Celebrating Minneapolis from Afar
It is heartbreaking to not convene together in Minneapolis for this year’s National Institute; the 2020 National Institute Task Force put together a dynamic slate of children’s authors, many of whom are based in Minnesota, and was organizing some truly impactful networking events when Covid-19 expanded in March of this year and subsequently precluded an in-person meeting.
Even as we convene together (apart) at this year’s Virtual Institute, ALSC is proud to continue its support of Minneapolis through specifically focusing on Minnesota indigenous communities in the ALSC Virtual Institute Land Acknowledgement; the recognition of organizations and programs doing on-the-ground work in children’s literacy, indigenous advocacy, and anti-racism in Minneapolis; and by highlighting our Virtual Institute bookseller, the Minneapolis-based Red Balloon Bookshop.
How to Support Minneapolis
Were we gathering in-person, we’d be giving back to Minneapolis passively – through our meals at area restaurants, our transportation at airports, on buses, and in taxis, and in a variety of other ways. It is a loss for the city not to have us convene, and a loss for our Minneapolis and Minnesota ALSC members to not be able to showcase their great city!
In that vein, we want to highlight three fantastic organizations who are doing work on-the-ground in Minneapolis with young people. We know not everyone is in a space this year to give support fiscally, but if you are, we hope you consider donating a small amount to one of these organizations. Even the $25 you might have spent on a dinner out one night can help continue the work these organizations do!
Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA)
Founded in 1995, Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) is a youth employment center and community development social enterprise rooted in North Minneapolis. JXTA’s programs offer college-level training to teens through a core program known as JXTALabs, which annually employs 70 youth ages 14 to 25 in five revenue-earning art and design micro-businesses. The JXTALabs offer a wide array of high-quality art and design services to local and regional clients, including logo designs, screen printed textiles and merchandise, large-scale public installations, and murals.
MIGIZI was founded in 1977 as Migizi Communications, Inc., with a goal of countering the misrepresentations and inaccuracies about Native people in the media. MIGIZI's first weekly radio production, The Native American Program, set the stage for First Person Radio and its nationally distributed programming. Today, MIGIZI has evolved to become an organization where Native American youth not only can participate in media skills, but in various aspects of their developmental growth as a leader for their community. We provide cultural and well-being support, opportunities in the green sector, and are involved with over 5 school districts as a support system for academic success. MIGIZI puts youth first, supporting youth-driven activities that fully engage youth in a self-directed path to holistic wellness and to success in education and employment.
Reach Out and Read Minnesota
Reach Out and Read Minnesota works with doctors and nurses to bring the brain-building power of books to young children and empower families to read together. At our participating clinics, children ages 0-5 years old receive a book at each of their well-child visits and healthcare providers give families guidance on using books and language-rich interactions to aid in their children’s early development. Reach Out and Read Minnesota provides books in more than a dozen languages, including Spanish, Somali, Hmong, and Dakota, and each of our books is selected for its developmental appropriateness. We seek to give every child in Minnesota a foundation for success for the rest of their life.