history of racism in American education, its impact on today’s racial disparities in Minnesota (and the nation), and strategies and tools for effective engagement with young learners affected by this history.
August 20, 2020: Introduction to Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices
Dr. Raj Sethuraju, Metropolitan State University, discussed how to bring those harmed by offenses or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication to repair harm.
July 23, 2020: Challenging Inequality: The Six Degrees of Segregation – Dr. Yohuru Williams, University of St. Thomas
Dr. Williams explored the history of racial inequality in America from the end of the Civil War through the murder of George Floyd.
May 21, 2020
Daniel Karpowitz – College in Prison Assistant Commissioner MN Department of Corrections Daniel Karpowitz joined with Zelda Roland, Director of the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall.
January 16, 2020: Transportation History in Saint Paul
MN Rep. Frank Hornstein discussed how access to transportation is not equally distributed and how we can approach future projects with a greater sense of equity and justice.
October 11, 2018
Experience Poverty: Interactive Poverty Simulation with PlaySpent.org
Playspent.org is an online poverty simulation tool developed by Urban Ministries of Durham. During this simulation, you are asked to make choices about how you will earn and spend money. Some choices have consequences when made, and job loss is always a possibility. Using this online tool helps you experience just a small percentage of what it feels like to live in poverty
November 29, 2018
Dr. Becky Evan on the topic “Unconscious Bias”
Part of our human experience is our brain’s ability to continually make behind-the-scenes decisions to get through our day efficiently. This unconscious bias is mostly a good thing but it’s important to understand how unconscious bias negatively affects our thoughts and behaviors. This interactive session helps us understand what unconscious bias is, how it manifests itself in our relationships, and how we can create more innovative, caring, and inclusive relationships with those around us.
January 29, 2019
Building Strong Volunteer Relationships
Volunteering is a critical way to effect social change in underserved communities—even with a minimal time commitment. Opportunity Saint Paul’s partners depend on volunteer labor to expand work that changes lives. Successful volunteer experiences rely on building effective, authentic relationships between volunteers and clients. Brooke Hanson Rivers and Xander Gershberg from Reading Partners provide insight into how volunteers can build authentic relationships with the people with whom they work.
March 14, 2019
OSP volunteers interact with a wide range of community members. When people of differing cultures and socio-economic backgrounds work together, their communication styles and expectations can vary. This learning community event focused on one specific method for achieving this outcome — Motivational Interviewing.
May 9, 2019
Presenter: Aiyana Machado, E3 Education, Excellence & Equity
Topics: understanding trauma and its impact on brain development, cultural resilience, and new tools to help volunteers in their work with students & clients
July 26, 2018: Impact and Feedback
Sharing from nonprofit partners about the impact of work in the community and ideas for improvements for the coming year.