“It was kind of a whimsical artistic impulse,” recalled Antonio Duke, as he reminisced on this past spring when Ashawnti Sakina Ford drove him home each night after their rehearsals for a production of “Imaginary Invalid,” a play by 17th-century French actor and playwright, Molière. Duke mentioned that he would love to play Puck, a mischievous spirit in English playwright William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” written in 1595/96. Sakina Ford, excitedly responded, “Antonio, I just really want to see an all Black Shakespeare show. I don’t care what it is; I just want an all-Black production of it.”
“That’s funny,” Duke responded, “Because ‘Midsummer’ is a Black-ass play.”
The pair started reaching out to their communities, pitching their idea and were met with overwhelming support.
On July 30, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced his decision to not file charges against MPD officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt. The two officers shot and killed Thurman Blevins during a police investigation on June 23 in the Camden neighborhood. Community members gathered and spoke out in response to the County Attorney’s decision.
Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham hosts forum, speaks out on the 2040 Plan in Minneapolis
On July 22nd, public commenting ended for the City of Minneapolis’ comprehensive plan, a document that encompasses the city’s plan of action of housing, employment, investment and other aspects of city governance. Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham held a forum to discuss the new plan and offer his perspective on how the plan could be used as an opportunity to invest in marginalized community. “I am not satisfied with the current draft of the 2040 plan because I think that the policies need to go much deeper into racial and geographic equity.
New director for new department: Minneapolis Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs hires immigration attorney Michelle Rivero
Established just this year, the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs in Minneapolis has hired a director for their office, immigration attorney Michelle Rivero. The office was created to accommodate an increasing need for social and legal services for immigrants in the Twin Cities, providing full-time advocacy to more effectively support these constituents. Rivero’s role as director will include developing new programs for immigrants, as well as promoting education around immigration policies, rights and existing services.