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Youth & Elders' Circle 2015 : Honoring Men of Color

Honoring Men of ColorWe’re celebrating the publishing of over ten Community Celebration of Place student-illustrated books through Young Publishers this school year, along with the CD release of Honoring Men of Color by Young Men of Color from Lucy Craft Laney Community School in Minneapolis, and the viewing of a short film by Adam Davis-McGee, which shines a light on this pioneering work with spoken word artists. There will also be round table discussions led by Dare 2 Be Real student leaders, live music, and a full-course meal with vegetarian option! For more information, download the flyer here.

Where: Heritage Park Health & Wellness Center, The Great Room, 1015 4th Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405

When: Thursday, June 11, 2015, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

To RSVP, contact Larry Long at 612-722-9775 or info@communitycelebration.org.

Young Publishers

Community Celebration of Place initiated the creation and publishing of twelve story-song books in school year 2013-2014 in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools and the West Metro Education Program (WMEP). These books, written and illustrated by youth, honor the cultural diversity of our region through the inspirational life stories of community elders. These works are now available to view and are FREE online by simply clicking on the READ MORE below.

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Men of Color Series

Honoring Men of ColorThe theme for the 2014-2015 Young Publishers Series is Honoring Men of Color. Art instructors will be drawing from over 75 existing first person narratives and songs—along with new narratives being gathered by students—to create literature that meets multiple lexille levels. Our goal is to create a comprehensive body of student-based literature which celebrates the many faces of our region.

View all Men of Color Narratives & Songs

Youth and Elders Circle

“I am because we are”


At the end of each school year Community Celebration of Place hosts an annual Youth and Elders’ Circle. The celebration brings together elders who have been honored through Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song with youth and district staff from the region, to celebrate our shared work and further intergenerational and multicultural opportunities for all. This year, the Youth and Elders' Circle will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Heritage Park Health & Wellness Center in Minneapolis. For more information, you can download the flyer here.

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Music-Film Documentaries Spotlight EWCS Elders

In 2011, Community Celebration of Place and filmmaker David McDonald teamed up to produce two music-film documentaries about EWCS Elders Gyatsho Tshering and Helen Tsuchiya. "Tibet" and "Be Kind to All That Live" feature each elder's honor song, photographs and interviews surrounding their stories. Both songs are featured on Executive Director Larry Long's album, Don't Stand Still.

Watch the films

Honored Elders

Meroslava Bryn

Survivor of Nazi Work Camp

The Youth Voices Music Project

“Since I was young, at an early age, no one seemed to care what I had to say. If they only knew what we’ve been through, they would say, oh my god, what can I do?”

The above excerpt is from “Freedom,” a song written and recorded by two young girls imprisoned in a children’s detention center, with the help of Larry Long.

During the Spring of 2010, the SPLC worked in collaboration with youth from the Gulf Coast Region and professional musicians to use music to give a voice to these children’s realities, hopes and dreams. Through the SPLC Youth Voices Music Project, over a few short days, these children wrote, sang and recorded seven original songs. The children demonstrate remarkable gifts and talents, as well as profound depth and thoughtfulness about life as a child in the Deep South in their music and lyrics.

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News & Events

Lucy Craft Laney Community School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Open World Learning Community will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring four community elders on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Glen Lake Elementary School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders in their gym on Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM.


I had the most awesome musical experience of my life—when I heard the fourth grade children at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion school sing “Your Song” honoring our Elders! One of the elders was my son John. WHAT A SONG!

Thank You, Jack Tschida

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Teacher Resources

We've compiled all the songs and stories from the celebrations for the 2006-2007 school year into two songbooks, and are excited to offer them free to download from our site:

In Memoriam

Pat Bellanger, Awanakwe (Water Woman), passed away on April,2, 2015. A matriarch of the American Indian Movement, Ms. Bellanger shared her story with the students at Sanford Middle School in 2013. The kids wrote the song “Awanakwe” to honor her.

Learn more about Pat Bellanger