DSSO announces 90th season: The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce the 20-21 Season. This season will showcase an abundance of celebration as the Orchestra celebrates its 90th anniversary and we continue to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Featuring six Masterworks, three Pops, and two Casual performances, there’s something for everyone. Season tickets are on sale now and are available through the DSSO Box Office at dsso.com or by calling 218-623-3776. At this time our office is still closed until the Stay at Home order is lifted. Once we are back in the office, we still encourage our patrons to call us to place an order rather than visiting us in person. We have created an easy way to reserve 20-21 Season tickets online with our Reserve Now, Pay Later option. All you have to do is select the concerts you wish to see and our Box Office staff will contact you for payment later – _flexible options are available. Single tickets for individual concerts will go on sale at 10 am on Monday, Aug 10. Full season details: dsso.com/2020-2021-season.

Labovitz MBA program ranked #2 in state: The Labovitz MBA program offered by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth has reached a significant milestone. U.S. News & World Report ranked the MBA program at #97 nationally in its recently released 2021 Best Graduate School Rankings for Part-time MBA Programs. In Minnesota, the Labovitz MBA is second only to the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Nationally, the program is among the top 36 percent of all part-time programs as ranked by the magazine. Among the schools tied at #97 with the Labovitz MBA in the rankings are Creighton University, University of Delaware, University of Oregon, University of South Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A total of 291 part-time MBA programs were surveyed, with 272 included in the rankings. “This recognition reflects the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students and the outstanding educational value of our programs in Duluth and Rochester,” said Amy B. Hietapelto, Dean of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Applications for the 2020 fall semester are being accepted until July 15. Its website is lsbe.d.umn.edu.

Introducing the Twin Ports Women’s Foundation: New to our community is a grant-awarding foundation consisting of all women members appropriately named the Twin Ports Women’s Foundation (TPWF). Collectively these women share their devotion to have greater community impact by creating a greater sum through their combined contributions. TPWF’s purpose is to strengthen the Twin Ports community through charitable donations, to promote women’s leadership in philanthropy and to continually engage and educate others about the rewards in belonging to an inclusive, diverse group of women philanthropists. After careful and deliberate review, TPWF proudly announces their first grant award recipients are the Duluth Area Family YMCA’s Food Access Program, which served food to nearly 6,000 youths in 2019 and the Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center, which is an emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors. TPWF’s 2019-20 Board consists of Karis Boerner, Denise Bussa, Lynnea Emerson, Ashley Lindsey and Laura Weintraub. For more information on TPWF, visit   twinportswomensfoundation.com.  

Supporting youth and families: While our nation and world continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 Crisis, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland are finding ways to help support our youth and families. The staff started out by preparing Care Packages before the Clubs closed on March 17. Youth members were sent home with care packages that included: food items such as cereal, noodles, vegetables, fruit and milk as well as personal care and hygiene items. On March 18 staff started a calling tree to reach out to youth members and families to help keep them informed about resources at the Club and the community. Since the Clubs closed we have been consolidating supplies and resources to determine the feasibility of what we can offer in the coming weeks and we are grateful to be able to offer a grab and go dinner option for youth and families from 5-6 pm at our Lincoln Park site, 2407 W. 4th St., and continuing until further notice or supplies last. Many schools and businesses are offering breakfast and lunch support, leaving our at-risk youth without food resources for dinner. The Clubs are asking for any donations and support from the community to help with the meals and other supportive programs. Donations can be made by calling or going online: 218-727-1549 or bgcnorth.org/donate, In addition to meal support, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland are also offering the following supportive measures for youth in our community: Homework support; distance learning support; Google Hangout to keep the lines of communication open with youth.  

Douglas County receives mental health grant: Recognizing mental health as a top public health issue in Douglas County and acknowledging significant gaps in care and barriers to access, organizations throughout the community have come together to create a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) group to better understand individual agency work, to research crisis stabilization models, and to build hope and cooperation across systems. Toward this goal, North Country Independent Living has been granted $475,347 for the next three years to begin the process of urgent reform to community mental health crisis response. This Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin grant will allow the Douglas County CCR partner organizations to come together to explore current systems, evaluate effectiveness and implement change. Lynn Goerdt, UWS Social Work Professor and a key partner in the development of the proposal stated, “This grant can be a game changer for mental health in Douglas County, because it is intended to change our ability to respond locally to mental health crisis needs in a way that will be person centered and recovery focused. We should significantly increase our ability to assist people to prevent a mental health crisis from escalating to a point where they find themselves far from their community and support network.”  In the next three years, partners will come together, working cross collaboratively, to develop priorities for change, to develop and implement a system for individualized crisis planning, and to put in place a HIPAA compliant method for data sharing. Additionally, the group will explore models for peer-focused community supports. If you or your organization would like to take part in this community-wide systems change work, contact North Country Independent Living Project Manager Tracy Henegar: tracy@northcountryil.org.  

Scholastica students, faculty, community recognized: Students and faculty from The College of St. Scholastica, along with a Duluth advocacy organization for people who are homeless, have received awards from the Minnesota chapter of a national higher education organization promoting civic leadership. Campus Compact announced the winners of the 2020 Presidents’ Engaged Campus Awards. Nationally, this year’s awards include more than 100 honorees selected by 38 member college and university presidents in Campus Compact.

This includes three honorees from The College of St. Scholastica:

· Thomas Morgan, winner of the Civic Engagement Award. Morgan is a professor in St. Scholastica’s Global, Cultural and Language Studies department and directs St. Scholastica’s Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice. For many years, the center’s annual speaker series has brought internationally known authors, artists, scientists and activists together with community members, students, faculty and staff, to discuss the most compelling issues in modern society. This year’s focus is criminal justice in the United States.

• Andrew Bailey is the winner of the Student Leadership Award. He was a 2019 Phillips Scholar and is the College’s Student Government Association president. As a Phillips Scholar, Bailey created leadership development for rising 7th and 8th grade students by designing a training program that empowered them to become leaders in their schools and communities. In his Student Government Association leadership role, he advocates tirelessly for students on topics such as equity, affordability and mental health.

• CHUM, or Churches United in Ministry, is the winner of the Community Partner Award. Under the leadership of Executive Director Lee Stuart, CHUM serves 8,000 low-income, homeless, hungry or otherwise marginalized community members each year by providing emergency shelter, food and street outreach. St. Scholastica partners with CHUM by putting Catholic Social Teaching into action. Campus Ministry student leaders work as CHUM Delegates, organizing efforts through education, advocacy, and service. St. Scholastica President Barbara McDonald, Ed.D, said the awardees “represent the best and most dedicated civic and community engagement leaders and partners in our campus community. We are very proud of them!”

• Chantell (Chanty) Armijo-Cruz, a student leader at The College of St. Scholastica, has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Armijo-Cruz is one of 290 students nationwide who make up the 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. Armijo-Cruz, a junior at St. Scholastica, is double-majoring in Social Work and Psychology. She is from Richfield, Minn. St. Scholastica President Barbara McDonald, Ed.D, nominated Armijo-Cruz. “I am honored to be chosen as a Newman Civic Fellow,” Armijo-Cruz said. "I would like to thank Chris Davila (director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion) and President McDonald for their support and dedication to student success. This will enable me to develop my commitment to social justice through networking with other students around the country who are creating meaningful progress.”    The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program for student leaders who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Newman Civic Fellows gain a variety of learning, training and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth, including being part of a national conference. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.