Community Conversations and Events

Join the Common Ground community for time to connect around various issues that are dear to our hearts and real in our lives. We will talk and listen to each other, sharing wisdom and using our mindfulness practice to deepen our collective understanding. Each conversation will be facilitated by teachers or community leaders.  

Poetry with Andrea Jenkins, Mimi Jennings, and Guthema Roba: Things We Grapple With

Sunday, September 16, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Please join us for a poetry reading with three wonderful local poets:

Mimi Jennings is a longtime Common Ground community member. She taught English in the French school system, French in American public schools; the Dharma in prisons. She writes family, rap, mystery and is her Transition Town poet laureate; appears in Trotters, Martin Lake, Red Bird, Sleet publications among others; is looking for a publisher for Stonecrop, her poetry collection; won a St. Catherine’s University Creative Work award. She believes we are all kin.

Andrea Jenkins is a nationally and internationally recognized writer, performance artist, poet, and transgender activist—is the first African American openly trans woman elected to office in the United States. Jenkins has experience in both North and South Minneapolis in community development and in social services. A University of Minnesota graduate, she worked for Hennepin County government and Minneapolis City Council before curating the Transgender Oral History Project at the U of MN’s Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. Current Council Vice-President, Andrea holds a Masters Degree in Community Development, a Hamline University MFA in Creative Writing and a Bachelor’s in Human Services from Metropolitan State University. She won a Bush Fellowship to advance the work of transgender inclusion, among numerous other awards and fellowships.

In this fast-paced world where everyone seems to be in a great hurry and where our life is almost reduced to an everyday emergency, Guthema’s poetry has encouraged us to slow down, open our hearts and experience the simplicity and abundance that is already deep within us. These simple and short poems are a welcome alternative to the intellectual obscurity and dryness of much modern American poetry. They are effortless to read. In fact, they don’t require energy: they provide energy. They gently draw the mind into the heart, quite literally, infusing warmth into the body and clarity into the intellect. The crystal-hearted openness of these poems bring American poetry back to the ancient devotional tradition of Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Theresa et al. Reading these poems is a spiritual practice of healing. His books “Please Come Home” and “Wake Up and Roar” have helped many seekers from around the world to wake up from dream state and see their limitless beauty and generosity. Guthema Roba, the Ethiopian born mystic and poet lives in Robbinsddale, with his wife and two children.


Topics of Previous Community Conversations:
Buddhism & Polyamory
Sexism and Patriarchy
Examining Microaggressions
Waking Up – Learning to See What We Don’t See
Humans, Animals and Non harming 
Relating Wisely to Global Climate Change