Many Hands Together
Photo provided by: 
Janice Andersen

Zoom: Grief in Our City - Can We Talk?

Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 9:00am to 10:30am

The killing of George Floyd while in police custody has seared our hearts and fractured our city. 

We are still reeling from the effects of a global pandemic. COVID-19 has affected us all, and has hit our black communities at a disproportionate rate.

The emotions run wide and deep, and the underlying emotion for most of us is grief: Grief over loss of routine, especially going to church. Grief over the illness and death of loved ones. Grief over vacations and graduations that never came. Grief over unemployment and financial insecurity. Grief over our favorite shop or diner going under. Grief that there is a political divide whether we wear a mask or not. 

And now we grieve over a man we may not know but who should be alive today. We grieve that after this many decades since the Civil Rights struggle, there is still so much that is not just, right, or equitable for our sisters and brothers of color.

How do we stop to listen, to embrace, and to yield to the experiences of our black and brown communities? How do we grieve together? 

Come. Join us online for this special Basilica forum with keynote panelists. The forum will include:

  • Jenny Schroedel, hospice chaplain with Optage Presbyterian Homes & Services. She will lay a foundation for various kinds of loss and grief one experiences in the context of COVID-19 and give us concrete tips on coping strategies
  • Don Samuels, former City Council member and respected leader in North Minneapolis, will help us unpack the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed
  • A testimonial from a Basilica parishioner
  • Time for questions and discussion with our panelists

As we seek to stop, to listen, and to embrace the pain that surrounds us, “Grief in Our City” is a virtual forum not to be missed. 

Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom log-in credentials.

About Our Panelists

Jenny Schroedel is a chaplain with Optage Hospice (Presbyterian Homes & Services). She offers grief support and education across sites and in the community. She is also an author, most recently of Naming The Child: Hopefilled Reflection on Stillbirth, Miscarriage and Infant Death. While living in Hawaii, she worked as Director of Bereavement Services for Hospice of Kona, where she helped found Hospice of Kona’s Maluihi Grief Center. After a decade in Hawaii, she is glad to be home in the city she loves for such a time as this.

Don Samuels immigrated from Jamaica in 1970 to study Industrial Design in NYC. After 30 years in the toy industry as an R&D executive, he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 2001. Don evolved from a community leader in his Jordan Neighborhood to become a Minneapolis City Council member for three terms until his run for mayor in 2013 and then as elected board member of Minneapolis Public Schools for one term. Don cofounded the Hope Collaborative to showcase school leaders from across the country who had closed the achievement gap. Don also cofounded the PEACE Foundation, which became the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Among his many City Council achievements, Don initiated the Ban the Box legislation to help ex-offenders gain employment, leading the way to statewide law. Don now serves on the boards of The Center for Action and Contemplation, Luther Seminary, and Twin Cities Rise and the Chief’s Advisory Council for Minneapolis Police. He is a past board member of Minneapolis Public schools, The Youth Coordination Board, Meet Minneapolis, Teach for America, Alafia Place, and Rock ’n’ Read. Don is currently the CEO of MicroGrants, which awards modest grants to low-income people of potential to start a business or career. Don is married to Sondra Hollinger Samuels, CEO of the NAZ. They have an adult son and have raised 3 daughters and mentored many in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis for 23 years.