January News – sing the praises of the culture

 Hello Good People!

 
Well, I had it in mind to send you all some writing I have been doing on scarcity and abundance. But when I heard the news today about the mass shooting in Arizona - which involved the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the death of at least 5 people (including a 9 year old girl), and the wounding of many others - I was silenced. My intended writing can wait. I have nothing but prayers and compassion in my heart for the wounded, the dead, their families, and the young man who committed this horrendous act.
 
Here is a poem, from It by Inger Christensen. It was shown to me by a man I love dearly, and I think it is strangely befitting the times.

 
7

 
When the insane roll in the dust
when they hug a plastic amoeba close
 
to them sing the praises of the culture
when they pick up the toppled statues
 
and bear them together in procession
single broken fragments or whole skeletons
 
when they lift the frozen canopies
from the Pentagon the Kremlin the world
 
and raise them high over the finest statue
of the president speaker general
 
and write the one word love
in the middle of his gleaming forehead
 
then love is probably compromised
but power is transformed
 
*

 
In this edition of Iambrown:
  • Great Republic of Rough and Ready team up with Hearsay and Hyperbole- New Music Video!
  • Training for Social Action Trainers - Feb. 11-13, 2011
  • The Center for Whole Communities is Hiring!
  • 6th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference - February 4-5, 2011

-----

Great Republic of Rough and Ready team up with Hearsay and Hyperbole- New Music Video!

I am excited and honored to share this gorgeous new work. My best friend Alexis Powell is an incredibly talented artist. Among her many talents (including sibling music, drama therapy, and throwing a great party), she also creates beautiful stop-motion animations. This year, she created a music video for Great Republic of Rough and Ready's The Angel of Death. Between Alexis's heartbreaking attention to detail, and GRRR's swoon-worthy song-making, you are sure to finish the video and hit play again.

Find the video here: http://vimeo.com/18535143.

Find the band here: http://grrr.bandcamp.com/

I am happy to say that Ms. Powell also recently because godmother to my daughter Siobhan. Yay!

-----

Training for Social Action Trainers
 
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Feb. 11-13, 2011
Presented by Training for Change
 

Join us for an intensive training designed for experienced facilitators wanting to revitalize their work, new trainers wanting to inspire, teachers, community leaders, activists -- anyone wanting to take their skills to a new level and learn how training can be used more effectively.

WHY THIS WORKSHOP?

Training and facilitation skills are a key element to successful organizing and movement building. People who have these skills support the groups they work with by developing new leaders, transferring skills and knowledge between generations, creating more participation within their groups, introducing new and transformative concepts, educating and engaging constituents, supporting meetings and decision making, resolving conflict and providing training for successful, creative and disciplined actions. Yet, few people who play the role of educator, trainer or facilitator in their work are offered an opportunity to learn a framework for training that supports their experience or a chance to hone their skills among other trainers. Few organizations commit the time to helping their leaders learn the craft of training. With this in mind, The Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT) is designed to give people the opportunity to develop a stronger sense of the training tools, approaches and choices that will work for them to be most powerful and useful in their trainer role. [Note: We also offer variations of the TSAT, such as the "How to facilitate strategizing" which emphasizes tools that assist groups to strategize more effectively.]

To learn more about Training for Change, or to register, visit: http://www.trainingforchange.org/node/290

-----
The Center for Whole Communities is Hiring!

A year and a half ago, I attended an incredible, intensive week-long retreat at the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont. This transformative organization is located in a beautiful setting, and they have openings for two new positions - Development Director and Executive Assistant. There is still time to apply. More information can be found on the home page of the website: http://www.wholecommunities.org

-----
6th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference
Friday and Saturday, February 4-5, 2011
St. Paul, MN

 
NEWS RELEASE

Media Contacts: Glen Hill, Minnesota Food Association, 651-433-3676, ext. 11, or Ly Vang, Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women, 651-222-0475.

St. Paul—The Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota, Minnesota Food Association and USDA-Farm Service Agency  will jointly co-host the 6th Immigrant and Minority  Farmers Conference on February 4-5, 2011 at the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Event Hall, 710 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN. The theme of the 2011 Conference is “Planting Seeds for Success on your Farm.”

The two-day conference will focus on important topics for the farmers that include whole farm planning, season extension, organic practices, finding resources for your farm, seed saving, poultry production and diversifying markets.   Keynote presenters at the conference will be Dr. Yang Dao, a Hmong scholar and diplomat with a deep understanding of the role of farming in the Hmong community; and Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, has been invited to speak on the importance of small vegetable producers to our economy. 

Registration is on-line at www.mnfoodassociation.org, or by calling MFA at 651-433-3676, or the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota at 651-222-0475.

The major barriers for success in farming for minority vegetable growers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area (as well as other regions in the nation) are: access to and knowledge of markets, access to agricultural land, and language and cultural barriers. The upcoming conference provides welcome opportunities for minority and underserved farmers who have many needs for assure sustained successes in their small farm operations.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture shows that immigrants are among the fastest growing sector of farmers today.  Immigrant farmers are passionate about and experienced in agriculture, and have shaped the character of U.S. agriculture throughout American history. While the number of farms in our country has been declining since WWII, the census now shows a leveling of this trend, which can be partially accredited to the increasing numbers of immigrant farmers across all demographic groups. Immigrant farmers are diverse in terms of country of origin, where they live now, what they produce and how they sell.  By supporting these new and aspiring farmers, we not only will ensure that there will be an adequate supply of local foods available in our communities, and a contribution to local economic development and healthy communities.

The conference plans for interpretation into Hmong, Oromo, Karen, Bhutan and Somali languages. The conference hosts invite farmers of any language to register. Interested participants please call the hosts with translation or other needs.

The training conference fosters partnerships between non-governmental community-based organizations, the University of Minnesota and other education institutions, and both the Minnesota and US Department of Agriculture agencies to assist minority, limited resources and underserved farmers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

This conference is free to farmers; others $20 for one day or $30 for two days.  

We would like everyone to sign up by Monday, January 24, 2011.  Interested farmers and CBOs who have questions should contact Ly Vang, at 651-222-0475, e-mail: lyvangaahwmn@yahoo.com; Joci Tilsen at 651-433-3676 ext. 14 or e-mail:jtilsen@mnfoodassociation.org; and Nigatu Tadesse at 651-602-7705 or email nigatu.tadesse@mn.usda.gov. 

 

 Hello Good People!

 
Well, I had it in mind to send you all some writing I have been doing on scarcity and abundance. But when I heard the news today about the mass shooting in Arizona - which involved the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the death of at least 5 people (including a 9 year old girl), and the wounding of many others - I was silenced. My intended writing can wait. I have nothing but prayers and compassion in my heart for the wounded, the dead, their families, and the young man who committed this horrendous act.
 
Here is a poem, from It by Inger Christensen. It was shown to me by a man I love dearly, and I think it is strangely befitting the times.

 
7

 
When the insane roll in the dust
when they hug a plastic amoeba close
 
to them sing the praises of the culture
when they pick up the toppled statues
 
and bear them together in procession
single broken fragments or whole skeletons
 
when they lift the frozen canopies
from the Pentagon the Kremlin the world
 
and raise them high over the finest statue
of the president speaker general
 
and write the one word love
in the middle of his gleaming forehead
 
then love is probably compromised
but power is transformed
 
*

 
In this edition of Iambrown:
  • Great Republic of Rough and Ready team up with Hearsay and Hyperbole- New Music Video!
  • Training for Social Action Trainers - Feb. 11-13, 2011
  • The Center for Whole Communities is Hiring!
  • 6th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference - February 4-5, 2011

-----

Great Republic of Rough and Ready team up with Hearsay and Hyperbole- New Music Video!

I am excited and honored to share this gorgeous new work. My best friend Alexis Powell is an incredibly talented artist. Among her many talents (including sibling music, drama therapy, and throwing a great party), she also creates beautiful stop-motion animations. This year, she created a music video for Great Republic of Rough and Ready's The Angel of Death. Between Alexis's heartbreaking attention to detail, and GRRR's swoon-worthy song-making, you are sure to finish the video and hit play again.

Find the video here: http://vimeo.com/18535143.

Find the band here: http://grrr.bandcamp.com/

I am happy to say that Ms. Powell also recently because godmother to my daughter Siobhan. Yay!

-----

Training for Social Action Trainers
 
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Feb. 11-13, 2011
Presented by Training for Change
 

Join us for an intensive training designed for experienced facilitators wanting to revitalize their work, new trainers wanting to inspire, teachers, community leaders, activists -- anyone wanting to take their skills to a new level and learn how training can be used more effectively.

WHY THIS WORKSHOP?

Training and facilitation skills are a key element to successful organizing and movement building. People who have these skills support the groups they work with by developing new leaders, transferring skills and knowledge between generations, creating more participation within their groups, introducing new and transformative concepts, educating and engaging constituents, supporting meetings and decision making, resolving conflict and providing training for successful, creative and disciplined actions. Yet, few people who play the role of educator, trainer or facilitator in their work are offered an opportunity to learn a framework for training that supports their experience or a chance to hone their skills among other trainers. Few organizations commit the time to helping their leaders learn the craft of training. With this in mind, The Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT) is designed to give people the opportunity to develop a stronger sense of the training tools, approaches and choices that will work for them to be most powerful and useful in their trainer role. [Note: We also offer variations of the TSAT, such as the "How to facilitate strategizing" which emphasizes tools that assist groups to strategize more effectively.]

To learn more about Training for Change, or to register, visit: http://www.trainingforchange.org/node/290

-----
The Center for Whole Communities is Hiring!

A year and a half ago, I attended an incredible, intensive week-long retreat at the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont. This transformative organization is located in a beautiful setting, and they have openings for two new positions - Development Director and Executive Assistant. There is still time to apply. More information can be found on the home page of the website: http://www.wholecommunities.org

-----
6th Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference
Friday and Saturday, February 4-5, 2011
St. Paul, MN

 
NEWS RELEASE

Media Contacts: Glen Hill, Minnesota Food Association, 651-433-3676, ext. 11, or Ly Vang, Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women, 651-222-0475.

St. Paul—The Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota, Minnesota Food Association and USDA-Farm Service Agency  will jointly co-host the 6th Immigrant and Minority  Farmers Conference on February 4-5, 2011 at the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Event Hall, 710 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN. The theme of the 2011 Conference is “Planting Seeds for Success on your Farm.”

The two-day conference will focus on important topics for the farmers that include whole farm planning, season extension, organic practices, finding resources for your farm, seed saving, poultry production and diversifying markets.   Keynote presenters at the conference will be Dr. Yang Dao, a Hmong scholar and diplomat with a deep understanding of the role of farming in the Hmong community; and Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, has been invited to speak on the importance of small vegetable producers to our economy. 

Registration is on-line at www.mnfoodassociation.org, or by calling MFA at 651-433-3676, or the Association for the Advancement of Hmong Women in Minnesota at 651-222-0475.

The major barriers for success in farming for minority vegetable growers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area (as well as other regions in the nation) are: access to and knowledge of markets, access to agricultural land, and language and cultural barriers. The upcoming conference provides welcome opportunities for minority and underserved farmers who have many needs for assure sustained successes in their small farm operations.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture shows that immigrants are among the fastest growing sector of farmers today.  Immigrant farmers are passionate about and experienced in agriculture, and have shaped the character of U.S. agriculture throughout American history. While the number of farms in our country has been declining since WWII, the census now shows a leveling of this trend, which can be partially accredited to the increasing numbers of immigrant farmers across all demographic groups. Immigrant farmers are diverse in terms of country of origin, where they live now, what they produce and how they sell.  By supporting these new and aspiring farmers, we not only will ensure that there will be an adequate supply of local foods available in our communities, and a contribution to local economic development and healthy communities.

The conference plans for interpretation into Hmong, Oromo, Karen, Bhutan and Somali languages. The conference hosts invite farmers of any language to register. Interested participants please call the hosts with translation or other needs.

The training conference fosters partnerships between non-governmental community-based organizations, the University of Minnesota and other education institutions, and both the Minnesota and US Department of Agriculture agencies to assist minority, limited resources and underserved farmers in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.

This conference is free to farmers; others $20 for one day or $30 for two days.  

We would like everyone to sign up by Monday, January 24, 2011.  Interested farmers and CBOs who have questions should contact Ly Vang, at 651-222-0475, e-mail: lyvangaahwmn@yahoo.com; Joci Tilsen at 651-433-3676 ext. 14 or e-mail:jtilsen@mnfoodassociation.org; and Nigatu Tadesse at 651-602-7705 or email nigatu.tadesse@mn.usda.gov. 

 

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