May 27th, 1920, was the day of the founding convention of the Minnesota State Organization of the Blind, today known as the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. Although the pandemic in 2020 made it necessary for us to honor our 100th year using virtual formats rather than by gathering in person, our strong community rose to the challenge and marked the occasion in memorable fashion, both on May 27th, and at our fall convention November 6-8. Visit the links below to hear and read about our past and be inspired about our future.

One of the highlights of the 2020 annual convention of the NFB of Minnesota was the presentation of an audio documentary with voices and sounds from our history, gathered by Steve Jacobson and Tim Aune. This amazing trip through time was presented in several segments during the convention. It is available in four mp3 files, downloadable from the links below, and also along with other commemorative material at www.nfbmn.org/100years.

Acknowledgements

Many people are involved in getting this issue to you. The writers can write and the editor can edit, but until the material is printed, brailled, recorded, and distributed, it is just a computer file. Therefore, we owe great thanks to the following people for the work they do in producing this publication.

 

Background and Purpose

The purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is two-fold — to help blind persons achieve self-confidence and self-respect and to act as a vehicle for collective self-expression by the blind.

Chapter and Other Meetings to Remember

At Large Chapter — statewide, consisting of those who live outside a chapter area and/or cannot attend a meeting in person; meets at 7:15 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month. The meeting is held via the ZOOM platform. Watch for the monthly e-mail or call Dave Andrews at 612-730-7931 for more information.

Metro Chapter — Twin Cities area; meets at 10:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month via the Zoom platform until further notice. For details, watch for the monthly email or contact Deanna Langton, President, at drlangton@gmail.com.

The Circle Of Life In The NFB

By Jennifer Wenzel

(Editor’s Note: We are indeed fortunate that Jennifer Wenzel is willing to share her wisdom and leadership experience with Minnesota blind students. Here is her reflection on the circle of life in our organization):

National Convention From Home

By Matthew Gip

(Editor’s Note: Many Federationists have memories of their first National Convention and have recorded them in various NFB publications. While this was not Matthew’s first convention, it was his first virtual NFB convention and I’m glad he is sharing it with us for publication here.)

A Unique High School Graduation

By Elizabeth Schoen

(Editor’s Note: Lizzy has just moved to Minnesota from Virginia where she was active in that state’s student division, she is now a freshman at St. Olaf college in Northfield Minnesota. In this article she demonstrates with feeling the experience of graduating from high school during this turbulent time.)

Starting with Uncertainty

By Logan Stenzel

(Editor’s Note: Logan Stenzel, one of our national scholarship finalists, will be starting his freshman year at the University of Minnesota this fall. Here is what he has to say about being a blind student beginning college during a pandemic:)

The Responsibility and Privilege of Leadership

By Hunter Kuester

(Editor’s Note: Hunter is learning early the value of serving as a leader in our organization; often, we receive as much or more than we give.)

First, I would like to say that This organization has given me so much and will continue to do so as I remain active as a student and beyond. I am speaking about involvement in not only the state student division of the National Federation of the Blind, but also the National Association of Blind Students. Both of them have benefits to offer.