General News

With a life dedicated to championing human rights, producing awarding-winning films that challenge social injustices, and tackling educational inequities one lawsuit at a time, attorney, activist, professor, filmmaker John Schulman also finds the time to write. His latest book is called Minnissippi. It's a work of fiction that touches on a very real subject – a community in crisis.

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Robert Robinson’s musical profile in the Twin Cities is varied and impressive.

He can sing gospel and has led a gospel choir for 20 years.

He’s sung with the Minnesota Orchestra and pop-classical performer Lorie Line and folksinger Larry Long too. 

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Philip Shorey is a local musician and creative type who recently attended the New York City Musical Saw Festival. The festival is a gathering for all types of people who play the musical saw, and it’s the group responsible for the Guiness world record for the largest ensemble of musical saw players.

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Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus” fame is head of the social justice issues organization Network. She talked with Trisha Collopy on KFAI’s Morning Blend.

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A St. Paul based organization called Small Sums is working locally to help adults who need support with necessary financing to get education, or to become established in housing and employment.

Terre Thomas is executive director of Small Sums. She stopped by KFAI and talked with Yvette Howie on The Morning Blend.

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Music, so we're told, can soothe a savage breast. But the working men and women who built Virginia, Minnesota's Socialist Opera Hall in 1913 also believed it could educate the masses. In the opulent 800-seat auditorium, concert-goers were treated to opera's greatest hits—as well as labor rallies and socialist lectures. KFAI's Britt Aamodt talks to Clarence Ivonen, who as a boy, sat rapt in his balcony seat, and as a man, reported on the decline of the aged beauty for the Mesabi Daily News.

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Where do you go when you want to hear live music? 

If you follow an online community called Sofar Sounds, you could wind up just about anywhere.   Sofar stands for “Songs From  A Room”.  It started five years ago in London, and has since spread to ninety cities worldwide, including Minneapolis.

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The Cedar Cultural Center is collaborating with Augsburg College for a series of Somali artist residencies called Midnimo.  The series has already included local musicians from the Twin Cities as well as international acts like The Dur-Dur Band who reunited for a show in November. The latest Midnimo artist residency features The North America Super Stars, based in Minneapolis.  This week they host workshops, collaborations, and perfomances throughout Minneapolis.

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There is no word for “autism” in the Somali language. And yet as many as 1 in 32 Somali children in Minneapolis have been identified with autism.

Recognizing the need, St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development decided to open an autism day treatment program in Northeast Minneapolis. There, St. David’s is partnering with Somali staff and a Somali day care to help Somali children with autism ages 3-4.

The new program, a replica of the existing ADT program at St. David’s Minnetonka location, features a four-hour morning program supported by home visits. It uses a mental health approach in a small-group, natural setting to help children improve communication, social interaction, and family support. Treatment plans are customized for each child and subject to parental approval.

The Somali Autism Day Treatment program is accepting enrollment applications now for a four-hour morning program, supported by home visits, for Somali children ages 3 to 4. You can find out more by contacting St. David’s at 952-548-8700.

KFAI’s Sharon Chen spoke with program consultant Mariam Mohamed and St. David’s Senior Director of Autism Services, Beth Fagin.

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In the last year, more than a dozen Somali-Minnesotans have left the country to join radical groups in Syria, according to the FBI. That’s a miniscule fraction of the state’s Somali population, but the federal government is still taking notice.

US Attorney Andy Luger will soon launch a federally funded pilot program in the Twin Cities. The aim is to prevent radicalization among Somali youth.

Luger hasn’t revealed the details of the pilot, but he is adamant that the program won’t include any surveillance or intelligence collection.

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