Foundations for Writing

SCSU Site for English 191

October 13, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“100 mannequins representing homeless youth in the community go on display in St. Cloud Saturday”

This St. Cloud Times article describes an event sponsored yesterday by Pathways 4 Youth to raise awareness of youth homelessness in St. Cloud and the services available to these youth through the organization. Here’s the lead of the article, which also talks about how youth experiencing homelessness participated in the event and how people can help address this issue—a national issue that also affects our community and those in it:

More than 100 mannequins in blaze orange sweatshirts were set up along Minnesota Highway 23 in St. Cloud on Saturday.

The display — organized by Pathways 4 Youth — represented the number of youth experiencing homelessness on any given night in Central Minnesota.

“A lot of people in the community just don’t know,” said Tim Wensman, board chair and president of Pathways 4 Youth, in an interview with the Times on Tuesday. “We want to try to reach that audience by being on Division, having an outdoor experience, allowing people just to drive in and spend 10 or 20 minutes just to learn about it”

A group of more than 100 mannequins represent youth experiencing
homelessness in Central Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 along
Minnesota Highway 23 in St. Cloud. (Photo: Jenny Berg,

September 24, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Clean, affordable drinking water is a racial issue.”

Anna Clark points out that drinking water is an issue outside Flint, Michigan, and disproportionately affects communities of color—noting especially Detroit and Chicago.

When it comes to water, you’d think the cities of the Great Lakes would be the envy of the country. In a time of scorching drought and climate change, the northern coast is a place of abundance. The lakes hold an astounding 84 percent of all the surface freshwater in North America.

But even here, we struggle to deliver safe, affordable drinking water to millions of people, often communities of color. Throughout the region, these low-income neighborhoods face high water bills, contamination risks and large-scale shut-offs — all the manifestation of a history that many would like to forget. The “separate but equal” policies of the 20th century are still with us — and they explain why communities cannot take safe drinking water for granted, even amid the magnificent Great Lakes. (

Clark also points out two midwestern cities that are pioneers in removing lead pipes from their water systems: Madison, Wisconsin, and Lansing, Michigan.

September 20, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“After panel canceled, CAIR director calls protesters a ‘small fringe group of haters'”

According to the St. Cloud Times,

The panel discussion on dismantling hate crimes wasn’t meant to be controversial.

It was planned as part of a series of forums hosted by the St. Cloud Human Rights Commission, which has previously hosted public forums on housing, bullying and the city’s community policing agreement.

But instead of being able to host a community discussion Wednesday evening, the event at St. Cloud Library was postponed over safety concerns — and now organizers are “working with community partners, local law enforcement, and the FBI to plan a future forum that is safe,” states a news release issued by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. (

The article has lots of helpful details that can give you a fuller picture of the cancellation of this local event.

August 29, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Crain’s forum on gun violence in Chicago

My sister Aimee works with lots of organizations in Chicago and sent me this article. It looks at gun violence in Chicago in complex and, I think, interesting ways.

“Hidden costs push price of city’s gun violence into the billions”

While calculations differ, the bottom line includes damage to the economy, culture and health of the city, as well as its worldwide brand. Getting it under control won’t come cheap either.

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