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Insight News February 12 - February 18, 2018

Vol. 45 No. 7• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com

Thor Companies Leading business and economic development Thor CEO Ravi Norman and founder Richard Copeland at Plymouth & Penn site for their new headquarters Photo by Victor Rivera

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Insight News wins two Minnesota Newspaper Association awards Insight News was awarded two Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) Best Newspaper Contest awards – First Place, General Reporting and Second Place, Columnist (Harry Colbert, Jr.). Insight’s awards were for weekly publications with circulations of 5,000 readers or more. In the category of General News, Insight took top honors for submitted

editions including the March 27 – April 2, 2017 edition, which broke the news that members of Congress – in particular, members of the Congressional Black Caucus – were calling for a vote to impeach President Donald Trump. The Plymouth Sun Sailor placed second and the Fillmore County Journal (Preston) placed third. Colbert took second

place honors for Columnist for his July 24 – July 30 commentary calling for the ouster of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau and St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth following the police killings of Jamar Clark, Philando Castile and Justine Damond. Though dated July 24, the issue hit newsstands July 21 and the commentary went online the morning of July 21. Harteau

Cynthia Chaplin, MNA staff

Insight News managing editor, Harry Colbert, Jr. (right) with MNA executive director, Lisa Hills. would resign later that evening. First place in the category went to Hannah Jones of the Prior Lake American. Third place went to Christiaan Tarbox of the Brooklyn Center/Brooklyn Park Sun Post. “It is beyond an honor for Insight News and I to be the recipient of two Minnesota Newspaper Association Best Newspaper Contest awards,” said Insight

News managing editor, Colbert. “These, along with three National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Merit Awards within the past two years, further punctuate the level of dedication and love we have here at Insight for telling our truths. Without a doubt these honors are cherished, but the truest honor is to serve our readers and our community as the ‘go-to’ source for our story ... our truths. Thank you

MNA, to the NNPA and most of all, to you, our dedicated readers.” With more than 360 member publications, the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) is the voluntary trade association of all general-interest newspapers in Minnesota. The awards were presented during the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s 151st annual convention held Jan. 25 - Jan. 26.

Report says state government spends less than 1% with African American businesses A new report released by the African American Leadership Forum (AALF) shows more than $4 billion dollars was spent by seven of Minnesota’s public entities in contracts and purchasing goods and services in 2015 and 2016; however, spending with AfricanAmerican-owned businesses was substantially less than 1 percent. AALF convened its first Public Sector Forum in November 2016 to begin working on solutions to the lack of progress in public spending with African-American and other ethnic minority-owned businesses. Government entities in attendance included the State of Minnesota, University of Minnesota, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools, Brooklyn Center and Osseo School Districts, among others. While most were able to share their Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) spending, only two of the entities – the State of Minnesota and University of Minnesota – were able to disaggregate their data to show how much they were spending with AfricanAmerican-owned businesses. In 2017 AALF convened its second Public Sector Forum in December. This time, seven entities were able to provide disaggregated data on their spending for 2015 and 2016 – State of Minnesota, University of Minnesota, cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Hennepin County, Metropolitan Council and Metropolitan Airport Commission. In the aggregate, these seven entities spent more than $4 Billion dollars in 2015 and 2016 in contracting and purchasing goods and services. However, spending with AfricanAmerican businesses was substantially less than 1 percent. “What we found is that while the aggregated WMBE spend can look good, the spend with African-American-owned businesses looks bad,” said Nawal Noor, AALF deputy director and president of Noor Construction. AALF is concerned that two entities – Osseo School District and Brooklyn Center School District – chose not

Jeffrey Hassan AALF, executive director to participate in the 2017 convening and did not provide any of their spending data, even though more than 50 percent of Osseo and 75 percent of Brooklyn Center students are students of color. “As we continue to push for greater transparency in disaggregating the data, our request is that all entities will not only share their data, but produce procurement methods that ensure public spending is commensurate with the percentage of African Americans represented in Minnesota,” said Noor. According to AALF, investing in African Americanowned businesses would mean spending would grow from $20 million, to more than $240 million; creating hundreds of jobs, stable housing, and economic stability in our communities. AfricanAmericans and ethnic minorities in Minnesota contribute an estimated $500 million dollars per year in state and local taxes. “Research – and AALF’s own work around socioeconomic issues – has shown that when African-Americanowned businesses are utilized, they grow,” said Jeff Hassan, AALF’s executive director. “It increases the tax revenue base, energizing the economy.” Government representatives in attendance at the forum committed to increasing their spend with African-Americanowned businesses in 2018. Hassan said some have shown slight increase since the 2016 forum, but there’s still room for growth. AALF will release its annual report during its Annual Public Forum, March 10, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.


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aesthetically speaking

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

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Insight News February 12 - February 18, 2018

Vol. 45 No. 7• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com

For Super Bowl LII

Thor investment builds new image By Harry Colbert, Jr. Managing Editor @HarryColbertJr It is said if you’re not at the table you’re on the menu. Not only is Thor Companies at the table, there’s a good chance they built the building housing the table. Minneapolis-based Thor Companies, which includes a multitude of businesses in the construction industry and has six offices within the United States and a growing international presence, has been at the table since 1980 and has grown into one of the most influential and prosperous Black-owned businesses in the U.S. Founded by Richard Copeland, Thor employs close to 250 people and generates nearly $375 in annual revenue. So, when Super Bowl LII came to town in a wave, it shouldn’t have been a shock when Thor was at the table of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MSBHC) as a founding partner. After all, it was Thor whose workers laid all the concrete and installed all the seats at U.S. Bank Stadium, site of the epic event. Ravi Norman, Thor CEO, said being at the table – at a cost

of $1.3 million – was as much for the community as it was for Thor. “We invested in the Super Bowl because we wanted people to see African-Americans being significant contributors to things happening in our region,” said Norman, during an on-location live boadcast of “Conversations with Al McFarlane,” which was held in Hennepin Theatre Trust’s newly acquired Solera building at 900 Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. “We want to be a part of changing the narrative.” Thor is indeed changing the narrative. With a 92,000-squarefoot facility nearing completion at the corners of Penn and Plymouth Avenues that will offer retail space, house offices for the Target Corporation, Hennepin County and MEDA and serve as Thor’s international headquarters, Thor is both literally and figuratively changing the landscape of North Minneapolis. The Thor building – along with a new Estes Funeral Home and Chapel going up across the street (also at the hands of Thor workers) – is saying to the region that North Minneapolis is open for business. Norman said the decision to locate its world headquarters

Victor Rivera

The corner of Penn and Plymouth Avenues in North Minneapolis is the site of progress with the 92,000-square-foot Thor Companies headquarters taking shape. in North Minneapolis speaks to Thor’s commitment to community. “(The headquarters) is more than a building. We build relationships and ultimately, we want to build wealth,” said Norman. “In the process of doing that we want to transform that old narrative of the opportunity gap in our community. To do that, those who have must be

willing to reinvest.” Also on hand for the remote broadcast was Jacqui Thompson, co-founder of Revel Spirts. A premium agave spirit, Revel is carving out shelf space at many popular bars, clubs and restaurants in the U.S. A Minnesota native, Thompson said the beverage company is also transforming lives. “We’re not only impacting

Never the witness,

In the Trump era, Consumer Protection Agency changes course

always the suspect A view from campus By Latisha Townsend Contributing Writer I come from a family with a law enforcement background. I have lived my entire youth on the straight and narrow and intentionally behaved in a way that will not allow me to become a statistic. I take pride in all that I have done, and I have confidence in all that I will be. I recently had an experience that I did not know would completely transform my thought process and my mental health. On Jan. 24 I was awakened in the middle of the night to the sound of police officers banging on my apartment door where I have lived for the past three years. I opened the door for the officers as I had nothing to hide nor would I have ever believed that this encounter would change my life. One of officers asked me if my apartment was burglarized and I told him, “No.” I was then informed that there were footprints in the snow leading from my patio to the parking lot of my complex. Believing that I was just reassuring the officers that I was not a victim

Business

Southside Despite Unequal Community Health Treatment, Black Services shines Women Will Rise a light on dental health

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that had nothing to do with me. It was difficult to comprehend at first, but after reflecting, I realize this could not have happened to a better person. At the time, I was working on my thesis paper, which was about Black women and policing and it was also my statement of research for graduate school, but I was unsure if I could really go anywhere with it. This situation happened in the midst of my doubt and I realize the incident may have happened to reassure me that this is the work I am supposed to do. Now I have the experience to put my heart in the work. I realized from this experience that even if we do everything right and live our lives above board, we will still be victimized. Jay-Z said it best in “The Story of OJ” where he raps about it not mattering who you are or what you have in this country because to the white American power structure, you’re “still (N-word)”. In this moment, I now fully understand what it means to be Black in America. Since that night I have met with the Mankato Public Safety director and assistant director. They apologized repeatedly for the way their officers treated me and returned my DNA to me within a week after realizing they harassed the wrong

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News 2 Health Insight Navy honors Don’t complain, the activate contributions of African-Americans during Black History Month

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“Access is a big part of what we do at Hennepin Theatre Trust, and because we have a large audience, maybe we can help to bridge gaps,” said Foster Warder. “Conversations with Al McFarlane” airs Tuesdays at 1 p.m. on 90.3 FM, KFAI and online at www.kfai.org.

CBC members question CFPB actions under Trump appointee

Insight News columnist handcuffed and swabbed for cooperating with police

of a home burglary, I honestly informed the officers that those were my footprints and that they were there because I dropped my phone in the parking lot and went back to retrieve it earlier that night. Within the next two hours I was handcuffed, getting my mouth swabbed and being accused of stealing a car that apparently pulled into the parking space in front of my apartment later that night. I had only been handcuffed briefly, but the trauma of it took no time to hit me and still heavily impacts my life every day. I think we talk a lot about police brutality in terms of being physically harmed, but rarely do we analyze the lasting effects of a mere encounter with law enforcement. Post-traumatic stress can lead to paranoia, nightmares and overall distrust for people who are supposed to be protecting us. I was questioning for days, in fear, wondering why something like this would happen to me. I am a lawabiding citizen, a student leader, an educated woman, and an allaround resilient human being. This makes it hard to explain the feeling of looking down at my own wrists and seeing handcuffs that we are conditioned to believe would only be placed on people for the right reasons. If my mother had not answered her phone at 4 a.m., I may have been unknowingly taken down to a police station for something

lives here but for the people of Morelos,” said Thompson. Morelos is the region in Mexico where Revel grows and harvest its agave plants. “Every time we go down there, there are new roads and new infrastructure.” Kelli Foster Warder, director of education for Hennepin Theatre Trust, said providing access is a prime initiative of the trust.

Charlene Crowell says that the Trump-appointed CFPB director Mick Mulvaney delayed the implementation of its prepaid card rule that was designed to help stop abusive fees for users.

By Charlene Crowell NNPA Newswire Columnist In the wake of a recent series of anti-consumer actions taken by Mick Mulvaney, the Trumpappointed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s acting director, a bicameral call for accountability was released on Jan. 31. Led by Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, two other Congressional Black Caucus Members, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) joined Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) as signatories. Together, the group of lawmakers seek to know what prompted Mulvaney’s actions as well as his ties to the payday lending industry. A Jan. 31 letter calls into question specific actions that have occurred over the past month including halting implementation of the agency’s

final rule preventing abusive payday lending (the ‘Payday Rule), an announcement of the Bureau’s intention to initiate a rulemaking process that appears designed to weaken the Payday Rule, withdrawing a Bureau lawsuit against four online payday lenders who allegedly misled customers on interest rates that spanned a low of 440 percent to as high as 950 percent and ending an investigation of World Acceptance Corporation, a high-cost installment lender that began in 2014 after consumers complained of unaffordable loans and aggressive collection practices. “For too long, some payday, auto title, and installment lenders have taken advantage of American workers who need a little extra money to pay an unexpected medical bill or fix their car,” wrote the lawmakers. “For too many families, one unexpected expense or tight week traps them in a cycle of debt that lasts months or years … The rule finalized by the CFPB last October was carefully balanced to end that cycle of debt while ensuring that borrowers retain access to needed credit.” The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that created the CFPB intended for it to be an independent agency, charged with serving as the consumer’s financial cop-on-the-beat. Its director was to be nominated by

I2H Community

Homegoing War on opioids for Duane hurts sickle cell disease Witherspoon, Sr. to be patients held Feb. 17

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the president and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term of service. Additionally, CFPB was to secure its funding directly from the Federal Reserve Bank, rather than through Congress’ annual appropriations process that could enable powerful special interests to restrict necessary funding. Even though the DoddFrank Act also defined a succession plan for an acting director in the event of personnel changes, two people were appointed to this same role. One, Leandra English was lawfully appointed by the former director, Richard Cordray, while another, Mulvaney, was appointed by President Trump. The lawmakers’ letter is addressed to both appointees. An appellate federal court will eventually decide who should be the legal acting director, but in the interim, Mulvaney leads CFPB while retaining his position as director of the Office of Management and Budget. In his prior role as a South Carolina congressman, he co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the CFPB and accepted nearly $63,000 in campaign donations from payday lenders. These donations included $4,500 from World Acceptance Corporation’s political action committee. “The CFPB spent five

CBC 6

Commentary AS

Snoop The Chronicles Dogg debuts of Missmusic new Freedom at Fighter, Esquire: Super Bowl Ending gospel mass incarceration celebration

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Insight 2 Health

Southside Community Health Services shines a light on dental health February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. For those with a baby or toddler, they may have questions about thumb sucking, a child’s first dental visit or how and when to clean a child’s teeth. The dental department at Southside Community Health Services (Southside) is ready to answer these questions and provide gentle oral health care for children. Southside has one of Minnesota’s first dental therapists, Brie Borntrage, who specializes in treating children. As members of the dentist-led team, dental therapists work much in the same way nurse practitioners and physician assistants do to extend the reach of physicians, and allowing them to see more patients needing more advanced services. “Brie has a passion for working with children,” said Southside dental director, Dr. Brian Quinlan. “A lot of people have a fear of the dentist and

it can be particularly scary for children. Brie is able to make kids feel comfortable and at ease in the dental chair. She also is a tremendous educator with both children and their parents.” As part of Southside’s oral health education, parents learn about when children should have their first dental visit, ways to prevent early childhood caries, when to expect changes from primary to permanent teeth, proper brushing and flossing techniques, thumb sucking, dental sealants, choosing the right mouth protector for active children and adolescents, and teaching their children to say no to tobacco. Parents also learn about the importance of regular dental examinations. “Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong,” said Quinlan.

Southside’s dental department is also increasing hours to help children have easier access to the clinic by opening at least one Saturday a month. Regular clinic hours are Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The dental clinic will also be open Saturday, Feb. 10 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Southside is a full service primary health care center, providing medical, dental, behavioral health and vision care. Southside has two Minneapolis sites – The Medical and Behavioral Health Clinic located at 324 East 35th St. and the Dental and Vision Clinic is at 4243 Fourth Ave. S., both in Minneapolis. Southside accepts most insurance and has MNsure navigators to assist individuals and families in enrolling in health insurance. A sliding fee scale is also available for all services. Call (612) 8277181 for information about Southside’s services or to make an appointment.

Stockvault

Annual trips to the dental office can keep a child smiling for a lifetime.

Black AIDS Institute launches vision for the future As part of a new strategic plan to prepare for the next generation of Black HIV/AIDS response, the Black AIDS Institute announced several organizational changes, including the retirement of longtime president and CEO Phill Wilson. Wilson launched the Black AIDS Institute in 1999 with a mantra “Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution” and mission, “to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black leaders, institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.” “In order for a movement to endure, there must be a plan for the future,” said Wilson, in a statement. “Stepping down as the president and CEO of the Institute, where I have had the privilege of serving for the last 19 years, is bittersweet for me. I have been involved in this fight for almost my entire adult life.” In the statement, Wilson said that the Institute is committed to doing everything in its power to end the HIV/ AIDS epidemic, especially in Black communities. “The time is right. The organization has the infrastructure and capacity to do the changes set forth by the Board to prepare for a new generation of capacity building, advocacy, mobilization and service delivery,” said Wilson. “I am very proud of the work we have done over the last 19 years and of the organization’s commitment to new leadership. That commitment is more important now than ever before.” Pursuing new executive leadership is a part of a larger effort on the part of the Institute to prepare for the next generation of HIV/AIDS response in Black communities. Ahead of the Curve From the African American HIV University (AAHU) and Black Treatment Advocates Network, to the State of AIDS in Black America reports and acknowledgements of Black excellence at the annual Heroes in the Struggle Awards Gala, the Institute has been relentless in its focus on Black communities. The organization enlisted Traditional Black Institutions, such as the NAACP, Black fraternities and sororities, Black journalists and others to commit to raising awareness, fighting stigma, increasing HIV/AIDS literacy and mobilizing Black people. It launched the Black Hollywood Task Force on HIV, currently co-chaired by Jussie Smollett, star of the FOX musical drama “Empire,” and veteran actress and humanitarian Vanessa Williams, to leverage the power of celebrity to amplify messages about prevention, testing, treatment and ending stigma. “We have always been ahead of the curve in understanding HIV/AIDS and how it relates to the Black community,” said Institute board chair, Grazell Howard. “This change is a continuation of that legacy. The search for new executive leadership is a part of a new strategic plan. We have brought on new Board members like Rep. Donna M. Christensen

on the frontline of training and capacity building in the South.”

Black AIDS Institute

Black AIDS Institute President and CEO Phill Wilson leaves the Institute well positioned to take on the challenges of future. (retired), Dr. David Cook, David Munar and Gina Brown to help us with expand our policy work, our clinical services and add Black-women programs, respectively. We’ve also reenergized our Black Hollywood Task Force on AIDS with new ambassadors and supporters like Ledisi, Karamo Brown, Taraji P. Henson, Alfre Woodard and Van Jones.” Board member David Munar, the president and CEO of the Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, said, “Almost every milestone in the fight against AIDS domestically, and in some cases internationally, has been paved by the Black AIDS Institute, and that’s a credit to the Institution and its many supporters and affiliates across the country.” Codifying Wilson’s Vision Wilson leaves the Institute well-positioned to take on the challenges of future. The organization is staffed by the next generation of HIV/ AIDS activists and organizers, whose work embodies the Institute’s commitment to helping Black communities save themselves through their lived experience. “Every day is Black AIDS Awareness Day at the Black AIDS Institute,’” said Raniyah Copeland, the Institute’s director of programs. “Our staff are of the communities we serve. We are Black men and women. We are Black people living with HIV/AIDS or at high risk of infection. We live, work, pray and play in the communities we serve. We don’t need to do ‘outreach’ because we are there 24/7.” Rather than resting on past successes, the Black AIDS Institute is “going where the epidemic’s trajectory is calling it to go,” said Munar, who calls the new initiatives “excellent examples” of how the organization is transforming in ways that will allow it to thrive without Wilson at the helm. “It’s exactly what every community needs to be doing. BAI wants to do it first in its own backyard, then help others across the country replicate similar strategies.” “We are proud to build on Phill’s bold and unapologetic legacy through direct service, new policy, initiatives to address Black women and HIV, and other efforts that will codify Phill’s vision of ending AIDS,” said Copeland. “Such approaches are

particularly important in the South,” said Leisha McKinleyBeach, national capacity building manager for the Black

A View Post Grad FUNdraising from Chronicles Good Times Campus

By ByMel Julianne Pearl Malveaux Byand Abeni HillShaw

AIDS Institute. “The Institute has become one of the driving forces for ending the AIDS epidemic in America due in part

to its work in southern states, where most Blacks live, and awareness-raising about what’s happening there. We have been

Passing the Mantle “For those of us who have been doing the work and standing with Phill shoulderto-shoulder for many years, it will be hard to imagine this work without him,” said Munar. “But this transition is not about Phill Wilson, it’s really about a mission, a vision, a commitment to mobilize a community, to leverage influence wherever we can, to eliminate AIDS and make this world a better place for people who are affected by HIV.” Freddie Allen is the editorin-chief of the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com. Allen is also a frequent contributor to the Black AIDS Weekly. You can follow him on Twitter @ freddieallenjr.

History isn’t just something you read about, it’s something you make every day.

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Navy honors the contributions of African-Americans during Black History Month WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy is celebrating the history of African-American sailors a nd civilians during Black History Month. This year’s theme is “African-Americans in Times of War,” which recognizes the contributions AfricanAmericans have made to the nation during times of war from the Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts. “We should celebrate our unique backgrounds because each sailor brings something different to the fight and this makes us a

CBC From 3 years honing the Payday Rule, conducting research and reviewing over one million comments from all types of stakeholders: from payday lender, to state regulators, to faith leaders,” wrote Ranking Members Warren and Waters. Now Mulvaney oversees the daily operations of the same Bureau that returned $12 billion to nearly 30 million consumers in about six years. Instead of regulating financial services, this acting director prefers allowing private enterprise to determine consumers’ choices – including those that are harmful and predatory. He also wants financial businesses to have more input on determining what regulations CFPB should use in their supervision and monitoring. As CFPB’s acting director, Mulvaney also wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen advising that “for Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, the Bureau is requesting $0.” Mulvaney added, “While this approximately $145 million may not make much of a dent in the deficit, the men and women at the Bureau are proud to do their part to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.” When the federal deficit is hundreds of trillions of dollars, it strains credulity to believe that $145 million will lighten the nation’s debt. But an emerging pattern of the current administration is to allow lengthy

stronger, more lethal team,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of the Carl Vinson Strike Group and one of Navy’s African-American flag officers. The strike group is currently deployed to the Western Pacific. African-American sailors and civilians play an integral role in the success of the Navy. African-Americans serve in every rank from seaman to admiral and perform duties in nearly every rating in the Navy. Currently, African-Americans make up 17 percent of all Navy

Sailors and a Marine perform a step dance during the African American and Black History Month celebration aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). The ship is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations designed to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.

personnel, or roughly 64,000 sailors. This includes more than 58,000 enlisted and 5,000 officers. Further analysis shows 17 percent of E-8 and E-9 sailors are AfricanAmericans that hold a range of leadership positions. Nearly four percent of flag officers are African-American sailors. A breakdown by gender indicates there are currently more than 45,000 AfricanAmerican males and more than 18,000 African-American females serving in the Navy. “Those serving today owe our success to the

veterans who transformed our Navy into a more diverse force,” said Fuller. According to the September 2016 “One Navy Team” memo from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson, actively being inclusive and open to diverse perspectives will produce leaders and teams who learn and adapt to achieve maximum possible performance, and who achieve and maintain high standards, be ready for decisive operations and combat.

delays that could eventually become denials. Key consumer protections in student loans have been delayed as well, and through the Congressional Review Act, a rule that would have allowed consumers to have their own

day in court to resolve financial and credit issues has also been rejected. Moreover, Mulvaney directed the CFPB to delay implementation of its prepaid card rule that was designed to help stop abusive fees for users.

“I certainly understand the desire to protect taxpayer dollars,” said Debbie Goldstein, executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending. “But I think the mission of the CFPB is to protect the

taxpayers, the American people, from lenders who target them for high-cost and unaffordable loans. And the best way to save Americans millions of dollars is by preventing predatory lending, not by draining the CFPB’s

resources.” Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications deputy director. She can be reached at charlene. crowell@responsiblelending.org.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Devin M. Langer

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Insight News • February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Page 7

Rod Doss honored with NNPA Publisher Lifetime Achievement Award By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Contributor For 50 years, Rod Doss has remained dedicated to the New Pittsburgh Courier and his success has been among the more celebrated of Black Press publishers. Doss received the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) 2018 Publisher Lifetime Achievement Award at a Jan. 26 ceremony in Las Vegas. “There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers,” said Doss. NNPA Chairman Dorothy Leavell, NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., and Real Times Media CEO Hiram Jackson were on hand to present Doss the award. Doss was joined on the podium at the ceremony by his sister, Marilyn Harvey, who he called his biggest booster and biggest fan. “His integrity as a journalist is impeccable,” said Leavell. “He’s contributed a lot and he’s really deserving of this honor. (Doss) put the ‘I’ in the word ‘integrity.’” Chavis said Doss not only continues to manifest a distinguished career as a publisher of a Black-owned newspaper in America, but that also his work ethic embodies the high standards of journalism, adding Doss is committed to freedom, justice and equality for all humanity. Robert Bogle, the chairman, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune, agreed. “He worked his way up and made a real difference,” said Bogle. “He’s provided leadership to the New Pittsburgh Courier that’s led to the success of the newspaper.” Doss joined the Courier in 1967 as an advertising sales representative. He climbed the ladder at the paper for years and, in 1983, he began running the publication as vice president and general manager. In 1997, after the death of legendary publisher and Doss mentor, John Sengstacke, Doss was named editor and publisher. Under Doss’ leadership, the New Pittsburgh Courier has earned more than 100 NNPA Merit Awards, including the coveted John B. Russwurm Trophy and A. Philip Randolph Messenger Award. “I went to the ‘University of The New Pittsburgh Courier’ and it was there that seasoned professionals took me in and taught me everything I needed to know about the newspaper

business,” said Doss. “When I came into the operation, I knew nothing, and they taught me sales, layout and design; they taught me how to write headlines, write articles and they taught me everything that I needed to know on a one-on-one personal basis. I was so pleased with that, that I shared it and passed it along and today I have a staff of people who are the most stable in the entire organization. They lift me up and I lift them up. They celebrate me, and I celebrate them.” Doss said his “graduate studies” began at NNPA. “Right here, attending many informative sessions, year after year, and receiving invaluable training, meeting people and learning from established professionals all of the ins and outs,” said Doss. Along with receiving many accolades, Doss is known for giving his time through serving on numerous boards and by participating in community events. He currently serves as chairman of the Rivers Club Board of Governors. Doss credited much of his success to his father, Eli Doss, and Sengstacke, the famed publisher and civil rights activist. “There were a couple of people in my life who really made a difference,” he said, remembering Sengstacke as a “walking legend in the publishing industry,” and his father as the person who taught him how to be a man.

Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA

Rod Doss, the publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier, received the NNPA Publisher Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2018 NNPA Mid-Winter Conference in Las Vegas.

Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA

(Left-right) Dorothy Leavell, the chairman of the NNPA, Rod Doss, the publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier, Marilyn Harvey, Doss’ sister, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA and Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media, celebrate Doss’ career achievements, during the 2018 NNPA Mid-Winter Conference in Las Vegas.

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Page 8 •February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Insight News

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Engage or get left behind By Jeffrey Boney NNPA Member Houston Forward Times OK, everyone, if you are reading this, we’ve made it through the first month of 2018. You made it, and with that being said, I feel this is the perfect opportunity for us to be honest about an important truth. As I see it, it is extremely clear to me, and should be quite evident to anyone who would just simply open up their eyes to see it for themselves, that the Black vote can either make or break an election. If you don’t believe me, I would encourage you to take a look at previous elections where the Black community was actively engaged and driven to get out and vote in a local, county, state or federal election, versus the times where they were not as excited or motivated to do so. Take Alabama’s recent special U.S. Senate election race involving Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, where people were overwhelmingly surprised to see the exit polls that showed that Black voters made up 29 percent of the overall voter turnout in the entire election – 18 percent of Black women and 11 percent of Black men. Exit polls also showed that 98 percent of Black women cast their vote for Jones, while 93 percent of Black men cast their vote for Jones. These were phenomenal numbers, and definitely the type of numbers that Jones needed to pull off an unexpected victory in a historically and traditionally red state like Alabama. It was exciting to see this type of political difference making by the Black community, but that excitement was immediately quenched and short-lived, after reading reports that a letter was sent to Jones on Dec. 19 from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and 16 other organizations practically begging him “to commit to hiring a staff that reflects his constituents’ racial diversity.” Why wasn’t this letter sent before Jones won? Why not get this type of commitment from Jones before engaging the Black community to come out and vote for him, and doing what the Black community always does when it is expected to deliver the turnout and

votes necessary to secure a victory for select candidates or select issues on the ballot? I believe it is, because the Black community has grown accustomed to not being respected, especially within the Democratic Party where they are the most loyal. And before “loyal” Democrats come for my head, because they consider this an attack on the Democratic Party or as an opportunity to try and have us compare the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, I believe the Black community needs to ask itself some really tough questions. When it comes to the Black community’s involvement in the Democratic Party, how are Blacks truly viewed within the party? Despite the Black community having such a strong and dedicated voting bloc across the nation, how many Blacks actually hold key positions within the Democratic Party on a local, statewide and/or national basis? How many Black people are senior staff members in county, state or federal offices across the country? According to a detailed report released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies last year, the majority of white Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Senate, who have millions of Black constituents, have no Black senior staff members at all. The report also found that while Blacks make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, they only make up 0.9 percent of the top Senate staffers. Is this by design or just an unfortunate oversight? See, it is one thing to look out at these local, county, state and federal Democratic meetings and conventions and see this sea of diversity, with Black faces mixed in with faces from all other races and backgrounds, but it is an entirely different thing to know that Blacks are not given opportunities to have a real impact in the Democratic Party from within, other than just voting. Also, as I see it, it is abundantly clear to me that the Black community is oftentimes ignored, disrespected and disregarded by both major political parties until they are needed in the midnight hour to deliver for those who only want their vote but nothing else. This is important to highlight because, over the past several decades, Black people have voted for Democratic candidates 94 percent of the time in critical federal and state elections.

Sadly, as I see it, the role of Blacks within the Democratic Party has been one that has relegated us to only being good for faithfully voting Democratic that is known for hitting the pavement to rally the voters in the hood and in the church, while not having a true voice within the party. That has to change in 2018. It’s extremely clear to me that we as Black people need to wake up and get more actively involved with politics, because if we don’t do it, we will continue getting screwed over by people who don’t have our best interest at heart and who would rather see us “begging” them for scraps from the table, rather than demanding a seat at the table. We can complain all day about how “white” and “not culturally diverse” the Republican Party is, but the one thing I can respect about them is when they choose to come together about the things that are collectively important to them – they come together. Don’t get historical amnesia on me. Lest we forget that there was a time, not long ago, where the Republican Party once advocated for Black people and Black issues, while the Democratic Party served as the home of the Ku Klux Klan and advocated for segregationist policies that violated and went against the Civil Rights of Black people. As I see it, Blacks cannot be political squatters, sitting with our hands out, begging for scraps from the table and waiting to be given our next assignment and told our next move. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said it best at the last Democratic National Convention, when he told attendees that they needed to get some “backbone.” All I know is this, Black folks had better get some “backbone” and wake up before we find ourselves becoming comfortable with sitting at the back of the bus again, while the Hispanic community and Asian community figure out a way to work collectively together to advance their political and social position in this country. If we find ourselves in the back of the bus, sadly, it won’t be the Republicans’ fault or the Democrats’ fault. This time, it will be no one’s fault, but our own. Jeffrey L. Boney serves as associate editor and is an awardwinning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper.

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Insight News • February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Page 9

Planting People Growing Justice hosts children’s book fair at HarMar Mall Barnes & Noble In an eort to raise funds for its global literacy campaign, Planting People Growing Justice (PPGJ) is hosting a book fair at the HarMar (2100 Snelling Ave., St. Paul), Barnes & Noble. The event takes place this coming Saturday (Feb. 17) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.. Barnes & Noble will contribute a percentage of every sale made when shoppers mention PPGJ Book Fair at checkout. The event will feature special guest authors reading children’s books and

share words of inspiration. ConďŹ rmed authors include Bukola Love Oriola, Jacklyn Milton, D’Narius Lewis, JacQuie Monae, Rita Apaloo, and Nate Munene. The goal of the fair is to promote cultural awareness, literacy and leadership development. A percentage of sales will underwrite PPGJ’s youth education projects. PPGJ recently released its ďŹ rst children’s book, “Justice Make a Dierence: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire.â€?

Witherspoon Homegoing Celebration Feb. 17

Duane Witherspoon

Duane Jerome Witherspoon, Sr. (Spoon) of Minneapolis passed away Jan. 13 at the age of 69. He will be greatly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. His Homegoing Celebration takes place Feb. 17, 2018 at Zion Baptist Church, 621 Elwood Ave. N., Minneapolis, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

person. I should not have been swabbed. I should not have been handcued. I should not have been accused of a crime as my only “crimeâ€? was trying to be a cooperative citizen. Coincidently, one of the oďŹƒcers who approached me so aggressively did not turn on his microphone at the time of his initial interaction with me and his partner’s microphone only picked up static. That being said, the department claims all they have is my word of what was said. Why do oďŹƒcers have microphones if they can choose when to turn them on? Bad policing of unknowing, innocent college students is getting out of hand. Many students are not aware of their rights and I fear for the kids who do not have a mother with law enforcement background. The bullying of vulnerable people must stop. It really is time to get to work and hold these people accountable. The issue is not that we aren’t speaking up. One of the biggest issues is that oďŹƒcers are not policing their colleagues. I believe people would not feel like all cops are bad if the good ones were willing to step out publicly and call out the bad seeds. From here on out we will do two things – one, hold good oďŹƒcers accountable for policing the police and two, self-educate on our rights so that we have knowledge on what can and cannot be done to us. If anyone is interested in getting his or her story heard and interviewing with me about life-changing experiences with law enforcement, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Latisha Townsend is a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato, majoring in communications. She is the president of the student organization, Black Motivated Women. She can be contacted at Latisha.Townsend@mnsu.edu.

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Page 10 •February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Insight News

insightnews.com Oshun

Michael Bland of Dr. Mambo’s Combo

Monday, Feb. 12 R&B Dr. Mambo’s Combo Bunker’s Music Bar 761 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis 9:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. 21-plus $7 The Minneapolis classic, Dr. Mambo’s Combo serving up ’70 and ’80 R&B for more than 30 years.

Tuesday, Feb. 13 Feb. 12 Feb. 25, 2018

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

DISCUSSION A Good Time for the Truth Minnesota History Center 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. All ages No cover Explore race relations in the Twin Cities with three of the contributors to the book, “A Good Time for the Truth.” Authors will talk about their experiences, followed by a discussion about everyday activism and what Minnesotans can do to address it in their lives and communities.

Wednesday, Feb. 14 CLASSIC SOUL Har Mar Superstar Sings Sam

Minneapolis 8:30 p.m. 21-plus $12-$20

Cooke Dakota Jazz Club 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 6 p.m. $120 (price includes performance, four-course dinner, tax and gratuity)

A soldier in the name of soul, Mark Joseph has worked with countless musicians, producers and collaborators. Known as one of the hardest working musicians in the Midwest, he pushes the envelope musically searching for the hottest players, grooves and cuts for his improvisational live show.

Crooner Har Mar Superstar helps couples celebrate Valentine’s Day with the songs of Sam Cooke.

Thursday, Feb. 15

THEATER Blackout presents: Love Power Panther Mixed Blood Theatre Company 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis 8 p.m. $10 See segments on Black history played out onstage with Ashawnti Ford, Denzel Belin, John Gebretatose, Alyssa DiVirgilio, Duck Washington and Theo Langason.

BOOK RELEASE/PARTY

Saturday, Feb. 17

Tuesday, Feb.20

The Dandies Project Look-book release 514 Studios 514 N. 3rd St., Suite 101, Minneapolis All ages No cover

ALTERNATIVE SOUL/R&B

JAZZ

Oshun Public Functionary 1400 12th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis 9 p.m. 18-plus $15

Stanley Jordan Dakota Jazz Club 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 7 p.m. $25

The Dandies Project is a coffeetable book celebrating men of color, who are also positive members of the community and men of style. All proceeds from the book will go to benefit a local charity. Last year’s recipient was Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul.

The ultra-soulful duo, Oshun, brings its psychedelic vibe to the Public Functionary.

Sunday, Feb. 18 SPOKEN WORD

Friday, Feb. 16

Uprooted Honey 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. 21-plus $15

ALTERNATIVE SOUL/HIPHOP Mark Joseph & the American Soul The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge 3010 Minnehaha Ave.,

Mar. 14 - 20

Uprooted follows spoken word stories in the perspective of individuals whose communities and ancestral roots have experienced nomadic shift including immigrants, multicultural individuals, trans-racial adoptees, people chased out of land or whose ancestors have experienced genocide (Native people) and undocumented persons.

Monday, Feb. 19

OF SUCH I DREAM

Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 4 PM Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis VocalEssence Chorus VocalEssence Youth Choir VocalEssence Teaching Artists Patricia Brown, Karla Nweje, and Roxane Wallace, dancers Niles, hip-hop artist

Dream of a better world as we pay tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, on the 100th anniversary of its birth, through song, poetry, hip-hop, dance, and more. season

49 2017 - 2018

TICKETS: vocalessence.org 612-371-5656

Rock Hop featuring Dem Atlas and Thomas Abban Turf Club 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul 7:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. This show has been billed as “A Dive into Punk, Folk Soul and Hip-Hop.” The show includes Dem Atlas, Thomas Abban, Ayvah and Seaberg.

Friday, Feb. 23 MUSEUM FAA’s Annual Wax Museum Friendship Academy of the Arts 2600 E. 38th St., Minneapolis 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Friendship Academy scholars create a wax museum of historical Black figures.

In a career that took flight in 1985 with commercial and critical acclaim, guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan has consistently displayed a chameleonic musical persona of openness, imagination, versatility and maverick daring.

Wednesday, Feb. 21 THEATER “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” SteppingStone Theatre 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul 10 a.m. All ages $10-$16

Saturday, Feb. 24 ELECTRONIC/HIP-HOP Steve Aoki, Desiigner Minneapolis Armory 500 S 6th St, Minneapolis 8 p.m. 18-plus $40-$182 The Kolony Tour hits the new Minneapolis Armory with Steve Aoki and “Panda” rapper, Desiigner.

Sunday, Feb. 26 GOSPEL

The Mildred D. Taylor novel on racism during the Great Depression, “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” comes alive at SteppingStone.

Thursday, Feb. 22

Courtland Pickens Wooddale Church 1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis 10 a.m. Hometown gospel artist Courtland Pickens plays a Sunday morning show on Eat Street.

ROCK/HIP HOP

World class and made with love The Un-Bougie Foodie By Wesley Wright

www.facebook.com/ theunbougiefoodie Everyone has their favorite type of breakfast pastries that helps them start the day. Whether it be muffins, cinnamon rolls, a Danish, or a buttery croissant, culturally these tastes run the gamut. Due to living in the Midwest, it’s become easy for me to jump on the bandwagon and desperately grab a muffin. However, I realize that when I’m with my family I crave a slice of creole bun, jam roll or powder (pronounced pow-dah) bun. You can have any of them as a great addition to your morning coffee or hot chocolate for your children. On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to visit a popular Belizean restaurant called Ella’s. This charming café in the South Central neighborhood of the city, endearingly referred to a “Little Belize,” is well known for providing authentic Belizean pastries. Once inside we were greeted by Velda Gordon, a friendly, yet reserved cashier who took our order. My sister and I chatted briefly with her as she placed the items we ordered in a bag, and as we continued, she became even more warm and welcoming. We complimented the restaurant, saying they had the best creole bun and bread in town. She proudly informed us that although she doesn’t cook any of the entrees for the restaurant, “the delicious buns you have, or are going to be eating have been prepared by my hands. It is the only thing that I do here aside from serving or dishing up food.”

Belizean bread

Belizean bun Considering many Belizeans long for the same quality and goodness that their moms or grannies would make, Gordon agrees that Ella’s is providing a much-needed service to the community. Because it is her bread and butter (pun intended), she takes pride in her work and that of the restaurant. Plus, she enjoys the chance to meet and greet people from all over the world that come for a taste of authentic Belizean cuisine. She is so confident in the food that she assures visitors that they will be back for sure. The mindset is one of love, joy and happiness. Gordon points out that because there is no time to repeat preparation of the items;

love is always in the kitchen. Music plays, the workers hum, laugh and dance while they work – all to demonstrate the care for the food and the customers. Even to the extent of bun and breads receiving a few pats from the person who baked them. If you’re ever in the City of Angels, make sure to visit a little piece of Belize and get some of that world class food made with love. Ella’s Belizean Restaurant 3975 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90062 Wesley Wright is the creator host of “The Un-Bougie Foodie,” which airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. on 104.7 FM (WEQY-LP).


insightnews.com

Insight News • February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Page 11

Larry Fitzgerald and Russell Wilson honored

Snoop Dogg debuts new music at Super Bowl gospel celebration The NFL Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (SBGC) kickedoff Super Bowl 52 with its 19th annual star-studded music jubilation at the Benson Great Hall at Bethel University in St. Paul. The sold-out Feb. 1 concert brought together key NFL players, top gospel/ contemporary Christian

and mainstream Grammy Award-winning artists and special guests all on one stage to bring audiences an evening of uplifting music and inspirational messages. The one-hour special aired on the BET. Highlights from the show included an opening performance by Sounds of Blackness

featuring Sheila E., Erica Campbell and Ann Nesby performing a medley of songs including “Glorious,” “Be Optimistic” and “I Believe.” In his first live performance off of his forthcoming gospel album, “Snoop Dogg Presents the Bible of Love,” Snoop Dogg took the stage to perform

with Rance Allen, The Clark Sisters and Tye Tribbett. The Twin Cities’ mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey offered a special introduction of Snoop’s performance. Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson was honored with the first-ever

Faith in Action Award and Minneapolis native and Arizona Cardinal, Larry Fitzgerald, received the Lifetime of Inspiration Award, with his father, Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. accepting the award on his behalf. This year’s concert was hosted by NAACP Image Award-nominated actress

from HBO’s hit show “Insecure,” Yvonne Orji, and gospel singer and star the OWN show, “The Book of John Gray” The Rev. John Gray. Here are a few images from the St. Paul event.

Kevin Winter/Ge y Images for BET Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Snoop Dogg performs onstage during BET Presents 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Bethel University on Feb. 1 in St. Paul.

Frazer Harrison/Ge y Images for BET

Ann Nesby (L) and Erica Campbell perform.

Sheila E., backed by members of Sounds of Blackness.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey (L) and Mayor of St. Paul, Melvin Carter speak onstage during BET Presents 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.

Kevin Winter/Ge y Images for BET

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BET

Faith Evans

Donnie McClurkin performs with Members of the NFL Players Choir.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for BET

Honoree Russell Wilson, recipient of the 2018 Faith in Action Award.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Host Yvonne Orji

VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ

FEBRUARY 17 • 7 PM

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Minnesota Viking Hall of Famer, Ahmad Rashad.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

Tommie Harris speaks during what is now a viral video online.


Page 12 •February 12 - February 18, 2018 • Insight News

insightnews.com

Allen Woods

Jacob Allen and Marie Dandie Founders of pilotED Schools, Education Advocates

Co-Founder of MORTAR, Entrepreneurship Educator

Celebrating those who plant the seeds of possibility. In celebration of Black History, U.S. Bank honors those who are planting seeds of possibility in our community. We’re proud to acknowledge community leaders who share our belief in the power of possible and help others realize their dreams like education advocates, Marie Dandie and Jacob Allen of pilotED and entrepreneurship educator, Allen Woods of MORTAR. These possibility makers are sowing seeds of entrepreneurship, education and empowerment that will reap benefits for generations.

usbank.com/blackhistorymonth

Member FDIC. ©2018 U.S. Bank.

180071c 1/18

“World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC.

Insight News ::: 02.12.18  

February 12, 2018

Insight News ::: 02.12.18  

February 12, 2018

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