Upcoming – First Friday Experience: Video & Discussion

Upcoming – First Friday Experience: Video & Discussion

Friday | February 5 | 7 PM CT | Via Zoom

Ongoing movie and discussion series on 1st Friday of each month.

Join us for a deeper exploration of the issues of race, racism, and equity in our communities.

Facilitated by: Rev. Toni Fish

Upcoming First Friday Experiences


Friday, February 5: “We Need to Talk About an Injustice” TEDTalk By Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson, author of the book, Just Mercy, shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

We suggest watching the movie, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, before our First Friday Experience on February 5th. It is currently available on HBO Max. This is not a requirement.

More about our TED Talk speaker: Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinkmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

His book, Just Mercy, is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Click here to join the discussion via Zoom or use Meeting ID 861 8412 1913 at Zoom.us


Past First Friday Experiences


Friday, July 3: “13th”

Ava DuVernay’s documentary shares an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it relates to our nation’s history of racial inequality.  Scholars, historians, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the exponential growth in the U.S. prison system.


Friday, August 7: “The Jim Crow of the North” – PBS

Why does Minnesota suffer through some of the worst racial disparities in the nation? One answer is the spread of racist, restrictive real estate covenants in the early 20th century. Jim Crow of the North charts the progression of racist policies and practices from the advent of restrictive covenants after the turn of the last century to their final elimination in the late 1960s.


Friday, September 4: “What I Am Learning from my White Grandchildren” – TED Talk by Anthony Peterson

Are we in a post-racial society? Do we want to be? Anthony Peterson, an African American, draws from current research and from conversations with his Anglo-American grandchildren to address truths about race in 21st century America.


Friday, October 2: “Implicit Bias – How It Effects Us and How We Push Through” – Melanie Funchess 

Everyone makes assumptions about people they don’t know. Melanie will teach us to recognize these assumptions and work toward a common understanding. Melanie Funchess is currently employed by the Mental Health Association where she serves as the Director of Community Engagement.


Friday, November 6: “Education for Liberation” – Tim Wise 

Tim Wise presents an argument for fundamental change in our education system.


Friday, December 4: “Why English Class Is Silencing Students of Color” TedTalk By Jamilla Lyiscott

What if someone told you that the way you use language every day had the power to disrupt or uphold social injustice? Language is saturated with history and culture and memory, yet the way that it is policed within our classrooms and our communities is deeply connected to racism and colonialism.