Relevant Voices Committee

Purpose:  To provide input on how MWP can grow and expand our awareness/knowledge on issues related to social justice, diversity, systemic racism, equity, accessibility for members, clients, and the community.   

Activities: We will plan outreach and community activities for MWP members to participate in that are relevant and related to the above mentioned issues.   The activities will be centered around gathering input through investigation/research, surveys, focus groups, informal  gatherings, personal perspective writings, etc.   We will seek to build relationships with agencies, groups, communities, and individuals that may be appropriate over time. Meetings: Once a month plus additional tasks as they come up. 

 FFI: Sam Franklin

Children’s Book That Celebrate Muslim Culture – the Brightly Editors


“Whether you’re from a Muslim family looking for more representation in children’s literature, or a teacher or parent of non-Muslim children wanting to better understand and celebrate Muslim culture, there are so many wonderful storytellers in the kids’ lit community who have contributed to essential, diverse narratives that pay homage to the rich history and vibrant present of this community.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite children’s books that feature Muslim protagonists, celebrate Muslim culture, and illustrate Islamic traditions – perfect for reading during Ramadan, Eid, and all year long.”

“What is the Islamic New Year? A scholar of religion explains” – Iqbal Akhtar—FIU associate professor of religious studies wrote this piece—republished from The Conversation.

Boy Erased – book by Garrard Conley; also a film

“The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.”

Pray Away – Film

“Ex-leaders and a survivor of the so-called “conversion therapy” movement speak out about its harm to the LGBTQ+ community and its devastating persistence.”

First Conversations Series – Megan Pamela Ruth Madison, Jessica Ralli, Isabel Roxas, Anne/Andy Passchier

“Based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up, this read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way.”


Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender

Yes! No!: A First Conversation About Consent

Every Body: A First Conversation About Bodies

The Juneteenth Mixtape – Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi

“Host Ibram X. Kendi expounds the history and legacy of Juneteenth, and what the day means to him. He passes the mic to Annette Gordon-Reed, Heather McGhee, Adam Serwer, Tiya Miles and Maurice Carlos Ruffin, who share how this day in American history shows up in their lives. Plus: the Be Antiracist team hits the streets of New York to check in with the community on how they’re celebrating the holiday.”

Here is this week’s resources:
2000’s Made Me Gay – Grace Perry
“Today’s gay youth have dozens of queer peer heroes, both fictional and real, but former gay teenager Grace Perry did not have that luxury. Instead, she had to search for queerness in the (largely straight) teen cultural phenomena the aughts had to offer: in Lindsay Lohan’s fall from grace, Gossip Girl, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” country-era Taylor Swift, and Seth Cohen jumping on a coffee cart. And, for better or worse, these touch points shaped her adult identity. She came out on the other side like many millennials did: in her words, gay as hell.

Throw on your Von Dutch hats and join Grace on a journey back through the pop culture moments of the aughts, before the cataclysmic shift in LGBTQ representation and acceptance―a time not so long ago, which many seem to forget.”

Podcast episode on Dyking Out podcast – episode 188 – “Gay 2000’s w/Grace Perry” 

                      Disability After Dark – Andrew Gurza


Minnesota Lesbian Community Organizing Oral History Project (MLCO) – Lisa Vecoli

“The Minnesota Lesbian Community Organizing Oral History Project is gathering the stories of lesbian organizing in the early 1970s – 1980s. MLCO was founded in 2019 by Lisa Vecoli, retired curator of the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies.”

Kare 11 – “Asian women use comedy to combat dehumanization, invisibility”
Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) –

Call Your Girlfriend Podcast – “Demystifying Disability”

“One in four Americans are disabled. It’s one of the only minority groups you can join at any point in your life. And yet, people with disabilities are often ignored or stereotyped, including by other activists. This week we pass the mic to Kelly Dawson and Emily Ladau, two writers who also both have physical disabilities. Kelly and Emily describe the planning and preparation in their daily lives, the challenges of online dating while disabled, and resources for people without disabilities who want to learn more and grow as allies and friends.”

Kelly Dawson –

Emily Ladau –

Oprah Daily (Irina Gonzalez) – “The Best Spanish and Latino Podcasts for Learning-and Laughing”

Brown Girl Therapy-Sahaj Kohli


“Brown Girl Therapy is a digital community and its mission is three-fold: 1. I hope to remind children of immigrants that you deserve belonging and joy, to be heard and seen, and to exist as you are. 2. I want to encourage connection and really lean into community care as a form of self care. In this capacity, we will start rolling out themed and intimate conversation clubs and workshops/events. 3. I want to build out mental health education and resources. This is for the community to have access to content and resources to help you name and identify your own experiences. On the flip side, I hope to build out resources and education for                                                                 mental health professionals to better serve our community.”

Ramadan: What is Ramadan? – BBC

“Ramadan is a very important time in the Islamic calendar, and Muslims all over the world will be preparing to take part.

As with last year, Ramadan will be a bit different this year, as the coronavirus pandemic means there are restrictions on what people can do.

Read on to find out more about what Muslims traditionally do during this month, and why it is so important to them.”

Invisible Women: Data Bias in World Designed for Men 

by Caroline Criado Pérez

“Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates the shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women, diving into women’s lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor’s office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.”

Relevant Voices Sharing Resources

Sweetheart Dancers – Documentary by director Ben-Alex Dupris

Ways to to watch the documentary:

“Indigenous dancers Sean and Adrian challenge the rulebook of San Manuel’s Native American Sweetheart Special as they attempt to compete in the annual couple’s competition. Dancing not only against the other dancers, but against the drums of oppression and closed-mindedness, this two-spirit couple is determined to rewrite the rules of “one man, one woman” with their resplendent charisma, character and resilience.”

Intersection of Anti-Semitism and the Liberation Movement

These resources were provided by Deb Rich who forwarded it on from Delta Larkey:

“Below there are resources for everyone in this group to become more informed about the intersection of anti-semitism and the liberation movement. I thank Dara Silverman for collaborating with us to provide these resources. Dara is a participant in the SATP cohort for white bodies and she is also a skilled facilitator specializing in working with the intersections of white supremacy and anti-semitism.”

Transcending Jewish Trauma– A tool for deconstructing white Jewish Ashkenazi (Eastern European Jewish) trauma. “Although the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors shown on this map are not specific to, nor inherent for, all white Ashkenazi Jews, I believe there is a constellation of behaviors — we can call patterns — common amongst many white Ashkenazim related to trauma that we, our families, and our ancestors have experienced. Many of these patterns illustrate what Resmaa Menakem calls decontextualized trauma. Due, in large part, to the pressures and demands of white supremacy, white Ashkenazim whose ancestors immigrated to the U.S. may not feel connected to the cultures or know the places our ancestors called home. We may not be aware of the political conditions or specific circumstances that informed our families’ immigration or their early experiences of assimilation. Thus, our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors may be decontextualized, deeply informed by experiences to which we have no conscious connection.

Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) has a great resource, Understanding Antisemitism. Changing the conversation about antisemitism requires listening to new voices, which is why this resource was authored by a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational team including Black, Mizrahi and white Ashkenazi Jews, with editorial review and support by Jews with ethnic and national identities from many countries including Puerto Rico, India, Iraq, Syria, as well as non-Jewish allies from many racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Here’s an interview with Jewish movement elder Irena Klepfisz, who talks about her experience navigating the issue of Israel, Zionism, anti-Zionism, and antisemitism in the women’s and lesbian movements in the post-war period.

Resources on Christian Hegemony from movement elder and long time anti-racist trainer Paul Kivel

Somatics for White Racial Justice Leaders– If you want to keep building your anti-racist skills, this eight-week course will build your capacity, embodiment, and understanding of yourself as a white leader working towards racial justice in the US at this time. Especially if you are Jewish, queer or trans or hold another marginalized identity AND you are white. The application is available here. Led by Dara Silverman and Amanda Ream. Application deadline – April 12th. If you have questions or would like more information, please email:

“The Women’s Voices Now Film Collection raises awareness of the struggles and triumphs of women and girls around the globe, inviting audience members to contribute to positive social change supportive of their rights.

These independent films have been crafted about women and girls worldwide – in many instances by women directors themselves. Our movies are available for streaming anytime, anywhere, for free.”

“Trailblazing Women: Women’s History Month Recommendations” – Here Wee Read (Charnaie)

“Let me help you diversify your bookshelf with thousands of diverse and inclusive book recommendations for kids and adults. My store is jam packed, organized by category and is frequently updated so be sure to check back often!  Independent bookstores are vital to our families and communities so please support them.”

Follow on instagram:

Stop the Hate: The rise in violence against Asian Americans – ABC News

Racial Trauma, Resiliency and Ally Resources – California State University San Marcos

“In a new novel, Minnesota Somali woman shows how immigrants are taking charge of their own narrative” – Ibrahim Hirsi (Sahan Journal)

“‘Ayan, of the Lucky,’ chronicles the journey of Somali refugee girl who aspires to become a doctor.”

Crossing the Divide: Minnesota – The Groundtruth Project
“Minnesota is home to the majority of the Somali diaspora in the United States. In many respects, the Somali-American experience is a classically American story, shared by immigrants and children of immigrants before them. Those who remember Somalia’s sun and sands — and civil war — strike a balance between old and new, and contend with the culture of the generation that was born or raised here. But the younger generation navigates a reality perhaps more complicated than the Scandinavians who occupied the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood before them: They are black, Muslim and immigrants in this deeply divided America.”


Soul of a Nation – ABC

“ABC News will launch a groundbreaking primetime newscast, the first broadcast network newsmagazine that aims to put Black life in America front and center

. The historic six-episode series, “Soul of a Nation,” will present viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dive deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning. Each episode will explore a specific theme including spirituality, Black joy, activism in sports and the racial reckoning that erupted after George Floyd’s death…

“Soul of a Nation” travels across the country, unpacking issues critical to Black Americans through intimate storytelling. Every episode will bridge the past, present and future through a variety of voices and experiences from athletes, entertainers, performers and screenwriters…”

Four Hundred Souls
A community of African America, 1619-2019
Edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

The story begins in 1619—a year before the Mayflower—when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history. 

Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith—instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness. 

This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.