Action project proposal

I volunteer with Link Coalition of Minnesota (LCM). � Our vision is to create a compassionate and safe community for animals and people. Our mission is to work together to resolve human/animal violence through education, social justice, and program development. We will 1) raise awareness and educate about the link between human and animal violence and 2) establish safe housing for pets of families entering shelters for victims of domestic violence.� We celebrated our first anniversary last month. After a year of organization, we are committed to moving forward on our agendas. As an all volunteer organization, we could really use a jump start in a few areas. Jane Hunt, our chair person, emailed me with a few ideas to consider: In the Education part: 1) develop coalition website with research etc. I have a huge amount of research and where to go to get to. Some other work has been done in this area. We really need a format to put it all. 2) Develop a traveling booth with stats etc. We would like this for the First Strike workshop on March 27, 2009 held at Cornerstone. 3) Statewide fact sheet and resources, this could also include brochure or written materials about LCM history etc.

Safe-housing (for pets): Amy would love help with the survey and interviews for needs assessment and questions to add for Battered Women's Shelter intake. I'm sure that group could help with clarifying what that would look like.

For those who are unfamiliar with the link between domestic abuse and animal abuse, I recommend two of the many research articles (you can easily access through UMN online journals):

J Interpers Violence 2007; 22; 1211 Exploring the link between pet abuse and controlling behaviors in violent relations

J Interpers Violence 2003; 18; 1367 To leave or to stay?: Battered women’s concern for battered pets.

Our speaker from Cornerstone may speak to this subject Tuesday evening.

I have a more detailed LCM action agenda which I could share on our course website if desired.

Thanks for your consideration, Lorna


Action Research Project: Caring Across Borders

1. Focusing on the problem: cultural misconceptions exist between U.S. and Iran that have turned into deep-seated strife between the governments—and sometimes the people.

I am hoping that the new administrations (Iran will have one soon as well) will seize commit to re-examining the possibility of positive relations. Everyone is a stakeholder in this conflict, more especially the American and Iranian people. Better relations between these two countries might pave the way for better relations with Israel and may well inform peace efforts in the Middle East. America’s standing in the world will certainly be improved. On a local level, this will affect the way we view people of Middle Eastern, Persian origins. My friend L, won’t have to feel ashamed when she flashes her Iranian passport on her way into the States. Our Congressman, Representative Keith Ellison held a forum on this last summer to engage our community.

2. Challenging the Process. Looking for help to design a survey/process that takes a read on what people think of Persians, Iranians. What would Minnesotans think of a restorative justice process on reconciling the truths and falsifications between the two countries? Interviews! What is their feedback, when they know the real situation? Can one mobilize change through a band of mini-informants on frayed relations?

3. What solutions can one propose from the community’s feedback?

4. A chance for Minnesota’s community to offer their own voice on changing the way we relate to conflict.

5. Why? There are forums, groups—Iranian-American—that have it as their purpose to inform, educate the public and one may question the need for such an effort. It is a good question, especially since I’m not of Iranian heritage—Nigerian—what, then is the relevance? For me it is about stopping the cycle of demonizing people we know little about. I’m hoping values of American ideals can guide this change.

Thank you for reading! ;o)

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs