One Black family's struggle with both racism and a pandemic

The coronavirus has changed almost everything about our way of life. Then came George Floyd's death, followed by international protests and civil unrest. How do parents cope with the crises that are engulfing the U.S.? For the past few months, Counter Stories co-host Anthony Galloway has recorded his family's experience of living together in the middle of a global pandemic — from the loneliness of his two children as schools closed, to the financial strain of job losses and the trauma of being Black in America. Galloway talks about the pressure of keeping his family together in these hard economic times, and his concern that the ongoing peaceful protests and civil unrest following George Floyd's death may have an impact on his children's mental and emotional state. He spends time with his son Ezra talking about George Floyd's death, the resulting riots and the role of rioting in American history. Counter Stories would like to thank the Galloway family for making this documentary possible.

Counter Stories: Native Americans celebrate significant wins

The past few weeks have been filled with significant news for Native Americans. Washington's football team says it's dropping its name and Indian head logo, which Native Americans have long protested were culturally offensive. The Supreme Court recognized the validity of a tribal treaty in Oklahoma. And a federal judge sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done. Another court has since said the pipeline can keep operating in the meantime, but still, many Native Americans see these developments as victories they didn't think were possible. What might they mean for the future? Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Patina Park, Director of Tribal State Relations for the State of Minnesota, joined the Counter Stories hosts this week. Counter Stories is hosted by: Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

Calling out racism, and calling in with love

Race and racism have been at the forefront of news headlines for more than a month now, ever since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Regardless of the color of your skin, it's likely you're talking about race with friends and family. And that can lead to some uncomfortable conversations. Today the hosts of Counter Stories share their strategies for engaging people on issues of race and identity. And they share some of the awkward moments they've experienced in discussions within their own communities, involving both race and colorism. They look at what it means to be "called in"... how it differs from being "called out"... and what to do when it happens to you. The team is joined this week by author, playwright and performer Saymoukda Vongsay. Vongsay uses her sharp sense of humor to combat racism and ethnic division. Counter Stories is hosted by: Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

Counter Stories: How to keep the movement moving

In the weeks since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis officer, protests have erupted around the world, but black people continue to die at the hands of police. We're at a pivotal moment regarding race in America. Will we see meaningful change in the days to come, or will we slip back into old patterns? In this episode of Counter Stories, our conversation starts on the streets with stories of police violence and ends up in the board rooms of corporations who have yet to fully commit themselves to true diversity. We talk about the pressing need for empathy and imagination, as well as the "three C's" — courage, curiosity and compassion. The Counter Stories team is joined by guest Acooa Lee Ellis, Senior Vice President of Community Impact at Greater Twin Cities United Way. Counter Stories is hosted by: Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Hlee Lee, owner of The Other Media Group Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

In the wake of George Floyd's death - grieving, healing and rebuilding

The protesters on the front lines working for meaningful change are still dealing with the trauma of witnessing the killing of George Floyd while in police custody. Added to that, in recent days they've head to deal with both a militarized police force and white supremacists invading their neighborhoods. Now communities of color are working to the point of exhaustion - and beyond - to create new infrastructures to replace the local grocery stores and pharmacies that were damaged or destroyed. And the people heading up most of these efforts are black women - a group that has suffered so much, and is perpetually under supported. We talk about the best ways to lift up and sustain the efforts of black women and others who are leading the way forward. Counter Stories is hosted by: Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Hlee Lee, owner of The Other Media Group Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

Counter Stories: Amid global pandemic, racism survives and thrives

The threat of COVID-19 has changed the way we live. But some things remain the same. Unprovoked attacks on black people persist. In fact, it appears the virus is exacerbating the pre-existing condition of America's racism. On today's show, we talk about two recent incidents: 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was chased down and shot while out for a jog. Emergency Medical Technician Breonna Taylor was shot in her apartment by police who raided the home, only to realize they were at the wrong address. Taylor's boyfriend was charged with attempted murder for firing back at the police. We look at mainstream media and how it chooses which stories to tell, and how social media is being used to put pressure both on news agencies and on the authorities. We also begin a series of conversations with some of the most vulnerable communities in Minnesota. Luz Maris Frias talks to a DACA recipient about the impact of Covid 19 on unauthorized immigrants. Counter Stories is hosted by: Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Hlee Lee, owner of The Other Media Group Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

Counter Stories: A personal journey of grief in the era of COVID-19

Earlier this month the Minnesota Department of Health released the names of 32 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities facing outbreaks of COVID-19. Eubanks' mother, Isabelle, lived in one of the named facilities. In this episode, Don recalls his experience learning his mother had tested positive for COVID-19, and the pain and anger he felt as he could not hold her or say goodbye. The Counter Stories co-hosts also talk about how the virus is preventing people both from mourning with their families and observing important cultural traditions. Hosts are : Donald Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Hlee Lee, owner of The Other Media Group Luz Maria Frias, equity coach and founder of The Savvy Coach Anthony Galloway, senior partner at Dendros Group Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News

COVID-19 is hitting communities of color hard

Screenshot by Hlee Lee The coronavirus may be keeping our hosts apart, but it won't stop the conversations. Producer Jo Erickson (top left), and co-hosts Hlee Lee, Marianne Combs, Luz Maria Frias (bottom left) and Anthony Galloway create the show while staying at home. On this episode of Counter Stories: Early data suggests black people are contracting and dying of COVID-19 at a much higher rate than the rest of the population. We look at the history behind health disparities in the African American community, and how those disparities are making them more vulnerable today. Plus misinformation about the coronavirus has fueled a wave of racist attacks on Asian Americans. Counter Stories host Hlee Lee shares how glares and verbal abuse from strangers have driven her family to find alternative ways to shop for food. Meanwhile, all of our hosts are working to dispel myths about the pandemic that are circulating in their communities and on social media. And, the pandemic has revealed that many jobs typically filled by immigrants are actually essential to keeping the country running. But few workers are getting the protective gear they need to keep themselves safe. Today's hosts are: Hlee Lee, Owner of The Other Media Group Anthony Galloway, Executive Director of Arts-US Luz Maria Frias, Equity Coach and Founder of The Savvy Coach Marianne Combs, Correspondent, MPR News

How are people of color affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the St. Paul teachers strike?

Counter Stories looks at three news stories and their impact on communities of color. The spread of the coronavirus across more than 100 countries now qualifies as a global pandemic. The U.S. has over 1000 reported cases. Communities of color, especially Southeast Asians, are concerned about attacks based on a fear of coronavirus. This week, New York City has put in place a hate crimes task force to assist the NYPD in investigating coronavirus-related assaults against Asians. We look at how the St. Paul teachers strike impacts other workers including teacher assistants, school bus drivers and canteen workers. And in our tribute to Women's History Month, we celebrate the achievements of women of color. Hosts Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant. Anthony Galloway, executive director of Arts-US Center for the African Diaspora. Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Marie Frais, Equity Coach and Founder of The Savvy Coach

How are people of color affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the St. Paul teachers strike?

When probation leads to prison

Close to 100,000 Minnesotans are on probation, some of them for sentences of 20 or 30 years. And simple technical violations — such as missing a meeting with their parole officer — could land them back in prison. According to a recent study, 31 percent of Minnesota's prison population is made up of people who violated their probation. Last month the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission approved a five year cap on probation sentences — but that cap is not retroactive. In this episode of Counter Stories, the hosts talk with three guests who are working to reform Minnesota's parole and probation policies. Guests: Kelly Lyn Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, and is also co-director of the Institute's Sentencing Guidelines Resource Center Philip Holmes and David Boehnke, members of Decarcerate Minnesota, a grassroots organization working with the Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee Hosts: Luz Maria Frias, Equity Coach and Founder of The Savvy Coach Anthony Galloway, Executive Director of Arts-US Jo Erickson, Producer, Counter Stories

Racism and cultural appropriation in news headlines

With so many stories in the news involving race, racism and cultural appropriation, the co-hosts of Counter Stories decided to make this week's show a "grab-bag" of sorts, including: Meghan Markle's experience with British media forced her and Prince Harry to exit the royal family - the Counter Stories team looks at the outright racism displayed by both tabloids and such mainstream outlets as the BBC. Singer and rapper Lizzo graced the cover of the February issue of Rolling Stone magazine. But the photo shoot, which had her posing both as a Mexican saint and in Southeast Asian ceremonial dress, sparked a conversation about cultural appropriation. Plus, The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's legal to refuse jobs to people with dreadlocks... A TSA agent plays with a Native American woman's braids. And fears around the coronavirus fuel anti-Asian rhetoric.

Sisters in Loss

Black, Native American, Hmong and Latino women share their experiences of coping with the loss of their child during pregnancy in a new book, "What God is Honored Here." The worst nightmare for any parent is the loss of a child. As a society we are uneasy and reluctant to talk about death and certainly not about the death of a child. The trauma can be devastating as parents quietly cope with their loss. But when fetal loss happens at a significantly higher rate for Black and Native American women, the community looks for answers. The Counter Stories team looks at the effect of implicit bias and institutional racism on women of color's reproductive health, and at the greater historical narrative of native women and women of color being continually separated from their children. Hosts are: Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant. Anthony Galloway, executive director of Arts-Us, Center for the African Diaspora. Marianne Combs, correspondent for MPR News. With special guests: Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang, co-editors of "What Gold is Honored Here? Writings on miscarriage and infant loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color."

Counter Stories: Restoring Native American names to Minnesotan landmarks

The debate over the name change of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska is now before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Justices will consider whether the Department of Natural Resources has the power to make that change. The lake was named for U.S. Vice President John Calhoun, who defended slavery. Dakota public historian Kate Beane joined the Counter Stories team to discuss restoring Native American names to well known landmarks. Beane has been one of the leading voices in the campaign to restore the Dakota name Bde Maka Ska. For Native Americans a name can give a sense of home and history, connecting people to the land and their ancestry. And it's a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erased Indigenous people's history and culture. This episode's co-hosts are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University Anthony Galloway, Art-Us Marianne Combs, MPR correspondent And guest Kate Beane, Flandreau Santee Dakota and Muskogee Creek and public historian

Counter Stories: Restoring Native American names to Minnesotan landmarks

Counter Stories: Murder-suicide in Hmong community

The last few months Counter Stories has put a spotlight on the issue of violence against women. In this episode we look at murder-suicide in the Hmong community and the underlying cause of these deaths. Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Anthony Galloway, Art-Us Marianne Combs MPR correspondent Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant And guest: Dr Pang Yang-Rhodes, marriage and family therapist

Counter Stories: Racism and sport

Counter Stories hosts are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Anthony Galloway, Art-Us Brandt Williams MPR correspondent

Counter Stories: Ending violence against indigenous women

Steve Karnowski | AP Photo Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, D-New Brighton, speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 in St. Paul. Kunesh-Podein was flanked by several women holding red shawls that symbolize the plight of missing and murdered indigenous women. In the second in our series about missing and murdered women, the Counter Stories team puts a spotlight on the underreported issue of missing, murdered and trafficked indigenous women. For years, survivors and advocates have asked the state, law enforcement officials and the media to take the issue more seriously. Recently, Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton, authored legislation that created the state's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force. That task force will evaluate the systemic causes behind the problem. Rep. Kunesh-Podein joined the Counter Stories team for a conversation about why the issue has often been invisible — and what it will take to fix it. The Counter Stories hosts are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Marianne Combs, MPR News reporter Use the audio player above to listen to the segment. Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS .

Counter Stories: Missing and murdered transgender women

This year, the Human Rights Campaign reported 18 transgender people were killed across the U.S. The majority of those killed were Black transgender women. The latest victim was Bee Love Slater. Her body was found in a burnt-out car in Florida. Andrea Jenkins, the first African-American openly transgender woman elected to public office in the U.S., joins the Counter Stories team to highlight the barriers society has placed this vulnerable community. Counter Stories hosts are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Marianne Combs, MPR News reporter

The impact of gun violence on families and the community

We take a look at how some cities are trying to rebuild trust in communities by starting at the neighborhood level with community policing programs. The Counter Stories hosts for this episode are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Anthony Galloway, executive director of the ARTS-Us Center for the African Diaspora Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Brandt Williams, reporter and correspondent at MPR News

Counter Stories: Hate crimes and anti-immigrant rhetoric

The Counter Stories team discusses the links between anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate crimes. The Counter Stories hosts for this episode are: Hlee Lee, owner of "the other media group" Luz Maria Frias, executive coach and race equity strategist Don Eubanks, associate professor at Metropolitan State University and cultural consultant Marianne Combs, reporter and producer at MPR News Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations