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INSIGHT NEWS September 19 - September 25, 2011 • MN Metro Vol. 37 No. 38 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

“This is

my house” By Al McFarlane and B.P. Ford, The Editors “Say it like you mean it,” the old folks used to say. Alexander O’Neal, known worldwide as the King of Smooth, does just that. O’Neal opens his performance

at Dakota Jazz Club with that bold declaration. In this exquisite DVD and CD recording of Alexander O’Neal’s preChristmas show, O’Neal starts with the classic throw-down, telling the world that Minneapolis is his house, “It’s where I hang my hat….the only hat on the rack.”


Jobs plan lifts hopes By Errin Haines, Associated Press Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press President Barack Obama’s jobs pitch is already playing well with blacks, who had grown plenty irked with him over what they perceived as his indifference to their needs. A day after Obama laid out before Congress his plan to kick-start job growth, many blacks hoped it would translate into reduced misery for them over the coming months. While the country’s unemployment

File photo

MPS Superintendent Bernadeia H. Johnson

Narrowing the gap The 2011 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments – Series II (MCA-II) results show that Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has made progress in its work to narrow the achievement gap between students of color and white students. Significant acrossthe-board gains were made in reading for American Indian, African American, Asian and Hispanic students. While smaller, the gap was also narrowed for all groups except American Indian students in math. For the first time in six years, MPS can point to testing data indicating the narrowing of the achievement gap. “Today’s announcement validates the hard work and focus of our students, teachers, administrators and other staff who support the success of our students and schools,” said Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. “We still have significant gains to make,


PLAN TURN TO 12 Photos courtesy of Comcast

MN Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius stresses the importance of programs like Internet Essentials in bridging the digital divide during a presentation at Neighborhood House in St. Paul. Commissioner Cassellius participated in a reception held Thursday, September 15 announcing the launch of two new community investment programs from Comcast – Internet Essentials and Comcast Digital Connectors.

Comcast initiative attacks digital divide Comcast Thursday, September 15 announced two major community investment programs in the Twin Cities designed to bridge the digital divide for low income families and introduce young people to important digital literacy skills. Internet Essentials is the first program of its kind to directly address some of the most pressing barriers to broadband adoption by offering low cost broadband Internet service for families

Dissecting Diversity

A grown folks tale


with children receiving free school lunches under the National School Lunch Program. Comcast Digital Connectors teaches teens and young adults about broadband technologies and how to put that knowledge to work in a wide range of community service activities. A number of elected officials and representatives from key government and



The History Makers back to school program


President Barack Obama

State Black/white job gap among worst By Natonia Johnson Contributing Writer During his much anticipated Jobs speech last Thursday, President Obama called on Congress to “stop the political circus” and actually do something to help the economy. “We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse,” Obama said in an address to a joint session of Congress. Obama’s proposed $447-billion Jobs bill is hopefully the jolt needed to push America’s stalled economy forward and get millions of out-of -work people back to working again.


Molley Johnson

Urban Farming Urban famers show produce


Suluki Fardan

Gone to Ghana

Is this really Africa?


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St. Paul switches to Ranked Choice Voting As back-to-school time, autumn has long been a time of transition – and of learning. This fall FairVote Minnesota is partnering with the city of St. Paul to educate voters about the city’s upcoming switch to Ranked Voting (or Ranked Choice Voting). Voters approved the change in 2009 and will begin using RV for municipal elections this November. The education effort is a grassroots one, designed to engage St. Paulites through community events, demo elections, neighborhood

gatherings, door-knocking and more – particularly in Wards 1, 2, and 3, where there will be three or more city council candidates on the ballot. Ramsey County Elections has a wealth of information, including videos and translated materials, available on its website and will also be sending a mailing to St. Paul voters. A Ranked Voting presentation is slated for Sept. 20, 6:30 p.m. at Mad Hatter’s Coffee Café and Teahouse, 943 W. Seventh St. and at the Festa Italiana, Sept. 23 and 24 at

Harriet Island. Under Ranked Voting, instead of voting for just one candidate, voters rank their preferences – first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. Voters can rank as many candidates as they prefer, but may rank only one candidate if they wish. The ballots are counted in rounds. According to Ramsey County Elections, if a candidate receives a majority of votes (50 percent + 1) in the first round on election night, that candidate wins. On election night, the vote totals will be available

online at If no candidate receives a majority of first choices, the counting will resume on Monday, November 14. In each round, the candidate receiving the fewest votes is eliminated and votes for that candidate are reassigned to remaining candidates based on

the next preference on those voters’ ballots. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority. If only two candidates remain and neither has received a majority of initial votes cast, then the candidate with the most votes is the winner. See www. for more detail

on how the process works. One effect of the switch that voters may already be noticing is the absence of a primary: Ranked Voting eliminates the primary election and consolidates the primary and general into a single election in November. FairVote Minnesota has posted a comprehensive list of upcoming Ranked Voting educational events, which are updated regularly. Contact Voter Education Coordinator Brian Kimmes for information about these events. We welcome promotion and coverage of any of the events. For more information on Ranked Voting and the transition, visit the Ramsey County Elections website.


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Andrew Notsch Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Facilities Support / Assistant Producer, Conversations with Al McFarlane Bobby Rankin Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Maya Beecham Brenda Colston Julie Desmond S. Himie Marcia Humphrey Alaina L. Lewis Ryan T. Scott Lydia Schwartz Stacey Taylor Photography Suluki Fardan Tobechi Tobechukwu Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

Insight News • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Page 3

A grown folks tale Dissecting Diversity By Cheryl Pearson-McNeil I’d like to share a love story with you. It’s probably not the kind you’d expect. The characters in this story are not sultry women and manly men. They are tablets, like iPads, eReaders (electronic devices that allow you to digitally read books, magazines, etc.), and other mobile connected devices. But, I promise I’ll make it interesting. Once upon a time, oh, way back a year ago (which is, in fact, a long time as technology seems to evolve at warp speed), Nielsen’s quarterly survey of smartphones, tablets and eReaders reported that men and younger folks dominated the tablet and eReader ownership market. The survey showed that 62 percent of tablet owners were 34 and younger, and that those in the 55-plus crowd made up only 10 percent. But, old man time came along, and showed what a difference a year makes! By the second quarter of 2011, the percentage of users over 55 jumped to 19 percent; while the number of young’uns who owned tablets dropped to 46 percent, according to Nielsen data. While men (still by far) prefer tablets more than women, 61 percent of women have taken an affinity to eReaders, up from just 46 percent this time last year. Smartphones are the darling

An IPad 2 devices and are pretty evenly split between men and women. To break down our love affair with smartphones even further, Nielsen research shows that 40 percent of all of U.S. mobile owners over the age of 18 own smartphones. And, of those, Android is now the most popular operating system (40 percent) edging out Apple’s iOS (iPhones), which came in second with 28 percent of all smartphone owners. I heard you gasp! Surprised weren’t you? What’s a story without a twist? People across the land are pretty passionate about their smartphones. I’ve witnessed some conversations that almost take on a Hatfields vs. McCoys quality

between devotees of the iPhones vs. the Android. But wait, there’s more. There’s a new sheriff in town – er, uh, a new device in town. I told you I’d make it interesting. While the iPhone may be behind in the smartphone market, additional Nielsen research shows that the iPad continues to dominate the market in the United States in the tablet race; even with the introduction of new Android-based entrants to the field almost everyday, like the Samsung Galaxy and the Motorola Xoom. So, now people may have the Hatfields and the McCoys living harmoniously in the same house. And, the manufacturers across

Matthew Downey / Creative Commons

the land are of course pleased as punch with this co-existence. So, we have all of these cool toys. How are we using them? Households with mobile connected devices as well as desktops or laptops were asked which device they use more since they acquired a tablet: 35 percent of tablet owners report using their desktop computers less often or not at all, while 32 percent of laptop owners say they use their laptops less often or not at all and 27 percent of those tablet owners who also own eReaders reveal that they now use their eReaders less often or not at all. As is often the case with any story there is a damsel in distress.

And, in this story that would be me! I own both a Kindle and an iPad2, but I prefer to cuddle up in bed with a good book. But, I’m clearly in the minority because according to Nielsen, 61 percent of eReader owners are snuggling up in bed with one of any number of eReaders, rather than a conventional book. Somebody save me! The eReaders are taking over; bookstores are rapidly closing down (a moment of silence please over their demise. No really, ssshhh). But, I remain steadfastly devoted to the smell of freshly printed books and the feel of actual, not virtual, pages between my fingers. So, I’m holding out hope against hope that books won’t go the way of the dinosaur, the eight track or VCR! Of course, people are not just reading in bed (mind out of the gutter people, it’s not that kind of story). Research reports show that we enjoy playing with all of our technical toys while supine as well: 57 percent of tablet owners and 51 percent of smartphone users are using them in bed, and 70 percent and 68 percent of tablet and smartphone owners, respectively, use them while watching TV. The moral of this story is whether you’re reading this column, holding the paper in your hands, or skimming it on your smartphone, tablet, eReader, laptop or PC; keep reading! Because knowledge is power. The End. Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to

Kids can work, adults can help Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond A while back, Insight News shared a story about some extraordinary Minneapolis kids. These young people spent their summer revitalizing tornado-ravaged neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. They made a difference, and they made some money. What they did was awesome; the fact that they did it is awesome, too. Motivating teens is no easy task. Teens generally live in this moment. They value their time and their ideas above suggestions from outside. So, getting teens to work means giving them buy-in. You require your kid to earn some spending money; how he does that has to be his idea. Having a short view (generally, and only during the development stage they’re in), teens value time. Their work needs to have value because

there is too much happening around them to be wasting time. The definition of waste varies, of course. One teen in my life asked, “Why would I go serve hamburgers to people when I could be hanging out with my friends?” Money is a value, and a good reason to work. But a clothes discount, a friend at the same place, responsibility… these will keep a kid going back shift after shift.

Teens need to have the concept in their lives, too, if they’re going to work themselves. When someone at home describes a meeting they led, an award received or a customer they dealt with, kids begin to see work for what it is: a part of real life. They can imagine themselves in a job, because that’s what their people do. Margaret is a Chicago schoolteacher who takes her

kindergarteners through a vo-tech session every fall. A young gal in her late 50’s, Margaret sits on the rug in the classroom and lets the children paint her nails, fix her hair, wash the dishes in the classroom, feed the goldfish, lead a lesson, and more. These are jobs, she explains. She hands them play money. When you’re older, she says, people will give you real money for doing these things. For many in this classroom, this is the first they’ve heard of

working for pay, but they are beginning to imagine their own possibilities. Tell your kid he’s capable. Tell her what it’s like to work and to receive a paycheck. Tell your kids it’s worth it; they’re worth it. Start now and watch something extraordinary happen. Julie Desmond is an employment recruiter in Minneapolis, MN. Write to

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Josie Johnson

The HistoryMakers

Joseph Gomer

The HistoryMakers

Julieanne Richardson

The HistoryMakers back to school program As students across the country begin the new school year, Minnesota area HistoryMakers, Tuskegee Airman Joseph Gomer and civil rights activist, academic administrator, and political aide Josie Johnson will join more than 500 African American HistoryMakers nation-wide for the 2nd Annual Back to School With The HistoryMakers program on Friday, September 23, 2011. The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African

American video oral history archive, is launching the 2nd Annual Back to School With The HistoryMakers program deploying living African American HistoryMakers into schools in thirty-five states across the country to recount their own school experiences and the struggles they encountered and most importantly, to commit to excellence and finishing their education. The theme of the day is COMMIT.

The 2nd Annual Back To School With The HistoryMakers program participants include Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Obama, Valarie Jarret, actor Hill Harper, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, former Ambassador Andrew Young, hip-hop artist/actor/author Common, singer/actress Melba Moore, Broadway choreographer George Faison, poet Nikki Giovanni, actress Marla Gibbs (227, The Jeffersons),

Ambassador Carol MoselyBraun, actress T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (Living Color, The Cosby Show) and poet/author Sonia Sanchez. The HistoryMakers’ Founder and Executive Director, Julieanna Richardson, says she launched the Back-to-School With The HistoryMakers initiative to respond to President Obama’s call for public service in a real and meaningful way by helping youth recognize that there are

alternatives to violence and the challenges they confront. “By bringing these living legends into the schools,” said Richardson, “we raise awareness about the achievements of the accomplished African Americans in local communities and bring these leaders into schools to see things firsthand.” Richardson is encouraging educators across the country to use multimedia resources such

as The HistoryMakers’ digital archive to enrich their students’ exposure to the contributions of African Americans in every community. For more information, visit The HistoryMakers website at www.thehistorymakers. com and The HistoryMakers digital archive at http://www. For a brief introduction to The HistoryMakers, view YouTube clip at com/watch?v=ysg_31M46hw

Minneapolis One Read for entire community One Minneapolis, One Read, the first citywide “read,” where the entire community is encouraged to read a single book and join in a community conversation was launched last week by Minneapolis City leaders. The book selected, The Grace of Silence, was written by NPR host and Minneapolis native Michele Norris. The book is a memoir describing the experience of the Norrises as the first Black family on the block in a south Minneapolis neighborhood in the 1950s.

The idea for a community read emerged following a controversial debate over a Minneapolis dog park. The City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Schools are jointly leading One Minneapolis, One Read with a goal of promoting literacy and respectful public dialogue. “The response has been overwhelming,” said Minneapolis Council Member Elizabeth Glidden. “Minneapolis Public Schools is excited to be part of this

Michele Norris

citywide effort to read the same book that promotes a message of understanding among people of different races,” said Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. “We believe this is an opportunity to stimulate classroom discussions on race relations and help our school communities realize the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion.” Throughout the fall and winter, there will be many opportunities for people to join in the community conversation as part of One Minneapolis,

One Read. Neighborhood groups, book clubs, libraries, literary centers and others will be holding public events where folks can come together to discuss the book. Headline event at the Guthrie Theater The headline One Minneapolis, One Read event will feature the author with MPR News host Kerri Miller discussing the book with the audience on Monday, October 3, at 7pm. Minneapolis residents can play a positive

role in their communities and explore important – sometimes difficult – issues that they face as a community by reading The Grace of Silence and getting involved. Tickets available at or by calling the Guthrie at (612) 377-2224. For more information and to get involved, visit www. OneMinneapolisOneRead. com, OneMinneapolisOneRead, or email oneread@

Insight News • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Page 5

AESTHETICS Contagion: A-list cast executes Soderberg’s apocalyptic adventure Film Review By Kam Williams A decade ago, Steven Soderbergh won an Academy Award for Traffic, a multilayered potboiler highlighting the hypocrisy and corruption permeating political bureaucracies entrusted with waging the war on drugs. With Contagion, the iconoclastic director has fashioned another international mindbender, although the focus this goround is on the medical community’s attempt to allay the public’s fears about a fictional outbreak of a deadly virus bubbling into a global pandemic.

Soderbergh assembled an impressive ensemble to execute his apocalyptic vision, an A-list cast featuring a quartet of Academy Award-winners in Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as a trio of Oscar-nominees in Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Elliott Gould. Based on a sobering screenplay by Scott Z. Burns, the distressingly-realistic adventure paints a relentlesslygrim picture of the paranoia apt to accompany the rapid transmission of an inscrutable affliction imperiling the bulk of humanity. As the film unfolds, we find corporate executive Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) fighting a cough as she flies back to Minneapolis following a business trip to Hong Kong. En route, she takes a phone call from an ex-boyfriend she apparently just shared a rendezvous with during a brief

Warner Bros. Pictures

layover in Chicago. Upon arriving home, Beth’s symptoms escalate to include a fever, seizures and finally foaming at the mouth before she succumbs to the disease in less than 48 hours. Her grieving husband (Damon) has to come to grips with his sudden loss while simultaneously

worrying whether or not he and the kids (Griffin Kane and Anna-Jacoby-Heron) might have somehow caught the mysterious malady. After performing a gratuitously-gruesome autopsy, the coroner identifies the cause of death as “MEV1,” a fast-acting pathogen they’ve


teachers, and providing the tools to succeed to students and parents is just an amazing gift.” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman agreed. “Closing the digital divide has to be an integral part of closing the achievement gap in our community. That’s why this kind of program is so important. Every child we serve is one step closer to getting out of poverty and ultimately finding their place in the 21st century economy in the state of Minnesota.” Comcast will sign up eligible families in the Internet Essentials program for at least three years and through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials provided the household still qualifies

From 1 social service agencies participated in today’s event, including Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Neighborhood House Executive Director Armando Camacho, Bao Vang, Executive Director of Hmong American Partnership, and Jackie Turner from St. Paul Public Schools. Bill Black, Senior Director of Corporate Giving at the Comcast Foundation also presented. Internet Essentials will help level the playing field for lowincome families by connecting students online with their teachers and their school’s educational resources. The goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from the Internet’s vast resources. Internet Essentials participants will receive: • Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month; • No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees; • A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 + tax; • Access to free digital literacy training in print, online or in person. Citing recent reports showing Minnesota with the highest achievement gap in the nation, Education Commissioner Cassellius stressed the importance of making affordable broadband available to low income families. “These skills we give children are vital, not only for their education today, but for their success in college and careers tomorrow.” Cassellius added, “Comcast’s commitment to working with our superintendents and

never seen before. Retracing Beth’s route back to Asia, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) subsequently dispatches an epidemiologist (Winslet) to Hong Kong in search of answers, although that proves a little late as the infection rate has already escalated exponentially into a planetary plague. Soon, folks are dropping like flies in every city with less than six degrees of separation from proverbial Patient Zero, and the authorities are tempted to participate in a cover-up to prevent mass hysteria. And it falls to an intrepid internet blogger (Law) to disseminate the truth about a readilyavailable herbal antidote, if only he isn’t discredited for a past indiscretion. Contagion’s complicated storyline contains a plethora of additional plot points, ranging from an avaricious pharmaceutical peddling

an ineffective vaccine to a renegade scientist (Gould) being pressured to destroy the fruits of his promising research to the ethical dilemma of a CDC official (Fishburne) who selectively uses top secret information to direct his wife (Sanaa Lathan) from a hot zone to a safe haven while leaving thousands around her to perish. Though paling in intensity to Soderbergh’s far more compelling Traffic, the convincingly-scripted and adroitly-acted Contagion nonetheless presents a chillingly-plausible peek at how quickly civilization might unravel in the face of a rapidlyaccelerating, extinction-level, biological event. Not exactly a pleasant prospect to behold.

for the program until that child graduates from high school. Meanwhile, the Comcast Digital Connectors program officially launches this fall at Neighborhood House and Hmong American Partnership, where groups of young people ages 14 to 21 from diverse, low-income backgrounds will learn digital literacy skills over one year in both afterschool and summer training programs. Participants will also volunteer their time at community-based organizations, senior centers, churches, local schools and even in their homes to help improve digital literacy in their communities. The curriculum for the Comcast Digital Connectors program is designed to introduce core leadership values and life management skills, teach basic and

advanced digital literacy skills, and expose youth to post-secondary and career choices. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with local Comcast employees serving as mentors by lending their leadership and expertise to this next generation of digital leaders and innovators. “While America has increasingly become a digital nation, many low-income families are being left at a disadvantage because they don’t have Internet service at home. Comcast is leading the charge in making broadband adoption a reality for more families,” said Bill Wright, senior vice president of Comcast’s Twin Cities Region. “We’re proud to make these two innovative programs available in the Twin Cities area.”

Very Good (3 stars) Rated PG-13 for profanity and disturbing images. Running time: 105 minutes Distributor: Warner Brothers

Page 6 • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Insight News

HEALTH From my spirit: Sacred, special, and unique Murua (Swahili for ‘Respect’) By Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., L.P. I am not a theologian; however, it would be very difficult for me to practice as a Black psychologist if I did not understand the concepts of faith and spirituality. In fact a recent survey (“Faith,” Barna by Topic: African Americans, indicted that 52.8% of African-Americans believe overwhelmingly in an Authoritarian God, and compared to 66 percent of whites, 83 percent of African Americans say their religious faith is very important in their lives (2001). Therefore,

it is not strange to me that I believe from my Spirit, that every human being is a child of a Living (not dead) God and that we are sacred, special, and uniquely created. I believe with all of my heart that even the lowest among us is worthy of love, respect, hope and power. I believe that when people have suffered as much as many of us have, that we have earned a right to be well. I also believe that somewhere in our past, the price has already been paid for us ---by grandmothers who had calloused knees scrubbing floors in rich folk’s houses, and grandfathers who pushed brooms and mops as janitors, and aunties who “did hair in the kitchen.” The idea of spirituality is not one that is unique to African Americans. My husband is from the Yoruba tribe in West Africa, Nigeria. In his tribal belief structure, we are all

connected through Spirit. In fact, Africans often pour Libations as a sign that they are connected to the each other, the earth, our ancestors, our future and our present. This concept, called “consubstantiation” is based on the premise that all living things serve a purpose in life. The ritual of the African Libation Ceremony is an ancient and sacred practice of acknowledging our Ancestors, Elders and our connection to the Creator. It is also a way of reaffirming our connection with the past, the future and to each other. It was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, pre-Hellenic Crete, Babylon, and the Yoruba cultures. Therefore, understanding the role of spirituality in the development of well-being and health in the lives of people is not something newly created. A spiritually well person seeks harmony between that

which lies within as well as the forces that come from without. Spiritual Wellness should not be equated with religious practices, though religious practices are often the means by which spirituality is addressed in our society. Spirituality involves the perceived non-physical eternal truths about our ultimate nature and encompasses the essence of who we are in that; we are connected to each other. Religion, on the other hand, is a set of beliefs and rituals that are created to get a person in a right relationship with God or gods. Thus, Spirituality comes from within you. Religion comes from outside of you; however, both contribute to the development of faith. It was Professor James W. Fowler, a developmental psychologist at the Candler School of Theology, who wrote a book on the development

of faith. In his book, Fowler described what he referred to as the Stages of Faith. According to him, Stage 0 - “Primal or Undifferentiated” faith (birth to 2 years), is characterized by children experiencing an early learning of the safety of their environment (i.e. warm, safe and secure attachments vs. hurtful, neglectful, abusive, anxious, disrupted or disorganized attachments). Children in this stage learn as infants that they can cry (and although they do not see anyone) someone will come. They have faith that they will be nurtured. Stage 1 – “Intuitive-Projective” faith (ages of three to seven), is characterized by the psyche’s unprotected exposure to the unconscious understanding that the child will be safe (they just ‘know’). Fowler goes on to describe, Stage 2– “Mythic-Literal” faith (mostly

in school-aged children). He indicates that in this stage, children have a strong belief in the notions of justice, fairness, and reciprocity of the universe. Basically, they learn that if you are good, good things will happen, but if you are bad, bad things will happen. At this age, their faith is almost always based on anthropomorphic beliefs (ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things – such as the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy). On the other hand, Stage 3, which Fowler refers to as the Synthetic-Conventional” faith (arising in adolescence) is characterized by conformity to what most people believe. Adolescents want to “fit in” and fitting in means “going along with most people your age believe”. Stage 4, (Individuative-Reflective) faith


Diabetes costs area $2 billion a year Last month, Novo Nordisk awarded sponsorships totaling $100,000 to 4 Twin Citiesbased community organizations to support programs that educate people living with type 2 diabetes on how to better manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of long-term diabetes related complications. The sponsorships are part of the Novo Nordisk Community

to the residents of Minneapolis for diabetes was $2 billion in 2010. Further, forecasts project that by 2025, more than 413,000 Minneapolis residents will have diabetes at a total cost of $4.1 billion. For

Care program, which aims to promote enduring, sustainable change for people living with diabetes. The groups represent diverse communities in the Twin Cities and are working diligently to help improve patients’ lives. The organizations that received program sponsorships include: • American Diabetes

more information about Novo Nordisk Community Care and to find local event listings and resources for people living with diabetes, go to NovoNordiskCommunityCare. com

Courtesy of Novo Nordisk

Open Cities Health Center CEO Dori Gbolo addressing the group about how her center will use the $25,000 Novo Nordisk Community Care sponsorship. Association, Minneapolis-St. Paul Region: to sponsor the “Pathways to Better Health” Program kicking off at the October 15 Diabetes EXPO • A Partnership of Diabetics (A-POD): to educate Phillips Community residents with type 2 diabetes about selfmanagement strategies and provide weekly “Meet-Up” support groups • HealthEast Foundation: to support their partnership with the St. Paul YMCA and St. Paul Diabetes Lion’s

Club program providing type 2 diabetes education to the uninsured population • Open Cities Health Center: to support their “AccessPlus” program which provides comprehensive type 2 diabetes education, screening and health services to multicultural populations “Novo Nordisk is proud to support these community programs because they have the potential to help stem the tide of diabetes in Minneapolis,” said Lori Moore, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk will work with each group to create and promote programs that use a variety of hands-on education and intervention techniques to reach diabetes patients in Minneapolis. The annual cost


Be a Child’s Voice in Court! We need people who care about children caught in our child protection system. Consider becoming a volunteer child advocate for kids. Help children remain in safe & stable families. Free training & support are provided. Minneapolis Trainings begins in October PLEASE CALL FOR AN INFORMATION PACKET Dakota County (651) 554-6231

Hennepin County (612) 348-6824

Ramsey County (651) 266-5270


Insight News • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Page 7

Health From 6

Photos: Project Sweetie Pie

Immanuel Jones, EcoCity Founder, Executive Director

usually occurs when one is in her/his mid-twenties to late thirties. This Stage of Faith development is characterized by a struggle for taking personal responsibility by questioning the basis for one’s beliefs and feelings, and by asking whether God is real, present, personal, and accessible. Stage 5 is characterized by “Conjunctive” faith (usually occurs during mid-life crisis). People in this Stage of Faith often ask existential questions such as “What is my purpose?” “Why did God make me?” “Why am I here?” Finally, Fowler described Stage 6 – “Universalizing” faith, as being what some might call

“enlightenment”. At this phase, people quit asking, “What is my purpose”, rather, they start asking, “What is the purpose of life?” I once had a religious experience in my mid-twenties when I felt disappointed that I could not have children, I was devastated and disillusioned. I could not understand why God would not make it easy for us to have our own children when so many people with whom I worked were mistreating theirs. I bargained with God, I shouted and raged. I was ashamed and angry. I was in so much pain that I literally felt suicidal—I simply wanted the earth to just open up and swallow me completely… I wanted the pain to stop. However, in my desperation, I recalled those high shouts to Jesus at the Holiness Church of my childhood. I heard my

Dad’s voice singing “Bread of Heaven,” and I heard my mother playing “Amazing Grace” on the piano. In those few seconds, my spiritual and religious upbringing flashed before me and I begged God to help me. I know that I had Faith, because God seemed so far away, yet I hoped, from my Spirit, that He would hear me. Then, within minutes, in my Spirit, I heard an inner voice tell me “It is not my will that you not have children…I will give you thousands of children…trust me. I died for you and every drop of blood from my body had a name and a lineage…as I hung on that cross, I called your name out loud… I knew you even before you were born. Your life was predestined….you were born to Glorify me.” As a psychologist, I was

taught the “scientific method” and in that belief structure, if you cannot measure or observe something--it does not exist. Therefore, my religious experience was hard for me to explain. The only explanation I could muster was that I must have been having a psychotic break (what old folks called a nervous breakdown)! From my recollection, when folks had “nervous breakdowns” there was a clear loss of touch with reality, where they would be observed to see and hear things that other people did not. Yet, the Bible says: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11).” So, are people who have that kind of faith delusional or experiencing psychotic breaks!? Absolutely not.


Beverly Stancile, owner, Emerson Place and Project Sweetie Pie mentor; JP Mason, Youth Farm and Akeen Woods, Project Sweetie Pie youth participant at the Olive Garden.

Urban farmers show produce On Tuesday, August 30 residents of North Minneapolis, neighborhood youth, and grassroots youth advocates grew one step closer to reaping the fruits of their labor. Over 60 urban farm enthusiasts participated in this year’s 3rd annual Urban Agriculture Bus Tour. The tour was sponsored and coordinated by The University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota SARE, and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. The Olive Garden located at 1422 Oliver in North Minneapolis and Eco-City founder/CEO, Immanuel Jones were one of the many twin cities urban farm sites highlighted on

this year’s tour. As a collaborative partner in “Project Sweetie Pie,” Immanuel Jones, founder/CEO of Eco-City received a leadership award from “Project Sweetie Pie” for his stellar efforts in the greening of North Minneapolis and a proclamation honoring his work from the Mayor’s office. All the participants at the Welcome/ Honoring Reception received a complimentary” Project Sweetie Pie” snack pack. For more information on how to get involved in “Planting The Seeds Of Change” contact Michael Chaney at 612-534-6403 or Robert Woods at 612-226-2857.

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Since 1929, the Lighthouse of the Community we se, u o h e your Com l! o t . n e r s ia lea pec hou s t d h n o g a Li rs grow Cente the n r e o r r F ur! u d chil akes o or a to p l f m he hat l t o d a y w e i a se r em o l l Ca

Page 8 • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE Gone to Ghana: Is this really Africa? most middle and upper class people have generators here. I wanted to respond that they should be more afraid of America’s deteriorating power system that can give out any minute. At least Africans are prepared with an alternative power supply. Then of course, there was the inevitable question, “Aren’t there lions there?” I responded, “Yes, at the wildlife sanctuary.” So yes, I must say, I was and am still amazed about how little so many AfricanAmericans really know about Africa. Since I have been in Africa, I have been in some of the most immaculate homes I ever seen. I have been to estates with huge gates that are adorned with marble floors, chandeliers from European countries and some of the best granite furniture the world has to offer. I have had the opportunity to ride in more luxury cars than I ever did in the States, and most importantly, it is not just the

Uncle Ben’s compound

By Cordie Aziz Columnist

Cordie Aziz is a former congressional staffer who moved to Ghana after losing her job in January 2011.

Follow her daily adventures at One of the most frequent questions I got as a kid was, were there lions roaming the streets in Sierra Leone, where my father came from. Although at that time, I had never been to Sierra Leone or Africa, in particular, I knew that it was not true. After all, the only stories my father ever shared with me involved white sandy beaches, cliffs you could jump into the water from and the lush green hills that he played in. As I grew older though, I realized that many of my African- American counterparts subscribed to the fact that Africa was some wild, indigenous place where naked warriors lived. I am sure this was an idea inadvertently passed down

older generation, it is some of the younger generation as well. I must also mention that it is real wealth; everything they have is paid for in cash and not on credit- imagine that. I have learned, Africa is a quickly developing country that has opportunities for entrepreneurs old and young alike. It doesn’t mean that you are going to make a quick buck here, but it is assured that if you are smart, patient and can penetrate the system that you will be greatly rewarded. Plus, I believe in these tough economic times in the States, it is time for many people to start thinking outside of the box, and yes, this means Africa. After all, where else can you go and in two years amass enough money to build two four bedroom houses, buy three cars, have a gateboy, maid and a cook. According to my 27 year –old friend, who has done just that, only in Africa.

Cordie Aziz

from the generations before, but nonetheless, I always found it odd that people thought that. At 30 though, it still amazes me how many AfricanAmericans see Africa as some wild, unexplored territory that only the bravest men conquer. When I first told people I was moving to Africa, I was amazed at the reaction of some of my more educated friends. Many people asked if I knew the local language, although English is the official language of Ghana. I must say, even if it wasn’t, I still have learned most Africans speak English. After all, Americans are the only people who feel it’s ok to know only one language. Others asked me how I would deal with the power outages, unaware that

Solutions From 10


Insight News • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Page 9

COMMENTARY Post-racial? Widespread bias continues By Majorie Valbrun America’s Wire WASHINGTON — Recent public opinion polls show that more whites than AfricanAmericans believe that the United States has entered a “post-racial” era in which racial bias doesn’t exist. But social psychologists and experts on race relations dispute that, citing wide racial disparities in education, unemployment, housing, health, wealth, incarceration rates and other quality-oflife measurements as proof of persistent structural racism in American society. “It’s time for us to change our approach to polling,” says Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which promotes the welfare of children and works to strengthen families and communities. She believes that polls about race are overgeneralized and fail to address whether people understand more nuanced questions about what constitutes modern discrimination. Christopher says most people are unfamiliar with the term “structural racism,” which has been defined as “a system of social structures that produce cumulative, durable, race-based inequalities,” and likely couldn’t

O’Neal From 1 The song is classic O’Neal, classic Minneapolis Sound, and classic Soul. O’Neal, call him Alexander the Great, delivers the essence of the Soul experience: dance groove funk while saying something that can have meaning on several levels, and saying it well. The 10 tunes on this collection include masterpiece

define it if polled. However, most people, she says, could answer questions about specific racial barriers to opportunities. “What we have done in our polling and in trying to educate the public is interview teachers, doctors, social workers, lawyers, people who have the most interaction with children of color,” Christopher says. “They may not know what structural racism is, but they know that there are barriers to opportunities for these children because of the daily interactions that they have with these children.” Part of the problem is how Americans think about racial discrimination, says Algernon Austin, director of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. “One of the legacies of the civil rights era is that we have a very powerful visual image of racism coming from media images of the civil rights movement,” he says. These images make people look for obvious examples of racism that are no longer commonplace — identifiable and openly hostile and racist characters such as Bull Connor or Ku Klux Klan members in white hoods. “Not the sort of day-to day-discrimination that we have now,” Austin says. “People look for these

hateful angry people, but what’s more important is for people to look at these broad institutional practices,” Austin says. “While we have removed the laws that prevent black students from accessing integrated, highquality education, we still have the same type of segregated and unequal schools there were in the 1950s. The same goes for housing patterns and criminal justice practices. While there are no legal barriers, we still have de facto barriers. By law, they have been removed, but by practice they’re still there.” Austin says articles about race relations today often cite absence of blatant racism as an example of improved race relations but overlook less obvious but pernicious effects of institutional racism. “It does have policy implications because if you believe there are no obstacles for African-Americans to get ahead, then you’re less likely to want to support programs that provide opportunities for African-Americans,” he says. “If you look at the research and look at American institutions, you will find significant and very powerful evidence of continuing discrimination against blacks.” This is precisely why the “declarations of having arrived at the post-racial moment are premature,” Lawrence D. Bobo,

the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, writes in the spring 2011 edition of Daedalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, of which he has been a fellow since 2006. “The central tendencies of public opinion on these issues, despite real increasing overlap, remain enormously far apart between black and white Americans,” Bobo writes in “Somewhere between Jim Crow & Post-Racialism: Reflections on the Racial Divide in America Today,” one of a collection of essays on “Race, Inequality & Culture” in Daedalus. “When such differences in perception and belief are grounded in, or at least reinforced by, wide economic inequality, persistent residential segregation, largely racially homogeneous family units and close friendship networks, and a popular culture still suffused with negative ideas and images about African Americans, then there should be little surprise that we still find it enormously difficult to have sustained civil discussions about race and racial matters,” he writes. “Despite growing much closer together in recent decades, the gaps in perspective between blacks and whites are still sizable.”

Andrew Grant-Thomas, deputy director of the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University that is focused on ending racial and ethnic disparities, says those gaps in perspective are based on people’s different experiences and life circumstances. “Everyone agrees that there is less racial discrimination, but there’s a huge racial difference in opinion on how much racial discrimination there is and how much it matters,” GrantThomas says. “White people are more likely to believe that the socioeconomic status of black people is better than it actually is. “African-Americans are in a better position to gauge what is happening to AfricanAmericans than whites are, and they certainly bring different perceptions of race to the debate,” he says. “When whites are asked about their views, whites are more likely than blacks to think the playing field is level, while blacks will not agree.” Therein lies the challenge of improving “race relations,” says Dr. Anthony B. Iton, senior vice president of healthy communities for The California Endowment, a private foundation focused on expanding access to affordable and quality health care. “Race relations, what does that mean?” he asks. “How I get along with my neighbors or my co-workers, or how I

understand the relative status of various groups with respect to their economic status, employment status and health status? The concept of racism is an enormous envelope that holds a lot of issues, some of which relate to racial legacy issues and structural issues. In some ways, we do suffer from an inability to express our feelings on this issue.” Grant-Thomas says the key to bridging the racial divide is not endlessly talking about it or polling people but working together to find real solutions for decreasing or ending structural barriers that have discriminatory results. “Polls have a lot of problems,” he says. “For one thing, they assume a sort of static opinion or attitude and that people have more or less fixed opinions and I’m just going to ask them what that is. But most of our opinions are fluid. If you ask white people about affirmative action, you’re more likely to get a much different answer than if you ask them about equal opportunity. “We’re not going to lead to anything by just having conversations. We need policies behind them and to acknowledge specific problems that are there and identify possible solutions and how we can implement those solutions.”

renditions of masterpiece ideas. O’Neal steals your mind and heart with the love song “Afrodisia.” Then he brings the boast, infused with understanding, sensitivity, and confidence in his blockbuster hit, “All True Man.” O’Neal paints a picture of joy and longing, of desire and completion with the ballads, “Sunshine” and “If You Were Here With Me Tonight.” He dedicated “Sunshine” to all the lovers in the house that night, and especially to all the

ladies. And in the spirit of teacher, griot, and weaver of musical magic, O’Neal conditioned listeners for the meaning of the song. “You know, a friend of mine gave me a very valuable piece of information. And I am going to pass it along to all the fellas. It’s very simple. When you are looking for that special woman, it doesn’t matter so much that you are looking for a woman that you can live with. What you are really looking for is a woman that you can’t live

without,” he said. “If You Were Here With Me Tonight,” he said, was one of his all-time favorites. Written by Minneapolis’s Monte Moir, an original in the famed Flyte-Tyme and Time musical juggernaut, the song evokes O’Neal’s superlative expressive power, melodic, plaintive, but insistent and sincere. The DVD ends with a rousing encore presentation of the tasty “Love Makes No Sense” a rollicking jam about heartache and heartbreak.

The DVD also includes super-hit “Criticize” and, capturing feeling of the season, “Sleigh Ride” and “My Gift To You.” What is clear, judging from this collection, Alexander O’Neal, Live in Minneapolis, produced by Bobby Z’s CC Entertainment, is that O’Neal, despite his global experience and success, may be at the beginning of his next ascent into the realm of immortals. The music tells you he’s been there before. He knows from whence

he speaks. And like he says in the beginning, “This is my house.” Joining O’Neal in the Minneapolis performance were, George L. Parish, Musical Director/guitar, Kirk Johnson, drums, David Eiland, bass, Donnie Lamarca, keyboards, John Pinckares, keyboards, Brian Ziemniak, keyboards, and, in stellar form, Ray Covington and Marcia Day, backing vocals. The performance took place December 23, 2010.

Page 10 • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Insight News

North Minneapolis Neighborhood beat... By Ivan Phifer, Staff Writer Webber Park redesign The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold a community survey and a multi-day design kickoff event for Webber Park. The planning process will bring together the community and a professional design team to create a vision for the future of Webber Park. This vision will guide $4 million in improvements in 2012-2013. The Webber Park multiday design kick-off event is scheduled for September 29, 30 and October 1 at 4400 Dupont Ave N. The 6:30-8:30pm September 29 community meeting is for the design team and community to discuss demographics, program opportunities, natural resources, and community visions for the park. The 3-5pm September 30 design team will be working on concepts based on the September 29 meeting. Community members can watch progress and visit

with the designers during the 3-5pm open studio. From 9:30am-Noon, Saturday September 10, there will be a community open house to review. For more information contact Jennifer Ringold at 612-230-6464, or ringold@ Clipper Clinic The world of barbershops are joining forces with health awareness to promote Clipper Clinic; an event that will take place from 9am-1am Monday, September 26th at Wilson’s Image Barbers 1109 West Broadway. Get a trim, and free health screenings including blood pressure, height and weight measures, blood sugars and cholesterol levels. The first 40 people to complete a health screening will receive a free haircut. For more information, contact Tony Becker at 612 676-3280. Jordan The Jordan Area Community Council

(JACC) will hold a public safety and block club committee meeting 6:307:30pm Wednesday September 28 at the JACC house 2009 James Ave N. For more information, contact Joe Horan at 612 673-5144 or Victory Monthly neighborhood meetings for the Victory Neighborhood Association take place on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The September neighborhood meeting will be held at 7pm, Wednesday September 28 at The Warren; An Artist Habitat, 4400 Osseo Road, for an annual meeting and board election. Board meetings are held monthly. The next board meeting is from 7-9pm Wednesday, October 5 at 4301 Thomas Ave N St Johns Missionary Baptist Church. For more information on the Victory Neighborhood Association, contact Debbie Nelson at 612 528-9558 or visit

Lind-Bohanan Volunteer residents meet monthly for two hours to talk about projects, concerns, planning, crime and safety, civic engagement, and other activities or events in the neighborhood. All meetings are free and open to the public and take place 7-9pm Thursday, October 6 at Shingle Creek Commons, 4600 Humboldt Ave. For more information, contact Peg Mountin at 612 673-5102 or Tree Trunk distribution Tree Trust a local nonprofit is looking for volunteers to distribute and replace 300 six-foot tall trees in North Minneapolis destroyed by the tornado. The North Minneapolis Tree Distribution is a two-day event located at 2117 W River Parkway in Minneapolis. The distribution has two different shifts each day. Shifts for the first day of distribution are 11-2pm and 2-4:30pm Sunday, October 2. The

second day will have shifts from 1:304pm and 4-6pm Monday, October 3. Tree Trust is looking for 6-8 volunteers per shift. Volunteer as a lifter or Tree Trainer. For more information about tree distribution, contact Diana Preisen, Community Forest Specialist at Tree Trunk at 612 590-1421, or dianap@ Empowerment for disabled residents Disabled residents from the community are meeting to discuss their common issues and work toward resolving them around transportation, street improvements, railroad and park issues and others. The meeting takes place 7-8:30pm Wednesday, September 28 at Kingsley Commons 4450 Humboldt Ave N. For more information, contact Amy Luesebrink 763 561-1616

Huddle resumes after summer break The Hawthorne Huddle, resuming from a July hiatus, held its monthly meeting from 7:30-8:45am Thursday, September 8 at Farview Park, 621 29th Ave N. The meeting consisted of representatives from local organizations discussing efforts to improve education among youth. Organization on the panel included Northside Achievement Zone; Achieve Minneapolis, Project Success, Youth Frontiers, Harvest Preparatory School and Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC). The monthly crime report had issues that have affected residents and community members alike. “We have really been met with some challenges this past month,” said Lt. Kim Lund of the Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct. “We have a lot of gang issues going on. We had a homicide the Friday of Labor Day weekend, that is an ongoing investigation. We have had a number of retaliatory shootings,” Lund said. Lund requested that the neighborhood associations and block clubs rally around the residents. “It is a trying time for police and residents; be mindful of your children’s whereabouts and what they are doing,” she said.

The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), is made up of over 60 different organizations and schools whose mission is to build a culture of achievement in a geographic area of North Minneapolis to ensure all youth graduate from high school college ready. “The end game is to end generational poverty,” said Sandra Samuels, CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone. NAZ based on the Harlem Children’s Zone works with 200 families to improve achievement outcomes for children and youth. NAZ provides mentoring, tracks academic progress, identify key barriers to learning and promoting school programming. “We know schools cannot do it alone. Our kids are coming from some challenged situations such as high poverty and crime,” said Samuels. NAZ provides family support through behavioral health; career and financial planning and health and wellness. Services are provided through the career financial planning action team, and the behavior and housing action teams. “We have a whole bevy of slumlords with questionable rental practices. This also affects high

Classifieds/Calendar Events National Search for Human Worth Sept 21 Augsburg College will host a panel discussion by local anti-slavery groups as well as the premiere of “Sex + Money: A National Search of Human Worth” on Wed. Sept. 21 in the Sateren Auditorium beginning at 6:30 pm located at 715 22nd Ave, S.

Advocate Attorney/Policy Advocate, Legal Services Advocacy Project. For details go to

NOW HIRING FIELD ORGANIZERS!! Working America / AFL-CIO is hiring field organizers to fight for workers rights $11.44/hr + Full Bens, EOE - Apply Now: 612-331-5800

Townhomes For Rent 2 Bedrooms - $500/month 3 Bedrooms - $575/month For more information contact: Fergus Falls HRA 1151 Friberg Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 218-739-3249 •

mobility,” she said. The housing teams from Urban Homeworks, also working with the Project for Pride and Living (PPL), Minneapolis Public Housing (MPH), and the NAZ engagement team work to address this issue. “What do we do to address the high number of properties owned by slumlords,” Samuels asked Achieve Minneapolis an independent non-profit organization working alongside the Minneapolis Public Schools seeks to raise academic achievement and increase career and college readiness for students. “We work with all children in Minneapolis, but we have a special heart for what happens on the Northside,” Pam Costain CEO of Achieve Minneapolis said. “The schools have a job of teaching and learning. As a community, we have a job to support them to improve outcomes for kids,” Costain said She said language has an impact on children’s abilities to overcome. “We are changing the language around the children in our community from the language of ‘deficit’ and ‘at risk’. Despite the challenges kids face on the Northside, we need to start talking about

PHONE: 612.588.1313

Hawthorne’s Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Elections - Sept 22 This meeting is free and open to the public and all Hawthorne residents are encouraged to attend and participate. Dinner will be served for all those in attendance. Thur., Sept. 22 6-8:30pm at Farview Park. Education and Employment Access Day - Sept 23 Developing skills and increasing opportunities for all. Please join Healthy Together Northwest and Rasmussen College, Brooklyn Park for an event dedicated to helping community members increase their access to area educational opportunities as well as develop essential employment and jobseeking skills. The event is Friday, September 23 from 9:45am-2:30pm at the Rasmussen College, Brooklyn Park: 8301 93rd Ave. N. Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Pilgrim Baptist Church - Golf Tournament - Sept 24 Mission & Benevolence Fund - Sat. Sept 24. Registration 10am. Tee times start

them differently,” Costain said. “They are talented, capable smart children who deserve a chance,” she said. Achieve runs career college centers in all seven Minneapolis high schools. Achieve also runs career college centers at Plymouth Youth Center (PYC), Urban League and Broadway School. In these centers, young adults can receive assistance with financial aid, scholarship information and credits. Achieve Minneapolis also assists with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through an initiative called FAFSA February. “Filling out the FAFSA form is a major barrier to low income students pursuing post secondary education. It is a lot of work and financially complicated,” Costain said. The initiative will attempt to get all Minneapolis juniors and seniors to fill out the FAFSA. “The reason this is important is because you are 76% more likely to go on to post secondary if you fill out the FAFSA,” Costain said. Youth Frontiers, founded by Joe Cavanaugh, offers retreat programs for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The interactive programs are designed to getting students into

FAX: 612.588.2031

at 11:30. Foursome scramble format. 18 hole tournament: $80 entry. 18 holes of golf, GPS riding cart, box lunch, games, drawing and fellowship. AT Oak Marsh Golf Course - 526 Inwood Ave. N., Oakdale, MN. pilgrimbaptistchurch.aspx Walk for Recovery - Sept. 24 Saturday, September 24: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Registration, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Walk for Recovery, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Post-walk celebration. Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, 2020 West Lake of the Isles Parkway, Mpls. The Walk for Recovery, a 2.9 mile walk around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, is designed to inspire hope in the community at large that long-term recovery is possible, to celebrate those who have sustained long-term recovery, and to spur support and encouragement for those who are still struggling with addiction. More information at 5th Annual Twin Cities VisionWalk Sept 25 Join hundreds in the fight against

character. “Our mission is to inspire good character,” Joe Cavanaugh, founder and CEO of Youth Founders said. “We stress values such as courage, respect, justice, integrity, responsibility and kindness,” he said. Professional actors, musicians and youth workers lead the program. Described as the MTV meets Aristotle days, the retreat features loud music, team building activities, small group dialogues, powerful presentations and large group sharing times. Each retreat is specified by grade level. Starting at elementary school, there is a kindness retreat. For middle school students, a courage retreat, and for high school students there are respect and responsibility retreats. “The self awareness piece is putting a mirror up to the children; getting them to stop pointing the finger and to start looking inside of what they bring to the table,” Cavanaugh said. For more information on the Hawthorne Huddle and organizations included in the panelists: Sophie Winters at 763 764-3413 or Sophie.


blindness at VisionWalk, the national signature 5K fundraising event of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Sun., Sept. 25 - Registration: 9am - Walk Starts: 10:30am. @ Lake Harriet Bandshell 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Mpls. Info: MDivincenzo@ Scholastic Book Fair - Sept 29 At the fair you will find the latest and finest titles for kids, as well as books of interest to parents. WISE Charter School 1501 Aldrich Ave. N, Mpls. Thur., Sept. 29 4pm-8pm. If you have any questions please contact Emily Howard 612-522-4022 x1116 “Executing Your Power” Women’s Conference 2011 - Oct. 6 Conference Host and Speaker: First Lady Sabrina R. Williams & Featured Speakers: Pastor Kimberly Ray-Church on the Rock, Min. Teresa HairstonCEO Gospel Today Magazine, Rev. Cordelia Wallace-Agape Cathedral, Pastor Roberta Morrison-Living in His Presence Church & many more! Thur. & Fri. 7pm - FREE. Mighty Fortress

International Church - 6400 85th Ave. N. Brooklyn Park. For more information please call 763-515-4800 or visit: www. Joy Project 5k Run/Walk - Oct 8 The Joy Project, a grassroots, nonprofit, eating disorder organization is hosting its 2nd annual 5k walk/run at Como Lake on Oct. 8. The walk is being held to raise support for those suffering with eating disorders, those that have survived eating disorders, or have died as the result of an eating disorder. There will be prizes for the most donations raised, as well as door prizes for the participants. Those that bring in a $25 donation will receive a t-shirt. Those that bring in a $50 donation will receive a t-shirt and a reusable water bottle. Registration is free until the end of July ($5 fee after that): com/running/st-paul-mn/change-yourpace-5k-walkskip-2011 Please check our pages for more information:

Coffee Break S T A T E P O I N T 37. *Type of chocolate CROSSWORD 39. *The sweet in sweet tooth THEME: 40. Child’s inanimate friend SWEET TOOTH 41. Press it to activate 43. Hindu princess ACROSS 44. Russian prison 1. Lively dance in 2-4 time 46. Actress Lollobrigida 6. *A main ingredient of 47. Leo or Libra, e.g. custard 48. 7-______ 9. Back talk 50. Arial, e.g. 13. Single-cell protozoan 52. Often rushed in tennis 14. Second person pronoun 53. Snoopy 15. *Type of flour used in 55. ___ Goo Dolls many cakes and cookies 57. *Final course 16. Surfaces or coats, v. 61. *Reduce to pure state, as 17. Cash giver in sugar 18. “Played” during school 64. Frenchman’s love 19. Hurries 65. Top seed 21. *Chocolate square 67. Beats with a whip 23. To do this is human 69. Mexican revolutionary 24. *Some candy bar 70. Contend wrappers are made of this 71. Suggestive of the 25. Ceiling prop supernatural 28. It goes up and down 72. Popular Scandinavian 30. Run off name 35. Flying saucers 73. Bugling animal

33. Disease often associated with dogs 34. “All the news that’s fit to DOWN _____” 1. Between generations 36. Member of eastern 2. Wet nurse European people 3. Bulgarian money 38. Bingo-like game 4. Like one with high BMI 42. Where deer and antelope 5. *Baked confection play 6. Young hawk 45. Plural of genus 7. Acquired 49. Neither here ___ there 8. Southern soup 51. *English ______ 9. Best in ____ 54. One of Ben Franklin’s 10. Also spelled “eon” inventions 11. Japanese vodka 56. Oil tanker 12. Eye infection 15. Greater than sum of 57. Letterman, to his buddies? parts? pl. 58. African chieftain 20. Wear away 59. Same as solos 22. Relieve from 24. Add vitamin D to milk, 60. Pout 61. Smell badly e.g. 25. *A Judy Blume character 62. Novelist Roberts 63. Armor chest plate 26. State of entanglement 66. Zip or zilch 27. _____ prosequi 68. Examine or watch 29. Opposite of yin 31. Mongrels 32. Once more Answers on page 8 74. Rub out

Gap From 1 but this progress in the right direction motivates us even further to continue carrying out the work of our strategic plan.” The school district has implemented proven strategies to support struggling students and schools, including differentiated instruction, a new balanced literacy approach, extensive support for students who receive English Language Learner (ELL) services and additional assistance for lower performing schools. The superintendent’s priorities of continuing to implement a new teacher evaluation system and focused instruction, which aligns what is taught in the classroom with how its taught and how student progress is measured, will further support the goals of the school district’s strategic plan to close education gaps. MPS met its goal to reduce the math gap between the school district and the state by one percentage point, with the goal to be within ten points of

Health From 7 I thought I was in real trouble until suddenly I felt a great peace come over me; and that peace has not left me since that day over 25 years ago. I realized in that moment that even if nobody else thought that I was lovable, valuable, precious, or worthy…I had confirmation from the Creator of the Universe, that He would have died –just for me alone… but that there was a drop of blood for everyone as we are all “precious in his sight.” I have also learned that from the great amount pain and loss that I experienced, an equally great amount growth, comfort and healing has emerged. One day, I started

Jobs From 1 “You should pass this bill right away,” the President repeated 17 times during his speech. Something has to been done, said Molley Johnson a North Minneapolis resident who watched President Obama’s Jobs speech. “The President inherited this economy. This is not something he can fix overnight. He needs another four more years to continue his good work.” If passed this year, the President said his Jobs bill will create new jobs for construction workers; provide a $5,600 tax credit for companies hiring an unemployed veteran; and a $4,000 tax credit for companies hiring people who have been unemployed for six months or longer; it will put thousands of teachers back to work right away; create jobs for young people; and will cut pay roll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. Currently, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate is persistent at 9.1 percent. Minnesota is not faring much better holding steady at 7.2 percent. Even though President Obama expressed a sense of urgency in getting Congress to pass his Jobs bill right away, some people are concerned that partisan politics may hinder the bill from passing through at all. “I believe Congress will not pass the [Jobs] bill due to the Republicans wanting to create obstacles for Obama and his agenda no matter how good it may be for the country, said Matthew McGlory, a north Minneapolis resident who watched the President deliver his speech last Thursday. McGlory said he is concerned here at home about the current jobless gap between Black Minnesotans and their white counterparts. “We need to strengthen affirmative action measures for [African American people] especially Black men to be included within the Jobs Bill. I did not hear this mentioned at all during Obama’s speech.” Newly released figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics placed Minnesota’s 2011 Black jobless rate at

Insight News • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Page 11 the state by 2015. MPS students as well as students statewide struggled with the new math test that was administered last school year. MPS testing experts as well as those at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) agree that the new test was significantly more difficult than the test administered in previous years. The new test also set a higher bar for proficiency, which makes it more difficult for students to score high on the standardized tests. Johnson continues to emphasize a sense of urgency around closing the achievement gap and raising academic achievement for all students. “We are pleased with the increases, but not satisfied, as we must continue to work effectively to ensure that all students succeed at high levels,” she stated. “Key components of improving academic achievement include effective teaching, quality professional development, strong school leaders who make data-driven decisions and high expectations and rigor for all students, especially those who struggle.”

students who met or exceeded proficiency levels increased in all grades (three through eight). The overall increase was four percentage points (52 percent to 56 percent) from 2010 to 2011. MPS’ reading increase was five percentage points over the increases of the past two years, exceeding the state’s increase. Statewide reading scores increased from 72 percent to 75 percent from 2010 to 2011. The largest gains relative to the state were in grade eight reading, where MPS increased eight percentage points while the state increased one point over two years. All groups of students of color showed substantial increases in MCA-II reading scores over the past two years.

point over the past two years. Reading proficiency broken out by ELL status, special education status and free or reduced price lunch status showed substantial gains for all groups over the past two years. • ELL: 25 percent to 29 percent over two years • Special education: 15 percent to 20 percent over two years • Free or reduce lunch: 34 percent to 39 percent over two years

Reading results In reading, the percentage of

The percentage of white students who met or exceeded proficiency increased by one

Math results Across all grades in math, the percentage of students who met or exceeded proficiency decreased eight percentage points (45 percent to 37 percent) from 2009-10 to 201011. The statewide proficiency rate decreased nine percentage points compared to last year (65 percent to 56 percent). MPS’ decrease was less than the state’s. The grade 11 math test did not change last year so there is an accurate comparison between 2009-10 and 201011 scores. As in reading, MPS’ math proficiency rate at grade 11 increased more than that of the state: seven

looking back over my career as a psychologist - which has spanned over 30 years. I began to count the number of children (and parents with children) that I have loved, nurtured, taught, supported and witnessed into healing. As soon as I began to count, tears rolled down my cheek—because it was well over 3000! …and they were all my children…because all children are my children. They are also yours…they belong to our community. Consequently, given the context of my experience, I have a special affinity for this scripture (Romans 8: 28-30) which says: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (29) For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become

conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; (30) and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” The scripture goes on to read: “(31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? . . . (35) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ….(37) But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things

present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Many psychologists are taught that it is “unprofessional” to talk about spirituality with people who come to see us for counseling; however, for me, it is “unprofessional” not to do so. My religious beliefs may not be those of my clients, but our spiritual connection surpasses the religious entrapments of our denominations. Although our emotions are a core part of what makes us tick, we are more complex than that. Each of us has a reason for being here. The problem is some of us do not realize that our lives have meaning or purpose until it is too late. You see, it takes a great deal of faith to change and to

16.7 percent. That’s more than double the white rate of 8.0 percent, giving the state the largest gap in the country. Even the chair of the MN DFL Party, Ken Martin is calling for an end to party politics. “We need to create jobs and get Americans back to work right now. The American people expect more from their leaders than another round of the GOP playing chicken with our country’s economy and jeopardizing American families’ livelihoods. The President was exactly right when he called on Congress to pass this bill now. Every proposal is bipartisan, and every proposal is paid for – there’s no excuse to let rightwing politics get in the way of what’s best for the people of our country. It’s time to put politics aside and lead, just as the President is doing.” Local business owner Mitchell Adams also watched the President’s Jobs speech

and said that last Thursday’s speech should have been the President’s focus two years ago. “Yes, a jobs plan is needed now and it’s was needed two years ago not only for the unemployment situation, but to start construction and transportation work on our crumbling infrastructure.” Adams is CEO of Greenworks MN, an insulation company specializing in installing environmentally friendly insulation in homes and commercial businesses. Adams said with the incentives in Obama’s jobs speech for small businesses like his to hire new people, he is hoping that Congress passes the Jobs bill before this year comes to an end. “Right now, Adams said, I give Obama’s speech a C+. However, if he can get at least some of the things mentioned in his bill done in the next few months, he [President Obama] gets an A.”

• American Indian: Three percent over two years • African American: Six percent over one year and seven percent over two years • Asian: Five percent over one year and seven percent over two years • Hispanic: Five percent over two years

percentage points (30 percent to 37 percent) while the state increased six percentage points (43 percent to 49 percent). All racial/ethnic groups showed substantial decreases in math proficiency on the MCA-IIIs, likely due to the more difficult items on the new test. African American, Asian and Hispanic students’ scores all decreased by eight percentage points while American Indian students’ scores decreased by 12 percentage points and white students’ scores decreased by 10 percentage points.

percent to 12 percent • Free or reduce lunch: 29 percent to 20 percent

• American Indian: percent to 18 percent • African American: percent to 17 percent • Asian: 48 percent to percent • Hispanic: 32 percent to percent • White: 79 percent to percent

In math, two schools showed an increase of proficiency in grade 11 above the state increase:

30 25

Notable Performance In reading, the following schools experienced notable increases in the exhibited percent proficient: • Emerson: 12.3 increase • Northrop: 11.09 increase • Windom: 16.8 increase • Washburn: 9.56 increase

percent percent percent percent

40 24

• Roosevelt: 10.8 percent increase • South: 7.2 percent increase


Math proficiency broken out by ELL status, special education status and free or reduced price lunch status also decreased for all groups. • ELL: 26 percent to 17 percent • Special education: 16

work with people everyday on the journey of changing. We human beings endure enormous pain, hardships, and disappointments. Additionally, when one is challenged with hearing stories of abuse, abandonment, infidelity, and death, it requires a special ability to hold that information secret and sacred. It is only through Faith, that during the “clinical hour” I have been entrusted to be my Brother and Sister’s Keeper. I have been honored with the sacred calling to listen, assist, heal, and love my community into health…. and I do it willingly from my Spirit. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., L.P. is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, serves as President of Brakins Consulting and Psychological Services, and

Additionally, given the difficulty of the new state math test, two elementary schools made notable gains: • Emerson: increase • Windom: increase





is the Executive Director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. The mission of the African American Child Wellness Institute is to promote the psychological and spiritual liberation of children of African Descent by providing culturally specific mental health services and by developing culture-based, holistic wellness resources, research, and practices. Dr. Garrett-Akinsanya warns that this column should in no way be construed as constituting a therapeutic relationship through counseling or advice. To forward a comment about this article or to make an appointment, please contact Dr. Garrett-Akinsanya by email @ bravadaakinsanya@hotmail. com or by telephone at 612302-3140 or 763-522-0100.

Page 12 • September 19 - September 25, 2011 • Insight News

Plan From 1 rate stands at 9.1 percent, black unemployment has hit 16.7 percent, the highest since 1984. Unemployment among male blacks is at 18 percent, and black teens are unemployed at a rate of 46.5 percent. The early signs of their reaction were positive. Social media sites were abuzz with highlights from the president’s plan. Amid the comments were excited responses to the proposal, especially from the black community. Twitter was full of similar bursts of excitement over the plan, with some black Tweeters defending the president and applauding his message. One user tweeted: “Taking a sharp tone ‘cause the NumbersDontLie! Pass this bill and put America back to work.” Prominent African-Americans like Kenneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express and Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, quickly applauded the plan. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., has been one of the most vocal advocates for dealing more effectively with black unemployment, but she was

enthusiastic. For the president, it was a welcome change in tone after a steady drumbeat of criticism from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who held their own job fairs and town hall meetings while protesting that Obama’s jobs tour across America last month bypassed black communities. The caucus’ urban blitz cleared a path for the country’s first black president to act, Waters said. “I can see that our handprint is all over it,” Waters said of Obama’s plan. “We upped the ante a little bit by pushing, being a bit more vocal. This was not done in a way to threaten the president but to make it easier for him. We think we helped him to be able to formulate a response.” The jobs plan was praised by Ralph Everett, president and chief executive of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a nonpartisan black think tank. Although the president did not specifically mention high unemployment among blacks, black people “are sophisticated enough to understand” how their communities will benefit, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Friday. “Obviously there is a debate raging, saying that we should come out and say this expressly

for the black and Latino community,” Kirk said. “But this president got elected spectacularly on his premise that we are not a black America, a brown America, a white America. We are one America.” The White House moved quickly to capitalize politically on the good will, emailing an extraordinary blast of supportive statements from elected officials, union leaders and interest groups within minutes after Obama spoke Thursday night. On Friday, while the president pushed his American Jobs Act in Richmond, Va., his aides promoted targeted relief to Hispanics, teachers, police officers, construction workers, small businesses and others. Administration officials said the plan would extend unemployment benefits and provide support for 1.4 million blacks who have been unemployed six months or longer. It also would provide summer and subsidized jobs for youth, help boost the paychecks of 20 million black workers through an extension and expansion of the payroll tax, and benefit, in some way, more than 100,000 black-owned small businesses. “With over 16 percent of African-Americans out of work and over 1 million AfricanAmericans out of work over six months, I think the president believes this is a serious problem and the onus is on us to do everything we can to tackle this,” Danielle Gray, deputy director of the National Economic Council, told reporters. White House adviser Valerie Jarrett promoted Obama’s plan on Steve Harvey’s syndicated morning radio show, saying it would help “every part of our country, but particularly those who are the most vulnerable, who have been struggling the hardest, who have been trying to make ends meet and all they need is a little help from their government.” A factor in the early enthusiasm in Obama’s plan with blacks is that most accept that, as the country’s first black president, there are limits to what he can do about their specific problems -- especially as he heads into the 2012 campaign. “Do I think he’s doing everything he can? Yes, of course,” said Tonia Thomas, 44, a divorced Atlanta mother who was unemployed for more than a year before taking a $30,000 pay cut to work as a hotel clerk. “A lot of what’s going on is being used to exclude people of color in general. I don’t know what he can do.” The president has to be careful in targeting his efforts, some say. “The more he talks about race, the more votes he loses,” said Randall Kennedy, author of a new book exploring racial politics and the Obama presidency. “Barack Obama had to overcome his blackness to become president ... and he’s going to have to overcome it to be re-elected.” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, an Obama supporter who engaged in damage control for the president this week, said black Americans “need to burst this false notion” that the president should put black unemployment on par with overall unemployment. “If leaders in our community want to push him to lay out a black agenda, I believe that will end up disserving the black community and help elect people who certainly don’t have a past history about caring about the interests of the African-American community,” Reed said after Obama’s speech. “This debate is weakening the president and puts him in a political position where he has to do something to confirm his blackness.” Associated Press writer Suzanne Gamboa reported from Washington.

Insight News ::: 9.19.11  
Insight News ::: 9.19.11  

Insight News for the week of September 19, 2011. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapo...