‘We Are Meant To Rise! Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World!

“We talk about the effects of historical trauma related to oppression and being marginalized. The intense emotions that come with financial struggles, however, are rarely mentioned. The shame, the guilt, the feeling of being gaslighted by your own bank account……” – Tess Montgomery, ‘Financial Trauma’

Join me in this segment of ‘Urban Agenda’ with guests Carolyn Holbrook and Tess Montgomery as we talk about Carolyn’s work as co-editor of this remarkable book, and talk with Tess about her wisdom and experience with financial trauma in Black women.

Carolyn Holbrook is a writer, educator, and longtime advocate for the healing power of the arts. Her memoir in essays, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (U of M Press, 2020) won the 2021 Minnesota Book Award for memoir and nonfiction, and was an honoree for the 2021 Society of Midland Authors Literary Award in Biography & Memoir. She is a co-author with Arleta Little of MN civil rights icon, Dr. Josie R. Johnson’s memoir, Hope In the Struggle. She is co-editor with David Mura of an anthology, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World (U of M Press, forthcoming this November). Her personal essays have been published widely, most recently in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (both from MNHS Press). Her work is supported by the MN State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. She was a 50 over 50 honoree (AARP/Pollen Midwest). She was the first person of color to serve in a leadership capacity at the Loft Literary Center, and the first person of color to win the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award for significant contributions to and leadership in Minnesota’s literary community. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and other community venues, and at Hamline University, where she won the Exemplary Teacher award in 2014. She is the Director of More Than a Single Story, which she founded in 2015. She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 8, and the great grandmother of two.

Tess Montgomery, in her own words:

I am a communicator, visionary, & digital marketing professional passionate about connecting with others and strengthening community through the power of media.

Whether I’m creating engaging content, overseeing partnerships across sectors, expanding my network, or connecting in community, my hope is to help people feel inspired & accepted.

I graduated from Drake University with a degree in Marketing & Advertising Account Management. I enjoy observing social patterns and behavior that lead to strategic consumer insights, and market-driving innovation while working with creatives to produce content to support multimedia projects. Throughout my work I’ve developed a passion for outstanding client relations, strong research to drive brand strategy, and helping nonprofits and small businesses find like-minded funders and supporters to increase brand engagement.

I am a Minneapolis native and enjoy exploring its art, music, and FOOD in my free time. I’ve also served as a Board Member for the Young Nonprofit Professional Network as well as the New Sector Alumni Board in the Twin Cities.

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