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From July 2020 Newsletter

White Privilege
Submitted by Karen West

I learned what white privilege is in the 1980’s when I taught a class called “Multicultural Literature” with Charlie Sugnet, an English professor from the U of M, an activist, and my partner in starting the College-in-the-Schools program, a program where Twin Cities’ high school students earn college credit for these classes that they take in their high schools. Reading and teaching black literature had been a passion of mine since my senior year in college when I came across the book “Native Son” by Richard Wright in a book store. Because Charlie shared this passion, together we were able to transform the English literature curriculum. High schools are still teaching some of the books we first taught in this program.

I was raised in a wealthy, conservative suburb of Detroit, Michigan called Bloomfield Hills. The only black people I ever saw were waiters at Oakland Hills Country Club and, of course, our maid. I hated it and I couldn’t wait to move on. I thought that many of the people I grew up with were, at least to some extent, racist, but I definitely was not.

When I graduated from college, I moved to St. Paul, and over the years, I thought I was fighting racism by teaching black literature, but that was a long time ago. So, when these protests began, I, like so many other people, decided to read the book “White Fragility.” Reading this book affected me as strongly as reading “Native Son,” did when I was young.  I abruptly realized that I had become complacent about racism. I only have one close friend who is black, and Ike and I only rarely talk about race. I have never seen him as that different from my white friends. Until now.

On the day that George Floyd was killed, Ike went into intensive care with Covid-19. And because Ike is the only person I know who has it, I abruptly realized that I shouldn’t see him as being like my other close friends; Ike’s black, and that makes a difference.

When I read the words “We must continue to ask how our racism manifests, not if,” I realized, for the first time in my life, that I am a racist. Quite an awakening.

From June 2020 Newsletter

Terri Evans recommends the following article:

See the article at the link below in the MAY 2020 AARP Bulletin. There is a side-bar that gives suggestions for how to video-conference well. SEE: “Be a Star On-screen:Tips for Your Video Chat.

From May 2020 Newsletter

Terri Evans submitted the below quote from Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber that is the reason that TTN is so important:

"Finding purpose and connecting with others is the core that generates an authentic life. We need to find ways in which we can stay engaged with life - by finding our purpose - and engaging in life - and by connecting with others." (p. 136)

Jill Goski recommends the article “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief” located at
Karen West shared a poem she received from Rachel Freed.

We’ve All Been Exposed
by Sarah Bourns
We’ve all been exposed.
Not necessarily to the virus
(maybe...who even knows).
We’ve all been exposed BY the virus.
Corona is exposing us.
Exposing our weak sides.
Exposing our dark sides.
Exposing what normally lays far beneath the surface of our souls,
hidden by the invisible masks we wear.
Now exposed by the paper masks we can’t hide far enough behind.
Corona is exposing our addiction to comfort.
Our obsession with control.
Our compulsion to hoard.
Our protection of self.
Corona is peeling back our layers.
Tearing down our walls.
Revealing our illusions.
Leveling our best-laid plans.
Corona is exposing the gods we worship:
Our health
Our hurry
Our sense of security
Our favorite lies
Our secret lusts
Our misplaced trust.
Corona is calling everything into question:
What is the church without a building?
What is my worth without an income?
How do we plan without certainty?
How do we love despite risk?
Corona is exposing me.
My mindless numbing
My endless scrolling
My careless words
My fragile nerves.
We’ve all been exposed.
Our junk laid bare.
Our fears made known.
The band-aid torn.
The masquerade done.
So what now? What’s left?
Clean hands
Clear eyes
Tender hearts.

From March 2020 Newsletter

Virtual Symposium on “Transitioning into Retirement”
- Submitted by Cyndy Nelson
I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming free virtual symposium titled “Transitioning into Retirement”. The symposium is organized by Marianne Oehser and dates for this year’s event are March 10-12. I participated in a previous offering of this event and found the speakers and topics that year to be informative and engaging. The symposium consists of 12 speakers over three days. It is a virtual event and you can listen to as many sessions as you are interested in. More information is available at
Co-housing in the Twin Cities
- Submitted by Jean Forrey
After attending the quarterly event with on housing, I found the following information about a group exploring co-housing in the Twin Cities.

From February 2020 Newsletter

Below are a few articles our members have recommended:
100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage Reason to Celebrate Across Minnesota, Star Tribune Dec 13, 2019:  (Submitted by JeNell Jacobson and Terri Evans)
The Loneliness Epidemic, AARP Magazine December 2019/January 2020:   (Submitted by Terri Evans)
On Saturday, February 15, the Hennepin History Museum will be hosting a Susan B Anthony 200th Birthday Party:  (Submitted by Teresa Werneke)

Material from, 10:07:22 January 15, 2021.
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