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Insight News January 16 - January 22, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 3• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •


Rebecca Rabb

Lineage Page 2 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor

Many may have noticed a change to the front cover of Insight News the past few issues. In a campaign we call Leading with Art, we have dedicated our covers to artists whose works go beyond ink and brush, but speak to politically and socially relevant issues of Blacks in America and throughout the globe. This indefinite campaign highlights works of some our most profound community members who use pen, paint, canvas, camera and other tools as their chosen voice to express joy, hope, gratitude, pain and a myriad of other emotions felt by Black people worldwide; but particularly in America and within the Twin Cities. The past two covers, the Jan. 2 – Jan. 8 edition and Jan. 9 – Jan. 15 edition, have featured works by father, Charles Caldwell, and son, Kenneth Caldwell, respectively. On the cover of this issue, in a photo we call “Lineage,” Insight News photographer Rebecca Rabb captured the powerful, yet adorable image of a third Caldwell, 4-year-old Gavin Caldwell, son to Kenneth Caldwell.

Holding a paintbrush, Gavin Caldwell is wearing a shirt with a portrait of Prince painted by his father and behind is another Kenneth Caldwell work, a portrait of Muhammed Ali. On Tuesday (Jan. 17) Ali would have celebrated his 75th birthday. In honoring Ali and celebrating the next generation we felt this photo by Rabb was the perfect piece to connect the past with the future. Of the photograph, Rabb said the image captures the hope and promise of generations to come. “In July I was taking pictures for the Fathers Project (A photo essay of African-American fathers in the Twin Cities). During each shoot I do some shots of just the kids. With Gavin, he comes from a family of artists, and I wanted to make sure we represented that. Gavin is his own person; he has an adorable look, but he’s also strong and smart, similar to Ali,” said Rabb. The works of Charles Caldwell are on display at his studio, C. Caldwell Fine Arts Gallery and Studio, 125 W. Broadway, and he can be reached at (612) 3865114. The works of Kenneth Caldwell are on display at his studio, CaldToArt Paint Time, 1108 W. Broadway. He can be reached at (612) 4833343.



Insight News Insight News January 2 - January 8, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 1• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

January 9 - January 15, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 2• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •


Happy birthday Dr. King




Charles Caldwell

Cover, Jan.2 - Jan. 8 edition

Charles Caldwell

Cover, Jan. 9 - Jan. 15 edition

Kenneth Caldwell

WWII Hero celebrates 97th birthday

A better community starts with one person making a difference

World War II hero, Ray Robinson at his 97th birthday celebration.

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor

Great leaders leave a mark on the communities they serve. They are one person that focuses on bringing people together to make positive change. The small difference accomplished today can grow and last for generations. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., thank you for creating a lasting legacy of success.

© 2017 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. (3678601_19721)

Ray Robinson is an American hero in every sense of the word. On Jan. 7 Robinson was celebrated at the West Metro VFW Post 7051 in Crystal for his 97th birthday. A veteran of World War II, Robinson was awarded three bronze stars – awards given for heroic or meritorious achievement or service – for his efforts in bloody and brutal battles in Italy that saw massive losses of life. Robinson said it was by the grace of God that he survived. “I had friends die all around me,” said Robinson. “I lost my very best friend

Al McFarlane

in that war and 75 years later I still can’t shake that. But I survived and I’m still here.” “He’s a prime example of selflessness and sacrifice,” said Refugio “Cookie” Rivera, senior vice commander of Post 7051, who was on hand to wish Robinson a happy 97th birthday. Post Commander Jay Lietzow echoed Rivera’s praise for Robinson. “Ray is a true national asset,” said Lietzow. “And he’s one of the kindest, gentlest souls I’ve ever met. He’s just an amazing man.” During the celebration Robinson was presented with a letter from President Barack Obama thanking him for his service and bravery.

Insight News • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Page 3

aesthetically speaking

Aesthetically It!: Events, concerts, venues in the Twin Cities



Insight News January 16 - January 22, 2017

Vol. 44 No. 3• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

There’ll be no one left when they come for you

Sen. Jeff Hayden (Minneapolis-DFL)

Donald Trump

Managing Editor

By Harry Colbert, Jr. I make no bones about it … when it comes to politics I am left leaning to far left leaning in my views. In every presidential election since I have been eligible to vote – 1988 – I have voted for the Democrat. Same with the most local races too, though not exclusively. A friend

in Missouri ran for statewide office as a Republican and I was happy to vote for him. Though we differed on many issues, I believed him to be an honorable person who would not place party lines over the overall good of the people. Within my core group of friends at least one is a Republican (and others who are certainly moderate). We argue politics while at the same time celebrating our wonderful friendships. I believe most Republicans to be wrong on issues of civil rights, voting rights, the economy, fair housing, education, deregulation, marriage equality, abortion, climate change and the list goes

on. I’m happy to respectfully discuss and debate any of these topics with Republicans. And afterward, we can hang out and have drinks together and agree that the Vikings totally collapsed … again, the Timberwolves are a point guard away from being a real contender, winter in Minnesota is way too cold, crab legs are the best thing since sliced bread, Justin Bieber and Young Thug are abominations to music and we can mutually wish to never hear another word about anyone with the last name Kardashian. I preface all that to say this. My issues with (as of Jan. 20) President Donald Trump is not that he is a Republican; it is with

him as a person who is not suited for – nor qualified to be – in the office of the presidency. Though that has been my belief since day one (and the belief of at least 62 to 67 percent of Americans in polls taken just four months ago), this commentary is penned on the heels of Trump’s first press conference since winning the Electoral College vote (yet losing the popular vote by some 2.9 million votes). But to call the Jan. 11 event a press conference is in itself misleading and insulting to members of the press. After all, how can you have a press conference if you exclude questions from … the


Seven candidates could shift the balance of power on the Minneapolis City Council

Senator Susan Kent (Woodbury-DFL)

Senate DFL Caucus elects Hayden, Kent, Assistant Leaders Sen. Jeff Hayden (MinneapolisDFL) and Senator Susan Kent (Woodbury-DFL) were elected to serve as Assistant Leaders for the 2017-2018 biennium. Senate DFL Caucus Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) praised the election of the two leaders. “I look forward to working with Sen. Kent and Sen. Hayden to represent the values and needs of hardworking Minnesotans, here at the legislature. I’m glad to have the opportunity to have two strong voices from different regions joining the discussion of important issues our caucus faces,” said Bakk. Hayden represents Minneapolis neighborhoods of Phillips, East Phillips, West Phillips, Ventura Village, Powerderhorn, Whittier, Kingfield, Tangletown, Bryant, Field, Central, Lyndale and Regina. He was elected to the

House in 2008 where he served until his election to the Senate in 2011. Hayden serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee and has a strong background in healthcare, racial equity and economic issues. Before coming to the legislature Hayden worked as a Regional Manager at Hearth Connection. “Having previously served as a part of this leadership team, I am grateful to have the renewed confidence of my colleagues. Minnesota is made up of very diverse and differing communities, I will continue to be a strong voice for their interests,” said Hayden. Kent represents the communities of Woodbury,

Carmen McAfee

Michael Spicer


Photo by Anna Rajdl.

Seven candidates, all identifying as people of color and/or LGBTQIA, are making their bid for Minneapolis City Council. From left: Raeisha Williams, Samantha Pree-Stinson, Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham, Erica Mauter, Jillia Pessenda and Jeremiah Ellison.

By Cristeta Boarini Twin Cities Daily Planet On some of the coldest days of the season, we asked seven Minneapolis City Council candidates to stand in an unheated studio after long work days and stuck a massive camera lens in their faces. “Wear something that shows off your personality, that you feel confident in,” we told them. Some had life partners or campaign staff in tow, some on their own. They each walked

in with apprehensive smiles that warmed to grins as Biggie, Beyoncé or the Backstreet Boys popped on the music playlist. We were all jittery with the cold, with meeting new people, with the vulnerability of getting a photo taken. But when asked what made them take the leap to run, any remaining nerves transformed into resolve. One by one they opened their eyes and spoke long held truths that became seeds for stump speeches: because representation matters, because racial equity, because of my community.


Fair Lending to be CFPB’s Top Priority in 2017


We focused on these seven candidates – Jillia Pessenda, Samantha Pree-Stinson, Phillipe Cunningham, Raeisha Williams, Jeremiah Ellison, Andrea Jenkins and Erica Mauter – because they bring in terms of race, gender identity and sexual orientation, an unprecedented level of diversity to the 2017 elections. Not only do they embody a new potential for Minneapolis politics to be more reflective of its growing populations than ever before, but with platforms heavily focused on social justice, racial and economic equity, they

bring a potential to shift the balance of power on the council. Experience that goes deeper than a résumé From community organizing for the Occupy movement like Pessenda, serving as communications chair for the Minneapolis NAACP like Williams, or developing a new My Brother’s Keeper chapter for Black youth like Cunningham, these candidates have roots in the movements that have shaped 21st century political


Housing as a tool to build wealth By Ingrid Ferlo A house is a home but it is also a symbol of stability and security and a necessity for a family. For many in the AfricanAmerican community, however, attaining a home poses challenges. Minnesota has a history of geographical racial segregation that still informs its present day real estate market. On “Conversations with Al McFarlane” radio show, recently



Food first: Warm soup to sustain you in 2017


Leadership redefined: The business case for leadership


real estate agents from Re/Max, Carmen McAfee and Michael Spicer discussed the importance of owning a home and issues that Africa- American families in particular, experience when trying to buy a home. The show airs live every Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. on KFAI and reaches world-wide audiences on www. McAfee said that the current real estate climate is very favorable for home owners.



Duchess Harris on the ‘Hidden Human Computers’ of NASA


Page 4 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News


Fair lending to be CFPB’s top priority in 2017 Center for Responsible Lending By Charlene Crowell As a New Year has arrived, fair lending will be the priority for the nation’s consumer financial cop on the beat. Mortgage and student loan servicing along with redlining and small business lending will be a triple-focus in 2017 for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). “While the Bureau has


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Assistant to the Publisher Shumira Cunningham

taken important strides in our efforts to protect consumers from credit discrimination and broaden access to credit, we continue to identify new and emerging fair lending risks and we will monitor institutions for compliance,” said Patrice Ficklin, CFPB’s associate director for fair lending. Specifically, CFPB will evaluate whether lenders have intentionally avoided lending in minority neighborhoods, determine whether racial or ethnic concerns affect how loan servicers work with borrowers who are behind on either a mortgage or student loan and whether discriminatory practices affected access to credit for minority and women-owned businesses. For all consumers, CFPB’s 2017 priorities are an encouraging sign. But for Black, Latino and other consumers of color, heightened fair lending enforcement could signal less predatory and discriminatory lending that robs people of their hard-earned livings. With heightened monitoring and related enforcement actions, lenders and creditors who violate fair lending laws will pay a price, and consumers will hold on to more of their own money. To date, CFPB has recovered more than $11 billion for 27 million consumers who were harmed by illegal financial ploys. These enforcement actions have affected a wide

range of lending areas from mortgages to student loans, auto finance and more. The cumulative clout of CFPB enforcements has also attracted united support among national civil rights groups.

Cordray as he continues to lead the CFPB in the fourth year of his five-year tenure,” wrote the leaders. “Any effort to weaken the agency or undermine its leadership would risk severe impacts on our communities –

to get ahead financially. Hence, no one should be surprised to learn that many consumers of color struggle to attain financial stability. For example, on Dec.28, the Department of Justice

Charlene Crowell says that CFPB has recovered more than $11 billion for 27 million consumers who were harmed by illegal financial ploys.

On Dec. 21, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, National Council of La Raza and the National Urban League released a joint statement in support of the Bureau. “If the 2008 financial crisis showed us anything, it’s that consumers need a strong and independent regulator to look after the interests of consumers. The civil rights community stands behind Director (Richard)

including communities of color and low-income families who are most vulnerable to financial abuse.” Unfortunately, many communities of color that were hardest hit financially during the Great Recession are also targeted for discriminatory and predatory lending. Racial disparities in earnings and income are worsened by business practices and decisions that deny consumers a chance

announced a $9 million settlement to end a lawsuit alleging that Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank redlined predominantly Black neighborhoods in Indianapolis and three Ohio cities – Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. The two banks share ownership and management from their joint base in Cincinnati. An opposite outcome occurred in early December

when 10 lawsuits filed by a group of Black businesses in Michigan were dismissed. The plaintiffs alleged that Mercantile Bank violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act with practices and loan terms that resulted in diminished commercial lending. According to U.S. Judge Robert Homes Bell, the charges that alleged violations occurred from 2007 to 2009 were beyond the statutory limitation. The lawsuits were filed in 2013. “Three demographic factors affect your wealth … your race or ethnicity, how much education you have, and when you were born,” noted Lowell Ricketts, a senior analyst with the Center for Household Financial Stability, a program of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Wealth is distributed unequally across all three demographic categories.” Ricketts found that between 2004 and 2013, the median wealth of Black families fell by 55 percent. In 2013, the median Black family owned 8 cents for every dollar that the median white family owned. Another analysis, this one by the Economic Policy Institute, found that in 2015, Black workers were paid 26.2 percent less than their white peers. Charlene Crowell is the deputy communications director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@

Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Managing Editor Harry Colbert, Jr. Associate Editor Afrodescendientes Carmen Robles Associate Editor Nigeria & West Africa Chief Folarin Ero-Phillips Associate Editor Culture and Education Dr. Irma McClaurin Associate Editor Leadership and Social Enterprise Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Content & Production Coordinator Sunny Thongthi Yang Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed

Define your giving priorities in 2017 FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw As 2016 came to a close there was an avalanche of well-crafted requests to give to nonprofits. These came in the U.S. mail and via email. They were on television, radio, Facebook, Twitter … everywhere. So many were compelling. They combined emotion with facts. They communicated impact. They spoke to us personally. They let us know that our gift – no matter what size – would

make a difference. As fundraising consultants we were impressed. As human beings we knew that our family had only so much we could give. And, we suspect that you – our readers – are not that different. We all want to make a difference, especially in those areas that are important to us on a personal level. And we want to connect to our community, to pool our resources and help transform our neighborhoods and the future for our youth and elders. But there is only so much each can give. It can be easy to get caught up in giving because of a pull on your heart-strings, or because your friends or coworkers are giving to a specific nonprofit. Here’s our recommendation … define your giving priorities.

Ways to define your giving Examine your values as an individual and as a family. Take time to reflect on your values, write them down, and discuss as a family. Your values should drive your giving. For example, if education is a value, you can further refine this to early education, high school mentoring, scholarships, college support or another aspect of education that is important to you. The next step is to learn which nonprofits fit with your values, and to research them. Look online using your state attorney general’s webpage. It can provide information about nonprofit programs, finances, board leadership, mission and more. You can also phone a

nonprofit and talk with someone about its work. Make a visit and observe the nonprofit in action, or attend a public event. Check out the website and social media, and talk with people you know and trust to see if they know of the nonprofit and its work. After you decide which nonprofits you want to give to, determine how much you are able to give. Once you know the amount decide if you will give monthly, every paycheck, or perhaps once a year. Put in place a system for actual giving that works for you. It could be an automatic withdrawal from a bank account, an online gift or a check you write. Benefits of defining giving priorities


When you define your giving priorities you can make an impact that is in line with your values. You can give on your terms without having a “giving hangover.” And you can be comfortable when saying “yes” and when saying “no.” Your giving makes an impact. You get to define the impact that your giving makes both on nonprofits and your budget. Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on For more information visit www. or call (901) 522-8727.

Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Melvin Carter, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Gloria Freeman Timothy Houston Penny Jones-Richardson Michelle Mitchum Darren Moore Artika Tyner Toki Wright Photography David Bradley Rebecca Rabb Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

Conversations From 3 “The market is right for you (home sellers),” said McAfee. Spicer said the AfricanAmerican community took it the hardest during the home foreclosure crisis on 2008 depleting an already low number of Minnesota Black home owners. Sen. Bobby Joe Champion participated on the show via a phone call and offered a side note on home ownership for the African-American community. “Some of the guiding principles that I try to live by is wealth creation that we can enjoy now and leave for our children as generational wealth,” said Champion, who said he strongly believes that a house is a foundation for any other wealth a family will acquire. Champion said education and home ownership are two inheritances that can place African-American’s on a path to success. As a politician, he says when it comes to home ownership, the market needs to consider the specific needs of the different minority communities and empower them with the right resources for them to create the wealth they need. Spicer emphasized the importance of being an educated home buyer. “Buy something that you can definitely afford,” said Spicer, who believes it is in the best interest of people to buy within their means and not

necessarily the biggest home. Mohamad Kaly, a Somali radio entrepreneur who has been living in the United States for more than 20 years, offered a view of the real estate needs of newly-arrived Somali immigrants. “Right now the toughest thing we are going through is that we have big families,” said Kaly. He said that currently developers focus on selling small homes and that poses a problem for Somali families. Spicer agreed that finding bigger houses are a problem because a three bedroom house would be the biggest a developer would undertake. He advised big families to look outside the cities and in the suburbs to find bigger houses. According to Kaly, although there is that option, Somali families also have the problem of transportation if they move into the suburbs. Show co-host Carmen Robles spoke about owning property in Puerto Rico, stating that there was a high value placed on owning land on the island. She said it should be a priority for younger people to own their homes. Spicer said the underlying factor in home ownership is employment but said owning rather than renting should be the ultimate goal. “You have to buy a home in most cases to really start building wealth,” said Spicer, saying homes can help someone attain liquid cash for specific purposes, such as college. “Home ownership, it helps in many ways, and it is definitely something you need to do.”

Insight News • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Page 5

Insight 2 Health

Red Cross issues emergency call for blood and platelet donations The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors. Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. According to the Red

Cross snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that

patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Sue Thesenga, communications manager of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood

and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.” How to help Those wishing to donate are asked to schedule an appointment to donate by visiting www.redcrossblood. org or by calling (800) RED

CROSS (800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation

appointments and completion of an online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. “In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Thesenga.

Food first: Warm soup to sustain you in 2017 20 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa, unsalted cashews and lemon juice, heat five minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Julie McMahon, founder/ owner of Sound Nutrition,

By Julie McMahon CHHC

The New Year is a great time to assess where you are at in your life and determine what seems to be working (or not). It offers us an opportunity to expand, grow, stretch and move more into the life and person we desire to be. It is very tempting to hit January full steam towards all sorts of new goals and aspirations, but all too often we try to change too many things at once instead of honoring the personal journey we are on. I believe in the power of making smaller changes one step at a time, which results in big changes over time. When looking at your overall health, it is good to consider a variety of factors related to nutrition, exercise, stress management, spiritual practice, relationships, job satisfaction and in general, where you are at and where you would like to be. As a nutrition educator, I am all about the food and believe that what you put into your mouth daily greatly affects all the other areas of your life. I teach from the perspective of balance and believe that if we give our body the nutrients it needs, it will remain free of cravings, mood swings, hormonal issues, illness and disease that come from imbalance.

is a certified holistic health coach and raw food nutrition educator For more information, or to schedule a nutrition consultation, visit www. or call (612) 270-9344.

Julie McMahon

Lentil Quinoa Soup So how do we achieve this balance in a world that is constantly in motion and where food choices abound? It can be difficult. It seems that every time we turn around, there is a new diet trend or fad that everyone seems to be embracing. Instead of trying the latest fads, diets or counting calories or points, I encourage you to eat whole, real, plant-based foods to tap into your inner wisdom and intuition, and keep you well. Start here with a comforting, warm, simple soup recipe that your body will love after all the

holiday over-indulgences. Pair with a green salad and toasted gluten-free bread. Happy 2017. Lentil Quinoa Soup 1 tbsp. Olive Oil 1 yellow onion, diced 1 tsp. cumin seeds 1 tbsp. ginger, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 tsp. cayenne 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1/4 tsp. sea salt 5 cups veggie broth 3/4 cup dried red lentils 1 tsp. dried thyme 28 oz. can crushed fire-

roasted tomatoes 2 carrots, chopped 3/4 cup cooked quinoa 3/4 cup unsalted cashews Juice of 1 lemon Parsley for garnish Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion, cook four minutes. Add cumin seeds, minced ginger, minced garlic cloves and cayenne, ground cloves and sea salt, heat one minute. Add vegetable broth, dried red lentils, dried thyme, tomatoes and carrots, simmer

fresh • local • organic Your neighborhood source for local and organic foods and wellness products

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Page 6 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News

Commentary Leadership redefined: The business case for leadership Women Leading Change By Dr. Artika Tyner Often times, leadership is hard to describe. Have you thought about this set of questions as a leader? Is there a difference between being a leader and a manager? Are you required to have a title or position before leading? Are leaders born or made? What are the essential characteristics of an effective leader? How do you measure leadership success? The fact that there are more than 65 classifications systems, 38 theories and 100 definitions of leadership further complicates the challenge of defining leadership. The range of definitions and types of leadership add to the complexity of identifying your leadership

characteristics and building your leadership platform. One simple way to identify a leader is by an individual’s ability to build a followership. Effective leaders inspire and attract others who share a similar vision and seek to align their visions together to unveil future possibilities. For instance, leadership is needed to cultivate the innovation for new product development or improvement of service delivery. Despite the range of descriptions of leadership, there are a few core characteristics of leaders. In essence, leadership is about recognizing your strengths and leveraging your influence which in turn will empower others to discover the leader within. Traditionally, leadership has been viewed as a position and identified by title. This definition inherently creates a hierarchy of power where the leader is positioned on top of the ladder above his subjects, giving orders. It also has been limited to focus on leadership being endowed upon a “few great men” due to their innate

capacity to lead. This follows the notion of leaders being born and not made. However, this leadership definition limits the true essence of leadership to an exercise of individual power.

the capacity to lead because each person has the power of influence. There is a continuum of influence. Some may have more influence than others but the question is the

The range of definitions and types of leadership add to the complexity of identifying your leadership characteristics and building your leadership platform. When truly, leadership emerges through the exercise of influence and leadership skills can be developed through experience. Emerging research has characterized leadership as a process of influence, which moves beyond the constraints of positional or hierarchical leadership. It recognizes the possibility that everyone has

same for everyone … how will you use your influence to leave the world a better place than how you found it? This brings us to age old debate of whether leaders are born or made. The notion of leaders being born follows the essence of a select few wielding positional authority or leaders being born with innate leadership

skills (“trait theory”). Past research classifies leadership as 30 percent genetics (identifying traits that are perceived to align with the image of a “leader”). The other 70 percent of leadership is based upon lessons learned through experience. However, contemporary research has shown through training and experience, you can develop the core competencies needed to become an effective leader. You can develop skills like reflective listening, creative problem solving and emotional intelligence. As you develop these skills, you will unveil the leader within. Leadership is about influence. Influence is defined as causing change in the character, thought, or action of another. Influence is evidenced by having an effect upon a circumstance or situation. Leaders cause change wherever they go. They promote change in perspectives which leads to creativity. They foster change in their respective industry and professional pursuits which lays the foundation for growth and development. Most importantly, leaders can

change an organizational culture which promotes effectiveness, responsiveness, and efficiency. Leadership is identified by character. Leaders serve as mirrors. People tend to follow leaders who reflect their values and vision for the future. They can see a reflection of the present and future. This is the type of vision needed to create, build, and strengthen organizations. Leadership promotes collective power. Leaders recognize the wisdom of the proverb,“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Leaders help others unveil their talent and leadership potential in order to reach a shared vision of the future for their organization and the betterment of society. Dr. Artika R. Tyner is an educator, award-winning author, public speaker and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas, Tyner serves associate vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. She can be reached at or

Trumpism and white tribalism cannot prevail By Askia Muhammad The Washington Informer/NNPA Member

On the eve of the new Trump era of leadership, danger lurks. Emboldened by Trump’s win and a series of stunning other victories in recent elections by the “alt-right” Tea Party, conservative and ultraconservative movements, in this country and in Europe; white tribalists are openly advocating the most dangerous ideas since the days of Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. Trump and some of his inner circle of advisers speak in the most coarse and insensitive language, to put it mildly.

Carl Paladino, an adviser to the president-elect, is typical. When asked what he would like to happen in 2017 he said he hopes President Barack Obama “catches mad cow disease” and dies after having sexual relations with a Hereford cow. What? When asked what he would like to see go away, Paladino, a former New York Republican gubernatorial candidate, said he wanted First Lady Michelle Obama to “return to being a male and (be)let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie the gorilla.” Really? Really? That is reprehensible. Paladino’s comments were in response to a survey by weekly magazine Artvoice, according The Washington

Post’s Abby Phillip. Paladino last met with the president-elect in early December at Trump Tower in New York City. Trump is no slouch, rhetorically or Twitter-wise. His personal strategy may be what one historian calls Richard Nixon’s “mad dog” technique. Nixon wanted it known that he might do anything, like a mad dog, including the use nuclear weapons, in order to intimidate concessions out of the U.S. adversary in Vietnam. Russia? China? Arms race? Bring it on, Trump says. But that rhetoric is irresponsible. Sadly, folks who yearn for the Trumpian, “Ozzie and Harriet” world of white comfort within white privilege don’t take into account that what they wish for is wicked and cannot stand. It was wicked in the “Ozzie and

Harriet” days when this country was destabilizing governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In fact, all that Founding Fathers stuff is just stuff. They were slave owners, whose very presence in slave quarters struck unspeakable terror in the hearts of their victims. There was no social media to alarm the public. No. The offending murderers and lynchers would sometimes stake the heads of the victims as a warning to other slaves not to rise up against their masters. Despite the frequent disavowals of the incoming Trump administration, I don’t believe Trump and his crew even have good intentions for the future, for world peace or for national security. Which brings us to this moment. Even before taking

any of the belligerences of Trump into account, a group of cynics, philosophers and other intellectuals who publish “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” say that human life as we know it is just minutes from oblivion, according to their “Doomsday Clock.” The Doomsday Clock is described by its creators as “an internationally recognized design that conveys how close the world is to destroying its civilization with dangerous technologies of their own making,” including nuclear weapons, climate-changing technologies, biotechnologies and cyber technology that could “inflict irrevocable harm … to our way of life and to the planet.” “The probability of global catastrophe is very high,” said

the scientists. “And the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon. That probability has not been reduced. The clock ticks. Global danger looms. Wise leaders should act immediately.” But this country’s greatest liability is the sins of its bloody past. Millions and millions of souls kidnapped from Africa and made slaves. Their three centuries of free labor made this country rich. That slave trade and its aftermath constitute a “crime against humanity.” White tribalism, profit, comfort and ease at the expense of non-white people of the earth cannot prevail. The Washington Informer is a member publication of the National Newspaper Publishers Association.







Insight News • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Page 7

Education Founder of Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute to launch leadership book project Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute (PPGJ) is raising funds for its first youth education project. PPGJ seeks to motivate and inspire 1,000 young

people to become superheroes for justice who make a difference in the world. Working with young people of a variety of ages, PPGJ wants to donate 1,000 books

to children around the world and create opportunities both for learning and for service. The current plan is to raise enough funds to cover 1,000 “Making a Difference”

books, which are meant to guide students in the right direction and motivate them to study hard and pursue their educational goals. Starting in St. Paul and traveling to

several cities, the initiative hopes to wrap up its book tour in Ghana. For those interested in supporting the project, they can contribute to the Generosity Campaign

at education-fundraising/ ppgj-book-project-toempower-leaders-oftomorrow/x/13905047.

TCDP From 3 discourse and a wide range of professional expertise. PreeStinson, running for Ward 3’s open seat, is a mother of three, a veteran and currently works for Medtronic. Mauter from Ward 11 trained professionally as an engineer before becoming a nonprofit arts executive. These candidates have worked on successful campaign trails; they have experience crafting policy, with youth development and strategic planning. All seven of them have backgrounds in the arts and want to see creative solutions intrinsically built into the culture of the city. “These are not people who woke up on a Tuesday and said, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll run for city council.’ These are people actively engaged in resistance. I’ve been doing this for years, and I’m not going to stop any time soon,” said Jenkins, who has worked as a policy aide for City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden’s office for 10 years. An unapologetic Black, transgender activist and renowned poet, Jenkins is running for Glidden’s empty seat in Ward 8. “Even if none of us get elected, this drive is not going away. You’d be underestimating the power of movements,” said Jenkins. Artist-organizer and candidate for Ward 5 Ellison looked at the cadre of candidates with shared values, similar backgrounds and identities and was reminded of a quote from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “What profession do all these senators and congressmen have? Law, law, law, businessman, law … where are the scientists? Where are the engineers? Where’s the rest of life?” said Tyson in a 2011 interview. “The people you see emerging (in this election), that’s the rest of life,” said Ellison. “To see people with strong organizing backgrounds, policy backgrounds, it’s incredibly exciting.” For seven candidates who identify as people of color and/ or LGBT to show up all at once in the city elections is no coincidence. These candidates represent growing nationwide efforts that have been building for years. At the national level, even after sweeping Republican wins, the 115th Congress is the most diverse in the history, with more people of color and non-Christians serving at the federal level than ever before. People who identify from historically marginalized communities are taking back their narratives and their representation in government in ways we haven’t seen before. “As the only woman and LGBTQ community member running in my ward, I bring a different lived experience to the work that I do,” said Pessenda, a nonprofit development professional and finance director from state Rep. Ilhan Omar’s successful campaign, running for Ward 1. “Once you step up, it matters.” “There are clear demographic trends that show our city is growing again. (Minneapolis) City Council has to be representative of that,” said Mauter, a Black, lesbian who currently serves on the city’s Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee.

“When more perspectives are in the room when drafting policy … that possibility is exciting. It gives me hope in a time when I normally wouldn’t. We could conceivably have a council that truly puts Minneapolis first.” Shifting the power On the 13-member Minneapolis City Council, 12 of the members are DFL, with Councilmember Cam Gordon the sole Green Party member. Despite the group’s homogenous party affiliation, the reality is anything but. A slim majority has

well,” said Williams, a local businesswoman and activist running in Ward 5. Challenges ahead While there is early energy and support around these campaigns, the path to the council dais is by no means an easy one. Of the seven candidates featured in this piece, five are up against incumbents – and all the resources and establishment support incumbency often brings. During the 2013 elections, current incumbent


long dug its heels in, preventing policies to move quickly despite massive public support. “Policy has not been aggressive enough and progress is near nonexistent,” said PreeStinson. Speaking specifically of issues like passing a $15 minimum wage and regulating slumlords, she added, “We need to address issues that have been stalled for so long.” “As someone who works at City Hall, the City Council doesn’t work together,” said Cunningham, who works as a policy aide for Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Sneaky things happen a lot – an amendment at the 11th hour without any discussion beforehand, that kind of thing. We could create a more transparent culture. If we see a flip, we could change the culture not only at City Hall, but for the whole city.” “If we were to flip the majority, there would be more robust conversation on racial equity. That’s the real problem. That’s the heart of gentrification, homeownership disparities, health, livable wages,” said Jenkins. “These systems were not built for us; in fact they were built to keep us out. Without dismantling white supremacist structures that are part of all decisions at the city level, we can’t have equity for all folks.” “When we’re talking about being able to stay in your home, food deserts, a living wage, that’s not just ‘left.’ That’s basic rights,” said Cunningham, a young, Black and transgender candidate running in Ward 4. “I want to be at a place where we’re not debating the humanity of our residents.” If a greater number of council members committed to social justice were added to the City Council’s progressive core what could that mean for how policy is crafted in the city? “When we have diversity of experience, that brings about diversity of thought. Our work then becomes more inclusive in nature, which means progress,” said Pree-Stinson. Many candidates pointed out that a key to breaking council gridlock is starting from a place of mutual respect. “Let’s build quorums. If something doesn’t affect you negatively, but could be really impactful in my ward, let’s work together. My goal is to find those common denominators. We’re all failing each other if North Minneapolis isn’t doing

Councilmembers Kevin Reich (Ward 1), Blong Yang (Ward 5) John Quincy (Ward 11) and Council President Barb Johnson (Ward 4) all won their seats by margins in the double-digits. In Ward 4, where Cunningham is making his bid, Johnson or

her family members have held the seat for more than 50 years. And although Minnesota is known for its high voter turnout, city elections (held in odd years) are an outlier to the trend. 2013’s Minneapolis City Council elections saw turnouts below 50 percent across all 13 wards, including some as low as 23 percent turnout. Many candidates expressed how their neighbors have felt cut out and disenfranchised, particularly in parts of the city that formed as a result of redlining and segregation. For Williams, she has seen a council that has disengaged, especially from the Northside. “How can you have somebody (on the council) who says they’re for you and yet at the same time fighting against everything you need,” said Williams. To combat low turnout in favor of more meaningful engagement, candidates are planning multi-pronged approaches to engage more voters, but engagement is more than just reaching out. “At every level of government, but especially the local level, you in no uncertain terms are representing your neighbors,” said Ellison. “We have to be present, offer room for questions and clarification, and work to help people understand how processes work.” The first major hurdle is

April 4, when the DFL holds party precinct caucuses citywide. All seven candidates featured are seeking DFL endorsement.

Editor’s note: Mohamed Farah, candidate for Ward 9, did not respond to multiple requests for participation or comment.

Page 8 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News

Lifestyle Unplug - 5 ways to pull the digital plug By Reginald Corbitt Recently, I read on social media, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I thought about how true this statement is as I begin to do my own unplugging from the digital world. Technology has gone quickly from a convenience to a necessity for most of the world. From communicating, to controlling things, to banking; we are without a doubt in the age of the “Internet of Things” (IOT). IOT is a term coined by innovator and consumer sensor expert Kevin Ashton back in 1999 where he described the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices»), buildings and other items –embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. It’s the 1960s American animated cartoon “The Jetsons” come to life. Gartner Inc., an information technology research and advisory company, predicts that by the year 2020 there will be 21 billion connected devices. Americans were said to have spent $36 billion dollars on tech devices this past holiday. More connected devices means more and more connected people. We are constantly receiving text messages, images, and videos into our consciousness night and day from phones, laptops, gaming devices and televisions. If the first thing you do in the morning is check your phone for work emails and you have fear and anxiety when you are not able to get to

it immediately to respond, you probably need to unplug. If your teenager is constantly on his or her device, having trouble focusing on faceto-face interaction, school work, or there are behavior issues when restricted from the device, they probably need to unplug. If you are the family that goes out to dinner and everyone pulls out their device at some point during that time, the whole family needs to unplug. Researchers in China scanned the brains of 17 young adults who overuse technology

and it showed similar brain patterns to those addicted to alcohol and cocaine. What has become an essential necessity for constant connection can also be a consistent distraction. Pedestrians have been killed because they were looking at their phones while walking or crossing the street. In fact, New Jersey assemblywoman, Pamela Lampitt, has proposed a ban on walking while texting and on pedestrians using all forms of electronic communication devices on public roads unless they are hands-free.

“Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road,” said Lampitt. More importantly, younger children having access to the Internet unrestricted with no boundaries or without being taught the proper digital citizenship or Internet safe usage guidelines can be extremely dangerous. There are some who would argue that there are no health benefits to digital unplugging. If it is necessary to unplug from

the real world from time to time to reset, clear your head, or just relax, why would one not have to unplug from the digital world? People are dealing with real issues and daily stressors associated with constant connection and contact with social media. Research has found that social media promotes narcissism, smartphones could possibly cause insomnia, and too much screen time seems to be making children less empathetic. “Our brains were never designed to be always on and

permanently connected with the amount of stimuli that we get,” said Max Blumberg, a research psychologist from Goldsmiths, University of London, in a recent interview. “Our brains haven’t evolved to handle that level of high activity yet and that’s a problem.” Personally, I have found myself spending hours on my devices looking at research, and discovered that I may have spent 10, 12, sometimes 14 hours in front of a screen. At the end of the day, I find it necessary to shut my laptop and phone off because my brain has been overloaded with media and information. Unplugging and starting fresh the next day has always helped me come back with clarity and fresh ideas. But every so often I’ll take days where I’ll do a seven day detox (I’m shooting for a 14 day detox soon) to practice self-control, time management or to center myself. Now that we are starting a new year think about adding regular digital unplugging to your list of resolutions or life style change. Unplug now while you have the chance because once we go from the digital age to the space age like “The Jetsons,” I’m not sure if we will have that opportunity, and that age is sooner than you think. “Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master,” said Christian Lous Lange Reginald Corbett is the founder of SafeCyber, whose mission is to educate and promote cyber awareness to schools, community organizations and among parents and care takers of youth. Corbett can be contacted at or (800) 851-5795.

Happy birthday Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Man Talk

By Timothy Houston The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born Jan. 15, 1929 and this week, all over the country and the world events and activities will be held to commemorate his contributions and achievements which are many and noteworthy. He was a leader, preacher, activist, writer and a self-

proclaimed extremist for love. I believe one of his greatest works was written in 1963 from his jail cell in Birmingham, Ala. Without the aid of any reference material, King wrote the 20-page letter on the margins of newspapers and other scrap pieces of paper. His words in the letter were so thought-provoking and powerful that they still resonate today. King wrote the letter in a response to a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen. Those men questioned King’s tactic. They believed that social injustices existed, but argued that the battle against racial segregation should be fought solely in the courts, not in the

streets. They criticized him calling him an “outsider” who causes trouble in the streets of Birmingham. To this charge, King eloquently responded using his knowledge as a preacher and an activist as the platform for his response. The theme of the letter was simple and straight forward … we can’t wait. King believed that “this ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’” King declared we had waited for these God-given rights long enough and “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” He wrote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable

network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly … Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.” From his dimly lit jail cell, King passionately addressed the accusation that the Civil Rights Movement was “extreme,” first disputing the label, but then accepting it. His discussion of extremism implicitly responds to numerous objections to the Civil Rights Movement, such as President Eisenhower’s claim that he could not meet with civil rights leaders because doing so would require him to

meet with the Ku Klux Klan. This moderate approach would accomplish nothing. He argued that Jesus and other heroes were extremists and wrote, “So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?” King ended his letter with a message of hope. This message is needed now more than ever. With racial profiling on the rise and the unemployment gap between Blacks and whites at the highest levels in modern times, we cannot wait. We have been given our charge. “Let us all hope that the

dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty,” concluded King. Happy birthday Dr. King. Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. To get copies of his books, or for questions, comments or more, go to


refuse to legitimize what I saw as a press conference) where Trump talked about consulting on a Supreme Court nominee with the Federalist Society – a group that believes in the most literal interpretation of the Constitution – Trump trampled upon the document’s very first amendment. For those less educated, allow me to present the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a

redress of grievances. A fifth grader in social studies can tell you the meaning of the First Amendment, yet our soon-to-be president either has no concept of, or no respect for, the amendment; and therefore the Constitution itself. For a president in a free and open society (as we are for now) to threaten to remove a reporter because he doesn’t like the legitimate questions being raised – questions about Russian involvement into America’s election – it is two to three steps of the way towards the demise of democracy in the land … a land that has up until this point been across the globe the standardbearer for democracy. This cannot be the new America in which we live. This is not China. This is not North Korea. This is not (yet) Russia. With President Trump our democracy … our basic freedom is at stake. This cannot go unnoticed and it cannot go unchecked. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me

— and there was no one left to speak for me. Those are the words of Martin Niemöller talking about those who stood idly by as Adolph Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in Germany killing up to six million human beings … human beings … simply because of their religious faith. Earlier during the spectacle that Trump called a press conference he said, “That’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do,” in one of his many tantrums – this one maligning the United States intelligence community. Sadly, when talking about Trump the parallels to Nazi Germany are eerily similar. In order for there to have been a Holocaust there had to have been a time before it. It is within that time that reason could have prevailed. It is within this time that we must vehemently object to any further slides down the slippery slope towards the collapse of democracy in this land. Before I’m a liberal or Democrat I’m an American. Before others are conservative or Republican, they too are Americans. Collectively we should all stand up for America and the principles for which we say it stands. If not, there’ll be no one left when they come for you.

From 3 press? That’s what happened when Trump went on a tirade against CNN. And when a reporter … a respected reporter with the network … tried to question the president, not only was he berated and not allowed to ask his question, he was warned that if he continued to attempt to ask a question he would be removed. And folks, that’s how it all starts. In the same assembly (I

Insight News • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Page 9

Community Duchess Harris on the ‘Hidden Human Computers’ of NASA Macalester College professor Duchess Harris will talk at the Roseville Library about the Black women mathematicians of NASA who helped America win World War II and conquer space. Harris comes to the story well-prepared. Her own grandmother, Miriam Mann, was one of the pioneering mathematicians. Mann and her colleagues are also the subject of Harris’ new book “Hidden Human Computers: The Black

Women of NASA.” Harris’ talk is the first of three programs offered at the library this winter on topics in African-American history. On Thursdays, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, she will present two more programs with an updated look at the historical roots of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The series at the Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville, is free and no registration is required.

Duchess Harris

Program launches to improve healthy food and mental health resources on St. Paul’s East Side The launch of two new pilot programs to support healthy eating and mental well-being on St. Paul’s East Side are being funded by the HealthEast Foundation. The programs – East Side Table and the East Side Mental Health & Stress Resilience Partnership – will launch in 2017. The pilot programs were co-designed by 17 community organizations and HealthEast. The $691,184 start-up grant represents the first time the HealthEast Foundation has targeted major funding for community-building programs. It is expected to serve as a model for future grants from other organizations to sustain the programs. The funding source was the HealthEast Foundation’s

Community Innovation Fund, which comprises investment earnings set aside for community health and well-being innovation partnership work. “At HealthEast, we have been learning how a great deal of what affects health and wellbeing happens outside the walls of our hospitals and clinics,” said HealthEast CEO Kathryn Correia. “We are grateful for the chance to learn from and partner with more than a dozen organizations on the East Side of St. Paul to co-create local, culturally responsive approaches to support community members to improve their own physical and mental health and resilience.” The East Side has a strong civic community, yet has significant concentrations of

poverty, medically underserved areas and food deserts. About a quarter of East Side residents are new Americans, including many refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia, Latin America and Somalia. Thirtyeight percent of residents speak a primary language other than English. The East Side Mental Health & Stress Resilience Partnership’s goal is to connect East Side residents with holistic and culturally responsive mental health and stress resilience resources. The Partnership will map culturally-based services, hire three cultural brokers to serve as bilingual, bicultural liaisons to connect members of the community with identified and mapped resources, develop or provide programming at

identified safe and sacred spaces to build community and provide respite, facilitate community conversations to deepen understanding and break stigmas and train service providers to be cognizant of cultural norms related to mental well-being. “HealthEast recognizes that health is more than just curing an illness,” said Mauricio Cifuentes, partnership collaborator and senior division director of health and well-being for Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES). The East Side Table’s goal is to increase consumption of healthy foods by improving the skills needed to overcome barriers the community identified to cooking healthy meals at home – time, motivation and expense. East Side Table

will offer make-at-home meal kits featuring culturally specific recipes and locally procured ingredients, grocery coupons for healthy food items at East Side stores and small businesses, cooking demonstrations and tastings at community events such as Fiesta Latina and the Dragon Boat Races on Lake Phalen and community meals to promote social connectedness. “All of the organizations that developed the East Side Table concept brought different skills and experience – from running food shelves or youth programs to delivering hot meals to the elderly or working on food policy change,” said Ann Majerus, East Side Table collaborator and a community paramedic with the St. Paul Fire Department. “We worked

hard to come up with something that didn’t duplicate existing services: encouraging people to cook whole, fresh foods in their kitchens.” Diane Tran, HealthEast’s system director of Neighborhood Integration and Community Engagement, said, “In collaboration with our partners, HealthEast can play a bridging role to help leverage health system and community assets to improve health and well-being at the local level. We have high hopes that these innovative, community-generated approaches to addressing health equity can make a meaningful difference in the lives of many of our neighbors.”


Maplewood, Oakdale and Landfall. She was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves as the Ranking Member on the E-12 Policy Committee. Before her election to the Senate, Kent

was a small business owner, local education advocate, and worked in the marketing and communications industry. “I am excited to be elected to Assistant Leader

by my colleagues. I look forward to working as a part of this leadership team on the issues most important to Minnesotans – high quality education, supporting a robust

economy and investing in our transportation infrastructure,” said Kent. “I have the privilege of serving vibrant suburban communities and I am pleased to have this opportunity to

bring the unique perspectives of suburban communities to legislative discussions.”

From 3


Phone: 612.588.1313

TOWNHOME FOR RENT Brand New 2, 3, 4 Bedroom Townhomes Available February 1, 2017! Income Restrictions Apply Call 952-229-4288 TUTORING OPPORTUNITIES Volunteer with Kids at East Side Learning Center. At East Side Learning Center build a life changing relationship by meeting the individual needs of diverse children on St. Paul’s East Side through one-on-one reading tutoring with K-2nd graders. Tutoring opportunities available Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Volunteers tutor a minimum of one child, once a week for about 45 minutes. Training, materials, and on-site support are provided. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 651-793-7364 for more information on this or other volunteer opportunities or visit

Child Care Assistant Volunteer/ Volunteer Drivers Make a difference in the life of a child. The Mothers First program provides prevention and intervention services for pregnant women who are abusing chemicals. Mothers First is seeking a Child Care Assistant volunteer to help agency staff in providing supervision and care for the children with our Mothers First program while mom is attending counseling sessions. Volunteer Drivers are also needed to provide transportation to mothers in recovery to/ from groups with our Mothers First program. Reimbursement for mileage is provided. Contact Ramsey County Health & Wellness Service Team — Volunteer Services at 651-266-4090 for additional information or e-mail to

Fax: 612.588.2031


South Shore Park 255 Mill Street Excelsior, MN 55331 (952) 474-9036


Project-Based Section 8/202; rent based on income for qualified applicants. Applications may be downloaded at from 9am January 1, 2017 until 12pm January 31, 2017. Completed applications must be received by mail or hand delivered, on or before January 31, 2017. All qualified Applicants will be placed on the Waiting List in the order they are received. CommonBond Communities Equal Housing Opportunity

Westonka Estates 2461 Commerce Boulevard Mound, MN 55364 952-472-4952


Project-Based Section 8/202; rent based on income for qualified applicants. Applications may be downloaded at from 9am January 1, 2017 until 12pm January 31, 2017. Completed applications must be received by mail or hand delivered, on or before January 31, 2017. All qualified Applicants will be placed on the Waiting List in the order they are received. CommonBond Communities Equal Housing Opportunity

Outreach Assistant

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) seeks an organized, efficient, and flexible person to provide administrative and programmatic support for FMR’s public engagement and outreach work. Responsibilities: assist with volunteer outreach, communications and event registration; provide support at outdoor stewardship events/classes with youth and adults. Qualifications: 1-2 years experience in administration, communications, teaching, volunteer management or related field; solid communication skills; adept with computer/web platforms, able to handle multiple details as part of a team in a fast-paced office environment. This is a part-time position with pro-rated benefits ($12-13/hr; 20 hrs/week). To apply: email cover letter, resume and the names of three references in PDF format to with “Outreach Assistant” in the subject line by Jan. 22, 2017. For more info visit

Oak Terrace 1171 Hadley Avenue North Oakdale, MN 55128 (651) 730-6440


Applications may be downloaded at www. from 9am January 15, 2017 until 12pm February 28, 2017. Completed applications must be received by mail or hand delivered, on or before February 28, 2017. All qualified Applicants will be placed on the Waiting List in the order they are received. CommonBond Communities Equal Housing Opportunity

Page 10 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News

Gaines FM

Okpokwasili Okwui

Roy Hargrove

Jan. 16 – Jan. 22

Monday, Jan. 16 CELEBRATION

Jan. 16 Jan. 22, 2017 Aesthetically It! is a list of picks from the editors of Aesthetically Speaking. Aesthetically It! features venues, events, outings and more that are worthy of “It” status. If you have a venue, event or outing that you feel is “It” worthy, email us at aestheticallyit@

31st Annual State of Minnesota Governor’s Council Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Youth Rally – State Capitol Building 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Lither King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Program – Ordway Center for Performing Arts 345 Washington St., St. Paul 10 a.m. – noon Free The governor’s annual celebrating begins with a rally and march from the Capitol to the Ordway, where the program portion takes place. The program features Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Caroline Wanga, chief diversity officer for Target Corporation. The program is hosted by KSTP’s Brandi Powell and features music by the Sounds of Blackness. CELEBRATION 27th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast Minneapolis Convention Center 1301 2nd Ave. S., Minneapolis

7 a.m. (TPT viewing 8 a.m.) Myrlie Evers-Williams, civil rights leader, author and wife of murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers, will give the keynote speech at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Entertainment will be provided by Vocal Essence featuring Melanie DeMore. CELEBRATION Luther Seminary Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Luther Seminary Chapel of the Incarnation, Olson Campus Center 1490 Fulham St., St. Paul 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Hear from keynote speaker Ericka Huggins along with Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. in this celebration of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, Jan. 17 REGGAE/ PERFORMANCE New Primitives Shaw’s Bar and Grill 1528 University Ave. N.E., Minneapolis 8:30 p.m. Free

Tuesdays enjoy free reggae at Shaw’s with New Primitives.

Wednesday, Jan. 18 JAZZ/PERFORMANCE Roy Hargrove Dakota Jazz Club 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $25-$45 Jazz great Roy Hargrove is a Grammy winner who has transcended the genre and collaborated with artists such as D’Angelo, Macy Gray, Nile Rodgers and Common.

Thursday, Jan. 19 PERFORMANCE Okwui Okpokwasili “Poor People’s TV Room” Walker Art Center 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 8 p.m. (runs through Jan. 21) $25 Known for her intensely powerful performances, Bessie Award-winning Okwui Okpokwasili considers the collective amnesia around women’s resistance movements in Nigeria, from the Igbo Women’s War of 1929 to the recent Boko Haram kidnappings and

#BringBackOurGirls campaign. With collaborator Peter Born, she and three female performers mix ritualistic and hallucinogenic movement, song, video and text. VISUAL ARTS/ PERFORMANCE Bored Control, A Skateboard, Literary and Hip-Hop Arts Show The Loft Literary Center 1011 Washington Ave. S., Suite 200, Minneapolis 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The students of The FAIR School have worked for more than three months to create 40-plus original works of art on skateboards. In partnership with The Loft Literary Center, and HipHop History, the opening night will be a visual and performance arts exhibition of all student artists.

Friday, Jan. 20 BOOK RELEASE Donte Collins’ Book Release Party Augsburg College, Foss Center, Tjornhom-Nelson Theater 2211 Riverside Ave. S., Minneapolis 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Spoken word poet Donte Collins releases his chap book, “Autopsy.” Hosted by two-time National Poetry Slam Champion

Guante, the event features performances by Keno Evol, Antonio Duke, Fatima Camara, Tish Jones and Khary Jackson.

Saturday, Jan. 21 STEPPERS Chocolate N Vanilla Affair Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar Downtown 618 2nd Ave. S., Minneapolis 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. 21-plus $15 advance This event is for lovers of the Chicago-born dance culture known as stepping.

Sunday, Jan. 22 HIP-HOP/ PERFORMANCE Gaines FM Album Release Party 7th Street Entry 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis 8 p.m. 18-plus $5 Up and coming hip-hop artist Gaines FM releases his new project, “Smile” with performances by Travis Gorman, Cram, Devon Reason, V.I.C.E. Boys and DJ Smoove.

Insight News • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Page 11

copyright Getty images

Viola Davis

Tracee Ellis Ross

Donald Glover

2017 Golden Globes recap

By Kam Williams

“La La Land” took home seven Golden Globes last week (Jan. 8), eclipsing the record shared by “Midnight Express” and “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The musical chronicling the stormy relationship of a couple struggling to make it

in Los Angeles prevailed in every category in which it was nominated, including Damien Chazelle for Best Director, Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), Ryan Gosling for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) and (Emma Stone) for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy). The historic wins establish “La La Land” as the prohibitive favorite for the Oscars, despite

the not so subtle pressure on members of the Academy to make up for its failure to nominate any people of color in the acting categories the past two years. While Denzel Washington (“Fences”), Ruth Negga (“Loving”) and Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) failed in their bid to land Golden Globes, several Blacks did succeed, including Viola Davis (“Fences”) for

Journalist writes Coretta Scott King memoir

Best Supporting Actress, and Tracee Ellis Ross and Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) for the TV sitcoms “Black-ish” and “Atlanta,” respectively. “Moonlight,” the gritty, coming-of-age adventure about growing up Black and gay in the ghetto, won a Globe for Best Drama emerging as “La La Land’s” most likely competitor for the Best Picture Oscar.

Journalist Barbara Reynolds Journalist Barbara Reynolds first met Coretta Scott King in 1975, when she was assigned to write a cover story on Scott King for the Chicago Tribune Magazine. A 30-year relationship blossomed from that first encounter and in 1997, Reynolds officially signed on to help King write her memoir. The two spent countless hours recording the tapes that became “My Life, My Love, My Legacy.” Born in 1927 in the Deep South, Scott King said she had always felt called to a special purpose. One of the first Black scholarship students recruited to

The Golden Globes were hosted by Jimmy Fallon who peaked at the start of the program during a charming, song-and-dance parody of “La La Land’s” opening number. Otherwise, Fallon was fairly boring, as he characteristically avoided taking potshots at any of the celebrities in attendance. However, Lifetime Achievement Award-recipient

Meryl Streep did not hold back in expressing her disgust for President-Elect Donald Trump’s, “instinct to humiliate.” Of course, it didn’t take long for the thin-skinned Trump to respond via Twitter that Streep is a “Hillary flunky” and “one of the most-overrated actresses in Hollywood.”

Antioch College (Ohio), she was already politically and socially active, committed to civil rights, women’s rights and to the peace movement when she first met the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while she was in graduate school at the New England Conservatory in Boston, preparing for her own career in music. She married King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, a marcher, a negotiator, and a crucial fundraiser in support of world-changing achievements. As a single mother of four after her husband’s assassination in 1968, Scott King had to struggle through her personal pain as well as criticism from male African-American civil rights leaders who opposed her

efforts to raise the millions it took to build the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. She lobbied for 15 years to help pass a bill establishing the national holiday in honor of her husband, championed women’s, workers’ and gay rights and was a proponent of AIDS awareness. She was also a peace activist with a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom, and human dignity, serving as a U.N. ambassador and playing a key role in Nelson Mandela’s election. “My Life, My Love, My Legacy” is a love story, a family saga, a life lived through faith and the memoir of an independent-minded Black woman at the center of drastic change in America.

By Journalist Barbara Reynolds

“My Life, My Love, My Legacy,” book.


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Twin Cities

Page 12 • January 16 - January 22, 2017 • Insight News

Daniel Alexander Jones returns to Penumbra in ‘Black Light’

Daniel Alexander Jones

Long-time company member Daniel Alexander Jones returns to Penumbra Theatre as his alterego Jomama Jones in “Black Light.” “Black Light” runs Feb. 2 through Feb. 12 as part of the Claude Edison Purdy Individual Artist Festival at Penumbra. “Black Light” features songs composed by Jones with longtime collaborator Bobby Halvorson and live music by pianist Samora Pinderhughes and vocalists Helga Davis and Trevor Bachman. Described by Backstage Magazine as a “theatrical original,” Jones uses her distinct blend of song, story, humor and conversation to create intimate and charged evenings. The show

features all original songs – many from Jones’ new double album “Flowering” – explores the hopes and fears found in the darkest parts of night as we move towards an uncertain dawn. Fresh on the heels of the critically acclaimed show “Duat” at Soho Rep, Jomama speaks to our current moment and asks us to look to the future together. As part of Penumbra Theatre’s commitment to train and nurture the next generation of activist artists, it will present a special workshop production after two evening performances of “Black Light.”. Audiences will have an opportunity to view “Uncomfortable” by Penumbra Summer Institute graduate

BriAnna M. Daniels on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, directly after the 7:30 p.m. performances of “Black Light.” “Black Light” and “Uncomfortable” are presented as part of the 2017 Claude Edison Purdy Individual Artist Festival. Purdy was a founding member of Penumbra who believed that an artist’s greatest responsibility was to tell the truth, no matter how daunting. Tickets range in price from $15 for students/youth to $25 for adults, and are on sale through Penumbra Theatre’s box office at (651) 224-3180 and online at Penumbra is located at 270 N. Kent Street in St. Paul.

American Black Film Institute pays tribute to Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett

HOLLYWOOD – Academy Award nominated actress, Angela Bassett, will be honored with the “Reel Icon” award by the American Black Film Institute (ABFI), at its annual “New, Next, Now Legend” Oscar-week gala. The event held Feb. 24 brings together actors, producers, writer, directors and executives, as they celebrate and highlight the years’ accomplishments amid

the backdrop of Hollywood’s most glamorous weekend. ABFI’s theme for the evening “New, Next, Now, Legend” reflects its mission to preserve the cinematic legacy of African-American films and films of the global Black experience, while nurturing its current crop of emerging talented writers, directors and artists who give voice to the continued enhancement of

the Black experience on film. “We are excited to bring the excitement and camaraderie of our previous Oscar festivities among industry professionals to (a place) where we can pay welldeserved tribute to an iconic and well respected artist such as Angela Bassett,” said Gordon Kenney, American Black Film Institute executive director. Other artists receiving awards include rising star of

“Survivor’s Remorse” and “Independence Day 2,” Jessie T. Usher, HBO breakout star Issa Rae – creator and executive producer of HBO’s hit “Insecure” – Golden Globe nominated director Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight’s” Naomie Harris and emerging screen talent Janelle Monae, whose turns in both “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” have been garnering critical

praise, as a rising screen talent worth watching. The American Black Film institute is a non-profit cinematic arts foundation, whose goal is to preserve and promote the legacy of diverse stories of people of color on film, while enhancing their financial viability and broadening their success. For more information go to www.

Cigars are trending among Black women By Curtis Bunn Urban News Service

Urban News Service

When Monica Cooper walked into a smoke-filled room, it changed her life. She was a New York promotional model in 1998, when she worked an obscure event that she hardly remembers – except that men there smoked cigars. That occasion welcomed her into a culture in which few Black women had ventured. It also inspired Cooper to launch a niche organization last year that meshes Black women with cigars. Stixx & Stilettos is Cooper’s brainchild. It acquaints Black women with the world of cigars while also helping professional ladies gather to network and socialize, much as golf courses help cultivate business connections. “The name symbolizes successful women who not only like rolling up their sleeves and working hard, but also relaxing and playing hard by enjoying great cigars while loving everything about being feminine, including rocking

sexy stilettos,” said Cooper. The cigar culture has been overwhelmingly maledominated – sort of giant, public man cave. Many women found such spaces inhospitable. But now many cigar venues increasingly have become “female friendly” simply through the presence of other ladies. The Surgeon General and numerous health organizations warn about the risks of smoking, which discourages many women. “We are not promoting smoking,” said Cooper, a New York novelist and realtor. “We are offering an opportunity for women who want to smoke or try cigars to do so in an inviting environment.” Atlanta’s Sherry Johnson, who has smoked cigars for a decade, has detected a shift. “There seems to be a dramatic increase in the cigarsmoking culture, including Black women,” said Johnson. “Part of the increase is the perception of cigars being a lifestyle product for young and financially successful people. Some think it’s the cool and upscale thing to do.” That’s the hook, said

Vanessa Olivier, a Stixx & Stilettos co-founder and New York attorney. She saw cigars hand-rolled at a wedding reception five years ago and became intrigued. “The networking that takes place at some cigar events is far more beneficial than standard networking functions,” said Olivier. “The cigar culture tends to encourage more authentic, in depth and honest exchanges of information, contacts and resources. When I started my law practice, many of my first clients were people I had met at cigar events.” Cooper and Olivier recently concluded Stixx & Stilettos’ Women Run the World Tour, in which they hosted cigar events in New York, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Cooper called traveling and meeting women cigar smokers “empowering.” While Stixx & Stilettos does not sell the idea of meeting gentlemen at its events, “You can’t help but notice all of the handsome and distinguished men who frequent cigar lounges,” said Cooper. “The same goes for men. Seeing a beautiful woman who enjoys cigars can be quite refreshing.”

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Insight News ::: 01.16.17  

January 16, 2017

Insight News ::: 01.16.17  

January 16, 2017