Explore your community and your faith through our robust alignment of topics and discussions.
Our Gay History in 50 States, written by Zalore Stout, tells the story of queer American history state by state. The stories that make up this book celebrate significant people, places and events, and highlight struggles, successes and contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community, creating a history to be passed on to future generations. The state-by-state format illustrates that LGBT history happens in every state, everywhere LGBT people live so that readers learn that LGBTQ+ history is American history.
Zaylore Stout serves as a fierce advocate on LGBT issues. His law firm, Zaylore Stout & Associates, LLC handles employment law matters and is the first LGBT-certified law firm in the state of Minnesota through the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Zaylore volunteers through the LGBT Law Clinic and serves on the board for RECLAIM, an LGBTQIA+ nonprofit. He also ran for City Council in St. Louis Park where he championed the call for the passage of a Gender Inclusion Policy to protect transgender and gender non-conforming youth in schools.
How can the law be utilized to help undocumented people obtain immigration status? What are the limitations and problems with existing immigration laws? We will also discuss what is needed for immigration reform.
Graham Ojala-Barbour is an immigration attorney in private practice in Highland Park in Saint Paul. He is the past chair of the Minnesota/Dakota Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and was previously an adjunct teacher at the University of Minnesota Law School.
zAmya Theater was founded in 2004 by Minneapolis citizen Lecia Grossman. Lecia wanted to learn about homelessness working “with” people, not “for” them. With support from theater professionals and homeless advocates, she devised a process for bringing homeless and housed together to create theater, learn from one another, and share with the broader community. zAmya Theater Troupe members will share some of their process using theater to build understanding and connection between individuals housed and unhoused. https://zamyatheater.org/about
Marcia Barnes is the newest member of the zAmya troupe though she has participated in artistic endeavors beginning at a young age. In addition, she has over 25+ years of group facilitation including Domestic Violence, Conflict Management Systems and Life Skills.
Annette Bryant is a mother of six and Granna of fourteen. She is a Release Coach & Consultant at Queen Mama Heals, an artist, a healer, a writer, an author & co-author, a poet, inspirational, a traveler and a lover of life.
Robert Blood was born in Minneapolis and has been attending zAmya since February 2018 at the Minneapolis Central Library. Robert sits on the zAmya Advisory Board and is also a published poet.
Urban Investors offers an experiential learning program for bankers that help them learn about the challenges facing urban areas, how private-sector financial resources support business growth, and how to increase household incomes while helping to diversify financial institutions. This program has exposed nearly three hundred business leaders to our most challenging urban issues. It was originally called Urban Adventure and the organization was incorporated into the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship and the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work at Augsburg University in 2019.
In 1997, about a decade into his retirement from banking, Plymouth member Peter Heegaard founded Urban Adventures. During his business career, Peter was head of the Trust Investment Group of Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis and founder and Managing Principal of Lowry Hill, an investment subsidiary of Wells Fargo.
Mike Christenson, program director at Urban Investors, is a long-time public servant. He was formerly the director of Minneapolis’ Community Planning and Economic Development (during R.T. Rybak’s administration), associate vice president of workforce development at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and director of workforce development for Hennepin County. Mike is an attorney and graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.
Picture – Celebrating Urban Investors: Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg University President (left); Peter Heegaard, founder (center), and Mike Christenson, Director
Can people govern themselves? Our confidence in “The People” and in their ability to develop and administer civic justice with some degree of wisdom suggests a belief in an elusive democratic or general enlightenment. Enlightenment, when manifested in the people, is always subtle. It is most often found in the acts of individuals and institutions with; 1) a general knowledge of history/philosophy, and 2) an appreciation of civic integrity. This must be true in any society that claims a democratic DNA. However, both of these conditions are problematic. How does this more Classical definition square with what is happening today in our society?
Michael Hartoonian is a fellow with the global think-tank; Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism. Michael has taught for more than thirty years in the Colleges of Education at the universities of Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and established the Center for Democratic Capitalism at the UMN. He is also a former teacher and supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and co-coordinator of the Wisconsin Geographic Alliance. He holds the PhD from UW-Madison, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Ripon College, in Ripon, Wisconsin, and in 2000, he received the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence University. Retired, Michael continues to write, lecture, and consult in education, business, and government. He has
authored or co-authored more than seventy articles and five books on history, education, ethics, and
citizenship. His new book, set in the social and personal turmoil of the1950’s, is Chased by the Memory.
Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. In mutual care and with respect for our diverse understandings of God, we seek to embody the radical love and justice found in the life, teachings and spirit of Jesus.