Volunteers build understanding and deep relationships through learning community events.
Volunteers get to know one another, learn from nationally renowned speakers, engage in interfaith dialogue, and develop strategies to engage others in the work of creating real, systemic change in Greater Saint Paul.
Upcoming Learning Community Event
How are the Children? Impacts on Child Wellbeing and Mental Health in COVID
Thursday, May 26 | 7-8:30 pm | Zoom
Schools, daycares, and the lives of caregivers have been repeatedly upended since COVID began. Join a discussion with two Twin Cities leaders in pediatric care who have been treating and supporting children’s medical needs during this extraordinary time.
Featuring Dr. Razaan Byrne, a pediatrics specialist on the pediatrics team at Children’s Minnesota since 2014, and, Dr. Sheldon Berkowitz, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Berkowitz was a pediatrician for 38 years, working most of his career in urban settings with a large number of immigrant patients.
Opportunity Saint Paul Hosts Summer Book Study
Join us in a summer book study of local author and poverty abolitionist Julia Dinsmore’s book My Name is Child of God… not “Those People.” Ms. Dinsmore’s personal and provocative look at poverty in America is shaped around her experience of growing up in Minneapolis. She draws together the experiences of living in poverty and the role of the church and music in her life.
We will discuss the book via two Zoom book discussions in June and at an event with author Dinsmore in July/August. All dates are to be determined.
How to participate
- Register here. We will let you know when the book discussions are scheduled.
- Acquire the book from your library or purchase here:
- Read the book!
Previous Learning Community Events
Navigating an Inhumane Human Services System
Thursday, March 10
Author, poet, singer-songwriter, and poverty abolitionist Julia Dinsmore shared her story of navigating poverty in the Twin Cities and her experience with human services system.
November 11, 2021
Whitney Terrill from MN Interfaith Power and Light discussed the interconnectedness of environmental and racial justice and the impact it has on our communities.
Disparities in Mental Health
June 3, 2021
MayKao Y. Hang, D.P.A., Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Founding Dean, Morrison Family College of Health, University of St. Thomas, discussed how to address complex community issues and promote equity for underserved communities.
Acknowledging and Celebrating Earth Day Interconnections for Environmental Justice with Michael Quinn Patton
Thursday April 22, 2021
Michael Quinn Patton, one of the leaders in the field of evaluation studies, discussed how environmental and climate issues have a disproportionate negative impact on communities of color.
American Indian Land Issues: Obstacles and Strategies with Cris Stainbrook
Thursday, March 4
Our March 4 session continued a deep dive into rural racial justice issues. Cris Stainbrook, president of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, explained the history and current issues surrounding American Indian land ownership.
2020–2021 Learning Community Events
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, a leader in the African-American farmers movement, director of the Southwest Georgia Project; Interfaith Text Study by Reverend Julie Neraas, Hamline University
December 17, 2020: Mass Incarceration & Restorative Justice
Professor Jessica Siegel, University of Saint Thomas, and Brenda Burnside, Restorative Justice Trainer & Practitioner, discussed mass incarceration, racial injustice in the criminal justice system, and the way faith community volunteers can help through restorative justice circles.
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. Interfaith text study leader was Mark Berkson, Hamline University.
Webinar | School to Prison Pipeline video | Teaching Tolerance video | Racism in Education PDF | Buddhist Texts on Anatman
September 17, 2020: Opportunity Saint Paul Program Year Kick-off
Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul
New mailing address:
1041 Grand Avenue, #312
Saint Paul, MN 55105