Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, February 4, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 853 8396 5788
Passcode: 601997

  Beth Kallestad

Beth Kallestad, Let's Get UNcomfortable! Talking about racial issues isn't easy and can be downright uncomfortable. But as Rotarians we are called to learn about the truth and challenge ourselves to be in conversations that aren't easy. Hosted by Kristi Pursell. 

We'll be doing small group conversations based on the first three episodes of the video series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man hosted by Emmanuel Acho. If you haven't already, please watch Episodes 1, 2 and 3  (~30 minutes total) prior to the meeting.
The videos can also be found on You Tube here
Jean Wakely (2.3); Vicky Langer (2.6).


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet. 
Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.

For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel Reporter, Meredith Galdeen.

Dick Huston, Faribault Club & Asst. District Governor

Board members from Women of the ELCA @ St. John’s - Jo Franklin, Joan Koester, Jennifer Edwins. (Hosted by Jean Wakely)


Todd - Strategic Planning for the Club. If you haven’t expressed interest already, please let Todd know by email and he’ll add you to the scheduling Doodle.

Dave B. - Rotary Foundation District Happy Hour - Monday 2/1 - 4:30-5:30pm.

Krista D. - Join the Y!

Jim P. - There is tremendous need for volunteers at the CAC! Many opportunities are during the workday. CAC has been very careful about COVID protocols. You can visit the CAC website to volunteer.

Beth K. - There is pre-work for our meeting on 2/4 - Watch the first three episodes of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man before next week’s meeting.


Bruce - was invited to be a panelist on Climate Justice hosted by the Minnesota Humanities Center: Climate Justice: The People's Role

Dick - Just reached $5 Million goal.

Scott - Gets to watch grandson play basketball in person soon for the first time in a year.

Charlie Cogan - After FIVE days with no heat, they have a new heater and boiler working today!

Vicki - Is getting a knee replacement on Feb 8.

George D - Was so impressed by the Northfield Shares Evening of Entertainment and they’ve raised 114% of goal to date.

Jim L. - Both of his front-line worker daughters, and both his parents, have now received their COVID vaccines


    Cecilia Cornejo

Cecilia Cornejo, At Home as a Perennial Outsider. Last week’s speaker was Cecilia Cornejo, artist, filmmaker, and educator (Professor of Film and Media Studies at Carleton College). In Cecilia’s presentation called At Home as a Perennial Outsider, she shared her experience as an immigrant living in Northfield, her residence since 2010. Drawing on her ongoing project, The Wandering House, Cecilia discussed how she finds both a sense of purpose and belonging in a community-engaged artmaking practice. Hosted & Introduced by Jean Wakely.

Cecilia is originally from Chile. We know her from the past when she filmed The Key and the Skate Park along with Rotary’s involvement in those things.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Chile. Parents were teachers and artists. Home was filled with music and interesting people. When Cecilia was 7 (1973), the military dictatorship began in Chile. At 17, she was an exchange student in Grosse Pointe, MI. When she moved to the US, she moved to Long Beach, CA, but wasn’t very impressed - oil rigs, parking lots and McDonald’s. She moved to Iowa City and completed a second bachelor’s degree (in film). (Chile education didn’t entirely transfer). She went to graduate school (in film and video) in Chicago (gradating in 2004.)

In the bigger communities, she never questioned whether she belonged, but in Northfield she questioned her belonging more. For the first year in Northfield she didn’t have a job and felt that she didn’t have an identity outside of being a wife and mother. So, she asked herself - what skills do I have that can be of service to people in Northfield? She connected with The Key, became a member of the adult board and got involved in the skate park. She found teens that hadn’t been successful in finding their home here. She trained them in using equipment and made a documentary with them about the development of the skate park (took 4 years to make.) Through this she met George Zuccolotto and he asked what she wanted to do next. She wanted to make a film about the Latinx community in Northfield. She realized that she was exploring and mapping the marginality in Northfield. This project became Ways of Being Home. (2016-2020 project)

Both films really ask “What does it mean, and what does it take, to belong?”

This idea turned into a project to ask all of Northfield, “What does home mean to you?” - The Wandering House. She was also inspired by Miazakyi (Howl’s Moving Castle), Chilean houses on stilts, and MN ice fishing houses. She purchased and had a neighbor help to transform a small fishing house to a place to ask this question.

Participants got a questionnaire and stayed for as long as they needed to record their thoughts. The house moved around Riverwalk/Bridge Square, The Key, CAC, Northfield Retirement Center, Viking Terrace, Laura Baker, and the Lanesboro Arts Fair in 2019.

Fifty days of interaction, 270 recordings resulting in 46 hours of material. Participants from 2-91 years old. 

She asked people to complete the sentence, “I know I am home when…” This has inspired “The Embroidery Project”. Individuals in Northfield and Lanesboro have embroidered responses. Kits were provided with materials and sentences/responses. Kits were all claimed in less than 10 days and there was a Facebook page and Zoom gatherings to provide community for those working on these pieces. The embroidered pieces are being assembled into a community quilt. Quilt and Sound Installations will be exhibited at the Guild in April/May.

“How does a community create the conditions for EVERYONE to grow and prosper?”

Cecilia’s email: artelamilpa@gmail.comThe entire January 14th meeting can be viewed here


  Cal Mann

February 11 — Cal Mann, A Rotarian’s Peace Corps Volunteer Service Adventure in North Macedonia 2017 - 2020. Cal will share his experience as a Rotarian serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Europe. He was among the 7,400 global Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Hosted by Ann Richards.

February 18 — RCAT/Peter Fiekosky Founder and Chair Emeritus, Foundation for Climate Restoration, Foundation for Climate Restoration "F4CR." Hosted by Lee Dilley.

   Jennifer Barrientos

   Natalia Marchan

February 25 — Jennyffer Barrientos, Growing Up Healthy Director, Northfield and Natalia Marchan, Growing Up Healthy Director, Faribault, Reducing Energy Burden in Rice County Mobile Homes. Growing Up Healthy, the City of Northfield and the City of Faribault are collaborating to connect low-income, Latinxs residents living in Faribault and Northfield mobile home parks with Xcel Energy's Home Energy Squad initiative and weatherization supplies, in order to help families improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

When I was a little girl growing up in northern Wyoming, on a small farm with a milk cow or two, some beef cattle, chickens, pigs, a horse and beet fields, I loved having any company at all that came to visit us. I was just as much an extrovert back then, in the 1960s, as I am today. Some things never change, they just are.  
We certainly did not have much money on that beet farm, but there seemed to be enough each year that every summer we would have migrant workers come from Mexico to hoe the weeds in our fields. I don't think they were there long, but what it meant for me was there were likely children in the back of their pickup trucks or in the car they came in and a chance to make a new friend, which I did as soon as I could. The children must have been instructed to stay in the vehicle when the parents were gone, because they could never really come out of the vehicle to play, I went into their world and somehow we were able to communicate, despite our two different languages. I think I likely brought them some cold water and maybe a goodie from the kitchen, sharing a 'meal' together is always a good way to bridge those initial culture gaps. Sometimes, when their parents returned, we would have a bit of a picnic with all of the adults in our small yard, perhaps something on the barbeque. I cherish these memories as a highlight in my long summer days isolated on the farm.
I remember going to town with my mom and one of the migrant moms so that my mom could help her buy a used treadle sewing machine. I was puzzled as to why my mom went inside the store with me but told the other mom to stay in the car and wait. When my mother finished making the 'deal' with the shop owner, she came out to invite our waiting friend in the car to come take a look. I was so startled when the shopkeeper started yelling at my mother,"If I had known you were buying this for this XXX woman, I would not have given you the deal that I did." I don't exactly remember what else was said, but I was so shook by the experience, I certainly did not understand why this woman would not extend the same offer to our friend. Who knows when I really came to understand what this all meant, but I know now that this is one of my earliest memories of experiencing racism, a true injustice. It went deep into my being, when I even recall the story today I am physically reacting to it.  
While there were many hispanic families that lived in our small Wyoming communities and were wonderful contributors to our little town, I still have a hard time saying 'Mexicans' without feeling that same taint in the word that was spoken around me so many times in my childhood. I have not been able to shake it. I find myself avoiding saying it, instead I often say 'people from Mexico' so as to avoid what it does to me.  
I have lived a life of white privilege, all my life, despite growing up very poor. I have always had an interest and curiosity about culture and differences. I have even felt like I was an advocate for social justice. But after the George Floyd murder happend this summer, I knew I had been complicit way too many times, being concerned after one atrrocity to only become comfortable again in my safe little world.  
This is why I felt a need to be a real advocate, stretch myself, read and learn more ... one of those small actions was to begin the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee on our Rotary Board. I am so thankful to Beth Kallestad for saying 'yes' to leading this group. I look forward to what she will guide us through tomorrow, but also the ways we can work with her to keep the question in front of us ... how can we be an active advocate for justice?  
Be well, my friends, Vicki
PS:  Mark Abbott will be writing this little piece next week, as I will be recovering from knee replacement surgery and who knows what I might type while under the influence!  Thank you, Mark

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.