Community Conversations

Politics Off My Body

Public conversations about the idea of privilege are hard, and ironically, much of that is because of our proud heritage of "Minnesota Nice."  But they're important, because those with privilege and those without need to come together in a safe place, ask questions, and learn from one another. 

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.

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.

Flickr/Denise Krebs

Freelance writer Jonah Lehrer and psychology professor at California State University Fresno Dr. Martin Shapiro are the guests at UMD's first Creativity Conference. 

In addition to classroom appearances, panel discussions and TED Talk-style lectures, they joined KUMD's Lisa Johnson in the studio to talk about creativity and the brain.

LoLaVisuals/David Cowardin

Even though one out of four people suffer from some form of mental illness, the stigma persists. Find out what a pair of UMD alums (and documentary filmmakers) and Miss Minneapolis 2014 are doing to change the public perception of mental illness and its sufferers.

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