OUR STORIES | Mitch Walking Elk: Rising up from the ashes like the phoenix bird

“I can’t play the blues but I got ‘em- I rise up from the ashes like the phoenix bird. The heat burned me bad but made me strong.” The song lyrics by Mitch Walking Elk tell part of his life story, Born in Oklahoma and sent to a boarding school at an early age, his school experience led him to want to make a difference in the lives of young people. He began to dream of himself teaching young kids sitting at desks in a classroom. As a teacher and cultural educator, his story makes a difference.Walking Elk will perform at  the 38th NUSA Neighborhood Celebration from 6:30 to 7:30 on May 24 at Minnehaha Park. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Waiting time: Digital divide in South Minneapolis

A young mother waits patiently to use the computer at the Franklin Library on a rainy, snowy, miserable February day.  Lisa (not her real name) checks the time on her phone, knowing she has two more hours before she has to be home. If she can just be patient, she can apply for a job she saw, with a listing that read “No phone calls please. Apply online by tomorrow.” Lisa is a real person, but she asked that we not use her real name.When Lisa’s kids get off the bus, she has to be there to let them in. It’s too cold for them to stand outside waiting.  Once she gets a computer at the library, Lisa can use it for one hour, but it’s going to take her at least half of that to just check for messages from yesterday’s job search and to get her cover letter typed for today’s job application. “If I could just get a job,” she says, “then I would buy a computer and I could take care of more business.”  The Digital Divide in MinneapolisA 2012 City of MInneapols survey described the digital divide:”The results are in on a survey the City of Minneapolis conducted in January to understand how Minneapolis residents use computers, mobile devices and the Internet to better their daily lives. Continue Reading