East Side Freedom Library events

Stop by the East Side Freedom Library, located at 1105 Greenbrier St., for a variety of events coming up this week. For more information or questions, go to www.eastsidefreedomlibrary.org or call the library at 651-230-3294.

On Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m., author Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, professor of interdisciplinary studies at Salem State University, will talk about her new book, “Modern Bonds: Redefining Community in Early 20th Century St. Paul.” The discussion will talk about what “community” means and how did it came to signify everything from close friends to the entire world. Duclos-Orsello’s book considers how community was reconceptualized in the first decades of the 20th century. She takes up a wide range of materials to show how everyday practices and materials — fiction, photography, architecture, public parks, the winter carnivals — united and divided citizens across lines of gender, class, and race while remaking the definition of “community”. In this interactive lecture/discussion, she will share key ideas and examples from the book with the goal of opening up conversations and motivating action in the here and now as much as offering a new synthesis of cultural, social and intellectual history of the early 20th century. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Also on Tuesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 14, the African Drumming Workshop series continues. Students in grades fifth through 12th can stop by the library at 4 p.m. to learn about African drumming from drumming master Babatunde Lea. This event will take place every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school year.

On Wednesday, March 13,  the recurring series Mindful Self-Compassion will return from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Anyone is welcome to join and learn how to practice mindful self-compassion. The class is led by East Sider Patricia Enstad, a licensed social worker and teacher, who will provide a lively introduction to the practices of Mindful Self-Compassion. She writes, “As we consider the important tasks that lie ahead, we will need to support our action with compassion and resiliency. Subtle, yet powerful, these affirming and portable methods can be utilized anywhere.”

The monthly parent support group for mothers returns on Thursday, March 14, 6 to 7:30 p.m. with therapist Vangneng Xiong. This group is for women and mothers looking for support in strengthening their relationships with their children and/or partner. A women/mothers support group is held every second Thursday of the month and a men/fathers support group is held every fourth Thursday of the month. Couples are welcome to come together to any of the groups. It’s a safe place for all to get support in strengthening their relationships with loved ones and learn more about additional supportive resource information available in the community. To learn more, men and women are encouraged to contact Xiong at vangneng@powerofhopes.org or by phone at 651-424-0764. Xiong is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Minnesota and provides therapeutic services to individuals, families, and couples. Xiong has worked with children and families to develop better relationship as a way to decrease conflicts and stress in the family. In addition, he believes in empowering parents, men and women to achieve their greatest potential so they can be the most influential person in their child’s life.

Also on Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., Canadian scholar and activist Sam Grey will talk about the concept of reconciliation as it first emerged in Marshall, Minnesota in 1986 between Dakota indigenous groups and settlers and how the reconciliation project fell short.

The Mindfulness Meditation series continues on Friday, March 15 from 9 to 10 a.m. This gathering is open to everyone; no previous meditation experience is necessary. The sessions are drop in and offered on a donation basis. Feel free to bring a lunch; tea will be served. Urban monk Marc Anderson will facilitate these sessions. Anderson is a Zen Buddhist priest and the founder/director of the M2 Foundation, a St. Paul nonprofit that offers programming on the art of mindful living. He is on staff at both Hamline University and Macalester College and has a long career as a professional percussionist and composer.

On Saturday, March 16, students working on their History Day projects can stop by the library between 10 a.m. and noon to do research and get some help from the library’s History Day mentors. This is a recurring event that takes place every Saturday morning. If Saturday doesn’t work, feel free to contact the library at 651-230-3294 or send an email to eastsidefreedomlibrary@gmail.com to set up a time to come in. 

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