Feeling lost in the political woods? Join us at the Greater Minnesota Summit.

Greater Minnesota Summit: Saturday, March 12, 10am-2pm

Have you ever felt angry when you hear about social injustices? Or felt overwhelmed and confused about how you as an individual can help dismantle the causes of injustice? I have. If you’ve felt similarly, you’re not alone.  

I live in northern Minnesota, and it sometimes feels isolating to have progressive political opinions—like I’ve gotten lost in the woods and don’t have cell phone service or a map. With a handful of friends and my family, I lived in this forest through high school and later college, where I earned a BA in Global, Cultural, and Language Studies.  

The North Woods of Minnesota, captured by blog author Ellery

In college, I didn’t feel as politically alone compared to in high school. We had social justice clubs and my classes analyzed racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, and more. I focused my degree on intersectional feminism and carceral systems abroad and in the U.S. What I was learning and talking about strengthened my understanding that we need to dismantle systems of oppression that target Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, women, LGBTQIA people, poor people, disabled people, and people who struggle with mental health. In college I had a broader community of people who were passionate about the same things I was. We had a shared understanding.    

But very quickly after graduating college, I felt lost again. Where do I start? Where are the clubs that I can go to on a Tuesday night? Will they have free pizza? How can I tell if an organization is helping to dismantle instead of perpetuate injustice? How can I help during a global pandemic?  

I knew I wanted to put my degree to work and create sustainable change with people. I just wasn’t sure how to go about it on my own outside of college. Here I was, back in the isolation forest—and not just because of the pandemic.  

Luckily, more than a few months later, I saw an online petition from TakeAction Minnesota that called for President Biden to cancel student debt. I signed it and soon received a phone call from DyAnna Grondahl; “Do you want to have a conversation about how to get more involved?”  

Yes. Yes, I did.  

Finally, I found my club! I quickly became involved in text-and phone-banking sessions. And it turns out, I liked doing that type of work. I enjoyed making connections with people about something I’m passionate about. I really liked talking with people about social change and how to take action. And I enjoyed making phone calls to invite people to events. My introverted, Gen-Z-self was shocked. But my social-justice-nerd side was excited to have found a political home.  

In all seriousness, I enjoy outreach primarily because I get to invite people into the movement. As the Outreach Leader for the Student Debt Cancellation Crew, I get to help people who may be struggling with the same questions I was after graduating college. I get to help people find their own way out of the woods. Those of us who live in northern Minnesota and have progressive political opinions need a political home.  

That understanding is something Cierra Brown and DyAnna Grondahl know well. So, they formed a team of fellow organizers to co-plan and facilitate an exciting event that is coming up: TakeAction’s Greater Minnesota Summit. It’s this Saturday (March 12) from 10am – 2pm – and I’m excited about it! 

If you said yes to my initial questions, you’ll definitely want to join us. If any part of the story I shared above resonated with you, you belong here. If you’ve also been feeling lost and alone in the political woods of Greater Minnesota, this is an opportunity to find connection, community, and opportunities for action. Sign up now.   

While planning the Summit, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we want people to feel leaving the Zoom session. I’m hoping the event will provide a sense of direction and clarity. I want people to develop an intersectional framework to understand what’s happening in their community with regards to racism, sexism, the pandemic, and more. I want people to understand how to advocate for democracy as an individual and as a group. I hope when we close out the Summit, people feel prepared to have powerful conversations with family and friends, and to take meaningful action to address the issues they care about.  

The Greater Minnesota Summit is one day—it won’t answer all our questions about what’s going on and how to build the world we want to see. But it can be a springboard, because we will no longer be individuals, lost in the political woods, without cell service or our maps. We’ll be together. And together, we can take meaningful, sustainable action on the things we care about. Through that work, we can begin to build the world we want to see.  

I hope to see you at the Greater Minnesota Summit this Saturday, March 12, from 10 am – 2pm. Register now, and invite a friend! 

Ellery Bruns (she/her) is a TakeAction Minnesota leader, social justice activist, and book lover who lives in northern Minnesota.

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