Best of Neighborhood News 9/7: Remembering artist J. Otis Powell‽


Artist Brittany Lynch wrote this remembrance of writer and musician J. Otis Powell‽ for Insight News. He died on Monday, Aug. 28 from complications due to kidney failure. Also an educator, Powell‽ touched the lives of many artists throughout the Twin Cities.

He encouraged writers, especially Black writers, to see themselves in space. To see themselves beyond white supremacy, patriarchal constructs, and to be as free as they could write themselves to be. The interrobang in his name was as important to him as any other letter. Any omission or “mis-ordering” of characters would be improper.

Read the full story from Insight News.


Minneapolis joins over 100 cities in effort to quell violence

Charles Hallman from the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder brings us this detailed report – part two in a series – detailing a plan championed by Mayor Betsy Hodges to reduce violence and improve community relations in Minneapolis.

Based off of a report by a coalition called Cities United, the plan suggests several actions to prevent police-involved shootings:

  • build trust with all communities;
  • rethink police use of force and emphasize de-escalation tactics in police training;
  • establish “an external and independent investigation and prosecution” of police-involved shootings and deaths; provide more focus on balancing the need to protect safety and property with residents’ constitutional right to assemble peacefully;
  • have better communication with “each key constituent,” including affected families, police rank and file, other municipal, county, state and federal leaders, community and faith leaders, youth and school leaders, and business and philanthropy leaders; and
  • build relationships with media, “establishing an active presence on social media channels.

Read more about the plan at MSR News Online.


Hmong College Prep Academy expansion underway

A multimillion dollar expansion for Hmong College Prep Academy is steadily progressing, according to Hmong Times. The new additions to the St. Paul charter school will bring 55 new classrooms to accommodate up to 2,200 students.

Read all about the plans and check out construction photos at Hmong Times.