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Friday, September 20 • 8:00am - 8:50am
Creating Welcoming Environments Through Authentic Connections

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The Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health Authentic Connections initiative began in 2002 with a focus on reducing family violence. Over the years, this work has supported people in understanding how powerlessness, judgment, culture and empathy shape our environments and experiences. It is a set of principles and strategies that support safety and well-being throughout communities. Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the Authentic Connections model has been replicated in libraries, educational settings, community centers, youth work and child care organizations, museums and neighborhood associations throughout the United States. This session will introduce this proven public health model, and share how this work has been successfully implemented in Saint Paul Public Library and Hennepin County Library. This work requires little to no budget – it is a personal tool for library staff. No matter the size or location of your organization, Authentic Connections benefits yourself, your co-workers, and your patrons.


Katherine Debertin

Youth Programs & Services Manager, Hennepin County Library
Katherine Debertin is the Youth Programs and Services Manager for the Hennepin County Library System. She has been practicing the principles of the Authentic Connections project since 2014. Katherine facilitates Authentic Connections trainings for teams of staff across the Hennepin... Read More →

Erin Dahl

Erin Dahl (she/her/hers) has worked in the Hennepin County Library System for almost 20 years and is currently a Youth Services Librarian at Minneapolis Central Library. She has been practicing the principles of the Authentic Connections project since 2014. Erin facilitates Authentic... Read More →

Grit Youngquist

Grit Youngquist is the Healthy Youth Development Coordinator for Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health. For more than 30 years, she has worked in public/community health to promote adolescent health and well-being. Grit's primary areas of focus: working with community partners... Read More →

Suzanne McGinn

EAII, Saint Paul Public Library
Suzanne McGinn is an Executive Assistant at the Saint Paul Public Library. She has thirty plus years of dedicated service that focuses on streamlining and efficiencies throughout the library system, managing the Materials Management Center clerical team, and facilitating and developing... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 8:00am - 8:50am CDT
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