Shared Learning Community Circle

FREC’s shared learning is a way to share ideas, stories, articles, videos, books, blogs, poems and more with others who are interested in learning together to gain new perspectives, exchange bold ideas and build knowledge. 

Sponsored by FREC and the East Side Freedom Library


November Guest Speaker:

Jennings Mergenthal 

Thursday, November 17th 2022

4:30-6 PM (CST)


Controversies around Naming and Renaming


Shared Learning Topic: Controversies around Naming and Renaming

In the past few years, reckoning around the racist and colonial origins of place names has drawn support as well as controversy. Why have renaming campaigns at Bde Maka Ska and Macalester College been successful, while others at Fort Snelling and the University of Minnesota have not? Join us for a conversation on how place renaming has been used as a tool of colonialism, and how it can be used as a step in the process of decolonization.


Jennings Mergenthal is a former student organizer for Proud Indigenous Peoples for Education who does community centered public history and mapping related work. They have done several historical research projects for the Macalester College, the Metropolitan Council, the Lake Street Truth Collective and the Science Museum of Minnesota. In 2020 they authored an anticolonial historical atlas of Minnesota. They currently do collections-related community engagement work at the Science Museum and also, occasionally, puppet shows.


We will be meeting online using the Zoom link through the button below. Please contact us if there are any additional accommodations we can provide to encourage comfortable participation. All are welcome!   

Shared Learning Community Circle Zoom link

Click the button below to join us on the Zoom meeting platform every third Thursday of the month from 4:30-6 PM CST
Can’t join us?
Attend a quarterly orientation/information session to learn more about FREC committees and programs.
Check out our Get Involved page to learn more!


Dr. Antija Allen & Justin Stewart

Based on Book “We’re Not OK”

Black Faculty Experiences & Higher Education

What did you miss? Shared Learning Topics Library

Please review this section to find previous Shared Learning Circle discussions and  materials facilitators have shared with the community. 

October 2022 Speaker and Topic

Ykatirina “Katia” Cardenas (she/her/hers)

The Power of Truth: Reflections on “The Burning Truth Project”

Ykatirina “Katia” Cardenas (she/her/hers) is a performing artist hailing from the Pacific Northwest, and California’s Central Valley. A jazz and r&b vocalist, as well as an actor, dancer, director, teaching artist, and arts administrator, Katia came to the Twin Cities in 2006 to attend Macalester College. An active member of the local arts community, Katia is passionate about community building, art for social change and opportunities to inspire the next generation. Katia is Executive Director of Minnesota Jazz Education, a non-profit organization that provides access to quality jazz education to Minnesota youth. She has also worked with numerous local arts networks and organizations, including Pangea World Theater, Teatro del Pueblo, TigerLion Arts, Six-Points Theater, Volunteers of America, City of St. Paul and St. Paul Public Schools’ Community Education and Flipside afterschool programs. Katia also volunteers with Jazz Central Studios and serves on the Executive Board of the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network. To learn more, visit

September 2022 Speaker and Topic

Zeke Caligiuri

“Writing and Creating in Defiance of Minnesota’s Love Story with Punishment”

Zeke Caligiuri is a writer and activist from South Minneapolis. He is the author of “This is Where I Am.” published by University of Minnesota Press. He has won multiple awards through the PEN Prison Writing Contest and is the co-founder of the Stillwater Writer’s Collective, the first all-prisoner created and facilitated collective in the country. He is a contributor to the “The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting a Writer’s Life in Prison” as well as “School, Not Jail: How Educators Can Disrupt School Pushout and Mass Incarceration.” He is directly impacted by over two decades of incarceration and is now currently the re-entry education coordinator for the Minnesota Justice Research Center re-investing in the humanization of those still stuck within the captivity business.

August 2022 Speaker and Topic

Selena Moon

“The Free-Thinking Abolitionists Interpreting Racism (FAIR) Collective” 

As a disabled, mixed race Japanese American independent scholar researching Japanese American mixed race and disability history. Ms. Moon has written and presented her work at various historical and ethnic studies conferences and has written for historical and history of medicine organizations. She is on the Advocacy Committees for the National Council on Public History (NCPH) and the Association for ASian American Studies (AAAS), to increase membership and support for underrepresented communities and was recently elected to the East Side Freedom Library (ESFL) board.

Selena is working on publishing a picture book and writing a middle grade book about her research about disabled Japanese American children in the World War II incarceration camps. She hopes to begin a PhD next year to pioneer Japanese American disability history.The FAIR Collective recruited exhibit designers, artists, and others, to create the interactive components to be housed in a school bus to teach kids about racism, its effects, and ways to combat it. Collaborating with the local community at each host site to make the exhibit relevant.

July 2022 Speaker and Topic

Tony Carr

Tony Photo

Tony Carr grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin and excelled in athletics. Decades ago, he was busy becoming the all-time leading scorer for the UW- Eau Claire basketball team. He went on to be a member of the U.S. Basketball Olympic trial team and was drafted in the NBA by the Milwaukee Bucks. Now, he shares his unique and thought-provoking collection of black memorabilia as a reminder of what others had to endure to clear the path he now travels. Tony is an experienced public speaker who has given many presentations to students and professional staff at the high school and college level, as well as corporate, government and civic groups. His collection and story were featured on KARE-11 TV as part of Boyd Huppert’s popular series Land of 10,000 Stories. Tony has also written a biography titled Time Bring About Change. In addition to working as a Senior Donor Advisor for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Tony has served as a member of the Washington County Community Corrections Advisory Board. He spent eight years as the chairperson for the Human Rights Commission for the City of Stillwater, Minnesota.


June 2022 Speaker and Topic

William Moore

Can systemic racism be eradicated in a racialized nation as America?

William Moore is a 44-year resident of Saint Paul, husband, 36 years, and parent of three children all graduates of the Saint Paul Public School system and a papa of three grandsons. William Moore has over 35 years and counting, working in public service starting in 1985 as a Youth Worker for the non-profit organization Saint Paul Youth Service Bureau. In 1988 began working with Ramsey County Corrections first as a Juvenile Petty Offender officer, Adult Probation Officer and finally as a Family Court Officer providing court ordered evaluations or mediation services on child custody and visitation issues for divorcing parents. In 1998 began working for Hennepin County Health & Human Services, (HHS), as a Senior Planning Analyst, initially in Community-Based Prevention & Intervention Services area, currently working with Internal Services in the data analysis area of HHS. A graduate at University of Wisconsin at River Falls in 1989, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. William is a member of Saint Paul Branch of NAACP since 2010, and currently serving on the Executive Board of the NAACP Minnesota/Dakota State Conference as Chair of its Economic Development Committee, since 2012. William is an active member of Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative, (FREC), since 2011, FREC’s Overcoming Racism conference, “The White Racial Frame”, from Dr. Joe R. Feagin book of the same name was the keynote and ever since then has served on FREC program planning committee because of its’ mission for America to overcome racism. The Theme for FREC’s June’s Learning Community is “Can systemic racism be eradicated in a racialize Nation as America”.

May 2022 Speaker and Topic

Sangay Taythi

Can systemic racism be eradicated in a racialized nation as America?

Recognizing & Dismantling Anti-Blackness and Racism
Sangay Taythi is a Tibetan refugee born in India who with his family immigrated to the United States in 1998.  He is an activist for the Tibetan independence movement and has served in leadership roles in Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress chapter of Minnesota and the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.  He was also involved in the establishment of Tibetan National Congress and is a current member.  Recently, he was involved in co-establishing the Tibetan for Black Lives collective.  Sangay currently serves on the board of AFL-CIO Minnesota and was recently elected to the board of East Side Freedom Library.  An Organizer for SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, Sangay is also the president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) of Minnesota.

April 2022 Speaker and Topic

Beverly Bushyhead

Threshold of Radical Reflection

Beverly Bushyhead, she/her pronouns is an Independent Equity Strategist and Visionary. Bev is an enrolled citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and grew up with her tribe on their original lands. She demonstrates a rich equity lens and follows curiosity, activating empathy and asks illuminating questions to build greater understanding and connection. She asks questions that emerge origins of unconscious personal bias and connect across culture, ethnicity and race.

Bev is a systems thinker and gifted at creating innovations that inspire action steps toward racial justice. Beverly Bushyhead has over 20 years’ experience. Beverly is an officer on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board Development Committee at Family Tree Clinic. Bev is a community lead for Transforming Systems Together (TST) a shared decision-making initiative of community and Ramsey County to change county decision-making by influencing priorities, approaches, budgets and program design. Beverly earned a degree in psychology at Augsburg College and two master’s degrees in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at Hamline University. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Threshold of Radical Reflection 

Now is the time for direct truth telling. Challenging conversations we’ve avoided could lead to a firm of storytelling that puts us in touch with our core selves and our humanity.  This humanizing factor leads us to recognize the humanity of others as well. 

Explore this style of sharing as we practice Radical Reflection. Join us in creating a context of connecting our humanity with promising methods of anti-racism. 

March 2022 Speaker and Topic

Victoria McWane-Creek

Victoria will be referencing the book by Judith Glaser – Conversational Intelligence. 

Victoria McWane-Creek and her partner Shawn have parented two children to young adulthood, and she is continuing to build her legacy by practicing passionate compassion and radical acceptance and empathy for self and others in order to get through this thing we call life.  

McWane-Creek is the founder of Organization 4 Full Participation, a performance improvement and organizational effectiveness firm that focuses on equitable results through policy, practice, and situation analysis by providing strategic interventions that close equity, knowledge, performance, and skills gaps.  She is also an Art of Hosting practitioner, and Respectful Conversations facilitator who designs and facilitates workshops and conversations.

Victoria will be referencing the book by Judith Glaser – Conversational Intelligence. 

February 2022 Speaker and Topic

Andre Koen

Shared learning theme:

Black History – “More than a Black thing”



Previous shared learning sessions have included topics such as what does reparations look like, traits of whiteness and how they show up, redistribution of wealth and privilege, BIPOC farming and more. 

There will be a highlighted speaker and/or content to preview prior to each session for a more in depth discussion on the presented topic. 

The group will share introductions and review the FREC Guidelines for Dialogue document to be sure we are all honoring the space and care of ourselves and others prior to conversation. 

All are welcome! We are excited to have you join our learning community.