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Hands on Twin Cities (February 19, 2011)
Our Denise Graves was a "Be the Change Award" recipient for her efforts with our program and on Hennepin County's Citizen's Review Board. Govenor Mark Dayton presented the award to Program Manager Laurie Kusek in Denise's absense.
Urban League (September 25, 2010)
The Minneapolis Urban League was the location of a forum on children sponsored by Agape. Volunteer Coordinator Michelle & volunteers Victoria Jenkins (Agape Board Member) and Shirley Thomas were joined by Donte Collins & Kevin Nash (performers who were adopted from foster care) who raised awareness about the need for more Guardians ad Litem.
Juneteenth (June 19, 2010)
GAL volunteers Calvin Wright and Mark Webster encouraged people to volunteer at this year's festival celebrating the unnoficial end to slavery. This year ar North Mississippi Regional Park, our volunteers stressed the continued need for people of color and men to serve as child advocates.
Barton Plant Sale (May 7, 2010)
Shirley Hemenway (pictured), along with Elaine Frankowski, Susan Olson, Lauren Brown and Carol Bidon (Family Court) participated in an awareness event at Barton Middle School where 3,000 stakes with our program information went in flowers for their annual sale.
Martin Luther King Event (January 18, 2010)
Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson (far left and volunteer GALs Osagie Edison-Edebor (back row, fourth from right in tie) and Jameelah Haadee (back row, fifth from right) posed in front their recruitment booth at St. Paul's event honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Concordia College.
GAL Board Member Promotes Volunteer Program (January 13, 2010)
Nick Carpenter, a Carver County GAL volunteer and a mamber of CASA Court Appointerd Special Advocates for Children) MN appeared on "The Art Cunningham Show" to discuss how volunteering as a child advocate ties into the vision of Dr. King.
Hennepin Volunteer Highlighted on National CASA's Website for MLK Day (January 12, 2010)
Former NAACP Minneapolis President Art Cunningham was selected to appear on our Court Appointed Special Advocates national site as part of MLK's Day of Service. People are asked to consider volunteering as a child advocate to honor Dr. Kings legacy. Here Art poses with Grace Jones & 2 of her kids. They appeared on his cable tv show in June promoting adoption awareness. Grace came to be a volunteer after becoming a relative placement & later adoptive parent to her grand nephews (Bryson is pictured with Grace's birth daughter Ciera). Art's philosophy: "No person stands taller than when they stoop to help a child!" He see's safety & a permanent home as civil & human rights issues for children.
Vikings Male Recruitment Event (December 26, 2009)
60 folks came out to raise awareness of the need for more male child advocates at our Metrodome event and after party. Right: Winners posed with their prizes, including tickets to the January 3rd NY Giants game.
Toys for Tots on Kare 11 (December 16, 2009)
Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson and Guardian ad Litem Coordinator Kelley Leaf presented 4 carloads of toys donated by Hennepin County Guardians ad Litem during the 6:00 PM newscast with anchor Belinda Jensen.
Hennepin County Adoption Day (November 21, 2009)
Volunteer GAL Ta Vongharath (in wagon on right) & Anaya (the baby) celebrated her adoption with family on National Adoption Day in Hennepin County Juvenile Court. Volunteer GAL Linda Hughes poses with her client Brianna. Judges Tamara Garcia, Herbert Lefler and Kerry Meyer finalized 26 adoptions that Saturday.
Forgotten Children's Rally at the Capitol (May 4, 2009)
Taking a lead from National CASA, Minnesota had an awareness event during National Adoption Month about our 185 children (each represented by a life sized cut out on the capitol lawn) who enter foster care weekly in the state who need child advocates. Foster and adopted children (including our volunteer Grace Jones') danced for the crowd. Both Volunnteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson and Volunteer Mary McGowan gave short speeches.
Vikings Appreciation & Male Recruiting Event (December 26, 2008)
GALs and their families enjoyed an hour on the Metrodome Field in appreciation of their volunteer hours with the program. Afterward, a party included prize giveaways of tickets to the Vikings/Giants game December 28th and a signed Adrian Peterson jersey to men who attended the event to hear about becoming involved.
GAL Community Forum (August 16, 2008)
Hennepin Co. social worker Deseria Galloway, Judge Tanya Bansford & volunteer GAL Beverly Middlebrook (L to R below) presented during our GAL Forum at Shiloh Temple Church in this first annual event co-sponsored by the Association of Black Social Workers to raise awareness about our program.
CASA Meets Congress (June 10, 2008)
Ginny Rudloff Executive Director of CASA MN, Valerie Pruitt, Ramsey County's Recruiter, and Michelle Johnson, Hennepin County's Volunteer Coordinator visited Capitol Hill advocating for national legislation in support of children under court supervision. Aides were visited in the offices of Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Representatives Keith Ellison, John Kline and Betty McCollum. Each legislator was presented with a cut- out from National CASA's Forgotten Children Campaign, where 850 life sized kids were placed on the Capitol Mall each day for a week in April representing the number of children entering foster care daily. For more information about this campaign visit http://www.nationalcasa.org/news_events/fc_overview.html
Volunteer Recognition Dinner (April 29, 2008)
On April 29th, volunteers and staff gathered for the second year at Cedar Valley Church in Bloomington for our annual recognition dinner catered by Outback Steakhouse. There's No Place Like Home was this year's theme, and the audience was treated to a Wizard of Oz inspired skit (how guardians get the heart, brain and courage to do child advocacy work). Juvenile Court welcomes and words of appreciation were delivered by Judge Robert Small from Hennepin County and Judge Judith Tilsen from Ramsey County. Janet Ward our regional representative from National CASA was also on hand to add her voice in appreciation for all volunteers do on behalf of children.
Ramsey County volunteer Mark Proctor (Scarecrow), CASA MN Intern Sunny Yoder (Dorothy), State Court Family Services Unit Manager Mark Toogood (Tin Man) and Louisa Hext (Lion) were great sports under the direction of Hennepin Coordinators Kelley Leaf and Kellie Dillner.
Radio and Television PSA's Released (April 13, 2008)
Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Tanya Bransford was in the Metro Cable 6 Studios in March recording 2 Public Service Announcements (PSA's) raising awareness about the need for more voluneer Guardians ad Litem.
Professional Recollections of a Positive Outcome (April 9, 2008)
Guardian ad Litem Coordinator Vic Walker recounted his years advocating for 12 year old Janai. He was assigned as her volunteer court advocate whe she was 4 years old.
View Insight News Article (pdf)
Personal Story of the Need for Advocates News Release (March 12, 2008)
Hennepin County volunteer Guardian ad Litem Grace Jones (her great nephew left and son right) shares her story about joining the program as part of an article discussing other perspecvites in the death of Damond Reed.
View Spokesman-Recorder Article (pdf)
Babalu Volunteer GAL Networking Event (March 19, 2008)
Hennepin County volunteer Guardian ad Litem Ron Henderson encouraged people at Babalu Resteraunt in downtown Minneapolis to consider becoming child advocate volunteers duirng their Wednesday night networking event. He was joined onstage by Anika Scott of KMOJ radio and the Anika Foundation (l) and Val Pruitt, Ramsey County GAL recruiter(r).
Hands on Twin Cities Recruitment Event (February 23, 2008)
The Twin Cities GAL Programs were represented at the largest Volunteer Expo in the U.S. The Mall of America hosted the event where people with time to donate had an opportunity to visit over 100 non- profit groups around Minnesota. People posing for the picture are: Hennepin Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson, Hennepin Volunteer George Knisley, Ramsey Volunteer Recruiter Val Pruitt, Hennepin Program Manager Susanne Smith, and CASA MN Intern Sunny Yoder.
Minnesota Vikings Male Recruitment Event (December 17, 2007)
Mr. Rolley Watkins, Glen Thompson, Matt Hawkins and Chris Petersen won the drawing for tickets to the Bears Monday Night Football game. They attended a pre-game event at Champps in Eden Prairie where men heard a presentation about becoming GALs. Tickets were donated by GAL Kathy Morris, wife of Pat Morris, Vikings Offensive Line Coach, and Brad Madson, Director of Community Relations. Other prizes included signed items; a mini-helmet from Center Matt Birk, Vikings license plate cover from Kevin Williams, autographed poster from Running Back Chester Taylor and jersey from Darren Sharper. A Twins event is in the works for the spring!
Association of Black Social Workers Conference (October 26, 2007)
Henry (left), a 17 year old Henry High School Junior attended the conference which focused on health issues and sexual behavior in African and African American Communities. He was excited to meet Dr. Bosola Akinsete (center), a fellow at HCMC, and originally from Nigeria. Guardian ad Litem MaryAnne Lindquist (right) brought Henry to the conference as he wants to become a doctor and return to Africa. A Friends of Children Foster Care Enrichment grant supported multiple youth and a foster parent who attended the all day event at Shiloh Temple International Ministries.
Norma Miller Film Premiere & Book Signing (September 14th, 2007)
County social worker Gary Armstead poses with world renown jazz dancer, choreographer, actress and civil rights activist, "Queen of Swing" Norma Miller. A Friends of Children Foundation Foster Child Enrichment grant underwrote 20 children's books of her life story. "Stompin' at the Savoy". Norma signs two copies for children on Gary's caseload at Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis.
Learn More about "Stompin' at the Savoy" (Word)
Read about the "Queen of Swing" (pdf)
Hennepin County Backpack Challenge (August, 2007)
Guardians ad Litem joined other district court programs and county units in donating school supplies and knapsacks to children under court supervision and/or in foster care. Overall 160 packs were filled in total, with 7 coming from our office as well as 220 additional school supplies and $305.00 in checks! Thanks to all who gave generously to this worhty cause. Volunteer Diane Barse, Contractor George Knisley and Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson pose with some donations.
Star Tribune Ad (August 15th 2007)
National Court Appointed Special Advocates put together a new recruitment campaign including this ad to appeal to men of color volunteering as Guardians ad Litem. This photo runs as part of an ad each Thursday in Section A. So far one person is attending September training from this effort, with applicants waiting to begin October's class.
Click here to see the full ad (Word)
Harrison Neighborhood Block Part (August 15th 2007)
North Minneapolis residents gathered for food, music, fun and community resources at the annual Block Party on the corner of Logan and Glenwood Avenues at Redeemer Lutheran Church. L: Congregation member Kevin Epps and a neighbor child take a turn manning the GAL booth. C: 5th Ward Council member Don Samuels greeted the crowd of over 200. R: Agape, featuring David Scherer (center) performed Christian hip hop music. Two volunteers recruited at this event began September training!
Rondo Days (July 21st, 2007)
Judge Tanya Bransford stopped by the Guardian ad Litem table at the annual St. Paul celebration recognizing the rich African American history of the Rondo Avenue area of our capitol city.
Kappa Alpha Psi Conclave (July 10th-14th, 2007)
Volunteer Guardians ad Litem Beverly Middlebrook and Evaristus "Tunka" Ndzentuv (far right) were among eight volunteers who manned a booth at the 78th Annual Kappa Alpha Psi conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The second oldest Afreican American fraternity is a national partner with guardian ad litem programs across the country.
“Meet Your Court” July 2007
Judge Kevin Burke hosted a segment on Volunteer Guardians ad Litem. Volunteer GAL George Knisley (left) and Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Tanya Bransford (right), & Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson were the guests. The segment aired July 8th and 10th on the Metro Cable Network. To check out a copy of this tape, go to http://www.mncourts.gov/district/4/?page=1778
Volunteer Recognition Dinner Event (June 26th, 2007)
Volunteers Betty Wentworth, Naomi Stock & Brianna Hartman enjoy the dinner catered by Outback Steakhouse
Read an article by Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Johnson with further details about the special event honoring volunteers (Word).
Juneteenth Recruitment Event (June 16th, 2007)
The Guardian ad Litem Program raises community awareness at the annual African American celebration (Valerie Pruitt, Michelle Johnson, Calvin McIntyre & Beverly Mitchell). One person recruited at this event will begin training in October!
Read an article by volunteer Calvin McIntyre about the event (Word).
Ramsey County volunteer Mark Proctor (Scarecrow), CASA MN Intern Sunny Yoder (Dorothy), State Court Family Services Unit Manager Mark
Ramsey County volunteer Mark Proctor (Scarecrow), CASA MN Intern Sunny Yoder (Dorothy), State Court Family Services Unit Manager Mark