Speaker Date Topic
Meeting cancelled this week. Happy Thanksgiving! Nov 21, 2018
Amira Adawe, The Beautywell Project Nov 28, 2018 12:00 PM
Skin-lightening Practices and Chemical Exposures in the Immigrant and Refugee Communities
Skin-lightening Practices and Chemical Exposures in the Immigrant and Refugee Communities

Amira Adawe is a Manager at Minnesota Children’s Cabinet Office of Governor Mark Dayton, where she works on early childhood policies and systems using an equity lens. Amira previously worked at the Minnesota Department of Health as a Legislative Liaison and Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health as a Planner, health educator and community engagement coordinator of Family Health and Community Engagement Division. She is the Founder and Director of the Beautywell Project, a campaign to combat the skin-lightening practices and chemical exposures in the immigrant and refugee communities in Minnesota and Nationwide. Amira is the host of weekly radio show (Beauty-Wellness Talk) at KALY Radio. She has an undergraduate degree in Family Social Science from University of Minnesota and Master of Public Health from University of Minnesota School of Public Health. She was also a Policy Fellow 2015-2016 at Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. 

Women often use creams and soaps to lighten skin tone, fade freckles or get rid of age spots. Use of these products raises a health concern, as most of them have been found to contain mercury and other toxic chemicals. Many women use them during pregnancy and breastfeeding, which affects the health of their offspring. The Beautywell Project aims to combat the skin-lightening practices and chemical exposures by educating the communities about the health affects, changing the cultural norms and redefining beauty. 

Ferdinand Peters, Minneapolis-Univ Rotary Club Dec 05, 2018 12:00 PM
Bosnia Through My Eyes
Bosnia Through My Eyes

Ferdinand F. Peters is a Minnesota attorney and member of the Minneapolis-University Rotary Club.  He served for 43 years in the U.S. military (starting at age 17 in ROTC at St. John's University, Collegeville, MN).  He served mostly as an Infantry Officer and an Armor Officer in the 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota Army National Guard.  He was ordered to Active Military Service in 2003 and served in Bosnia as the Ground Forces Commander of Stabilization Force 14 (SFOR 14) 2003-2004, for Operation Enduring Freedom, From Eagle Base, near Tuzla, Bosnia.  His experiences in Bosnia were filled with sadness and happiness, grief and gratitude, failure and success, despair and hope, hope for a better future for this land of beauty and ugliness.

Dr. Sylvia Sekhon and Dr. Don Draayer Dec 12, 2018 12:00 PM
Enabling Brain and Literary Development during Pre-School Years – REACH OUT AND READ MN

Dr. Sylvia Sekhon, Pediatrician, MA and MD, Practicing Physician, St. Paul; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of MN Medical School, Active Advocate for Children

Dr. Don Draayer, Former Minnetonka Superintendent (24 years), AASA National Superintendent of the Year; University of MN Lecturer of Record; Rotarian, Excelsior Rotary Club

Drs. Sekhon and Draayer will present eye-opening brain research on children, ages 0 to 5, on what enables K-12 youth to soar, or not, in their K-12 years and beyond, impacting both academic and social-emotional development. They will describe the REACH OUT AND READ MN project, sponsored by the Excelsior (noon) Rotary Club and Foundation, which encourages and helps parents with pre-school children -- especially pre-school parent(s) in poverty and/or impoverished situations -- to promote optimum brain, literacy, and social development.  The project aims to enlarge the impact of MN health clinic visits by including an educational component that promotes home-based cognitive and social-emotional development.

REACH OUT AND READ MN’s mission is threefold; partner with MN Health Clinics, train their doctors and pediatricians how best to implement this educational component, and distribute an age, language, and culturally appropriate book at every parental visit. 

Henry C. Crosby, YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities Jan 09, 2019 12:00 PM
Growing Inclusive Communities
Growing Inclusive Communities

Henry C. Crosby is Senior Director of Social Responsibility, YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. His professional career spans 40 years in both for profit and non profit. Born in Chicago, he and his wife of 42 years are both graduates of Tuskegee Institute. They have raised their family in Minneapolis over the last 32 years and are blessed with two adult children and two grandsons to carry on the Crosby legacy.

The Equity Innovation Center is the vision of Dr. Hedy Walls - Chief Social Responsibility Officer of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Henry serves in the role as the client relationship resource for sales and marketing in introducing the principles of Social Responsibilty initiatives for the Equity Innovation Center. The YMCA Equity Center is a dedicated safe place for authentic conversation to convene internal and external groups in dialogue around the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


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