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February 23, 2011 7:00 pm Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN. For more information or tickets:, 612-332-1010

INSIGHT NEWS February 21 - February 27, 2011 • MN Metro Vol. 37 No. 8 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Douglas The Cultural Wellness Center presents the works of Douglas R. Ewart, Saturday, March 5, 2011, 4-6 pm at 1527 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. There is no charge and the exhibition is open to the public. Ewart is an artist, musician, composer, craftsman, inventor and educator. His drawings and paintings reflect his Jamaican heritage, global, cultural and philosophical influences. His sonic sculptures are functional objects repurposed as musical instruments. Ewart recognizes the link between art appreciation, self-expression, community expression and success in other areas of life.


EWART TURN TO 9 Left: D.R. Ewart playing his hand crafted Ewart Bass Bamboo Flute at The Velvet in Chicago. Mark Sheldon

Right: “Africa Complex” by Douglas R. Ewart Photo courtesy of Bruce Silcox

Winning the future have flown on the Space Shuttle four times, and have risen to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps.

During Black History Month, the White House features African Americans from agencies throughout the Administration that contribute to the President’s vision of winning the future. These posts are part of the Celebrating Black History Month series. Here is a recap of profiles that were posted on the Black History Month blog, “Celebrating Black History by Winning the Future.” Full profiles can be read via webpage on Featured Blog Posts: Innovation Week Charles Bolden Administrator, NASA My name is Charles Bolden, and I am the Administrator of NASA. My parents have been the biggest influences on my life


Charles Bolden

and my commitment to public service. Such a commitment led me to the military and a chance to serve my country following my graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. This had been an uphill battle because due to my race, no one in my South

Lisa Jackson Carolina congressional delegation would provide an appointment or nomination to the Academy that was required for admission. Since then, I have graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, flown more than 100 combat missions over Vietnam, earned a master’s degree in systems management,

Lisa Jackson Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency My name is Lisa Jackson, and as the Administrator of the EPA, I oversee a staff of more than 18,000 employees working across the country with a single mission: to protect human health and the environment. I touch on everything from making sure the air we breathe and the water we drink is free from harmful toxins to assisting with response to environmental disasters. My work at the EPA encompasses the


North High education priority By Bernadeia H. Johnson Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools Creating a new North High School that successfully prepares students to be productive global citizens remains one of my top priorities. Our youth in North Minneapolis must have a rigorous educational experience and our community must have a community school that it can be proud of. My commitment to building a new program at North remains firm. We are

Bernadeia H. Johnson just beginning the process, but I have been encouraged by the strong community support and


Jackson analyzes education disparity

engagement in these early stages. Despite the rumors, speculation and recent media coverage, my promise has remained the same throughout this process: North High School will remain open. A new model will be launched in the fall of 2012. The current educational model will be phased out over the next three years and it will be replaced with a new model that has a proven track record of preparing high school students for college and the workforce. Community engagement continues to be a vital part of any design for a new North. We know we can’t do this work alone; we need the continued input and


Stellar cast delivers Rainey

support from the community as we work to understand what kind of program is the best fit for future North students. We are working closely with the North High Coalition Committee to meet our shared goal of 125 9th grade students for the 2011-12 school year. We honor our agreement to give North High an additional six weeks (as we extended the deadline date to March 31) to recruit students as we continue monitoring the enrollment situation and supporting recruitment efforts.


US Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4)

McCollum townhall meeting explores healthcare reform By Lydia Schwartz Contributing Writer US Rep. Betty McCollum (MN4) discussed health care reform in Minnesota, and the possible repeal of the federal Affordable Care Act, at a Town Hall meeting at Maplewood City Hall on February 5. There are many viewpoints on the Affordable Care Act’s cost and effectiveness. However, repealing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety would have devastating effects. The law takes away an insurance company’s power to decide what care Minnesotans receive. If repealed, insurance companies

Lifestyle Facebook freebies

will be able to continue abusive practices such as overcharging to boost profits and using fine print to deny medical treatments to people who need it. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will be required to cover preventative medical services and to use at least 80 percent of premium dollars actually on health care, rather than putting the money toward executive salaries and corporate profits. The law also provides funding for consumerassistance programs and toward holding insurance companies accountable for unjustified premium increases.


MN Second Chance Coalition

Day on the Hill





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Insight News • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Page 3

BUSINESS Yes, not now or I’ve got something better for you Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond When Polly set sail on the Smooth Jazz Cruise out of Miami recently, she set an intention. Specifically, she had in mind a picture of a person she would meet. She visualized their meeting. She scripted their conversation. Then she threw the whole thing up into the universe on a prayer.

With that kind of goal in mind, a person will get an answer. It might not be the expected answer, but it will be one of these: yes, not now or infinitely better. This week, my recruiting desk watched with interest as three people with clear intentions heard back from the universe. YES. Li’s last design job paid $36 per hour. She called me with a question. She said, “I’ve been out of work for months. I have a job offer of $27 per hour. Should I ask for $ 29?” She didn’t want to lose the offer, but she had to pay her bills. After we talked, Li brought a straightforward conversation to the new manager. She showed

all her cards, telling them, “I don’t want to pass on this offer, but I was at $36 before. What can we do?” The offer was upped, her title changed and her income will be much closer to where she used to be. This time, the universe said, “Yes.” NOT NOW is harder to hear. Mila is in a temporary job with limited responsibilities. She has more capacity and sees where she can help. However, she continually gets her hand slapped for straying outside her assigned duties. In this case, Mila’s company is not Mila’s concern. As an exercise in discipline, she has to focus on her narrow role, do it in rock star style, and let someone

else do the heavy lifting for a while. BETTER. Even the best intention has to measure up to what fate has on her agenda. In Polly’s case, the romantic meeting she had planned prior to her cruise did actually occur. It did not turn out to be romantic, however. It turned out to be infinitely better. It happened that she ran into a dear friend from her long ago past. This person had had some success and wants to bring Polly into a lead role in the business, a role for which she is ideally qualified and suited for. I asked her, “Were you looking for a new career path?” “No,” she answered. “I was

Workshop creates successful renters Keys to Successful Rental Living is a three-hour workshop that will be offered by Lutheran Social Service to help individuals learn how to be successful renters on Saturday, March 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis, located at 2400 Park Avenue.


The class, funded by Minnesota Housing, is free and childcare is also available but pre-registration is required one week in advance of the workshop. “While the class is designed for first-time renters and people who have barriers to renting such as evictions, everyone can gain something in their efforts to be a successful renter,” explained Lory Perryman, housing manager for Lutheran Social Service. “In fact, 99% of the 300 participants who filled out evaluations after this

workshop reported that the class had helped them to be a better renter.” Classes are taught by staff from Lutheran Social Service who have experience with affordable housing, tenant’s rights, property management, leasing documents, tenant/ owner communication, conflict resolution and inspections to assure safe and decent housing.

• Best ways to search for a living space • Understand a rental lease • How to take care of your property • Communicating with the property manager • How to be a good neighbor • Tips on resolving conflicts

The class will cover the following topics: • How to budget for rent and utilities

The Keys to Successful Rental Living will also be offered at the Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis on June 4 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. For more information, please call 612.879.5250.

of the community be selected by the community to serve on the interview team for selecting the consultant. Community members will also have the opportunity to learn about the proposals and participate in a Q & A session with the three finalists. The consultant will be selected based on valued feedback from the community and district staff and is expected to begin Phase 1 of the design process in early March. The core of the work at

Minneapolis Public Schools is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. The new North High School design and community engagement process will establish a high quality high school in the north community worthy of the North High School tradition and historic reputation. Thank you for your continued support of the academic ambitions our schools and communities have for Minneapolis youth.

Schools Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Andrew Notsch Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Brenda Colston Julie Desmond S. Himie Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Ryan T. Scott Lydia Schwartz Stacey Taylor Photography Suluki Fardan Tobechi Tobechukwu 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.

From 1 We believe that the new school design and the process for working with the community can serve as a national model. From day one I have been adamant that we will partner with community members to select an expert consultant to facilitate the design of the new program. The three consultants who are finalists all have proven track records in the area of community engagement. As part of the interview process, we have asked that five members

Health From 1 The Affordable Care Act creates inexpensive policies for young adults that will provide protection from catastrophic health care costs. The law also helps small businesses to benefit from group rates and a greater choice of insurers. The Affordable Care Act provides additional funding for community health centers that provide health care to the poor and medically underserved. Most importantly, the federal health care reform law requires states to expand Medicaid coverage to lowincome adults by January 2014. States have the option to phasein this expansion by receiving federal dollars for the state-only coverage they already provide. On January 5, Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order for the implementation of this Medicaid expansion by March 1. This means that more low-income adults will be eligible for Medicaid benefits when the state begins implementing the expanded Medical Assistance program in Minnesota. McCollum, who serves on the US House Appropriations and Budget Committees, supports the early expansion of Medicaid in Minnesota. “Expanding Medicaid health benefits to our state’s most vulnerable citizens means more efficient health care delivery and cost savings to Minnesota taxpayers. I applaud Gov. Dayton for his commitment to meet the health needs of all our citizens while using available federal dollars to strengthen Minnesota’s health system,” she said. The state cost of the early expansion of Medical Assistance is equivalent to the current state cost of providing coverage to people currently enrolled in the General Assistance Medical Care and MinnesotaCare programs, who will all be shifted to Medical Assistance. The expansion provides federal matching funds for health care that would otherwise have to


looking for a better life, and I found it.” She didn’t get what she wanted. She got something much, much better.

Julie Desmond is a recruiter with Specialized Recruiting Group in Minneapolis. Send your career planning questions to

Page 4 • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Insight News

EDUCATION Jackson analyzes education disparity By Maya Beecham Contributing Writer Fifty-nine percent of Black males in Minnesota graduate from high school. Two-thirds of Minnesota Black male students read below the fourth grade level. Three times as many Black male students, in comparison to white male students were expelled. Black male students were admitted to district Gifted and/or Talented programs at less than half the rate of white male students, while nearly three times as many were classified as mentally retarded. (The Schott Foundation). Statistics for Minnesota are representative of a national tragedy while the United States wrestles with the embarrassment of our students ranking low in education globally. On Monday, Feb. 28, 6–7 pm, Dr. John Jackson, Ed. D., J.D. President of the Schott Foundation, will give a keynote address at the

John Jackson

University of St. Thomas School of Law, on the future of public education and its impact on the academic achievement of Black males. Jackson will provide an overview of Minnesota’s statistics on racial disparities in public education and offer practical solutions for educational reform based on the Schott Foundation’s fourth biennial report, Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education & Black Males. Artika Tyner, Interim Director of Diversity and Clinical Law Fellow (Community Justice Project) at University of St. Thomas School of Law said, “Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males 2010 provides a state-bystate comparative analysis of the achievement of Black males in public education and offers practical solutions for educational reform. This report frames educational disparities experienced by Black males

as a civil rights issue and advocates for policy reform. The topic of this report is very timely for the University of St. Thomas School of Law community, education community and greater community as we collectively explore how to minister to the academic needs of Black males in a holistic manner. Dr. Jackson’s address will provide an opportunity for the community to come together and become educated about the challenges experienced by Black males.” The Schott Foundation, founded in 1991, operates under the, “vision that all children will graduate from high performing, wellresourced public schools, and are capable of success in College and full participation in a democratic society, regardless of race, gender, class, or Native language. The mission of the Schott Foundation “is to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement

to achieve fully resourced, quality preK-12 public education.” Tyner said, “Dr. Jackson will provide a call to action since each member of the community has a role to play in furtherance of the message of ‘Yes we can.’ At the core of Dr. Jackson’s values is the commitment that all children can learn! Based upon this commitment, I believe that Dr. Jackson can motivate the law school community and greater community to become actively involved in chartering a new course for the future of education for Black males. In furtherance of its social justice mission, the University of St. Thomas School of Law is honored to welcome, Dr. Jackson of the Schott Foundation.” For more information on Schott Foundation’s Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education & Black Males, visit http://

Zophia Dadlez wins Saint Paul Public Schools spelling bee Zophia Dadlez, a sixth grade student at L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion School, won the Saint Paul Public Schools 2011 spelling bee at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. After 28 rounds, she earned first place by correctly spelling apocalyptic, an adjective meaning foreboding imminent disaster or final doom. William Yang, an eighth grade student at Farnsworth Aerospace PreK8 Magnet, is the second place winner and Elijah Armstrong, a fourth grade student at EXPO for Excellence Elementary Magnet, is the third place winner. Thirty eight students had earned a spot in the districtwide contest by winning

Zophia Dadlez spelling bees at their schools. “In the computer age of spell check, spelling bees are

Photos courtesy SPPS

a great reminder that a good knowledge of spelling helps students increase vocabularies,

William Yang

Elijah Armstrong

learn concepts and develop correct English usage and a love of words that will help

them better communicate in all of their subjects and all their lives,” said Ashley Cannaday,

program manager of SPPS Gifted Services. Dadlez and Yang, the top two winners in the SPPS competition, will advance to the regional spelling bee on March 12, 201, at the Minnesota History Center. Winners from regional spelling bees advance to the Scripps National Bee in Washington D.C. June 1-2, 2011. The SPPS spelling bee will be broadcast on Saint Paul Cable Channel 16 at 9 am and 4:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011; Friday, Feb. 25, 2011; Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011; Wednesday, March 2, 2011; Friday, March 4, 2011; and Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Insight News • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Page 5


Stellar cast delivers Rainey By Alaina L. Lewis Contributing Writer It’s inevitable that “life” happens, but sometimes what’s going on underneath the surface is where our real attention should lie when there’s still a chance to purge our problems. For Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag, and Levee of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a play written by the late August Wilson, the veil of unconscious hurts becomes as harkening a reality as an overcast sky, especially while trying to exist in the 1920s. It’s no surprise that Penumbra Theater’s production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is being presented at the Guthrie Theater; bypassing the walls of their cozy St. Paul home altogether. The bravado of this piece sweeps audiences up into the internal prison that is the struggles within these characters. Even in as large a room as the Guthrie boasts, you can still feel the claustrophobia; you’re pinned against the corner of your seat— dying inside, as you suffer the struggles of these characters in the plays journey, as told through the brilliant direction of Lou Bellamy, and from the mouths of an extraordinary cast. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is about Gertrude

“Ma” Rainey, a blues legend, who takes a trip to Chicago with her band in 1927, to record a hit record with a difficult white producer and Ma’s incompetent white manager. The characters’ struggles for equality and respect are illustrated through spoken memories, deep conversations, and their interactions with a racist world. These hurdles suffer them a fractured identity, but through these visual fragments, you can make out the lucid journey that many of us walk for reverence. For Ma, the task is to maintain the respect of her manager and producer— a feeling that only lasts until her last note is sung, and is earned only as a result of her fiery attitude and demand of the things she wants. The band struggles in her shadow to gain their individual respect— a feeling that for Levee, is sure to change if he is ever offered a solo opportunity to work with Ma’s producer and manager. In this production, Bellamy has put together a team of Minnesota’s finest theatrical players to push this production to incredible heights by garnering a feeling of authenticity, and a synergetic vibe unto its ability. Jevetta Steele, plays the role of Ma; Abdul Salaam El Razzac is Toledo; James Craven is Cutler; William John Hall

2011 © Michal Daniel

William John Hall, Jr. (Slow Drag), Jevetta Steele (Ma Rainey), Lerea Carter (Dussie Mae) and Ahanti Young (Sylvester) in the Penumbra Theatre production of August Wilson’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM presented at the Guthrie Theater February 10 – March 6, 2011. Directed by Lou Bellamy, scenic design by Vicki Smith, costume design by Mathew J. LeFebvre, lighting design by Don Darnutzer. is Slow Drag; and James T. Alfred is Levee. The interactions between the cast, the incredible

direction, and the essence of the era captured within each set, make you wonder if the theater is really a time machine, and

the stage, a window into the groups uniquely defined lives. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” runs until March 6 at

the Guthrie Theater. For more information call the Guthrie at (612) 377-2224 or Penumbra at (651) 224-3180.

“Fierce Love” returns Student Union, QSCC, and the GLBTA PO. The play will show Saturday, Feb 27, 7pm at the University of Minnesota’s Stoll Thrust Theater at Rarig Center; 220 21st Avenue, Minneapolis. For more information: (612) 625-4001.

By Alaina L. Lewis Contributing Writer Last July, “a few good men” took the stage by storm at the Pillsbury House Theater with a play entitled “Fierce Love: Stories of Gay Black Life.” The production was put on by Twin Cities Black Pride (TCBP) and directed by Harry Waters Jr. “Twin Cities Black Pride exists to create space for the Black LGBT community, because currently there is none. The production of Fierce Love was a way in which we could, for a limited time, bring the LGBT community to a space free of alcohol in order to meet each other and learn along the way,” TCBP committee member and Fierce Love cast member Jason Jackson shared. The play was a reprisal of a production of the same name written by Brian Freeman, Djola Branner and Eric Gupton— a trio that nicknamed themselves the Pomo Afro Homos, a shortened version of Post Modern African American Homosexuals. Through the use of 12 standalone vignettes, Fierce Love illustrated the diverse world within the African American LGBT community by serving as a platform to dispel any negative stereotypes attached to gay men. The play aims to educate and create opportunity for individuals to develop a new understanding of the often misunderstood group. “The audience got a chance to hear stories and ideas about Black gay men that the media never shows. The play humanizes our species, allows the audience to rethink the ways we are generally framed as divas or men on the down low,” said Jackson. After wowing audiences and selling out two shows last year, the production is back by popular demand, with the same mission, only gracing a new stage, and hoping to find new fans. Fierce Love is making its Black History Month debut at the University of Minnesota on February 26, 2011, with the aid of a campus discussion group, Tongues Untied: LGBTQ People of Color, which was co-founded by Jackson. “ ‘Fierce Love’ is for anybody, literally. Though the play depicts the lives of gay Black men, I assure you that women and all people of color will see their own struggles for social equality and the right to be heard in communities that often ignore them. Be it that you are not Black, gay or male, the play will be enlightening, intense and bring you one step closer to being a true ally in the fight for social equality,” Jackson said. “Fierce Love: Stories of Gay Black Life” is being sponsored by Coca Cola, the Black

Alex Roob

Front row: Kevin “Kaos” Moore, Malik Irby, Cortez Riley. Second row: Mike Ernst, James Davis, Cmurf, Harry Waters Jr. Back row: Will Gordon, Jason Jackson, Dontae.



Page 6 • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Insight News

Retooling, renewing, repositioning Gateway to excellence By Scott Gray MUL President/CEO Do non-profit organizations have life stages? In the book, The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations, published by the St. Paul-based Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, author Judith Sharken Simon suggests that while witnessed but not widely studied, indeed like people, organizations transform over time. This transformation can be positive, reflecting a proactive response to change; or unfortunately, it can result in the ultimate demise of an organization when the winds of change are ignored. Simon labels these five nonprofit life stages as, “Stage One: Imagine and Inspire (Can the dream be realized?); Stage Two: Found and Frame (How are we going to pull this off?), Stage Three: Ground and Grow (How can we build this to be viable?); Stage Four: Produce and Sustain (How can the momentum be sustained?), and Stage Five: Review and Renew (What do we need to redesign?)” Retooling. Reflecting on the growth and development of the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL), one can observe the manifestation of these life stages over the course of the organization’s 85 years in existence. The organization sprouted from the imagination of community leaders at the time. These individuals and their supporters worked tirelessly to create a framework for MUL; they sought to steward its growth over the

years, and ultimately produce significant results -- improving the quality of life for those who knocked on the door seeking assistance. Surf to the 21st century, a time when globalization and technological advancement have altered the local community, the nation, and especially the non-profit world. Non-profits who spout out rhetoric and few results are certain to find they are all of a sudden redundant. Recognizing these shifts, in 2010, the MUL embarked on what can definitely be classified as a Stage Five mission; an intentional effort to review and moreover renew itself. For the last year, through a comprehensive strategic planning process, MUL reassessed its programmatic, operational and fiscal systems. MUL staff and stakeholders reviewed performance management, return-oninvestment (ROI), service delivery, target population human development needs, among other aspects of its organizational systems. This was an insightful endeavor, as it enabled the organization to identify both its strengths and opportunities for continuous improvement. At the conclusion of these countless hours of dialogue, evaluation, and brainstorming, the organization had fashioned a refocused strategic mission and vision; four gateway intersections comprised of programs and services that respond to the most pressing disparities in the Twin Cities, challenges now currently faced by the people that the MUL was originally created to serve in 1926. The MUL Gateway to Opportunity 2010-13 Strategic Plan offers solutions focused on education, employment, health and wellness, and wealth

building. Its intersections are named: College Preparedness/ Career Development, Workforce Solutions, Health and Wellness, and Wealth Accumulation; all vital as people transition through the various stages of their lives. Renewing. A cornerstone of this organizational retooling effort was an in-depth examination of MUL‘s finances. In response to noted financial shortfalls, a plan

in the context of today’s climate, the status of an organization’s financial health is important for maintaining and seeking new revenue sources. As one of the oldest human development organizations in the Twin Cities, the MUL is elated to have regained solid footing once again as it continues to execute its plan to revitalize and restore its strength as a solution-based, outcome focused community agency.

“MUL is attentively on a pathway to organizational renewal, constantly scanning the climate so that relevancy and responsiveness are its hallmark.” of action was devised to end the nagging year-end deficits which are so common in the non-profit sector. Through sound budgeting, strategic fiscal management, and intentional leadership, contrary to doubting naysayers, MUL was able to end 2010 with a surplus, successfully turning the tide and reversing a $240,000 2009 end of year deficit. Focus is often defined as following one course until successful, and that is what the MUL has done over the last 14 months. Pivotal decisions were made in support of organizational renewal and sustainable capacity building. Fundamental in the general management sense, and critical

Repositioning. With an actionable strategic agenda based upon the four gateway intersections and an improved financial picture, the MUL is working to elevate the organization’s relevancy by offering programs which respond to two mushrooming 21st century barriers to health and wellness, wealth building, self-sufficiency and community well-being: education and employment. We have all heard the grim statistics which do not require repeating once again. Clearly the emphasis must shift to sowing the seeds of success and the execution of replicable solutions that bear fruit. The MUL’s Health and Wellness Gateway was recently

awarded a $246,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide mental health services to children from cultural and minority backgrounds. Basic to one’s ability to develop selfefficacy, a sense of security in one’s ability to acquire a home in the future, to meet basic subsistence needs, or to have even a remote possibility of achieving life goals, mental wholeness is a must. To support educational and employment success, digital literacy is essential. The MUL was proactive about involving itself in a Microsoft technology giveaway program that coupled social networking and corporate giving. As a result, we were able to receive a $300,000 donation. This immediately served to improve access to technology for youth and adults in MUL programs. In response to growing numbers of Twin Cities youth ineffectively transitioning from middle to high school, the MUL has created its 8.5 transition program, which will be piloted this summer. Additionally, the MUL 13th year secondary to postsecondary pipeline program is under development, and this will serve to provide youth with the academic support, career development, and vocational training essential for employment in a 21st century workplace where 75% of jobs now require some levels of postsecondary training. The MUL BIG STEP customized employment and training program is the organization’s employerdriven training framework, which prepares individuals to meet just-in-time hiring needs. MUL has partnered with business and trade unions to determine skill competencies required for positions in occupational sectors like

highway construction, the green sector, and other areas as opportunities emerge. These are just a few examples of actions the MUL has taken to reposition itself so that it is offering programming that meets the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. Simon opens The 5 Life Stages of Nonprofits with a thought-provoking quote attributed to Opera Singer Leontyne Price: “Know when you are shifting gears in life. You should leave your era. It should never leave you.” Further, the author notes that there is another life stage for an organization, while not inevitable, it can happen at any time, particularly if no one is willing to embrace inventive thinking. If no one recognizes and reacts to the life-stage changes being experienced by an organization there is “decline and dissolution.” MUL proactively acknowledged, in light of the economic, educational and employment shifts we all are facing, that it was time to retool, renew and reposition; and it chose to pursue organizational transformation at an important juncture, ensuring that the era did not leave it behind and that it did not become an organization inundated with decline. MUL is attentively on a pathway to organizational renewal, constantly scanning the climate so that relevancy and responsiveness are its hallmark. We invite all segments of the Twin Cities to join MUL on this journey to effectively diminish disparities in our community, for when we elevate opportunity for the most challenged, we all benefit. To learn more about the MUL Gateway to Opportunity, contact us at

Carter: Proposed cuts would hamper recovery Responding to President Obama’s budget proposal released last Monday, Ramsey County Commissioner and Community Action of Ramsey & Washington Counties Board President Toni Carter said thousands of people will lose their support and education networks, jobs would be lost, 1,500 community volunteers would have no place to serve, and almost a $1 million in funds invested in the community would vanish. “The President’s proposal to cut local Community Action

Agencies by 50% would hamper the nation’s longterm economic recovery,” said Carter, noting that Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties provides a single point of service for 22,000 economically disadvantaged people plus a referral network to over 200 community partners. “I believe that everyone needs to do their part in cutting the deficit. However, let’s not do it at the expense of people trying to find work, become


Assistance Medical Care enrollees do not need to take any action. They can continue to go to any Minnesota Health Care Program provider for services. They will be automatically converted to receive Medical Assistance benefits. This can be done because they are already on the system that also determines Medical Assistance eligibility.

From 3 be funded with state dollars and improves health care benefits for enrollees. Minnesotans can apply for Medical Assistance at their county or tribal offices. General

Toni Carter, Ramsey County Commissioner

MinnesotaCare enrollees who meet Medical Assistance expansion criteria should continue to go to their health plan providers. Their cases will be manually converted to Medical Assistance by either state or county staff because they are not on the system that determines Medical Assistance eligibility. This conversion

should be completed by August 31. The General Assistance Medical Care program will end as of February 28 and the four Coordinated Care Delivery Systems will also be terminated. The Minnesota Department of Human Services plans to provide Medical Assistance services for new applicants and General Assistance Medical Care enrollees on a fee-forservice basis for an initial period until enrollment in a managed care health plan. MinnesotaCare enrollees who meet expansion criteria and who are already enrolled in managed care plans are expected to remain enrolled. Enrollees will receive notices about the changes and what they may need to do. In addition,

self-sufficient, and remain in their homes,” Carter said. “Job creation and building economic security are the keys to moving our nation forward. If we seek to solve budget deficits by cutting programs that effectively and efficiently provide financial education, help people find jobs, and eliminate barriers to self-sufficiency, we will end up prolonging this recession and making the situation worse,” said Carter. Commissioner Carter noted that Community Action is the

antithesis of big government with a local board comprised of business leaders, elected officials, and low-income community members who can respond quickly and flexibly. From 2009 to 2010, Community Action was able to quickly expand its job training program and develop a crisis response program, successfully creating and maintaining jobs for 151 people and helping keep 725 people in their homes with transportation to their jobs.

DHS will also be working with counties, tribes, and other community partners to help inform clients about the changes and reach out to new applicants. The Affordable Care Act is still in no way an end to the discussion of health care reform. McCollum says that Minnesota still needs to find “solutions that are healthy for families and the best practices for home health care…The model in rural parts of the state will look very different than urban health care practices,” she said. State Legislators agree that there still is a lot left to be done regarding health care in Minnesota. At the Maplewood Town Hall meeting, State Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL-55B) discussed providing home

health care over assisted-living and nursing homes. She also said that stabilizing housing for people would dramatically aid in the health of Minnesotans. Slawik said that we must figure out “how to get people health care on a more consistent basis, rather than just repeatedly returning to an Emergency Room.” State Sen. Charles Wiger (DFL-55) agreed that funding for Personal Care Attendants at home is very important. However, he said that Minnesota must “make sure that the money is being used as efficiently as possible.” For more information, visit the MN Dept. of Human Services website www.dhs.

Insight News • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Page 7

COMMENTARY Community urging officials to address budget shortfalls By Susan Brown and Brian Rusche Minnesota families, just like our Minnesota state government, have been hit hard by the recession and its aftermath. In times like these we do what it takes to persevere— provide for our loved ones, look out for our neighbors, and make wise decisions to pave the way for a better tomorrow. Thousands of us have not yet felt the benefits of a fledgling recovery. Having lost a job or housing, nearly half a million Minnesotans are still face-to-face with hunger or homelessness, and turn to both nonprofits and public services to provide a temporary helping hand. Unfortunately, just when neighbors still need a hand, state resources for providing this help are down. Like in most other states, the recent recession has caused Minnesota state revenues to fall far and fast. And so this is

the challenge facing our elected officials: Do we rely solely on expenditure cuts inflicting real pain on nearly everyone, including those least able to shoulder new burdens, or do we favor a balanced approach that includes revenues, preserves some semblance of a safety net, and allows for strategic investments to accelerate economic recovery? So far this legislative session, we’ve seen Minnesota’s legislature embrace a cuts-only philosophy that would inflict real pain, reduce public services, reduce money in the economy, and cost many people their jobs. This approach would create a downward spiral, making the economy worse. If government reduces spending too much while families and businesses are also cutting back, it only makes times tougher and delays the muchneeded recovery. Soon we’ll learn the details of Governor Dayton’s budget. He is likely to present a better

alternative to address the revenue shortfall — a balanced approach that includes revenues. That way we can keep investing in our people, communities and future prosperity. We can keep Minnesota

— a system where today the wealthiest pay a smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than other Minnesotans. During this time, the worst national economic crisis since

“We must not lose sight of the fact that this is much more than a math problem” competitive by producing a welleducated workforce, building an infrastructure that meets our growing demands and preserving a clean environment for future generations. This ought to also involve common sense improvements to our tax system

the Great Depression, most states have recognized the logic of a balanced approach that includes revenues to address the growing gap between needs and resources. Yes, they all cut spending but they didn’t only cut spending. To remain competitive, Minnesota

must do the same. We have already endured a decade of deep cuts, and we have watched our quality of life suffer as a result. It’s time to lay the foundation for Minnesota to thrive when the economy rebounds. If we continue to borrow from our schools and make higher education unaffordable, we deprive tomorrow’s workforce of the next generation of Minnesota leaders. If we take our police officers and firefighters off the job and close our parks and libraries, we will no longer have safe, attractive communities for people who want to start careers, raise families, and begin new businesses. If we stop caring for our neighbors with affordable health services, decent housing and adequate food, we will hold people back as they work to recover from the recession and reach their full potential. All of these items are so much more than lines in a budget; they are essential elements to our quality of life

today and far into the future. As our elected officials continue to grapple with a serious decline in revenues — caused not by overspending but by the national recession — we must not lose sight of the fact that this is much more than a math problem. We are talking about preserving the things that make Minnesota a great place to live. As leaders of the Invest in Minnesota coalition, we urge lawmakers to keep all of our options on the table and use a balanced approach that includes revenues. Let’s pull together and reclaim our reputation as a high quality-of-life state. Susan Brown is the public policy director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Brian Rusche is the executive director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition. Invest in Minnesota unites over 200 faith, labor and nonprofit organizations from around the state in a call for revenues raised fairly to address budget shortfalls.

What happened to Minnesota Nice? By Joel Franklin St. Paul NAACP Legal Redress Committee, Chair African American Leadership Council Youth Committee The Minnesota Legislature is considering a Bill to certify 4th graders as adults and lock them up in adult prisons. I am one of the numerous African American spectators who attended the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee hearing two weeks ago. First, I am offended and appalled at the way that Chairman,

State Rep. Tony Cornish, spoke to the audience. Why was Mr. Cornish so hostile to the audience? I know that it’s unusual for such a large number of African Americans to attend legislative hearings. Was Mr. Cornish upset about the large turnout of African Americans who he perceived were there in opposition to the Bill? After the testimony from the Johnson family Mr. Cornish admonished the audience that he did not want to hear testimony about poor little Johnny. He completely disregarded the fact that there could be reasonable and rational arguments against the Bill. We should not be disrespected for having differing opinions. I

commend State Rep. Sheldon Johnson for reprimanding Mr. Cornish for the way he spoke to the audience. Mr. Cornish made it very clear that this Bill is going to pass his committee. Why is Mr. Cornish so adamant about passing this legislation when the juvenile and criminal justice professionals are against it, such as the County Attorneys Association, probation officers and public defenders? What happened to the Johnson family was a tremendous tragedy and as a father of three, I would not wish that type of pain on anyone. However, changing this law is not going to stop this type of crime from occurring in the future. Anyone who has been a parent of a 10-year-old knows

Young people falling behind economically Child Watch By Marian Wright Edelman NNPA Columnist While there is a lot of talk today about jobs, there has been far too little attention paid to the job prospects of young people. A new report prepared for the Children’s Defense Fund shows young people have lost more ground economically than any other age group over the last three decades. Dr. Andrew Sum, professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, and his colleagues paint a grim economic picture for the futures of young workers and young families, and Black young people and young families fare the worst. The widening income inequality and declining real incomes of young Black families with children raise serious questions about the economic and social futures of their children. The American Dream for poor young people and their children is vanishing on our watch. Why does employment for these young people matter so much? The researchers have pointed out that what might seem like “just” a first job is much more important: early work experience is a form of “human capital investment” that influences the future employment and annual earnings of young adults. But employment rates for teens and young adults often decline at above average rates during economic recessions and jobless recoveries. The number of teens and young adults ages 16 -29 who were “underutilized” in the labor market grew substantially between 2000 and 2010. These are young people who were unemployed (jobless but actively looking and

available for work); not actively looking for work (but still wanting to work); or underemployed (in part time jobs but wanting to work full time). Black young adults, and especially Black males, had the highest labor underutilization rates, at 40 percent and 43 percent respectively. As the Children’s Defense Fund relaunches the Black Community Crusade for Children to strengthen our children’s futures, these vanishing employment opportunities are one part of the huge crisis for which we need to find solutions. Dr. Sum and his colleagues found the young people who need applied work experience most were the least likely to receive it, with negative consequences for their own future school retention, employability, wages, and earnings. Between 2007 and 2010, the number of young people 16 to 29 officially unemployed rose by nearly 80 percent. Education levels make an enormous difference in the employability of young people. Black high school dropouts 16 to 29 were four and a half times as likely to be underutilized as Black young people in the same age group with master’s or higher degrees. Employment rates of the nation’s 20-24 year olds ranged from a low of 49 of every 100 high school dropouts to a high of 85 of every 100 bachelor’s degree holders. The deteriorating labor market has also resulted in another problem—a rise in “mal-employment” among young college graduates, meaning more of them are holding jobs in occupations that don’t require much schooling beyond high school. And this ultimately hurts younger and less educated workers too, as mal-employed college graduates often displace their less educated peers from these jobs. These gaps based on educational attainment widened between 2000 and 2010, reducing the opportunity for young adults

Correction: Last week’s lead article, “Lunds: Escucha; estamos en la lucha” by Ivan Phifer incorrectly used the word unanimous. The sentence should have read: “The Human

Resources representative of Lunds Food Holding Inc put strong emphasis on remaining anonymous and would not give her name.”

without post secondary schooling to form households, marry, and support their children in young families. Along with the decline in employment opportunities, family income inequality has risen for young families, and the median real incomes of young families have declined—once again, taking an especially great toll on young Black families. The median income for young Black families in 2009 was slightly under $20,000—a decline of 24 percent over the last three decades, and only 45 percent of the level for White families. Once again, education levels mattered: the median family incomes of young Black families ranged from under $9,000 when


that they are not going to think about the legal consequences of their actions before committing a crime. Locking up a youth in an adult facility and throwing away the key is not going to undo the crime or the pain that it caused. It is human nature to want revenge (to punish the offender) after such a heinous crime. However, unless we are going to execute 10-yearolds or incarcerate them for life, at some point the offender is going to be released back into society. Representatives of the Corrections department and the County Attorney’s office testified at the hearing that a 10-year-old given an adult sentence would more than likely complete their

sentence by the time they turned 18-years-old without receiving the services that are available in the juvenile court system. From a public safety standpoint it scares me to think that a young person who spent their entire childhood in a locked adult facility would be released back into society without any type of counseling or treatment. The youth will become institutionalized, and not equipped to live a productive life in society. While in the adult prison the vulnerable youth will learn from the older inmates how to become a better criminal and how to become more dangerous. They will be subject to physical and sexual assault. And once the

youth is released they will not be able to get a job nor housing because of their felony record and they will more than likely end up back in prison just like 60% of inmates. In a civilized society we have to hold our young people accountable for their actions, but we also have to resist our natural desire for revenge and focus on rehabilitation, intervention and prevention. Given the dramatic rise in incarceration over the past decade, public safety is threatened unless the corrections system does in fact “correct” rather than simply punish. Because some day, like it or not, poor little Johnny will be released.

Page 8 • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE Facebook freebies: Deals for online life Style on a Dime By Marcia Humphrey Lately I have noticed that my email inbox is flooded with mail from retailers offering extra special deals if I “become a fan” on Facebook. At first, I was against the idea of having these new “friends,” but now I am starting to see it in a new light. Many of the social networking sites offer fun freebies and discounts on their products. I

White House From 1 vital objectives of the President’s State of the Union address, and I want to show individuals and communities – though they may not think of themselves as environmentalists – that environmental issues play a role in their health and welfare. Clean air and clean water is important to everyone. And EPA has worked to shed light on the disproportionate environmental burden that too many poor and minority communities face today. I graduated from Tulane University and received my Masters degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

can’t resist the temptation of a fantastic deal dangling before my eyes (the latest one offered “new fans” a chance to win a free iPad). Are you making the most of Facebook , Twitter, Groupon, and other social media sites? If not, let’s get started today. Did You Know that there are local daily deals available at sites such as Deals are automatically accessible through your email, Facebook, or Twitter and can feature savings on anything from salon services to dental care to hotel packages. If you refer a friend, it will earn you $10 in Groupon bucks. Did You Know you could score

Christopher Smith Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy My name is Christopher Smith, and I am the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas in the Office of Fossil Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy. Specifically, I am focused on leading research which will quantify the risks and opportunities associated with exploration and production activities, onshore and offshore. As the President has emphasized, the nation that leads the cleanenergy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. Our country needs to prudently develop our domestic natural gas resources, but we have to do

Jobs From 7

travel deals by following your favorite airline on Twitter? You might be able to save up to 50% during last minute sales that last a few hours. In addition, you can be among the first to know about customer-friendly company upgrades. For instance, via Twitter, Southwest Air just announced that they have sixty

it safely and with respect for the environment. Developing these resources leads to innovative new jobs in communities across the United States. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and MBA from Cambridge University.

Nicole Lamb-Hale

Cecilia Rouse

Christopher Smith

Cecilia Rouse Member, President’s Council of Economic Advisers My name is Cecilia Rouse, and as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), I work on a wide range of issues, including employment, education, housing, the budget, and the economics of workplace flexibility. I also represent the CEA at a variety of inter-agency meetings and frequently attend meetings with the President and the Vice President. My work helps further the State of the Union goal of winning the future, supporting the President’s strategy aimed squarely at fostering robust and balanced economic growth. Through helping to design effective policy that generates economic growth, I, along with the other economists at the CEA, have been integral to identifying and shaping key policy levers to help achieve these goals. Featured Blog Posts: Build Week Nicole Lamb-Hale Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services, U.S. Department of Commerce

the family householder did not have a high school diploma to $17,000 for high school graduates

My name is Nicole Lamb-Hale, and as the Assistant Secretary, I have the opportunity to help the international competitiveness of U.S. industries through the development and execution of trade policy and promotion strategies that help to increase the exports of U.S. industries. My parents are a large influence and the confidence they helped to instill in me allowed me to succeed at the University of Michigan and then at Harvard law School, where I had the opportunity to first get to know a fellow law student by the name of Barack Obama. I interact on almost a daily basis with businesses large and small that seek opportunities in international trade. Promoting the exports of U.S. industries will help America “win the future” as it showcases America’s global leadership in innovation and technology and help to create the jobs our country needs.

–five WiFi-enabled aircraft. Go to www.Southwestairlines. com. These days, most company websites invite you to become a Facebook Fan or join them on Twitter. It’s free and easy. Did You Know that by becoming a Facebook fan of a restaurant like Olive Garden you may have an U.S. Department of Labor My name is Dr. William Spriggs, and as Assistant Secretary for Policy, I have the opportunity to help develop policies, evaluate programs, and shape regulations that strengthen our workforce. My parents have served as my greatest influence, and they have instilled in me the values of hard work, honesty, modesty, and faith. I attended Williams College and the University of WisconsinMadison where I earned my Masters and PhD in economics. For six years, I headed the National Urban League’s Institute for Opportunity and Equality, which was the Washington office for the National Urban League. In my current position at the Department of Labor, I am proud to be part of a team that is helping to promote worker safety, emphasize fairness in hiring practices, expand opportunities for all Americans, and encourage a diverse workforce. As we work to win the future, it is important to me that we build pathways to support that diversity and ensure that we are helping all of our communities.

opportunity to get food freebies? I just became a fan and entered a drawing for dinner and a movie for two. (A couple of years ago I won $500 gift card in a similar drawing.) The pace at which technology continues to change amazes me and I definitely don’t want to be behind. Most importantly, I don’t and this is why I feel so strongly about giving future generations of young people the good homes and quality opportunities they need. As Deputy Secretary, I’m in a position to help do that, and through the Federal Housing Administration, for example, we help responsible first-time homebuyers get access to a mortgage. Under the leadership President Obama and Secretary Donovan, our mission has expanded still further. We’re no longer just a housing agency – we’re engaged in comprehensive community development to help rebuild so many areas harmed by the economic crisis. Achieving that dream, and giving people from all races, backgrounds, and walks of life access to choice and opportunity, is not only what Black History Month is about – it’s what America is about. To me, the celebration of Black History Month is a celebration of America as a grand experiment – how this country became the greatest in the world despite Americans sharing no common race or country of origin.

Dana Gresham Ronald Sims

Dr. William Spriggs Assistant Secretary for Policy,

Ronald Sims Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Growing up in Spokane, WA, my parents were engaged in the community, and in the weight of things, I am James and Lydia Sims’ son through and through. My values, my expressions, and what I care for are all reflective of that,

and to nearly $65,000 for those headed by a householder with an advanced degree. Overall, 55 percent of young Black families with children were either poor or near poor,

and nearly three-fourths were low-income. Three of every four single mother families with a head lacking a high school diploma were poor in 2009. The gap in young families’ income has risen

Dr. William Spriggs

Dana Gresham Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs, Department of Transportation Although I was born a decade after the Civil Rights Movement and the movement’s triumphs —the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965— growing up in Birmingham, AL, exposed me to the racial issues including my racial segregated elementary and high schools. I never imagined the day I would

so dramatically that children in the bottom half of the distribution are falling backwards. What does all of this mean? It means no discussion of continued economic recovery and how to add jobs can be complete without a special focus on how to help young workers—and no discussion on ending child poverty or securing the futures of our nation’s children, especially Black children, can be complete without

want to miss a great deal (I don’t want you to miss it either)! What about you? Even if you are not yet ready to accept my “friend request” on Facebook or to tweet on Twitter (I haven’t tweeted yet either), start out simply by taking advantage of free memberships offered at your favorite retailers’ website, Groupon, and work your way up to the others. Delightful deals can be found all over the web. Enjoy! Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs. A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.

have the chance to vote for an African-American president, let alone work for one. At the Department of Transportation under Secretary LaHood’s leadership, we are building bridged between people who need jobs and jobs that need doing. During our two years in office, our primary focus has been to work on the President’s six-year plan to create jobs today by investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow and continue advancing the goals outlined in the State of the Union Address.

Denise Pease Denise Pease Regional Administrator for the Northeast and Caribbean Region, General Services Administration Growing up, my father, the first African-American Assistant Dean at Suffolk Community College, took me to meetings of the Association for the Study of African-American life and History. At the meetings, the group of civil leaders engaged in lively conversations about building the necessary tools to build for the future by learning from the challenges and successes of the past. As a Regional Administrator at the U.S. General Services Administration, I aim to contribute to President Obama’s vision to Win the Future by building a more innovative, sustainable, and energy efficient government. We manage 541 federal buildings in our region and are currently hard to work on projects expanding border stations, constructing federal courthouses, and returning federal tenants to the World Trade Center site.

special attention to the economic status of young families. Creating more employment opportunities for younger workers and making sure young people graduate from high school and move on to higher education are essential to address the needs of young families and their children. Their children’s economic and social futures


Insight News • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Page 9

MN Second Chance Coalition’s Day on the Hill By Lydia Schwartz Contributing Writer On Wednesday January 26, the MN Second Chance Coalition gathered in the State Capitol Rotunda for their ‘Day on the Hill’ to stand up for and support individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. Second Chance is a non-partisan consortium of nonprofits and companies working to raise statewide awareness regarding the barriers facing individuals with criminal records. They highlight the importance of Second Chance; and advocate for fair and responsible laws that allows people who have been through the criminal justice system to redeem themselves, fully support themselves and their families, and contribute to their communities to their full potential. Increasing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records is crucial to their reintegration and to strengthening communities. Second Chance is currently sponsoring a state requirement for ‘Racial Impact Statements’ on any new criminal justice legislation. Racial Impact Statements estimate the disparate outcomes of proposed legislation

and anticipate unwarranted racial impact. They will hopefully aid in the development of fair policies and provide MN State Legislators with an opportunity to address unintended racially disparate outcomes, prior to legislative enactment. Racial Impact Statements revolutionize the difficult situation that legislators and the community face when laws with a racially disparate impact must be corrected. Second Chance plans to lobby for several other changes to state laws regarding criminal justice during the 2011 Legislative Session. One of the most important is to “Ban the Box” (see article Second Chance lobbies legislature) in the 2/14/2011 edition of Insight News. Second Chance also hopes to expand the types of criminal records that are eligible for sealing. Under current law, it is very difficult—even for individuals who have received stays of adjudication or been put into diversion programs—ever to have all records of the case sealed. Minnesota needs a reasonable process for people to overcome the barriers associated with having a criminal record. More importantly is limiting access to juvenile records. Current

Suluki Fardan

law creates a number of situations where juvenile records are public and limit the ability of the child to be employed in certain fields for many years, or even the rest of their lives. Currently, records are public for 16 and 17 yearolds charged with a felony level offense, even if the charge is later reduced or dismissed. If juveniles

are not found guilty of a felony, their records should be classified like other juvenile records so that these young people can achieve their future potential. Second Chance is fighting to allow judges to determine if a juvenile offense at ages 16 and 17 is serious or violent enough to warrant a public hearing and record. This

proposed reform attributes to the rehabilitative purposes of the juvenile justice system and enhances the future opportunities of Minnesota’s young people. When young people who have not been adjudicated delinquent of a felony level offense later seek employment and housing, they will often be denied, sometimes not even knowing their juvenile record was the reason for denial. Sexual offender registration for juveniles should also be limited according to Second Chance. Current juvenile sex offender laws do not adequately account for the differences between juveniles and adults. They often result in the unnecessary stigmatizing of juvenile offenders for the rest of their lives. Juvenile offenders do not present the same risks as adults who commit sex crimes, particularly when the charges are based solely on a difference in age. Requiring registration and tracking for these cases overly burdens resources that are needed for offenses that are more serious. Detention should always be a last resort for youth offenses. The Coalition also puts its efforts into addressing the unique contributions and needs of combat veterans. With the large number of veterans returning from combat in

recent years, particular attention must be made to addressing the unique needs and recognition of those who serve our country through military service. Part of this is reducing sentences for drug crimes. Minnesota has some of the harshest controlled substance sentences in the Midwest and we can safely reduce these sentences to bring us in line with other states. Additionally, MN courts must fully diagnose and treat mental illness and chemical addiction rather than blindly charging people for drug crimes. Second Chance supports any legislation that prevents crime and reduces recidivism through access to mental health and substance abuse treatment. Second Chance tries to emphasize the adverse impact of the criminal justice system on the children and families of offenders. One way Second Chance does this, is working to increase housing opportunities for ex-offenders. Finding housing is often the most difficult part of successful reentry, and in some cases leads to return to prison for that reason alone. Public safety is greatly enhanced through stable housing. Second Chance


Book review: Raw Law: An Urban Guide to Criminal Justice Book Review By Kam Williams “I understand that it is really hard out there, when you target a community. I think of this generation as a generation of great swimmers left in an ocean. As you navigate your way through life, some of you will get out of the water safely. But the sharks own the ocean, and one such shark is the criminal justice system. In most criminal cases, the enemy is clear. It is the system itself.

I am a criminal trial attorney. I have been doing this for 23 years… Each and every time I step into a courtroom on a criminal matter, I am ready to wage war because, as quiet as it is kept, criminal justice is war. Consistently, I represent kids from the hood or the streets who really think they know something I don’t about court. But the truth is, when you do not know the rules, or you choose to ignore them, you get burnt. In order to teach you this, I have opened my files. Just understand that this system has never been anywhere you wanted it to be and is not headed anywhere you want it to go.” Excerpted from Chapter One “Rules Rule” (pgs.1 -6) One thing they never teach you in school is that America has

a two-tiered system of justice, or that if you are African-American, you never want to find yourself caught in its duplicitous clutches. But all you need is a little common sense to know that there has been

a surge in the incarceration rate of brothers over the last quartercentury to the point where there are now around a million Blacks behind bars. After Congress passed harsher drug statutes with mandatory minimum sentences in 1987, “Whether by design or happenstance,” as publisher Tiffany Chiles recalls in the Introduction of Raw Law, “the government started locking up all of our men.” Is there anything that can be done to prevent yourself from adding to the statistics? Absolutely, according to Muhammad Ibn Bashir, author of this practical survival guide. Although he’s a veteran criminal attorney, Bashir is well-enough grounded to be able to break his sage advice down into readilyaccessible layman terms. In so doing, he warns not

only of bad influences lying in wait in the inner-city but of traps being set by corrupt cops willing “to violate the citizen’s rights so easily.” Not one to mince his words, he goes on to state that, “I don’t trust any police officer to report or testify to the whole truth.” He further adds that even if the cops have unfairly arrested a young Black man for possession of narcotics, “whether they were his drugs or not will not matter to anyone other than him and maybe his mother.” Bashir is very empathetic about the overall plight of po’ folk because, “No one wants to live in a community where kids with less than a ninth-grade education, and an even lower level of community pride or self-respect, play war games on the street to the destruction of innocent babies

and grandmothers.” Thus it should come as no surprise that he sees the slums as an ocean teeming with sharks, and a place to be escaped from at first chance. A priceless primer on negotiating your way around the dangerous waters of the criminal justice system designed for folks who need it the most. To order a copy of Raw Law, visit: exec/obidos/ASIN/1936399040/ ref=nosim/thslfofire-20 Raw Law: An Urban Guide to Criminal Justice by Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq. Cash Money Content Paperback, $15.99 224 pages ISBN: 978-1-9363-9904-8

Douglas R. Ewart, “Rasta in Sun Ra”

Ewart From 1 Ewart has won the Bush Artists Fellowship (2007 and 1997), Minnesota Composers Forum/McKnight Foundation fellowships, Jerome Foundation

grants, Mayor Harold Washington’s Outstanding Artist Award and a Naropa Institute residency among other honors. He has performed at the Moers International Festival (Germany), the University of Puerto Rico San Juan, throughout Brazil, Tokyo, Perth, Havana, Paris, Stockholm, London, Dusseldorf and Berlin.

In the U.S. he has performed at Mobius (Boston), The Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Science Museum (St. Paul), 1750 Arch Street (Berkeley), Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Creative Arts Collective (Detroit), Lincoln Park Zoo and the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), Merkin Hall, the Public Theater, The Kitchen and Carnegie Hall (New York). He has also led workshops and lectured at Louisiana Nature Center (New Orleans), University of Illinois Unit One (Champaign), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC.), Northwestern University (Evanston), University of Chicago and the Banff Center for the Arts (Alberta, Canada). For more information, (612) 721-5745 or visit http://

Page 10 • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Insight News

Classifieds / Calendar

PHONE: 612.588.1313

FAX: 612.588.2031

Reverend Robert Hickman, who led a group of slaves out of Missouri, up the Mississippi River on a raft in search of freedom. Feb. 10-27. Thur. and Fri. at 10am and 7:30pm; Sat. at 7:30pm; Sun. at 2pm. Adults: $25-30 Seniors: $22-28 Students with college ID: $15 Children: $10. Concordia University, St. Paul E.M. Pearson Theatre 312 Hamline Ave. N. St. Paul, MN 55104

Send Community Calendar information to us by: email, andrew@insightnews. com, by fax: 612-588-2031, by phone: (612) 588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411, Attn: Andrew Notsch. Free or low cost events preferred.


Surveying for Historic Resources - Now thru Feb 28 — The City of Minneapolis announces upcoming community meetings to discuss historic surveying work underway of properties, themes and development patterns in three geographic areas of the city: Community meetings will be held: •Camden Community Survey Area Thur. Feb. 24 6:30-8pm Webber Community Center: 4400 Dupont Ave. N. Mpls •Central Core Survey Area - Thur. Feb. 17 6–7:30pm Our Lady of the Lourdes: 1 Lourdes Pl, Mpls •Downtown portion of Central Core Survey Area - Mon. Feb. 28 4:30–6pm City Hall, Room 319: 350 South 5th St., Mpls • Windom, Kenny, and Armatage Survey Area - Wed. Feb. 23 6:30–8pm Kenny Recreation Center: 1328 58th Street W, Minneapolis

Minnesota’s Waiting Children Free Information Session - Feb 22 — Downey Side…families for youth, invites community members to attend a FREE information session regarding adoption and Minnesota’s Waiting Children. Next information session will be Tue., Feb. 22, from 6:30-8pm at Downey Side Minnesota, 450 N. Syndicate St., Suite 90, St. Paul, MN 55104. Preregistration required. To register, email or call 651228-0117. Your 5 O’Clock Friends - Feb 22 — Tom Oszman and Jack Stahlmann of present an evening of rare clips, out-take reels and commercials that evoke the media culture of the Twin Cities in the 1970s and 80s, when local affiliates still ruled the early evening airways. 21+ $6, $5 for MHS members. Tickets can be purchased online at by calling 651-259-3015. At Turf Club, 1601 University Ave., St Paul. WomanVenture - Feb 22 — For further information and to register, visit or call 651-6463808. 2324 University Ave. W., Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114. • Career & Employment Transition Group for Women Tues. Feb 22 9:3011:30am at WomenVenture, Free. Walk-in group for women to make connections, get support and receive job-seeking advice. We Can, We Have, We Will: Celebrating the legacy of Black History - Feb 22 — This FREE, fun, family-friendly event honors the achievements of African Americans from the past and present, while looking forward to the limitless possibilities of our community’s future. Tue. Feb. 22, 5-8pm at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center, 270 Lexington Pkwy N, St. Paul. MN Interfaith Forum w/ Congressman Keith Ellison - Feb 24 — Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic-FarmerLabor Party, he is the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress. Before his election to national office, he served two terms in the Minnesota State Legislature, representing District 58B. In an era of fear and polarization, he offers a message of hope, reconciliation, respect, and inclusion. Thur., Feb. 24, Noon–1pm @ Westminster Presbyterian Church Nicollet Mall & 12th St. in Mpls. Art and Eating Disorders Exhibition Opening Reception - Feb 24 — Presented by The Emily Program Foundation, this exhibition will feature artwork created by individuals currently struggling with eating disorders, giving voice to their fight and raising awareness about the devastating impact eating disorders

THE HUB BIKE COOP Worker owned & managed - is now hiring SEASONAL BILE SALES & SERVICE STAFF. More info at: or call 612-729-0437.

Rose McGee

Applications accepted online. Job ID #2142 No phone calls or walk-ins please. EOE, AAE, M/F/D/V


PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking a Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator to work in the Twin Cities. A Bachelor’s degree in HSE or similar education/experience and OSHA 30 are preferred. Additional requirements & details can be found online at Job ID #2130. Applications accepted online. Job ID #2130 No phone calls or walk-ins please. EOE, AAE, M/F/D/V

Assumed Name 1. State the exact assumed name under which the business is or will be conducted: Messiah’s Catering & Specialty Cakes 2. State the address of the principal place of business: 2363 Mendelssohn Lane, Golden Valley, MN 55427 3. List the name and complete street address of all persons conducting business under the above Assumed Name OR if an entity, provide the legal corporate, LLC, or Limited Partnership name and registered office address. Attach additional sheet(s) if necessary: Bobbijera Fullman, 2363 Mendelssohn Lane, Golden Valley, MN 55427 4. I certify that I am authorized to sign this certificate and I further certify that I understand that by signing this certificate, I am subject to the penalties of perjury as set forth in Minnesota Statues section 609.48 as if I had signed this certificate under oath. Signed by: Bobbijera Fullman, Manager Date Filed: 02/01/2011 Insight News 2/21/2011, 2/28/2011

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An afterschool horticulture project/program Project Sweetie Pie (How Sweet It Is!) will be starting up at North High School in Minneapolis. Sweet potato starter plants will be grown in the green house located at the school as part of a entrepreneurial training program for youth. Starter plants grown this spring at North High and Gordan Parks High School in St. Paul will be disseminated to other youth garden sites throughout the Twin Cities. At the end of the growing season harvested sweet potatoes will be purchased and processed into Sweet Potato Pies by Rose McGee of Deep Roots Gourmet Foods. If you are a youth, youth worker, neighborhood activist/organizer, gardener, urban farmer, community gardener, artist, educator, mentor, neighbor, concerned citizen, green enthusiast, block club member, community or business leader give Beth Lasley a call at 612-668-1730 or Michael Chaney pg-612-534-6403. “Project Sweetie Pie” (How Sweet it Is)! have on the community. Open from Feb. 23 through Mar. 5, Wed.-Sat., 12–5pm, open late Thur. (till 8pm). Reception: Thu, Feb. 24, 6:30–9pm at Tarnish & Gold Gallery 1511 Marshal St. NE, Mpls 2nd Annual Minnesota Cuban Film Festival - Feb 24-Mar 31 — Likely films include Sons of Cuba, Por Primera Vez (For the First Time), Lisanka, Mañana, (Tomorrow), Video de Familia (Family Video) and Se Permuta (House for Swap). Confirmed is an appearance by Emmy award winner Saul Landau with his new film, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand up? on Thur., March 10. All films are subtitled and each will be followed at a nearby bistro with a discussion about the film. Admission will be $7.00 for most features. 7:30pm, Thursdays, Feb. 24-Mar. 31. TAWU Presents ‘The Eclectic’ - Thru Feb 25 — Exhibit by Obsidian Arts is a visual, historical account of art by artists of color, ranging from ancient times to today. The exhibit will consist of paintings, drawings, photography, textiles and sculpture. Feb. is Black History Month. The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Mon. through Fri., 7:30am-6pm, at the Hennepin County Government Center, A Level, 300 S. Sixth St., Mpls. Free Yoga Class - Feb 26 — Taught by The Emily Program’s Lisa Diers, RYT, class will focus on creating a positive


PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking an Executive Assistant to work in our Burnsville, MN office. Five years experience as an Executive Assistant and a BS/BA degree or Secretarial degree is preferred. Additional requirements & details can be found online at Job ID #2142.


Police Officer

The City of Brooklyn Park Police Department is seeking capable men and women for full-time Police Officer positions in a department recognized for its professional standards, training, and career development opportunities. The police officer employment application and job posting with additional information and required qualifications is available on the city web site or at the address below. Closing date: 5 p.m., Friday, March 18, 2010. City of Brooklyn Park 5200 85th Avenue North Brooklyn Park, MN 55443 Phone: 763-424-8000 Fax: 763-493-8391 Equal Opportunity Employer

TELEMARKETING POSITION Insight News is seeking applicants for a part-time Classified Sales Telemarketing Representative. This position is perfect for a college student or someone looking for part time employment. Hours are Mon-Thursday, 10 – 2 PM, not to exceed 20 hours per week. Position Duties: • Deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe Insight News and www.insightnews. com, in order to secure classified advertising. • Contact businesses by telephone in order to solicit sales. • Adjust sales scripts to better target the needs and interests of specific individuals. • Answer telephone calls from potential customers who have been solicited through advertisements. • Telephone or write letters to respond to correspondence from customers or to follow up initial sales contacts. • Maintain records of contacts, accounts, and orders. This position requires a high school diploma, previous telemarketing experience and the ability to produce results. Please submit resume with three references to NO WALK-INS and no PHONE CALLS, please.

and supportive relationship with your body. Limited equipment available but welcome to bring your own. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. Space is limited, first come, first serve. Sat, Feb. 26, 1pm at Tarnish & Gold Gallery 1511 Marshal St. NE, Mpls

Black History Unfolded Seminar Feb 28 — Come celebrate Black History month with the Israelite Church of God In Jesus Christ as we unfold some of the great mysteries in Black History. Mon. Feb. 28 at The Brookdale Library (Meeting Room C), 6125 Shingle Creek Prkwy in Brooklyn Center from 3:00pm – 5:30pm. Information Meetings for ADA Grants - Feb 28 — Grant money is available to help nonprofit arts organizations in the 7-county metro area be more accessible to people with disabilities. An information meeting about this opportunity will be held: •Burnsville: Wed., Feb. 9, 10:00 AM: Burnsville Performing Arts Center, Art Gallery on first floor, 12600 Nicollet Ave., 952-895-4685; http://www. •Fridley: Wed., Feb. 16, 1:00 PM: Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, 6666 East River Road; 763-574-1850; http://; (take I-94 to

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY Interactive “Wax Museum” at Friendship Academy of Fine Arts Become a part of history and share in the dramatic performance of history. Experience a place where some of the world’s most famous and influential people magically come to life by waving a wand. Friendship Academy of Fine Arts is launching the first ever interactive “Wax Museum” in celebration of Black History Month, February 25, 2011, at 2:00 pm. This fun and unique performance is a fantastic family event and a way to learn about Black History in an interactive way. Complete in authentic costumes some of the world’s most famous and influential people you will meet are President Barak Obama, Phyllis Wheatley, Johnny Cochran, amongst many others. This Wax Museum is free and open to the public. For more information: Friendship Academy of Fine Arts 2600 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN. 55406, 612-987-6703.

Why God Made Me Black - Feb 26 — A Black History Event aimed to inform and inspire with a tribute to Gospel music, dance, fashion and spoken word in the one collaborative performance. Feb 26 6pm at Greater Friendship Baptist Church 2600 E 38th St. Mpls, MN

I-694 to East River Road and proceed north about 1.5 mile to the Center). Minneapolis: Mon., Feb. 28, Noon: VSA Minnesota meeting room at Hennepin Center for the Arts #310, 528 Hennepin Ave., 612-332-3888; www.

WomanVenture - Feb 28-Mar 3 — For further information and to register, visit or call 651646-3808. 2324 University Ave. W., Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114. • The Best Place to Start Thurs, Mar 3, 6-6:45pm at WomenVenture, Free. Overview of WomenVenture services to help you determine your next step toward more fulfilling work. • Women Can Do It! Info Session (nonAdrift on the Mississippi - Thru traditional careers) Thurs, Mar 3, 5–6pm Feb 27 — The powerful true story of at WomenVenture, Free. Come learn about the Women Can Do It program which provides Community Action of Minneapolis hosts the Power Brokers training for lowwomen Public Policy Forum on Monday, February 28, 2011 6:00 pm income until 8:00 pm at the Minneapolis Urban League’s Sharon Sayles seeking work in Belton Center located at 411 East 38 Street in Minneapolis. fields that offer Join Community Members and Guest Speakers; Minnesota high wages with opportunity State Representative Bobby Joe Champion, Minnesota State an Representative Jeff Hayden, Nan Madden, The Director of for advancement: the Minnesota Budget Project at the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits, Gregory Gray, Former Executive Director of the legislative Commission to end Poverty and Jeff Bauer, Director of Public Policy and Civic Engagement at the Family Partnership and Partner member of HIRE Minnesota to discuss the serious impact of the current budget deficit on community members and neighborhoods across the state. Light Refreshments will be served. For more information or to RSVP please call 612-767-1734.

Camp Fair 2011 - Feb 26 — One-stop resource bonanza for camping options. From day camps to sleepover camps, math and science camps to cooking or horse camps, Camp Fair 2011, has more camping venues that you can shake a marshmallow stick at. Sat, Feb 26, 10am–2pm at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul. FREE

Power Brokers Public Policy Forum

Chief Deputy Clerk II

The Clerk’s Office of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, is seeking a Chief Deputy Clerk Type II. This second-in-command position reports to the Clerk of Court and is a professional, managerial position responsible for the day-to-day administration and supervision of assigned administrative Clerk’s Office functions. Requires Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of six years’ experience; preferred: six years’ supervisory experience and experience in court administration. Successful candidate should be a highly organized team leader possessing tact, good judgment, poise, initiative, and must communicate effectively orally and in writing. Beginning salary based on qualifications under the Judiciary Salary Plan 14-16. Starting at $102k. See complete job description: Submit cover letter and resume to HR Manager, U.S. District Court, 202 U.S. Courthouse, 300 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, MN 55415. E-mail: Open until filled. Preference will be given to resumes received by Monday, February 28th at 5:00 PM. Applicants must be U.S. citizen or a permanent resident seeking U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens must execute an affidavit indicating their intent to apply for citizenship when they become eligible to do so. All employees are subject to a background check. An Equal Opportunity Employer.

construction, engineering, information technology (IT), and energy process. Waiver Overview for Individuals Under 65 - Mar 1 — Waivers are designed to allow enrollees easier access to home and community-based services versus receiving care in hospitals or nursing facilities. The session is sponsored by Hennepin’s Human Services and Public Health Department. Tue, March 1 11am-1pm, Hennepin County Library – Ridgedale, room 229, 12601 Ridgedale Dr, Minnetonka. You must register for this session. Call 612596-6631 or go to adsinfo. For directions to the library, call 952-847-8800. S.M.A.R.T. Educator’s Workshop - Mar. 1-4 — This highly energetic event features the S.M.A.R.T. curriculum, a multi-sensory learning approach that develops, and enhances, the readiness skills that young students need to succeed in school today. This unique workshop is led by a team of MLRC mentors who possess a wealth of experience and knowledge as former educators in public schools across the country. Mar. 1-4 At A Chance To Grow 1800 2nd Street NE Mpls, MN Draw the Band Night - Mar 3 — Artists are invited to bring their sketch pads to 42nd Avenue Station on Thu., Mar. 3 from 7-9pm for the café’s first Draw the Band Night. 42nd Av co-owner, Geno Gelhaye, says artists will be given the opportunity to hang their work from the night on the café’s walls. The café is located at 4171 Lyndale Avenue North. Film Screening – America the Beautiful - Mar 3 — Join us for a screening of the award-winning documentary by filmmaker Darryl Roberts, which examines America’s obsession with beauty and how increasingly unattainable images in the media have contributed to a rise in low self-esteem, body dysmorphia and eating disorders in young women and girls. Admission is free. Space is limited, first come, first serve. Thur, Mar. 3, 6pm at Tarnish & Gold Gallery 1511 Marshal St. NE, Mpls Minnesota’s Third Annual World Affairs Challenge - Mar 5 — An academic competition focused on this year’s central theme: Food: Feeding the World Sustainably in the 21st Century. Sat., Mar. 5 – 9am-4:30pm at Macalester College 1600 Grand Ave. St. Paul. For more information, contact or visit www. Rites of Passage Event to Celebrate, Recognize African American Males Mar 5 — Minneapolis Chapter of Jack and Jill will honor a special group of young African-American men chosen for their achievements in academics, sports, the arts, community, church, leadership, and overall commitment to the advancement of African-Americans. For tickets please email the Invitation Chair at Include an address and a formal invitation will be sent. ). Only advance tickets are available (none will be sold at the door.) 2nd Annual Minnesota Cuban Film Festival - Feb 24-Mar 31 — Likely films include Sons of Cuba, Por Primera Vez (For the First Time), Lisanka, Mañana, (Tomorrow), Video de Familia (Family Video) and Se Permuta (House for Swap). Confirmed is an appearance by Emmy award winner Saul Landau with his new film, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand up? on Thur., March 10. All films are subtitled and each will be followed at a nearby bistro with a discussion about the film. Admission will be $7.00 for most features. 7:30pm, Thursdays, Feb. 24-Mar. 31. Impact the life of a child: Become a literacy tutor with RSVP — RSVP of the Greater Twin Cities is accepting applications from people 55 and over who are interested in tutoring youth, either in the classroom or in an after school program format. RSVP places people in volunteer tutoring positions with organizations in their own neighborhoods. For more information call Mary Jane Horton, RSVP Literacy Coordinator, at 952-945-4163 or

Insight News • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Page 11


Russell’s game is timeless Mr. T’s Sports Report By Ryan T. Scott It can be easily said that Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player in NBA history: 11 championships in 13 years is the proof. It’s worth celebrating Russell even more in light of his receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Obviously, one would imagine that it meant something beyond special for Russell to receive that honor from President Obama. In an interview with ESPN, Russell admitted that he drove crosscountry to his fathers’ grave after learning of the honor. Russell said he simply had a conversation with his father there, and came to finally agree with his father that he had done “pretty good.” For those who watched or listened to Russell’s dignified, excellent path, in real

time, of the 1950s and 1960s, I would imagine that they especially agree. While it feels a slight shame that the current generation of youth have to be repeatedly made aware of the importance of Bill Russell, such is time. Yet it likely only takes a sit down in front of a couple video clips of Russell’s genuinely wise communication and timeless laugh for anyone to have a whisper in their mind that this man might be special. In later years, Russell’s icon status has grown though he doesn’t seem to over market himself for the simple purpose of face time. Russell seems to just kind of hang around and pass out knowledge and wisdom. Many will recall the petrifying effect of Russell’s icon aura on Kevin Garnett in an interview prior to Garnett’s championship achievement in 2008. Garnett gasped for words and basked in the presence of a hero for a basketball big man. Hero for some, Icon for all, Russell earned his success in such a way that all who utter the word “can’t” way too often, can only resign when presented with what Russell managed and


depend on it.

From 8


From 9 is currently lobbying for The Family Reunification Act of 2011. When parents are unavailable to be reunified with their children, parental rights may be terminated. The Act is a proposed remedy to allow children to reunify with a recovered parent when they are able to care for the day-to-day

Wikimedia Commons

Bill Russell

overcame. Even on the shiny surface of his 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, Russell had to overcome perhaps the most uniquely gifted player in the history of the game in Wilt Chamberlain to achieve those championship rings. The battles between Russell and Chamberlain were, perhaps, the best that the more traditional age of basketball had to offer. Chamberlain was just beginning to bring a new kind of soul into the league, while Russell represented a style of play that would fit in any generation. Chamberlains nifty moves and giant status amongst a shorter overall league, worked on many,

but not Russell. Russell was the quintessential basketball player (and why I support the Greatest Of All Time suggestion), and did so by making ideal use of both his mental and physical gifts. Crossover dribbles and other flashy moves have made basketball more appealing for short attention viewing, but Russell’s simple mix of footwork, timely jumping, and attention to his teammates, would work just as effectively in present day or the canvas basketball shoe days of the past. You can see the skills of Russell’s game in a few players in the league right now. It just so happens to be that Kevin Love of the Timberwolves carries on those sound fundamentals, as has former Timberwolf Kevin Garnett for the most part in his career. While the artistry of basketball has slimmed from a model of full court movement – which Love recognizes through his post rebound outlet passes – to a model of one-player shake and bake; there is still plenty of great basketball to be seen. Yet the one thing that cannot as easily be duplicated

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave

No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to

adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.

needs of the child. This option would be made available if the child is still lingering in the child protection system without a permanent home. Ending unfair representation due to prison-based census counts will also benefit families across Minnesota. Currently, the US Census Bureau counts prisoners where they are incarcerated rather than where they resided prior to incarceration, and Minnesota uses those numbers

in creating voting districts, even though it violates the Minnesota constitution. Moreover, prisoners are not allowed to vote. This process violates our principles of democracy by creating unequal representation. MN Second Chance Coalition’s bottom line is that individuals with criminal records who are employed are less likely to re-offend. At their ‘Day on the Hill,’ Ramsey County District Court Judge George T Stephenson

(District 2) said, “Most folks in our courts are placed on probation and do not go to prison. They are our brothers and daughters, our friends and neighbors. We all need to work together to help them return to our communities as lawabiding, contributing members.” An ideal criminal justice system works to reform offenders who will return to society through harnessing the power of families and communities.

of Russell is his leadership the community. Rarely do we see an individual maintain a personality throughout his younger and elder years, but Russell has always been an ambassador. Basketball is a truly American game, and Bill Russell has just solidified his face somewhere immediately behind Mohammed Ali as one of the most successful athletes of any color representing the history of the United States. He

now has the medal to prove it. This was simply a brief mention of our need to celebrate Bill Russell, but every young man playing basketball today should go beneath the “shiny surface” and educate their mind on the path and experiences of Bill Russell’s career. Times have changed a bit, but just as Russell’s fundamentals are timeless, so are the lessons of his path…as well as the “pretty good” results.

Page 12 • February 21 - February 27, 2011 • Insight News

Insight News ::: 2.21.11  
Insight News ::: 2.21.11  

Insight News for the week of February 21, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapol...