We need fitness at the CEPRO site

This is a great opportunity to make a destination site in the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood. A site that takes a tragedy and turns it into spectacular win. We hope you will agree. The city, county and neighborhood association are going to move the CEPRO through the normal process. That could result in anything, or nothing. For that reason, we are looking for people to help move this idea through the process, attend meetings, make the “Fitness for CEPRO” voices heard. Continue Reading

Star Tribune stories create false spectre

Recent stories published by the Star Tribune about the MUL (“Did Urban League get paid twice?” April 13, and subsequent stories) have created a false specter of financial impropriety, have distorted the organization’s history in delivery of contracted services and, as a result, have undermined the reputation of a long-standing community organization.
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38th Street and plans for renewal

The opening of the Seward food co-op on 38th and 4th Avenue is probably the biggest non-governmental development to hit 38th Street in at least 50 years. But it has brought into sharp relief the under-utilized and under-appreciated business districts along the rest of 38th Street.

Council Member Elizabeth Glidden has been tirelessly organizing community meetings to encourage neighbors to remember the old neighborhood and imagine new possibilities for the street. The first three meetings had visits by former residents who have left the ‘hood and become famous, like Judge Lajune Lange and Gary Cunningham.

Besides being married to the mayor, Gary Cunningham is the executive director of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and a member of the Metropolitan Council. A picture of the Bryant-Central co-op hangs on his office wall. He says it is one of his sources of inspiration. Continue Reading

Tackling achievement gap for American Indian students

Before the first class bell rings on Monday mornings, students at Nay Ah Shing High School gather to participate in a tradition that was instituted long before they were born. “Pipe and Dish” sets the tone for students and staff at the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe-run school in Onamia. The ceremony allows participants to “offer” tobacco and food to the Creator to ask for help in their studies and work in the days ahead. The morning ritual serves as a symbolic opportunity for students and staff to recognize the cultural roots the school was founded on 40 years ago. But Nay Ah Shing’s emphasis on its American Indian culture is not limited to the “Pipe and Dish” offering, according to Suzanne Wise, education commissioner for the Mille Lacs Band. Continue Reading

Where is the equity audit for the Vikings Stadium?

Unlike the Twins and Gophers stadiums that had few minority workers, it was promised that this time there would be significant hiring of Twin Cities African Americans and the legislature would audit it, providing an annual review, audit, and certification. Instead, the Legislative auditor is not doing the equity category employment audits… Continue Reading

Searching for shared truths on teaching and race

After 25 years of teaching in Minneapolis with predominately all-white teachers and administrations, one day, I realized it got down to this …

If I never saw a white person again, especially a white woman, it would be too soon! Continue Reading

Seward Co-op’s Friendship Store and “Community Benefits”

As a longtime member of Seward Co-op, I have been eagerly awaiting the new Friendship Store, which is right down the street. And when I first heard about this Community Benefits Agreement that is being discussed, a vehicle whereby Seward Co-op agrees to commit to certain benefits for the communities most affected by their expansion store, I thought, yeah, that sounds like a good thing. And when I heard that Seward Co-op would be presenting a progress report at the Bryant Neighborhood Organization meeting on Saturday, April 25, I decided to attend as an observer and learn more about it. Unfortunately, I came from that meeting thoroughly confused. So before writing this report, I had to do some digging and find out what was lurking in the background. Continue Reading

“Just a nobody”: Meeting homelessness without judgement

One of gospel music’s longest running groups called The Williams Brothers sang a motivational song entitled “I’m Just a Nobody.” The soul searching chorus was embroidered into the title song with the words, “I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.”

This song came to mind as I saw something not unfamiliar to most: a man holding a sign which read “Homeless Seeking Kindness – Bless You.” Continue Reading