Elaine Klaassen

Spirit and Conscience, columns by Elaine Klaassen

Elaine started at Southside Pride in 1996 selling ads, maintaining the religion calendar and writing articles that eventually became a column called Spirit and Conscience.


Born with a mission

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Steve Floyd is a man with a heart for others. He has raised four children—the fifth is still under his supervision; he nurtures dozens of other youth through the Agape Movement and through his work as a mental health counselor at Change, Inc.; he makes award-winning photographs;…

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Marquise

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN I met Marquise Bowie at George Floyd Square in February of 2021 on a day commemorating the assassination of Malcolm X. I introduced myself because he was wearing an Agape hoodie, which identified him as belonging to the group I had wanted to write about for a…

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Tribute to Disco T

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Disco T was a well-known DJ in Minneapolis. He died of brain cancer on Dec. 31, 2021. At his memorial event, on his birthday, Feb. 19, everyone spoke of him as a legend, an icon. He was beloved and admired. I knew him by his given name…

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Bethany Lutheran Church closed Sept. 12

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN “The Times They Are A-changin’ ” is ever true. Sunday, Sept. 12, was a “bittersweet” morning, said Bethany’s Pastor Jeffrey Schulz at the final worship service of Seward neighborhood’s Bethany Lutheran Church. An ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) congregation at 25th and Franklin Avenues, it was…

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Brought together in sorrow and a hope for justice…

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN The day before Easter, 2021, I went to George Floyd Square to meet with Marquise Bowie, a member of Agape, and Marcia Sanoden, a “make-the-world-a-better-place” reader of Southside Pride, to talk about her offer to volunteer at Agape and what that might encompass. But we didn’t sit…

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Agape: What does love look like?

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN If you go to 38th and Chicago, the corner where George Perry Floyd Jr. was killed by a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck, you will see that the people have claimed the intersection as a free state, an autonomous zone of nonviolence and anti-racism. They…

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Meeting at George Floyd Square

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN At 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was killed on May 25, the streets are blocked off so traffic can’t go through the intersection. Inside this space are many flowers, murals, a medic tent, daily community meals, a library, food giveaways and a group called Agape (unconditional…

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Cargill demo at MIA

On the eve of the six-year anniversary of Cargill’s pledging to stop clearing forests, 30 Mighty Earth activists gathered at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which houses a Cargill gallery, to commemorate the commitment and sign an oversized renewal-of-vows contract. The document contained an empty line at the bottom for…

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About smiling

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN During the 1990s, my friend Marie was the director of a shelter for homeless women and children sponsored by a small Christian denomination. I visited her once at the shelter and I could see that she gave her whole heart to her work. She smiled at residents…

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Cargill could save the day

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN Our times We live in a time in which the lovers of life and the haters of life are pitted against each other and I am nervously waiting to see if the lovers will win. I am a big fan of co-existence and flexibility and nuance and…

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Defund the police: a letter to the City Council

BY ELAINE KLAASSEN I support the City Council in its intention to defund the police. I’m assuming, though, this doesn’t mean there will be no public safety mechanism in place in the future. I’m hoping this means starting over from scratch, as I understand they did in Camden, N.J., redefining…

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