CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

Here you can find a listing of all shows ...

Monday, February 23, 2015

When is the last time you heard President Obama, or any other national leader for that matter, proposing a major escalation in support for non-violent, community-centered approaches to conflict resolution?  Seems idealistic right? The only response to the violence in Syria—and other global “hotspots” is more violence.  Bring in the drones!

Mel Duncan, co-founder of the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NVPF), begs to differ. He joins TruthtoTell host Tom O’Connell for a conversation about lessons learned from 12 years of civilian peace-making in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan and how NVPF is teaming up with local leaders in Syria to create dialogue and conflict prevention across political and sectarian divides.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Join co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Lisa Bryant as they talk with educator Valerie Littles-Butler and Grammy Award–winning music producer Andre Fischer about the power of music to inspire youth.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The resurgence of libertarianism as both a social philosophy and political movement has disrupted business as usual in both national and local politics.  While Ron and Rand Paul put a national face to the libertarian movement, libertarians both inside and independent of the Republican Party have brought fresh and passionate voices to town halls and the Minnesota legislature.

While the liberty movement threatens establishment Republicans, it drives many on the democratic left just short of crazy. For many, libertarianism is indeed a dirty word.  But wait!  It turns out that libertarian principles are baked deep into American political culture.  Whatever its merits or demerits, most of us have at least a little libertarian in us.

Monday, February 2, 2015

It is not big news to citizens who have been paying attention to developments in the Twin Cities Metro area that our suburbs are becoming more and more racially diverse. To date, however, these demographic shifts have not been reflected in the make-up of suburban city halls. This may be changing, however. In Brooklyn Center, where whites now make up a minority of city residents, April Graves was recently elected as that city’s first African-American city council member. And in Brooklyn Park, veteran community activist Joy Marsh Stephens ran a spirited campaign for mayor against a well-established incumbent—and in the process laid down a strong foundation for future efforts to build a more inclusive city hall.

Join Truth to Tell co-hosts Tom O'Connell and Siobhan Kierans at 9 a.m. on Monday as they ask April Graves and Joy Marsh Stephens to share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of building more inclusive communities and political representation in suburban Minnesota.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Join Siobhan Kierans and Tom O’Connell on TruthToTell Monday at 9 a.m. when they discuss Minnesota’s reprise role in the movie-making business.  Our guests include Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film Board; award-winning documentary filmmaker J.T. Haines of Northland Films; writer/director/actor Ralph Matthews of Family Film Productions; and former Maple Lake mayor and Twin Cities actor Mike O’Loughlin, author of the Shamrock Grant movie rebate. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Only the civically comatose could have missed the massive demonstration of outrage at the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City.  Here in Minnesota, the demonstrations have been large, creative, interracial, often youth-led,  and non-violent.   Some observers say we are seeing the birth of a new civil rights movement.

The demonstrations, organized by groups like Black Lives Matter, will continue.  But what else will it take to really address the problem?  Better police training?  New systems of police accountability?  Changes in the “rules of engagement” governing police interaction in potentially violent situations?  A more diverse police force?  A renewed focus on building healthy police-community relationships?

Tune in as Truth to Tell explores what can be done—and in some cases is being done—with two guests who have been working hard on these issues: Jason Sole, author of From Prison to PhD, and Dua Saleh, president of the St. Paul chapter of the Youth and Collegiate Branch of the NAACP.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Remember when thousands of children from Central America were showing up at the border to seek asylum?   Whatever happened to them?  Or what about that great organizing campaign that won a raise in the minimum wage here in Minnesota?  Been there, done that?  Or the momentous march on New York where hundreds of thousands of folks came together in the largest climate-change demonstration in history.  Good headlines for a few days, but now what?

And let’s not forget the continued organizing of low wage workers and the persistent demands for reform of our criminal justice system — from the Black Lives Matter campaign to the Second Chance Coalition’s Ban the Box campaign.

On this cusp of the New Year, we will revisit stories like these and then take a quick look at what’s ahead for 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Join Truth to Tell host Tom  O'Connell as he discusses the leadership challenges in current social justice movements with Artika Tyner,  assistant professor of public leadership at the University of St.Thomas and author of The Lawyer as Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice (ABA Books, 2014).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Another mid-term election and more dismal news about the state of our democracy.  Voting participation, always low during mid-term elections, was lower than ever.  Even here in civic-minded Minnesota, participation, while higher than the national average, fell below turnout in 2010.  Meanwhile, campaign spending reached record proportions.  So called “dark money”—campaign contributions that are made anonymously—played a key role in both local and statewide races around the nation.  Here in Minnesota, outside money flowed into rural legislative races—and according to many experts, were a critical factor in the DFL loss of control of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

And what did all that money buy?  In too many cases, misdirection and triviality: the political equivalent of empty calories.  Meanwhile turnout declines as voters tuned out—and who can blame them?  There is a direct relationship between the decline of political participation and the increase in economic inequality.  And while members of today’s oligarchy don’t wear black hats and smoke long cigars, the result is the same. More power for the few—less for the rest of us.

Friday, November 28, 2014

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Institute for Local Self Reliance. Since its founding, ILSR has championed local approaches to economics, community, and democratic participation. Through research, education and advocacy, the Institute has promoted independent locally owned businesses, renewable energy, community banking, community broadband and much more. Linking all of its work is a stubborn insistence on another old and too often overlooked principle: the common good.