Reproductive healthcare is imperative at any time, but as the novel coronavirus has upended our lives accessibility to a clinic is more important than ever. The foundation is excited to be a funder of the Planned Parenthood North Central States new Minneapolis Uptown health center. The health center will focus on family planning services, clinical research work, and a growing Education and Outreach team.
We will also continue supporting the Teen Council, an intensive year-long youth development program that trains 15-19 year-old students in the Minnesota cities of Duluth, Rochester, Minneapolis and St. Paul, to become leaders in promoting reproductive health among their peers. The three primary focus areas are education, advocacy and service. Each participating teen will become a peer educator, building skills, competence and knowledge about sexual health topics. Every school year, each Teen Council cohort reach more than 1000 of their friends, family and peers with accurate health information vis-à-vis by providing formal classroom presentations, participating in community service projects and reproductive advocacy.
What a delight to support 250 educators who participated in the 2020 Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, Stay-Institute. Over three days, middle and high school teachers from across all disciplines participated in authentic scientific and social data collection, made and shared climate observations within their home communities and engaged in small group online experience while exploring solutions to climate change, learning how to effectively engage students in action and discover new ways to collaborate on solutions unique to one’s own locality.
A highlight of the Institute was the keynote address by Author and Advocate, Kelisa Wing, who spoke on Global Competency in the Anti-Racist Classroom. Her presentation can be seen here.
The Olseth Family Foundation continues to support initiatives which shine a light on native species plight against loss of habitat, environmental threat due to climate change or development. We are thrilled to support “Bluebirds of Antietam,” a short documentary film that tells the story about Mark and Jean Raabe’s decades long efforts to save the Eastern Bluebird. After spotting a bluebird outside the couple’s cabin located near the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland the Raabe’s built a few bluebird boxes on their property with the hope of staving off the decline in the bluebird population. Over a lifetime, with the support of the Antietam historical battlefield, hundreds of boxes were added and maintained. This film encapsulates the idea that individuals can and do make a difference.
View the trailer here>
Watch the entire movie and support documentary storytelling here >
One of our most fun projects of 2020 is the support of Rusty, a paper bag born out of compassion for our ailing planet. A group of Minneapolis youth, working with the Off The Blue Couch Organization (OTBC) came up with a character named Rusty, a brown paper bag that embodies their passion for taking care of the environment and addressing climate change. Using rap, games, and event visits, a diverse “Crew” of young people – Childi, Reya, Emerson, and Winston, helped give life Rusty. Rusty teaches the importance of plastics, aluminum, boxboard and paper recycling, as well as organics and overall sustainability.
Off The Blue Couch is an organization working with adults and young people that suffer from current and historical trauma. Begun and inspired by the life of Audua Pugh, at right, who got off her Blue Couch by sharing her story of addiction, and her transition to being the woman that she is today.
OTBC offers initiatives that promote healing and recovery including workshops, creative expression events, “Healing S.T.O.R.I.E.S.” (Sharing the Truth of Our Reality in Every Sentence), and an ongoing “Waking up Black” blog that documents the struggle and trauma of being black in America.
Their motto is, “Healing & Recovery begins with YOU!”