In the midst of winter, I discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. – Albert Camus
Black on Black crime is the result of self-hatred. Self-hatred is a result of our oppression. We can’t get back at the folks who oppress us so we attack ourselves. – Joseph E. Lowery [This dysfunction is changing and being transformed by self-love; self-love is the result of community-self-love and community-kinship and ownership]
Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before. – Audre Lorde
Hello Monitor readers,
March arrived like a great warm lamb; however, our world seems to be spinning with wild dragons creating fiery mischief, confusion, battles, and the real threat of World War III. Now is the time for sound thinking, patience, and solidarity. It’s a time for learning to tame our inner and outward dragons instead of attempting to slay dragons in the same old way. Education and working together is a great way to start taming dragons. When we start educating and preparing our babies and young children with truthful information without judgement, we begin to let go of shame, guilt, blame, anger, trauma, and the unconscious need or desire for forceful power and control.
I appreciated and liked last month’s column, “What does ‘Unbiased’ really Mean,” written by the Monitor’s owner and editor, Tesha M. Christensen. She highlights the dragons she wrestles (not slaying) with daily as the editor of this community newspaper. She offers good insights and wisdom, including it is the “threads that bind us to each other that make us stronger. They help us make decisions that build community.”
One of our excellent community threads is the STEPS (Starting Transitions Early to Promote Success) team, an initiative of Saint Paul Public Schools’ Office of Early Learning. Next month STEPS will host its spring Growing into Kindergarten event for children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2022. Participants will receive information and resources that will promote a successful transition experience for the whole family. Community organizations will be there to create age-appropriate fun and games. All participants will receive a snack on-site, and a food box and pre-prepared meal to take home. Capacity is limited, so registration is required. The event will be held at Arlington Hills Community Center on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 with session 1 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and session 2 from 5-7 p.m. For more information go to https://www.spps.org/steps to find the link for registration (to open mid-March), as well as other information and resources for families experiencing transitions during their child’s first five years. This community thread not only helps to reduce the achievement educational gap, it also assists in nurturing and supporting families by working together with communities.
In fact, the Monitor is amplifying community members sharing their voices, ideas, wisdom, and opportunities to learn, work, and play together. Even in the midst of our current crazy-like and seemingly ruthless world, so many great things are happening locally and in our country. For instance, in the Monitor’s February issue, Dr. Artika Tyner’s column provided community and family-friendly information, facts, and resources to learn about, to celebrate and to honor Black History 365 days a year!
So, what were your new learnings or what did you acknowledge during Black History Month? My new learning and acknowledgement is that I really, really believe that we are making healthier progress in our acceptance that we all have been mis-educated and/or misled about how and why America is great and how we all play a key courageous role in reversing the racial and economic dysfunctional current paradigm of supremacy disguised as “order according to the powers (founding fathers) that be.” In other words, we must work, play, cry, laugh, talk, sing, dance, and struggle together to keep stretching our comfort zones, in order to create and understand our new learning zones. I also want to acknowledge again, TPT, for their great ongoing showings of Black History documentaries and inclusive shows 365 days a year. TPT is walking their talk that Black Lives Matter and Every Culture and Group Matters! Thank you, TPT! Also, huge shout outs to KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM. The smooth, bold, and outstanding Black radio station also provides 365 days of cultural education and knowledge, and by far is my favorite radio station, with the music that l love and groove-on. KMOJ also has daily great educational talk shows. KBEM 88.5 FM and KNOW 91.1 FM are also wonderful radio station resources that binds and threads communities together with facts and useful information, instead of dividing community members with fearful false propaganda and misguided information. I love KMOJ’s mantra that “We put unity in community!”
‘THE GREEN DAWN’ part 3
And, now, part three of “The Green Dawn” by Kieran Morris, a talented artist and urban farmer and bright young man who is making a positive difference and impact on our beautiful world!
…, produce grown by the community, for the community provides a source of nutritious food, grown with your people’s needs and sensibilities in mind. More broadly, it creates a natural gathering space through the establishment of a garden. Here, people share knowledge and preserve culture. They invent and improvise ways to grow in a changing climate, ways that just might save lives someday, if supply lines break down as they are wont to do. (end of Part Two)
Part Three… Napoleon Bonaparte was a bit of an ass, but he once said that an army marches on his stomach, and I am inclined to agree. People, especially people living in low-income areas with limited food access, benefit from having gardens in their neighborhoods. Nutrition contributes to physical and mental health, and an urban farm setting offers myriad paths to learning about the traditions and sciences of growing. The cultivation of natural remedies and superfoods addresses the effects of sugar and fat rich food deserts. The structure and dedication that come from caring for and studying their crops gives people a sense of purpose and a lifeline to their heritage. Everyone can learn something from their ancestors when it comes to growing if they go back far enough, and, in doing, so they reconnect with the earth itself, as well as themselves. Not to mention each other. Comparing cuisines and sharing meals with other people is one of the surest paths to peace and prosperity.
While nurturing our own lives and bodies, these practices also begin to undo a measure of the damage that industry, habitat destruction and pollution have wrought on urban ecology and biodiversity. Many delicious and nutritious produce varieties are indigeous to this land, and create a sanctuary that our pollinator friends desperately need. Green spaces are also a limiting factor on the urban heat island effect, which creates drought and worsens air quality.
Let this little column be an invitation to you, a call to the arms of shovel and seed. You can commit as much time as you want, design your own plot or just get your hands in the dirt once in a while. There is growing happening all over the metro, in vacant lots, schoolyards and garden boxes. There are beds on street corners and balconies and in plastic containers. Start a new operation, ask a friend, or Google the name of your neighborhood and urban farm or community garden. I guarantee you will find options. In a time of great change, seeds, dirt and water are all you need to create your own change.
Thank you, Kieran for sharing from your heart! I will continue to ask him to share with us, as well as to encourage him to create his own column in the Monitor. Kieran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to him, ask about his blog and learn about his many skills.
I recently heard that developing and opening up pipelines in North America would stop World War III from happening. The reason was that we (America) would not be dependent on any other country for oil. Fortunately, I heard someone else simply say now is the time to invest in green energy, particularly for our transportation, cooking, and heating and cooling needs and usages. When I think of fossil fuels, I think old, depleted, and outdated! When I think of green energy, I think of new, creative, solar gardens, energizing windmills, electric amd solar transportation vehicles, community gardens, and many other future innovations that will support and nurture our global community and our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for the next seven generations. Please contact our Governor, Lt. Governor, and President Bidden and Vice President Harris to urge them to halt and stop operations of Pipeline 3. The pipeline will not stop any further wars or slay any dragons; it will only continue the destruction of our lovely planet and delay our ability to replenish and heal Mother Earth and All our Relatives, great and small. Green energy means green jobs, just as we have been adjusting to new technology and 21st century jobs and occupations. Yep, it is and will be a bumpy journey. However, we have done similar transitions as educators and grandparents have taught us.
Keep the positive vibrations flowing and stay optimistic and dream and visualize the world you want to see and live now and in the future!!!!
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, & Surrounding Communities...
May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities…
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!!!!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! Get Your Vaccination Shots and Booster Shots if you feel comfortable doing so!!!
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