Among the ways we choose to evaluate where we live, few reports are more respected than that of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), an annual, comprehensive examination of cities’ laws, policies and services with regard to LGBT people and LGBT issues.
More than 400 cities were evaluated in 2015, the most in the four years the HRC has been producing this report. As one can expect, some cities are given very poor scores. And then many cities—47 across the country—are praised for a perfect score. All cities are judged from the same scorecard template, which may be a root of why I take so much issue with the MEI, how it’s conducted, what is measured, what isn’t measured and of course, what it says about cities with a perfect score.
Along the Green Line, just east of Victoria Street and University Avenue, stands a seemingly abandoned storefront with dark windows and a locked door. But to Denise Mwasyeba, a 25-year Frogtown resident and former chair of the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA) board of directors, it’s the perfect chance to turn the forgotten, historical Victoria theater into a newly renovated center that represents a diverse community greatly evolving from its roots. Continue Reading
When asked what is the mission of the Million Artist Movement (MAM), which calls itself the “artistic arm of Black Lives Matter,” Sandy Augustin said “We want to artfully dismantle white supremacy.” Agustin co-organized and facilitated the Power Gathering: Asian American Resistance and Solidarity at Macalester College back in October in collaboration with the Givens Foundation. That event was a part of the larger and ongoing convenings across racial and ethnic groups called by MAM. Continue Reading
As protesters aligned with Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis (BLM-Minneapolis) took to the streets over the past few weeks, the now-familiar message was clear: Clark did not deserve to meet his untimely death on a North Minneapolis sidewalk by a bullet in his head. His death, another tally in a string of fatal encounters between unarmed black men and law enforcement agencies across the country, was another notch in the need to address the issue of discriminatory police practices and for reform. The formulaic response to yet another police killing also meant a backlash against the narrative of who the real victim was in this fatal encounter. Continue Reading
I caught the final reading for the 2014 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers recipients early in September, as this year’s fellows – Susanne Aspley, Susan Power, Shannon Gibney and Josh Ostergaard for creative prose and Kelly Barnhill for children’s literature – have begun to hold readings as fellows as part of the Loft’s McKnight series.
Two facts stood out to me about the 2014 fellows: they – Carolyn Williams-Noren, Danez Smith, Sierra DeMulder, and Sun Yung Shin – were all poets, and they all were marginalized voices, if not in terms of gender, then by race or sexual orientation or multiple intersections. Continue Reading
“I learned about Palestine through stories, like a fairy tale,” one of the interviewees reminisced in the live-action-and-mixed-animation documentary, “The Wanted 18,” about a Palestinian town’s quest for self-determination at the beginning of the intifada and the absurd lengths the Israeli government and military went through to stop it, featured at Mizna’s 10th annual Arab Film Fest (AFF) at the St. Anthony Main Theatre earlier this month. Continue Reading
Minnesota Nice is the transplants’ nice way of calling born-and-reared-here Minnesotans passive-aggressive. For those of us who’ve lived in other places, such indirectness is baffling at best, and emotionally abusive at worst. In other words, it’s not nice at all. Continue Reading
“I’m at a point in my life where I have forged a place where I can write, and I’m writing things out that maybe I’m still trying to make sense of,” Amoké Kubat says as we spent an early autumn afternoon talking about her new piece, “Angry Black Woman and Well-Intentioned White Woman.” The work-in-progress debuts tonight at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South in Minneapolis, at 7 p.m. followed by a Q & A and reception. Continue Reading
Photos by Kayla Steinberg
It would be easy to say from interviewing Duchess Harris that her wisdom comes from her nearly 30 years as a scholar and professor, teaching about the mechanics and dynamics of how race and racism works, particularly on how they infuse the laws that govern the nation, this state and our lives. Easy, yes—but not quite correct. Harris knows what she knows because she occupies an uneasier position: activist-scholar. She’s that professor who believes what she and her colleagues posit, preach and produce in peer-reviewed journals, conferences and books needs to be available to the rest of us outside of academia. Her teaching and her civic involvement in local politics is how she helps bend the arc toward justice. Continue Reading
Photo taken by Erin Ross
Perhaps I was listening for it, but I did not have to listen long. A person I do not know came up to me and said, “Dude, there are actual titties down there.” He gestured over his shoulder around the large hill of Gold Medal Park. I was on my way to work. I don’t even remember what I said in response—maybe nothing—but internally I had plenty to say. Something along the lines of “Get out of here, you creep,” was among these thoughts. Continue Reading
Giant Steps is a conference like no other. Organizer Susan Campion and hip hop artist Brother Ali talk about how this event can bring people together to talk about the challenges they face as entreprenurs and artists. Check out the video to see why you should attend. Continue Reading