The faces of the Fourth Precinct protest

The Fourth Precinct protest is often presented as a standoff between law enforcement and a small segment of millennial blacks in North Minneapolis. There’s something of an unspoken agreement in the mainstream media that it’s the protesters on trial, not the police. With descriptors like ‘chaotic scene,’ and ‘shouting and taunting bystanders,’ protesters are presented as a frightening horde to readers. This misses the humanity and individuality of the people involved. Even more, it misses the cause, a structural inequality that’s on the mind of many across the country. Continue Reading

New beginnings: RAWI’s 5th national gathering with Mizna

September 18th through 20th brought the 5th National RAWI (Radius of Arab Writers, Inc.) Conference to Minneapolis. RAWI partnered with local nonprofit Mizna, an organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture through the publication of Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America and the production of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. The conference included panels often hosted by academic scholars of Arab American literature, and theater, writing workshops, and performances.Although Mizna had attended and tabled at past conferences, this was the first time they were involved in hosting and organizing the conference. “We played a big role in the on-the-ground logistics and locations,” says Lana Barkawi, the executive and artistic director of Mizna. Some of the other local art organizations involved as hospitality sponsors were The Loft Literary Center, Open Book, the McKnight Foundation, as well as some of the local Arab American businesses in town.Special guests included Mohja Kahf, Mustafa Bayoumi, Fady Joudah, and Marilyn Hacker. Continue Reading

Eastside Meals on Wheels hosts second annual ‘Mission Nutrition’

Join Eastside Meals on Wheels for its second annual Mission Nutrition Dining Edition. If you enjoy a bite at a participating restaurant on Thursday, September 18th, a portion of what you spend helps provide warm nutritious meals for older adults in Northeast & Southeast Minneapolis, and St. Anthony Village.This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.“It’s a great opportunity to get the community involved, learn about Meals on Wheels, and also do some fundraising,” said Mary Mennenga, chair of the event.Mary Mennenga became a member of the board because of a special family member. Her mother-in-law was initially a volunteer who packed meals in North Minneapolis, and then later she became a client. Continue Reading

Minneapolis residents express concerns over new absentee voting

Minnesotans can now vote from the comfort of their homes.On June 27, the state passed a new law that allows any resident to request an absentee ballot to vote in the Aug.12 primary and future elections. Previously, absentee voters had to establish that they fell within specific categories of being physically unable to get to their polling place. But the new law removes such restrictions and allows voters to register online at the Secretary of State’s website.The change groups Minnesota with several other states, which already offer “no excuse” absentee voting. Oregon and Washington are completely mail-in voting, with limited accommodations made for in-person voting. Thirty-three states also allow for early voting, which Minnesota does not.On July 12 we headed to the Avenue Eatery on West Broadway and Emerson Ave. Continue Reading

MXDWELL hosts first Loving Day festival in Loring Park

What could be more important than being free to love whom you choose?Sunday, June 15 marked the first Loving Day event in Loring Park, hosted by MXDWELL, an online news source that explores positive cultural and multiracial intersections. Creator and editor Mackenzie Claire saw a natural connection between MXDWELL and celebrating the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia–a court case in 1967 in which the Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriage.“We cover various fusions within arts and culture–that’s kind of how we celebrate the mixed experience. Different fusions just bring diversity. It all kind of ties in with Loving Day. I thought it would be a great idea to have that here in the Twin Cities,” said Claire.The night before the event, Claire was particularly looking forward to performances by Bomba Umoya and Tall Paul. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | We Ride Northeast, 2014

This Saturday the Northeast Community Development Corporation (CDC) hosted the third annual Northeast Ride, a bicycle tour of ‘Nordeast’ Minneapolis. The ride raises funds for the CDC, a 501(c)3 which promotes the arts, community, and economic development of Northeast Minneapolis. The approximately twelve mile ride began at the Northeast Armory and ended at Indeed Brewing Company. Bicyclists traversed through all of the thirteen Northeast neighborhoods, with stops in nine.The previous two years used the same route, but this year brought a change. ‘It’s a unique part of the ride that it goes through all the neighborhoods in Northeast. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Sharing a meal: Great turnout for Eastside Meals on Wheels’ Mission Nutrition Dining Edition

Eastside Meals on Wheels’ first restaurant night fundraiser, Mission Nutrition Dining Edition, had a wonderful turnout! Local restaurants Anchor Fish & Chips, The Bulldog N.E., Emily’s Lebanese Deli, Hazel’s Northeast, Moose on Monroe, Kramarczuk’s, and Red Stag Supperclub all donated a portion of the proceeds made on Thursday, September 19th to ensure that homebound folks in the area continue to receive warm nutritious meals.Preliminary calculations estimate that the total intake of the event at over $2,444. “Since it was percentage based, we really had no idea what to expect,” said Executive Director of Eastside Meals on Wheels Eileen Hafften. “It was a bit nerve wracking! But we couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turned out.” The nonprofit, which serves Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading

Black Hat Collective: Where opera and comics meet

Opera and comics, not two things immediately linked by the brain. Yet, for the second year in a row, the Minnesota Opera opens their doors wide to an unusual set of folks, many of whom have semi-autobiographical cartoon alter egos. Through the Black Hat Collective, a comics creator club at the Geek Partnership Society, a Northeast Minneapolis nonprofit that provides programs by and for local geeks, 15 illustrators get an invite to the final dress rehearsals. With three upcoming operas left in the 2011-2012 season: Werther, Lucia Di Lammermoor, and Madame Butterfly, I caught up with three Black Hatters to get their perspective on the odd marriage of comic arts and opera.In September 2010, Portland began Comic Artists Night @ the Opera, inspired by the webcomics cartoonist Mike Russell created after attending press nights for bloggers. Lee Blauersouth, the president of Black Hat Collective, struck upon an idea of doing something similar in the Twin Cities and pitched it to the Minnesota Opera. Continue Reading