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29TH ANNUAL RONDO DAYS FESTIVAL | July 21, 2012 | More information at Suluki Fardan

Half Pintz Drill Team Drum Squad at Rondo Days 2011


IMinnesota love music!

July 9 - July 15, 2012 • MN Metro Vol. 38 No. 28 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Greetings class, today we will start things a little different. We have a newcomer, and I’d like to give him a chance to introduce himself. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, like many of us were, then enjoyed a broad but brief stint in upstate New York. He’s back and will be working with us from today forward. I’d like to introduce Dom Minor. And like that, class in session. In the same way a new student accepts his novelty, I welcome the unacquainted eyes skimming Insight’s Aesthetics Section. Hopefully this city, my new class, accepts the fresh outlook of an old “newcomer” so to speak. I would describe myself as an eager and wide-eyed music enthusiast, the nerd who devoted himself to musical knowledge until it became cool to know all the history of the trends and styles of today. I’ll write about what I know and love. You guessed it, music.

Dom’s Music Beat Dom Minor Insight News Music Critic

Hip-hop collective The Chalice, indie/kraut rock band Van Stee, and songstress Chastity Brown performed at The Current’s “Local Current Live” concert


Summit Academy partners with Minnesota DNR; builds camper cabins By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer The Camper Cabin Production in Red Wing, MN is now on the Summit Academy campus. Hennepin County Sentencing to Service (STS) Homes and Summit Academy celebrated the first jointly built camper cabin for state parks. An ice cream social was held at Summit Academy

CABINS TURN TO 14 The Educational Service Center Facility, 1250 West Broadway

The new standard in WMBE Business Leadership Profile By Erin Jerabek, Executive Director West Broadway Business Area Coalition Ben Williams

When the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) set out to build its new Educational Service Center,

James Burroughs, II; Executive Director of MPS Office of Equity & Diversity

Suluki Fardan

The first jointly built camper cabin for state parks

Suluki Fardan

it set goals for the participation of women and minority business enterprises (WMBE). The goals for WMBE participation and workforce diversity were more than met; WMBE participation in the project was 54 percent – more than double the 25 percent contract goal. Of the $25 million of work procured, $12.9 million was committed to WMBE firms; 23 women-owned firms and 21 people of color-owned business



Dorii Gbolo, Open Cities Health Center CEO, dies MORE ON PAGE 14

Republican Chris Fields will try unseat Congressman Keith Ellison By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District has been a Democratic stronghold for years, so it would seem its current seat holder, Rep. Keith Ellison, has an easy path to re-election this November. His Republican challenger,

Chris Fields


Summit: Education = control


Courtesy of Chris Fields


Rel gets real: The Changing Game interview


Chris Fields sees things a bit differently. “I’m no dummy,” said Fields during a recent interview at his condo in the Warehouse District. “In 2006, 60 percent of democrats didn’t vote for [Ellison] in the primary. 44 percent of voters didn’t vote for him in the general. We [Republicans] haven’t put a credible candidate up against

him.” In 2006 Ellison easily won the House seat with 56 percent of the vote. His three opponents combined for 44 percent of the vote. In 2008 and 2010 Ellison carried the district with 70.9 percent and 67.7 percent of the vote. Fields is critical of Ellison saying he should be doing more


So many choices, so many screens


for the residents of the district. “His record is not one of achievement,” said Fields. “We’re at 20 percent unemployment [for AfricanAmericans] and have the largest [educational] achievement gap in the nation. This tells me Keith Ellison is not focused on the



Fashion with a purpose coming to the Capri


Page 2 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

Profiling Blacks: From Rodney King to Trayvon Martin By Sylvester Monroe Special to the NNPA News Service from America’s Wire LOS ANGELES (NNPA) — Rodney Glen King’s apparent accidental death at age 47 has prompted a flood of media punditry about the legacy of a life rife with misfortune. It was young Glen, as he was called, who had discovered his father’s body in the family bathtub. Rodney Sr. reportedly drank himself to death when Rodney Jr. was in high school. Following his father’s penchant for alcohol, the younger King made a fateful wrong turn at age 25—drinking and driving, and leading Los Angeles police officers on a high-speed chase that thrust him into an ill-fitting celebrity he never wanted or wore very well. King’s brutal videotaped beating seen around the world years before the advent of YouTube changed the course of his life. It also triggered events that altered how law enforcement and government officials handle complaints of excessive force and police brutality. The initial impact of the beating in March 1991 was to shine light on a dark realm of routine police misconduct in Los Angeles and other cities. Six days of deadly rioting followed acquittals more than a year later on April 29 of the officers who beat King and led to sweeping reforms of the police department. A heralded commitment to community policing, increased civilian oversight and more enlightened department leadership, including appointment of two Black police chiefs, significantly cooled longstanding tinderbox relations between police and the AfricanAmerican community. Less successful in Los Angeles and other cities nationwide has been elimination of the gross stereotyping, or profiling, of young Blacks as dangerous, drunk, drug-crazed ogres who can be controlled only with extreme force. Twenty years after the Los Angeles rioting, national attention is again focused on a racially-

NNPA / Freddie Allen

Tracy Martin (left) and Sybrina Fulton, the parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, address the media during the National Action Network Convention (April 11, 2012) charged assault. This time, an overzealous community watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., is charged in the shooting death of an unarmed Black teenager, and initial police handling of the case has raised widespread concern. The King and Martin cases are markedly different in detail, especially in that Sanford police had nothing to do with Martin’s death. But unchanged in two decades is continued use of excessive force by law enforcement officers and others who seek, out of fear, to justify violent and often fatal encounters with black youths and men. Such professed fear has been a major dynamic in practically every questionable case of excessive police force against young Blacks since the Watts riots of 1965 in Los Angeles. That fear factor played a key role in the King trial defense and in another verdict shortly before the city exploded in anger and violence in April 1992. The shocking acquittals of the police officers in the King trial came less than two weeks before Soon Ja Du, 51, a Korean store owner, received a 10-year

suspended prison term, probation, a fine and community service for the shooting death of Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old AfricanAmerican. Du said Harlins was stealing a bottle of orange juice and shot her in the back of the head. The incident was videotaped. Nine years later, in April 2001, rioting was sparked in Cincinnati when a police officer fatally shot Timothy Thomas, a 19-year-old Black. Five months later, the officer was acquitted. Like Trayvon Martin, Thomas was unarmed. He was shot while running away from the officer, who was trying to arrest him. Officers in the King beating mounted much of their defense for striking King more than 50 times by saying that the 6-foot-4 King, who weighed more than 200 pounds, refused to obey commands to stay on the ground, and that they feared for their safety. This week, attorneys for George Zimmerman, the White Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer charged with seconddegree murder in Martin’s death, released a police video in which he reenacted what he says happened

during the fatal encounter. Zimmerman says he feared for his life after Martin reached for Zimmerman’s gun, and told him, “You’re going to die.” According to Zimmerman, he shot Martin in self-defense under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law that gives citizens the right to use deadly force if they fear for their lives. Martin’s parents contend that Zimmerman was the aggressor and pursued their unarmed son, who was walking home from a convenience store through the gated Sanford community that Zimmerman patrolled. They say Zimmerman racially profiled the teenager, followed and confronted him despite being told not to by a 911 operator whom Zimmerman called to report a suspicious Black man. Before and after the King beating, there have been numerous incidents of excessive police force against Black men by police officers and others who invoked versions of the fearfactor defense. As recently as 2009, a grisly police assault was captured on videotape in Oakland,

Calif. A transit police officer shot and killed Oscar Grant, 22, an unarmed Black shown lying on a train platform at the officer’s feet. The officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Ironically, on the day Rodney King died, Black and Latino community leaders gathered at a rally in New York City to protest the city’s stop-and-frisk policy that they say has led to escalated profiling of young Blacks and Latinos, and increasing allegations of excessive force and brutality by New York police officers. The rally followed a report this year by the New York Civil Liberties Union showing that the New York City Police Department conducted 685,724 stop-and-frisk searches in 2011. More than 86 percent of those targeted by police were Blacks and Latinos. “What happened to me and what’s happened to others can still happen,” King said in an interview with Ebony magazine in April, shortly before the 20th anniversary of the rioting. “The police are still

killing people. I am just glad I was one of those who the camera was on.” King often said he wanted his epitaph to read: “Can we all just get along?” Nervous and visibly shaken, he spoke those words at a 1992 news conference immediately after rioting erupted. The answer to his question may well be influenced by the outcome of the expected trial in the Martin shooting. This time, it is not a police officer but a private citizen who took it on himself to patrol the streets to protect his community from what he viewed as potentially dangerous intruders. How the Sanford Police Department handled that shooting will be as important as actual facts of the case and a verdict. In the King case and others, Blacks felt that their voices and concerns about police misconduct went largely unheeded. When the officers were acquitted even though the videotape clearly seemed to show excessive force, Blacks in Los Angeles took it as one more slap in the face. Similarly, the Martin family and African-Americans across the nation were outraged that Zimmerman was not arrested immediately and charged. When city officials rejected Police Chief Bill Lee’s offer to resign, the situation was aggravated. Lee, who had stepped aside temporarily in May and was on paid leave, was fired on June 20. Whatever the outcome, if Sanford’s Black community and African-Americans elsewhere do not believe that the investigation and expected trial were conducted fairly and that Black profiling has been addressed adequately, the answer to Rodney King’s plaintive plea will undoubtedly be, “Not yet.” Whether Trayvon Martin will become the Rodney King of his generation remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: The ghost of Rodney King will loom large over the trial of George Zimmerman. America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 3

Egypt’s new first lady is veiled, but not silent By Ahmed Tharwat Commentary Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party, was named the winner of the Egyptian presidential elections held Jun. 24. Morsi is the first civilian elected president in Egyptian history. This is not the only first that. Morsi brought to Egyptian political landscape. He is the first, Islamist to get to the presidential palace and the first Egyptian president with the name Mohamed as an actual first name. Also he is the first Egyptian president to earn doctoral degree, and the first president to win an election with less than 90 percent of the vote (51.7 percent). He is the first president to win a competitive election, where Egyptians had for the first time the opportuiny to choose between more than one candidate – 13 in the first primary and two in the general election. He is the first Egyptian president studied and taught at a U.S. university.

Najla Mahmoud And, in the world of religious symbolism, for the first time, Morsi brought the beard into the presidential palace. But the one first that Morsi brings that will get the West; and specially Americans attention, is Moris’s wife, Najla Mahmoud, is the first Egyptian first lady to wear traditional Islamic dress, abaya; full coverage hijab. Allow me introduce to the

Wikimedia Commons

readers the Egyptian new first lady. Najla Mahmoud, was born in Cairo in 1962. She is also Mohammad Morsi’s first cousin and married the new president in 1979. The couple has four sons and a daughter together. As a young woman, she joined the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. (there is always an American connection to everything). Egypt’s new first lady lived in

the United States with her husband while he studied at the University of Southern California. She has been an active member of the Brotherhood for many years alongside running multiple charity projects, particularly in the field of education. She is a very different first lady even in Egyptian standard. The new first lady of Egypt got a fair amount of ridiculous coverage from Egyptian liberal media and so called secular Egyptians. Some even questioned if she is really fit to represent Egypt. Her image has become the subject of a rancorous debate on Websites and in newspapers. A column in the newspaper El Fagr asked sarcastically how could she receive world leaders and still adhere to her traditional Islamic standards of modesty. “Don’t look at her. Don’t shake hands with her,” the paper suggested, calling it a “comic scenario.” Prior Egyptian first lady, Suzanne Mubarak, lived in the shadow of her projected

strong leader; running charity organizations, and meeting dignitaries, until the ex-dictator lost interest and the first lady took over and ran the country’s domestic affairs. According to a recent interview in one of the Egyptian papers, the new first lady does not even like the title of first lady saying, “Islam taught us that the next president is the first servant of Egypt. This means that his wife is also the servant of Egypt. Any title that has been forced upon us must be gone with. It should disappear from my political and social dictionary.” Najla Mahmoud sees herself first, in “women traditional” roles and foremost as a mother. In an interview with the Egyptian press Najla Mahmoud admitted that she preferred to be called “Em Ahmed” (mother of her son Ahmed) above any other title. And as the former first ladies were spending a great deal of money on their own appearances and making many Western fashion statements, the new first lady will have none of it. The

only one fashion statement she will make is the hijab – the full Islamic dress. The West has a fixation on Muslim dress, and its view of hijab. Its view is mostly a colonial one; a symbol of oppressing women (as if the billions of dollars spent by the fashion industry to tell Western women what to wear is not oppressing). Liberating Muslim women has been used by the West to invade Muslims countries and take down their so-called oppressive leaders. This racist attitude toward Muslim women’s traditional dress still prevails in parts of the West but is often hidden behind the veil of secularism. So having a hijabi first lady in Egypt may bring a new attitude towards Muslims women, and a new look toward Muslim dress fashion. Ahmed Tharwat is a freelance writer, public speaker and host of Arab American TV show, “BelAhdan.”

Ellison hails agreement to support America’s roads, bridges and students WASHINGTON--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement after voting for H.R. 4348, Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012: “After more than 100 days of inaction, John Boehner and Republicans in the House of

Representatives have finally agreed to support America’s roads, bridges, and students. This will be good news for hundreds of 5th District residents and local leaders who have contacted me about stalled transportation projects. “Today’s bill will create or save more than 2 million

American jobs—and will strengthen ‘Buy America’ protections for highway and bridge projects across Minnesota. Unlike an earlier House Republican bill, the compromise authorizes highway and transit programs for more than two years at current levels and cuts red tape

for transportation projects. The bill allows the EPA to limit polluters spouting coal ash into the environment, which creates 130 million tons of waste each year, according to the EPA. And this bill doesn’t force the President to authorize a pipeline risks environmental disaster for American farmers

and ranchers. “This bill also resolves a crisis for thousands of students in Minnesota. For months, Republicans threatened to allow student loan rates to double to nearly 7 percent. The average Minnesota college student is already $29,000 in debt, and student loan debt rose to more

than $1 trillion last year. Thanks to this agreement, the American Dream will remain a possibility for students aspiring to go to college. “Americans expect their leaders to find common ground on the most basic functions of our democracy--funding our roads and educating our children.”

General Mills gets huge outpouring of support for marriage equality stance WASHINGTON – A petition in support of Minnesota-based Fortune 500 Company General Mills by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has gotten nearly five times more signatures than an anti-equality petition launched by the National Organization for Marriage

(NOM). HRC launched the petition last week after General Mills CEO Ken Powell announced the company opposed the state’s proposed constitutional amendment which seeks to ban marriage equality for committed gay and lesbian couples. To date, more than 80,000 people have signed HRC’s petition as well as another petition by the

Minnesotans United campaign supporting the cereal giant. In contrast, the anti-equality National Organization for Marriage (NOM) launched a petition denouncing General Mills. Only 17,000 people have signed on – nearly five times fewer than HRC’s and MN United’s petitions. “General Mills took a bold stand in support of equality

for all Minnesota families and it’s paying off,” said HRC Workplace Project Director Kathryn Friedman. “With five times the number of signatures, it’s clear that American consumers are sending a strong message that equality is good for business.” HRC is a proud partner of Minnesotans United for All Families – the campaign working

to defeat the amendment that seeks to limit the ability of committed same-sex couples to marry. Composed of over 500 businesses, religious institutions, nonprofit and arts organizations, labor unions, political parties and current & former elected officials, Minnesotans United for All Families is one of the largest grassroots campaign in state history.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


believes the question of gay marriage is one for states to wrestle with and not an issue for the Federal government, but he said he would be a friend of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community. Fields also questions the sincerity of Ellison’s support for the LGBT community. “[Ellison is] the same dude who’s hanging with all these Saudis and they would stone homosexuals, so how are you a friend of the LGBT community,” questioned Fields. “Mr. Fields is out of touch with Minnesota values because he continues making

statements that seek to divide our communities rather than trying to bring people together,” said Ellison. “I am proud to represent all of the diverse communities in the Fifth District and thankful for the opportunity to have conversations with residents of different races, religions, political views and sexual orientations every day.” Ellison said for the past four years he has traveled to Saudi Arabia with Minnesota businesses in order to promote understanding and expand economic opportunity for businesses in the state. He went

on to state he also works with groups at home and abroad to promote human rights and he proudly supports an individual’s freedom to marry the person they love. “Minnesotans reject Mr. Fields’ belief that it is problematic to talk with folks with whom we disagree because we believe that talking out our differences is the only path toward a more prosperous and peaceful world,” said Ellison. Fields is also critical of how Ellison handled last year’s tornado that ripped through much of North Minneapolis. “We didn’t get the attention we needed [from the Federal

Government],” said Fields when questioned about the response and relief efforts following the tornado. “We should have gotten just as much assistance as Joplin [Mo.]”. Joplin was hit by a tornado on the same day as the North Minneapolis tornado. That tornado killed 161 people and caused more than $2 billion in damages. “[Fields’] statement [regarding tornado response] is completely untrue,” said Ellison. “I worked closely with our governor, our senators, our mayor, and community leaders to mobilize a swift and effective response. We worked around the

clock to bring food, water, shelter, and clothing to our neighbors in addition to working together with President Obama and federal agencies to bring needed funds that helped homeowners, renters, and small businesses recover from the disaster.” Ellison said it is disappointing that someone who moved to Minneapolis just one month before the tornado, would be critical of the Federal government’s swift response. Fields said he will soon layout his legislative agenda, including his stances on economic policy and education reforms. Come November, he ask voters to keep an open mind.

From 1 people of this district.” Ellison said Fields misrepresents the facts. “My top priority as a member of Congress has been creating lasting economic prosperity for working families by helping secure major investments in the Fifth District for transportation projects, bridge repair, and public safety,” said the Congressman. “In North Minneapolis, I’ve worked with partners to secure investments in Summit Academy’s green jobs initiative, the Northside Economic Opportunity Network, and the Northside Achievement Zone; all of which create jobs, spur growth, and help cut the achievement gap so our kids a have a better future.” Ellison said Fields supports the Republican plan to slash investments in education and job training, which, according to Ellison, would significantly harm the people of the Fifth District. Fields is a relative newcomer to politics; and for that matter to Minnesota. Born in Bronx, N.Y., Fields spent 21 years in the Marines, retiring as a major. While living in San Diego, Fields met his future wife, who is a defense attorney working for a firm here in Minneapolis. The two married and Fields moved to Minneapolis in April of 2011. In an era of more conservatism within the Republican Party, many of Fields’ political positions may be considered moderate. The former Marine supports an end to U.S. troop deployment in Afghanistan and even offers a somewhat kind word for President Obama when it comes to his efforts in healthcare. “[President Obama] gets an A for effort for trying to tackle the issue [of healthcare],” said Fields. “The product he produced is actually a D or F.” Fields objections to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, deal with the mandate to force citizens to purchase a product from private insurance companies and an absence of tort reform provisions. “If those things were in there, the grade gets better.” On the issue of gay marriage, Fields is a bit coy. Fields

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Summit: Education = control The second annual Northwest Suburban Integration School District Step-Up Summit for eighth grade boys was held June 18-22, 2012 at the University of St. Thomas downtown Minneapolis campus. Approximately 45 students from five NWSISD member districts attended the summit. The intensive educational experience helped prepare participants for high school by focusing on four key educational concepts: Aspirations, Expectations, Opportunities and Achievement. Each day began with a keynote speaker that stressed the importance of education as a way of maintaining control over one’s future. Participants then spent the morning participating in classroom activities focused on introspection, learning how culture shapes expectations, setting goals for the upcoming school year and creating plans that will assist them in accomplishing those goals.

Students took part in a scavenger hunt through downtown Minneapolis Afternoons were spent engaging in physical activities that stressed the value of teamwork. Participants played basketball and soccer at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and took part in a scavenger hunt through downtown Minneapolis. Attendees

of the summit also spent a full day at YMCA Camp Iduhapi, where they took part in low ropes courses and other challenging endeavors. The Step-Up Summit is intended to prepare eighth grade boys for the increased rigor they will encounter in ninth grade.


Participants were identified by their school district as potentially benefiting from additional academic and social support and guidance. 80% of surveyed students that participated in the 2011 Step-Up Summit reported that their grades were better

during the 2011-12 school year, while 90% of respondents believed that they are better students for having participated in the 2011 Step-Up Summit. This year’s participants seem equally enthusiastic. “I can tell you honestly that this is one of my best life experiences,” said one 2012 participant. Participating students receive additional guidance throughout their high school careers. Last year’s participants volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization that provides meals for malnourished children, and spent a day at the Vertical Endeavors indoor rockclimbing facility. The Step-Up Summit was developed through partnerships between Northwest Suburban Integration School District, its eight member districts, and University of St. Thomas College of Education, Leadership and Counseling. Students from the following schools attended the 2012 summit:

Anoka Middle School, Coon Rapids Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Northdale Middle School, Oak View Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School (AnokaHennepin School District), Buffalo Middle School (Buffalo-HanoverMontrose School District), Fridley Middle School (Fridley School District), Highview Middle School, Edgewood Middle School (Mounds View School District) and Rockford Middle School (Rockford School District). Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) is a consortium of eight school districts: Anoka-Hennepin, Brooklyn Center, BuffaloHanover-Montrose, Elk River, Fridley, Mounds View, Osseo and Rockford. NWSISD works with its member districts to provide programs and services that promote integrated learning environments and enhance diversity and cultural awareness, as well as working on increasing academic achievement and closing achievement gaps.

Youth Development League motivates youth to excellence Some people gain inspiration from their childhood difficulties and overcome their environments, subsequently reaching back to help others with similar backgrounds. Such is the case of Joyce Lester, the executive director of the Youth Development League (YDL), a non-profit program of the Metro Education and Outreach Services (MEOS) agency, which seeks to cultivate youth by introducing them to their world of possibilities. Metro Education and Outreach Services is located in St. Paul at 245 N. Ruth St., Ste. 107. Lester feels though she grew up in the Chicago Housing Authority projects, the projects did not grow up in her. “I’ve lived a blessed life and enjoy motivating youth to excel,” said Lester.

The YDL provides intensive workshops to increase the youths’ knowledge base and critical thinking skills. Workshops include speech technique, public speaking, speech writing, ethics, financial management, entrepreneurship, healthy relationships and leadership training. In past years, local, state and national government workshops have been offered. In addition, guest speakers from organizations such as the Minnesota Vikings, local banks, area politicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, attorneys and other professionals come in and give presentations. Program participants also enjoy weekly field trips such as horseback riding, tennis, golf, bowling,

Instructor Kwame Collins, former YDL participant skating, major league sports, and the theater. Travel is also a component of the program. Past participants have traveled to Canada, Atlanta, Orlando, and Chicago. For many of the youth, the trips are their

first encounter with airline travel. This summer, a former YDL student, Kwame Collins, who participated in the program from age 12 through 15, is one of the instructors for the 2012 session. Collins teaches speech technique,


speech presentation and speech writing classes. The sessions are designed to strengthen the students’ writing skills and ability to communicate effectively. When Collins came into the YDL he, his mom and two

siblings were living in transitional housing in Saint Paul. According to Collins, the community he had grown up in, in Milwaukee consisted of high crime rates, drugs and violence, leading him to believe his future was limited. He credits the program with drastically changing his outlook on life. Collins is now a senior at Augsburg College, majoring in psychology. The YDL is a Christian program with a strong emphasis on spirituality. Lester, a minister, attributes her acceptance of Christ as a teenager as critical to her ability to avoid being consumed by the negative environment in which she grew up. Additional information on the YDL can be obtained at 651-7391639, or

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 5

AESTHETICS Rel gets real: The Changing Game interview KW: To what extent is the story autobiographical? RD: Wow! Good question. I think every screenwriter takes pieces of him or herself and integrates it into the fabric of some of the characters in the screenplay when it’s written. In life, you have to have street sense as well as book sense if you’re going to survive in this world. The main character, Darrell Barnes (played by Sean Riggs), uses spirituality and intelligence to guide him through some of the pitfalls in his life. I can fully relate to that. I had people pray for me continuously during the more arduous times in my life, just like the character of the grandmother (played by Irma P. Hall) did for Darrell. The part about adapting philosophies of Niccolo Machiavelli to deal with adversities and adversaries seemed like an interesting element to me since I had read texts such as Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu numerous times during my academic years.

Rel Dowdell


By Kam Williams Rel Dowdell is a very gifted screenwriter and director. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he received his Bachelor’s degree in English with magna cum laude honors from Fisk University and a Master’s Degree in Film with highest distinction from Boston University. Dowdell’s first feature film, Train Ride, was released to widespread critical acclaim. Produced with independent financing, the film was acquired and distributed by Sony Pictures in 2005 and was a tremendous financial success. The picture starred Wood Harris, MC Lyte, Russell Hornsby, and the

late Esther Rolle in her last performance. Train Ride was ranked as one of the best American movies that year as cited by veteran film critic Gerald Peary of The Boston Phoenix. It also garnered high praise in film historian Irv Slifkin’s book, “Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies.” And it won the honor of “Best Feature” at the American Theatre of Harlem Film Festival in 2005. Rel Dowdell has been compared to John Singleton and Spike Lee in the way that he blends urban storytelling and suspense to tackle relevant and universal social issues intimately intertwined with a powerful moral message. Here, Rel discusses his new film, Changing the Game, a drama shot in his hometown and starring Sean Riggs, Irma P. Hall, Tony Todd, Dennis L.A. White and Sticky Fingaz. Kam Williams: Hi, Rel, thanks

for the interview. Rel Dowdell: Absolutely! This is a great privilege of mine to be interviewed by you, Mr. Williams. I have been a great admirer of your work and writings for years. You reviewing my film, “Changing the Game” was an extremely significant honor for me and everyone involved with this landmark project. KW: How did you come up with the idea of Changing the Game? RD: I wanted to be daring and create a film with an AfricanAmerican male protagonist that combined genres, kind of like a cross between “New Jack City” and “Wall Street.” The key was to make sure to show that the African-American male protagonist, when given the chance to escape his virulent, inner-city environment and become successful, would make sure not to get engulfed by it again, but at the same time,

Huey P. Newton and the Story of the Black Panther Party By Kam Williams The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation has selected Emmy award winning independent filmmaker Dante James to direct a feature documentary, on the Black Panther founder. The documentary is tentatively titled Huey P. Newton and the Story of the Black Panther Party. “This film will tell the story of the Black Panther Party (BPP) from inside the Party through the story of Huey P. Newton,” said David Hilliard, a childhood friend of Newton, and a founding member and leader of the Black Panther Party. “Huey was a brilliant, complex man whose commitment to the humanity and dignity of Black people and all of humanity is well-defined in his books and essays but is little known to the general public. Dante James is our choice to make this film because his work is engaging and complex and he respects his subjects and the history.” “Other films have explored the Black Panther Party from the point of view of fringe and short time members,” said James. “This film will explore the inner workings and the evolution of the Party. Huey P. Newton’s story as leader and standardbearer of the (Black Panther) Party will be interwoven throughout the film. Intimate interviews, unseen film footage and unheard audio recordings will drive the narrative.” According to a statement released by the foundation, the documentary is needed because mainstream outlets continue to distort and disfigure the BPP legacy. The producers of the project said, once complete, the film will be distributed through independent theater release, video on demand and DVD sales in domestic and international markets. James plans to

complete the film by the summer of 2013. The foundation and the film’s producers are seeking

investments from independent, private sources and start-up funding through Kickstarter, an online financing Website.

Courtesy of Kam Williams

never lose his sense of self and appreciate the roots from which he originated, in order to make smart decisions in his life.

KW: How much time did each part of the process take: the scriptwriting, raising money, casting, screen location, shooting, editing, and getting the final cut into theaters? RD: It took me about 2 years to fully develop and write the

script. After I conceived the idea for the story, I brought a friend of mine on named Aaron Astillero who had a lot of knowledge about the inner dealings of the stock market and Wall Street. I wanted the story to be accurate and authentic to what was going on at the time. Then, after I was happy with the script, I recruited a good friend of mine, veteran actor Tony Todd (“Candyman” and “Final Destination”) to be a part of the film. We had met back in 2005 when my first film, “Train Ride,” was showing at the PanAfrican Film Festival in Los Angeles. He really liked the film and said he wanted to work with me in the future. That was a tremendous blessing. With “Changing the Game,” I figured attaching someone of his caliber would help me raise money for the film, which it definitely did. He was a big asset to my executive producers, Thomas Webster and Karen Isaac, because anyone who they got interested as a potential investor, Tony would speak to them, and even meet personally with them. It took three years to literally raise just enough money, complete casting, secure crew, locations, shoot, and do post-production for the film. I had a lot of other help


Page 6 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

HEALTH MUL, NorthPoint applaud Supreme Court health care ruling By Harry Colbert, Jr. With the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), area groups believe AfricanAmericans and other minorities will be the greatest beneficiaries.


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler

The act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is a sweeping overhaul of the healthcare system that calls for every citizen to receive health insurance – regardless of ability to pay. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior White House official said up to 5.5 million previously uninsured African-Americans will now be afforded health coverage. The official said prior to the passing of the ACA, AfricanAmericans were less likely to receive the high-quality healthcare of many of their white counterparts; and the act takes bold steps to resolve this

disparity. The source went on to say all Americans will be on a level playing field when it comes to health coverage. Though the act does not fully go into effect until 2014, Stella Whitney-West, CEO of NorthPoint Health & Wellness said Minnesotans are already reaping the benefits of the ACA. “Under Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota was one of the few states that chose to opt-in to the act early,” said Whitney-West. “We’re already extending benefits to those who are the poorest of the poor.” Whitney-West applauds Pres. Obama for championing healthcare and pointed to several

benefits of the act withstanding its constitutional challenge. Among them, she cited the prevision that states, no person can be denied coverage for preexisting conditions and the fact that children can remain insured under their parents’ policies until the age of 26. “Preventative measures such as health screenings are now free; things such as cancer screenings and mammograms,” said Whitney-West. “Proper health care is really based on prevention; not about managing sickness. That’s how optimal health is achieved.” Mitchell Davis, Director of Health and Workforce

Intersections at the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) said his organization is mobilizing to educate citizens on the benefits of the ACA. The MUL is hosting two community forums to discuss the act and its implications. The first forum takes place Wed., Jul. 11 at the MUL headquarters, 2100 Plymouth Ave. N. from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A second forum will be held at its south office, 411 E. 38th St., on Jul. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Davis said among benefits of the ACA, senior citizens will save up to $600 a year in prescription drug costs. He also said the ACA will eliminate the

disparity in cost of coverage for women, who according to Davis, were paying more for coverage than men of similar health. The White House source said now that the issue over the constitutionality of the act has been decided, some citizens will begin seeing an additional benefit of the ACA as soon as August. The source said previously insured citizens will begin to receive rebate checks from insurance companies who were charging for non-medical costs such as executive bonuses and administrative costs. The source said those costs totaled $10.7 billion.

Waterborne illness avoidance tips With the warmer weather and increased number of people using recreational water venues,

the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) encourages local public health officials to be aware

Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Natalie Benz 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 Cordie Aziz Maya Beecham Harry Colbert, Jr. Brenda Colston Julie Desmond Fred Easter S. Himie Oshana Himot Timothy Houston Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis 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.

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of recreational water illness. To date in 2012 there have been over 130 illnesses associated with recreational water outbreaks in Minnesota, the largest number of recreational water-associated illnesses in 10 years.

Germs on and in swimmers’ bodies end up in the water and can make other people sick. Even healthy swimmers can get sick from recreational water illnesses, but the young, elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk. Specific actions people can take to promote healthy swimming include: • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. • Don’t swallow pool or lake water. • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming. • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing diapers. • Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often. • Change diapers in a bathroom, not at poolside or beachside. From 2000 to 2011, 24 swimming pool outbreaks and 15 beach outbreaks were identified

in Minnesota, resulting in over 900 illnesses. The most common symptom of recreational water illness is diarrhea, which frequently is severe enough to result in hospitalization. Symptoms may not begin until a week or more after swimming. The parasite Cryptosporidium is one of the most common waterborne disease agents. Cryptosporidium, a chlorine resistant parasite, can survive and be transmitted even in a properly maintained pool. To report a suspected waterborne illness, call the Foodborne and Waterborne Illness Hotline at 1-877-3663455. For more information regarding waterborne illness, contact Trisha Robinson at 651201-5414. For more information about Healthy Swimming, including health promotion materials, see the Centers for Disease Control Healthy Swimming Web page at: healthywater Source: Minnesota Department of Health

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 7

Youth involved in the Emerge Streetwerks Summer Youth Employment

Photos courtesy of Urban Homeworks

Northside Community reponse team funding

Northside youth create a greener future Through partnerships between several Northside community organizations, neighborhood youth will have the opportunity to create a legacy that will last well beyond their generation’s lifetime. With the donation of trees from Tree Trust, they will spend the next several weeks planting trees in the tornado-ravaged areas in North Minneapolis. Participants will spend the next two weeks going door-todoor, offering to plant trees in the yards of homeowners at no charge. The following week, they will go through an orientation process to learn the proper method to plant a variety of trees, which will include canopy-type shade trees (oak and elm) and ornamental trees (Japanese lilac, red bud and crabapple). “This is a continued reflection of how the North side’s resilience is so profound,” said Chad Schwitters, Executive Director of Urban Homeworks. “Our kids, on our blocks, recovering the canopy, one tree at a time.” Community organizations contributing to this project include Urban Homeworks, Sanctuary CDC, Tree Trust and Emerge, with funding from the Northside Community Response Team. Urban Homeworks, the faith-

Music From 1 I’ll discuss how, through music, groups and individuals relate to each other, and explain how venues serve as a platform to explore sound with others. I’ll share how someone with empty pockets can enjoy just as much groove as the pocket heavy. Music is important. It bonds cultures that can’t share a spoken language, it provides strength and hope in dire situations and it also makes your booty wiggle. What’s not to love about music? Class, it is endlessly interesting how music has evolved to what it is today. And, being that I have a wideranging musical taste, I am able to speak on multiple styles and genres. Admittedly, a bias is present for hip-hop, indie rock, and R&B; however, more styles exist and will not be ignored. From folk to funk, from gangsta rap to French pop, everything will be present and, with any luck, this my new column will serve as a platform

to connect eager Minnesotans looking for new venues and thirsty musicians wanting to be heard. This past week a free – yes free – musical event displayed a mixed bag of local artists for the crowd to enjoy. Cedar Cultural Center was kind enough to open its facility to an intimate crowd of curious music heads. Radio station 89.3 FM, The Current, hosted “Local Current Live,” a free concert for Minnesotans to enjoy and support local music. Three artists’ sets rang out to the intimate crowd. First at bat was the hiphop collective The Chalice, who brought funk and dance to the audience. After the crowd was warmed-up, indie/kraut rock band Van Stee soothed the listeners’ aches and pains. Closing was songstress Chastity Brown, who left the listeners with smiles as radiant as one would have walking away from his or her first day at the spa. The concert was provided free of charge thanks to the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment of the Minnesota Constitution in 2008. The

event was family friendly, the crowd was intimate, and the talent was diverse. By the way, when I say family friendly I’m assuming the three tag-along children in the crowd were too young to understand the occasional explicit verse when they “slipped out.” The band that left a lasting impression on me was Van Stee, which seemed like a mix between bands Neutral Milk Hotel and Kings of Leon. One of the group’s songs was about overcoming the obstacle of those who speak against one’s passion. “When people ask you to stop doing something that you truly enjoy; and want others to enjoy, it’s (crushing). Well I’ve tried to stop, and I can tell you, it’s impossible, so keep doing what you love,” said Charlie Van Stee, explaining the meaning of one of the group’s songs. In toast to Charlie, I’ve been privileged enough to land this opportunity with Insight News, and am fortunate enough to agree with the members of Van Stee. I love music. It will be a part of my life until I no longer have breath.

based organization, is located in north Minneapolis, near the intersection of Broadway and Emerson Avenue North. Urban Homeworks rebuilds neighborhoods, reconnects people and reclaims hope in underresourced neighborhoods of Minneapolis and St. Paul. To get involved in the project or to request to have a tree planted in your yard, please contact Jen at, or 612692-6566.

Page 8 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News


So many choices, so many screens Dissecting Diversity By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil I’ve said it before – we are spoiled rotten. Reviewing Nielsen’s latest Cross-Platform Report, How We Watch from Screen to Screen, I can’t help but smile and remember the earlier days of “watching television.” (You, know the one screen, the only option we had). I suspect a good many of you sometimes get a bit nostalgic, too (even though now we probably would be hard-pressed to part with any of our current technological conveniences). Before flat screens, HD, satellite, DVR, cable, hundreds of “channels” and the internet, plus a growing number of devices to watch “TV” – we had one, maybe two

(if you were lucky) TV “sets” in the house. Before we had all of these fancy remotes, people actually got up to manually turn a dial to change stations, adjust the volume and turn the set on or off. Back then, which wasn’t actually all that long ago, there were maybe five broadcast stations – the three major networks ABC, CBS and NBC, followed by PBS and maybe an independent station or two which required a tweak of your TV antenna to achieve a clear picture, and you know the secret tool was that aluminum foil. I know a lot of y’all know what I’m talking about. Today, of course, we can watch video or media content whenever, wherever and however we want – on actual televisions that are connected to either cable, telephone company or satellite subscriptions, game consoles or timeshifted viewing (DVR, on-demand and cloud-based DVRs); or on our computers, tablets or mobile phones through online


streaming with Netflix, Hulu and other video apps. We’re talking everything here – from

new movie releases, to our oldie-but-goodie TV shows and everything in-between.

However, even with all of these cool technological choices, the latest Cross-Platform

Report revealed that television remains the platform of choice for watching content. Now, the television as certainly gone through a few facelifts, but it is still one of the main sources we use. The number of people who have HDTV sets grew by more than 8 million over the past year. Live and time-shifted TV reigns supreme; accounting for more than 33 hours of viewing per week on average among Americans. Our community, however, is not average as we continue to top those numbers. The study shows that AfricanAmericans still over-index in traditional TV viewing, clocking more than 57 hours a week in front of our televisions. The average African-American household also owns four or more televisions. Yes, this is great for darting from room to room without missing a beat of your favorite show; but, I personally stay super-glued to


Pace Yourself: Make slow time for work for you Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond It’s hot out there. Half the team is on vacation and the other half might as well be, mentally at least. Unless it’s the day before

their day off, nobody is moving very quickly these days. Now’s the time to take advantage of your competition’s summer slump and start moving fast toward your own success. Sales people understand using slow times to lay the groundwork for new business, but non-sales people can use the same ideas to get ahead. When business is slow, get organized. Clear out old files, rearrange your workspace and revisit the tasks at the bottom of

the to-do list. Scratching a few of these off because they are completed or obsolete will feel good and free you up for more important things. Like goal-setting. Remember your New Year’s resolutions? That last performance evaluation? How long since you’ve looked at those? Are you making progress? Does your career plan need some fresh perspective? Now might be a terrific time to map out the next several months so you’ll know where your work and your career are headed. Connecting is another good way to get through the slow summer months. Notice, it’s not networking. It’s connecting. Meaning, actually schedule time

to meet and lay eyes on friends, colleagues, former bosses and new mentors. Seek out people you have been meaning to connect with and do so. It’s not too cold, too rainy, nor too busy. Make plans and keep them. When you find yourself buried by your work once again, these connections will have energized your spirit and may bring you new associates to collaborate with. When business is slow, get busy making the most of your downtime. Your career will thank you. Julie Desmond is a Certified Staffing Professional. Write to

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 9

LIFESTYLE Great bake-free desserts ideas for summer (StatePoint) Nobody likes working in front of a hot oven during the summer. But if you and your family love desserts, you’ll still want to partake of sumptuous treats that will keep you all cool. According to top dessert experts, there’s a whole world of alternatives to baking for those who suffer from a year-round sweet tooth. “On hot days, my mind usually turns to frozen treats such as popsicles or sorbet; for something a bit more elegant I’ll whip up a chocolate ganache tart with cookie crust,” says Lindsay Landis, author of the new book, “The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook.” Landis has created over fifty recipes using egg-free cookie dough that is safe to eat raw. By repurposing your favorite desserts for the summer season, you can take the need for heat out of the equation. For example, if you love pie, consider a graham cracker, whipped cream and candied fruit based dessert that can be created in minutes and served cold. And don’t forget that one of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. No matter what you come up with, adding a garnish of exotic fresh fruits like kiwi, pineapple and mango will wow your guests with a boost of natural sweetness. Or create a parfait of frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries and a variety of nuts.

glass measuring cup, microwave milk 30 seconds or until warm to the touch. Add brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add vanilla. Place 1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips in the bottom of each of four 1/3-cup icepop molds or small paper cups. Top each with milk mixture. Insert sticks and place molds in freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 3 hours. To release pops, run molds under warm water 20 to 30 seconds; they should slide right out. If using paper cups, simply peel cups away and discard. If your ice-pop mold does not include built-in sticks or a lid to hold them in place, you

For a bit of inspiration, try out this perfect no-bake summer treat from Landis:

Makes: 4 pops Active time: 5 minutes Total time: 3 hours

Invisible Cookie Dough Ice Pops

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups milk (skim, 2 percent, or whole) 1/3 cup light brown sugar,

packed Pinch salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons mini semisweet chocolate chips Directions: In a microwave-safe container or

may find yourself with sticks pointing every which way but up. To prevent this, stretch a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the mold and secure it with a rubber band. Cut a small slit in the plastic, centered over each pop, and insert a stick through each opening. Alternatively, you can adjust sticks as necessary after about 45 minutes of freezing, when the pops aren’t yet frozen solid. For more no-bake dessert ideas, visit www. You don’t need an oven. You just need ingenuity to create crowd-pleasing summer treats.

Page 10 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

COMMENTARY Why are Republicans crying about Affordable Care Act? Nobody Asked Me

By Fred Easter Nobody asked me, and it’s a good thing, because I really don’t

understand why Republicans are crying about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. I hear them saying that the government is usurping American’s personal freedom by requiring everyone to have health insurance. First of all, only those folk who can afford not having health insurance will have their hand forced. The rest of us are thrilled to have insurance, if we can afford

it. How much money do you have to have to be unconcerned about the cost of catastrophic illness or injury? An hour and a half in the hospital can cost more than a car payment. Plus, isn’t it the government’s role to provide what the people need? What does “government for the people” mean? What our government has done here really follows a well established pattern. For example, even the rich have to buy auto

insurance for their vehicles. Probably, a little more than one percent of Americans could write a check for any liability they might incur in a traffic mishap. But, that’s a “freedom” people never had and never complained about. Here’s the government protecting potential victims and drivers alike without asking for their permission or thanks. If you own a vehicle that’s operated on American roads, you can selfinsure the vehicle but you have

to have liability insurance to protect potential victims and their property. Social Security is an even better example. If you have a job, the federal government will appropriate some of your pay and invest it in order to insure you against abject poverty as a retiree. The government decides how much of your money they want to take. It gives it back to you, in little pieces, when you retire. It decides on the size of

the pieces it takes and how much it gives back. Citizens have no control over or input into how or where the money is invested. There’s no report on how the money is doing. The only report a person will get is what the government decided a person’s monthly benefit payment will be when that person retires should that person stop earning. Do not expect the government


The necessity of the African American vote in 2012 By John E. Warren, Publisher/CEO, San Diego Voice & Viewpoint More and more each day we hear media discussion of the importance of the Latino vote to President Obama in order to win the November election. There has also been a growing discussion on the emergence of Asian or Pacific Island vote as the number of people immigrating to the United States and being sworn in

as naturalized citizens increases. We also know that the Republican Party and the Tea Party Activist are making every effort to reclaim the white Moderate and Conservative voter as a means of increasing the votes against President Obama. Voter education dollars and voter registration dollars are being spent on the Latino vote. At the same time many of the states are seeking to implement Voter Identification requirements which are targeted against the Latino and African

American voters who came out in large numbers to elect President Obama in 2008. But perhaps what is missing most is the discarding of the African American Voter and the reality that Obama cannot win without the Black vote, no matter how many or how few actually go to the polls. The Democratic National Committee historically has written off the African American vote and the Black Press by assuming that Blacks have nowhere else to go and

therefore will automatically vote democratically. The Republican Party and the Republican National Committee have likewise written off these same elements—being the Black vote and the Black Press—by making no effort to appeal to either. The reality of this coming election is that the Black voter and the Black Press must both be involved and that together they can not only influence the outcome, but also re-assert a political importance that appears to have been written off by all

sides. President Obama must understand that Black America can live with a Mitt Romney Presidency just as we did with Ronald Regan and both George Bushes; even though such an outcome would almost permanently turn the clock of civil rights achievements back at least 50 years. But all parties must be made to understand that we are just as serious as a political block, as the Latino community is about the Dream Act. As African

Americans we must for once put aside our egos and political selfinterests and think collectively. Collectivity is our power. President Obama and the Democrats have until their national convention to prove that we are wrong. The Republicans likewise have until their convention to convince us that we are wrong about Romney and their campaign goals. Our slogan as a people must be: “No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interest.”

Affordable Care Act still needs to be sold By Wilmer J. Leon III NNPA Columnist The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the cornerstone piece of legislation of the Obama administration. The court found the Obama administration and Congress were constitutionally within their rights but for the wrong reason. The Obama administrations primary argument in supporting health care reform legislation

was that Congress had the power to enact the ACA based upon Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, the Commerce Clause stating Congress has the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States…” The Court held that the ACA was unconstitutional based upon the Commerce Clause but is constitutional based upon Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, that states “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties…” Politically, the Obama

administration argued that the individual mandate of the ACA – requiring everyone to obtain insurance or face a fine – was a penalty, not a tax. They downplayed the tax aspect of the law, even downplaying the word “tax” in the legislation itself. The administration did not want to fall into the conservative trap of being labeled a tax-and-spend liberal administration. This court’s decision provides an interesting conundrum for the administration and the opposition. The administration won in the

Supreme Court, but can it now win in court of public opinion? Can the administration construct a narrative that explains to the American people that the ACA is a positive piece of legislation? According to the Washington Post “A majority of Americans view… the changes enacted in President Obama’s health care bill in an unfavorable light…in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52 percent regard the ‘federal law making changes in the health care system’ in a negative light.” If they don’t construct a better

narrative they could win the battle and lose the war. Mitt Ronmey and his conservative cohorts have contributed to this public perception by basing their argument that the ACA was unconstitutional and an overreach by the administration. They argued that this is an intrusion by the government into the lives of average American citizens. They even engaged in the politics of deceit to bolster their arguments. For example, according to Fact House Republicans

have sought “… to repeal what they call “Obamacare: A budgetbusting, job-killing health care law.” Independent, nonpartisan experts project only a “small” or “minimal” impact on jobs, even before taking likely job gains in the health care and insurance industries into account. The House Republican leadership, in a report issued Jan. 6, badly misrepresents what the Congressional Budget Office has


Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 11

FULL CIRCLE Why we celebrate Independence Day Man Talk

By Timothy Houston When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. - Declaration of Independence Last week America had a national holiday celebrating the drafting, signing, and approval of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. A committee was assembled to draft the formal declaration, to be ready when congress voted on independence. Adams

persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of America and the African American people. This document later became the catalyst for other key documents including the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th amendment abolishing slavery, and the 15th amendment prohibiting the denial of suffrage based on race or color. Having served its

original purpose in announcing independence, the text of the Declaration was initially ignored after the American Revolution. Since then, it has come to be considered a major statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable

Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Although the United States was at the beginning of is existence, the passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political

philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted. It has inspired work for the rights of oppressed people throughout the world, and it served as a key foundation in the Black civil rights movement here in the United States. We all should celebrate Independence Day because it is a celebration of freedom. The United States has come a long way in a short time in advancing human rights issue throughout the world. This is a very young nation only 236 years old compared to China, Egypt, and Japan who have existed between 5000 and 35,000 years. Although we are still in our infancy, because of documents such as the Declaration of Independence, we were able to abolish slavery, elect a Black president, and continue the work on Dr King’s dream of speeding up that day when all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.

Page 12 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

Joint Center collaboration with AME Churches and Green DMV aims to generate energy efficiency and financial savings Implementing simple, inexpensive energy efficiency measures in their church facilities can enable African Methodist Episcopal congregations across America to redirect significant amounts of money from utility payments to fulfilling their missions in communities, an official from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies told delegates attending an AME convention in Nashville, TN on June 29. Danielle Deane, Director of the Joint Center’s Energy and Environment Program, used the occasion to report on her

organization’s joint energy-saving project with the AME church. She noted that more than a dozen churches have been evaluated in its initial phase, and some of them have already completed low- and no-cost retrofits and upgrades that they expect to maximize their energy efficiency and save them money that can be applied to other church priorities. “This project offers us an unparalleled opportunity to share environmental best practices in a way that can positively affect hundreds of churches and thousands of churchgoers,” she

said at the 49th Quadrennial Session of the AME Church General Conference, which was expected to draw about 30,000 people to Nashville. The project also demonstrates how implementing changes to large institutions like churches can have a positive ripple effect on church members and their families, extending the awareness of smart, money-saving energy practices to homes and communities. The staff is working in the 13th Episcopal District that includes Tennessee and Kentucky and is led by Bishop Vashti

Murphy McKenzie, and the second Episcopal District that includes Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina and is led by Bishop Adam Richardson Jr. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Congregations Program is providing technical assistance. Green DMV, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of clean energy and the development of green jobs as a way out of poverty, is working with the churches to assess their energy use and to implement lowand no-cost strategies for saving

money by reducing how much energy is currently wasted. “We want to help our congregations and communities save energy and generate dollar savings that can be used to extend their work,” said Bishop McKenzie. “Some of our churches are very large and consume a great deal of energy, so there is the potential for significant savings.” “AME churches come in all sizes and states of repair, with some dating back more than 100 years, so there is great potential for savings from becoming more energy efficient,” said Bishop

Richardson. We are pleased that the Joint Center is able to continue its longstanding collaboration with African American churches through this initiative,” said Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO of the Joint Center. The churches that have been retrofitted are Bethlehem AME Church in Dundalk, MD, where the Rev. Marietta Ramsey is pastor; Pilgrim AME Church in Washington, DC, where the Rev. Wendell O.E. Christopher Sr., is pastor; and St. John AME Church in Frankfort, KY, where the Rev. Jermaine Wilson is pastor.

Twin Cities RISE!, RS Eden partnership receives $1.5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant Reentry Connect, a collaborative project between Twin Cities RISE! (TCR!) and RS Eden, was chosen recently as one of nine grant winners nationwide for funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the only recipient from Minnesota. The award totals $1.5 million over 30 months and is part of $12.1 million in overall DOL grants to provide critical employment and support services for previously incarcerated female adults and youth as they make the transition back into their communities.

ACA From 10 said about the law. In fact, CBO is among those saying the effect “will probably be small.” This is a great victory for the Obama administration and the American people.

“We are honored and grateful, in partnership with RS Eden, to receive the Department of Labor grant funding,” said Art Berman, President & CEO of Twin Cities RISE!. “We will implement a new service model, integrating RS Eden’s case management expertise, our Personal Empowerment and work skills training capabilities, and the support of several other service providers, to more effectively address the special needs of female ex-offenders.” Reentry Connect is a

service hub designed to provide critical self-development and workforce development assistance, specifically for female ex-offenders, as they make the transition back to their communities. Comprehensive services will include integrated case management, support services, Personal Empowerment training, work skills development and job placement. The collaboration will include nineteen partners, including the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Ramsey and

Hennepin County Corrections Departments, as well as local educational, training and health providers. “RS Eden is proud to partner with Twin Cities RISE!, a quality program whose mission and values we share 100%, and other community organizations to serve this important population of female ex-offenders. We are grateful for the opportunity from the Department of Labor to help create a brighter future for women as they transition back into our community,” said Dain Cain,

President of RS Eden. Members of the local congressional delegation, including Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives McCollum, Ellison and Paulsen, were instrumental in helping bring this award to the Twin Cities. “I am thrilled that Twin Cities RISE! and RS Eden have received this important grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will make a tremendous difference in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties. These two nonprofits have a strong record of effectiveness

in our community, and their hub in Saint Paul will provide the comprehensive assistance necessary for re-entry to the workforce,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum. “The long-term work skills, training and education they will deliver are desperately needed in this challenging job market.” For more information, please contact Amy Anderson, Development Associate, at 612-279-5867 or aanderson@

Republican State Attorney Generals and Republican governors colluded with GOP members of Congress and other conservatives to challenge the Obama administration in the highest court in the land. It was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, nominated by Republican President George W. Bush, who

sided with more liberal justices and handed the administration the victory. President Obama went up against the entire Republican and conservative onslaught – and won. It is imperative that the American people connect the dots. Sen. Minority Leader McConnell (R-Kentucky) said more than two years ago that

his primary objective was to see to it that Barack Obama is a one-term president. The Republicans refusal to work with the administration on “the people’s business” has done this country a great disservice. People need to ask themselves, “Where would this country be if Republicans had worked with President

Obama by finding common ground instead of holding their ground for the sake of bigoted obstructionist political ideology?” The administration won the health care battle in the court of law. Can they win in the court of public opinion? Wilmer Leon is the producer/ host of the nationally

broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon,” and a Teaching Associate in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. Go to his Prescription @ Face He can be reached at www. or by email: www.

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 13

Book review: Slaves with Swag Book Review By Kam Williams “EverFebruary, your history teachers taught you about nine African-Americans: Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Phyllis Wheatley, Booker

Easter From 10 to ask advice on anything about this money. There is no option for wage earners to self-insure against poverty in their “golden” years or to decide they’ll likely never reach retirement age. If a person doesn’t live to retirement age, that money goes to someone who does. So, what new freedoms is our government usurping? In the Star Tribune the other day, the following phrase appeared in their discussion of

Dowdell From 5 from producers Alain Silver, Larry Weinberg, and Don Schneider along the way. It then took two years to get a final cut and then avidly seek theatrical distribution for the film. All in all, it took seven years from initial script to seeing the film finally on the big screen. KW: What was the most challenging aspect of that filmmaking process? RD: Trying to cover over 21 locations (national and international) over 3 decades of the main character’s life in only 21 days on a budget nowhere near Hollywood standards, or for that matter, most independent film standards nowadays. Most indies are now made in the millions. I wanted to show that a lot can get done with a little bit, if it’s planned and executed right. That’s where your skill as a filmmaker is greatly tested.

T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall. There are millions more you should know about… The intent of this book is to provide not very well publicized facts as documented by past historians... This book is not offered as an allencompassing history book, but rather as a guide to offer the reader a different perspective of the ‘History’ discipline… If, after reading this text in its entirety, you have not learned anything new and have not experienced a different

perspective of history, contact the publisher for a full refund of the purchase price.” -- Excerpted from Introduction Very rarely does a book come with a money-back guarantee. But that is precisely the case when you invest in Slaves with Swag by Daryl T. Hinmon, a riveting read which endeavors to fill in some of the blanks in Black history. For, it is the author’s contention that the generic, grade school education leaves most students with “the very false impression that ALL slaves were submissive, timid,

illiterate, severely oppressed and dirt poor.” So, he sets about disabusing us of that conventional wisdom via biographies of some heroes who defied that very demeaning definition of African-Americans forefathers. In fact, the five gentlemen pictured on the book’s cover were slaves who had been anything but deferential. In total, this informative tome highlights the escapades of over fifty of these so-called “slaves with swag,” in an attempt to illustrate just how widespread resistance to the institution of

slavery really was. For example, Hinmon recalls how young Isaac Burgan struck a white man in the back of the head with a poker to save his mother from a whipping at the hands of a sadistic overseer. The text also chronicles a newspaper account of a 1774 revolt by six male and four female runaways who killed their owner in the field before proceeding inside the big house to slay his wife and son. They continued the rampage on a couple of neighboring plantations until the rebellion was crushed and the participants

lynched. A treasure trove of fascinating stories about intrepid souls ignored by history who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Satisfaction guaranteed, too!

the then impending Supreme Court decision. “Insurance companies with billions at stake …” Ok, I lied. I do understand why Republicans are crying. Health care for all Americans is about to improve. It will become a smaller percentage of domestic spending and insurance companies will have to divert some of their profits from Tea Party campaign spending to their own bottom lines. And we have President Obama to thank. It is indeed a blessing to have a president who cares about all of us here on Mainstreet, USA.


growth, weather, economic factors or the plethora other viewing options available to us we’ve already named. Of our total monthly viewing time, all TV homes (including those with cable provider-enabled timeshifting and homes with DVRs) report watching 13 hours of timeshifted TV. In homes with DVRs only, that number jumps to 27 hours and 30 minutes per month. In the African-American community, those numbers are nearly 9 hours and just over 22 hours, respectively. Americans also watch video on our mobile devices, which are increasingly becoming

mini, handheld TVs. Last time I mentioned, 54.4% of Blacks owned smartphones and 50.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones. And, of all American smartphone owners, 33.5 million people now watch video on their phones—an increase of 35.7% since last year. Blacks, Hispanics and Asians all average four hours and 20 minutes a month of viewing on our smartphones. White Americans average three hours and 37 minutes a month watching video on their mobile devices. So, what does all of this mean? For one thing, it means

the media industry may one day have to redefine the terms “TV household” and “TV viewer.” And, as I repeatedly try to remind us all, our choices mean that marketers are going to have to pay closer attention to our community and the significant combined buying power our choices represent. The operative word being power.

the clear, even tougher tests are ahead. Your opposition adapts to you just like you adapt to it. Some tests you are going to win, and some you are going to lose. However, with true faith, you will have a chance to get back in the game and win when facing the final and most consequential test to keep your soul intact.

go sky diving? The answer is a resounding “No!” However, I must admit, I think that “Point Break” is one of the coolest movies ever made, and that scene where they go skydiving is exhilarating. I couldn’t ever do it. I may try surfing, though. It looked like an incredible experience when Lori Petty was schooling Keanu Reeves on it in

the film. KW: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid? RD: Definitely. Afraid of not trying.

goal of making films after sacrificing so much of their own personal resources and time to get me to this point gives me a feeling of tremendous elation and satisfaction.

KW: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy? RD: Definitely. For my family to see me reach my lifelong

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh? RD: Mr. Williams, someone

sent me a youtube clip of a news reporter from Augusta who had perfect speech and diction in his report until a fly flew into his mouth. After that, dude turned straight hood yelling every expletive in the book. That was one funny clip. I still watch it from time to time.

KW: Who is your favorite director? RD: Alfred Hitchcock. KW: What’s your favorite movie? RD: Bugsy Malone (1976). KW: Have you started to think about your next film? RD: It’s just starting to come to me, Mr. Williams. After seven years of stress and strife to get this film released, I am finally feeling a sense of completion. I do have a wonderful idea in a completely different genre that I know would be a smash hit film if the right people got behind it.

KW: What is your intended audience? RD: Anyone who has had to struggle and overcome odds in their lives. Anyone who hasn’t had it easy in life. Anyone who has gotten up off their death bed through someone’s ardent prayer and been thankful to God for another chance in life. If you haven’t had to overcome strife and hardships to get to where you are today, this film may be like a foreign film with no subtitles to you.

KW: Who would you like to star in it? RD: I am one who loves to give the next great talent a break. I gave Wood Harris his first lead role in “Train Ride.” I had no doubt he could pull in off for an instant. Same goes for Sean Riggs in “Changing the Game.” I feel he has the potential to be the next Denzel Washington, who I hold in the highest regard as a real thespian. As a filmmaker, having the vision to say you helped to discover a breakout new talent is a great blessing.

KW: What message do you want people to take away from the movie? RD: That life is a constant game of tests and struggles. Just when you think you’re in

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would? RD: On a date, would I ever bungee jump, hang glide, or

From 8 my comfy couch and only watch one of the four TV’s in the house. Even though all Americans watch more traditional television than any other platform, the Cross-Platform Report shows that traditional TV viewing actually declined one half of one percent (or about 46 minutes per month) after consistent year-over-year growth. This is attributed to simply leveling off after a period of sustained

Slaves with Swag: The Negroes Your History Teacher Forgot to Mention by Daryl T. Hinmon Knowledge of Self Publishing Paperback, $14.95 150 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-0-9787862-1-2

Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to


Page 14 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

COMMUNITY Curfew enforcement up to protect the public and, yes, teenagers Although teens may complain about Hennepin County’s curfew law, it’s enforced because authorities, and parents, know nothing good happens late at night. With

school out, enforcement has been stepped up. Alan D. Young used to ignore the curfew rules, which vary according to age and day of the week, but he is a

believer now. About a year-and-a-half ago, when Young was 16, he was out after 11 p.m., walking around downtown with his friends. He was by the bus

Calendar • Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by: email,, by fax: 612-588-2031, by phone: (612) 588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411, Attn: Natalie Benz. Free or low cost events preferred.


bringing your family and inviting your friends to the fabulous fifth anniversary summer concerts on June 14, July 12 and Aug 9. The free concerts are held from 6 to 8pm on Victory Memorial Drive at 34th Avenue North in Minneapolis. For further information, call 612-588-1155 or see www.

It’s the BIG FIVE for Live on the Drive! June 14, July 12, Aug 9 Celebrate by packing a picnic,

West Broadway Farmers Market Announces Second Season June 15–Oct. 19 Northside grown Assumed Name mushrooms, veggies, 1. State the exact assumed name under fruits, sweet bread, quality which the business is or will be conducted: art, and more. Music, Freddie Louis Dillard cooking demonstrations 2. State the address of the principal place (with free samples), of business: 1230 Queen Avenue North, physical activities and Minneapolis, MN 55411 classes, art activities, 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: Freddie Louis Dillard, LLC, 1230 Queen Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411

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: Freddie Louis Dillard, Owner Date Filed: 06/20/2012 Insight News: 7/9/2012, 7/16/2012

WMBE From 1 held contracts ranging from $250 to $2 million. Targets for workforce diversity, measured by calculating the percentage of total project work hours, were also more than satisfied. Final reports show that 10 percent of work hours were completed by women and 27 percent by workers from minority groups. The contract goals were five percent women and 25 percent people of color. According to James

Cabins From 1 OIC, 935 Olson Memorial Highway, to celebrate completion of the first Department of Natural Resources (DNR) camper cabin built through a new partnership between the Hennepin County STS Homes Program and Summit Academy OIC. A one year on-the-job carpenter training program for men and women, the STS program has seven crews, one of which is the camper cabins crew. The cabins

stop at Nicollet Avenue and Seventh Street when a Minneapolis police squad drove by, took a look and then turned the spotlight on his group.

Phone: 612.588.1313

health services (i.e. blood pressure checks), and more will take place weekly. New location at the Hawthorne Crossings parking lot, 900 West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis, near the intersection of Bryant and West Broadway. Market hours are Fridays from 3pm to 7pm. All who walk or bike to the market can enter to win a $25 voucher for market goods. For updates and to sign up for the weekly email newsletter visit www.westbroadway. org or for any questions contact Alicia at 612.353.5178 or at marketmanager@


Looking for Christian Roommates? North & South Minneapolis * $400/month + utilities 612-910-6054 /

Warehouse Coordinator Emergency Foodshelf Network, a full service foodbank, has a full-time, benefit eligible, Warehouse Coordinator job opportunity available. Application deadline: 7/16/12. See complete position details and apply online at https:// EEO M/F H DV.

Fax: 612.588.2031

largest annual fundraising campaign held at Macy’s stores nationwide. The funds raised will benefit your community’s local RIF programs and provide books and reading resources to the children who need them most. Macy’s customers may join the effort by giving $3 to help provide a book for a child and receive $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. Macy’s will donate 100% of your $3 to RIF to help reach our goal of giving 1 million books to kids this summer.

Be Book Smart with Reading is Fundamental June 22–July 11

Art in the Park July 12 & 19 Whittier Alliance’s Art in the

From 1 Dorii Gbolo died peacefully at home with her family by her side in St. Paul, MN on June 30, 2012. Gbolo, CEO of Open Cities Health Center (OCHC) in St. Paul, was born in Danville, IL and relocated to Minnesota in 1974. She found and embraced her career and life’s passion as the Clinical Nurse Manager with Open Cities Health Center. Her outstanding qualities and medical skills earned her the position of Director of Clinical Programs. OCHC realized her commitment and dedication

up the phone because they’re sleeping, you’ve got to wait until they pick up the phone. I was there until 5 a.m.”


Progressive Summer Youth Program 2012 June 18–Aug. 24 Youth, grades K–6 will experience pony rides, water parks, challenge their reading skills, learn about different cultures and learn the Word of God. Cost: $130/week; includes program t-shirt, breakfast and lunch and all activity fees. There is a $35.00 registration deposit. Childcare Assistance is accepted. 7:30am–5:30pm, June 18–Aug. 24. Contact Rev. Areda Stewart 651.774.5503. Space is limited and Registration closes June 15th.


The Legal Services Advocacy Project is seeking a full-time attorney or advocate. More info at: http://

“They take you all the way downtown, you get your picture taken, your fingers, and then you wait for your parents,” Young remembered recently. “If they don’t pick

to provide excellent healthcare services to St. Paul’s inner city and offered her the position of CEO in 2005. Dorii Gbolo dedicated her life to serving others through her tireless community outreach efforts providing healthcare, education, and services. River of Life Christian Center was paramount in her life and the catalyst for giving of herself. She served as a mother to all children that passed through her life and she had a strong belief in family values. She was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew her. She is survived by her husband, William Gbolo; father, George Lucas; mother, Marlene Davis; brother, Rory Lucas; sister, Bettye Granger; eleven children,

Park summer performance series. Thur. July 12, 7pm fusion belly-dancing troupes Afsana and Atash Afsana will demonstrate many different varieties of belly-dancing. Thur. July 19, 7pm, Eat Street Players will be performing Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Both events take place at Washburn Fair Oaks Park 24th St E & 3rd Ave S. In the event of rain, performances will be held inside at Whittier Park 26th St W & Grand Ave S. For more info contact Jen Wendland, Community Organizer at jen@

Stanley, Tiankay, Simone, Bono, Prince, Dorthy, Simeon, William, Malakie, Grace, Deiah and seven grandchildren. Visitation was held at the River of Life Christian Center - 739 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105 on Friday July 6, 2012, 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, July 7, 2012 from 9 – 9:50 a.m. Homegoing Services were held immediately after on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome monetary donations. Send to: Ms. Simone Gbolo, c/o River of Life Christian Church, 739 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105. The Gbolo family would like to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers.

Burroughs, II, executive director of MPS Office of Equity & Diversity, the three contributing factors critical to the project’s success included frontend negotiating with Mortenson, the construction firm, participation in the subcontracting process early on, and transparency and oversight. During contract negotiations with Mortenson, Burroughs’ office was very up front about the fact that women and people of color must be involved in the construction of the new facilities. “We made it clear that, since

68 percent of [MPS] students are students of color, and twothirds of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, it is important to make a special effort to employ women and people of color because those groups represent their students’ families,” said Burroughs. The final contract included specific goals, but there were also stretch goals that were five to 10 percent higher than contract goals. Burroughs told Mortenson, “We have to exceed the expectations of the community. The neighborhood needs the building for its own

economic rejuvenation, and community members also need to see people that look like themselves (working on the project).” Once procurement for the project got underway, Burroughs made his office’s goals well known. “I inserted myself into the process early on,” said Burroughs. “While (Mortenson staff) were looking for bids from subcontractors, I attended interviews personally and asked questions about the number of women and people of color working with your business now. And I made it clear that it

was not acceptable for the answer to be none.” Information on WMBE participation was made as transparent as possible. There was continuous monitoring internally and externally, including by members of the Minority, Women and Diverse Business Participation Oversight Committee (MWDB-POC), which reviewed WMBE participation on a quarterly basis. A billboard at the worksite displayed how much subcontract money was being awarded to WMBEs each month. “That way people in the

community didn’t have to speculate; even if we weren’t meeting our goals at every moment, it was at least clear that we were aware and transparent,” said Burroughs. “I didn’t admit it along the way but I admit it now, constant critique and push by community members to keep us transparent helped us be engaged with the issue and the need to offer long term opportunities to women and people of colorowned contractors.” The new Educational Service Center facility is located at 1250 West Broadway.

built will be shipped to a few of the 68 DNR parks in southern Minnesota. The completion for the cabins took 10 weeks. “We are very excited. This is a great partnership with Summit Academy OIC,” said Joe Witt, Senior Administrative Manager of the STS program. “The goal is to learn carpentry skills building cabinets for the DNR, and help graduates receive employment,” “The students literally put their lives in our hands, and trusted us to provide them with the skill-set to allow them to take care of their families,” said Louis King head of Summit Academy. “For all those

who debate welfare, we say no thank you. We prefer to take care of ourselves, and not have people hand out our checks and make money off of us. That is not the pursuit of happiness,” King said. Phil Eckhert, Hennepin County Director of Housing Community Works and Transit who handles county development activities said the STS homes program was transferred to Hennepin County three years ago. “We provide skills in carpentry and building trades; basically on the job training,” Eckhert said. “There are several North Minneapolis homes that were

either foreclosed or had tornado damage. Many of the individuals working on these properties live in the community, so they give back and receive training all at once.” “You would not expect the DNR to have a partnership in North Minneapolis,” King said. According to a Hennepin County News press release, the STS Home Program has had remarkable success, with a nationally recognized low recidivism rate. Hennepin County reports STS is recognized as a leader in re-entry initiative by a number of leading construction companies in the Twin Cities area.

“I talked to a lot of people about how many people made agreements outside of procedures to make this happen,” said Mike Opat Hennepin County Commissioner. “Some people had to suspend their disbelief and I want to thank the folks who did that.” Summit graduate Todd Munoz is one of the six students selected for the building of the first DNR camper cabin. “It’s overwhelming to see everyone come out to see a completed project,” said Munoz. “I spent 20 weeks of my life here and met a lot of great people.”

Munoz said he first heard about the program at the Minnesota Work Force Center in St Paul six months ago. “I was in a transitional time in my life, out of work and looking for a fresh start,” said Munoz. “As a teenager, I enjoyed working with my hands, fixing and remodeling homes with my stepdad. Summit Academy provided me with the opportunity by awarding me a scholarship for the 20-week program.” For more information, visit or www.hennepin. us/stshomes

Insight News • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Page 15

Pamela Cook-Williams

Perrell Williams

Pamela Huff

Photos: Suluki Fardan

Fashion with a purpose coming to the Capri By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer Keiona Cook, owner and head fashion designer of Qe’Bella hosted a sneak peak fashion show at Homewood Studios, 2400 Plymouth Av. N. The sneak peak displayed a few garments that will be showcased at her annual fashion show. The mission for the fashion show is to raise money for youth to continue to take free sewing classes at Homewood Studios. The sewing classes are for children ages six - 16 with six students per class. Homewood is owned by George and Beverly Roberts. George Roberts is a former teacher of Cook’s while she was a student at North High School. The Roberts said they saw Cook’s vision of using fashion shows and sewing classes to give back. “What we are trying to do is to find young people in the community making their ways as artists in the field of design, art teaching and provide a place to do that,” said George Roberts. Cook’s upcoming show is September 15 at The Capri Theater located at 2027 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis. Two show times, 5pm and 8pm. General admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP tickets are $40 in advance and $60 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased from Cook by contacting her at 612-384-1971 or

Keiona Cook with Ron Irvin of Harold Pener’s Male clothing store located in Crystal, MN

Dowdell From 13 KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? RD: Watching marathons of “Unsung” on TV-One. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? RD: “Words of Wisdom” by Reverend Run. I was a big “Run’s House” fan when it was on TV. http:// w w w. a m a z o n . c o m / e x e c / o b i d o s / A S I N / 0 0 6 11 4 4 8 7 8 / ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What music have you been listening to lately? RD: “When You’re Near” by Guru from Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ B000TEREMY/ref%3dnosim/ thslfofire-20 and “Buck ‘em Down” by Black Moon. http:// w w w. a m a z o n . c o m / e x e c / obidos/ASIN/B000ZJDC56/ ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Classics! KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? RD: I can’t cook very well! But I try, and usually burn something new every day. KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you? RD: Hoping one day AfricanAmericans will pull together in the film industry like The Harlem Renaissance did back in the day, and help and create opportunities for one another. There’s room for everyone to succeed if more of us would just

give back. Fortunately, there are now some prominent AfricanAmericans in the industry to try and do such things. Small risks can often pay big rewards. KW: Dante Lee, author of “Black Business Secrets,” asks: What was the best business decision you ever made, and what was the worst? RD: The best business decision I made was to learn the craft of screenwriting and filmmaking in an academic environment because you need to learn all the nuances of the craft before embarking on making a film, especially an independent one where the margin of error is magnified exponentially. If you don’t learn the proper way to make films early, you’ll pay for that mistake later on when opportunity comes. The worst business decision I made was not signing a back-end deal on my first film, “Train Ride.” That film made a killing on DVD and rentals. The filmmaker should be rewarded for his or her efforts, which I was not. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? RD: Someone who never gives up. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? RD: My back end money for “Train Ride.” “Show me the money!” like Rod Tidwell said in “Jerry Maguire.” KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory? RD: One of my uncles couldn’t believe I could read at a very young age, so he pulled out a love letter he wrote to a girlfriend thinking I couldn’t read it. When I started to read

it and got to the good parts, he snatched it away. KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? RD: Probably a dolphin, because they can plan ahead and communicate in very efficient ways. KW: The Pastor Alex Kendrick question: When do you feel the most content? RD: At home before I go to bed. I try to get everything done every day so when it’s time to turn in, I can relax and sleep hard. KW: The Toure question: Who is the person who led you to become the person you are today? RD: Good question. I have to give credit to two people, not one, because they both have different but very beneficial qualities that gave me a very strong foundation, and that is both of my parents. KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? RD: Perseverance. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? RD: Learn the craft of filmmaking like it’s a science, not a hobby. Take it very seriously. Know that others that paved the way before you have done it better than you and give them respect. When you do that, you can create your own voice. KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered? RD: As a filmmaker who wasn’t afraid to take risks,

combine genres, and look at the African-American experience in film not just as the AfricanAmerican experience, but as the human experience. It gives me a strong sense of pride looking at the diversity I integrated into the fabric of the cast of this film.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Rel, and best of luck with the film. RD: Thanks so much again, Mr. Williams, for taking the time to interview me and for your review of “Changing the

Game!” If anyone doesn’t get the chance to see the film in the theaters, make sure you look out for the DVD on August 28th. And please, no bootleg! Bootlegging hurts the potential success of African-American films worst of all.

Page 16 • July 9 - July 15, 2012 • Insight News

Insight News ::: 7.09.12  

Insight News for the week of July 09, 2012. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis /...