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Brandi Maxiell The “Basketball Wifes LA” interview MORE ON PAGE 10

aesthetically speaking

Insight News August 10 - August 16, 2015

Vol. 42 No. 32 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com

Voting rights: The legacy By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer The four living Minnesota legislators serving in 1965 in the U.S. House and Senate and civil rights icon, Dr. Josie Johnson, were recently honored for their work in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Minnesota’s bipartisan delegation of eight representatives and two senators voted unanimously in favor of the then bill’s passage. Honored along with Johnson were former vice president, Walter Mondale – then a junior senator; former Minnesota governor Al Quie – then a member of the House; former House member and past mayor of Minneapolis Donald Fraser; and former representative Alec Olson. The awards came from Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.


Harry Colbert, Jr.

Dr. Josie Johnson implored the crowd to stay vigilant in the fight for voting equality.

NABJ’s JSHOP trains future media professionals By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer

Harry Colbert, Jr.

Northpoint Health & Wellness COO, Kimry Johnsrud, addresses the future journalists of the National Association of Black Journalists’ JSHOP student workshop.

Mobilizing for D.C. ‘Justice or Else’ March Black Press of America By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., President and CEO, NNPA When The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan issues a sacred clarion call for a national and international mobilization for justice, freedom and equality, millions of people across America and throughout the world respond with responsive enthusiasm and energy. Such was the case in response to the minister’s call for the Million Man March (MMM) in Washington, D.C. 20 years ago. I believe that history will be made once again this year on October 10 in Washington, D.C. Minister Farrakhan boldly has issued a new call: Justice Or Else mobilization on the occasion of the 20thanniversary of the Million Man March on the National Mall. The minister asserted, “On 10.10.15, let’s show the world our unity.” Our demand for justice will be a united demand. It will be an unequivocal demand for equal

justice. Without hesitation or fear, I made a decision to join Minister Farrakhan in 1965 to help him organize and mobilize the historic Million Man March as its national director. Being an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, I knew then as I still know today that God continues to bless Minister Farrakhan uniquely with the vision and mission to redeem and empower Black Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and all others who struggle for a better quality of life in America and throughout the world. At four times the size of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Million Man March is believed to have been the largest march ever on the nation’s capital. I believe that God hears and answers the prayers of people and communities that cry out for justice. Today, we must organize and mobilize again with renewed vigor and determination. Almost every day now we hear and learn of another dastardly fatal act of racially motivate police brutality and misconduct that leaves our families and


The National Association of Black Journalists came to Minneapolis celebrating its 40th anniversary. The national convention held Aug. 5 – Aug. 9 brought media professionals from television, radio, newspaper, magazine and public relations to the area to network and address issues of concern to Black journalists and the African-American community at large. As a part of the convention, 28 high school

students and college freshmen were invited to participate in JSHOP, the organization’s workshop designed to train the next generation of journalists. Modeled after the association’s St. Louis chapter’s workshop, which was the first to offer student training, JSHOP trains students in broadcast, print and photography. Professionals from around the country volunteer to instruct JSHOP and students participate at no cost, minus any travel expenses. During intensive study,


Charges against Black Lives Matter Minneapolis dismissed Bloomington Prosecutor Sandra Johnson has dismissed all substantive trespassing charges against the alleged organizers of the Black Lives Matter demonstration that took place at the Mall of America this past December. The dismissals came on the heels of motions to dismiss that were filed by lead attorneys Jordan Kushner and Bruce Nestor who are representing 10 of 11 individuals identified as “ringleaders” of the Black Lives Matter gathering at the nation’s largest mall. Both Kushner and Nestor argued that the Mall of America asked demonstrators to “disperse” rather than to leave the property all together on the day of the demonstration. In legal terms, disperse was not an order to leave the mall, therefore negating the trespass claim. “It is evident that the Mall of America failed to explicitly demand that demonstrators leave the property during the Black Lives Matter demonstration in December. The large monitors simply read, ‘We expect all participants to disperse at this time.’ Under the law, there is a clear distinction between orders to disperse, which means to spread out, versus demanding that someone physically leave the property. Thus, it would have been a


Thousands march nearly 900 miles in journey for justice By Curtis Bunn, Urban News Service SELMA, Alabama--The movement that began in a bungalow is traveling nearly 900 miles to the home of Dr. King’s “Dream.” A coalition of organizations, led by the NAACP, embarked Saturday on an 860-mile, 40day, 40-night march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C. This initiative recalls the original Civil Rights Movement. America’s Journey for Justice began August 1 with a prayer at the historic Boynton House, a modest home in Selma that witnessed much of the fight for integration, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 march across the notorious Edmund Pettus Bridge. Fifty years later, activists will caravan some 860 miles through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and conclude September 16 in Washington. “Why march?” NAACP president Cornell William Brooks asked. “We march because our

Courtesy of the Urban News Service

lives matter, our votes matter, our jobs matter, our schools matter.” The organizers of America’s

Journey for Justice stress four issues: the vitality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, criminal-


Clean Power




Obama Clean Power Plan praised

It’s like 1955 with Wifi

Hanging on to hope to keep Black men and boys alive

IndiaFest celebrates rich heritage, traditions, diversity, and culture





Page 2 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News


Obama Clean Power Plan praised Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and a team of majorcity mayors hailed the release of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan rule to reduce climate-warming emissions nationwide over the next several decades. The plan seeks to reduce carbon emissions produced by power plants operating in the U.S. According to studies, power plants produce more than 40 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. “I praise President Obama for taking this strong step forward. The world must see that the U.S. is committed to tackling climate change if we hope to have real outcomes at the global climate accord in December— and we need real outcomes,” said Hodges. “Residents across Minneapolis are doing their part to combat climate change and will continue to support national and international efforts to tackle this problem. Congress

should be right there with us and take action to reduce carbon pollution at power plants.” “A team of dead-ender Republicans have made a career of playing dumb on climate change and can’t stop now,” said Grijalva. “Everyone else understands how important this is. I agree with the people I represent that we shouldn’t sell our children’s future for a few more years of oil and coal profits, and I applaud the president for taking that public demand seriously. I especially thank him for facing down an obstructionist Republican majority that history will look back on with anger and disappointment.” “There’s no question that climate change is an existential threat to our city, our country, and our planet. We have a moral responsibility to take action however we can,” said Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City. “Our people are demanding no less. President Obama and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is

Clockwise from top-left: Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

the most ambitious action the United States has ever taken.” “Cities alone cannot meet the climate challenge. Action at the national scale is necessary,” said Ed Murray, mayor of Seattle. “As Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical on climate change, ‘the climate is a common good,

belonging to all and meant for all.’ I am pleased that this administration, through this action, is taking these words to heart.” “I welcome this muchneeded action on power plant emissions from the president and EPA,” said Charlie Hales,

the Mayor of Portland, Ore. “We need the president and EPA to set national limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Then our local efforts to use electricity more efficiently, and get more of it from renewables, can build on those limits and not be undermined by their absence.

This partnership of federal, state and local government standardsetting, plus private sector innovation and investment in clean energy, is our best hope for addressing the urgent need to (reduce) the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases.”


organization and some of the same needs are still not being corrected, so we feel that a good thing to do is to start training them early,” said LaCour, who has been the director of the program for the past four years. While participants in the week-long workshop come from varying cities, most reside in and around the convention’s rotating host city. “We feel it’s a good way to leave our footprint on each city we visit,” said LaCour. Sheryl Kennedy-Haydel, the co-director of JSHOP, said

the workshop is vital and the need for the organization is still critical. “When you talk about 40 years, a lot of people think time means progress and that’s not the case,” said KennedyHaydel, a mass communications professor at Xavier University in New Orleans. “In newsrooms throughout the country there’s still not a good representation of African-Americans – especially in leadership positions.” “I’m getting life and career experience from what they’re

(the instructors) giving us,” said Ernest Marshall, 16, of Kansas City. “I’m getting the basics and more and learning what I need to improve upon.” Founded by 44 journalists in 1975, NABJ now has membership in the thousands and awards more than $100,000 annually in scholarships and internships. JSHOP is in its fifth year of operation. Next year’s convention and workshop takes place in Washington, D.C., the birthplace of the organization.

From 1 students are given real-world exercises and produce their own publication and broadcast reels. JSHOP director, Russell LaCour – a reporter with the Tulsa (Okla.) World – said JSHOP might be the most important thing that the organization does. “The real deal is we’re celebrating 40 years as an


Insight News • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Page 3

Identifying lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer By the National Cancer Institute Dr. Tanya Agurs-Collins is a program director with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Health Behaviors Research Branch. In addition to carrying out her own research on nutrition and cancer risk, she helps interested investigators apply for funding to examine the link between lifestyle factors and cancer risk. How did you become interested in science as a career, and in the relationships among diet, lifestyle, and cancer? My grandmother had a great influence on me because she stressed the importance of eating healthy foods and the relationship between nutrition and health. During high school, I volunteered in a hospital and became interested in preventive medicine. After receiving a PhD in

nutrition, I was offered a job at the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. where my research focused on nutrition and cancer prevention, specifically in African Americans. Several years later, I joined the Health Behaviors Research Branch at NCI to continue my research and to help shape the nation’s research agenda in the area of health behaviors and cancer prevention. What questions are you asking in your own research? My research focuses on two areas of interest: examining the links between diet and disproportionately high cancer rates among African Americans and understanding how gene– diet interactions relate to obesity risk.

For example, having a genetic predisposition for obesity does not mean you will become obese. However, the interaction of your genes with behaviors that promote obesity—eating an unhealthy diet and being sedentary—can increase your risk of becoming obese. Obesity is associated with increased risks of several cancers: cancers of the esophagus, endometrium, colon, and rectum, as well as post-menopausal breast cancer and other cancers. So, if we can prevent obesity, then we may be able to decrease the risk for these cancers. What aspect of cancer disparities among African Americans concerns you the most? African-American women

experience higher rates of death from breast cancer. We know that this may be related to aggressive tumor biology, to late stage at diagnosis, or to poor access to health care. But we don’t fully understand all of the factors that affect survival for this population. So we need to do more research on cancer prevention and survival in AfricanAmerican women. We do know that African-American women are more likely to be overweight or obese compared with other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, which may affect not only the risk of cancer but also survival for some types of cancers. What should the public know about the links between obesity and cancer risk? That a healthy lifestyle— eating healthy foods, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy body weight—may decrease your risk for several cancers. And that by leading a healthy lifestyle, you may decrease your risk of not only cancer, but of

other chronic diseases as well. Do young African-American trainees face any barriers in the sciences today? Funding for graduate education can be a barrier for minority students. Many are not aware of the funding that’s available to support dissertation research, pilot studies, and research training. You should check with your university to see what funding support is available. What other advice do you have for young minority scientists? I think it’s important to find a mentor who will help you navigate your field of study, help you to carve a research niche, and provide guidance on how to develop grant proposals or how to apply for research funding.. And obtaining work experience in your field early on is essential. This can be accomplished through internships, paid or unpaid. For example, the NIH Summer Internship Program in

Biomedical Research provides training for students (high school, undergraduate, graduate, or professional) to gain work experience over the summer. This is a great opportunity for students. For junior-level faculty, it is important to network at professional conferences, to learn about research funding opportunities, to speak with representatives at the various funding agencies to understand their research priorities, and to work closely with mentors to receive constructive feedback on your research proposals. NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers.

Dr. Eric J. Jolly leads Minnesota Philanthropy Partners Minnesota Philanthropy Partners (MN Partners) announced Dr. Eric Jolly as its new president and chief executive officer. Jolly succeeds Carleen Rhodes, who led the organization for a dozen years and retired in June. “I love that community foundations collect the dreams of many people toward a shared goal,” said Jolly of the role philanthropy plays in civic life. “The state has the largest amount of personal time in volunteerism in the nation and the greatest amount of personal philanthropy.” Jolly arrives at MN Partners after 11 years as president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota. He is chair of the National Academies of Science, a published author and has served as a columnist for several publications. “Dr. Jolly’s range of

experience in organizational and philanthropic leadership, as well as in education and community engagement, stood out among the candidates for this leadership position,” said Mary Brainerd, MN Partners board chair and president and CEO of HealthPartners. “The board and staff are eager to see how he envisions our work in new ways.” A former Kellogg Leadership Fellow and a trustee of the Bush Foundation, Jolly has a longstanding interest in philanthropy and has described leading MN Partners as his “dream opportunity.” Jolly will oversee the implementation of the Strategic Framework adopted by MN Partners this year, as well as its Racial Equity Framework, which focuses on advancing racial equity in the state through achieving specific goals such as

closing the achievement gap in education between minority and white students. “Philanthropy is about ensuring unfettered access to those rights that build a civic society,” Jolly said. “Democracy is about the social contract. The social contract needs to be supported and reinforced through philanthropy.” MN Partners includes The Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation and 2,000 other charitable organizations and donor funds that are committed to addressing community issues by strategically investing funds entrusted to the foundations. Together, the foundations and donors made $74 million in grants to nonprofits, projects and initiatives in the East Metro and across Minnesota in 2014.

You belong. The health plan with you in mind. Dr. Eric Jolly


death helped to spur the national Black Lives Matter

movement and demonstrations around the country.

From 1 gross waste of taxpayer dollars for prosecutors to continue to pursue frivolous trespassing charges in this case,” said defense attorney Nestor. “The majority of substantive charges against the alleged organizers have already been dismissed in this case by prosecutors. The remaining charges are mostly aiding and abetting charges, which raises significant questions about the purpose behind these prosecutions.” Lena K. Gardner of Black Lives Matter added, “Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson is sending the message that if you are white and you show up on ‘private property’ in Bloomington to protest the killing of a lion, you’re safe, as we saw last week. But if you show up at the Mall of America to protest the killing of unarmed African-Americans by police, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and treated like a criminal. This blatant hypocrisy should not be tolerated within our system of justice. Black Lives Matter demonstrators deserve the same respect and deference as others who protest perceived injustices.” Gardner was referring to demonstrations outside of the Bloomington office of dentist Dr. Walter Palmer following his killing of a lion in Zimbabwe. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown by Darren Wilson, a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Brown’s

At Medica, you’re not just part of a health plan. You’re part of a community that believes in better health for all. Learn more at medica.com

Page 4 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News



What is a worthy cause? FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw We noticed that people – including ourselves – talk about “worthy” causes. In many ways the phrase is a “seal of approval.” Yet what’s

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

“worthy” to one person or group, isn’t necessarily “worthy” to another. The phrase assumes shared values, but doesn’t always make clear what those values are, or why the cause is worthy. Does helping one person make a cause a worthy? We’ve heard people say, “if we help just one person, it’s worth it.” We tend to question that logic: is it really “worth it” – for example – to have an organization with a $300,000 annual operating budget that “helps just one person?” We know that’s an exaggeration, but on a feeling level, many people feel that way about organizations they are passionate about. They are saying “our work is priceless.” That may be true, and there is a price attached to the work of nonprofits. In most communities – and in most households – there are

Journey From 1

Associate Editor Culture and Education Irma McClaurin

justice reform, job growth and higher wages, and better public education. “This march is not merely about putting boots on the ground,” Brooks told Urban News Service, “It’s about putting laws on the books. . . This has been a history-laden year, with the anniversaries of the Voting Rights Act, ‘Bloody Sunday’ and so forth. But it’s a good opportunity to make history, too.” Jamiah Adams of the NAACP said the organizers expect thousands of people to join the marchers at every stop, with a “core group” of more than 100 making the trek from Selma to D.C. “I’m looking forward to marching,” said Damon Younger, 32. The Atlantan plans to join the

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Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Sunny Thongthi Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Melvin Carter, Jr. Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Timothy Houston Penny Jones-Richardson Alaina L. Lewis Darren Moore Carmen Robles Lydia Schwartz Ryan T. Scott Toki Wright

From 1 communities in great sorrow, grief and anger. As president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), I get the daily reports and news feeds about the growing systematic injustices in the United States from our 206 African American-owned newspapers based in every region of the nation. We are the trusted voice of Black America and I am telling you that the suffering cup of patience in Black America has run over. The madness of constant videotaped modern-day lynching of Black people in the U.S. has become intolerable. We are simply not going to take it anymore! It is providential and a welcome sight to witness the steady growth and development of Justice Or Else MMM 20th Anniversary Local Organizing Committees (LOCs) in every major city. A broad cross section of local community activists from the NAACP, the National Urban

limited funds and resources to be allocated. The issue of worthiness arises in the creation of criteria by which we make decisions. Some of these are spoken, and some of these are unspoken and often unconscious. Other people believe an organization is worthy if it

reaches a large number of people, has economies of scale, talented leadership, effective programs, consistent evaluation, and highly qualified staff. They can “make a dollar go far” – and that is the source of their “worthiness.” Some organizations serve people and families that other

group when it reaches Georgia’s capital on August 10. After four days of “teach-ins” on legislation, health, education, and criminal justice, Younger expects to march north. “I’m inspired,” Younger said. “Obviously, I wasn’t born when they marched for our rights in the ’60s. To have a chance to do that now, with all that is going on in the United States, I have to take the time off from work to go. And I go with pride and hope for change.” “It’s OK that we’re angry and fed up,” Brooks told UNS. “It’s OK that we respond with emotion. But this is more than an emotional trip. This is a reform movement. And we believe putting the emotion with education makes a difference.” “We’ve seen more civil rights challenges in the last year than in decades,” Brooks added. “That’s why we believe we have to inundate the halls of Congress.

Across the country, people have been asking, ‘Why is this happening?’ The problem is that the people asking the questions are not in the room with the people who can do something to change it. We intend to change that.” As the marchers head north, satellite events across America will echo their voices. These activities will share the social media hash tag #JusticeSummer. The march is expected to pick up supporters along the way and reach Washington, D.C., on or around September 16. The campaign concludes with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, site of Dr. King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. Today’s Journey For Justice is rooted in the history of the struggle for racial equality. The film Selma brought into focus the brutality of 1965’s “Bloody Sunday.” Civil rights marchers who attempted to cross the Alabama River into Montgomery over the Edmund

Pettus Bridge were pummeled by racist local cops. In June, the Alabama Senate voted to rename the bridge from Edmund Pettus, a Confederate general, to the Journey to Freedom Bridge. Alabama’s House of Representatives has yet to address this measure. Before setting off, the marchers gathered at the Boynton home in Selma. Brooks called it “the literal birthplace of the Civil Rights Act.” The home of Sam and Amelia Boynton — a non-descript, yellow bungalow — was the civil-rights movement’s unlikely epicenter. Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference strategized the Selmato-Montgomery marches at the Boyntons’ home, and some of the ’65 Voting Rights Act was signed there. Fifty years after that momentous occasion, the Boyntons’ abode has become

dilapidated. Aside from a plaque that sits outside the house, nothing signifies the importance of the events and people associated with this abandoned structure. The Gateway Educational Foundation acquired the home and plans to transform it into a museum. August 18 will be Amelia Boynton’s 104th birthday. So there is understandable concern whether Sam Boynton’s widow ever will see her old home rebuilt. “It’s somewhat ironic that you come to Selma to commemorate the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, but not protect the place where it was given birth,” Brooks said. “That certainly is a point of importance and interest to all of us who care about history.” To follow the march, text 6227 visit www.naacp.org. or to help restore this historic place go to www.boyntonhouseselma.com/ donate.

League, National Action Network, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Latino and Native American organizations and many others are joining with Nation of Islam organizers and officials to build a strong national network of LOCs. These organizing committees are actively reserving and charting buses in preparation for the journey to Washington, D.C. If you would like to help establish a LOC in your local community and for updated accurate information, go to www.JusticeOrElse.com Minister Farrakhan stated,

“The Black and The Red, together. The Black, the Red and the Brown, together. The Black, the Red, the Brown – yes, and White – who know that Black Lives Matter.” Our togetherness and our unity and our determination to demand justice for all will be a tremendous turning point in the growing national movement against injustice and wrongdoing. Too many of our sisters and brothers are dying at the hands of those who perpetrate injustice against our communities. We will not remain still and immobilized. Now is the time to stand up again. We wholeheartedly support

Minister Farrakhan’s call and demand: Justice Or Else!

reached for national advertisement sales and partnership proposals at: dr.bchavis@nnpa.org; and for lectures and other professional consultations at: http:// drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/ drbfc

Can you communicate the value of your organization without using the word “worthy” or implying that others are somehow less worthy?

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people served or advocated for. The dictionary defines worthy as “good and deserving respect, praise, or attention; having enough good qualities to be considered important, useful, etc. Having worth or value: estimable. Or, having sufficient worth or importance. Our question to you: how do you define “worthy?” Can you communicate the value of your organization without using the word “worthy” or implying that others are somehow less worthy? What exactly makes your organization worthy?

nonprofits cannot reach. Some offer specialized services to hard-to-serve populations, or to communities where “tried and true” solutions just don’t work. The cost to serve one individual or family may be higher for these organizations, than others. Does that make them less worthy or more worthy? Who decides? Related to this, which is more important: direct services that impact the lives of individual families and help them meet their immediate needs, or investments in public policy that change conditions for large numbers of people? Who decides which is more “worthy?” “Worthiness” is a designation bestowed for different reasons. Sometimes an organization’s mission is deemed worthy and that overrides the question of whether or not their impact or outcome is worthy. Worthiness can be bestowed when a donor makes a gift. It is also a designation bestowed by the

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Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be

Copyright 2015– Mel and Pearl Shaw Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your fundraising visit www. saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.


Insight News • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Page 5

It’s like 1955 with Wifi By Rika Tyler and T-Dubb-O (TriceEdneyWire.com) - Some may say much has changed since our grandparents were boycotting in the streets of the U.S. during the Civil Rights era. Some new laws and policies did in fact give Black people some of the same civil liberties as other citizens in this country. However, we are still being mentally enslaved, figuratively lynched, and discriminated against as if Malcolm, Martin, Fannie Lou, Rosa, and others never left their homes. The Charleston church shooting was another reminder that laws cannot change the hearts of men. Similar to the infamous church bombing that left four Black girls slain, a young racist White male decided to go into a church during Bible study with the intent to kill Black people. Dylan Roof murdered nine Black people while having Bible study. His reasoning was he wanted to start a race war. This showed the African-American clergy that are still on the fence during this critical time in America that even in your place of worship

you are not safe from racism. Racism cannot be abolished by a document. Murder is already illegal, but it seems to be totally moral and legal in some circumstances for law enforcement and others who murder, rob, and extort Black people at their will. Pictures from St. Louis during the Ferguson uprising were placed side by side with pictures from the 50s and 60s and you could not tell the difference between time frames in most pictures. You see, a White police force armed with high powered rifles and dogs, facing off against unarmed Black people exercising their first amendment right to protest is not justice. Slavery was abolished on paper, but not in the minds and conditions of Black people. No, we are no longer chained, whipped, forced to pick cotton, housed and fed by the “master”. But we are indeed still slaves because our minds are now enslaved - enslaved to capitalism and classism. The media portrays us as “thugs” all while it also controls the influence of how the Black dollar is spent. The plantation was substituted for a school to prison pipeline that

Rika Tyler


is worth billions, and minimum wage work that gives you just enough money to feed, clothe, and house yourself for your hard labor instead of “master” having to do so. There is a term that is used by Black revolutionaries in which we say, “KKK members traded in their hoods for badges, guns, and seats at political party tables”. So again we ask, are things really different now? Every 28 hours a Black person is murdered by a police officer, security guard, or vigilante. To us, these are versions of a modern day lynching. Systematic oppression, predatory policing, and the war on drugs has replaced the Bull Connors of

the South to keep Black people in “check”. A lot of us may feel things have changed things due to the fact we have a Black president, and a few successful Black people. They say if you work hard, speak properly, dress properly, follow the law, and basically deny your Blackness as much as possible you won’t be gunned down in the middle of the street by police and can make a survivable wage. Forget about the fact that your people were forced here, built this country, released with not a cent to their names, and told make something out of nothing. One out of three Black men will go to prison in their lifetime. One out of three! That’s just in

America. In the UK, there are more Black men in prison than there are in that entire country. We are not just discriminated against in the United States, but White supremacy and racism is a world-wide disease that ruins lives of Black families daily. What separated Emmett Till from Trayvon Martin? The year is the main difference. Like George Zimmerman, Emmett Till’s murderers were also let off Scott free. It’s like 1955 with Wifi. Black people were fully aware of their struggle during that time period. Today, we think we won something back then. We fail to realize the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King is still just a dream. Very few of the visions of our ancestors who sacrificed their lives to see us able to thrive and flourish have come to fruition. We have been bamboozled by a few government-signed documents. The Confederate flag still waves proudly in many places. It symbolizes how we are still denied civil liberties daily. But, now we have a bunch of Black people who fail to realize their minds are still enslaved. If we don’t wake up now, we will never really get free.

T-Dubb-O, a Hip-Hop artist, is a director for Hands Up United, a grass roots organization building towards the liberation of oppressed Black, Brown and Poor people through education, art, civil disobedience, advocacy and agriculture. Rika Tyler, a community organizer and advocate for children, is a program director of Hands Up United. She works to ensure programs are aligned to serving the community of Ferguson and the Greater St. Louis area. This article is sixth of an op-ed series on behalf of the Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform. The coalition, convened and led by the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is comprised of over 30 national civil and human rights organizations, faith and community leaders working to address the nationwide epidemic of police brutality and lethal shootings, claiming the lives of Black men, women and youth; and provide necessary reforms to change the culture of policing in America. For more information, please visit www. lawyerscommittee.org.

ICC must investigate Ivory Coast president’s camp for wartime abuses By africa.com Since 2011, the Hague-based court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has been probing a conflict that erupted after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat to Ouattara in a vote the year before. However only Gbagbo and figures loyal to him have been charged so far by the ICC for crimes committed in postelection violence that left at least

3,000 people dead. Gbagbo, who is in custody in The Hague, is the first former head of state to be prosecuted by the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. “It’s absolutely urgent to get started” with a probe into violence committed by Ouattara loyalists during the war, said Elizabeth M. Evenson, senior counsel of HRW’s international justice programme. “Additional ICC investigations are necessary, but the focus so far on pro-Ggbabo forces has deeply polarised

opinion... about the ICC” within Ivory Coast, Evenson said. The New York-based rights group warned that a failure to expand the scope of the investigations would leave many in Ivory Coast feeling unjustly sidelined. “Many victims feel that the court has ignored their suffering,” Evenson said. Gambian lawyer Bensouda has previously pledged her office would investigate abuses by both sides, but has been held back by limited resources, HRW said.

Evenson’s remarks came as HRW released a report titled “Making Justice Count”, which urged the ICC to do more to involve communities affected by the violence in Ivory Coast in its work. “ICC officials need to carry out their mandates in a manner designed to ensure that the ICC’s delivery of justice will be accessible, meaningful, and perceived as legitimate - that is, that it can have impact - in countries where it conducts investigations,” the rights group said.

The report criticised the ICC’s failure to deploy an outreach officer, tasked with communicating with the broader communities with a stake in the proceedings, until autumn 2014. It also said the court has failed to contact Ivorian refugee communities outside the country, which are perceived as allied with Gbagbo. “During the election crisis, many of them were likely victims or witnesses of crimes carried out by pro-Ouattara forces and militias,” the report said.

“Some members of these communities... perceived the absence of cases against anyone associated with Ouattara during the war as a bias of the court,” it added. Gbagbo, who was president from 2000 to 2011, has been held in The Hague since his late 2011 transfer. He is awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. Formed in 2002, the ICC has opened nine cases in eight countries, all in Africa, with accusations it can only deliver victor’s justice.

Page 6 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News


COMMENTARY Hanging on to hope to keep Black men and boys alive Child Watch

By Marian Wright Edelman Our history is for decades we humiliated people of color. For decades we excluded people of color. For decades we shamed and burdened and beat people of color. – Bryan Stevenson, founder and president of the Equal Justice Initiative, and author of Just Mercy South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s leading peace and justice advocates, has called Bryan Stevenson “America’s Nelson Mandela.” He has gotten innocent men off death row, successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times, including to ban “death sentences” — capital

punishment and life imprisonment without parole for offenses committed by juveniles. In June this man of great moral clarity and brilliance spoke about “How to Keep Black Boys Alive” to 2,000 college-age Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® servant leaders at CDF-Haley Farm. He focused on how we can break up the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ that feeds 1 in 3 Black and 1 in 6 Latino boys born in 2001 into America’s morally indefensible and unjust mass incarceration system. Here is some of what Bryan Stevenson told our young leaders: “We’re living at a time when there is an incredible crisis that young men of color are facing. There is a challenge that is unique in our history. We’ve always had challenges but this is a different kind of challenge because it is structural, it is systemic, and it is institutional. And it presents itself in this kind of really misguided almost kind of bizarre exploitation of the word ‘justice.’ It uses that word to perpetuate

“We need to understand that these acts of violence in Ferguson and Baltimore are a manifestation of this presumption of dangerousness and guilt. And we’ve got to free America from this burden.” -Bryan Stevenson an unprecedented injustice that we’ve never had to face like we’re facing today. And I’m talking about the criminal justice system.” Bryan put it in perspective for the young college audience. In 1972 — 300,000 people were in jails and prisons in America compared to today with 2.5 million people behind bars. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s

population but 25 percent of the world’s imprisoned. And in Alabama where he lives, a person with a criminal conviction permanently loses the right to vote. Right now in Alabama, 31 percent of Black men in the state have lost the right to vote. To dismantle this Cradle to Prison Pipeline requires, he says, Americans to change the way we

talk about race and confront our history of racial inequality. “The great evil of American slavery was not forced labor; it was the narrative of racial difference that slavery created.” That narrative said: “These black people, they’re not like us. They’re not fully human. They’ve got these deficits. They’re not smart. They’re not this. They’re not that. And because of that, we’re actually doing something civil and Christian by enslaving them. And that narrative was the great evil of American slavery.” This history of bias and discrimination manifests itself with a presumption of dangerousness and guilt that gets assigned to all Black people, he continued, “That presumption was created during slavery, nurtured during terrorism, legalized during segregation, and it’s now being implemented by mass incarceration. We need to understand that these acts of violence in Ferguson and Baltimore are a manifestation of this presumption of dangerousness

and guilt. And we’ve got to free America from this burden.” Bryan Stevenson is surrounded in Alabama by many symbols of slavery and the Old South and shared this story about visiting a new client on Alabama’s death row. As he parked, “This truck was there. And some of you all who live in the South see these things all the time. And this truck was like a shrine to the Old South. It has all of these bumper stickers on it. It had the Confederate flags everywhere. It had the gun rack. … There was a White guard standing at the prison door when I got there. And I said, ‘Hi, I’m here for a legal visit.’ And the first thing the man said to me was, ‘Well, you’re not a lawyer.’ I said, ‘Oh, yes, sir, I am.’ He said, ‘I don’t believe you’re a lawyer.’ I said, ‘I am an attorney. I’ve been to this prison before.’ He said, ‘Well, where is your bar card?’ Well, my bar card was in the car. He made me go back to the car to get my bar


Voter suppression overshadows Voting Rights Act celebration Black Press of America By George E. Curry NNPA Editor-in-Chief Thursday, Aug. 6, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the organization co-founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will hold a Call to Action Rally at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall.

The NAACP hopes to cap its Selma, Ala. to Washington, D.C. relay march, called America’s Journey for Justice, in the nation’s capital on Sept. 16. Other celebratory activities are planned for different times. Considered among the most far-reaching legislation in history, the 1965 Voting Rights Act removed many of the impediments to voting created by cities, counties and states that prevented many African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. Dallas County, Ala., which includes the city of Selma, was typical. As the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think

tank, observed, in 1965, more than half of Dallas County was Black. However, of the county’s 15,000 voting-age African Americans, only 156 were registered to vote. By contrast, two-thirds of votingage Whites were registered. It took the savage beating of 600 protesters, including future U.S. Congressman John Lewis, by White law enforcement officials on April 7, 1965, known as “Bloody Sunday,” to stir the nation’s conscience against ballot box indignities. That provided the momentum for passage of the bill. “Only in the wake of the Voting Rights Act did black voter registration in the South begin to approach that of whites,” the Joint Center said in a report titled, “50 Years of The Voting





Rights Act: The State of Race in Politics.” It continued, “Five years after the passage of the Act, the racial gap in voter registration in the former Confederate states had closed to single digits. By the start of the 1970s, the black/ white registration gap across the Southern states was little more than 8 percentage points.” In four of the 12 presidential elections since 1964, Black voters have turned out at higher rates that their White counterparts, according to the Joint Center. And the number of Black elected officials have increased from less than 1,000 in 1965 to more than 10,000 in 2015, including President Barack Obama. While properly appreciating the accomplishments of the Voting Rights Act, we should not

lose sight of the challenges that lie ahead. “Since the 2010 election, 21 states have new laws making it harder to vote – ranging from photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to registration restrictions – and 15 states will have them in place for the first time in a presidential election in 2016. Those 15 states are: Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. And things are likely to get worse before the election. The Brennan Center also

noted, “As the early stages of the 2016 presidential race begin, state legislatures are already considering hundreds of laws that could determine voters’ access to the ballot. Since the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, and as of May 13, 2015, at least 113 bills that would restrict access to registration and voting have been introduced or carried over in 33 states.” Many of these bills were introduced in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder.On June 25, 2013, the court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the provision determining which jurisdictions are required



Insight News • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Page 7

EDUCATION Walt Disney World Resort with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE

Applications open for the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy

High school students nationwide can now apply at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com to be among 100 selected to participate in the 2016 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE, the innovative, outside-theclassroom, educational mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort. Entering the search for its ninth class of Dreamers, Disney Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire and fuel the dreams of teens, help them discover a world of possibilities and help them prepare for the future. Each year, students participate in hands-on, fullimmersion workshops related to a variety of career paths, ranging from animation to zoology. Each participant learns important skills such as communication techniques, leadership values and networking strategies. It all takes place in the very magical and creative setting

of Walt Disney World Resort. Dreamers are taken both on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant ‘classrooms,’ leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime. Disney Dreamers are exposed to motivational speakers and celebrities who share their stories and provide insight on how to achieve success and DREAM BIG. Dreamers have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other students from across the nation while they gain first-hand knowledge from Disney experts and worldrenowned entrepreneurs and executives. “We’re excited to welcome back Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE for the ninth year,” said Tracey D. Powell, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts vice president of deluxe resorts and Disney Dreamers Academy

executive champion. “This program stands out for its ability to motivate and inspire teens to think big and achieve their dreams. By applying for Disney Dreamers Academy, high school students from across the country are taking a step toward an experience that can change their lives.” Applicants must answer essay questions about their personal stories and their dreams for the future. Students are selected based on a combination of attributes, including a strong character, positive attitude and determination to achieve their dreams. Select Disney Dreamers along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expensepaid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will participate in life-changing sessions as they are surrounded by the creativity and innovation represented in Disney theme parks around the world. Disney

Dreamers Academy will take place March 3-6, 2016. Steve Harvey, syndicated radio and television personality, along with ESSENCE and Walt Disney World Resort will host the selected Dreamers during their four-day power packed career and educational exploration. “One of my personal commitments is to always give back and particularly to youth,” said Harvey. “We’ve seen 800 students come through the program, and I’m excited to find the next 100. I encourage all high school students to take the time to apply for Disney Dreamers Academy because I truly believe that a young person’s dream is more important than anything.” ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks added, “Each year, ESSENCE is honored to seek out the next generation of big dreamers and welcome them to Walt Disney World Resort for a once-in-alifetime experience. It is our


And so I put my pen down and said, ‘Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you wanted me to bring you a chocolate milkshake. Next time I come, if they let me, I’ll bring you a chocolate milkshake.’ And this man smiled and smiled and smiled.” Every time Bryan talked to his client after that, the only thing he wanted was a chocolate milkshake. Months later, Bryan and his team presented a vigorous mental illness defense to a judge over three days. That same prison guard who had strip-searched him on his first visit to his client brought the defendant to the hearing and glared at Bryan in the courtroom each day. But Bryan was feeling hopeful about the outcome and weeks later returned to death row for a visit. “I was walking to the prison and what do I see in the parking lot? That truck. And I was feeling tired. I didn’t feel like I had the energy to deal with this guy. I said, you know, I don’t want to deal with him today. I’m just going to drive back another day. And that’s when I realized I was losing my hope.” Refusing to give up hope, he turned around, got his bar card and walked to the guard at the door and said, ‘Hi, I’m here for a legal visit. Here’s my bar card.’ And the [guard] immediately [responded], ‘Hello, Mr. Stevenson. How are you?’ It completely threw me. I said, ‘I’m fine. I’ll go in the bathroom and get ready for your search.’ ‘Oh, Mr. Stevenson, we’re not going to do that today,’ [the guard replied]. I said, ‘Really? Thank you. Well, I’ll go back here

and sign the book.’ He said, ‘Mr. Stevenson, I saw you coming and I signed you in.’” Then the guard told Bryan, “‘You know, I came up in the foster care system too. I didn’t think anybody had it as bad as I did, but I realized that maybe your client had it worse than I did. I’m a very angry person. I’ve been angry my whole life. But I’m going to tell you something. I think what you are doing is a good thing.’ And then he looked at me and says, ‘I hope you keep fighting for justice.’” The guard shook Bryan’s hand. “And I turned to go inside the prison and he grabbed me by the arm and said, ‘Wait, wait, wait, I’ve got to tell you something else.’ ‘What’s that?’ I asked. He replied, ‘I just want you to know I did something on the way back from the courthouse.’ I said, ‘What did you do?’ He said, ‘Well, I took an exit and I took your client to a Wendy’s and I bought him a chocolate milkshake.’” The bottom line message of this extraordinary caring lawyer for the young leaders was: “I believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. I think that if you tell a lie you’re not just a liar. I think if somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them they’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill somebody you’re not just a killer, and that other thing you are has to be mended and responded and nurtured and loved and protected.” Bryan Stevenson believes as I do that the same is true for America. America is much more

than the worst things we have ever done as a country and we have done some very bad things including slavery and Native American genocide which we have never fully admitted and repented from. America can come closer to her dream and professed belief of freedom, justice and equality for all only by heeding Bryan Stevenson’s final lesson that day. “We have to judge how

recent action. Of course, Blacks must also continue to fight against regressive changes at the state level. Any euphoria created by the tremendous gains made since passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act should be tempered by a stark reality cited in the report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. It noted, “Based on the most recent data, African Americans are 12.5% of the citizen voting age population, but they make up a smaller share of the U.S. House (10%), state legislatures (8.5%), city councils (5.7%), and the U.S. Senate (2%).” A report by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights concluded, “While the

VRA has been enormously successful in eliminating some of the most egregious forms of discrimination, the reality is that discrimination in voting remains real and immediate.”

From 6 card. I came back. I felt insulted. I showed him my bar card. I said, ‘Look, I want to go inside now.’ And the man said, ‘All right, all right, but you’re going to have to get in the bathroom. I’m going to have to give you a strip search.’ I said, ‘No, sir, lawyers don’t get strip-searched coming into this prison.’ He said, ‘You’re coming into my prison. You’re going to get in that bathroom and get stripsearched.’” After driving two hours to get there he made the very difficult decision to submit to the humiliating search. More hurdles and indignities followed. Finally when the guard unlocked the door the guard asked, “’Did you see that truck out there with all those bumper stickers and flags?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I saw that truck,” He said, ‘I want you to know that’s my truck.’” Antagonized and angry, Bryan Stevenson went to meet his new Black client who had been in 29 foster homes by age 10, showed signs of bipolar disorder by age 13, symptoms of schizophrenia by age 15, used heroin by age 16, was homeless by age 17, began having psychotic episodes by age 18, and in the midst of one, stabbed someone to death by age 19 and was on death row. There was no mental illness defense in his record. “The first thing [my client] said to me was, ’Did you bring me a chocolate milkshake?’ …

Curry From 6 to pre-clear any voting changes with a federal judge or the Justice Department because of a history of racial discrimination. To repair the court’s damage, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (DVt.) took the lead in introducing a bill that would, among other things, require states and municipalities with a history of repeated voting violations to preclear any election law changes with the Justice Department or a federal judge in Washington, D.C., just as had been the case before the Supreme Court’s

George E. Curry, former editorin-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA) and BlackPressUSA. com. He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry. com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorgeand George E. Curry Fan Page on Facebook. See previous columns at http://www.georgecurry.com/ columns.

Todd Anderson, photographer, PRNewsFoto/Walt Disney World Resort

(L-R) Disney Dreamers Academy participants Kayla Hargis-White, of Burlington, N.J., Bianca Benett of Bronx, N.Y., Brandon Iverson of Atlanta, Ga., and Armani Young of Chicago, Ill., pose March 5, 2015 with Minnie Mouse and television personality Steve Harvey during Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The ninth annual event, taking place March 3-6, 2016 at Walt Disney World Resort, is a career-inspiration program for 100 distinguished high school students from across the U.S. privilege to take part in such an empowering youth platform that enables us to impact the leaders of tomorrow.” Applications are open to U.S. high school students, ages 13 to 19, until Oct. 30, 2015. A distinguished panel of leaders will judge the applications in

November and winners will be announced in December 2015. For more information regarding applications, visit: D i s n e y D r e a m e r s A c a d e m y. com. Follow the Dreamers on Facebook.com/ DisneyDreamersAcademy or on Twitter.com/DreamersAcademy.

we’re doing in America, not by looking at how we treat the rich and the popular and the famous. You have to judge how you’re doing in a country like ours not by how you treat the privileged and the rich but by how you treat the poor and the incarcerated and the condemned. That’s how you judge how we’re doing.”

Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www. childrensdefense.org. Mrs. Edelman’s Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s

Page 8 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News



Expecting the unexpected Motivational Moments

By Penny JonesRichardson Has there ever been a time when you were completely blown away by an event? Have you ever met someone for the first time and instantly knew at that moment that they were meant to be a part of your life forever? What about the first time you walked into a home or place and knew that

you were meant to be there? These unexpected events are always present and should be a welcoming experience. I remember the first time that I drove past my house on my way to look at another house. I had to stop in the middle of the street and back up. I felt at that moment that I was looking at the house I was going to live in. Another time, I had a coworker who told me that she knew from the first moment she started working there that she would end up running the company. And of course that is exactly what she does right now. Many people would never in a million years admit that

I look forward to great things happening for me and I pay attention to my instincts and the feelings I may have about a certain experience or person.

they had a certain feeling about something. Lots of people will brush those feelings off and

just keep moving and never really know how great it could be when you are open minded

about this. When you are open minded, it opens up your world to experience many great things. That is why I say that staying acceptable and open and also expecting the unexpected is the way to live! We should walk through life expecting great things to happen to us and for us. We should expect to have a certain feeling about something that tells us to stay or go, to keep on the path that we’re currently on or to move on to something greater. Expecting the unexpected is how I live my life, all the while I’m never expecting bad or misfortune. I look forward

to great things happening for me and I pay attention to my instincts and the feelings I may have about a certain experience or person. My feelings have led me to many great adventures and have also warned me to uncertainty. I pay attention to signs and I am very grateful for my many “Unexpected Events!” And as always, stay focused, stay determined, and keep striving for greatness. Penny Jones-Richardson is a published author and life coach. She can be reached via her website at www. thequeensproject.com or email at penny@thequeensproject.com.

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Beth Fagin, St. David’s Center; Mikala Mukongolwa, Bauleni Special Education School, Zambia; Amy Hewitt, University of Minnesota

International exchange, growing cultural understanding leads to better understanding of autism Mikala Mukongolwa, one of Zambia’s leading experts in inclusive, communitybased education practices for children and youth with disabilities, concluded a threeweek visit to St. David’s Center in Minnetonka last week. “I am so grateful to St. David’s Center for this opportunity to help the children of Zambia,” said Mukongolwa. St. David’s Center is one of the Twin Cities’ leading providers of autism day

treatment programs. In March 2014, it opened the Twin Cities’ first and only culturally informed autism day treatment program specifically for Somali children. The program is based in Northeast Minneapolis. Half of the staff are Somali women who have been trained by St. David’s Center. Mukongolwa is a leader in treating and educating children with autism in Zambia. Since 2008, she has worked with the director of the University of Minnesota’s Research & Training Center on Community Living, Amy Hewitt, in an exchange program aimed at exploring the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities in both Zambia and the United States. Hewitt was one of the authors of the “2012 Report on Early Intervention Services for Minnesota’s Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” identifying the staggering statistic of one in 32 Somali children in Minneapolis having autism. She connected Mukongolwa to St. David’s Center to observe the Autism Day Treatment model and learn more about integrating speech and occupational therapies in autism treatment. Mukongolwa runs the Bauleni Special Education School as well as a home-based education program in Zambia. When she returns from her trip, she hopes to train the teachers and volunteers in both of those programs on what she’s learned from St. David’s Center staff. “We’ve made progress in providing educational settings to children with special needs in Zambia, but right now our teachers are only serving as caretakers for many of those

children,” said Mukongolwa. “My goal is to train our teachers in methods that will allow them to help these children learn.” Mukongolwa’s visit will also help the children of Minnesota, as she and members of the St. David’s Center team focus on the importance of cultural understanding in both the diagnosis and treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. “Seeing a community that has so few resources and yet such dedicated people trying to help children was a humbling and deeply moving realization,” said Beth Fagin, senior director of pediatric therapies and autism services at St. David’s Center. “We benefited by seeing what creative energy and passion can do in spite of limited resources and we were able to share some of our resources and creativity back to that community.” Fagin continued, “Mikala’s work is a gift in her country and I hope we were a gift to her work. She was so excited about what she was learning about working with autistic children – an area that is new for her and her country.” Financial support for Mikala’s professional development was provided by the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE). To learn more about the Twin Cities and Zambia Disability Connection, visit the blog at www.ici.umn.edu/ index.php?projects/view/67. To learn more about St. David’s Center’s autism services, visit www.stdavidscenter. o rg / t h e r a p i e s / a u t i s m - d a y treatment-program.


Insight News • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Page 9


Ty D Photography

IndiaFest celebrates rich heritage, traditions, diversity, and culture The India Association of Minnesota (IAM) host its 42nd annual IndiaFest, held at Minnesota State Capitol grounds on August 15th, from 11:00 am to 9:00 p.m. The State of Minnesota has proclaimed Aug. 15, 2015 as India Day in recognition of the growing and vibrant Indian community in Minnesota. IndiaFest celebrates the

rich heritage, traditions, diversity, and culture of India. The free event is open to everyone. The festival is bigger and better than ever this year with performances by two Minnesota based internationally acclaimed Asian Indian dance groups – Ragamala and Katha Dance Theatre - as well as delectable Indian cuisine from local

restaurants, foot-tapping live Bollywood music, exhibits, cultural displays, and Indian bazaar. Admission is free. Highlights of the festival • Food: Enjoy delicious cuisines from six Twin Cities Indian restaurants • Cultural: Two of the biggest

India, showcasing the diversity of India

• Exhibits: Visit booths with decoration, traditions, and culture from various regions of

• Bazaar: Shop for traditional Indian clothing and accessories

For more information visit www.iamn.org.

are still under attack. “I think we’ve been moving backwards in a dramatic, deeply depressing way,� said Mondale pointing to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby v. Holder where Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act was ruled unconstitutional. Section 4(b), was considered the teeth for Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments obtain federal preclearance before making changes to voting practices. Following the Shelby ruling several states and counties enacted more restrictive rules for voting such as requiring voters to show state-issued photo identification cards in order to vote. “It’s like the old days before civil rights,� said Mondale. “Now there’s a Southernized Republican Party and these states are trying anything to stop people from voting. They’re back to their old tricks.� Of significance with the

Minnesota delegation in 1965 was that it was both Democratic and Republican, yet all voted in favor of removing restrictive voting practices that had been law in many parts of the United States. “We wouldn’t have passed (the Voting Rights Act of 1965) without the Republicans,� said Mondale, a Democrat. “We had a voting block of Democrats in the South who always voted wrong (against extending voting rights to all).� Simon cautioned citizens to not become comfortable when it comes to voting rights. “We here in this room have different political positions and perspectives on some election issues, that’s fine, but surely we can agree that we shouldn’t sit still when it comes to the right to vote in Minnesota and America,� said Simon. “My hope is when we leave this room we remain restless in our pursuit of voting rights for all Americans.�

Johnson From 1 Prior to the act’s passage, many states – especially states in the South – adopted and enforced practices such as literacy tests, poll taxes and other methods to deny AfricanAmerican citizens the right to vote. And while Congress voted in 2006 to make the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 permanent, those being honored and Simon said voting rights continue to come under attack. “Denial of voting rights still exists,� said Johnson, who was working as early as a teen to register voters in a segregated Texas. “It’s still hard for many American citizens to acknowledge us (AfricanAmericans) as full citizens. We have to keep fighting and we have to remember those who fought and died for this right.� Mondale, who became

Vice President Walter Mondale said his greatest moment in the Senate was passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. vice president under President Jimmy Carter, referred to the times before the 1965 passage as a dark chapter in America’s history. “There had been a long,

Classifieds Administrative Assistant Brakins Consulting & Psychological Services Brakins Consulting& Psychological Services, LLC & the African American Child Wellness Institute seeks a highly motivated individual for a full-time position as an Administrative Assistant to work in a community-based private practice clinic that primarily serves African American children, adolescents and adult. We are seeking an energetic Administrative Assistant who can show initiative and leadership skills, has strong computer technical abilities, has their own transportation, has flexible hours and is willing to grow professionally with the company. The Administrative Assistant (AA) will be responsible for performing moderately complex to complex administrative tasks in support of the Executive/Clinic Director and the Mental Health Service Delivery Treatment team. Duties include extensive meeting scheduling, providing assistance to coordinate larger and complex meetings. Compiling information and preparing moderately complex documents, spreadsheets and reports using appropriate software; assisting, screening and/or selectively referring callers; handling complex and sensitive inquiries/calls from external/internal sources. The AA is also responsible for confirming travel arrangements and managing payments for payroll and expense report reimbursement. The AA will also provide support within areas of reporting for business documentation and team/individual goals, personnel changes and department record keeping processes. The successful candidate proactively tracks procedures and deadlines. The candidate may work closely with both internal and external customers to meet service needs. The AA will also act as an onsite assistant for the Treatment team for miscellaneous duties such as equipment assistance, delivery support and supplies. Performing special projects as requested. The successful candidate must have a minimum of 2 or 4 years of college plus 2 years experience as an administrative assistant; possess strong written and verbal communication skills and have experience with interacting with ethnically diverse mental health consumers. Versatility in web-based electronic health information software such as PROCENTIVE is a huge advantage for the successful candidate. Interested candidates should send a resume, interest letter and at least 3 references to: BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., LP, Clinic Director Brakins Consulting& Psychological Services, LLC & The African American Child Wellness Institute 4050 Olson Memorial Hwy # 195 Golden Valley, MN 55422 (Phone) 763-522-0100 (Fax) 763-588-0100 Email: bravadaakinsanya@hotmail.com

dismal, pathetic history of denying Blacks and other minorities access to democracy,� said Mondale, who placed his vote in favor of passage at the top of his achievements in

government. “(Passage of the Voting Rights Act) changed the country because it empowered all citizens.� As did Johnson, Mondale also cautioned that voting rights

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• Raffle Drawing: Giveaways from Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and many others

Indian Classical dance groups based in Minnesota perform at IndiaFest for the first time at this year’s event. Immerse yourself in Classical, SemiClassical, Bollywood and regional solo and group performances

• Activities: Fun activities for adults and kids. Enjoy henna or face painting, kite flying, chess, cricket, or learn some skills in yoga and meditation

Fax: 612.588.2031

• Student Scholarships: Five student scholarships to be given at the event

Email: info@insightnews.com

VACANCIES Cokato Apts, Cokato, MN (a seniors complex 62 or over or handicapped) has vacancies on 2nd Floor for one BR apts. Waiting list open. Contact Don at 320-286-2758. E-Mail cokapts@embarqmail.com

North Memorial Needs Volunteers to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse


SafeJourney, a program serving North Memorial Medical Center and Maple Grove Hospital, helps patients and individuals in the community who are experiencing domestic abuse. Volunteer advocates are needed to provide a listening ear, support, safety planning, information and referral. You do not have to have previous knowledge or experience, but rather looking for people who are sensitive to the issue, caring, and non-judgmental. Advocates sign up for 2 on-call shifts per month. Flexible scheduling - daytime, overnights, and weekends. Training is provided. Deadline to apply and schedule a short interview is January 26. Please call Suzy at 763-581-3942.


The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority has rental units available in Cass County, MN. Please call 218-335-8280. Must meet certain qualifications.


Available Fieldcrest in Moorhead, MN Rent based on 30% of income

Volunteer Greeters Hennepin County is seeking volunteer greeters for its North Minneapolis human service center at 1001 Plymouth Avenue North to welcome and guide visitors, answer questions and assist with special projects. Reliable adults who enjoy working with people and who are available for a few hours twice a week are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will be able to volunteer for a minimum of three months. Volunteers are integral to Hennepin County’s mission of enhancing the health, safety and quality of life of its residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way. Get involved by visiting http://www.hennepin.us/humanservicevolunteer and submitting a volunteer application.

2 & 3 bdroms open MetroPlains Management

701-232-1887 www.metroplainsmanagement.com

Page 10 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News


Brandi Maxiell By Kam Williams Brandi Maxiell was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by single-mom Terri Duncan who sacrificed to send her daughter to the best schools. Consequently, Brandi learned at an early age that education was the key to success. She would graduate from the University of North Texas in 2007 before moving to Detroit to live with her high school sweetheart/fiancé, NBA star Jason Maxiell who was then playing for the Pistons. While there, Brandi was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She soon returned home to Dallas for surgery. The cancer came as a complete surprise to the otherwise very healthy 24 year-old. But due to the procedure and chemotherapy, she developed numerous additional health issues. Fortunately, following months of treatments, Brandi was cancerfree by 2008. A couple years later, Brandi had her dream wedding when she and Jason married. The couple wanted to start a family right away. but Brandi soon discovered that she had fertility issues. So, she went through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments which initially failed.

This was a low blow for Brandi because she wanted to become a mother so badly. Despite being discouraged, she persevered. She did extensive research about IVF, tried again, and it finally worked. She and Jason welcomed their beautiful, miracle baby boy to the world on 11/11/11. Brandi is currently a cast member on the popular VH1 show, “Basketball Wives LA.” She is also the owner of Midway Salon Suites, located in Carrolton, Texas. She spends her free time playing with her precious son and giving back through various ovarian cancer foundations. She is happy to add that she and Jason are working on baby #2. Here, she talks about her life, and about the fourth season of Basketball Wives LA, which airs on the VH1 Network. [check local listings] Kam Williams: Hi Brandi, thanks for the interview. Brandi Maxiell: You’re welcome, and thanks for having me, Kam. KW: Congratulations on another season of Basketball Wives LA! BM: Thank you, it wasn’t easy. KW: Is there a surprising development connected to you in store for fans?

BM: This season is different and was a little difficult. I let the viewers get a glimpse of my personal life and what I’ve been dealing with this past year. KW: How accurately do you feel you’re presented on the show? BM: Last season, they presented me very well. I feel the same about this season. I’m very blunt and outspoken on certain topics. They stay consistent to your character. There are some people who fool the cameras, but eventually their true character is revealed in due time. KW: Is there an unseen side of you that you’d like to let your fans know about? BM: As crazy as my life may seem on camera, not many people may know that my faith and family are very important to me and are what keep me going. KW: What’s been the biggest challenge in being married to an NBA player? BM: Understanding. I have to understand that the lifestyle isn’t normal. Understanding that there will be plenty mistakes and risks. There are times when you get lonely in the cities you live in and miss your family and friends and won’t get to be there for events or holidays. As a wife, I also had to sacrifice any career plan or goal I had to

be a wife first and be there for my husband. Being a wife to a professional basketball player is not the easiest but, if there is true love and unity, then it’s worth it. KW: Have researchers made any significant advances in the fight against ovarian cancer? BM: Every day, researchers do their best to find a cure. The biggest problem with ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are pretty similar to what women go through on a regular basis. When you start to notice the bigger symptoms is when it’s often too late because the cancer is so advanced. KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would? BM: I don’t think so. People are pretty detailed with their questions. KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? BM: I would have to say food. I’m not a snacker. I’m more of a meat and potatoes type of girl. I love me some food. I’m a true Southern girl. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? BM: Many children’s books. Since I read to my son every night. For myself, “50 Shades of Grey.” KW: What is your favorite

The “Basketball Wives LA” interview

dish to cook? BM: Oh my! I have a lot of favorites but I’d have to pick my pork chops. Everyone loves my pork chops. That is the first thing on the menu when people come over. That, or my lasagna, cream of wheat and cabbage. KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you? BM: Being around my family. I get so excited when I see them or just hang out with them. Family is all you have at the end of day. They truly have your back and light up your day. I also have a handful of friends I consider my family as well. KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer? BM: I don’t have one, really. I like what I see and buy it. KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision? BM: To venture out and just do it with no “What ifs?” It was this attitude that helped me partner with my mom on Midway Salon Suites in Carrollton, Texas. KW: Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood? BM: Yes, I went to church almost every day with my granny. So, I was pretty much raised in the church house. I

accepted Christ as my savior and my God. I turn to him FIRST before any single thing I do, to make sure I’m doing the right thing. My granny taught me that and always showed me how to do that. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? BM: A beautiful black woman, inside and out, who has faced a lot of challenges in life, who still keeps her head held high and smiles through it all. I’ve been blessed... truly blessed. KW: The Dana Perino question: What keeps you up at night? BM: I believe I was a rock star in my past life. [LOL] I literally don’t go to bed until 2 or 3 am. I feel like I can think better at night and get things done. It may be a Gemini thing. KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would it be? BM: To do and have all I want in life. KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory? BM: Going to my granny’s house every single weekend to hang out with her, whether that meant going to church or visiting a half-dozen different



Insight News • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Page 11 Groundbreaker Battle

9:30 p.m. Minnesota MC, Robb, releases his first full length album with performances by Freez and Lifted Mindz.

Thursday, Aug. 13

Aug. 10 - 16

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

Monday, Aug. 10 DANCE/PARTY

Maxiell From 10

Monday Night Dance Party Nomad World Pub 501 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis 10PM

9 p.m. $6

DJ Sophia Eris of GRRRL PRTY and DJ Asha Maura provide the spins for this Monday night dance party.

Hailing from Africa, the West Indies and South America, the International Reggae AllStars present their popular Tuesday night event at Bunkers.

Tuesday, Aug. 11

Wednesday, Aug. 12



International Reggae AllStars Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill 761 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis

Robb’s Album Release Party w/Freez Honey 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

grocery stores in a day to find a good deal. She was and still is a coupon clipper. KW: The Melissa Harris-

Perry question: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person? BM: My first heartbreak taught me about people and friends. It taught me to choose my friends wisely, and also to watch who I call my friend. And to never let a boy with a cute face sweet talk you. [LOL] KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh? BM: The other day with my mom. Every time I’m with my mom and family, I laugh so much. My mom is a comedienne, like, literally, the funniest person I know. KW: The “Realtor to the Stars” Jimmy Bayan’s question: What’s your dream locale in Los Angeles to live? BM: I honestly don’t know. I’m always on the go when I’m in LA. KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the Brandi we see on the red carpet? BM: I’m a pretty laid-back, chill type of girl. No makeup, hair pulled up, and in sweatpants. KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? BM: To hear what people are

Poet and novelist, Dionne Brand’s work offers an important challenge to the relationship of belonging and space. Also participating are Khalil Brewington and Dameun Strange.

Saturday, Aug. 15



Private Dancer w/Phillip Morris Turf Club 1601 University W., St. Paul $8

7th Annual Groundbreaker Battle 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis Noon – 8 p.m.

Chicago’s Phillip Morris brings an eclectic performance including comedy, hip-hop and experimental music.

This celebration of hiphop and community takes place next to the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis. More than 20 breaking crews, consisting of dancers young and old, faceoff in this daylong

Friday, Aug. 14

breaking competition. The event, which is free for all participants and open to the public, features B-boys and B-girls from the Twin Cities and throughout the Midwest.

Sunday, Aug. 16 HIP-HOP/R&B/FESTIVAL Open Streets Minneapolis Peavey Park 730 22nd St. E., Minneapolis Check out this all-day music concert featuring Mike Dreams, LNJAY, Minnie Armstrong, Mill City Collective, Love at First Sound, Wilkinson James, Abdi Phenomenal, Asia Divine, Casual Confusion, Kali Gerr, Crosswalk, Somalian Museum Dance Troupe and more.

POETRY Black Poet’s Talk Geography and Resistance The Lowry Cafe 2207 Lowry Ave N, Minneapolis 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

thinking. KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? BM: They all hustle. KW: What’s in your wallet? BM: Besides the obvious things, there are coins for toy vending machines for my baby, pictures of my him and me, pictures of my husband and me, and pictures of my mom. KW: Thanks again for the time, Brandi, and best of luck with the new season. BM: Thank you, Kam. It’s been fun.


AUG 4-16


Page 12 • August 10 - August 16, 2015 • Insight News


Profile for Insight News, Inc

Insight News ::: 08.10.15  

News for the week of August 10, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. Pa...

Insight News ::: 08.10.15  

News for the week of August 10, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. Pa...