CivicMedia/Minnesota Archive

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune (with Andy Driscoll) talk with Ray Tricomo, a non-Indian who has been teaching an Indian curriculum for many year and Professor Jean Strait, Apache. They discuss American Indian curriculum and methods.

Ray Tricomo is an Italian American born in Detroit. He attended Wayne State University from 1963-67, and majored in English with minors in Sociology and History. In 1970, he earned a masters in African Studies. From 1970-74, he worked on a PHD in African history with minor in medical geography and US history. Ray Tricomo was the Green Party Minnesota's 2002 nominee for the US Senate. Today, he mentors Kalpulli Turtle Island Multiversitya community dedicated to education and land restoration to the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America).

Dr. Jean Strait (Apache) is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Hamline University. In her current Literacy and Educational Psychology position, she is a critical component to the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching and the School of Education’s service-learning development director. The University’s 20-year partnership with Hancock-Hamline elementary school, where over 60% of faculty, staff and students participate in service-learning, has led to two top five finalist positions in the Minnesota Jimmy Carter Partnership awards.

First Person Radio is a trademarked program of MIGIZI Communications, Inc., Minneapolis, MN and member of CivicMedia/Minnesota's family of programs.

Monday, February 28, 2011

That most invisible segment of our culture is that segment we often ignore. We don’t always see our homeless brothers and sisters, because we don’t want to. Perhaps we don’t want to believe so many of our neighbors are without places to live. Perhaps we feel powerless to do anything about this plague on the richest society in the world.

Young people are among the most harmed by homelessness. Of the 13,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness every day, 2,000 are young people, 34% of the total in Hennepin County alone*. Many of the adults are veterans, some are the parents of these youth for whom the instability of homelessness is something none of us would want for our own – or ourselves. (* Wilder Research, 2009 Statewide Homelessness Survey)

But, some of these young people have come forward into the limelight of artistic expression – in words and pictures – through the Arts & Civic Engagement Initiative. Their work and the work of their mentors in agencies working to end homelessness is on exhibit through May 14 at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis. Among the exhibitors are the great community photographer, Wing Young Huie, Hennepin County Coordinator to End Homelessness Cathy Ten Broeke doubling as artist, work created by youth experiencing homelessness in collaboration with Peter Haakon Thompson, and work from the exhibition Home Is Where You Make It - six temporary sculptures produced by youth experiencing homelessness with Lauri Lyons, Tish Jones, and Megan Madland.

All of this to reach these goals:

• Highlight the plight of youth struggling with homelessness and other loss of shelter in the Twin Cities through the work of Minnesota artists

• Spark dialogue and increase awareness about ongoing programs and legislative work to end youth and child homelessness

• Celebrate the strengths, capacity and contributions of youth

• Deepen the capacity and commitment of the community to address the issues related to youth homelessness

• Build awareness of the power of the arts to create meaning and beauty from hardship and struggle

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with artists and leaders in this project to end youth homelessness. We’ll be streaming the program online and showing some of the art on exhibit even as we explore the issues leading to such a serious level of youth homelessness and what we can all do about ending it.


• CATHY ten BROEKE – Photographer, and Coordinator, Heading Home Hennepin program to end homelessness 

• SUSAN PHILLIPS – Director, LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Youth Homeless Services

• REGGIE PRIM – Organizer, Growing Home ExhibitArts & Civic Engagement Initiative and Center for Changing Lives

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tiokasin Ghosthorse is from the Cheyenne River Lakota (Sioux) Nation of South Dakota. He is the host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI NY - Pacifica Radio. Tiokasin has been described as “a spiritual agitator, natural rights organizer, Indigenous thinking process educator and a community activator.” One reviewer called him “a cultural resonator in the key of life.”

Tiokasin has had a long history in Indigenous rights activism and advocacy. He spoke, as a teenager, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. He has supported or participated in many of the major occupations including Wounded Knee, South Dakota, Lyle Point, Washington, Western Shoshone, Nevada, and Big Mountain, Arizona. Ever since his UN work, he has been actively educating people who live on Turtle Island (North America) and overseas about the importance of living with each other and with Mother Earth.

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and  Richard LaFortune with Andy Driscoll talk with Tiokasin Ghosthorse, host of First Voices Indigenous Radio at WBAI, New York City.

LIVE on the web:

LATER on the web:

Monday, February 21, 2011

TruthToTell’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN, joined by our colleague, DAVID CUMMINGS, of KFAI’s Monday music show, Rockin’ in Rhythm (2:00PM), explored Black media as the messengers of information important to the Black communities they serve, Black personalities in media and their leadership roles, and the differences they represent to the dominant culture in Minnesota. Rockin' in Rhythm continues the talk and David plays more early Black broadcast work. Part One - primarily focusing on Minnesota's Black newspapers can be found in our Archives HERE.

Part One - primarily focusing on Minnesota's Black newspapers can be found in our Archives HERE.

Video of both hours can be found HERE

Part 2 again features Macalester College Professor/Historian MAHMOUD EL-KATI, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder CEO/Publisher, TRACEY WILLIAMS-DILLARD, Insight News Publisher AL MCFARLANE , Host-Producer of Conversations with Al McFarlane, Veteran Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder Reporter CHARLES HALLMAN, former KUXL Radio personality THORNTON C JONES, and KMOJ Radio General Manager KELVIN QUARLES.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune talk with BRENT MICHAEL DAVIDSan American Indian and enrolled citizen of the Mohican Nation and discuss his musical genius and 35-year career. Davids will bring recordings of his music to this special program that is sure to delight all of our listeners.

Brent Michael Davids’ composer career spans 35 years, including awards from ASCAP, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, In-Vision, Joffrey Ballet, Chanticleer, Kronos Quartet, Meet-The-Composer, Miró Quartet, National Symphony Orchestra, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Jerome Foundation, among others. 

Performed in Lakota tribal communities and several SD cities, Davids’s “Black Hills Olowan” was featured in 2009 by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the famed Porcupine Singers on a SDPB-TV network special. Davids’ work, Powwow Symphony (for Powwow M.C. and Orchestra), was premiered by New Mexico Symphony (1999) and Phoenix Symphony (2002). 

In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts named Davids among the nation’s most celebrated choral composers in its project “American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius,” along with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Foster, and 25 others.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Video of both hours can be found HERE

TThis week and the followingTruthToTell’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN, joined by our colleague, DAVID CUMMINGS, of KFAI’s Monday music show, Rockin’ in Rhythm (2:00PM), explored Black media as the messengers of information important to the Black communities they serve, Black personalities in media and their leadership roles, and the differences they represent to the dominant culture in Minnesota. Rockin' in Rhythm will continue the talk and play more early Black broadcast work later each of those days.

The history of African-Americans is, for so many of us, limited by what mainstream media and high school history books have fed us for over two centuries. Our perceptions have been twisted and shaped by what we’ve read, what we’ve heard, what we’ve watched – what we’ve read and heard and seen has either been a small percentage of the truth or completely distorted view.

For all our babble about how far we’ve come in 500 years of African enslavement, the Emancipation Proclamation and Brown vs. Board of Education 100 years later, the segregation of the United States is alive and thriving, thanks to unchecked discrimination and the maintenance of stereotypes in our popular culture.

Our schools, our housing patterns and financing practices, our health care system, our placement of polluting industries in close proximity to communities of color are evidence of the dichotomy between media images – like sports heroes or entertainment celebrities and the day-to-day treatment and belief systems of today’s American citizens. The birth of the tea party movement is little more than a reactionary cultural uprising by a massive racist element railing against our African-American President and their frustrations over an unfair and morbid economy.

In the middle of all this, staring almost 100 years ago, began a self-started industry to provide Black Americans with information and entertainment they needed to survive and thrive in a society that feared an uprising of these former slaves would displace us all. Black newspapers began to bloom, many based on the same political beliefs that had spawned the white press across the country. Papers were rarely neutral – and took on the hue of Democratic or Republican party ideology. My own great-grandfather bought an ran a Republican paper- the St. Paul Pioneer Press for the last half of the 19th Century.

Black newspapering was similar in bent, even here in the Twin Cities. How much of that tainted the news they found fit to print is something we’ll try to learn as we explore the history of Black media in Minnesota and its roots in this community and other markets dating back to their founding in the early 1900s.

Then, of course, came radio, then television. Early radio portrayals of Blacks all contributed to our continuing perceptions of Black folks and a lot of it failed to encourage neighborliness even as they entertained us.

To this day, the 10-O’Clock News is little more than crime, weather and sports, with the crimes covered throwing the cities’ Black communities in the worst possible light while Black life here and in all across America, good and bad, is left untouched by mainstream media.


• MAHMOUD EL-KATI – Professor/Historian, Macalester College; Honoree of the Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies

• TRACEY WILLIAMS- DILLARD – CEO/Publisher, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

• JANIS LANE-EWART – Executive Director, Fresh Air Radio, KFAI; host, The Collective Eye - KFAI.

• AL MCFARLANE – PublisherInsight News; Host-Producer Conversations with Al McFarlane, KFAI Tuesdays at 9:00AM

• CHARLES HALLMAN – Veteran Reporter, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

• THORNTON C JONES – former KUXL Radio personality Pharaoh Black (This link is an actual short air check of Jones/Black in 1977)

• KELVIN QUARLES – General Manager, KMOJ Radio

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Person Radio hosts Richard LaFortune and Andy Driscoll talk with Karina L. Walters, Associate Professor and William P. and Ruth Gerberding Endowed Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Dr. Walters founded and directs the University-wide, interdisciplinary Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI). Her research focuses on historical, social, and cultural determinants of physical and mental health among American Indians and Alaska Natives.

One example of her work is the HONOR Project – a nationwide health survey that examines the impact of historical trauma, discrimination, and other stressors on the health and wellness of Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Two-Spirited men and women.

Dr. Walters has received multiple awards in recognition of her contribution to Native health research and in 2008 Dr. Walters was selected by Curve magazine as one of the top 20 lesbian academics in the world. She was also a Fulbright recipient and Honorary Visiting Scholar at Ngā Pae o te Maramatanga National Institute for Research Excellence in Maori Development and Advancement at the University of Auckland, NZ.
Monday, February 7, 2011

The 11-mile ribbon of rail that will wend its way through downtown St. Paul and out past the Capitol on University Ave. through the University of Minnesota campus and hook up with the Hiawatha line near the Humphrey Dome has actually been under construction for some time, especially in downtown St. Paul. Streets on which the Central Corridor light rail cars will run have been altered and utilities moved to accommodate tracks end at the art deco Depot and beyond to the repair and storage facility across from the Farmer’s Market.

Still, consternation reigns all along the line and in the communities about the disruption the light rail project will impose on residents, small businesses and future development sure to follow. African-American advocates, in particular, their memories not yet faded from the cleaving ditch that I-94 represented over 40 years ago, carving their once-cohesive Rondo community enclave in half, have tried to either stop or force changes in the light rail plan to accommodate their concerns. Among those worries, at least initially, were those involving the number of stops along University, originally a mile apart and forcing a transit dependent community to walk at least a half-mile to those planned stops.

The Metropolitan Council is responsible for managing this project, although many agencies and levels of government are part of its construction and financing. The Council, then chaired by Pawlenty appointee, Peter Bell, balked at the idea of shortening the distance between stops before being pushed to find the money for them. Those same African-Americans filed a lawsuit on Federal District Court, in essence shaking their collective fists over the attitude and neglect the Corridor’s Management Committee was showing in its decision-making, even as it responded favorably to Minnesota Public Radio’s demands for a quieter, smoother train past its building. It didn’t add up.

Last week, Federal District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that, while he found it true that the Met Council had behaved badly in responding to community concerns – essentially running roughshod over people of color, he would not halt the project as the plaintiffs had requested. That was a given.

Now what? What will be the fallout of that suit? Will plaintiffs appeal? Or move on and make the best of the inevitable? Other very obvious questions is what the Central Corridor will look like and how well it will serve the communities around it as well as the small businesses along the avenue afraid of suffering a drop in patronage, even shutdowns. Can accommodations be made for the many Asian entrepreneurs – the stores and restaurants serving thousands daily right now – to mitigate the potential losses if people can’t get to them when streets are torn up?

How about future development? Will new housing sure to be built be affordable? Will property taxes remain stable in light of the inevitable rise in property values that come with such massive projects? One thing is sure: dozens of coalitions, consortia, task forces, committees and collaboratives have formed and themselves coalesced to address just about any concern that could arise. But not all players are so certain that community interests will be met.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with several key players – certainly not all – in updating you and us on the Central Corridor’s latest milestones on its way to a 2014 completion.


Nieeta Presley, President, Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation

Jim Erkel – Attorney, Land Use and Transportation Program Director, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

•Chris Ferguson - Chair, Central Corridor Business Resource CollaborativeCEO, Bywater Business Solutions

Tim Thompson – President, Housing Preservation Project


Discover Central Corridor

February 17 - 8:00-10:00 AM and 6:00-8:00 PM: Public Commentary hearing on Lawsuit Ruling - Brownstone Bldg., 849 University Ave, St. Paul.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CHANGE: Tiokasin Ghosthorse ran into the Chicago storm and will join FPR another day.

Corine Fairbanks is Oglala Lakota and is the Director of Development for the American Indian Movement Santa Barbara Chapter.  Fairbanks has been involved in social, cultural, and political organizing for most of her life, having first been involved with the American Indian Movement in 1986. She is a dedicated and proud employee of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County and in her few spare moments she is also involved with the American Civil Liberties Union affiliate Santa Barbara chapter.  Her greatest achievements have been, "the mother of four wonderful and very cool souls: my children are my motivation, inspiration and my reward for everything I do".

Monday, January 31, 2011

Essentially through the early 1990s, new immigrants to Minnesota from East Africa were fairly few and far between. We enjoy the arriving cultures of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Oromia, Kenya and others. As political and military events exploded in Somalia, Minnesota became a destination for Somali men and women exiting the chaos that befell their home country, eventually enriching Minnesota’s culture, especially that of the core cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. In fact, in many circles, Somalis refer to Minneapolis as "Little Mogadishu." The burgeoning populations of Somali refugees here required major adjustments.

Initially, of course, language barriers made rapid assimilation all but impossible for most Somalis, many of whom can recall the days prior to June, 1960, when their country was still a so-called Italian protectorate. Thus do many Somalis speak Italian and Arabic in addition to their native Somali. English is difficult to learn for several cultures outside our linguistic subgroups. Then, of course, how to create needed housing, employment, health care and education environments without displacing other subcommunities hereabouts.

Moreover, the homeland still calls out to many in the Somali diaspora to come home and fight for one political or religious faction or another, including al-Shabbab, the US-designated terrorist group. Some have heeded it, especially many young men, others affirmed their commitment to building a new life in this not-so-welcoming set of social and economic systems.

The newest generation of Somali-Americans, as with most new immigrants, is making its way in this new world with fewer language barriers but facing long-standing and ignorant American prejudices otherwise, not the least of which is their Muslim religious faith and their dark skin. We want you and us to learn much more about our newest neighbors and, for the most part, dedicated contributors to our way of life, while understand that they, as well as we, must face often extraordinary barriers to full acceptance and the reaction those barriers elicit from often-frustrated young people.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with a few key figures in the Somali community here to gain a greater understanding of the culture, the traditions and the enterprising creativity they’ve brought to our state and cities, and, yes, the barriers they continue to encounter. We’ll present an overview this week with an eye toward a fairly regular series of programs dealing in depth with specific issues Somalis and other new Minnesotans are facing over the next year or two.


NIMCO AHMED - Legislative Aide to Minneapolis City Councilmember Robert Lilligren

HUSSEIN SAMATAR - Executive Director, African Development Center and District Member, Minneapolis School Board

ABDURASHID ALI - Executive Director, Somali Family ServicesPuntland Library and Resource Center`