What’s next for Cafe SouthSide’s founders Roxanne Anderson and Anna Meyer

For years, 3405 Chicago Ave was a radical community hub. The building housed three interconnected pillars of South Minneapolis: the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, RARE Productions and Cafe SouthSide. The Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition came first, as a nonprofit dedicated to securing healthcare for trans and gender non-conforming people. A community of marginalized people who were seeking support, connections and belonging developed around The Coalition. Two leaders of that community, Rochelle A. James and Roxanne E. Anderson, subsequently created RARE Productions, an arts and entertainment production company centering queer and trans artists of color. Continue Reading

Sensory-friendly: a safe play place for children with autism

The Northtown Mall in Blaine, Minnesota, bustles with activities for children: a video game arcade, furry motor scooters shaped like animals, a bungee-cord trampoline you’d expect to see at a carnival. Among the flashing lights and commotion is Tony’s Place, which opened doors in October with a mission to cultivate an inclusive play space for people who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their family members and friends. Inside Tony’s Place you’ll find twinkling fairy lights wrap around various sensory swings that can hold multiple people, including children, adults and people with wheelchairs. A pallet of bubble wrap stands in an alcove, available for anyone to satisfy that tactile need. There’s a netted trampoline and physical activity center to help release physical energy. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 11/14: Student trans rights activists march in response to transphobia at UMN

University of Minnesota’s College Republicans group added a panel to the Washington Avenue bridge the which states that “the proposed pronoun policy mocks real social issues,” in reference to a newly proposed university gender expression policy. Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, students and faculty marched across the bridge in protest to the panel and the marginalization of the transgender community that it represents. Find the full story at Minnesota Daily. Minneapolis College announces staffing changes to bridge the educational opportunity gap

The Minneapolis College Division of Equity and Inclusion announced addition of permanent staffing with the goal of increasing opportunities available to members of marginalized groups in the Twin Cities area. Continue Reading