Community Conversations

First Monday of each month at 6pm

Community Conversations is a monthly program on KUMD dedicated to topics of interest in our community and fostering our community connections.

ashley rose/Flickr

Brittany Maynard gained the sympathies of a nation when the 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer ended her life last fall with drugs prescribed by her doctor.

Here in Minnesota, Senator Chris Eaton is proposing  the Minnesota Compassionate Care Act, legislation designed along the lines of the law in Oregon.

Despite plaudits for Maynard's courage, though, the conversation is far from over.

Jeremy Wilburn/Flickr

A recent article in The Atlantic titled “The Coddling of the American Mind” says “in the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like.”  Authors Greg Lukianoff (a constitutional lawyer who defends free speech and academic freedom on campus), and Jonathan Haidt (a social psychologist) maintain this practice is “disastrous for education—and mental health.”

Pupparazzi Companion Animal Photography

You hear a lot of conversations about "kill" and "no-kill" animal shelters these days.  No one likes the idea of a "kill" shelter, but is it really that simple?

Islamic Center of the Twin Ports

Since 9/11, extremist Muslims have been using their faith to justify jihad.  Other Muslims have protested against what they say is a distortion of Islam. Non-Muslim people, in many cases, know only what they read in the news and tend to lump all Muslims - and all poorly understood interpretations of the Quran - together. So whose job is it to educate people - those who are misunderstanding or those who are misunderstood?

Nora Naranjo Morse

UMD’s 2nd Annual Creativity Conference was organized around the ideas of creativity across disciplines and cultures this year.  But as our free-ranging conversation with the two conference guests unspooled, it became apparent that creativity is not only useful in a wide variety of contexts … it lurks in some unlikely places.

Flickr/Wolfram Burner

Since 1990, colleges and universities have been required by law to disclose campus safety information and also to take steps to keep students safe from sexual assault, stalking and dating violence.

When changes to strengthen the Clery Act nationally were finalized this fall, UMD's Dean of Students, Lisa Erwin, was one of the people responsible for developing those amendments.

Flickr/Adam Fagen

We’re talking about free speech, freedom of the press and why it matters here at home.  Our guests in the studio are Don Shelby, veteran broadcast journalist and investigative reporter;  Kearsten Wesner, professor of media law at UMD and former practicing attorney and Rick Lubbers, the editor of the Duluth News Tribune.

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay

“Black lives matter.” “Blue lives (meaning police officers) matter.”  Here in Duluth, we like to think all lives matter and in our comparatively small town, with a comparatively small number of people of color, we like to think that we don’t have the kinds of issues and tensions that you find in other places around the nation.

CHUM Duluth

There will be plenty of time in 2015 to talk about the challenges in our community, but first, let's take some time to look at what went right in 2014.

From environmental issues, progress looking after the city's most vulnerable residents, to Duluth's splash after splash on national media, there's a lot going on to be excited about.

Flickr/ CDC Global

Readers know that Ebola makes for a terrifying threat in novels.  Whether the characters are endangered by it as a flesh-eating disease or the bad guys are plotting bioterrorism with it, most people are only familiar with the virus as a plot contrivance in a book.

Once Ebola stepped off the page, though, and became a global concern – or panic, if you will – conflicting information AND conflicting attitudes began to emerge.

The Safe and Supportive Schools act was signed into law in April of 2014 and now the conversation is turning to, not only ways to protect the victims, but the appropriate way to deal with their harassers. Duluth Mayor Don Ness has launched the Mayor's Campaign to End Bullying and other conversations are taking place about the bullies themselves.

Flickr/ Global Panorama

The videotape of Ray Rice punching his now-wife in the face and knocking her unconscious, the news that Adrian Peterson used a switch on his four year old son hard enough to leave marks, has brought the public consciousness back to the issue of domestic violence, accountability, why women stay and a host of other topics.

Sam Taylor-Wood

The death of comedian, actor and philanthropist Robin Williams has left the world reeling.  Monday night at 6pm, Community Conversations will focus on depression and identity.  Are you a human being or a human "doing," and how does that make you feel?  Plus information about help for depression sufferers and their families right here in the Twin Ports. 

A panel discussion on companion animals and the part they play in our lives, plus the changes coming up thanks to the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill, which went into effect July 1.

Flickr/Alex

Duluth City Councilor Emily Larson; JP Rennquist, community activist and advocate for fathers and familes and the head of UMD’s Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department, Beth Bartlett, meet to talk about the Women's Economic Security Act.

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