Public Engagement Leaders Conference - May 16, 2017

At a conference hosted by the University of Minnesota's Office of Public Engagement, the Free Speech Machine spent an hour with local leaders in public engagement to find out what values UMN should be following to support public engagement.
Technical problems unfortunately limited our audio recordings, but we took a few notes as well.

  • Walking by the quote on Northrop auditorium everyday: "The University of Minnesota: Founded in the Faith that Men are Ennobled by Understanding; Dedicated to the Advancement of Learning and the Search for Truth; Devoted to the Instruction of Youth and the Welfare of the State." Public engagement means looking for that truth together.
  • We should be listening to communities and their needs.
  • We should recognize the past trauma in communities when working with them. We should trust their knowledge and respect their experiences.
  • We need to move past the outreach model toward collaboration with communities.
  • Reciprocity in interaction
  • Create one point of contact at the university for groups or citizens to connect with experts, to facilitate that process, so that communities can initiate contact. Possibly also offer assistance in finding funding for projects. Projects should be driven by community needs and wants, not just university staff.
  • Equity, co-creation, mutual reciprocity, social justice
  • The values the university should embrace are generosity, integrity: this creates an open door of understanding rather than an assigned path.
  • Inclusivity
  • One important value is realizing that we do not have all the answers. We must listen to our community partners.


Metro Transit A-Line Launch - June 11, 2016

Bus rapid transit comes to the Twin Cities. How was the ride, and where should it go next?


Community Visioning at Park Plaza Cooperative in Fridley - February 6, 2016

"What's your favorite thing about Park Plaza?' and 'What's your biggest dream for Park Plaza's future?' were the topics of conversation at this visioning event for Park Plaza Cooperative.
Here's what residents and other stakeholders had to say:


St. Paul Healthy Transportation for All - February 3, 2016

The community was definitely engaged at this event. The Free Speech Machine was only set up for one hour, but recorded almost 30 minutes of audio! Listen to St. Paul speaks its truth about transportation in the Twin Cities.


Mia - The Art of Rebellion - January 21, 2016

Photo courtesy Mia
People had lots to say at Third Thursday, Art of Rebellion at Mia.

More from Fort Snelling

A couple of speeches from 4Play tried to get away, but we caught them and put them up for you now.


Speeches from the ARTathlon at Fort Snelling State Park

Even temperatures well below freezing couldn't keep people from exercising their right to free speech.