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Insight News September 10 - September 16, 2018

Vol. 45 No. 37• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Like the Great Pyramid

Thor Regional Acceleration Center

Mitchell Stier Photography,

Thor Regional Acceleration Center at 1256 Penn Ave. N.

Transformation: How did it happen? By Randall Bradley Architect This new architectural building has been completed and is now open for business. This vacant lot has been transformed by the process of economic development, design and construction into a useful, beneficial and viable asset to this Northside neighborhood. This is commonly referred to as our community.” Go to the corners of Plymouth and Penn Avenues North and take a deep, long and loving look at this building. Look at this architecture. Hold on to the look of this building. Hold on tight, and now remember the vacant lot that occupied this corner since 1996. That was 22 years ago. Think about how long nothing was a confirmed as a part of our daily reality. So, we went from a vacant lot to a fine finished building. So, how did that happen? Here’s how that happened. A lot of hard work. While the groundbreaking took place in April of 2017, a far more significant and unMitchell Stier Photography,


Common area where short term and long term tenants collaborate, co-work.

Thor block party celebrates grand opening By Latisha Townsend Contributing Writer Thor Companies will be hosting a block party on Friday, Sept. 14, to celebrate the grand opening of its Regional Acceleration Center in North Minneapolis. Community members are invited to attend a block

the afternoon including performances by Paris Bennett, Lawrence Miles and Lioness to name a few. There will be food trucks serving barbecue, Caribbean food, and soul food. There will be a family zone with activities for kid as well as a photo booth, cookie decorating, double

“Imagine North” theme signals the rebirth of Plymouth & Penn as business, social and health hub. party event, including live entertainment throughout

Richard Copeland

Paris Bennett



Page 2 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

JXTA presents South African artist Kealeboga Tlalang Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) will present the work of South African artist Kealeboga Tlalang in his first U.S. solo exhibition. Working in mixed media collage, Tlalang creates textural portraits that link puzzle and play to synthesize his love for mathematics, science and art. “Kealeboga Tlalang” will be on view at the JXTA Emerson Gallery, 2007 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis, from Sept. 24 through Nov. 10. The exhibition opening is on Sept. 29, and Tlalang will lead an artist talk on Oct. 4. In addition to the exhibition, Kealeboga will also work with youth in the JXTA Labs in an art-making workshop where he will share his creative process with young artists at JXTA. Apprentices will have the opportunity to explore paint, collage and other multimedia techniques with the artist during this residency. “I have partaken in

several group exhibitions and this is a wonderful experience, more especially on my first solo show,” said Tlalang. “I am excited for this venture and cultural exchange and I am looking forward to sharing my work process with the youth from Juxtaposition, teaching them skills on how to make a living from been creative.” Tlalang’s focus is the expressiveness of the human face. Fascinated by the ability for the face to tell many stories, Tlalang’s work expresses a curiosity for human subtleties. Art for him is akin to biographical writing, where each collage allows him to represent different movements and shifts in his own observations of the world around him. The gallery is open Monday–Thursday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Additional information is available online at

Kealeboga Tlalang

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Insight News • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Page 3

aesthetically speaking

Aesthetically It!: Events, concerts, venues in the Twin Cities WINNER: 2018 NNPA MERIT AWARDS: 3RD PLACE BES T COLUMN WRITING


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Insight News September 10 - September 16, 2018

Vol. 45 No. 37• The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Political victories sweep nation

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Contributor

Across the United States in the 2018 election primaries, Black American political leaders are scoring historical victories – changing the conversation and the face of politics. “Congratulations to gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum (D-Fla.), Sen. Bill Nelson and all our Democratic candidates who won their primaries in Florida,” said Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez following Gillum’s historic victory. “In a historic victory, Andrew Gillum ran an inspiring campaign on his way to becoming the first African-American to win a major-party nomination for governor in the Sunshine State.” The victory in Florida comes as African-Americans have con-

tinued to stun at the polls with wins by London Breed (mayor) in San Francisco, Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia and Gillum in Florida. The most recent socking win comes courtesy of Ayanna Pressley, who on Sept. 4 stunned Rep. Mike Capuano in the Massachusetts Democratic primary. Capuano was a 10-term representative and considered a progressive Democrat, but Pressley was easily able to prevail, besting her rival by more than 17,000 votes. Pressley said in the era of President Donald Trump the Democrats need new blood, as even those vocally opposed to Trump are not turning words to action. What’s driving the forecasted November Blue wave a Black and Brown votes. “Black American voter turnout in 2018 will be the singlemost determinative factor in the upcoming Midterm Elections on

Andrew Gillum and Ayanna Pressley are the latest candidates to usher in a “Black wave” in American politics. Nov. 6” said NNPA President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. “In Florida, Maryland, Geor-

A family tribute to the Rev. Willie G. McAfee

gia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Pennsylvania,

Illinois and Wisconsin, a huge Black voter turnout will choose the winners of the elections for

governors and members of Con-


The Rev. Willie G. McAfee remembered as entrepreneur, family man and man of God The season was spring, the month was March, the day was the 3rd and the year 1953 when life changed for Fletcher McAfee and Alice McAfee. It was the day their first child arrived – a baby boy, Willie G. McAfee – who would impact lives, impart wisdom and be the difference maker for so many people from diverse walks of life. He was the eldest of seven children; one of two boys and five sisters whom he harassed often, but always with love. As a young man, McAfee strived to work hard to be independent. This entrepreneurial mindset began to take shape early in his life. He proudly worked side-by-side with his father in construction and always recruited a group of other men to join with them on large projects. McAfee was excited to be able to work and make

Dear Mac Man, Every family has a leader and ours was blessed to have you, Willie G. McAfee. You led us to treat others how we want to be treated. You taught us to love everyone around us and greet everyone with respect and kindness. You trained us to stand up for ourselves and speak our minds. You demonstrated how to live life to the fullest and make every minute on this earth count. Most importantly, you

The Rev. Willie G. McAfee


his own money, from picking strawberries in the field to sorting fruit at Sliver Mills. McAfee served as the Sunday school superintendent at New Bethel Baptist Church in Minneapolis and went to state several times where he distinguished himself as the best person to find scriptures in Bible drill contests. He was also one of the youngest singers in the church choir and was called on often for church solos. McAfee was a great orator who was frequently selected by members of the church for key roles in church plays. He was a model student who was consistently listed on the honor role, and a class leader at Eau Claire High School in Michigan. He was recognized throughout the region as a star basketball player who earned a basketball scholarship to Ferris State College (Mich.).

McAfee met and married Glenda Gadson and later served his country in the United States Army with an honorable discharge. From that union came his eldest child, Tia McAfee and twins, Erik McAfee and Erika McAfee. He later relocated to California where he worked for McDonald Douglas at a time when the company was not hiring minorities and the waiting list was long. He soon advanced to the Minority Contractors Association where he specialized in procurement. He worked to partner small, minority-owned businesses with large corporations for contracts. From there he was elevated to the Black Business Association where he helped to build minority entrepreneurs. He relocated to Minne-


Michael Winn leads Children’s Theatre Company Community Partnerships and Inclusion initiative Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) announced the appointment of Michael Winn as the organization’s new director of Community Partnerships and Inclusion. Winn has served as the audience development manager at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta for more than five years, having served as a key driver of the Alliance Theatre’s diversity efforts. He was a 2016 cohort member of ArtEquity, and the recipient of the 2015-2016 TCG Audience Revolution

Travel Grant. Winn begins his new role at CTC on Sept. 10. Winn’s work in community engagement and audience development is said to have grown audiences from underrepresented communities in the Atlanta area, and created dozens of partnerships and events each season. “Michael brings tremendous experience building mutually beneficial relationships between a wide range of community organizations and theatre,” said Kimberly Motes, CTC’s managing

Insight 2 Health Making real, healthy friends at Fitness Challenge


director. “His experience advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion inside a theatre our size will deepen CTC’s work to date. We are excited to welcome Michael to CTC and to have him lead the full realization of our ACT One commitment to a future where our theatre is a home for all people, all families, reflective of our community.” “I am so excited to work at an institution that helps guarantee the longevity of theater by partnering with leading artists in our field,”


NorthPoint’s Fit4Fun joins with Open Streets West Broadway


said Winn. “This amazing work creates active and engaged new audiences. It is an honor to be a part of a team that puts equity, diversity and inclusion as a core value of the institution.” Winn is an alumnus of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at The Juilliard School, and holds a B.A. in history from historically Black, Stillman College.

Michael Winn


Thor: Like the Great Pyramid



Charley Pride selected for the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame


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Meda hosts million dollar business competition Minority business owners have historically found it difficult to gain access to capital. This funding often plays a big part in determining between the success and failure of the business. Studies have shown that financial, human, and social capital, as well as racial discrimination, are primarily responsible for disparities between non-minority and minority businesses. Achieving parity is key to significant U.S. economic growth, creating new jobs and raising wages in economically

disadvantaged communities. To help solve this dilemma and bring attention to this issue, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and the City of St. Paul are hosting the first-ever national ethnic minority Million Dollar Challenge – modeled on the television show “Shark Tank” – where early stage businesses will compete for up to $1 million in financing. Ethnic-minority owned businesses from across the country will participate in a speed pitching

event to qualify for up to one million dollars in financing. The challenge is being held by Meda, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s top-performing minority business development agency in the nation. Round one will be held on Oct. 10 as part of Twin Cities Startup Week and adjacent to the national Blacks in Technology conference. Up to 10 finalists will move on to the next round – an “accelerator” offering investor and industry feedback, mentorship, exposure and professional connections. These finalists will return to St. Paul in January for the final event, which will award up to one

million dollars in financing. Financing will be in the form of a convertible note.

Washington Ave., St. Paul. A reception begins at 5 p.m. and the speed-

ing to apply can do so at Applications are due by 5 p.m. cen-

Ethnic-minority owned businesses from across the country will participate in a speed pitching event to qualify for up to one million dollars in financing.

The Oct. 10 event will be held at the Travelers Insurance corporate headquarters auditorium at 345

pitch competition will run from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Potential ethnic minority businesses want-

tral standard time on, Sept. 12. Persons with questions may contact Andy O’Leary at

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McAfee From 3 sota where he met and married Joan Webb (McAfee). They later moved to Sacramento, Calif. where he started an Allstate Insurance business, which grew to be one of the top affiliates in the state. From that union came his youngest daughter, Joané McAfee. He raised his children to be strong and taught them many life lessons. He believed in giving them the space and skills to forge their own paths and to stand by

Tribute From 3 exhibited what it truly means to walk with God. This will be a hard journey without you, but you truly left

Insight News • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Page 5 their decisions. Learning to navigate the world, accountability and having a relationship with God were important to him. McAfee loved family and friends and enjoyed family gatherings, spending time laughing, eating, singing, and dancing. To him, there was nothing like a good barbecue. He believed everyone needed to own a grill – so much so that he was known to buy one for those who were in need of one. He was a true people person. He sincerely cared about his children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, who each enjoyed special relationships with him. McAfee had an unusually close connec-

tion with his brother, the Rev. Jerry McAfee. They were not only brothers, but also friends and ministers in the gospel. In 1997 Willie McAfee accepted the call to preach and moved back to Minnesota. He immediately joined New Salem Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of his brother and later served as secretary of the Minnesota State Chapter of the National Baptist Convention, also led by Jerry McAfee. He was later called to be the assistant pastor at Greater Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church. He accepted many ministry engagements and revivals yearly to further the gospel.

In 2002 God gave Willie McAfee the vision to start Nu Way Missionary Baptist Church in St. Cloud. The church has since relocated to Minneapolis. Willie McAfee received the High Five award for community service and the prestigious Rock On award for outstanding community leadership from St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleist. In 2017 when Willie McAfee was first diagnosed with cancer, God gave him his heart’s desire – the opportunity to purchase a permanent home for Nu Way Missionary Baptist Church. Willie Gene McAfee passed away July 7. He leaves to carry on his legacy, a loving wife of

a piece of you in each of us. Joan (wife) has your heart, Tia (daughter) has your strength, Erik (son) has your humor and charm, Erika (daughter) has your intelligence, and Joané (daughter) has your people skills. This world will never be

the same for us without you, but we will continue to cherish the wonderful memories we have. You lead us, and now God has lead you to his gates. We promised we will be ok, and we will. You will forever be in our hearts and minds and we love you dearly.

Love, Joan, Tia, Erik, Erika and Joané

33 years, Joan McAfee, his devoted children Tia ( the Rev. Christopher) Hildreth, Erika (Kerry) Levan, the Rev. Erik (Tarte) McAfee and Joané McAfee; grandchildren, Erik McAfee, Jr., Kerry Levan, Jr., Zyonna McAfee, Hayley Levan, Tay’vion McAfee, Saraya Hildreth, Nadia Hildreth and Christopher (Briannna) Hildreth II and great grandsons Chance McAfee and Kylen McAfee; mother and father Alice McAfee

Clay and The Rev. Fletcher (Thomasine) McAfee; siblings Clotee McAfee, Alice (the Rev. Bruce) Williams, Pastor Jerry (Carmen) McAfee, Christine Taylor, Bonita (The Rev. Kevin) Mitchell, Angela McAfee, Marion (Ernest) Booth, Sheldon (Schelila) McAfee and La’Vasia (Gary) McAfee Burford and a host of aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and friends.

The Rev. Willie G. McAfee transitioned July 6.

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Page 6 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Insight 2 Health Making real, healthy friends at Fitness Challenge Commentary by Victor Martinez How many times have you thought you had a real friend, just to find out months or years later that they really did not care for you very much? Some of us have learned this lesson the hard way. Maybe your “best friend” cheated with your husband or wife, maybe they stole something from you. Most of us can relate to the dishonest “friend.” They tell you everything but the way they really feel about you. As I get older, I have realized that very long lasting and healthy

friends are a rarity. Google defines friends as, “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.” My wife Daysi and I had four groomsmen and four bridesmaids of honor at our wedding. But soon after the wedding all those friends began to disappear. First, it started with all the maids of honors. No calls, no social media messages, no invites to their parties, no nothing. Those friendships quickly fizzled out. Then it continued with my groomsmen. The person I had as my best man cut me out of the picture once I cut ties with his father (he was my old pastor). Then

Victor Martinez

Victor Martinez (center) and friends in health, Al McFarlane, editor-in-chief of Insight News (left) and Ravie Singh, manager of U.S. Bank’s West Broadway location.

Prevention saves lives By North Memorial Staff The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 100,000 lives could be saved each year if everyone received routine preventive care. Chronic diseases and their risk factors can be silent – but with routine prevention, they can be detected early, treated or even cured. Now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to take care of you. Don’t just see your doctor when you’re sick. Adults of all ages should get their health checked regularly throughout their life to avoid ill-

ness and detect problems early. What’s a wellness exam? Every wellness visit is different. Age, health and gender determine which tests or screenings one should have. A visit could include checking height and weight, listening to heart and lung sounds, scanning the body for suspicious moles or skin lesions, checking the abdomen, thyroid glands and lymph nodes along with ears and eyes for any chronic conditions, screening blood pressure and cholesterol and/or screening for conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and depression.

To best assists doctors conducting wellness exams individuals should review personal and family health history to see if anything has changed since the last visit. To view a preventative health schedule for specific age and gender, check out the CDC’s Prevention Checklist at index. Begin routine preventive care now to live your best (and longest) life A strong doctor-customer relationship is essential to good health. Having a long-term, primary care provider (PCP) who has helped navigate one’s health


The key to staying well is staying informed.

came my other good friend (we will call him Jim). Jim was super thankful to have me as a friend, but soon after his marriage (that I helped perform) he became too busy for me. He would tell me, “Man I am newly married and don’t have time (for you)” then it turned into, “Man I just bought a dog and I don’t have time (for you),” then it turned into, “I am going back to school, I am way to busy (for you).” Real friends are hard to find. What is worst is that we often choose not to look for any new friends. Many of us with the same excuse of being too busy ourselves. When Daysi, my mom and I

signed up for the Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge we didn’t know that some of the people we would sweat and grunt with would become our friends. You see a healthy life means having not only a healthy body but also healthy friendships. We share stories of our children, business, dreams and aspirations. It feels great knowing that in this workout group there is no facades or trying to look “cool” (working out hard does that to you). If you’re ready to get healthier and make new friends, sign up for the next Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge. All you have to do is be willing to make new friends and get out of your comfort zone. It’s worth it.

and health issues helps ensure one is receiving the highest quality care. From tracking routine screenings to knowing family history, a PCP can support in achieving health goals and help develop a personal preventive care plan. Most health plans include a set of preventive services at no additional cost. Begin a preventive health journey now by finding a PCP one is comfortable with – that way, a person will be more likely to take the time every year for a wellness exam. As the PCP gets to know the patient and family medical history, they’ll be better able to support efforts to stay healthy. To find a PCP contact North Memorial Health at (763) 581CARE or visit

Younger AfricanAmericans suffer greater from chronic disease Today, African-Americans are living longer, with rates of death from disease declining about 25 percent since 1999. Unfortunately, the news isn’t as good for younger AfricanAmericans. The CDC found that African-Americans in their 20s, 30s and 40s are living with or dying of chronic diseases earlier in life, underscoring the need for preventative care early and throughout one’s life.


– AND –


Friday, September 21 at 7:00 PM (Doors open at 5:30 PM) or 1-866-448-7849 Tickets start at $30

All ages/Alcohol with 21/ID. Additional service fees and taxes may apply. Tickets are nonrefundable unless event is canceled and not rescheduled/relocated.

Insight News • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Page 7

NorthPoint’s Fit4Fun joins with Open Streets West Broadway NorthPoint Health and Wellness is bringing its Fit4Fun campaign and event to West Broadway Open Streets this coming Saturday (Sept. 15). Fit4Fun is a day-long event focusing on physical activity, nutrition and health screenings. The free event begins at Aldrich Avenue with an 11:30 a.m. walk on West Broadway Avenue to Penn Avenue. There will be a kids run at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the walk and run there will be Zumba, hip-hop aerobics, jump rope, hula hooping, hop scotch and more. Health professionals will be on hand providing free screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, dental screenings and body mass indexing (BMI). Open Streets began as an event in Minneapolis to provide bicycle riders open roadways for cycling but has evolved into rotating street festivals with food, music, art, vendors and more. Open Streets West Broadway and Fit4Fun take place from 11

With all sorts of activities including a Fit4Fun walk down West Broadway Avenue and artistic showcases, West Broadway Open Streets has something for everyone. a.m. – 5 p.m. During that time West Broadway will be closed to motor traffic between Lyndale

and Penn Avenues. Open Streets is an all ages event and free to the public. Open Streets West

Broadway is presented by the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

Joe Mauer nominated for Roberto Clemente Award Joe Mauer has been named the Minnesota Twins 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each Major League Baseball (MLB) Club who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. Each team nominates one player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. Mauer is one of the 30 nominees for the annual award. He

and his wife, Maddie Mauer, annually host the Mauer and Friends Kids Classic luncheon event to benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. In its fourth year the event has raised more than $1 million for the hospital’s foundation. Mauer brings teammates to Gillette to see patients often, serves as spokesman and annually hosts a bowling fundraiser for the Highland Friendship Club and also has supported Friends of St. Paul Baseball, an organization that helps improve baseball facilities for youth in St. Paul. Additionally, Mauer established a community ticket program called Mau-


Joe Mauer

er’s Minnies, providing Twins game tickets to thousands of economically disadvantaged youth from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since 2005, 25,000 youth and their families have attended a Twins game for free because of Mauer’s contributions. He also acts as a spokesman and mentor to the MLB Player’s Association’s Action Team. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the Action Team enlists high school students to recruit others to volunteer in their community. The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced during the 2018 World Series.

Fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award at clemente21 until Sept. 18. The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award.” The recognition was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002.

Page 8 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Thor: Like the Great Pyramid By Al McFarlane Editor-in-Chief Bobbie and I were driving home from work. It was our usual route up Plymouth Avenue, slowed a little bit because the stop lights at Penn Avenue were gone, replaced by four stop signs. So, everybody had to stop, inching the way to the Plymouth/Penn intersection. The lights were gone because of the massive construction project that was underway, the building of the new headquarters of Thor Companies on the southeast corner of the intersection. Thor’s facility, being introduced by construction site signage as Thor’s Regional Acceleration Center, was still an idea to most of us. We remembered the pre-rebellion 60s when a gas station held down this spot. It was a national brand station sitting across the street from another gas station, a classier Skelly station built in a classic period architectural style, with glazed white tile exterior that must have glistened in its heyday. We remembered Jim Anderson’s McDonald’s franchise that arose from the demolished station, some years after the dust had settled, and the anguish of denied opportunity retreated in the face of

I’m Black and I’m proud.” Inching towards Penn as car by car maintained the rhythm and flow of a four-way stop, we remember that out McDonald’s back door, looking east down Plymouth Avenue was the evidence that our pride was justified, that we were on the move, and that it was true, there was no stopping us now. There was the Plymouth Penn Shopping Center, anchored by Leroy King’s Supermarket on the east and by JC Clark’s Pharmacy on the west. Between these anchor tenants, Northwestern Bell had a Phone Store managed by a Black woman. Carol McGee. The master Minnesota Viking “Purple People Eater” himself, Carl Eller, launched Carl Eller Liquors, rounding out the suite of neighborhood owned and/ or managed businesses. And all the businesses, like our own fledgling enterprise, Insight News, were assisted and supported by our neighborhood bank, and its leader who we knew and who also knew us, John Warder. What happened? Where did it go? Did we lose it? Were we deluding ourselves … thinking that we could create a new community where our businesses served and supported us the same way that business do for other people in other neighborhoods?

Editor’s note:

Insight thanks Northside resident and architect Randall Bradley for his excellent series of articles (over 20 so far) documenting the rebirth of our community. Bradley’s series, Transformation, delves into marvelous detail about development and construction processes, challenges and strategies, and the element of entrepreneurship that drives community development. Our intent is to continue monitoring and reporting on, reflecting on the continued development of the Estes Funeral Home Business, a legacy institution that is preparing to move into its third location in North Minneapolis, and to provide detailed descriptions of how we can serve each other with the continued growth and expansion of our world-class health resource, NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center. Insight thanks photographer Victor Rivera for the cover photo for the February 12, 2018 issue at right.


Insight News February 12 - February 18, 2018

Vol. 45 No. 7• The Journal For Commu nity News, Business & The Arts • insightn

Thor Companies Leading business and economic development

Thor CEO Ravi Norman and founder Richard Copeland at Plymouth & Penn site for their new headquarters

Photo by Victor Rivera

Victor Rivera

The 92,000-square-foot Thor Companies headquarters taking shape at Penn and Plymouth Avenues in North Minneapolis. Feb. 2018 photograph.

optimism and race pride. Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions had declared, “Keep on pushing, like our leaders tell us to …” The soundtrack of the times pulsed anthems, like “Ain’t no stopping us now … we’re on the move.” While James Brown shook the foundations of docility, commanding “Say it loud.

Thor From 1 seen portion of the work, took placemonths and years prior to this event. The silent part of this project, the thinking, was engaged by several people, and several groups of people that mostly did not include any of us. This is the nature of economic development. This is the nature of the human tradition. We have to use all of our mental, physical, emotional, psychological, physiological, analytical, intellectual, creative, visual, verbal, cerebral and spiritual realities. We must use all of our human skills, learnings, gifts and energies to move ourselves forward toward as much positive economic development as we can achieve. Let’s review the activities that created this building. After many meetings the architecture firm of LSE Architects created, developed and provided the drawings and specifications needed to instruct the contractor, Thor Construction, how to build this building. The first order of business was to dig a hole to the appropriate depth. This solved several problems – supporting the perimeter earth surrounding the site, removing poor soils, achieving the depth necessary to host the below grade parking levels and

Easy to get lost in your thoughts, reflecting on what was a little while ago, and on what could have been. But the universe has a way of bringing you awareness and context that quicken the spirit and steel the power of perception in a way that encourages and forces you to see beyond the temporary, beyond the immediate,

installing new soils suitable for compaction and leveling the bottom of the hole. So, the hole was dug and the construction process began. There are several ways, methods, means and materials that are utilized to erect buildings. This is a posttensioned reinforced concrete building. A simple description is steel reinforcing bars are installed in the column and beam forms in preparation of the concrete pours. After these column rebars are installed, the forms for the horizontal beams are installed. The steel rebars are then placed inside the beam forms. This methodology allows for the columns and the beams to be poured simultaneously. Once those pours were completed, the formwork for the floors was installed. During this procedure, cables were installed and adjusted (by stretching them), after the pours, during the concrete curing process. The methods, means, sequences, repetitions and progress of construction continue throughout the building process until the project is completed. The repetition required leads to a point-of-view that an enormous amount of coordination was required. All of these activities can be defined as management of the project. Outside of the construction industry this can be compared to choreography. Lots of people, doing lots of things, at the same time, in a precise amount of

even beyond the recent. A voice was shouting at us from across the street at the edge of the UROC parking lot where construction trucks and crews staged their daily endeavors sculpting the rebirth of Plymouth and Penn. “Al,” my friend shouted. “Have you seen this?


space, with deeply overlapping cooperation. That, of course, is professional terminology. It means that the construction effort is as much art as it is science. It has always been this way. It shall always be this way. Lots of work was undertaken to install the roof. The roof is probably the most critical component of any building as it prevents leaks from happening. Lots more work was undertaken to erect the exterior enclosure. A lot of work had to be engaged to assist the tenants in completion of their spaces so that they could open in order to conduct their businesses. All the work undertaken by a lot of capable men and women has resulted in the “transformation” of this vacant lot in this community. Transformation as written in these pages, is defined as change. It has meant change from nothing into a new and beneficial something. It has meant change from one the lowest annual income communities in the city of Minneapolis, onto a path out of poverty. As the future of this community shows up tomorrow, and the day after that, and the week after that, and the month after that, and the year after that, how much more economic development, with someone else’s money and someone else’s risk should happen here? This writer is hopeful that more economic development does indeed occur.


Insight News • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Page 9

Mitchell Stier Photography,

Gallery overlooks Plymouth Penn intersection.

This is like the Great Pyramid; can’t you see it? Pyramid From 8 Have you seen this?” His voice carried his astonishment. He scanned the huge excavation cavity, where the gas station,

and later McDonald’s stood, the site that lay fallow for a generation, more than 20 years a grassy lot that hosted occasional summer tent revivals. He looked at the men and material assembled, at the movement of mounds of dirt and the installation of framing for the tons of concrete that

soon would flow. He nodded at the scaffolding atop which a massive boon crane would orchestrate the emergence of something new, something grand. “This is like the Great Pyramid,” he said in a voice of remembrance. “Can’t you see it?”

I did see it. I do see it. The building inspires me in the same way I felt inspired by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation’s capital. And that marvelous, sacred resource, also evokes the feeling of the timelessness of the Pyramids, the

timelessness of our existence. And in reflecting on antiquity, I peer into the timeless future, the power of the present, the eternal now. Gone are crippling questions that seek to nurture self-doubt. Vanquished are fears that something we did or didn’t do validate a sense of insufficiency,

dulling our verve. We remember instead the best parts of the immediate and recent, for these remind us that it is true: “Ain’t no stopping us now. We are on the move. Keep on pushing. Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud.”


BUILDING, TRANSFORMING AND SUSTAINING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES. 1256 Penn Ave N, Ste. 4000 | Minneapolis, MN 55411 "vwVi\ 763.571.2580 | >Ý\ 763.571.2631 |

Page 10 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Mitchell Stier Photography,

Thor reception

Block Party From 1 dutch and more. The event will be free to the public and

suitable for all ages. Thor, founded in 1980, is the 11th-largest Black-owned business in the country, as rated by Black Enterprise. The company started out as a small construction company operating out of North Minneapolis conducting

general contracting, construction management, design-build and consulting. The lot that is now occupied by Thor was an empty lot for many years and the spot of a previously vacated McDonald’s. The location caught the attention of Thor founder, Richard

Copeland, because he wanted to play a role in helping speed the process of economic and community revitalization on the northside. He wanted to let the rest of the world know that it is a great community with great neighborhoods and great opportunities for businesses.

“It has always been my dream to build up Thor as a successful company and then make its headquarters in North Minneapolis,” said Copeland. The block party will be on Plymouth Avenue North, closing the street between Newton and Penn

Avenues North, from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Sept. 14. The theme for the party is “Imagine North” to highlight the significance of the rebirth of Plymouth and Penn as a business, social and health hub.





Visit for more information

Insight News • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Page 11

Page 12 â&#x20AC;˘ September 10 - September 16, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ Insight News

Community Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Housing seeking applicants Minneapolisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new Advisory Committee on Housing is seeking applicants. The committee will advise city leaders on all aspects of housing policy to help inform and guide city housing policy decisions. The Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Housing will advise the city council, the mayor and city departments on a wide range of issues related to housing, including city housing policy, homelessness

and housing instability, fair housing, housing development, rental licensing, accessibility, maintenance and health and sustainability. The committee is intended to reďŹ&#x201A;ect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic and gender diversity of Minneapolis residents most affected by the current housing environment, which has low vacancy rates, a shortage of available aďŹ&#x20AC;ordable rentals, and a large dispar-

ity in homeownership rates between white households and households of color. The advisory committee will elect its own chair and other oďŹ&#x192;cers, establish its own by-laws and meeting schedule. The Committee will be staďŹ&#x20AC;ed by the Community Planning and Economic Development, Regulatory Services and Health Departments. The committee will include 12 resident members and nine representatives of organiza-

tions that work on housing, including one representative from the Hennepin County Continuum of Care Operating Committee of Heading Home Hennepin, Minneapolis Public Schools, an organization that provides emergency or overnight shelter services in Minneapolis, an organization that advocates for renters, a nonproďŹ t community development organization, an organization that advocates for rental property owners, an or-

ganization that helps support homeownership and the elimination of racial disparities in homeownership rates and an organization that works for equity in housing, especially as it relates to preventing involuntary displacement of low income communities of color. The deadline for applying is Oct. 5. Those seeking to apply can do so by completing an online application

at and emailing it to openappointments@minneapolismn. gov or faxing it to (612) 6733812. Applications can also be turned in personally at Minneapolis City Hall, room 304. In the application, please address personal experience with housing issues and challenges and/or ability to represent and engage with residents aďŹ&#x20AC;ected by the current housing situation.

Grants help support people with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, other dementia and caregivers Organizations throughout Minnesota will support people with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and other forms of dementia and those who care for them with $750,000 in grants appropriated by the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton and recently awarded by the Minnesota Board on Aging. These organizations

will oďŹ&#x20AC;er memory screenings and training, focusing on being more culturally responsive to diverse communities and working with health care providers to improve services. EďŹ&#x20AC;orts also include art, music and other activities for people with memory loss and the people who care for them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alone

impacts some 91,000 Minnesotans over age 65, and the number is growing,â&#x20AC;? said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These funds support individuals, families and friends in both urban and rural areas with a wide range of activities that respond to diďŹ&#x20AC;erent

cultural norms and values.â&#x20AC;? Grantees and their awards are Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association, Edina, $99,823, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, St. Paul, $47,435, Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital, Montevi-

deo, $90,000, DARTS, West St. Paul, $42,124, Eastside Neighborhood Services, Minneapolis, $45,966, Elder Circle, Grand Rapids, $78,712, Granite Falls Living At Home Block Nurse Program, Koochiching Aging

Options, International Falls, $38,451, Northwoods Caregivers, Bemidji, $110,535, Paramount Center for Arts, St. Cloud, $44,716, Resounding Voices, Rochester, $26,385 and Volunteers of America, Edina, $107,809.

Healing through art Art to Change the World is hosting a 12-day performance, workshop and exhibition event from Oct. 4 - Oct. 14. The topics include human rights, environmental awareness and action, and mind/body wellness and healing. The exhibition and all events take place at Squirrel Haus Arts located at 3450 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis. Anton Treuer, professor, writer and lecturer, who was heavily featured in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dodging Bulletsâ&#x20AC;? documentary will lead a Truth, Healing and Rec-

onciliation discussion from 5 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6:30 p.m. focused on historical trauma with Wesley May (Red Lake) and Sarah Edstrom (White Earth). Additional sessions include Busting Down the Silos, a discussion focusing on historical trauma, Black/Brown Youth Rights and Justice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a conversation with law enforcement and ACLU experts, Body/Image and the Mirror of Distortion, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;talk backâ&#x20AC;? performance of choreography, spoken word and classical violin, Addiction/Recovery and

Resiliency, which will feature a motorized wheelchair giveaway with longtime survivor of muscular dystrophy. Additional programming includes nine workshops, seven nights of performances with pre/post discussions, a popup â&#x20AC;&#x153;take actionâ&#x20AC;? performance evening, and a non-proďŹ t networking night. Most events are pay-what-youcan and are open to the public. For more information call (612) 669-8712 or go to



New for 2018 Battle Axe Pub Bow Blast Cock-A-Doodle-Zoo Magic the Live Unicorn Ye Old Bingo Mermaids, Fairies, Vikings & much more!

Full Contact Live Jousting 16 Stages of Exciting Entertainment 50 FREE Family Friendly Activities 250 Artisans for Endless Shopping Enjoy Craft Beer & Feast Like A King

Open Saturdays and Sundays August 18th-September 30th Plus Labor Day and Festival Friday, September 28th Rain or Shine 9am-7pm 952-445-7361 FREE Parking


Phone: 612.588.1313

Fax: 612.588.2031


/,/Âś6$1*(/6 0(025</266 6833257*5283

INH Properties manages Section 8, Section 42 and Rural Development projects in the following MN cities: Anokaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bridge Square, 763-421-6772 Big Lakeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Autumn Winds,  Brainerdâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mississippi Terrace, 218-829-0274 Cold Springâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cottage Court, 320-685-3888 Eden Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hillside, 320-- Fergus Fallsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kaddatz, 218-205-0644  Glenwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Glenview, 320-634-3188 Hawleyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Northside Terrace, 218-483-4524 Hutchinsonâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Clinton House, 320-587-5458 Isleâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Isle View, 320-- Isleâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mille Lacs Manor, 320-- Mankatoâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dublin Road, 507-345-3351 Minneapolisâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Holmes Park, 612-378-8817 Morrisâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Crystal Lake, 320-589-3662 Onamiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Oakwood, 320-532-4321 Onamiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Onamia Shores, 320-532-4321 Pierzâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kamnic Lane, 320-468-2581 Riceâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Benton Place, 320-- St Michaelâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Countryside Cottages, 763-497-4901 St Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Parkway Gardens, 651-771-0267 Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; Alice Nettell, 218-741-3650 Residents must meet income guidelines. Rent based on income at some locations. INH Properties is an equal opportunity housing company.











Page 13 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Lifestyle Elks treat kids to backpacks, school supplies Several area students headed back to school with new backpacks filled with sup-

plies thanks to the Elks Ames Lodge No. 106. Members of the lodge


Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Managing Editor Harry Colbert, Jr. Culture and Education Editor Dr. Irma McClaurin Associate Editor Afrodescendientes Carmen Robles Associate Editor Nigeria & West Africa Chief Folarin Ero-Phillips Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Content & Production Coordinator Sunny Thongthi Yang Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed

Contributing Writers Nadvia Davis Fred Easter Abeni Hill Timothy Houston Michelle Mitchum Latisha Townsend Artika Tyner Toki Wright

hosted a back-to-school supply drive Aug. 25 at their Minneapolis lodge, 1614 Plymouth Ave. N. In addition to giving away upwards of 250 backpacks filled with supplies, the lodge gave away six bicycles, a scooter, a tablet, pairs of shoes and cash prizes for winners of various contests including a Black history trivia

Save the Dates! October , , and th 2017

Photography David Bradley V. Rivera Garcia Uchechukwu Iroegbu Rebecca Rabb Artist Donald Walker 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.

Receptionist Lue B. Lampley


Cervical and Breast Cancer Screenings for women ages 40 to 64 who are uninsured or underinsured* What: FREE Cancer Screenings* and

Elections From 3

Community Health Education

When: Oct. Qd, UG, th Tuesday Oct. Qd English Speakers Wednesday Oct UG Spanish Speakers Thursday Oct. th Hmong Speakers Registration Check-in: 8:00 AM Screening: 8:00 AM–2:30 PM Health Education: 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

Where: 1313 Penn Ave. North To register call 612-543-2500 or

Intern Kelvin Kuria


Keep your mind, body and spirit nourished with an affordable membership and programs designed to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Scholarships available.

5-DAY TRIAL PASS Welcome to the Y.

contest, dance contest, foot races and singing contest. Kids were also treated to free haircuts and hair braiding. Lodge No. 106 has been hosting the back-to-school drive for more than 10 years. In addition, the lodge of up to 20 active members presents a Halloween program and donates to Toys for Tots.

Get started today with a 5-day* free membership. Bring this coupon in to receive your pass. * 5 consecutive days. Must be 18+ to activate. Photo I.D. required. Check out class schedules and programs at

Valid through 8.15.18

1015 4th Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55405 (P) 612 230 3987 (W)


YMCA at Cora McCorvey Center

gress. This will be our payback national vote for all the injustices and inequalities that confront Black America. We are proud that the Black Press is helping to make this happen profoundly across the nation this year.” Dorothy Leavell, NNPA’s National Chairman and publisher of the Crusader newspapers in Gary, Ind. and Chicago, said the victories could signal a political sea change in November. “The results of voting in Florida, which made Andrew Gillum the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida is yet another big victory for African-

Americans this year,” Leavell said. “It’s exciting to see Black politicians making history. It’s also refreshing to see a product of an HBCU school (Gillum, who graduated from Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Fla.) break racial barriers in Florida’s lily-white politics. Our nation has too few people of color heading major governments.” Bobby Henry, publisher of NNPA member The Westside Gazette in Florida, said more work is yet to be done. “We have one more river to cross. We are certainly proud and elated that brother Gillum has made the first step into Florida’s history and now we have to ensure that his – which is ours also – journey complete, “ Henry said.

Page 14 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Monday, Sept. 10

Robert Robinson and Gwen Matthews Dakota Jazz Club 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis 7 p.m. $30-$35

HIP-HOP Why Khaliq and Mic Q.A 7th Street Entry 701 N 1st Ave., Minneapolis 8 p.m. 18-plus $7 Two of the Twin Cities’ top hiphop artists hit the 7th Street.

Tuesday, Sept. 11 GOSPEL/R&B


Gwen Matthews has worked with world renown musicians like Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Catch her tonight with Minneapolis’ premiere voice, Robert Robinson.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

INTERACTIVE ART Forced from Home Interactive Exhibit: Minneapolis The Commons, Minneapolis 425 Portland Ave. S, Minneapolis 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Guided by experienced Doctors Without Borders aid workers, you’ll travel through a 10,000-square-foot space designed to convey the challenges facing a person forced to flee. You’ll also learn about the humanitarian aid we provide along the way. The tour lasts about one hour.

Monday, Sept. 10 – Sunday, Sept. 16

Thursday, Sept. 13

612.332.5299 •

651. 291. 2715 • v ieux- car r

Aretha: The Soul of a Queen Crooners Lounge & Supper Club 6161 Highway 65 N.E., Minneapolis 7:30 p.m. 21-plus $30-$35

VIP Saturdays Rouge at The Lounge 411 2nd Ave. N., Minneapolis 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. 21-plus

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@

SEP 25-26 • 7 & 9PM



feat. Buster Williams & Lenny White


Friday, Sept. 14

Saturday, Sept. 15

“splendid and soulful”

SEP 23 • 7 PM

TDE’s first breakout artist, Jay Rock, hits Minneapolis on the West Bank for the “Big Redemption Tour.”

Ginger Commodore, Yolande Bruce and Debbie Duncan celebrate the Queen of Soul at Crooners.


– Jazz Times

8 p.m. 18-plus $20-$75

HIP-HOP Jay Rock The Cabooze 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis

Drink and dance with some of the best DJs in Minneapolis at VIP Saturdays.

Sunday, Sept. 16 HIP-HOP F@#k Cancer: A Benefit for DJ Adatrak Pimento Jamaican Kitchen 2524 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. All ages until 10 p.m., 21-plus after A contributing member of the Twin Cities hip-hop community, Jimmy “DJ Adatrak” Cavanaugh was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Help raise funds for his recovery with Dem Atlas, The Lioness, K.Raydio, Lady Midnight, Haphduznn, Chance York, Hot Pants, $i$ (Minnie Blanco and Mixie DBest), Carnage the Executioner, BAARD, Nazeem and Spencer Joles and more.

Page 15 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

Charley Pride selected for the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame MERIDIAN, Miss. - Country Music Hall of Fame member and Mississippi native Charley Pride, was honored with another industry accolade recently, celebrating his legendary career as a pioneering country musician. Pride was inducted into the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame class of 2018, on Aug. 25 in Meridian, Miss., along with four other recipients; singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, photographer William Eggleston, writer and editor Willie Morris and Blues musician Howlin’ Wolf. Pride also received a Walk of Fame star as part of the ceremony. “I’m very humbled to be part of this Hall of Fame class along with these other accomplished Mississippians,” said Pride. “This honor means a lot to me because it comes from my home state. I am so proud to be from Mississippi.” Pride was born in Sledge,


A pioneering country music star, Charlie Pride accepts induction into the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience Hall of Fame. Miss. to a sharecropping family, and was raised from humble roots on a farm. His love of country music was fostered by Grand Ole Opry broadcasts on WSM radio. He saved money for almost a

year to purchase his first guitar at age 14 – a Silvertone model from Sears & Roebuck In 1966, Pride was signed by Chet Atkins to RCA Records, where his gritty, southern-accented baritone voice made him a superstar. Pride has received three Grammys, three Country Music Association awards, an Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry inductions and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. His 52 top-10 hits include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town,” “Burgers and Fries,” “Roll On Mississippi” and others. Others in the Mississippi Hall of Fame include Morgan Freeman, John Grisham, Jim Henson, James Earl Jones, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Wright.

Comcast West Division President Steve White shares his story with attendees of the 2018 National Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.

Comcast was proud to support the 2018 National Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Minneapolis Thank you for your important work supporting communities across the country and your partnership to help bridge the digital divide in the Twin Cities through Internet Essentials. Learn more at

Page 16 • September 10 - September 16, 2018 • Insight News

THANK YOU FOR MAKING DIVERSITY WEEK A SUCCESS Every day is an OPPORTUNITY. To INSPIRE an individual. To RALLY a community. To UNITE a territory. Imagine if we SHARED, we INSPIRED, we LISTENED, we RESPECTED. Imagine if we saw POSSIBILITIES instead of obstacles, we were BRAVE and BOLD, we CELEBRATED differences as much as similarities. Imagine if words weren’t used to isolate or label and instead used to CHALLENGE us to be BETTER. Imagine if one day, we no longer imagine it. IT JUST IS.

Special thanks to Treasure Island Resort & Casino and Prairie Island Indian Community for presenting Diversity Week 2018

Insight News ::: 9.10.18  
Insight News ::: 9.10.18