You are receiving Ellie Krug's Monthly Newsletter, The Ripple 
   Human Inspiration Works, LLC: A Do-Over  
Sioux Falls
Dear Friends:  Many of you know that for a long while, I’ve worn two hats—that of nonprofit executive director for Call for Justice, LLC (where we work to help low-income people connect with lawyers) and that of speaker/trainer/consultant on diversity and inclusion (and not just on transgender-related topics, but on the world of diverse humans at large).

For a long time, the combination of those hats has metaphorically been quite a weight on my head. Complicating things is that my diversity/inclusion work (I call myself an “Inclusionist”) has morphed into on-site consulting, which is quite wonderful yet very time-consuming.

On top of all of that is the fact that I’m running out of time. I’ll be 60 years old in December (yup), and there’s way more I want to accomplish before this body of mine wears out.

Thus, I’ve decided to undertake yet another do-over, one that has me launching Human Inspiration Works, LLC, my attempt to codify all of my aspirations to make the world a better place. (I know, there’s that hopeless-idealist-silly-naïve-goal of mine again...)

I’ve also decided that my other hat—Call for Justice, LLC—has to come off my brow. Hence, I've now sadly given my board notice that I will resign as soon as they find my replacement.

What is Human Inspiration Works, LLC all about?  (You can check out the website at  Our tagline: "We make 'inclusion' an action word.")

In sum, it’s a way of putting a label on my varied work. It formalizes the speaking and diversity training that I’ve been undertaking since I transitioned genders in 2009 (at this point, 300+ speaking/training events) and provides a professional base for the consulting that I’ve been conducting on-site at businesses and organizations. It also provides some framework for my dreams and imagination—such as my goal to see Minnesota lead in educating “ordinary” people about the need for inclusivity. (I have a goal that by 2022, every Minnesotan will be trained on diversity and inclusion basics.) 

All of this is a bit scary for me, but I absolutely think it’s the right move. Wish me luck as I try for another do-over! Stay tuned!

Finally, I've launched a logo-creating contest for Human Inspiration Works, LLC; see our website for details. If you know a graphic artist who's looking to score a whopping $150, tell him or her or them about it!

Thanks for your ongoing support and good vibes! I so appreciate it all!


From Stigma Springs Inclusivity
A recent National Public Radio story featured sixteen-year-old Natalie Hampton, the creator of an app called “Sit With Us” for anyone who has faced the stigma of being “that kid” who has no one to sit with during school lunch. Natalie’s innovation springs from what she calls the “awful feelings" that come from having to sit alone in a cafeteria. Natalie spoke about being so ostracized at one school that she needed to transfer out. Succeeding now in her new school, she decided to do something about changing the landscape for others who are left out and thus, she created an app that allows lonely students to connect with “ambassadors” for a school’s “Sit With Us” club. As she related, “Well, I felt that if I was thriving in a new school, but didn’t do anything about the people who feel like this every single day, then I’m just as bad as the people who watched me eat alone. I felt like, with my story…I wanted to create something that would address bullying, but in a positive way.” Wow! You rock, Natalie! This is the way it’s supposed to work—always reaching back to help those who continue to struggle. You can read about Natalie’s amazing story and app here.
John Lewis--American Icon

I often speak and write of how the “Special Ks” (Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy) inspired me to shift from private practice money-oriented trial attorney to compassionate, diversity-driven “Inclusionist.” One of my contemporary heroes (I hope we have him for a long time still) is John Lewis, a Georgia Congressional representative who was born into an Alabama sharecropper’s family and who attended segregated schools. While in college in Nashville during the early ‘60s, he organized lunch counter sit-ins and participated in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at bus terminals across the south. He was also a leader of the Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in March 1965. Most recently, he organized the “sit in” in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at obtaining debate on gun control legislation. What imagination and courage!

Here is a recent video of Congressman Lewis speaking at a Human Rights Campaign dinner; his words about Dr. King's teaching of a "beloved community" and how each of us needs to have each other’s back are guaranteed to tug at your heart (and to tear your eyes). This is exactly the kind of leadership we need today but which is in such short supply.  

The St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce (SPACC)—which represents the other “Twin” of the Twin Cities—has been thinking big about inclusivity. One of its initiatives, the “MSP Mingle: Connecting Twin Cities Professionals”, is a regular drinks and networking event which is squarely aimed at helping “professionals of color” to network and build personal communities. As SPACC explains, “Minnesota is an amazing place to live and work. However, we face a glaring retention problem for new hires, particularly those of color…(SPACC is) committed to offering action-oriented solutions to keeping talented professionals of color in this region.”

My hat is off to SPACC for its out-of-the-box thinking and energy! Click here to learn about the next MSP Mingle event on November 30 at the Health Partners HQ in Bloomington, MN. 

Human to Human Impact: Jared Scheierl, Relentless Survivor

Many are aware of the tragic case of eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling, who was abducted in October 1989. As most know, the case came to a conclusion recently when a monster named Danny Heinrich confessed to killing Jacob and burying his body hours after taking Jacob as he rode bikes with friends in rural Minnesota.  

What’s not widely known is that Heinrich’s arrest and capture can be directly tied to the relentless persistence of Jared Scheierl, who as a 12-year-old was also abducted and sexually molested by Heinrich in Cold Spring, Minnesota, nine months before Jacob’s abduction. Unlike Jacob, Jared was allowed to live, but the case was never solved. Later as an adult (beginning in 2014), Jared and a blogger named Joy Baker began pushing police investigators to focus on Heinrich because he lived in close proximity to where Jacob and Jared were abducted.

Patty Wetterling, Jacob’s mother, credited Jared for bringing the case of her missing son to a close: “Jared had the courage to stand up and say, ‘This happened to me.’” John Walsh, the host of “The Hunt” (and whose own son was murdered), called Jared “(O)ne of the bravest victims I have ever met.”  

Jared sat in federal court and listened to Heinrich detail (for the first time publicly) Jacob’s murder and then his sexual assault of Jared. Can you imagine Jared’s degree of courage to hear that?  

I continue to believe that 99 percent of all people are good and want to do the right thing. It’s that 1 percent whom we must work together to defeat. Jared’s example helps us to understand how to do just that.

Ray of Sunshine

One of this month’s Rays of Sunshine lands on Women for Change at the University of Hartford, a group which on September 29 sponsored my  talk, “Getting to Ellen: Gleaning Authenticity from a Moment of Truth.” I highlight this organization because of its work on behalf of women in a variety of contexts—domestic violence awareness, body image issues, the role of women in larger society, and feminism/sexuality. For me, this group was extremely welcoming and gave me space to experiment a bit with my “Gleaning Authenticity” talk (and I’m happy to report the experiment turned out well). Given the tone of our presidential campaign (such as calling Hillary Clinton an “enabler” for Bill’s infidelity—really?), it’s particularly important that women stand up and be heard. As I’ve often said, some men have no idea of how they marginalize women on a regular basis (and no, not all men are that way, for sure). Thank you Women for Change and in particular, thanks to Mala Matacin, their faculty sponsor, for being so visible and vocal!  

I also recently met Ames Simmons, another Ray of Sunshine, who is an "out" transgender man and an Atlanta attorney who works in the health care industry. At one point in his career, Ames worked as a police officer in DeKalb County, Georgia. I met Ames at the annual Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinner in Minneapolis last month where he shared a bit about his story and the need for greater awareness of the incredible grassroots work that HRC is performing across the nation. Ames is also on the HRC board of directors. You are one cool dude, Ames! I'm so glad our paths have crossed!

                                          Odds and Ends
Once more there many Odds and Ends in this issue; I have a lot going on and much to share about.
Darned Interesting: There's a great October Atlantic Magazine piece by James Fallows, “Who Will Win”, relative to the contrasting debate styles of Trump and Hillary. Given that we have two more debates coming up, this makes for great reading. See the piece here.  
Recent Writings:  For those who aren’t Facebook Friends (and why aren’t you?), my recent Lavender Magazine column, “Laramie”, generated great interest. (The column—here—stems from my August visit to Laramie in search of a memorial for Matthew Shepard.) Also, just the other day, my latest column, “Gratitude II” was published. I hope you enjoy reading them.
Upcoming Talks/Trainings: This issue of The Ripple comes just after I completed a   speaking/training tour in New England--six talks in three states in four days, which included presenting at a conference of judicial educators. Whew! You can find my complete speaking/training schedule on my website by clicking here.  
Running the numbers: Something positive is happening with my work. By mid-September, the number of page views for had exceeded the total page views for all of 2015; those who follow me on Twitter have increased by nearly 40%; and the mailing list for this newsletter has more than doubled in the last two months. I share this not to brag but instead to say "thank you" to those who allow me/my words to occupy a part of their brain (and hopefully, heart) for ever so briefly. I am so very grateful!
Sadness: I can’t close this issue of The Ripple without mentioning the death of Jackson Grubb, a 9 year old (!!) who committed suicide last month after being the target of bullying. (Read more here.) In their grief, the family called for erecting a billboard with Jackson’s picture and the words, “Stop Bullying!” Can you imagine how many lives would be saved if our society created a goal of ending bullying in its entirety? (A perhaps unattainable goal, but that’s not a reason for not trying…) We have so much work to do; let’s get on with it!  
The Ripple is a work in progress, so please, I welcome your suggestions and comments! Please share this newsletter with others, too!
Thank you for helping to make the world a better place! I'm at your side, cheering you on, I promise! Please have compassion for yourself and for others.
Encouraging open hearts and thriving human spirits 
Human Inspiration Works, LLC: We make "inclusion" an action word

Ellen (Ellie) Krug