Best of Neighborhood News 9/15: Twin Cities minority-owned businesses fewer than national average, Nekima Levy-Pounds defends charter schools, New Generation Radio breaks old media ways


Twin Cities is below average on the number of minority-owned businesses: MinnPost’s Greta Kaul takes a closer look at the staggeringly low rates of black, brown and women entrepreneurs—people who own business with employees—in Minnesota. Compared to other cities, the numbers keep dropping:

While minorities represent about 22 percent of the Twin Cities metro’s population, minority-owned businesses represent just 7 percent of all employer firms, MinnPost found. The largest share of minority-owned firms in the Twin Cities belong to Asian Americans, according to the survey, which was conducted in 2014.

Compared to some metros like it — with around a quarter of their populations members of minority groups — MSP doesn’t fare that well. About 12 percent of Portland and St. Louis metro area employer businesses are owned by minorities, while their populations are 25 percent minority. Cincinnati’s population is 19 percent minority, and 8 percent of its employer businesses are owned by minorities.

Considering the size of their minority populations, the rate of minority business ownership in the Twin Cities metro area is similar to that of Providence, Rhode Island and Buffalo, New York, MinnPost found.

Learn more about this business trend over at MinnPost.

NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives propose moratorium on charter schools, Nekima Levy-Pounds pushes back: Nekima Levy-Pounds speaks with Citizen Stewart of Citizen Education on why Black parents reserve the right to select charter schools for their children, despite a recent proposal by civil rights groups to block them. In the interview, Levy-Pounds discusses the legacy of discrimination in the public school system, and how communities of color won the right to choose their own paths for their kids, including sending them to charter schools.

“When you deny African American children the right to high quality education you are essentially shutting the door to their future and what their possibilities would be. We see that happening particularly in the state of Minnesota.”

Nekima Levy-Pounds answers why access to charter schools is important for kids of color. Read the full story here.

New Generation Radio provides outlet for diverse story telling: Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s Charles Hallman writes about how New Generation Radio allows young people of color to create their own media and feed their stories into the mainstream.

People who are in the community “that we are not adequately covering right now” and want to be there is desperately needed, [Laura Yuen] pointed out. “We want young reporters to be in places where we all can benefit from being observers.”

“We need young people — especially young people of color and young people who have different experiences than those of us who are already in this industry.”

Check out MSR’s full coverage here.