black history makers

What we're up to.

As part of our ongoing antiracism work - you are invited to join us throughout the month of February during Black History Month for a series we are calling Black History Makers. We using our social media platforms to highlight and celebrate the work of twelve different individuals who are making history right now and helping to create a more just world. If you are not already - follow along. We will be posting each Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with opportunities to learn from these individuals and support them in their ongoing work. Below you will find MORE information and potential next steps...

 

 

 

We invite you to join us on February 25th from 6:30-8:00pm via Zoom. We will offer a space to process what we have learned and what we feel challenged to do in our everyday-lives as a result. 

February 25th Processing Session

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
blm women.jpg

Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza 

In 2013, in response to the death of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza posted “a love letter to black people” on Facebook. She ended her post with, “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” Her friend Patrisse Cullers shared her posts on Facebook and then added #BlackLivesMatter. After seeing the hashtag, Opal Tometi reached out to Alicia and offered to create a digital platform. Such unexpected beginnings for a movement that is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters working to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities.” Black Lives Matter has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, for its success in forcing the world to deal with racism.

 

We celebrate and honor the work of Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The work that began long before that heartbreaking night in 2013. The work that has not stopped since then. And we honor the impact that their work has made and is making around the world. 

To learn more about these three amazing humans and the #BlackLivesMatter movement - check out the {many} links below!


Here is an article for a little backstory. And here is a Ted Talk where the three of them are interviewed by Mia Birdsong.
 

Visit their websites and take a moment to learn more: 
Alicia Garza
Patrisse Cullors
Opal Tometi
Learn more about Black Lives Matter 

 

And to keep learning, follow along 
Follow Patrisse on Instagram @osopepatrisse or Twitter @OsopePatrisse
Follow Alicia on Instagram @chasinggarza or Twitter @aliciagarza

Follow Opal on Instagram @opalayo or Twitter @opalayo
Follow Black Lives Matter on Instagram @blklivesmatter or Twitter @Blklivesmatter

 

Bryan.png

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is an American public interest lawyer who has spent his entire career representing the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned - with a particular focus on death row prisoners in the deep south. 


In 1989 he founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit law organization committed to social justice & human rights in U.S. criminal justice reform. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. 


Stevenson is also a social justice activist, leading significant anti-poverty and anti-discrimination initiatives confronting inequality in America.  In 2018, both the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice were opened - two highly acclaimed cultural sites he brought to life, to show how the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation directly connects to today’s mass incarceration and continued racism. 

 

To explore more of his work with the Equal Justice Initiative, or to check out his book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” visit his website

Watch Bryan Stevenson, along with other renowned activists and scholars, in the incredibly powerful and historically revealing Netflix documentary, “13th.”

Or take some time to listen to one of these thought-provoking recordings

Follow along - Equal Justice Initiative

Instagram: @eji_org

Twitter: @eji_org

Morgan.png

Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan Harper Nichols is an artist and poet whose work is marked by great beauty and truth-telling at a soul-level. In 2017, she invited people to share their stories via her website. She would then create art as a response and share it on social media, creating a community unlike any other. While the stories are kept anonymous - each post could easily echo in each of our own stories. Her words are like balm to the soul. Honest. Needed. Timely. Healing. 

 

She is the author of two books… All Along You Were Blooming was released in 2020 and her second book, How Far You Have Come is now available for pre-order. 

To explore more of her work, visit her website or check out her online shop. She also has The Storyteller App designed to help you explore your own story and a podcast - The Morgan Harper Nichols Show

Follow along 

Instagram:@morganharpernichols

Twitter: @morganhnichols

Nikole.png

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning journalist and an investigative correspondent, covering race and social justice issues for the New York Times Magazine. Her work is central to reshaping national conversations surrounding education reform and access, school resegregation, and the lasting impact of slavery in our country.

 

She is the creator and lead writer of “The 1619 Project” - an ongoing major multimedia initiative from the New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

 

She won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her moving introductory essay.

 

As part of “The 1619 Project”, Nikole Hannah-Jones also hosts a New York Times audio series called “1619”. If you have not listened yet, we encourage you to check it out. Episodes can be found here. And links to listen via Apple, Google, or Stitcher are available here. Transcripts are available as well.

A PDF of the full issue from the New York Times Magazine is available here. Or with a subscription, you can view it here.

 

Visit her website to explore more of her work.

Follow along 

Twitter: @nhannahjones

Propaganda.png

Propaganda

Propaganda is a poet, political activist, husband, father, academic & emcee. 

 

"With LA (and lots of coffee) flowing through his veins & armed with a bold message, Propaganda has assembled a body of work that challenges and guides. Propaganda’s ideas stem from where he sits at the intersection. He sees how cultures cross and inspire one another, and can see the oneness of us all. Propaganda will cause you to nod your head, but more importantly he will stretch your mind & heart. Through Preemptive Love, a non-profit organization operating in Syria, Iraq, and Venezuela he has his hands in a lot of justice and advocacy work around black and brown communities. Wherever there is a refugee crisis, Preemptive Love is." (via prophiphop.com)

Check out his body of work:

  • Head to Spotify and listen to one of his many albums.

  • Check out The Red Couch Podcast where Propaganda and his wife, university professor Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, have candid conversations and interviews covering everything from pop culture to important social issues from their unique perspective on their red couch. 

  • Every Friday morning on Instagram Live, Propaganda features a different coffee roaster and then he shoots the breeze and makes pour-over with one of his favorite artist friends. He will then post a discount code on his website for folks to order from that roaster. This goes beyond just his love for coffee but for him, it’s reclaiming a narrative of sorts. 

 

Or check out some of his videos:

If Coffee Were a Man-dive deeper into the coffee narrative.

We Are the Culture - a video he released this past Friday. 

Bored of Education- diving into the flaws of our current education system.

Be Present- “Me and my phone are no longer married”

Follow along 

Instagram: @prohiphop 

Twitter: @prohiphop 

Stacey.png

Stacey Abrams

Human rights activist, best selling author, multi-organization founder, and political representative, Stacey Abrams is a change maker in our time. Those titles don’t even begin to cover it. She is also a writer, lawyer, international policy maker, and the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award recipient. 

 

Stacey Abrams is considered one of the most influential individuals in modern politics. She spent over a decade as a state representative for the state of Georgia. She has founded multiple organizations dedicated to voting-rights. In addition, she is the first Black woman to be nominated to a gubernatorial position for a major party in the United States.  

 

Mrs. Abrams is an accomplished author, writing two New York Times best-selling books: Lead for the Outside and Our Time is Now.

 

Most recently, she made waves in the political arena for fighting for voting rights for the people of Georgia. Specifically, people who have been disenfranchised by the voter suppression laws and policies in place.  

 

To see a small glimpse of her and her why - check out her Ted Talk, “3 Questions To Ask Yourself About Everything You Do”

 

For a little bit more - check out this interview on NPR’s TED Radio Hour

Follow along 

Instagram: @staceyabrams

Twitter: @staceyabrams

Ayana.png

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Described as “the most influential marine biologist of our time,” Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson works at the intersection of climate, policy, and race, while building community around climate solutions. She is founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm for conservation solutions grounded in social justice, and founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities. 

 

She is the co-founder of All We Can Save which brings together and supports women at the forefront of the climate movement. She is also co-editor of the anthology All We Can Save - a collection of essays by those feminist leaders.

 

She co-hosts a podcast: How to Save a Planet - which asks two big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? To see a small glimpse of her work and passion - check out her Ted Talk, “A love story for the coral reef crisis.” For a deeper dive - check out this conversation between Dr. Johnson and guest moderator Dan Kraker of Minnesota Public Radio at the Westminster Town Hall Forum.

 

For a comprehensive list of her current and past projects, visit her website.

And lastly - she wrote this honest and compelling article “I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet.” in the days after the tragic murder of George Floyd. 

Follow along 

Instagram: @ayanaeliza

Twitter: @ayanaeliza 

Resmaa.png

Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem is an author, artist, and psychotherapist specializing in the effects of trauma on the human body. A leading voice in today’s conversation on racialized trauma, his New York Times bestselling book -  My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies - is a crucial read. (So crucial that you are invited to join us this spring as we dive into this work. More details to follow!) 

In the words of Krista Tippett - host of the On Being Project: “Resmaa Menakem is working with old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word race.”

Out of his work, centered on healing historical and racialized trauma carried in the body and the soul, he created Cultural Somatics, which utilizes the body and resilience as mechanisms for growth. 

For an introduction to his work - take some time to listen to his conversation with Krista Tippett.

He is currently also offering a free five-session Ecourse on Cultural Somatics. 

For links to more of his work, click here or visit his website.


Follow along: 
Instagram: @resmaamenakem
Twitter: @ResmaaMenakem

 

Cole.png

Cole Arthur Riley

Cole Arthur Riley is a writer, liturgist, and speaker seeking a deeply contemplative life marked by embodiment and emotion. She is the founder and writer of Black Liturgies, a project seeking to integrate concepts of dignity, lament, rage, justice, rest, and liberation with the practice of written prayer. Through this Instagram account, she offers “a space where Black words live in dignity, lament, rage, and hope to the glory of God.” Her posts are achingly beautiful and serve as a much-needed guide to our souls. 

To learn more about Cole Arthur Riley or receive her Breath Prayers via email - visit her website

She also has a Patreon platform and by becoming a monthly member will help sustain her work. 

And stay tuned - she is writing a book! 

Follow along 
Instagram: @blackliturgies

Amanda Gorman.jpeg

Amanda Gorman

Twenty-three year old Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, literally made history as she shared her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Biden’s inauguration. 

 

If you have not already - we encourage you to listen to her hope-filled and captivating words. And if you have already - we encourage you to listen yet again. You can listen and/or read her words here.

She leaves us with a stirring invitation: 

 

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation

And every corner called our country. 

Our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. 

When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. 

A new dawn looms as we free it,

For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it, 

If only we are brave enough to be it.

To learn more and support her work (she has a children’s book!) visit her website

 

Follow along 

Instagram: @amandascgorman

Twitter: @TheAmandaGorman

Ibram X.png

Ibram X. Kendi

The work of Ibram X. Kendi paramount in our world today. He is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books including How to Be an Antiracist as well as the co-editor of a book (release date February 2): Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. Four Hundred Souls brings together ninety different writers and poets to tell the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Kendi is also the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

 

Consider picking up his newest book or one of his others and supporting a black-owned bookshop. Our staff is currently reading How to Be an Antiracist. If you are new to his work - a great place to start is this podcast where he is in conversation with Brené Brown. 

 

Follow along 

Instagram: @ibramxk

Twitter: @DrIbram

Nicole C.png

Nicole Cardoza

Nicole Cardoza is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, and speaker passionate about closing the racial and socio-economic divides in the wellness industry.  She is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Anti-Racism Daily. Something that began as a “casual project” on June 3, 2020, has now sent over 230 daily emails - pairing current events with historical context and personal reflections on how racism persists in the U.S. (and around the world).  

Also this month, Anti-Racism Daily is offering 28 Days of Black History - a virtual curated exhibition of the most important works of Black History. Each evening in February, they will send you one work via email that represents Black history that's often overlooked. 

To sign up for the Anti-Racism Daily or learn more - visit their website

To learn more about Nicole and support her work - here are some places to start 

Follow along - Anti-Racism Daily

Instagram: @antiracismdaily 

Twitter: @antiracismdly 


Follow along - Nicole Cardoza

Instagram: @nicoleacardoza

Twitter: @nicolecardoza

The heading font used here is by designer Tré Seals, founder of Vocal Type Co. After discovering that only 3–3.5% of all practicing designers in America are Black. Please consider supporting or following his work - @vocaltype.co

6200 Colonial Way, Edina, MN 55436

info@urminneapolis.org  |   612-353-5641

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle

© 2016 designed by No Pulp. Copyright Upper Room.