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Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concert Sunday, March 6, 8 pm at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis. 612-371-5656.

INSIGHT NEWS February 28 - March 6, 2011 • MN Metro Vol. 37 No. 9 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Vince Muzik

Barbershop Conversations Initiative project team from left to right: Shawn Lewis, Clarence Jones, David Radosevich, Ron Brown, Sam Simmons, Susan Mau Larson

Healthcare in the barber’s chair By Christina Garner Contributing Writer Organ donation is an issue the African American community rarely likes to discuss. But LifeSource hopes to have at least sparked the dialogue with their Barbershop Conversations. Through the help of the University of Minnesota and Q Health Services, LifeSource

embarked on a three and a half year study to address this issue with one of the beacons of African American community, the neighborhood barber. On Monday, February 21, 2011, study coordinators Shawn Lewis, Sam Simmons, Clarence Jones and Dr. David Radosevich gathered barbers, community members and media to thank the barbers for their participation in this

initiative in which they held conversations in their shops encouraging African American men to address personal health. They also shared the results of the study and explained how the program funds were distributed. This initiative involved 18 barbershops and 26 barbers. They were trained on a variety of health information, including diabetes, hypertension, nutrition, stress, obesity and

organ and tissue donation. In addition, the group was learned innovative ways to approach and strike up conversations with clients about their health. “Unfortunately, African American men don’t have strong connections to the health care system. They don’t have a strong connection to a community-based clinic and they don’t have strong connections to a physician so

we have to go to where they’re at, the barbershop,” said Lewis. Based on the review done by Radosevich, Director, Transplant Information Services and Deputy Director Clinical Outcomes Research Center at the University of Minnesota, African American men are less likely to designate themselves as organ and tissue donors in comparison to other racial groups. Yet, they are at an

increased risk for organ failure due to the higher prevalence of diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity that may potentially lead to the need for organ donation. Barbershop Conversations confirmed the prevalence of these underlying health problems and risks in the


Baker to lead Pillsbury United

Whitehouse photo

In 1994 Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide met with President Bill Clinton

Uncertainty clouds Haiti presidential election By Tony Best Special to the NNPA from The New York Carib News About a month before millions of Haitian voters trek to the polls in the second round of Haiti’s disputed presidential

election, a cloud of uncertainty has descended over the country’s political climate. The question mark can be traced to the planned return of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide and its potential impact on the outcome of the election.



Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson tribute


Pillsbury United Communities (PUC), a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization working to create choice, change and connection for people from all walks of life announced today that it has appointed Chanda Smith Baker as President and CEO effective May 2, 2011. Smith Baker is currently employed by PUC as its Chief Learning Officer and has provided dynamic and thoughtful leadership throughout her 10 years with PUC in a variety of demanding positions, including Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, Director of Government and Community Relations, and Oak Park Center Director. She has a Master’s degree from Concordia University and is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Executive Leadership Institute. “I am very pleased with the Board of Director’s selection of Chanda,” said Tony Wagner,


Summer academic enrichment program


Chanda Smith Baker PUC’s retiring President, “It affirms our deep commitment to building leadership from within and whenever possible from the people we serve.

CSB Campaign

Chanda is a recognized and respected agency and community leader.” The PUC Board of Director’s Search Committee


NBA all-star break report


along with KeyStone Search, a leading executive search firm emphasizing cultural fit, narrowed the nationwide pool of candidates from well over a hundred to a slate of very qualified candidates for the Search Committee’s review over a span of three months. “We were thrilled and impressed by the quality and experience of the people on the slate. To narrow it to two finalists and ultimately to our recommendation required many discussions. Fortunately, the Search Committee obtained input from a wide cross-section of stakeholders to ensure we hired a person who was the right fit for PUC, today and into the future,” said Kurt Lieberman, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors and CoChair of the Search Committee. “To look at candidates from across the country and discover


Black History Month Biden lauds Black history


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NAACP annual board meeting highlights resurgence By Joi C. Ridley The nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP, has experienced a remarkable revitalization in membership and motivation in recent years under new leadership. Membership has grown nearly three percent and the organization has been in the black two years in a row. “While our nation continues to endure the worst economic downturn in decades, and while our administration continues to fight to get our nation back on track with more adversaries than ever, the NAACP has grown,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP’s Board of Directors during the Association’s 2011 Annual Meeting. “In addition to stabilizing the budget, President Jealous and his talented staff have helped strengthen our infrastructure, and allowed us to hire new staff and create – or re-create – programs in education, health, criminal justice, environmental justice and financial empowerment.” Two years ago, as the NAACP celebrated its 100th year of activism, the organization was in the red:

Courtesy of NAACP

Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO membership was down, staff was at “skeleton crew” status and prospects for revival were bleak. However, signs of the NAACP’s renaissance are apparent as the Association blazes forward under the helm of its’ youngest-ever President

and CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous, as well as Chairman Brock, the youngest chairman in NAACP history. Membership has reached three years of consistent growth, staff has been added to all departments, and every major

Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors national program has been reopened. At the organization’s annual meeting, attended by representatives from around the nation, constituents were reminded that the NAACP is especially relevant in today’s

society. “Turbulent times like these call for a strong, stable and growing NAACP that is capable of both defending our communities and leading our allies in advancing the cause of

social, economic, political, and racial justice,” said Jealous. In 2010, the Association’s 1200 chapters and branches (units) supported census and voter empowerment efforts and rallied more than 200,000 people and 400 groups for the One Nation Working Together Rally on the National Mall to call for jobs, education and justice. The organization helped pass the landmark health care reform legislation and initiated community empowerment seminars to raise awareness of the forgotten HIV and AIDS epidemics that disproportionately impact millions of African Americans. Its activists led a forceful fight against re segregation of schools in North Carolina and around the nation. The NAACP helped push the governors of New York and Mississippi to use their clemency powers to address cases of racial injustice by freeing unjustly incarcerated individuals like Gladys and Jamie Scott and John White. The Scott Sisters were sentenced to double life sentences after alleged


Northeast resident’s appeal halts waste facility development The controversial City-County waste transfer station and household hazardous collection facility proposed in Northeast Minneapolis has hit a major roadblock. A group of Northeast Minneapolis residents appealed a decision of the City’s Zoning Administrator, effectively halting the planning for a proposed waste transfer facility at 340 NE 27th Avenue until the appeal runs its course. Don’t Dump on Northeast (DDONE), an organization of residents and business owners from all over Northeast Minneapolis, has locked horns with the City over deciding to place the facility so close to homes and restaurants in their Northeast neighborhood and the improper zoning for the facility. Six neighborhood

organizations, 17 businesses and over 600 residents have joined DDONE’s effort to stop the proposed waste facility. The City’s zoning ordinance requires that waste transfer facilities be sited only on “I3” zoned land – the most intensive land use. The proposed site is zoned I2, with nothing but a small alley separating the parcel from a dense residential area. The City’s response has been to try to rebrand the facility as a “recycling center,” an approach that DDONE representative Marie Zellar calls “desperate and under-handed.” “From the very beginning, the City has talked about this facility as a replacement for the South Transfer Station – which is, in fact, a waste transfer station. Folks don’t go there to

Courtesy of Don’t Dump on Northeast campaign

Yard sign in front on University Ave. near the site recycle. They go there to dump their garbage,” said Zellar,

“They are trying to ignore their own zoning ordinance and force

this upon the community. It is a desperate and under-handed move that is going to backfire on them.” The attorney for the DDONE sent a request for a formal zoning determination to the City on November 29, 2010 and received a response two months later on January 28, 2011. “It is absolutely clear that the City delayed responding to our request until after they purchased the land,” commented Zellar, “Had they issued a more timely determination, our appeal would have prevented them from closing on the property. This was an obstructionist move on their part.” The zoning determination downplays the waste collection and transfer functions of the

facility, recasting the project as a “recycling center” which requires only a conditional use permit on I2 zoned land. DDONE filed their appeal with the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on February 8 and received their “permit to appeal” from the City on February 9, 2011. Their appeal will be scheduled for a hearing with the BZA. Should the BZA deny the appeal, the group is prepared to bring their appeal to the City Council and, if necessary, to the State Court of Appeals. The proposed facility would bring over 250 tons of waste per week through Northeast Minneapolis neighborhoods to the transfer station and hundreds of cars per day to already congested streets.

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Portion of Sibley street closed March through July Sibley Street, between Shepard Road and Kellogg Boulevard in Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, will close from March 1 through July for The Union Depot restoration, Mortenson Construction and the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority announced recently. To accommodate reconstruction of the train deck for The Union Depot restoration, Sibley Street will be repaved and new pilings will be installed during that period. While Shepard and Warner Road will be open to traffic, the Sibley closure will mean access to the Downtown from those streets will be limited to Eagle Parkway only. In order to help address possible congestion concerns, northbound vehicles typically using Sibley Street to enter Downtown Saint Paul should use alternate routes, beginning March 1. Vehicles travelling north on Highway 61 should continue to I-94 to enter the downtown using the Kellogg or 6th street exits, and those vehicles traveling north on 35E should enter Downtown Saint Paul using the Grand Avenue, Kellogg Boulevard or 11th Street exits. Vehicles on Shepard and Warner Roads will be provided opportunities to take an alternate route utilizing West 7th Street, Randolph Avenue


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.

or Otto Street. Detour signage will be posted to direct vehicles using the most efficient route. Sibley Street will reopen by August 2011. Major construction for the $240 million restoration of The Union Depot began January 18, 2011 and will be completed by the end 2012. Under the direction of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, the 33-acre Depot

site will be transformed into a state-of-the-art multimodal Midwest regional transit hub, bringing together rail, bus, motor vehicles, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. In addition, the destination will become a magnet for shopping and entertainment. When The Union Depot renovation is completed, Amtrak’s Empire Builder service, currently located at a

station in the Midway area of St. Paul, will relocate there. In addition, The Union Depot will be the terminus or transfer point for Central Corridor light rail transit as well as Metro Transit; Jefferson Lines and Greyhound intercity and regional bus lines; bicyclists and pedestrians. The Depot will be a hub for future regional transitways including the corridors of Rush Line, Red Rock, Gateway, Robert

Street, and Riverview. Plans are for future high-speed rail from Chicago to also stop at the Depot. The team of Mortenson Construction, the lead designbuild contractor; HGA Architects and Engineers; and URS, transportation and engineering design, will return the Union Depot to its original purpose showcasing the region’s vast rail and

transportation resources. In addition, the firm of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP provided historical renovation review of the Depot. TKDA, a Saint Paul firm, was the structural engineer of record for the original construction completed in 1923, and is currently on the team providing mechanical, electrical, and rail support.

CRL Report: Credit card reform is working By Charlene Crowell NNPA Columnist On May 22, 2009 President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, also known as the CARD Act. At the time, many consumer advocates rejoiced at the enactment that stopped the ability of card issuers to raise annual percentage rates (APRs) even when customers were current on their existing balances. Moreover, the sum of reforms enacted took a full 15 months for all provisions to take effect. Despite the protections consumers gained from the CARD Act, some industry executives warned that the historic reform would make credit costlier and less available. Further, there were predictions that rules and oversight would bring “unintended consequences” for consumers. Yet a new research report from the Center for Responsible Lending, Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works, refutes the foretold doom and instead finds that this specific reform has not led to increased prices, nor has access to cards gone down. CRL believes that the CARD Act’s transparency will foster healthy competition among card issuers. According to Josh Frank, a senior researcher with CRL and author of the report, “People mistake higher rates on mail solicitations and other offers in the last year as a price hike. But, the facts show that offers now just more closely match actual costs. Prices have been level, but borrowers have a much better picture of what those prices are.” Three key findings emerged from the new research: 1. New rules have reduced the difference between stated rates and actual rates paid on credit cards. An estimated $12.1 billion in previously obscure yearly charges are now stated more clearly in credit card offers; 2. Once the economic downturn is taken into account, the actual rate consumers have paid on credit card debt has remained level; and 3. Direct-mail offers have been extended at a volume and pace consistent with economic conditions. According to CRL, inaccurate pricing information likely caused many borrowers to take on


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EDUCATION Celebrating the arts and academics Building Creative Capital By Bernadeia H. Johnson MPS Superintendent Last month, I was given the opportunity to participate in a series of Young People’s Concerts presented by the Minnesota Orchestra. They invited me to narrate a popular story, “Tubby the Tuba,” as they filled Orchestra Hall with

the beautiful sound of music. The story is about a tuba trying to find his place in the musical world of an orchestra. It was a wonderful way to weave reading and literacy into the arts and I am so thankful that all of the third-graders in the Minneapolis Public Schools were able to attend the concerts. Maintaining arts programs in our schools is essential. We know that the arts engage our students and raise their achievement. The arts help students understand their own cultures while developing tolerance and respect for other cultures. We are incredibly proud of both

the quantity and the quality of arts programs in our schools. The students in MPS today are the individuals who will create art, build connections, develop our city’s architecture and landscape, redesign transportation systems, and enhance the strong community that we all share. We are proud that cities, school districts, and arts organizations across the nation value and support our work. They recognize what we know: in a rapidly changing world, creative communities are better positioned to invent new possibilities and solve complex problems.

We are committed to educating our children to imagine, adapt, invent and rethink the old ways. We’re building that creative capital in Minneapolis with our efforts to teach and learn through the arts across our curriculum. This year, MPS will host the 17th annual citywide arts festival, Viva City, which showcases student achievement in visual and performing arts across the city – representing a culmination of months of classroom learning relative to arts education. And it happens to be right around the corner! Over 400 students will have

the incredible experience of performing at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota or sharing their visual art and poetry in a professional display exhibition at the Downtown Central Library as part of the festival. I encourage families and community members to share in the celebration: Viva City Visual Arts Exhibition: Downtown Central Library, Cargill Gallery 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401 High school artwork on display March 2 – 29

Viva City Performing Arts Concert: Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota 2128 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55455 March 14 at 7 p.m. The events are free and open to the public. I want to express how important the support of our families, staff and community is to our children. Our students benefit when they are able to participate in the arts; and the successes they experience in this area lead to continued successes in their own lives and in the life of our city.

Lighting a successful spark Child Watch By Marian Wright Edelman NNPA Columnist

Courtesy Metropolitan State University

Drew N. Melendres

Metropolitan State appoints Melendres to AVP of Enrollment Management Drew N. Melendres, Houston, TX, was appointed associate vice president of enrollment management by President Sue K. Hammersmith. The appointment is effective March 1. In this position, he will oversee the offices of admissions, financial aid, Gateway Student Services and the registrar. He is responsible for a staff of 45 and a budget of $4.9 million. He reports to the student affairs vice president and is a member of the President’s Cabinet, collaborating with colleagues across all divisions of the university to provide strategic and operational enrollment management leadership. Melendres comes to Metropolitan State from Texas Tech University where he has worked since 2006, most

recently as assistant director of recruitment and admissions, but also as a regional recruitment director and graduate assistant professor. Previously he worked for Dell Inc. and the University of Texas at Austin. Melendres holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. focusing on leadership and management from Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business. Metropolitan State University, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, provides high-quality, affordable academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. It is the only state university in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

“On your mark, get set, ready, go!” In the language of childhood, these words are an exciting invitation—and a signal that it’s time to be at the starting line and prepared to take off in order to sprint to success. But what happens when children aren’t ready for the most important race of their lives? Every year, four million children in America enter kindergarten, but as many as one in three won’t be ready for school—and many of them will never catch up. Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids, or SPARK, a national initiative of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, was designed to get children at the starting line and ready to go. Seeking “ready children,” “ready communities,” and “ready schools,” SPARK worked for over five years in seven states and Washington, D.C., to help communities unite resources to better prepare children for school and smooth the transition between pre-school and elementary school settings. The Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office (CDFSRO) was honored to be the grantee for SPARK Mississippi (SPARK-MS), a $5 million initiative that has improved school readiness for more than 800 Mississippi children ages three to eight—a concrete example of what’s working to improve children’s chances. In Mississippi, as in many states, the early care and education “family” is bound by the common belief that all children should be well prepared to enter kindergarten. But, too often child care providers, Head Start

centers, and even public schools are preparing children for the race on their own without working together. Using the SPARK-MS model, work is being done to align early childhood education with the K-12 education system in 10 targeted school districts. At the core of every SPARKMS site is the creation of a Local Children’s Partnership. As Ellen Collins, Executive Director of SPARK-MS, explains, “These partnerships are made up of community members

a parent training track, and the families whose children participate in SPARK consider their Learning Advocates part of their own family. “She’s like the preacher, the teacher, the mama, the counselor, the husband, the wife, all in one,” grandparent Tena McNair said of her grandson Tamarius’s Learning Advocate. “To me, she’s everything.” Tamarius started with SPARK at age three and is now a successful fifth grader. As she raises her

“SPARK-MS is laying a foundation from which an early learning system in Mississippi can evolve...” representing early education, local school districts, business leaders, parents, health providers, SPARK staff, and other stakeholders who realize that the success of their community and ultimately the state rests upon meaningful investments in its children… They understand their community’s livelihood is based on the children being ready for kindergarten, and they are working to address any gap or service need in their community and advocate for increased quality and access.” SPARK-MS’s interventions include professional development and technical assistance for early learning center staff, resource fairs and cultural awareness activities for children and families, home visitation, and coordinating transition activities between early learning settings and public schools. Every site employs Learning Advocates who work with families on a one-to-one basis, serving as case managers, tutors, and friends. This unique aspect of SPARK provides

grandson alone, Mrs. McNair is especially grateful for the assistance SPARK employees provide. “They are always just a phone call or a ride away. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would do sometimes.” Satoya Payne, whose son Ricky was one of the first SPARK participants in his school district, shares similar gratitude: “When he was in first grade, struggling with his speech, I didn’t know what to do. Then SPARK came in, and it was a big turnaround.” Learning Advocates petitioned the school district in order for Ricky to receive speech and language services and individualized tutoring, and equipped his parents with behavior management tools. Today, Ricky is a fifth grade honor roll student who wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. The first cohort of SPARKMS students began taking statewide standardized tests in spring 2009, and the encouraging results echo the positive impact

we’ve already seen in children like Tamarius and Ricky. SPARK students who took the Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT2) outperformed non-SPARK students from a comparable school district in both Language Arts and Mathematics. We have also seen more parents involved in their children’s academic process and more community members taking an active role in advocating for changes to strengthen the early childhood development and learning system. With a proven track record and measurable results, SPARK-MS is now moving into the next phase. “We know the model works; now we want to focus on improving the system,” says Ellen Collins. SPARKMS is laying a foundation from which an early learning system in Mississippi can evolve—one that ensures children’s health care needs are addressed, parents are supported in their efforts to provide nurturing and stable home environments, and early care and education settings provide highquality learning experiences at the same time that they work with elementary schools to develop effective transition plans. As the Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC), which CDF coordinates, issues a renewed call to action for our children, we know one piece of the solution is to build on models like SPARKMS that are already succeeding in getting our children to the starting line and off to a strong start. 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.

Minneapolis Public Schools makes up for missed snow days March 11th


Classes will be in session at Minneapolis Public Schools on March 11 to make up for snow days that took place on December 13 and 14, 2010. Students originally were not scheduled to be in class on March 11 due to professional development for elementary school staff and parent-teacher conferences for high school staff and families. March 11 was identified as a makeup day after a review of the MPS calendar.

Because school will be in session on March 11, parent-teacher conferences will be moved to February 18 for all students pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Staff professional development formerly slated for February 18 for secondary school staff and March 11 for elementary school staff will now take place on May 9.

First Book announces grants for summer reading programs First Book—Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul has announced grants to purchase books for summer reading programs that serve up to 100 children from low-income households in the counties of Anoka, Hennepin, Carver, Scott, Washington, Ramsey and Dakota. Applications from organizations that are approved will receive funds

in time to provide resources for their summer reading programs. Community-based programs and organizations, tutoring/mentoring programs, and even faith-based literacy outreach programs may apply. Organizations applying for books may not discriminate, are required to have a literacy component to their program or

project, must give the books to the children, and a majority of the children served must be from low-income households. In order to apply, organizations must first register and be approved by the First Book National Book Bank (FBNBB) at Organizations may then request a summer literacy grant application by sending an email including the FBNBB recipient group number to greatermsp_mn@firstbook. org. Grant applications must be received via email by 11:59 pm (CST) on March 17, 2011. First Book’s mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Donate online or learn more about First Book—Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul at www.

Insight News • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Page 5

AESTHETICS Sumlin headlines Robert Johnson Tribute By Maya Beecham Contributing Writer In a century’s time it has been said that American Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for becoming a master guitar player. While this exchange has been debunked as a myth, Johnson’s legendary song, voice and style have captivated musicians ranging in generations and culture. The 100th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s birth will be celebrated on stage at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, Sunday, March 6, 8 pm, with the special presentation of the nationwide tour, “Blues at the Crossroads: The Robert Johnson Centennial Concert” featuring: Big Head Todd & The Monsters, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, and

it. We survived a lot of stuff. I worked, I plowed mules, I did everything. We did everything. Picked cotton, hoed, chopped. We did everything to survive. So music is a thing that came along. This is what we call the blues. This is what it is all about. The way you live, the way you came up. I believe the blues is here. It can’t go away. It’s going to be here. I put it like this, rock and roll, jazz, hard rock, all of it is the blues because the words are the same; not only the words, but the reality of the words.

Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm. Hubert Sumlin didn’t know Johnson personally, but was influenced by his style through the teachings of great blues legends such as Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters. Just as Johnson embodied the spirit, emotion, words and rhythm of blues music, Sumlin explains to Insight News how he carries on the torch as a necessity of life. Maya Beecham: When you look back over your history with music can you tell me how you have evolved as a man and a musician in that time? Hubert Sumlin: You know just by me coming up. I came up in Greenwood, MS, that’s where I was born. You know how [Jim Crow] was, but I am going to tell you I survived it. We survived it. My family survived

MB: What keeps you going?

Hubert Sumlin

Wikimedia Commons

HS: The blues. This music. No kidding that’s what keeps me going and the good Lord. I love the blues. I love the blues. This is where I am from, and I learned from old people. I am going to be playing until

the end. I am 79-years-old this year, I will be 80. I have been married three times, and the first wife said “Mr. Sumlin you are my husband. I know you are a musician, but there is something I have never asked you. Do you love me? It seems like you love the guitar better than you do me.” I said, “what do you think?” She said, “I think you love the guitar better than you do me.” I said, “well I don’t know, I guess I do.” Maybe I loved both of them, but God knows I love the guitar. I am going to be playing to the end. I love what I am doing. MB: What advice do you have for musicians? HS: Love what you are doing. Play what you are feeling. You are going to feel it if you are a musician.

The Grace Card: Faith-based tale of reconciliation and redemption Film Review By Kam Williams Seventeen years ago, Mac (Michael Joiner) and Sara McDonald (Joy Parmer Moore) were left devastated by the loss of a child who died while a crime was being committed. But where Sara’s grief led her to focus on the needs of their surviving son (Robert Erickson), her embittered husband lost his faith and gradually grew emotionally estranged from his family. Furthermore, because the man who killed their little boy was Black, Mac developed some prejudices about minorities, attitudes which only ended up sabotaging his career as a member of the Memphis Police Department. Recently, the veteran cop’s resentment turned to rage when he was passed over for a promotion in favor of an African American with less seniority.

© 2011 Provident Films

To add insult to injury, he found himself assigned that officer as his partner, a development setting up a potentiallycombustible situation. For having to share a squad car with a bigot was likely to test the patience of

even a mild-mannered, part-time pastor like Sam Wright (Mike Higgenbottom). And predictably enough, Mac is bothered not only by the Sergeant’s skin color but by his superior’s humming of Gospel hymns while they’re out

Book review: True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself By Kam Williams “Writing my first book was an adventure [which] comes from my heart with love… This is not an autobiography. It’s a journey that I am still taking to love and accept myself just as I am. I want you to walk this road with me. You can never be happy until you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. If this book helps people find those answers, it has succeeded.” - Excerpted from the Acknowledgements (pgs. v-vi) Whenever I’ve interviewed Janet Jackson, I’ve always had the sense that I was speaking with a very grounded individual for someone who was born inside the bubble of celebrity and who has lived her whole life in the limelight. Thus, I am not surprised to discover that she would seem as real and equally accessible in her autobiography. Janet co-wrote “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself” with ghostwriter to the stars David Ritz, who has also penned memoirs with Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Aretha, Etta James, B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Natalie Cole, Lang Lang, Don Rickles, Billie Holiday, The Neville Brothers and Don Rickles. The prolific Ritz credits his uncanny knack for the genre with an ability to become one with his subjects by “absorbing himself into the artist’s very heart and soul.” Such is certainly the case with “True You,” an unusually humanizing tome in which Janet is forthcoming about the host of challenges she’s had to face in the public eye over the years, ranging from bouts with depression to overeating and yo-yo dieting. Despite her phenomenal singing and acting career, the five-time, Grammy-winning pop icon freely admits to having struggled with self-esteem issues. Fortunately, Janet has finally broken free of the negative

mindset, and she now has some sound advice for folks who might themselves be battling similar demons. She even shares some of her favorite, health-conscious recipes, an imaginative, mouthwatering menagerie with names like Strawberry Clouds, Oatmeal Pancakes and Cauliflower Popcorn. Of course, this bio wouldn’t be complete without her reflections about growing up a Jackson. Not to worry, such fond reminiscences are here in

abundance, especially about her late brother, Michael, as well as family photographs featuring Janet from infancy to the present, and at every stage in between. Truly Janet! True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself by Janet Jackson with David Ritz Karen Hunter Publishing Hardcover, $25.99 272 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4165-8724-8

on patrol. This tinder box of a premise provides the intriguing point of departure for “The Grace Card,” a faith-based, modern fable of Biblical proportions marking the noteworthy directorial debut of David G. Evans. On a modest budget of just $200,000, Evans has miraculously managed to craft a compelling tale certain to resonate with the Christian community as well as anyone else in search of wholesome family fare. The picture is narrated by Lou Gossett, Jr., who doles out helpful spiritual counsel as the voice of reason in a pivotal role as sage elder George Wright. The escalating tension has his grandson praying (“Lord, don’t let me kill my partner!”) for self-control and contemplating retiring from the force to pursue what he feels is his true calling as a preacher in the pulpit full-time. So, Sgt. Wright consults his

wise grandfather who urges him to remain a cop since “Jesus’ ministry is out here in the streets.” And as for handling hotheaded Mac, Grandpa George recommends compassion, and playing “The Grace Card” rather than “The Race Card,” because, “You can never underestimate the power of grace.” Sam hesitantly heeds the advice to stick it out with Mac, which allows the plot to enmesh them in a life and death crisis leading to a mutual shot at reconciliation and redemption. Inspiring and uplifting, “The Grace Card,” in sum, is a modern morality play offering a satisfying reminder about the real meaning of forgiveness. Excellent (3.5 stars) Rated PG-13 for violence and mature themes. Running time: 103 minutes Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Page 6 • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Insight News


Who do you belong to? By Phill Wilson NNPA Contributor This month is Black History Month--or as a friend of mine says, for those of us who write or speak on Black issues, “Negro Employment Month.” But in all seriousness, all the awareness and marketing aside, I’m not sure how much Black history is actually read, taught or learned during this month, or any other month. That’s too bad, because knowing Black history is critically important for the health and wellbeing of Black people and contributes to a more robust and rounded understanding of the American experience for all her citizens. If we don’t know where we come from, how can

we determine where we want to go, or know, once we arrive, that it is not the same place that we left? I remember visiting my grandparents in rural Mississippi as a small child. Older people would ask, “Who do you belong to, child?” Being a smart alec from the North, I would always say (to myself--I was a smart alec, not a fool), “I don’t belong to anyone.” But the question came from a place of love and wisdom. It is a question, if repeated more frequently today, would serve us well. Our elders were trying to help us to understand our heritage, to understand our history, to understand that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, with the hope that that understanding would influence our dreams,

aspirations, and behaviors. I belonged to my Big Mama and my Big Daddy, Ms. Lillian and Mr. Clarence as they were called by everybody else. Understanding my connection to them--and to a whole host of uncles, aunts and cousins--helped me to feel connected and protected me from feeling marginalized or isolated. It influenced my behavior, because I knew that whatever I did was a reflection on them and that it would get back to them. There were consequences to my actions; that was and is an important lesson because our actions do have repercussions. Those consequences may not involve a switch from a willow or sycamore tree, but especially when HIV is involved, the consequences can be far more

devastating. The editor-in-chief of the Black AIDS Weekly, Hilary Beard, tells the story of how one of her great-great-grandmothers was raped by both massa and the overseer and bore children by both men. All of her offspring identified “colored,” but some of them looked White. The ones who could pass for White helped their Black relatives and others escape from slavery. When Hilary is asked to violate her value system or behave in ways that would endanger her life or dishonor her ancestors’ sacrifices, she calls upon her knowledge of what her ancestors did to survive and help others to do so as well. Knowing “who she belongs to” helps guide her life choices. Last week in this publication, we ran an editorial

from Cleo Manago challenging Black AIDS Awareness Day. He suggested that we should have National Black Restoration and Self-Love Day instead. “Once basic issues of self-love, self-esteem and cultural affirmation are clearly defined and addressed, it is then, when Black people will begin to really care about HIV/AIDS,” he wrote. While I disagree with binary analyses, which suggest that the solution is either A or B, prevention or treatment, domestic or global, gay men or women, Black AIDS Awareness day or “Black SelfLove” day, HIV is a complex issue and requires complex solutions. Cleo is right: Ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America will require Black people learning to love

ourselves more. And, this is something we cannot look to the government or anyone else to do for us. When I was 10, Big Daddy died. I remember my mother sitting on the edge of my bed and telling me, “Don’t cry for Big Daddy. He lived a long life,” she said. “He made a difference.” Making a difference is what Black History month should be about. One step toward that end is for more of us to know our history, know where we came from and know that we all belong to somebody. Phill Wilson is the President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, the only National HIV/ AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. He can be reached at

National HIV/Aids strategy: Leveraging the private sector By Melody C. Barnes When President Obama released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in July 2010, he said, “The Federal government can’t do this alone, nor should it. Success will require the commitment of governments at all levels, businesses, faith communities, philanthropy, the scientific and medical communities, educational institutions, people living with HIV, and others.” Clearly, success at achieving our aggressive goals in the Strategy depends not only on Federal leadership, but new investments and new partnerships from all parts society. We know that some of our biggest successes in fighting HIV/AIDS have come about because of private sector initiatives, and we’ve called on businesses and foundations to provide that next level of leadership by stepping up their efforts in a few targeted areas. We want to hear about your successful partnerships and new ideas for working together. Priority areas where private sector partners can help us to achieve the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals are: Bridging the gap in access to HIV medications: Over the past year, a growing challenge has arisen as an increasing number of people living with HIV are placed on waiting lists for state operated AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). Most states have managed to avoid imposing these waiting lists, but nearly 6,500 people in 11 states are currently on waiting lists. Even states without these lists have had to make difficult decisions such as to restrict the scope of drug coverage available or to limit the income standards of people who qualify for assistance. The

Federal government has a role to play in responding to this situation and states must remain committed to investing in these programs, but we need the continued commitment from our private sector partners to weather the economic downturn that is afflicting many parts of the country. Pharmaceutical companies and related charitable organizations have maintained patient assistance programs that provide critical aid to those in need. We are appreciative that these companies have maintained and increased their commitments in this area. Foundations have also helped to support community efforts to bolster state investments in programs providing HIV medications. Ensuring that the HIV community and people living with HIV take full advantage of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act: The Affordable Care Act will greatly expand access to insurance coverage in 2014, and there are already numerous immediate benefits for people living with HIV and others. Private sector partners can help the HIV community work through the implementation phase by helping people living with HIV and the HIV care system learn about the improvements in insurance coverage and critical steps to be taken both to ensure that no new gaps in coverage appear as people gain new coverage. Private sector partners also can ensure that HIV clinics, clinicians, and services providers are adapting to and engaging in the newly expanded insurance system. Improving understanding, reducing stigma, and communicating actionable information to the public, especially among most affected communities: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) and other Federal agencies have a role to play in operating social marketing initiatives and other programs to improve understanding about HIV. At the same time, the private sector has unique experience, expertise, and assets to bring to bear. As we focus on the populations and communities at greatest risk, private sector partners can help to deliver action-oriented information on issues such as prevention, testing, and treatment, including promoting early entry into clinical care for people living with HIV and increasing knowledge about HIV and reducing stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. The private sector can also fill an important need by strengthening critical community institutions and supporting capacity building of community based organizations within the communities most

disproportionately impacted by HIV, such as within local organizations serving Black and Latino gay men, youth (including homeless youth and LGBT youth), substance users, and women of color. Supporting innovative partnerships in the cities and communities with the most cases of HIV: CDC has begun important work in the twelve jurisdictions in the United States with the greatest number of people living with AIDS. HHS and HUD are also considering a variety of complimentary new initiatives to build on CDC’s work in order to better integrate all of the HIV resources within a community. This project has relevance not only for these communities, which are responsible for roughly 44% of the epidemic in the US, but it will teach us valuable lessons to be applied to our collective work

with other states and jurisdictions across the country. Private sector partners can support this effort many ways, such as helping community-based partners engage with local government partners on this initiative, coordinating current and new prevention and care efforts in these communities, partnering on outreach efforts, and conducting evaluations and efforts to transfer lessons so that other areas of the country can benefit from the experiences in these high prevalence jurisdictions. This will also compliment other work of the private sector in responding to high levels of unmet need in other communities, such as in the South. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy provides a moment of opportunity to make big things happen. Business and labor partners, foundations, and other charitable organizations have

long made critically important contributions to support individuals and communities affected by HIV/AIDS, often by working with governments to test new ideas or expand successful programs. Over the coming months, the Administration will be looking for opportunities to partner with the private sector to achieve the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. So, we want to hear from you – the innovative leaders in this space who are undertaking new initiatives to support the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Tell us about your successful partnerships and new ideas for working together at Melody C. Barnes is an Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council

Vince Muzik

Barbers of the Barbershop Conversations Initiative from left to right: Warren Edwards, George Stewart (Owner/Master Barber, Changez Barbershop), Bernard Walters (Master Barber, TNT Barbershop), Tarik Yusef (Master Barber, TNT Barbershop), Teto Wilson (Master Barber, Wilson’s Image Barbers), Bilal Saleem (Master Barber, Just Glamorous Salon & Spa), Michael Charles (Barber, Shear Pleasure Salon of Beauty)

Barbers From 1 African American community. From the surveys done amongst the 346 participants, 7.9 percent had diabetes; 21.8 percent had hypertension and 33.7 percent were overweight. Of those surveyed, nearly onehalf reported at least one risk factor for kidney disease. As an African American woman and a kidney transplant recipient, I too see the importance of ensuring the African American community is aware of the importance of organ donation. In the midwestern region alone 3,009 people are waiting for an organ transplant as of January 2011. Based on a person’s blood type, there is no telling how long the wait may be. When I was put on the transplant list I was told that it would be up to six years before I could possibly receive a healthy kidney. If it weren’t for a living donor, I would still be on the waiting list. I am one of the fortunate people; my mother’s co-worker donated one her kidneys, but it didn’t come without my donor having her own personal connection. My donor had lost her mother to a kidney disease while awaiting a transplant. Research shows

misinformation and myths about organ donation are widespread in the African American male community. Of the men who were surveyed for this study, 41.9 percent were concerned about receiving inadequate care if they registered as an organ donor and 66.5 percent believe their church/faith does not support organ donation. Bilal Saleem, manager and master barber of Gifted Handz Barbershop was one of those believers until he became apart of the study. He now understands that African American men must change their way of thinking when comes to their health. Through engaging his customers in culturally-framed discussions on living healthy lifestyles and sharing his own health history, Saleem was able to get his clients to open up about their health. I, too, was misinformed about organ donation. It wasn’t until I was on dialysis that I searched for answers and asked questions about how a transplant would change not only my life, but also the life of my donor. I was reassured by healthcare professionals that organ transplants were common and how the procedure is very safe. My decision to go through with transplantation did not come without criticism. Many of the men and women I talked

to while at dialysis voiced their opinions and some even the believed I wasn’t accepting what God gave me. But I knew that God’s plan for me was not to live a life in pain and that I had a lot more life to live. Initially, the Barbershop Conversations initiative involved training and a personal testimony provided by fellow barber Warren Edwards who received a liver transplant. But due to scheduling many of the barbers only received the training tools needed to talk to clients. From the initiative 30.8 percent of the 346 African American men who participated decided to become an organ or tissue donors. “Organ donation is a difficult topic. A lot of people associate it around death and dying,” said Lewis of LifeSource. “We took on a tough issue.” Lewis said that a key factor in the Barbershop Conversations initiative success is to engage people who have either donated an organ or who are organ recipients. As with many things, people are more willing to act when they can put a face and a name to a problem. Witnessing the many positive outcomes of transplantation, pushes away fears, taboos and disbeliefs people have learned. According to Barbershop


Insight News • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Page 7

COMMENTARY Abandoning children’s futures not an option Capitol Report By Bobby Joe Champion State Rep. District 58B Especially in these times of great economic concern, we have to do right by all our children at the State Capitol. Two recent proposals by the Republican majority give me great concern we are abandoning them. The Republicans just passed their first budget-cutting bill, which made $900 million in cuts to local governments, health care and higher education. While the wealthiest Minnesotans were spared any

sacrifice, vulnerable children were not so lucky. Republicans cut $28 million from Children and Community Services (CCS) grants used predominantly for child protection. Counties use these funds to protect abused children or vulnerable pregnant teenagers. In Hennepin County, 100% of the CCS grants are used for child protection. I voted against this bill and am pleased that Governor Dayton vetoed it. Perhaps more troubling was the introduction of HF 306, a bill that would allow 10 year old children to be charged with crimes as adults for some violent crimes. The very youngest person to ever be charged with a crime as an adult was an eleven year old boy. Putting children in prison should not be one of the areas where Minnesota is a national leader.

For anyone who has interacted with a 10-year-old child, common sense tells you this person is not an adult. Clearly, there are many troubled

children in the criminal adult system almost ensures their future is lost. Children under the age of 18, let alone 10, have an incredibly high recidivism

“We should strengthen, not destroy our safety net support system to keep vulnerable children out of harm’s way” young children who have done some terrible things. However in almost every one of these cases that child has been neglected or abused themselves and has serious mental health issues that contributed. Putting underage

rate once they enter the adult criminal justice system. It’s extremely costly and ignores our opportunity to help troubled youth get back on the right path so they can succeed. The duality of the proposed

cuts to child protection and the initiative to prosecute 10-yearold children is frightening. Abdicating our responsibility as a society to protect the most vulnerable children will only increase the likelihood that disturbed children end up on the wrong path. And by lowering the age we would prosecute them as adults we are simply saying “we give up.” If our goal is to protect children and prevent crimes, we have much better options before us. We should strengthen, not destroy, our safety net support system to keep vulnerable children out of harm’s way. We should increase funding, not reduce it for community programs that help build parenting skills for young parents. And when our troubled children stray, let’s rehabilitate

them with the mental health care and education they desperately need. During this difficult budget crisis, I expect these will not be the last attempts during our difficult budget crisis that some will target our children. It’s up to all of us to speak out on their behalf. After all, our youngsters did not choose this economic downturn to live their formative years. Abandoning our children’s future is not an adequate response to the challenges we face. You can contact Representative Champion about this or any other legislative issue by email at rep.bobby.champion@house. mn, by phone at (651) 296- 8659, or by mail at 329 State Office Building, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55155.

Cuts alone, or cuts and revenue to balance budget Capitol Report By Rena Moran State Rep. District 65A The state budget is the most important issue we will face this legislative session. Already we are beginning to see clear choices emerge as to how we will go about solving the deficit. I want to make sure you are aware of the key choices we are debating and get your input about how we can move forward responsibly. Gov. Dayton has unveiled his choice – a comprehensive budget solution that includes both cuts and revenue increases to balance our record $6.2 billion budget shortfall. His

proposal makes good on his campaign promise to increase funding for education and make Minnesota’s tax system more fair. Specifically, his plan increased education by about $50 million. This helps meet the challenges of 14,000 more children in our K-12 education system. Thirty million dollars is included to make all day kindergarten available to more Minnesota families. I fully support this funding increase because we know how vital quality education is to our youngest learners. I also support Gov. Dayton’s plan to make our tax system more fair. Right now, the wealthiest Minnesotans pay a smaller percentage of their total income in taxes than the rest of Minnesotans. The reason for this is two-fold. First, tax cuts from the Bush years went primarily to the wealthy.

Second, during the Pawlenty years local governments were defunded, which forced steep property taxes. In fact, property taxes went up by $3 billion under Pawlenty, which was a 75% increase. In the same time period, income taxes for wealthy Minnesotans remained static. Gov. Dayton raises taxes on the wealthiest 5% of Minnesotans in his proposal while keeping taxes the same for 95% of Minnesotans. His plan allows property taxes to remain in place while we fund essential investments like education. It’s important to note that Dayton’s budget includes significant cuts to health care programs; and this concerns me. There is no easy way to solve a $6.2 billion budget, but I am hopeful that if the economy improves, we can prevent some of Governor Dayton’s cuts that could impact care for seniors

and people with disabilities. Republicans have offered a far different approach. As opposed to Governor Dayton’s balance of cuts and revenue, Republicans promised an all-cuts budget. This would increase property taxes and eliminate critical services that support Minnesota families. We have not seen the specifics of their all cuts budget, but our first indication of their priorities was evident in their “Phase 1” budget bill that cut $900 million. Over half of their plan relied on property tax increases. It also included dramatic cuts to child protection services that would weaken our ability to care for our most vulnerable children. Their full all cuts budget is likely to be considerably worse. In the meantime, I want to engage the public on these important issues. Should we balance the budget with cuts and revenue or with cuts

alone? How can we best use education resources to improve our schools? These are vital questions for our future and I hope you will join me answering them. I invite you to join me at the following community forums in our District 65A so that we can work together to solve our budget and make Minnesota a better place. Monday, March 7th Topics: Education and Public Safety Special Guests: Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota Commissioner of Education, Rep. Nora Slawik, Former Chair of Early Childhood Education Rondo Library, 461 N. Dale St. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 22 Topics: Education and Health Care Special Guests: Dr. Brenda

Cassellius, Minnesota Commissioner of Education, Sen. John Harrington, Mona Dohman, Commissioner of Public Safety and Rep. Carlos Mariani, Former Chair of Education Policy Rice Street Library, 1011 Rice Street 5:30 p.m - 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26 Topic: Open Mike Special Guests: Rep. Paul Thissen, Minority Leader, Rep. Michael Nelson, Former Chair of Local Government, and Rep. Alice Hausman, Former Chair of Capital Investment. Rondo Library, 461 N. Dale St. 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. As always, if you have any questions please visit me at the State Capitol or call me at (651) 296-5158. I may be reached via e-mail at rep.rena.moran@

Entrepreneurship by necessity To Be Equal By Marc H. Morial NNPA Columnist “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!” - Madam C.J. Walker, trailblazing African American businesswoman. There is a silver lining in the dark cloud of the great recession. A new Census Bureau report reveals that from 2002 to 2007 the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million – more than triple

the national rate. According to Census Bureau Deputy Director, Thomas Mesenbourg, “Blackowned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.” The reasons for this are many, beginning with the long history of African American entrepreneurship in response to poverty, high unemployment, and discrimination. Consider the case of Madam C.J. Walker, the daughter of slaves who, in the early 1900s, turned her dream of financial independence into a hair care and cosmetics business that revolutionized the beauty products industry, created good paying jobs, and made her a wealthy woman and philanthropist. Like Madam C.J. Walker, many African Americans may

African American economy suffers disproportionately (BLACK PR WIRE) –A new analysis by Bread for the World Institute shows that African Americans continue to suffer disproportionately from hunger, poverty, unemployment, and income and education disparities when compared to the total U.S. population. “The economic recession has left African-Americans struggling in the past couple of years,” said the Rev. Derrick Boykin, northeast regional organizer for Bread for the World. “But the truth is, African Americans had been suffering from ‘recessionlike’ conditions long before the recession hit the rest of the country.” According to the analysis, “Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community,” the African American poverty rate reached 25.8 percent in 2009 (the latest full year for which data is available)—far exceeding the overall national poverty rate of 14.3 percent. In each of the 10 states with the highest poverty rates, the African American poverty rate was significantly

higher than the overall poverty rate. Hunger and poverty are closely linked. One in four African American households is struggling to put food on the table, compared to about one in seven of all U.S. households. These numbers would have been even higher if not for safety net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which helped keep food insecurity rates closer to their 2008 levels. “So many more people would have gone hungry last year if not for safety net programs that helped them make ends meet,” said Boykin. “It is both unfortunate and alarming that the very programs which support our most vulnerable people are the ones on the chopping block in congressional budget discussions.”


Madam C. J. Walker have turned to entrepreneurship in the years covered by the Census Bureau study because of high unemployment in our communities. The fact is, Black

unemployment never got back down to where it was before the recession in 2001. So in effect, what we are seeing is a bit of entrepreneurship by necessity. There’s also an economic independent streak, particularly among emerging generations in the Black community. Building a business gives great satisfaction and cushions them from the shock of losing jobs because of economic down cycles. New York State leads the country with more than 204,000 Black-owned businesses, followed by Georgia and Florida respectively. From 2002 to 2007, nearly four in 10 of these businesses operated in the health care and social assistance; and repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services sectors. The retail trade and health care and social assistance sectors

accounted for 27.4 percent of Black-owned business revenue. The survey also found that in addition to an increase in the number of Black-owned businesses, annual sales increased by 55% to $137.5 billion. I recently called on federal, state, and local governments to develop a “hyper-focus” on Black- and minority-owned businesses. Every city, county, and state needs to have a plan that focuses on small and minority business. There is a spirit of entrepreneurship out there that needs to be nurtured and energized. While the Census Bureau report is generally good news, we know that Black businesses still make up only seven percent of all companies and they tend to be smaller and have lower gross

receipts than other businesses. Black-owned businesses are also often hampered in their revenue growth by a lack of capital, connections, and contracts. What I hope this report says loudly and clearly to the investment community is that you are missing an emerging market in the United States. If minority businesses are growing at a faster clip than overall businesses, imagine what the growth rate would be if those barriers were eliminated or lowered. We need the investor community to look at this report and recognize that they are missing an incredible opportunity. Marc H. Morial is the President and CEO of the National Urban League

Page 8 • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE Summer academic enrichment program recent term in the applicable subject area. The award funds are limited and will be available on a first-come first-served basis. By visiting the website, w w w. g e t r e a d y f o r c o l l e g e . org/summerenrichment/, you will find eligible enrichment programs throughout Minnesota covering various topics; math, social studies, performing arts, humanities, communications/language arts, science, and world languages/ cultures. In addition, the site offers many other valuable college-readiness tools for students of every age. Explore the additional resources that the site offers: college prep timelines, college and career awareness, planning and saving, and succeeding as an adult student, to name a few. Begin setting your child’s summer plans in motion today. Visit the website and apply for the stipend www. summerenrichment/. Help your child thoroughly explore the road to summer enrichment and higher education. It’s never too early (or too late) to dream big! Enjoy!

Style on a Dime By Marcia Humphrey Last week, my husband and I were discussing summer plans for our three children. We want them to have opportunities to work their brains and their bodies all year round. Last summer their brains got a workout with daily reading assignments --regular math worksheets and writing tasks were on the list as well. To help with healthy bodies, we got them involved with a summer track team-although not the fastest children on the track, they each enjoyed some aspect of the experience. Have you already started thinking about the summer activities for your child? Although we are just coming off the heels of another intense winter storm, all the snow will eventually melt and we must strategize about how to keep the minds (and bodies) of our kids in top shape. If you are on a tight budget, yet want to get your child plugged in to stimulating learning opportunities this summer, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education may be

NAACP From 2 involvement in an $11 robbery and White was incarcerated after defending his home from a mob of racist youth threatening to kill his son. After years of advocacy, the Association was able to advance legislation reducing the crack–cocaine disparity that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of African Americans being imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses. The Association also spearheaded international efforts as local units gathered

Smith Baker From 1

able to help. Made possible by the Federal College Access Challenge Grant Program, the 2011 Summer Academic

Enrichment Program may have funds available for your student. If you have a student who

is in third through 11 grade and who is eligible for free or reduced- priced lunch, you can apply for a summer academic

enrichment stipend of up to $1,000. Applicants in seventh through 11th grade must have an overall C average for the most

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.

more than $200,000 to support the rebuilding of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in January of 2010. Just two short years after the historic election of the nation’s first Black president, the nation finds itself in the midst of a seismic political shift. The country faces aggressive efforts to re-segregate schools, cut valuable programs that assist the poor and end workers’ rights to collectively organize. “These threats are not in a silo or a vacuum,” said Jealous. “They are part of a greater strategy to weaken our collective power, divide our communities, and peel back our successes.” During the Annual Meeting,

the organization outlined key priorities for 2011, including campaigns to fight the schoolto-prison pipeline, limit mass incarceration, and increase democracy through voter empowerment while ensuring a fair redistricting process that will determine congressional representation for the next 10 years, and promote education. “If we achieve nothing else in our second century, we must finish what we started in our first century: We must complete the mission of Brown v. Board, and ensure that every child in America gets a great education,” said Jealous. He seeks to achieve this goal by creating a national strategy to implement educational best

practices, fighting to ensure education has top billing in state budgets and resisting efforts from those who hope to “turn back the clock” on educational advancements of years past. “As we register voters and move them to the polls, we will hold all those elected accountable to the values and mission that we have fought for since 1909,” added Jealous. “We will continue to build large and diverse coalitions committed to building an America where everyone can get a good job, obtain a quality education, and live in communities with clean air and water…an America where opportunities are afforded

to all, and most importantly, where no matter a person’s race or creed, she or he can live in a country free of racial discrimination.” The organization has also increased its efforts to welcome young members, the fastest growing demographic in the Association. Greater use of social networking and online campaigns has resulted in an unprecedented growth in online membership and activism. “The Millennial generation – young adults born between 1976 and 1996 – will be the new guard in activism,” said Brock. “There are 80 million of them, making them the largest and most ethnically diverse

generation in history. Imagine an ally that is 80 million strong.” Brock closed her meeting remarks with a quote from the NAACP’s tenth executive director, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Lawson Hooks. “The civil rights movement is not dead. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop agitating, they had better think again. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop litigating, they had better close the courts. If anyone thinks that we are not going to demonstrate and protest, they had better roll up the sidewalks.” “The future is calling,” said Brock. “And the NAACP will answer.”

that the best answer came from within is truly exciting. I am happy for Chanda, PUC, the Board, and especially the communities we serve,” said

Nedy Windham, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors and CoChair of the Search Committee. Wagner announced his retirement in August 2010 after 34 years of leadership. Wagner leaves a long history of success and the creation of a solid foundation for the agency’s future. During his time, many innovative programs, partnerships, allies and projects were created to better serve this city’s youth and families. In addition, he developed an international reputation for excellence in nonprofit leadership which enhanced PUC’s reputation. Wagner will remain with PUC during the coming months to assist with the transition in leadership.

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Dr. Mirlande Manigat

Haiti From 1

At the same time, though, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, is convinced the March 20 election will produce a winner. He made a special one-day trip to the Caribbean country and held talks with the presidential candidates, Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly and Dr. Mirlande Manigat and discussed

the future reconstruction of the earthquake ravaged country. In addition, the Organization of American States, to which Haiti and its Caricom neighbors belong, is putting the final pieces in place to send its joint OAS- Caricom Electoral Observation Mission


Insight News • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Page 9

New website highlights maritime heritage Murrain Associates, Inc. and the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS), in partnership with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, launched Voyage to Discovery, a new website and education initiative highlighting untold stories of AfricanAmericans and the sea. The website can be accessed at www. Aimed at everyone from students to adults, the Voyage to Discovery website offers feature stories, interviews, and videos about African-American seafaring achievements since the period of pre-Civil War to today. Information about marine careers will also be available. The website is part of a broader NOAA initiative to build public awareness about the legacy of African-American maritime heritage and engage a broad spectrum of Americans in the stewardship of the country’s coastal and ocean resources through education, archaeology, science and underwater exploration. Daniel J. Basta, director, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, said the Voyage to Discovery education initiative honors AfricanAmericans’ deep connection to the sea and highlights the continuing, historic role of the ocean in the security, stability and prosperity of the nation. “Our economy and way of life are inextricably linked to the health and productivity of the global ocean,” Basta said. “Through this initiative, AfricanAmerican youth can learn about their maritime heritage and the

US Navy

Adm. Michelle Howard


Capt William Shorey and family

Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Voyage to Discovery website

various educational and career opportunities that exist in the 21st century global economy.” Michael H. Cottman, a NABS member and author of “The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie,” said he hopes Voyage to Discovery will inspire young adults to identify with their maritime roots and consider careers in marine science and oceanography. “Minorities are the fastest growing population in the country but are vastly underrepresented in science and technology fields,” Cottman said. “In order for the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge, the future workforce will need to draw on the minds and talents of all its citizens.”

As far back as the American Revolution, blacks have been involved in virtually every aspect of maritime work. Despite an uncertain and sometimes dangerous racial climate, blacks worked as skippers and captains as well as whalers, lobstermen, and fishermen. They also managed lighthouses, steered paddleboats and warships, along with owning sea industry businesses. The Underground Railroad used ships to spirit slaves to freedom, and Black mariners helped shaped the identity of free black communities. Among the people profiled on the website: Captain Absalom Boston, a free Black born in 1785 who

Mystic Seaport

Crewman at helm of schooner Herbert L. Rawding

led an all-Black crew aboard the whaling schooner Industry and amassed substantial real estate holdings. Robert Smalls, a slave who became a Civil War hero in the Union Navy and served as a congressman from South Carolina during Reconstruction. Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields, the first African-American and first woman to become director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers Corps, the nation’s seventh uniformed

National Archives

Welders Alivia Scott, Hattie Carpenter, and Flossie Burtos await an opportunity to work on the Liberty Ship SS George Washington Carver

service. Bill Murrain, founder of Murrain Associates, said the ocean and marine environment provides a wealth of services that are vital to communities nationwide. “The rich, untold history that is chronicled throughout this project is a reminder that all of us have a responsibility to keep our ocean and waterways healthy so future generations will continue

Haiti From 8 back to the country to monitor the voting under the leadership of Colin Grandison, a senior Caricom official. “We hope that the irregularities and logistical problems we experienced in the first round on November 28 last year will be mitigated in the elections of March 20th,” said Albert Ramdin, OAS Assistant SecretaryGeneral and Chairman of the Organization’s Group of Friends of Haiti. “That will depend on the resources available to the Provisional Electoral Council, CEP, to conduct the election. We need to have good, well-organized elections.” But, as the steps are being taken to ensure an acceptable outcome, the key unknown factor in the political equation is Aristide’s impact, should he return home before the election. Having been granted a diplomatic passport by the Haitian government despite the stated objections of the Obama Administration, Aristide hasn’t indicated when he would set foot in the country and if he would campaign for any one of the candidates. What’s also unclear is how such a dramatic step would affect the election. Ira Kurzban, the ousted president’s attorney in Florida, said a few days ago that he was still trying to figure out a way to give his client the Haitian passport. For his part, Aristide has seemingly left his options open. “As I have not ceased to say since 24th February 2004, from exile in Central Africa,

Economy From 7 Although African Americans are about 12.4 percent of the U.S. population, they make up about 19.6 percent of WIC participants and 22.5 percent of SNAP participants. In fact, 90 percent of African American children will receive SNAP benefits at some point before age 20, compared to 49 percent of all U.S. children. Despite these startling figures, anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs are a modest portion of the U.S. federal budget (14 percent last year). The analysis also examines economic factors contributing to the disparities between African Americans and the U.S. population as a whole. “Hunger by the Numbers among African-Americans” is available online at www.bread. org. Bread for the World (www. is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Haitian Presidential Candidate Michel Martelly on January 30, 2011, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Jamaica, and now South Africa, I will return to the field I know best and love: education,” was the way Aristide put it in a recent article in London’s Guardian newspaper. The prospects for his return have dominated conversations in and out of Haiti, especially in the Diaspora, on radio stations, the Internet and in Haitian gatherings in New York and Miami. And, like his two terms in office, both of which

were prematurely terminated, discussion concerning Aristide’s future divides Haitians. “Although Aristide must be allowed to return to his country, it would be unwise for him to go back now because of the upcoming election and the confusion it can cause,” said Michel Louis, a Brooklyn resident. “If Jean Claude Baby Doc” Duvalier can go back to Haiti without being arrested

for all the trouble and the pain he caused when he was president, then Aristide can also return. But, the timing isn’t right.” That’s the view of Charles Henri Baker, who contested the November presidential election but failed to get into the run-off. “The timing is not right for this controversial figure,” said Baker, who opposed Aristide when he was in the presidential palace and might have played

US State Department

a role in his ouster seven year ago. “Anything that has the possibility of disrupting peace should be avoided.” Jean-Pierre Baptiste, who lives and works in Miami, disagrees. “I take Aristide at his

to reap the benefits,” he said. The National Association of Black Scuba Divers was established in 1991 to foster camaraderie among Black divers and to address the unique problems and concerns of the African-American community. The organization has over 2,000 members across the country and internationally. Membership is open to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, physical challenges or diving agency affiliation. Murrain Associates Inc. is a management consulting firm with a focus on strategic planning, project evaluation, community development, health services planning, assessment and management. Murrain Associates consists of three members of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers who have shared experiences in marine biology, marine archaeology, slave ship exploration, history, law, journalism and marketing. The founder of Murrain Associates is Bill Murrain, a lawyer based in Atlanta, Ga. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries manages a system of 14 marine protected areas covering more than 150,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes waters. The Maritime Heritage program promotes appreciation and protection of the country’s maritime heritage resources including historic shipwrecks and prehistoric archaeological sites, archival documents, oral histories, and traditional seafaring and ecological knowledge of indigenous cultures.

word that he simply wants to go back home. Even if he wants to campaign for someone, that should be his right. At this stage, I don’t believe he can cause any more trouble than currently exists in Haiti,” he said. Tony Jeanthenor, a Haitian activist in Miami who also supports the ousted president contends the move to keep Aristide out of Haiti is blatant discrimination. “Duvalier can go to Leogane. He talks on the radio. He can go wherever he wants,” Jeanthenor said. “It is more than a double standard. It’s discrimination against political beliefs.” What worries Haitian and American officials is the prospect of Aristide’s supporters taking to the streets to demand that he be allowed to serve out his second term, which was abruptly ended when a militia took up arms against him and Washington used it as a pretext to fly him out of Haiti and into exile. “I think we would be concerned that, if former President Aristide returns to Haiti before the election, it would prove to be a distraction…an unfortunate detraction,” said P.J. Crowley, U.S. State Department spokesman. “The people of Haiti should be evaluating the two candidates that will participate in the run-off, and I think that should be their focus.”

Page 10 • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Insight News

Classifieds / Calendar

PHONE: 612.588.1313

FAX: 612.588.2031


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.

6:30-9pm, at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, Minn. Advance registration is requested. To register for the workshop, call PACER at 952-838-9000. In Greater Minnesota, call 800-537-2237 (toll free) or visit


SeniorNet Open House - Mar 18 — Low Cost Computer Classes for Adults 50 and older. MCTC Campus 1403 Harmon Place, Mpls, MN. Call 612 659-6253 for details and free Open House parking.

2nd Annual Minnesota Cuban Film Festival - Now thru 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. Wizw Owls Kwanzaa People - Feb 28 — The Wize Owl’s Kwanzaa People of 2011, an event hosted yearly by community activist Kwame McDonald which honors individuals and families that have made great contributions to the community, will be held Monday, February 28, 5:30 p.m. at the Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (NdCAD) 655 Fairview Ave. N., in St. Paul. March White Sale; 2-For-1 Lift Tickets - Mar 1 — Beginning March 1, downhill skiers and snowboarders who purchase a daily lift ticket at HSSA will receive an additional lift ticket of equal or lesser value for that day. For more information about Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area, call 763/694-7800 or visit HSSA on-line at www.hylandski. com 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 in Minneapolis - 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

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Mary Johnson and Oshea Isreal

CommUNITY Lecture / Speaker Series Mary Johnson and Oshea Isreal, from Death to Life, will give a speech, “Faith, Hope and Love: A Story of Renewed Hope and Transformation” and share their story about how faith, love and hope can bring forth healing on Friday, March 4. This event exemplifies the mission of the Multicultural Student Services CommUNITY series that seeks to provide opportunities for the campus community to celebrate and engage across differences. This event will engage the UST community in ministering to the needs of victims, offenders and community in a holistic manner. The event will be held on Friday, March 4, 2011 in Room 150 Owens Science Hall from 6:00p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Artika Tyner by email<>, or call her at (651) 962-4960. 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 Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman - Mar 4-13 — This performance piece charts one woman’s journey as she discovers The Rules for Being Good Hmong Girl, how to balance being a feminist and having a relationship with a Hmong man, as well as lessons learned from the not-so-lazy women in her life. Fri-Sun, Mar 4-6 & Fri-Sun, Mar 11-13. All performances 8pm at Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave S., Mpls, MN 55408. Tickets $10 advance, student, seniors |$12 door. For tickets and info, call or email: 612.871.4444 or 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 kk@ 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.) The Baggage We Carry - Catherine Kennedy - Mar 5 — Artist Catherine Kennedy has been artistically documenting the social and emotional unpacking of memories by a group of elder women refugees from war torn Liberia. Kennedy’s work has culminated in a series of dynamic tension filled works that comprise Obsidian Arts’ newest exhibition offering: The Baggage We Carry. Opening Reception and Performance - Mar 5, 4-7pm. 3501 Chicago Ave. S, Mpls, MN 55407.

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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

Courtesy of Artika Tyner

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.

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience - Mar 10 — Free Introductory Session: Mar. 10, 6:308:30pm. Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. To register: http://starlaunch.eventbrite. com/ Adult Residential and Vocational Services - Mar 10 — There is an array of services available for adults who are developmentally disabled. Come to a free information session, on Thur., Mar. 10, 4-6pm, Eastside Neighborhood Services, conference room B19, 1700 Second St. N.E., Mpls. Three Rivers Campground Reservations Open - Mar 14 — Will begin accepting family campground reservations for Baker Campground and Lake Auburn Campground on Mon., Mar. 14. To make a reservation by phone, call 763/559-6700 starting at 8am, Mon., Mar. 14. To reserve a site online, visit: http://www. aspx Lutheran Social Service Seeks Adoptive Parents - Mar 15 — Join us to learn about exciting opportunities and changes in adoption. Discover the tools and support for families who would like a flexible, proactive adoption process, and learn how LSS can partner with you to grow your family. Tue., Mar. 15, 6–8pm at the Center for Changing Lives (Room 182), 2400 Park Ave. Mpls. Call Lynne Haggar at (612) 8795230 to register. For more information, or to register online, visit www. Early Childhood and Assistive Technology - Mar 15 — A free workshop for parents of young children with disabilities and for professionals. It is on Tue., Mar. 15 6:30-9pm, at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, Minn. Advance registration is requested. To register for the workshop, call PACER at 952-8389000. In Greater Minnesota, call 800537-2237 (toll free) or visit Creative Housing and Services Options - Mar 16 — A free workshop for parents of teenagers and young adults with disabilities. It is on Wed., Mar. 16 7-9pm, at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, Minn. Advance registration is requested. To register for the workshop, call PACER at 952-838-9000. In Greater Minnesota, call 800-537-2237 (toll free) or visit Children Taking Medications for Behavioral and Mental Health Reasons - Mar 17 — A free workshop for parents of children with disabilities and for professionals. Thur., Mar. 17,

Minnesota’s Waiting Children Free Information Session -Mar 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. Pre-registration required. To register, email stpaulmn@downeyside. org or call 651-228-0117. Art at Highland - Mar 26 — A juried one-day indoor spring art fair sponsored by Highland/Macalester/ Groveland Community Education in cooperation with Artists’ Circle, a non-profit educational advocate for fine crafts which promotes the exhibition and sale of work by quality artists. Sat. Mar. 26, 10am–5pm. Highland Park Senior High School 1015 S. Snelling Ave, St. Paul. Intergenerational Volunteer Program seeks storytellers - Mar 29 — Both experienced and new storytellers are encouraged to apply to volunteer. Applications are due Mar. 3. Applicants selected to participate in the project must attend a training session offered by Wonder Weavers Storytellers on Tue., Mar. 29. For more information and an application form, contact Janet Jacobson at 612.668.3885. Neighborhood HealthSource 6th Annual Gala - Apr 7 — Celebrate affordable community health at a historic Minneapolis venue! Join us for an evening of excellent food and cocktails, live music and comedy, silent and live auctions and much, much more! Thur., Apr. 7 at the historic Nicollet Island Pavilion. 40 Power St. Mpls, MN 55401. Red Ribbon Ride - July 14-17 — 4-day, nearly 300-mile charity bike ride for HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. The Ride starts at the Mall of America, travels to overnight stops in Lake City, Rochester and Northfield and ends at the State Capitol. Supported by an all-volunteer crew. Rider and crew registration fee is $75.00. Riders are required to raise $1,500.00; Crew are encouraged to raise $250.00 but not required. Eight Minnesota AIDS service organizations benefit: African American AIDS Task Force, The Aliveness Project, Claire Housing, Hope House of St. Croix Valley, Minnesota AIDS Project, One Heartland, Park House and Rural AIDS Action Network. Visit www. for more information. African Dance w/ Whitney Every Tuesday & Wednesday — Tue. 7:00pm - 8:30pm $12 Patricks Cabaret 3010 Minnehaha Ave. S. Mpls., Wed. 7:00pm - 8:30pm $13 Zenon School of Dance (4th Floor) Hennepin center for the Arts 528 Hennepin Ave. Mpls. 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. You can make a difference in a child’s life for as little as one hour a week. The RSVP program, sponsored locally by Volunteers of America of Minnesota, provides benefits and support to people 55 and over. For more information call Mary Jane Horton, RSVP Literacy Coordinator, at 952-945-4163 or Senior Companions Make a Difference - Ongoing — Are you interested in visiting homebound

or isolated elders in their homes and helping with transportation for appointments or errands? If so, the Senior Companion Program would like to match you with people in the community who need a little extra help to stay in their homes. Senior Companion volunteers earn a taxfree stipend, mileage reimbursement, training and liability insurance while serving. Volunteers must be 55 or older and serve 15 hours a week. For more information, contact Kate Neuhaus with the Senior Companion Program of Lutheran Social Service at 651-3109447 or at Free Internet Access - Ongoing — Access internet, check email, look for housing, type up resumes, jobsearch, practice typing, learn Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. M-F 11am-2pm and 5pm7pm. At Sabathani Community Center Room 324 310 E 38th St Mpls, MN 55409. Youth Business Club Develops Entrepreneurial Skills - Ongoing — Kids learn with support and guidance from community. The Selby Avenue Youth Business Club is open to youth ages 9-16 who are interested in starting their own or learning more about business. The group meets the first and third Saturday of ever month from 9:30 am to noon at Golden Thyme Cafe on Selby and Milton. For more information, interested parties can visit html , e-mail at or contact at: 615-964-0710. Wanted: Community-minded book lovers - Ongoing — One in seven U.S. adults lack the literacy skills necessary to enjoy great books, help their children with homework, or understand medication labels. But you can change this by volunteering with the Minnesota Literacy Council. With only two or three hours a week, your love of reading can create a stronger community. Tutor an adult learner, assist in an adult classroom, or teach a basic English or GED class. We have locations throughout the Twin Cities area, flexible scheduling and training to help you get started. Contact Allison at or 651-6452277, Ext 219 or visit us on the web at Hazelden Offers Free Educational Opportunity - Ongoing — Concerned about someone’s alcohol or drug use? Addressing Concerns Together (ACT), Hazelden’s new outreach program, can help. Join us for a free event to learn more about addiction, intervention, assessment, and treatment. Hazelden’s St. Paul campus, 680 Stewart Ave., St. Paul. 2nd and 4th Mon. of each month at 6pm. This is an open event and there is no need to register. If you have questions, please contact Hazelden at 800-257-7800Volunteer Opportunities Enthusiastic individuals needed to make a lasting difference in the life of an adult learner — Help someone in your community learn English, prepare for the GED or increase their basic math, reading and computer skills. Ongoing training and support is provided through the Minnesota Literacy Council. For more volunteer information, go to or contact Allison Runchey at 651-6452277 ext 219, Volunteer: Coach to Success Mentoring Program — Volunteer to become a mentor with AAAC’s mentoring program. Make a positive impact on the life of a young student in the Osseo Area School District #279. For more information, contact the African American Action Council, 6001 78th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN. 763-503-0159. Adult Literacy Tutors — For opportunities throughout the Metro area or Greater Minnesota, contact Allison at the Minnesota Literacy Council or (651) 6452277, Ext 219. Jacobs Ladder Inc. & P.A.L. tutoring program — Certified teachers needed to volunteer with the Jacobs Ladder Inc. & P.A.L tutoring program. Contact Diashka B. Jackson, (763) 458-3440.

Insight News • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Page 11


NBA all-star break report Mr. T’s Sports Report By Ryan T. Scott Though many came into the NBA season thinking that it might be a runaway “3-Peat” championship for the Los Angeles Lakers, the first half of the season suggests that my favorite team is getting old. Ron Artest obviously hit his pinnacle last year in the playoffs and has not come down mentally since then – or at least that’s what his jumpshot is saying. Kobe Bryant is his usual narcissistic self, and thus can’t will his team to whoopup on lesser talented teams like Michael Jordan did in the 90s. Bryant wants to engineer games rather than just go out there and “ball ‘em up” and then sit on the bench in the fourth quarter and enjoy the show…like Jordan and Scottie Pippen used to do. Bryant gets the ball stolen from his grasp a little more often, and gets his shot blocked much more as well. These are symptoms of old age (in basketball years). So as I often say, “Kobe! Pass the ball!” Can the Lakers pull it off come the end of the season? Sure. But it does bother me how light on their young toes the Miami Heat are proving to be. The Miami Heat team is having a great time destroying other teams with their unmatchable threesome of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Boch. They throw every kind of alley-oop and trick shot that they can muster. And the game-in game-out stat lines of those three are mighty impressive, whether led numerically by James or Wade.

Miami Heat’s “Big Three”: Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James Like everyone else, I’m curious how that 1, 2, 3, but no 4 and 5, or 6 and 7 type of line-up system is going to work in the playoffs. The teams that make the playoffs have a tendency to start playing defense in the playoffs, and that tends to cut down on the Harlem Globetrotters act that teams like Miami may come in with. Don’t get me wrong, the Heat have done remarkably well against all the best teams in the league during the regular season. The playoffs will certainly be super interesting with their team leading the charge from the Eastern Conference.

I may be a prisoner of the moment, but it does currently seem like the Heat are better than the Boston Celtics. The Celtics attacked the first half of the season with the vigor of their youth. Certainly they were driven, coming into the season, by the loss to the Lakers in last year’s NBA Finals. Caught up in that vigor, and the pressure of having to deal with a ridiculously talented Heat team, I think the Celtics forgot that they too are old. This oversight may come back to bite the Celtics, and allow the more youthful Heat team to ultimately surpass their

much older adversary. The Celtics don’t only have the Heat to worry about, but due to the recent blockbuster trade, they have Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire to deal with on the New York Knicks. Anthony won a collegiate national championship for Syracuse (in Syracuse, New York) in 2003. Kobe Bryant has referred to Anthony as a “Bear” on the court, and now that bear has a slim gorilla in Stoudemire to compliment his beastly scoring abilities. Once again, things change during the playoffs, and teams all of

a sudden get the urge to play defense – perhaps motivated by the extra paychecks during the playoffs. Anthony is not known for his individual defense, but as a Laker fan, I can admit that the iconic Magic Johnson was not “Mr. Defense” either. All I know is that I hope the glut of talent in the Eastern Conference with the Heat, Celtics, Knicks, and even the Chicago Bulls, has a cumulative effect of canceling each other out, and thus paving the way for you know who. I don’t know if the Lakers will win the championship this year, but what I do know is

that their dominance over the last four years has resulted in many of the talented players in the Western Conference taking their talents to the Eastern Conference. Dang I hope the Lakers 3-Peat, but there is some satisfaction in that they’ve run their best opponents out of town. As for the Timberwolves: they’re fun to watch, they’re trying hard, they’re better than last year, and their management is steady making interesting moves. With Cory Brewer now gone to the Knicks, it’s time for rookie Wesley Johnson to step up to the hoop.

Page 12 • February 28 - March 6, 2011 • Insight News

Biden lauds Black History By Sophia A. Nelson Vice President Joseph Biden and Dr. Jill Biden welcomed over 120 elected African American officials and their guests to their official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory on February 15, 2011 in honor of Black History Month. Guests dined on heavy Hors D’ Oeuvres of sirloin, salmon brochettes, winter crudites, pommes gaufrettes, and assorted cookies as they listened to a U.S. Navy Jazz trio play softly in the background. The Vice President who had just returned from a trip to Ft. Campbell Kentucky was in a very reflective mood, as his wife Dr. Jill Biden welcomed several distinguished members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Mayors, State Legislators, County Officials, and former elected leaders such as Wellington Webb who served three terms as Mayor of Denver Colorado. Dr. Biden welcomed the guests, introduced her husband and excused herself as she had to attend a special event for community colleges. This

segway was the lead in Vice President Biden used to talk about the importance of Black History Month as he reflected on everything from his recent meeting with young pre-teen African American football players at Ft. Campbell (whose parents are deployed Afghanistan and Iraq military warriors), to his becoming an attorney in 1968 just after the death of Dr. King (and the subsequent riots), and finally to his train ride with Presidentelect Barack H. Obama in January 2009 as the newly elected Vice President-elect to the nation’s first ever black President. In prepared remarks that lasted approximately eight minutes Vice President Biden stayed mostly clear of the politics of the day, except for noting at the outset that many of his friends in the Congressional Black Caucus could not attend because they were preparing for votes on the Continuing Resolution to keep the government from shutting down, and that “they were fighting for some key things important to the black community.” He

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

Vice President Joe Biden takes a group photo with mayors during a Black History Month reception at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, DC, February 15, 2011. alluded to the fact that if the Republican controlled House of Representatives has its way, the next 18 months will be a “rough ride” and that they seek to cut many programs that are critical to Mayors, state and county officials nationwide who represent struggling communities, which are mostly of color. He joked, “My recovery act doesn’t look so bad nowdoes it.” Everyone laughed and nodded in agreement.

The Vice President opened his substantive remarks for the evening by talking about the importance of community colleges, particularly to the sustainability of upwardly mobile, educated Blacks in America. He pointed out that his longtime friend from Wilmington, Delaware, Mayor James Baker (who was in attendance at the reception) stood side by side with him on the train platform at Wilmington station in 1968



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more credit card debt than they otherwise would have. Since the reform, however, prices have leveled and available credit has not tightened beyond what would normally be expected in an economic downtown. The complete report is available online at: http://www. For this new report, CRL analyzed five data sets, including two from the Federal Reserve Board and concluded that the new rules have been beneficial to consumers. Additionally, CRL anticipates that continued price transparency will likely lower

Conversations organizers, the initiative did not get as many men as they would have like to sign up to be an organ donor, however, the candid conversations did get them to think about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and empowered barbers to take control of their own health. “We think we made a major break through by increasing some of our participants’ willingness to change their lifestyles that could lead to organ failure,” said Lewis. In the future, coordinators of Barbershop Conversations plan for outreach to include barber schools to increase awareness and participation.


lending costs during the long term. Earlier CRL research has shown that in the absence of basic rules, credit card issuers relied on confusing, complex pricing to charge more than consumers expected or understood. When one considers how frequently consumers use credit cards, the significance of these findings cannot be overstated. The CARD Act

gives everyday consumers an important financial victory. It’s an encouraging sign when the law puts people and their wellbeing ahead of profiteers. Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications manager for state policy and outreach. She can be reached at: Charlene.

as they watched the city of Wilmington lay in ruins from the riots in the aftermath of Dr. King’s death. He reflected movingly on how some 40 years later, he stood on that same platform in Wilmington, Delaware waiting to board a train that carried in its cars the newly elected Black President of the United States, Barack H. Obama. Biden said that he had a moment standing at that station where he remembered the riots and said to himself, “We may have a lot more to do, but damn, we’ve come a long way.” The Vice President closed his remarks by saying that “the best way to celebrate history, is to make it”. He offered pointed tribute to the strength of the Black men and women who were standing in the room, and who work tirelessly for their communities. And he also remembered those who had come before. He talked about Frederick Douglass and the freed black slaves who in 1862 became union soldiers, and how out of 35,000 who died during the Civil War, 16 of that number were honored with the Congressional Medal

of Honor. He talked about how his first case as public defender was in representing two black panthers who were accused of causing the riots in 1968. The most poignant and moving line of the night was offered by the Vice President as he was talking about the sacrifices of all of those who had come before this present generation of accomplished African Americans. The Vice President spoke of the sacrifice, the struggle (quoting Fredrick Douglass”no struggle, no progress”), he spoke about the “halting” but continuous struggle for equality in America, and he called on us all to remember that “Sometimes the people most burdened in life, have to add more burdens upon themselves so that others can have their burdens lifted from them.” Very fitting words on a day where we all witnessed Congressman John Lewis (DGA) receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his dedication and sacrifice in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, some 40 years later at the hands of the nation’s first Black President of the United States.

Christina Garner

Suluki Fardan

Insight News ::: 2.28.11  
Insight News ::: 2.28.11  

Insight News for the week of February 28, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapol...