Category Archives: Events

July 25: U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking town hall

Metropolitan State University will host the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking during a three-day visit to Minnesota for a regional meeting to discuss and deliberate ways to meaningfully engage survivors of human trafficking, as well as educate, empower and create awareness for those survivors.

Five members of the visiting council will meet with survivors in Minnesota, as well as with representatives from the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force, the Minnesota Department of Health, the International Institute of Minnesota, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and state sheriffs and county attorneys. Over the course of the visit, from July 23-25, councilmembers will identify and discuss key objectives for the council’s 2017 report.

The regional meeting will culminate with a public town hall, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 25, hosted at Metropolitan State University, 700 7th Street East, Saint Paul. Expected speakers include State Senator Foung Hawj of District 67, Saint Paul City Council member Jane Prince of Ward 7, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anne Saunders of the Minneapolis Field Office, Lauren Ryan, JD, director of Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door at the Minnesota Department of Health, and university President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur. The event is open to news media and will also be livestreamed to the council’s Facebook page.

The council was formed in 2015 under the U.S. Department of State to “provide a formal platform for trafficking survivors to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF).”

The council is made up of 11 selected volunteers who are survivors of human trafficking. Its purpose is to provide recommendations to the U.S. government to strengthen federal policy and programming efforts that reflect the best practices in the field. The council meets in person three times annually. An initial report from the council was delivered last year.


  • In January 2009, the FBI identified the Twin Cities as one of 13 U.S. cities with a high incidence rate of child prostitution. (source)
  • By very conservative measures, a November 2010 study found that each month in Minnesota at least 213 girls are sold for sex an average of five times per day through the Internet and escort services. This number does not include hotel, street or gang activity. (source)
  • A November 2010 study found that on any given weekend night in Minnesota, 45 girls under age 18 are sold for sex through the internet classified websites and escort services. (source)
  • In 2010, investigators from three states determined that Minneapolis was the home base of a large domestic prostitution (sex trafficking) ring comprised of three generations of one Minnesota family that was prostituting (trafficking) mostly young girls across the United States. (source)
  • About 50 percent of adult women interviewed as part of a 2010 study focused on North Minneapolis stated that they were first traded for sex when they were under the age of 18, with the average age at 13 years. (source)
  • In just one 72-hour sting in summer 2013, an FBI-led operation rescued 105 children and netted 152 pimps in 76 cities nationwide, including four alleged pimps in the Twin Cities.

* “Get the Facts,” Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

Selected nationally, the appointees are from diverse backgrounds and bring personal experiences of human trafficking to the council. They were also selected for their ongoing work and leadership in their local communities against human trafficking.

The council includes Bukola Oriola, a spring 2017 graduate of Metropolitan State University. In 2016, she was appointed to a two-year term on the council. In that year, she attended an inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., with the council and then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. She also serves as the council’s secretary.

Other councilmembers to attend are:

  • Harold D’Souza; a survivor, spokesperson, and advocate. D’Souza is a senior supply chain associate for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since 2008. He is also a co-founder of Eyes Open International, a founding member of the National Survivor Network, and is active with End Slavery Cincinnati.
  • Ronny Marty; an independent consultant and speaker to combat human trafficking.
  • Flor Molina; founding member of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) Survivor Leadership Program and a member of the National Survivor Network. She has advocated for policies to combat human trafficking since 2002.
  • Evelyn Chumbow; a project assistant at Baker & McKenzie LLP. Since 2014, Chumbow has been an advocate with the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST). She was recently awarded the Presbyterian Peaceseeker Award for her efforts to combat human trafficking.

Oriola, a Nigerian-born journalist who came to Minnesota in 2005 to meet her husband for the first time, was instead held hostage and forced into labor in his Ramsey home, and suffered mental and physical abuse over the next two years.

Oriola has spoken about her experience since 2009. In September 2016, she traveled to her native Nigeria to speak out about the problem of human trafficking. Over 11 days, she met with university students and the international media there to tell her story and experience as a victim of human trafficking and to bring a different understanding and dialogue about the forms that human trafficking can manifest.

Aug. 12: Fiesta Latina

Join the local Saint Paul community on Saturday, August 12, from 11am to 4pm, at CLUES St. Paul, to celebrate the richness of Minnesota Latinos at the 2017 Fiesta Latina event.

This is a free, family-friendly community festival which celebrates Lain culture through arts, health and wellness, fitness, food, and entertainment.

For more information, click on the link to see the promotional poster:  Fiesta Latina Poster_Updated July


July 28: “Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez” screening at Film Space

Known simply as ‘El Nobel’ or ‘The Novel’ in his home country, Gabriel García Márquez has earned worldwide praise and acclaim for his novels and short stories like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, and No One Writes to the Colonel. 

Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Dec. 8, 1982.

Film Space presents the Minnesota premiere of the film Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel García Márquez. This film is a mile marker documenting the life and legacy of Márquez, directed by Justin Webster. It won the award for ‘Best Documentary’ at the 2016 Chicago Latino Film Festival.

The film is part of the Open Screen Film Series at Film Space. It is presented by the Intergarción Cultural Colombiana en Minnesota, the Colombian Foreign Ministry, and Metropolitan State University. Cosponsors include the Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, and Global Minnesota.

Film: Gabo: The Creation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Date: 7:30 p.m., July 28
Location: Film Space Founders Hall
Metropolitan State University
300 Maria Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55106

Parking is available in the parking ramp adjacent to Founders Hall for $5 to outside guests.

Get more information about Film Space and maps, or search online for “Film Space.

July 15: Rondo Days

Metropolitan State University joins its community partners to celebrate the 34th Annual Rondo Days on Saturday, July 15. Rondo Days commemorates the rebirth of the Rondo neighborhood following the construction of the Interstate 94 corridor.

On behalf of the Enrollment Management Team, Multicultural Affairs, Institution for Community Engagement and Scholarship Office and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Metropolitan State encourages the university community to participate.

Stop by the Metropolitan State University booth, which will be  located in the tent area D #1, near the stage.

Free transportation to the event is  available through Metro Transit.

Aug. 16: Convocation 2017

Important start-of-semester events, convocation, picnic and all-university sessions will be on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

  • 10 to 11:25 a.m. — Convocation: Auditorium, Founders Hall
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Picnic in the Great Hall, New Main (overflow on the lawn, terrace and Founders Hall, in case of rain).
  • 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — “The Future of Minnesota and Its Higher Education Sector: What do emerging trends suggest for Metropolitan State?”
  • Presentations and table discussions (schedule and location to be determined)

Contact Shelly Heller, assistant to the president, at 651-793-1901 for information.

July 26: Disability Rights March and Rally


The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The landmark provision in the ADA protects the rights of Americans with disability as a civil right, similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This year, to celebrate the 27th anniversary of ADA, a march and rally is being held on Wednesday, July 26 at the State Capitol grounds in Saint Paul. (See details below.)

In her office on Metropolitan State’s Saint Paul Campus, Kristen Jorenby, director of the Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) at Metropolitan State,  discussed the significance of this event.

Jorenby said that Metropolitan State’s CAR is participating in the event. She said she was surprised whence heard she had been selected to emcee the event.

“I’ve been tapped for a lot of things but never been asked to be an emcee.” Jorenby said. “I’ve been involved with the community a number of years. I sit on the board of Access Press, so people know me from there. I used to spend quite a bit of my time up at the legislature, so I’m known up there, too.”

Regarding the event’s significance, Jorenby said, “Given the current political climate, the community is really concerned about cuts to healthcare; their ability to remain independent and cuts to transportation funding. We have problem within the system that continue to exist. ADA is a huge civil rights act. And this [event] is really a chance for people to celebrate that and reassert that they have this civil right, and they are not going to let them be taken away.”

On how Metropolitan State fares regarding accessibility issues for our students and staff with disability, Jorenby said that the university’s commitment to the issue is part of its mission statement:

“The university will provide accessible, high-quality liberal arts, professional, and graduate education to the citizens and communities of the metropolitan area, with continued emphasis on underserved groups, including adults and communities of color.”

Jorenby also emphasized that this is a shared responsibility of everyone here at the university, and that the issue is not just about physical access. Access to documents, websites and classroom materials are also critical to enable accessibility for all.

Over the years, CAR has provided training on universal design that has taught faculty and staff members how to make courses and documents universally accessible, and has held several workshops such as, “How and When to Disclose Hidden Disability Panel.” CAR also launched the Read & Write software last spring through D2L. The software is a multi-use tool available for free to all students and faculty to help them with reading, writing and language learning. Jorenby pointed out that this speaks to Metropolitan State’s commitment to create an accessible educational environment that makes life better for all of our students.

Some of the ways students, staff and faculty members at Metropolitan State can continue to stay engaged to improve the quality of accessibility for all is by taking part in these workshops and trainings organized by CAR. Students are also encouraged to volunteer to become peer notetakers every semester.

Everyone is welcome to contact CAR directly with any questions, concerns, or if they just want to get linked up to different resources either internally or externally.

WHAT:            Disability Rights March & Rally
WHEN:           Wednesday, July 26, 2017
TIME:              1 to 4 p.m.
1 p.m. Gathering and orientation at the Minnesota History Center
1:30 p.m. Disability Rights March to the Capitol
2:30 p.m. Disability Rights Rally in the Capitol Rotunda (featured speakers and entertainment)

Accommodations for the orientation and rally include ASL interpreters, CART, and audio description.

For more information or to confirm audio description services or to request a reasonable accommodation not listed above, please contact Cindy at ADA Minnesota, 651-603-2015 or email, by July 7, 2017.

Disability Rights March final flyer

Speakers to talk about their experiences with mental illness

On June 29, 4-5pm, on Metropolitan State University’s Saint Paul Campus, Student Center, Room 101, two speakers from the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be coming out to talk about their experience with mental illness and with attempted suicide. They will also be discussing what can be done to raise awareness about mental illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for the average age of male students.  View the men’s health flyer below for more details.


Questions? Contact:
Jodee Fitzgerald
Founders Hall 240D

June 28: Career Info Session with Target Retail Group

Target is seeking Metropolitan State students and alumni to hire as leaders within its stores. Company representatives would like to meet students who are naturally comfortable leading others and who want to develop themselves further through Target’s Executive Team Leader program.

Students with desire to motivate a large group of individuals towards a common goal will have the opportunity to excel. Once hired, all new executives will go through a six-week Target welcome that will entail shadowing a successful executive in a training store.

Register, prepare, and attend this info session to meet a panel of recruiters and employees from Target to learn what your career could be like there.

WHEN: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 28
WHERE: Ecolab (Lib 302), Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus

OPEN TO: All Metropolitan State students and alumni
REGISTER: Handshake events Target Retail Group Career Infosession at

Phone: 651.793.1528 
Visit Career Center at FH 110


July 18: Neighbors Meet Neighbors

Click to download flyer

The East Side Freedom Library is organizing a series of public forums centered around the stories and experiences of recent immigrants to the east side communities.

The series will feature a different community each month where attendees will hear about the community’s history, culture, stories, and challenges.


  • 7 p.m, June 20 – Hear from members of the Hmong community
  • 7 p.m, July 18 – Indigenous Roots
  • 7 p.m, August 15 – Hear from members of the Somali community

All events will be at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, Saint Paul. These events are free and open to the public. 

Phone: 651.230.3294

First students in Nagasaki University exchange welcomed to Saint Paul

President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur greeted Nagasaki University students Ayano Tsuchihashi and Yoshiki Ohgi who arrived from Japan to attend Metropolitan State in an inaugural exchange between the universities.

The students were welcomed at an event June 3, at Como Park hosted by the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, with assistance from the Japan America Society of Minnesota, AnimeTwinCities, and many volunteers. Saint Paul and Nagasaki became Sister Cities in December 1955.

In February 2017, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Metropolitan State and Nagasaki University opened opportunities for a cultural exchange of students. The memorandum allows students from Metropolitan State to study in Japan for long and short term sessions. As part of the exchange, Metropolitan State will host an equal number of Nagasaki University students. Metropolitan State students will leave in August 2017 to attend Nagasaki University.