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Choppin’ it up with Chuck Chizzle MORE ON PAGE 5

December 2 - December 8, 2013

Vol. 40 No. 49 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •


David Nicholson By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer David Nicholson has some big shoes to fill. Come Dec. 2, Nicholson officially takes over as the executive director of Headwaters Foundation for Justice. The post was previously

held by Trista Harris, who left to head the Minnesota Council on Foundations. Harris is nationally recognized for her efforts with nonprofits, so a bit of a spotlight will be shining on Nicholson once he officially takes the helm at Headwaters. But Nicholson, who served as the Headwaters’ program director for the past nine years,

seems to be taking it all in stride. “(Harris’) leadership led me to say this is something I could do. She’s the one that really inspired me,” said Nicholson, who said he was actually a part of the selection committee that hired Harris at Headwaters.


Photo: Harry Colbert, Jr.

David Nicholson, executive director, Headwaters Foundation

Larry McKenzie: “More than just a game” By Abeni Hill Larry McKenzie is the boy’s basketball coach at North Community High School, but he is more than just Xs and Os. McKenzie is also a published author and the title of his first book is Basketball … More Than Just a Game. In the book he uses basketball as a metaphor for success. McKenzie uses the

techniques is his book to help each individual member of the team personally grow as well. “One thing I honestly believe is that if I can change their minds, I can change their lives,” said McKenzie. “If I can get them thinking a different way about how they approach life, then we can have some different outcomes.” One of the key pieces of advice that McKenzie gives the basketball players is the power of self-

image. “You can’t be what you don’t see,” said McKenzie. “Sometimes they don’t know the value of education.” McKenzie said some of the boys he is coaching will be the first in their families to graduate high school. McKenzie also touched on the lack of the presence of strong male role models in the teenagers’ lives. “Eighty percent of our households don’t

have a male in them,” said the coach. Although the high school students are faced with personal challenges, McKenzie emphasizes the importance of having a positive attitude. “Two important things are your attitude and your effort,” said McKenzie. “No one can make you have a bad day. You have to be in control of your destiny.”


Larry McKenzie, North High School basketball coach and motivational speaker

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN)


McCollum: Violence against women unacceptable Washington, DC – Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, last week said, “Violence in all forms – emotional, physical, and financial – is a real fear for women of all ages, races, sexualities, and nationalities. It is unacceptable that one in three women worldwide will be the victim of violence in their lifetime. I am proud of my efforts in Congress to keep


NNPA Photos by Freddie Allen

Oprah Winfrey

C.T. Vivian

Ernie Banks — Mr. Cubs

President honors ‘true champions’ with Medal of Freedom By Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON (NNPA) – During what he called one of his “favorite events every year,” President Obama presented 16 outstanding individuals, including four African Americans, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. President John F. Kennedy created the Presidential Medal of Freedom 50 years ago to honor

exceptional people for their courage and contributions to society during their careers. This year, President Obama selected 16 individuals for the honor. The president praised Ernie Banks for his play in the Negro Leagues and for being the first Black player on the Chicago Cubs major league baseball team. Nicknamed “Mr. Cub,” Banks, won Most Valuable Player awards in 1958 and 1959 and played in 14 All- Star games. Banks hit 512 home runs during his career.

Insight 2 Health


Creating a dementiacapable community

I don’t want to fight


C.T. Vivian, a Baptist minister and adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored for his work leading the Freedom Riders and his efforts to register Black voters in Selma, Ala., where he was bloodied by Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark after leading a Black delegation downtown to register. President Obama also recognized Bayard Rustin, posthumously, for his work and sacrifices during the Civil Rights Movement. Rustin, an openly gay civil rights leader, was the key organizer of the 1963 March on

Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The president honored Oprah Winfrey for her incredible broadcast journalism career and her charitable contributions. Winfrey can add the Presidential Medal of Freedom to her resume, which also includes Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and the Kennedy Center Honors Award. Oprah’s daytime talk show ran for more than 4500 episodes. “Oprah’s greatest strength has always been her ability to help


Motivational moments Concentrate on how great your life could be



Let my nephew go By Ahmed Tharwat I am writing as an Egyptian national who has lived in the United States for 35 years and who still feels a close connection to his native country. I am writing on behalf of my brother and his family, whose son, Hassan, was arrested during the recent crackdown in August. My nephew, Hassan, is a sweet 19-year-old boy, who all his life he has been working hard to build his future. Hassan, like all teens, loves music, reading


Community Human Rights Week centers on jobs, education, equity


Page 2 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Insight News

Vanne Owens Hayes speaking at the AALF Baraza Ambassador Luncheon. Owens Hayes strives to empower the community through knowledge.

Creating a dementiacapable community By Abeni Hill Editorial Intern The African American Leadership Forum’s Health and Wellness Workgroup recently held a health luncheon at which Vanne Owens Hayes spoke about dementia and Alzheimer’s and how they affect the African-American community. “We are all going to be seniors,” said Owens Hayes. “If we are all going to take care of each other we need a dementiacapable community.” Dementia occurs when ones brain functions begin to deteriorate. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. According to Allina Health, Alzheimer’s gets progressively worse over time. “In Ramsey County, African-Americans experience Alzheimer’s at a higher rate than anyone else in our community,” said Owens Hayes, who said this disease affects Hispanics in greater numbers as well. Studies have shown that genetics is not a significant factor in why Alzheimer’s affects African-Americans and Hispanics more than Caucasians. “Many experts believe that Alzheimer’s is a result of multiple factors rather than a single cause,” said Owens Hayes. “Health conditions such

as high blood pressure and diabetes may increase one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia may account for these differences because they are more prevalent in African-Americans and Hispanics.” Owens Hayes strives to inform her community about the disease. “I think knowledge is power and I want to build awareness,” said the community liaison. “Dementia is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions when the nerve cells in the brain, called neurons, die or can no longer function normally,” said Owens Hayes. When these cells no longer function, it causes memory loss and an inability to perform bodily functions such as swallowing and walking. Common symptoms of memory loss include having trouble with planning or solving problems, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships and new problems with words and speaking or writing. One example Owens Hayes gave was when someone is looking for a tooth brush and instead of calling it a toothbrush they might say “where is that thing I use to put in my mouth?” Other symptoms include the loss of the ability to retrace steps. Owens Hayes gave the example of losing one’s keys

and being unable to find them because the person put them in an unorthodox place like the refrigerator. “Early detection is key,” said Owens Hayes. “Early detection gives you a chance to begin direct therapy and enroll in clinic studies and plan for the future.” African-American Health and Wellness Work Group collaborated with ACT, an Alzheimer’s awareness organization, and the Metro Area Agency on Ageing to educate the Twin Cities. The organization plans to have community dialogue to educate the community about the disease and how it affects the African-American community and create a supportive community. The African American Leadership Forum is a “movement” of area African Americans leaders who address challenges, create solutions, and build a vibrant and sustainable community. The AALF Health and Wellness Workgroup has a holistic vision for the “community, where individuals are healthy and our communities sustain a sense of wellbeing.” The Health and Wellness work group meets every third Monday of each month at Open Cities, 409 Dunlop, St. Paul. For more information: http://www.aalf. us/actions/health-circle.

Insight News • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Page 3

HEALTH Weight loss can decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes In Minnesota, nearly 300,000 adults have Type 2 diabetes, and as many as 1.4 million Minnesotans have prediabetes. Most do not know it. Of those estimated to have prediabetes, only about 1 in 6 people even know they have the condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines prediabetes as a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Having a family history of diabetes, such as a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, puts Minnesotans at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. During National Diabetes Month, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)


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 Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Editorial Intern Abeni Hill Production Intern Sunny Thongthi Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed

Rev. and Mrs. Petty – before and after. Through the I CAN Prevent Diabetes program, Rev. and Mrs. Petty both lost over 20 pounds and significantly decreased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. is calling attention to the small, but important steps families can take together to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. MDH works with local partners to offer a communitybased, lifestyle change program for people with prediabetes. I CAN Prevent Diabetes! is one of the names used in Minnesota for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) – a curriculum constructed on research that found that people who lost a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity reduced their chances of developing diabetes by 58% over a three year period. Jill Petty entered Minnesota’s I CAN Prevent Diabetes, through The Stairstep Foundation . Petty’s risks were high. Along with a family history of diabetes and being overweight, she is also African American. African Americans are at an even higher risk for this serious chronic condition. “I never put my health first, or even second.” Petty says. “It always came behind work, kids, church and other activities.” Mrs. Petty and her husband Rev. William Petty are two of 207 participants who have completed the I CAN Prevent Diabetes! program through the Stairstep Foundation. To date, Stairstep has trained 25 lifestyle coaches who direct

the program at nine churches across Minneapolis and St. Paul. “Stairstep’s implementation of I CAN Prevent Diabetes! is a stellar example of how building programs in specific community settings can make a meaningful impact,” says Gretchen Taylor, Director of the Diabetes Program at MDH. “With NDPP programs like I CAN Prevent Diabetes! in more than 30 communities throughout the state you can see how the potential positive effect can multiply.” Rev. and Mrs. Petty have both lost over 20 pounds, substantially reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The couple attributes their success to being in the program together, weekly meetings with support from other participants, learning about healthier food choices and portion control, and convenient ways to increase physical activity. “MDH’s goal is to increase awareness of prediabetes, while helping people make positive changes to reduce their risk. We believe the way you do that is to do what works in people’s lives. Stairstep Foundation facilitates an ecumenical collaboration of African American churches called His Works United, that escape territorial issues and work together to confront key issues of the community. The diabetes prevention program

is beginning to be effectively presented in the African American community through the trusted institution of the African American church. Having the right tools, in the right place, at the right time is an important part of staying healthy.” States Alfred Babington-Johnson, CEO of Stairstep Foundation and Convener of His Works United. Learn more about prediabetes, the I CAN Prevent Diabetes program, and the resources available through MDH at

The NDPP is a publicprivate partnership of community organizations, private insurers, employers, health care organizations, and government agencies. These partners are working to establish local evidence-based lifestyle change programs for people at high risk for type 2 diabetes. diabetes/prevention/ The Stairstep Foundation believes that restoration of a spirit of community requires intentional approaches to encourage people to act as if they believe they belong

together. Therefore, Stairstep has pressed forward to: Understand the components, processes, and dynamics required to revive a spirit of community; Provoke discussion and encourage others to embrace community building as a priority agenda item; Create and document replicable models and strategies that build community. http:// For more information or to enroll in a Stairstep sponsored program, call Sylvia Amos, Director of Programs at 612-521-3110.

Give. To help me live.

Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Timothy Houston Alaina L. Lewis Darren Moore Alysha Price Photography Michele Spaise Corey Collins Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

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Thanks and Giving

St. Jude patient Ian, age 6 ©2013 ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital © 2013 BBY Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

Page 4 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Insight News


I don’t want to fight Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond This is not an article about bullying, fist-to-cuffs or marriage. This is about something we all fear even more: meetings at work where everyone has different

opinions, and where everyone has different levels of authority (aka power). Avoid these meetings. And when you can’t avoid them, manage them; behave as if you are not intimidated, and chances are, you won’t have to be. You can’t avoid bad meetings, really. But by planning ahead, you can change the tone of the meeting before it starts. Know what’s on the agenda, and consider how you are going to feel emotionally and intellectually about each agenda item. What do you want to say about that issue? Does

that problem even concern you? Sometimes emotionally charged meetings can be diffused when one side or the other admits they can live without this or they don’t care much about that. Knowing, in advance, what really matters to you gives you confidence going into the meeting, and keeps you from expending energy on one agenda item when another is more important to you. Ask, What have I got to lose? And then answer that question, yourself, before you go into the meeting. Talking to co-workers in

advance of the meeting can help. Find out what their hot buttons are; ask how they are thinking of addressing some of the issues. What do they have to lose? Getting these conversations out of the way in advance will help you understand where everyone is coming from as they enter the meeting. Shouting matches can happen in offices of all sizes. They are a waste of everyone’s time and the company’s money. Managing the tempo and mood of the meeting is everyone’s responsibility, and it

only takes one person to diffuse a bad scene. The magic words are, “I don’t want to fight.” The key is to be genuine when you say it. You are not there to argue; you are there to discover the other person’s perspective. The more frustrated you are, the more important it is to ask questions. There is common ground here somewhere; keep looking. Last week, I left a meeting with someone important. The conversation was about money, which is a hot issue for almost everyone in work situations. I said,

“I don’t want to argue. I just want you to help me figure this out.” At the end of the meeting, I remarked, with some disappointment, “We didn’t resolve anything.” My coworker smiled and said, “No, but now we understand each other’s perspective.” Maybe that was the most important agenda item of all.

business and family activities our minds find time to weigh questions such as “What would my children enjoy?” and “When should I order the turkey?” and, of course, “How can I give to all the people I love without going broke?” In the midst of all this holiday activity comes the busy season for nonprofit fundraising. Some organizations and institutions encourage us to give before the year-end to take advantage of tax benefits, while others offer opportunities to remember those who are less fortunate. Still others invite us to imagine new expressions and manifestations of

the arts, leadership, education, and science. If you can take a moment to escape the hustle and bustle of the season you may find a way to combine celebrations, gift giving and support for nonprofits that are important to you and your family. You can put the busyness of the season in perspective by spending the afternoon with your children volunteering at a local hospital, food bank, senior center, or veterans home. When considering what to give, consider underwriting a child’s pre-K education by giving to a program that had their funds cut this year.

You’ll be giving a gift that will make an impact for a lifetime. You can make that gift in honor of a family member. Other ideas include purchasing gloves or socks in bulk to give to people who are homeless in your community. Spend an afternoon making tasty sandwiches and share them with people who are hungry. Talk with your faith leader, college representative or another trusted person “in-the-know” to find out which out-of-state (or out-of-country!) college students need a home for the holidays and open your home and heart. If your neighbor is in need, consider

purchasing a gift card she can use at a local grocery store. This is an ideal time for a gift to the food bank. Gifts to scholarship funds are easily made on-line and are more important than ever as so many students are losing access to Parents PLUS loans. Give to help those half-way around the world by supporting victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. If you are thinking of purchasing a pet for your child, consider adopting one from your local nonprofit animal rescue or ASPCA. Many nonprofits publish beautiful calendars – consider giving one

as a gift. Purchase your Christmas tree from a nonprofit and holiday cards from UNICEF. Most importantly, sit down as a family and share the gratitude you experience. Then find a way to give in ways that speak to your hearts.

for his public service that “was just getting started” when he left office. “[President Clinton] doesn’t stop,” said Obama. “He’s helped lead relief efforts after the Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake. His foundation and global initiative have helped to save or improve the lives of literally hundreds of millions of people.”

Also honored were Ben Bradlee, a former executive editor of The Washington Post who oversaw the newspaper’s award-winning coverage of the Watergate scandal; Late Senator Daniel Inouye (honored posthumously), the first Japanese American to serve in Congress; Daniel Kahneman, a scholar who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002; Richard

Lugar, a former Senator from Indiana who led the effort to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and Loretta Lynn, the country music icon who won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. In addition, President Obama recognized Mario Molina, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and environmental scientist; Gloria Steinem, the women’s

rights activist and co-founder of Ms. magazine; Arturo Sandoval, a Grammy Award-winning jazz musician; Sally Ride (honored posthumously), the first American female astronaut to travel to space; Dean Smith, the former head coach of the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team who won two national titles and graduated 96 percent of his players; and

Patricia Wald, the first woman to serve on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. President Obama said: “These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us.”

Julie Desmond is IT Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Send your career planning and job search questions to

Gifts that keep on giving FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw Let the holiday season begin! Thanksgiving ushers in six weeks of busyness as we reunite with family and friends for dinners, parties, and holidays such as Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This is a time of gift giving. In addition to daily

Award From 1 us discover the best in ourselves. Michelle and I count ourselves among her many devoted fans and friends,” said President Obama. President Bill Clinton earned his Presidential Medal of Freedom

Copyright 2013 – Mel and Pearl Shaw Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success.” They position nonprofits for fundraising success. Visit them at www.


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Choppin’ it up with Chuck Chizzle

Photo: Harry Colbert, Jr.

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer I knew when I was preparing to interview DJ Chuck Chizzle I’d need to block off a large amount of time. See, I’m a music head and I can talk music all day, but Chuck, the mix DJ for KMOJ’s Moyning Show, is a true music head and he can (and does) talk music all day. But as they say, he gets it honest. Chuck Chizzle, 37, born Charles Doughty, Sr., is a second generation disc jockey (his father, Charles Bell, spun under the moniker Chuck Chillout, and

chizzle is urban slang for chill), his uncle, William Doughty, was with Flyte Tyme and Graham Central Station and his great uncle played with Duke Ellington and Count Basie. “Music is all I’ve ever talked about – DJing is my love,” said Chizzle. “I’ve lost girlfriends, I’ve been homeless – all to follow my dreams (of being a disc jockey). I’d spend most of my paychecks on buying records. If I had a choice of paying my phone bill or buying the last couple 12inch (records) I needed then I wasn’t paying my phone bill.”


Samantha Rei empowers women through fashion My old standby is cotton. Cotton never disappoints me.

By Amina Harper, The Art House With 13 years working in fashion under her belt, Samantha Rei is beginning a new chapter—one that will show an even wider audience that femininity and strength go hand and hand. After a fruitful career under the title Blasphemina’s Closet Samantha is branching out into new territory; crafting designs that extend beyond the gothic Lolita style she’s known for. Her garments are inspired by the stories of heroines whose soft charms are combined with power and intelligence. Who says you can’t look cute and save the world at the same time? What is your favorite creation; a piece you’ve made that you’re really proud of? Currently, it’s the three-piece coat collection that I made for the Union Depot show. I have a newfound love of wool and I’m going to be doing a lot of stuff with it in the future. Photos by Ryan Cutler

Samantha Rei loves working with sheer fabrics right now, but has a strong appreciation for cotton.


• Juxtaposition’s young artists: Trust as a key ingredient in public art

• Jennifer Hudson steals show in screen adaptation of Black Nativity

If you could only work with one kind of fabric for the rest of your life, what would it be?

What, in your opinion is your favorite current fashion trend? I’m super into sheer fabrics right now. I was really happy to see that other designers went full force into the trend as well. Almost everything I’ve seen this season from designers I like. Where do you want your career to be in the coming years? I would like to see my stuff in stores across the country. It would still be limited, small runs and that, but I would love to see people around the country having easier access to my stuff. What’s up next for you? I’m doing a show at Teslacon after Halloween then starting my spring collection. All winter it’ll be work work work! This is the second of three local fashion designers Amina is profiling this month. Read the first in the series, Judy Cooper Lyle of Phyllis Designs. ©2013 Amina Harper

• Snapshots

Page 6 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Aesthetically Speaking

Juxtaposition’s young artists: Trust as a key ingredient in public art By Sheila Regan, Behind the Story On Friday, I met four young artists and several working artists who are associated with Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) as part of a panel called “In The Mix”, sponsored by JXTA and KFAI. The discussion centered on public art and community, and it was just great to hear the perspectives from the young people about the topic, but also just hear about their experience with the program, where they are building skills in artmaking while also earning money as apprentices. I was especially delighted to reconnect with Tyanna Williamson, whom I had interviewed at the end of the 2011/12 school year, when she attended North High School. I remember I had talked with Williamson about her future plans and that she had worked with JXTA, and it made me so happy that she’s going to school at MCTC and continuing to pursue her art at the arts organization.

Photo by Sheila Regan

Jahliah Holloman and Cameron Downey were two of the students that were a part of the panel, “In The Mix” at Juxtaposition Arts The other students were two young women, Jahliah Holloman and Cameron Downey, and a young man, Namir Fearce. The young artists were joined by Choreographer Kenna Cottman, of Voice of Culture, and visual artists Sam Ero Phillips and Caroline Kent, who teach at JXTA. One of the topics covered by

the forum involved a program that the students participated in last summer, in which they created paintings with text (such as “what morally” and “silverTongueGoldenwords”, “Radiant POWER” and “Earth Atmosphere Neighborhood.”) The words of each painting had specific meanings, both in the words themselves and how they

were placed and the colors used. For example, the “what morally” piece was inspired by Trayvon Martin, and as one audience member observed, has the black text on top of white canvas. For the public art portion of the work, the young JXTA artists would wheel these paintings to various locations, mostly around the neighborhood, in order to

instigate conversations. It was fascinating hearing how this played out. The young people talked about how people would look at them as if they were crazy, but that ultimately, they were able to engage people in conversations, or if not, at least take a step back and let neighbors experience the work for themselves. “I was looking for a sense of trust,” Namir Fearce said. “I don’t want to intrude on people’s space.” Part of what lent itself to that trust, he said, was that as an organization, JXTA had been able to establish itself and it’s place as a force of good in the community. That seemed like a really smart thing for a 15-year old to say, and it’s a piece of advice that all public art practitioners could hear, whether they be associated with neighborhoodbased organizations or larger institutions. His statement speaks to art as a two-way conversation between the artists (and organizations/ institutions that support them) and the community to which it’s being presented. That means

creating relationships, and as Sam Ero Phillips pointed out, that relationship can be broader than just about art. He noted that JXTA artists also have helped out in the community in other ways, whether that be helping pick up leaves or other such tasks. Those kinds of relationships are actually more attainable by a smaller organization based in a neighborhood, rather than a larger institution, even if the larger institution has more resources. Don’t get me wrong — I think we need big institutions too, and I know the Walker and the MIA do engage in outreach efforts with youth and different communities. Still, I wish there was a bit more collaboration or sharing of resources between the big institutions and these smaller organizations that are reaching people that don’t necessarily ever go to museums. If you’re interested, you can listen to the condensed version of the panel discussion on KFAI’s minneculture sometime in January.

Soul Sounds: An open mic for nurturing arts, building community By Sheronda Orridge TC Daily Planet I recently had the opportunity to attend Soul Sounds Open Mic where the featured artist was Danez Smith, who is a spoken word artist, slam poet, and author. It was an intimate crowd of about 40 people, with some attendees even dressed in Halloween costumes. Soul Sounds Open Mic takes place at Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul every week, and is community collaboration between the Saint Paul Almanac and Golden Thyme Coffee Café. The goal of Soul Sounds is to create a safe, multigenerational, and diverse space for people

to create and share work while engaging in active dialogue that promotes connection and community. The first artist of the night at last week’s Soul Sounds was Mimz, a spoken word artist who shared a poem called The Right One, about her search to find the right man. She also performed a poem about the trials and tribulations of raising her daughter to be a strong and proud black woman, which the crowd enjoyed. As the artists blessed the stage one by one, they touched on a number of topics: from losing a child, to molestation, to saving one’s self for the right person. The evening was also interactive; at least one artist asked the audience

members what they thought the poem was about and what message they gained from it. The open mic is hosted by Tish Jones, a spoken word artist, educator, writer, organizer and community engagement director for the Saint Paul Almanac. Not only does this unique open mic allow local established artist to showcase their work. It also gives emerging artists an opportunity to showcase their talents, while receiving loving and honest feedback from their community. The environment is warm and nurturing, and artists have a chance to improve on their craft in a safe space. I have been to many open mics, and this is the first one I have witnessed that truly assists in enhancing

the growth and wellbeing of the artist. Jones said the safe nature of the open mic is a result of community demand: artists has asked for a space like this for years. Spoken word artists needed a consistent family-friendly space to fellowship with one another, she said. Participants have expanded their network, gone on to do other performances, had their work published in the Saint Paul Almanac and joined arts organizations either as a board member or volunteer. Soul Sounds began in June 2012, and has developed and supported many artists throughout the Twin Cities. Each week, Soul Sounds Open Mic features and showcases local

established artists. Previous artists have included Ibe Kaba, Jake Virden, Marie Chante, Brittany Delaney, Bobby Hickman, Hieu, Mankwe Ndosi, Guante, Mimz, and Ashley Dubose who competed on the singing television show “The Voice”. While talking to this week’s featured artist Danez Smith, I asked him what he thinks is unique about Soul Sounds as compared to other open mics he has been a part of. He said performing in Golden Thymes gives him a greater sense of community and that this space is dedicated to the growth of an artist and this is also a space where views and beliefs can be challenged. I also spoke to emerging

artist Keno Evol, who said that Tish Jones does a great job of supporting and informing the community. He added that he has grown as an artist because of Soul Sounds. Soul Sounds open mics also create space for writing workshops (every first Thursday of each month), prize drawings, networking, teaching and healing. Dr. Sheronda Orridge is Owner / Operator of Loving Spirit Life Coach Academy LLC and a life coach and life coach trainer for the Better Futures Minnesota where she coaches men returning home from prison. Sheronda has a PhD in Holistic Life Coaching from the University of Sedona.

Idris Elba? Or Alfre Woodard? They all look alike, says Armani By Blair Adams Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper During the fifth annual Governors Awards in Hollywood recently the Giorgio Armani team—known for their sleek and unusual fashions—couldn’t tell the difference between a well-

known female actress—and a male actor in a “they-all-lookalike” gaffe. On Nov. 18, stars walked the red carpet, which has historically been linked to a time for celebrities to show off their tailor-made apparel. Alfre Woodard was labeled Idris Elba—a male star—in a caption on its Instagram account triggering howls on Twitter.

“Idris Elba posing in a gorgeous Giorgio #Armani dress at the 5th Annual Governors Award,” the luxury fashion house posted on Twitter when Woodard walked the red carpet and posed for cameras—wearing their gown. Armani quickly deleted the mistake, but not before several cyberspace followers noticed the error, especially #Black Twitter. Noting that it was a woman gracing the red carpet in a black, cap-sleeve dress, online critics said the confusion between the two was offensive. According to Rolling

Idris Elba (l), and Alfre Woodard (r). Out—a Black entertainment website, “the mistake, which was highly offensive considering that Woodard was mistaken not only for another Black entertainer, but for a man.”

On Instagram, followers posted replies suggesting that incorrect name was embarrassing and a fashion line that held in such a high regard, should have known who she was and not messed up somebody’s name. Therealqueenofengland

posted, “this is seriously embarrassing. Of course they can’t tell one Black person from another. Even if one is a man and this is clearly a woman. Help yourself #armani. Google exists for idiots like the person who runs your IG.” That same evening, the Armani folks, in another caption gaffe, reportedly labeled a picture of Elba with actress Naomie Harris erroneously, indicating that Harris and Elba are a romantic pair, according to The Grio. It is untrue. Harris is Elba’s costar in a movie about South African icon Nelson Mandela.

Aesthetically Speaking • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Page 7

Jennifer Hudson steals show in screen adaptation of Black Nativity By Kam Williams

Jennifer Hudson and Jacob Latimore

Fox Searchlight

Naima (Jennifer Hudson) is a single-mom struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with son Langston (Jacob Latimore), 15, who’s the same age she was when she had him. Back then, she was as headstrong as he is now, which explains why she ran away from a good home in Harlem to raise him alone in Baltimore. Today, upon receiving an eviction notice, cash-strapped Naima reluctantly sends the rebellious adolescent in need of a father figure to New York to live with her parents, Aretha (Angela Bassett) and Reverend Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), prominent members of the black community. But Langston lands in trouble even before they have a chance to pick him up at the bus station, so they end-up having to bail him out of jail. Is it too late for anyone to make a difference in the rebellious juvenile delinquent’s life? Can the Cobbs mend the fractured relationship with their long-estranged daughter? Will Langston belatedly bond with the absentee father he’s never known? These are the pivotal

questions raised in “Black Nativity,” a modern morality play based on the Langston Hughes musical of the same name. Adapted and directed by Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”), the film features an engaging soundtrack sprinkled with evocative onscreen performances by cast members including Mary J. Blige, Nas and Tyrese, though all pale in comparison to those by Jennifer Hudson. Fair warning to theatergoers ordinarily operating on CPT. Don’t take the risk of arriving too late to catch the incomparable diva’s unforgettable opener, “Test of Faith,” a showstopper every bit as memorable as her heartfelt rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as Effie in “Dreamgirls.” A timeless parable as memorable for its uplifting spirituals as for its moving message about the importance of faith and family.

Excellent Rated PG for menacing, mature themes and mild epithets Running time: 93 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire By Kam Williams Despite only being introduced in 2008, “The Hunger Games” trilogy has so captured the collective imagination of kids the world over that it has already eclipsed Harry Potter as the bestselling children’s book series of all time. Suzanne Collins’ postapocalyptic adventure is set in Panem, a disturbing dystopia marked by the brutal subjugation of the overwhelmingly-poor majority by the very powerful, privileged few. In the first installment, heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) grudgingly participated in a winner-takeall death match against other teens, each representing his or her home district. Known as the Hunger Games, the annual competition is staged as entertainment ostensibly designed to distract the masses from their pitiful plight. Wise beyond her years, underdog Katniss emerged

Chizzle From 5 One particular story Chuck told me drove his point home, as Chuck explained how he chose music over food. “I had a girlfriend and at the time she saw I didn’t have any money and she gave me some money and said, ‘and don’t you spend it on no damn records,’” said the dedicated DJ. “Sure enough I got a call about a Mos Def, Hi Tek, Reflection Eternal import (a rare LP printed and pressed for overseas consumption) and of course, I spent that money on it.” Thankfully for the DJ whose mixes air weekday mornings on the Twin Cities’ only urban format station, choices such as that don’t have to be made anymore. Chuck said his early years of spinning were more than adventurous. His first DJ gig was at an after hours biker spot and his equipment was less than desirable. “I rocked off of two cassette tape decks. I had to be all of 15 at the time. They wouldn’t let me leave the booth except in

triumphant at the end of the first episode by virtue of a combination of craftiness, compassion and her skills as an archer. However, she did break a cardinal rule by sparing the life of her co-winner, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), her friend and male counterpart from District 12. At the second installment’s point of departure, we find the pair embarking on a government-sponsored victory tour around the country. However, when their speeches stir up revolutionary fervor in the crowds, a vindictive President Snow (Donald Sutherland) breaks a promise by drafting them to take part in the Quarter Quell, a tournament of champions comprised entirely of former Hunger Games winners. So, it’s not long before they’re back in training for another free-for-all, this time engaging elite opponents blessed with gifts ranging from fang-like teeth to uncanny intuition to chameleon-like camouflage to

the ability to harness electricity. Each of the entrants, known as tributes, is introduced by Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), the festivities’ unctuous master of ceremonies. Once the pomp and circumstance of the decadent opening ritual are out of the way, the relatively-gruesome main event begins. Allegiances are forged, and bargains are made, followed by literal and figurative backstabbing in a desperate contest which ultimately mandates a cruel betrayal of any loyalties. For all its frenetic action, this uneventful installment nevertheless suffers slightly from a classic case of inbetweenieitis, since it basically serves as a bridge to the trilogy’s exciting conclusion. A water-treading sequel that achieves its goal of satiating the fans’ bloodlust while whetting their appetite for the franchise’s grand finale.

between each song I’d have to go out to the car I rode in to cue up the next tape,” said Chizzle. “But I rocked it – and I kept on rockin’ it. I can remember we used to ride the bus with about 10 people carrying records and crates to a gig – djing mostly for free.” The hungry DJ from north Minneapolis soon earned a name for himself; and along with fellow Northsider, Dell Dilla, teamed with St. Paul DJ Big Reese to form the DJing crew Triple Threat. Triple Threat grew and the name changed to the now well-known Mashwell Brothas. Mashwell consists of Chuck, Dell, Reese, Levy Jones, Chris Styles, No Mic, Fund Raiser, DJ Roby One, DJ Intenz, Bianca “Cali” Lewis and Gifted Compositions. Lewis is Mashwell’s unofficial publicist and Gifted Compositions is a design company. “But it’s all Mashwell. We’re a family,” said Chizzle. While Chuck made his name as a club DJ, he’s gaining exposure daily, spinning on the Moyning Show with hosts Lisa Moy and Shed G. “I gotta big up Lisa and Shed for giving me an opportunity,” said Chuck, who is on his second

stint with KMOJ and who was with B-96 (KTWN-FM) before it moved away from an urban/hip-hop format. “People like what I’m doing (on air). I try to do something different each time and have some fun with it. When you’re spinning your music you’re putting your personal stamp on it.” Aside from daily mixes on the radio, fans can catch Chuck at Hunan Garden on Saturdays in St. Paul, 380 Cedar St., and at various other events and venues. Chuck and I talked music for nearly an hour about everything from the state of today’s hip-hop, to how DJing has evolved from records to CDs to Serato (the DJ program that eliminated the need to carry crates of records and created seemingly thousands of DJs overnight), to DJ pet peeves and beyond. His passion flowed with every word he uttered. After a while the talk morphed out of an interview into two music heads choppin’ it up about the subject they both love. But abruptly the discussion had to end. It was late in the evening and Chuck was eager to start working on his latest mix.

Very Good

PG-13 for profanity, intense

violence, frightening images, mature themes and a suggestive situation

Running time: 146 minutes Distributor: Lionsgate Films

You can’t stuff a big screen into a stocking. Or can you?

Give the gift of anything they want. Scratch games from the Minnesota State Lottery. Must be 18 or older.

PL_MSL_TechHalls_525x105_BW.indd 1

11/15/13 10:07 AM

Page 8 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Aesthetically Speaking






This past Friday (Nov. 22) Aesthetically Speaking was on hand at the Dakota Jazz Club for the American Roots Revue featuring local icons Michael Bland, J.D. Steele, Robert Robinson, Larry Long and Tonia Hughes. Our photographers caught a bit of the action and a few faces in the crowd. 1) J.D. Steele (left), Tonia Hughes (middle) and Robert Robinson (background) belting out a tune. 2) Adara Thomas and Christina Marie Kargbo are all smiles after the show. 3) Former Minneapolis mayor, Sharon Sayles Belton (third from the left) with her sister, Renee Sayles (left), Rita Hattoumi (second left) and J.D. Steele (far right). 4) Lisa Brimmer and Claire Chamberlin enjoying the scene. 5) (left to right) Singers Amanda Snyder, Adara Thomas, Rachael Leah and Rachael Svanoe making their Dakota debut.


Insight News • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Page 9

Concentrate on how great your life could be Motivational Moments

By Penny JonesRichardson Are there ever times when you feel afraid? I don’t mean afraid when you watch some scary movie, or

afraid of noise in the night, but afraid that you will never be who you set out to be or achieve the goals you want to achieve. This form of fear will paralyze you and make you believe that you are stuck right where you are. It can make you give up and not move toward your greatness. There are times in life when we all feel afraid of the unknown. We train our thoughts to believe that we will never be the person we dream of being. We can also train our thinking

to believe that what we have is good enough. But just as those negative thoughts invade our thinking, you can retrain your thoughts to think positive. Thinking positive is powerful. Whenever you feel like you have settled for a mediocre existence, just concentrate on how great your life could be if you allowed yourself to dream big and use those positive thoughts. Think of how your life as a great adventure with never ending possibilities. Each day

you should wake up and declare that you are one more step closer to achieving your goals. If you embrace the unknown and realize that fear is just for a moment, not a lifetime, you then can move on and achieve the wonderful things that you’ve planned for your life. You should always know that you can move on from any situation that you find yourself in. We all get stuck sometimes when we are trying to work hard at becoming the true person that

lies in us. With hard work and positive thinking you can fight any fear or doubt that enters your mind. Every time you start to think you can’t move on, and that this “is it” for you, just think about how far you’ve come in your life. Think about where you were when you first started this journey of completion. Believe me it can be very scary deciding to change your life for the better, but it is worth it. If you have decided that you want more for yourself and your loved ones,

then don’t let the fear of the unknown get in your way ever again. Know that every step you take gets you closer to your goal. But the key is to move your feet. And as always remember, stay focused, stay determined and keep striving for greatness. Penny Jones-Richardson is a published author and life coach. She can be reached via her website at www.thequeensproject. com or email at penny@

St. Peter AME celebrates pastor Nazim Fakir’s first anniversary The Rev. Nazim B. Fakir, pastor of St. Peter’s AME Church and the Rev. LaTonya April Fakir, are a unique ministerial team. As husband and wife, they share a love of God, love of family and love of the community. Recently members of the St. Peter’s AME Church, located at 401 E. 41st St. in south Minneapolis, celebrated Pastor Fakir’s first anniversary as their pastoral leader. A native of Detroit, Nazim Fakir received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Detroit Mercy and his master of divinity with a concentration in urban ministry from GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. Pastor Fakir believes the church should be integral to family and community life. “In my view the church should have a primary role in shaping families and communities. The Black church once was the center of the Black community and everything communal was there. At that time we were a much stronger and unified community, even if by default,” said the church’s pastor. “I believe the church needs to push to return again to a more central place in the community so that we might assist individuals and families with finding their path towards wholeness.” A family man, Nazim Fakir said his wife is his partner in life and ministry. “My wife and I met at a mutual friend’s house in Detroit, in the summer of 1992. After our initial meeting we talked for hours and immediately knew there was

Nicholson From 1 Headwaters was established in 1984 around a grant-making model that places funding decisions in the hands of the community. To date, Headwaters has directed more than $9.3 million in 3,405 grants to various organizations representing communities historically excluded from resources and power – in particular African- and NativeAmerican organizations. Nicholson, who was

Fakir family, seated (L-R): Pastor Nazim B. Fakir, Reverend LaTonya A. Fakir; standing (L-R): Yazmin Kya Fakir (19), Najma Kiann Fakir (16), and Ilana Kali Fakir (13)

Willie Dean

something special between us,” said Nazim Fakir. “We were married on May 6, 1994, and have been married for 19 years.” When asked how his life in Detroit shaped him as a man and as a leader, the pastor said, “Growing up in Detroit had a profound effect on me. First, I am a lover of the automobile and have been since I was old enough to have car keys. Secondly, Detroit is

a blue collar, working town with hard-working residents who want to provide a great life for their families and have struggled against the empire to do so. I have grown to be an advocate for those that find it difficult to advocate for themselves. My dad, Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir, the sole remaining original member of the Four Tops, is considered entertainment royalty in Detroit and many parts of the

world. Having that influence really opened up the world to me and broadened my thinking as it relates to what is possible to achieve in life. Also, it gave me the opportunity to travel the country and to other parts of the world, which helped to shape a global understanding of humanity. Because of the financial security this lifestyle provided I was able to get into lots of trouble, make lots of mistakes, and learn lots of

lessons the hard way, which in turn allowed me to experience a great number of things that have proven to help prepare me for the ministry that God has called me to.” A passion for social justice and advocacy carries over into Nazim Fakir’s ministry at St. Peter’s AME. During his first year as pastor, the church reintroduced itself to the community, spoke out regarding issues of

born in St. Paul but raised in Braham, Minn., spent his entire professional career in the nonprofit arena, though he arrived at such a place quite by chance. “I was in college and was hired as a cook at Ain Dah Yung, (a youth center in St. Paul) and it was really an accident because they pulled the wrong application,” said Nicholson. “I realized what an incredible privilege I had to work with these incredible runaways who were so strong in their own way. It was there I realized people’s lives can be changed by your actions. I get a lot of reward

from serving and being a part of the community.” Prior to joining Headwaters, Nicholson worked at the Department of Children, Family and Learning as the director of the Children’s Trust Fund, a statewide program working with local communities to end child abuse. Headwater’s new director earned a Bachelor of Science in human service administration from Metropolitan State University. As the new executive director of Headwaters, Nicholson said the mission and focus will continue on with a seamless transition. Currently Headwaters funds

nearly 35 nonprofits to the tune of about $500,000 annually. In addition, the foundation raises about the same amount from outside donors, which it also distributes annually. Of the programs Nicholson touts heavily, the one he’s most proud of is the African American Leadership Forum. The forum is a movement of AfricanAmerican leaders and stewards across six metropolitan areas – the Twin Cities, Portland, Seattle, Des Moines, Tacoma, and Omaha – committed to the revitalization and sustainability of a vibrant African-American community.

“That effort began locally and has been taking off in other states, as they look to the Twin Cities as a model,” said Nicholson. “We could not be more thrilled to have David as our new executive director,” said Headwaters board co-chair Leigh Stepan. “We feel that his extensive experience in nonprofit management coupled with his proven ability as a strong leader, collaborator and visionary will serve our organization well as we move into the future. The board is committed to working in partnership with David to

injustice and discrimination and developed a community garden to help deal with the food desert in the south Minneapolis community. Pastor Fakir also revitalized a number of ministries including the Noon Day Bible Study, Worship Arts Ministry and Ministry to Women. He also initiated a new Social Action Ministry to address ills in the community and commissioned a committee to secure annual sustaining, capital and endowment funds to assist with expansion of the church’s ministries and the upkeep and expansion of its building and grounds. “The supreme thing that drives me to serve is the calling that I answered from God back in 1999, however I am motivated by other factors as well,” said St. Peter’s pastor. “I have experienced the grace of God in my own life that has helped me to overcome a great many personal challenges and I am motivated to share that reality with as many people as I can. I have a burning desire to assist men with realizing their power lies in God and not in the trappings of this world,” said Pastor Fakir. “We can reach whatever goals we set. My shortterm goals are to continue to foster spiritual, numerical, and economic growth. My long-term goals are to build a complete worshiping and serving community of believers where we have not only opportunities for worship but also for meeting the needs of the community by feeding, clothing, and educating area residents,” said Nazim Fakir.

continue to strengthen our programming, deepen our base of support and build on the foundation developed in nearly 30 years of addressing the root causes of injustice.” For someone who has spent nearly 25 years working in the nonprofit/social service arena, one might have bolted for greener financial pastures, but Nicholson said his work is a life calling. “A lot of people who start doing this type of work want to change the world and when I talk to them later it’s about how this work changed them for the better,” said Nicholson.

Page 10 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Insight News

COMMUNITY Human Rights Week centers on jobs, education, equity Fifty years after the historic March on Washington, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is presenting a week of events centered on jobs, education and equal opportunity memorialized in Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. During Minnesota Human Rights Week, Dec. 2 - 6, the Department will feature events focused on equity and employment for minorities, women, people with disabilities who -- in the words of Dr. King -- are still holding a promissory note, and still seeking “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

A cornerstone of the week is the Department’s Human Rights Symposium, an all-day conference on Dec. 5 focusing on employment, public policy, and criminal justice. The conference features a series of workshops on issues such as voting rights, criminal background checks, equal pay, Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan and other topics that continue to present challenges to achieving Dr. King’s vision of freedom and equality. On Friday Dec. 6, the Department recalls the goals of the 1963 march with an event shining a light on the struggle to ensure employment opportunities for people with disabilities. A

Courtesy of 3M

Kimberly Price

Statewide Video Conference on the Strategic Advantages of Hiring People with Disabilities will bring together employers and members of the disability community to discuss successes in disability employment, and challenges that remain. The week will feature a number of noted guests, sharing their perspectives on the progress made in the decades since Dr. King’s words rang out from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial decades ago, and the unfinished business of ensuring America makes good on its promise of justice for all. One special guest is Kimberly F. Price, Vice President, 3Mgives

and 3M Foundation, who speaks on Monday at a Diversity and Inclusion summit for state government senior executives. For Minnesota’s youth, Commissioner Lindsey will recognize the finalists in the Department’s “I Have a Dream” video competition. The competition invited young people from across the state to create short videos on what the ideals of Dr. King’s dream mean to them in their lives today. As part of Human Rights Week, Commissioner Lindsey will congratulate the winners, and their videos will be published the web.

Walker on the Green: Call for artist-designed course Following a hugely successful summer of mini golf in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Walker Art Center will present a full 18-hole course designed by Minnesotan artists in the summer of 2014. Close to 50,000 visitors played the 2013 garden-themed course that included garden gnomes

Community Calendar • Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by email: info@, by fax: 612.588.2031, by phone:( 612)5881313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411. Free or low cost events preferred. EVENTS Winter Heart Health Discussion - Dec. 5 Abbott Northwestern – WestHealth is sponsoring a free public seminar, “911: Heart Risks and Emergency Care,” Thursday, December 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Ave. in Plymouth. An expert panel will discuss protecting heart health, what to do in case of a heart attack, reducing holiday stress and improving overall wellness. The featured speaker is Dr. Elizabeth Grey, a cardiologist with the Minneapolis Heart Institute®. Dr. Grey sees patients at Abbott Northwestern and WestHealth. To register for this free event, visit WestHealth CommunityEd. or call (612) 262-4393. South Minneapolis Healthcare Enrollment Events - Dec. 5,7 On Thur., Dec 5th and Sat., Dec 7th, there will be free community events to provide resources and assistance

to inform and enroll people through MNsure. Come to learn about MNsure or to find a health insurance plan that fits both your budget and health care needs. There will be free inperson assistance to help you find, compare, and get enrolled in a health insurance plan. Somali, Spanish, and Hmong language speakers will be available to assist you. Enrollment appointments are available and encouraged. Contact Liz Xiong, Healthcare Organizer, to schedule your appointment. Call (651) 3790754 or email lizx@ takeactionminnesota. org. Gather and bring the following information to ease your enrollment process. 1) Household Income: Prepare your best estimate of your household’s annual taxable income for the current year— including income from pensions, social security, unemployment, etc.). Last year’s tax forms and/or pay stubs can be helpful. 2) Social Security Numbers: Know the immigration status for and bring social security numbers of anyone applying for coverage (or document numbers for documented immigrants). 3) Employer Coverage Information: If your employer (or your spouse’s employer) offers insurance, know

masquerading as foosball strikers, a giant watering can, a scale model of a French chateau, mazes, gopher holes, and contours mapped from the course at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club. The Walker is accepting design submissions for the 2014 course until January 10, 2013. Proposals will be selected for inclusion in this

Phone: 612.588.1313

year’s mini golf course by a team of Walker curators and programmers based upon the design’s concept, playability, safety, durability, and feasibility. Ten new designs will be chosen to join eight returning holes. Individuals submitting mini golf-hole designs for consideration must be based in Minnesota and registered

Fax: 612.588.2031

how much you would pay for individual coverage, even if you don’t accept it. Free Bird Feeder Build Activity @ Holiday on 44th - Dec. 6 On December 6th, Elpis Enterprises will be returning to Holiday On 44th to facilitate our free build-your-own bird feeder activity at the Housing Resource Center at the intersection of 44th and Penn. Elpis is an employment training organization serving homeless youth, ages 16-23, by offering them paid training and work experience, as well as a program of career management and networking assistance. Within the structure of a small business model, our youth operate a wood shop, a screenprinting shop, and conduct experiential activities out in the community. Our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is 90% funded through these activities. Walker Art Center -Free First Saturdays - Dec.7 Walker Art Center’s Raising Creative Kids programs in December feature the Free First Saturday event Wall-toWall Walker (Saturday, December 7, 10 am–3 pm), a day to explore the Walker featuring artist Alyssa Baguss. Activities are free and available on a first-


call (612) 375-7600 or visit

Fences at North Hennepin Community College Theatre The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play “Fences” will be presented at North Hennepin Community College Theatre, and directed by Mike Ricci, from December 4-8, 2013. “Fences” tells the story of Troy Maxson, a former baseball star of the Negro Leagues, who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. His exclusion from playing baseball in the Major Leagues leaves him with a bitterness that he takes out on his wife and son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. Furthermore, his rough upbringing he experienced as a child now informs the decisions he makes as an adult, and all those around him have to deal with the consequences of his actions. Performances run December 4-8 in the NHCC Fine Arts Center Theatre at the intersection of 85th Avenue North and West Broadway in Brooklyn Park. Matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. on December 4 and 8, along with an American

come, first-served basis. Gallery admission is free from 10 am–5 pm on Free First Saturday. Activities recommended for ages 6–12. Also in

December the Walker presents Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, the popular program designed to nurture creativity and engage a child’s mind. Arty Pants

Part-Time Administrative Assistant (20 hours per week) The Minneapolis Foundation is seeking a part-time (20 hours/week) administrative assistant to support the director of the Northside Funders Group, a nineteen member funders’ collaborative designed to align investments to catalyze comprehensive and sustainable change in North Minneapolis. For a full copy of the job posting, please visit http:// Submit a cover letter, resume, salary history and references by December 2, 2013 to: The Minneapolis Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

APARTMENT OPENINGS Delton Manor is accepting applications for future 1, 2, & 3 Bedrm apartment openings. Delton Manor has 3 two-bedrm handicapped accessible units located in the building. Delton Manor promotes equal housing opportunities for all perspective residents regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual preference, religion, handicap, marital status, familial status, national origin or source of income. For applications and qualifications, contact NANCY at 218-7592523. AN EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.


Saint Paul Public Schools seeks a School Bus Driver to join its team! Candidates must have a High school diploma or G.E.D. and two years of experience as a School Bus Driver, which includes experience working with special needs students. Must have a valid Class A or B commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a current unlimited school bus driver’s endorsement and a current passenger endorsement. For more details and to apply, visit Saint Paul Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer and supports an inclusive workplace environment.

Sign Language interpreter for the December 8th performance. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on December 5-7. Tickets are $8 for adults; and $5 for seniors, students, and matinee performances. All seats are general admission. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door. Doors open 30 minutes prior to performances. For more information, visit events or call (763) 424-0775. Individuals submitting mini golf-hole designs for consideration must be based in Minnesota and registered with; entrants may include artists, architects, engineers, landscape architects, furniture designers, etc. Submission forms are located on There will be an informational meeting about the submission process on Tuesday, December 10, at 6 pm at the Walker.

programs are presented on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month and feature art projects, films, gallery activities, and story readings. The Walker Art Center

is located at 1750 Hennepin Avenue— where Hennepin meets Lyndale—one block off Highways I-94 and I-394, in Minneapolis. For public information,

Volunteer Coordinator Part-time Position – 2nd District GAL Volunteer Coordinator. Visit website to apply: www.mncourts. gov , deadline 12/20/13.

Committee Administrator and Research Consultant The MN House of Representatives DFL Caucus has a full-time Committee Administrator and Research Consultant positions available. The complete job posting can be found at: or call 651-297-8200 for a faxed or mailed copy. Cover letter and resume must be received by Friday, December 6, 2013. EEO/AA EMPLOYER

with; entrants may include artists, architects, engineers, landscape architects, furniture designers, etc. Submission forms are located on There will be an informational meeting about the submission process on Tuesday, December 10, at 6 pm at the Walker.

Hallie Q Brown Community Center Holiday Workshop – Dec. 7 On Saturday December 7th 12:00pm – 2:00pm Hallie Q Brown Community Center is having a Holiday Workshop for those special people in your life. You bring the creativity - HQB will supply the materials. At this event there will be make-n-take crafts, a holiday bake and rummage sale. A $5 donation is requested that will go towards helping support our food shelf or bring 3 canned goods. Hallie Q Brown Community Center is located at 270 North Kent Street, Saint Paul, MN. For more information: (651) 2244601. 9th Annual Camden Music School Holiday Sing-Along - Dec. 7 9th Annual Camden Music School Holiday Sing-Along plus “A Recipe for FUN” Craft and Bake Sale A simply delightful, neighborly way to celebrate the season. 4pm, Saturday, December 7 CMS/ Camden: Luther Memorial, 3751 Sheridan Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN. 55412. FREE. Proceeds from the craft and bake sale go to the CMS Scholarship Fund, a sponsored project of Our Neighborhood Works, www.our neighborhoodworks.

com. For more information: 612618-0219 or www. camdenmusicschool. com. Interpreting the Language of the Heart - Dec. 7 River of Life and Waters of Life Church host Interpreting the Language of the Heart Women’s Health Fair in Saint Paul, MN. The fair will be held at the Community Center on 999 Selby Ave, on December 7th 2013 from 11 AM to 3 PM. There will be many doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners and other health professionals who can discuss with you topics of your interest such as dental health, heart disease, cancer, nutrition, weight loss, sleep, exercise and many more. PACER workshop addresses special education, parent involvement – Dec. 10 PACER Center is offering “Special Education: What Do I Need to Know?” a free workshop for parents of children with disabilities. It is on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Stillwater Public Library (Margaret Rivers Room), 224 Third St. N., Stillwater, Minn. Advance registration is required. Special education is instruction designed specifically to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities. It is provided in the most appropriate setting and

at no cost to parents or families. To register for the workshop, call PACER at (952) 838-9000. In Greater Minnesota, call (800) 537-2237 (toll free) or visit Workshops and Informational Seminar - Dec. 14 The Ministry of Criminal Justice and Trinity Housing Services in collaboration with Peace of Hope presents Dealing with Incarceration: Turning a Negative into a Positive! This full day is packed with resources for anyone in the community who has had or are currently experiencing any affiliation with arrest, incarceration, probation, parole or diversionary programs. Come find out about special immediate housing opportunities, transportation to and from the Minnesota Correctional Facilities, how to get your driver’s license reinstated and also hear speakers present topics that will benefit the people of our community who have been involved in the criminal justice system. The event will take place Saturday, December 14th at the Minneapolis Urban League, at 2100 Plymouth, from Noon – 6pm. For more information call (612) 220-4678. All children are welcome! Can goods appreciated to help those less fortunate.


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Insight News • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Page 11

Hodges names John Stiles Chief of Staff John Stiles

McKenzie From 1 All of the basketball players he has coached at North High have graduated high school and gone on to college, said McKenzie. McKenzie said there is a great need for youth support in the north Minneapolis. The caring coach said that people too often focus on the negative aspects of the community or “the stuff that is going on out in the street.� “Our conversations are constantly about the negative instead of the positive,� said McKenzie, referring to selling drugs and the gang activity. While McKenzie promotes the positive, he does have the team address the issues in the community. “I tell these kids that they don’t only represent North High School, they represent this community,� said McKenzie. “We’ll get the team together because somebody got shot on the block,� said McKenzie adding that sometimes he and the team will host candlelight vigils for the members of the community who

Hassan From 1 and camping. From my last visit in 2011, I remember Hassan as a gentle, kind, young boy, a hard worker and lovely kid. He has never been affiliated with any political or religious organization. In August, Hassan found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was arrested among the thousands who were

Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges announced that she has selected John Stiles to serve as her chief of staff when her term begins on January 2, 2014. Stiles currently serves as Mayor R.T. Rybak’s communications director. Stiles has also served as campaign manager for Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, as communications director for the Minnesota DFL Party, and as

principal aide to Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter. “John Stiles has the experience in the mayor’s office, the determination to build a strong team that gets results for people, and the heart for Minneapolis to do an outstanding job as chief of staff and help move our city forward,� said Mayor-elect Hodges. “Betsy has made a brilliant choice,� Mayor Rybak said. “John

knows almost every aspect of what can come up in a mayor’s office, and has enormous capacity to handle many different tasks at one time that will serve Mayor Hodges well.� “I’m excited to work with Mayor-elect Hodges to build on the strong, vibrant city that Mayor Rybak and she have built, and help steer it and our partners to meet our biggest challenge: ending

have been slain in the streets. Last year, said McKenzie, the team convened to discuss the Trayvon Martin case. “That could have been any one of these young men,� said McKenzie. McKenzie said sports are positive youth activities that should be supported more. “When kids are trying to do something positive in this community we need to let them know that we support that,� said McKenzie. “We have an opportunity to be proactive versus reactive.� The motivational coach said he would like to see higher attendance at high school sporting events. When talking about North High athletics in general, McKenzie said “there were games where there were less than 50 fans in the stands. I went to the first football game of the year, there (were) only 25 of us.� “Let’s not wait until the section playoff or the state tournament to get on board,� said McKenzie. “These kids need to know that we are behind them from day one.� McKenzie said that attendance at the games is not the only way to get involved. McKenzie said

there are volunteer opportunities with the Polar Pride Basketball program. North Community High School has implemented the Polar Pride Basketball Program. This program is designed by McKenzie and the mission of the program is “to use basketball as a metaphor to empower young men to be champions in the classroom, in their families, and their communities.� The goal of the program is to inspire each member on the team to strive for excellence in all areas of life instead of just their physical ability in basketball. “There are lots of opportunities if people want to volunteer they can give us a call and we can share with them how they can get involved in the program,� said McKenzie. The concerned coach said some of the players aren’t getting adequate nutrition before coming to school or practice. “The value of nutrition is extremely important,� said McKenzie. The basketball coach said the group of people that suffer from diseases such as diabetes and high blood the

most is African-Americans. “These diseases are a result of not eating correctly.� McKenzie mentioned there are not enough adequate basketballs for the team to practice. “Whether it is equipment or meals. This school can use a lot of support.� McKenzie also mentioned that the team has set study hours to do homework. He also said volunteers who want to tutor are welcome as well.

lucky enough not to get killed the day of the crackdown on El Nahda sit-in protest. For weeks, his family didn’t know anything about Hassan. They finally found him in Wady El Natroon detention center in Eastern Cairo. To date, he hasn’t been charged with anything or had his day in court. Additionally, his family has to go through great hardship every time they are allowed to visit him. Here, I’m asking for your help to intercede in the case of my nephew and to help win his release as well as all political

prisoners held with no charge. Many of these are young men, like Hassan, who need to go back to their university studies and be reunited with their families. Hassan is not a threat to the national security of Egypt, but, rather, he and his fellow prisoners are the future of Egypt.

racial disparities in jobs, health and education,� Stiles said. When Minneapolis comes together and solves that challenge, there will be no limit to our greatness.�

Mayor-elect Hodges’ appointment of her chief of staff is not subject to City Council approval.

Ahmed Tharwat is a host and producer for Arab American television show, “BelAhdan� (with open Arms). His weekly talk show airs on MN Public TV and at

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Shift: Reshaping the educational experience at Minneapolis Public Schools

Page 12 • December 2 - December 8, 2013 • Insight News

No fear? Condom use drops among Minnesota teens: 2013 could bring record high for STDs By John Michaelson, Minnesota News Connection The teen birth rate is down in Minnesota, but another important concern about adolescent sexual health is emerging. Jill Farris with Teenwise Minnesota said condom use by teens has plateaued nationwide - and statewide, it’s

actually on the decline. “A lot of other trends seem to be going in a positive direction when it comes to young people and their sexual health, but this particular trend is a little bit troubling in terms of going in a direction that we would, of course, like to see in a different direction,” Farris said. According to the latest data, 61 percent of Minnesota 12th

graders report using a condom in their last sexual encounter - but that figure has dropped about 2.5 percent over three years. In the meantime, the number of STDs in the state continues to climb, with a record last year of more than 21,000 cases. Farris said one of the reasons for the decline in condom use is that young people may not have as much fear, since HIV is no longer

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Minnesota’s teen birth rate is the lowest on record, but new concerns are emerging about less condom use and more STDs among teens. considered a ‘death sentence,’ and some education efforts around protection have fallen off.



“ I chose to attend St. Cloud State because I wanted to further my education and because I had a passion in life that I knew I had to pursue.” D O NTRELL TOWNSEN D SO PH OMO RE, MASS CO MMU N ICATIO NS/RAD IO EM PHASIS H O M ETOWN: CH ICAG O, I LLI N O IS

Observation status trends upward: A costly concern for MN seniors By John Michaelson, Minnesota News Connection


“That kind of has gone away, and so a lot of young people maybe don’t really see the problem or the

big deal with STIs. They think it’s something that can be easily treated or managed,” she said. “In some ways that’s true - but we also know there are some pretty devastating health consequences for young people if they don’t get treated.” Farris noted that another reason for the drop in condom use may be the advent of long-lasting, effective contraception such as IUD’s and implants. There’s also the issue that not all STDs present symptoms. “Young people maybe sometimes wrongfully assume that they do not have any infection or that their partner doesn’t, because they don’t have any symptoms,” she explained. “That’s something I think we need to do a better job of educating young people on.” Despite less condom use and more STDs, the teen birth rate in Minnesota has been dropping steadily for years and is now at its lowest point on record. More information is available at

The number of hospital patients being termed under observation is up dramatically,

a trend that’s catching many senior citizens off guard and leaving them with hefty medical bills. Mary Jo George, associate state director of advocacy with AARP Minnesota, says for coverage of some services,

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Medicare requires a patient to be admitted, and being there with an observation status doesn’t count. “If you do not have a threeday hospital stay, what happens is, the Medicare coverage will not cover your skilled nursing care,” she explains. “And so, it is pushed onto the senior, who often has to pay large out-ofpocket costs.” A new report from AARP shows the use of the observation status by hospitals more than doubled between 2001 and 2009, as did the length of time spent in observation, with visits longer than 48 hours increasing the most. George explains that the growing use of observation status also raises questions about the quality of care, but she notes that federal legislation has been introduced to remedy the problem. “One of the bills in Congress is a bipartisan bill,” she says. “It would look to say that the observation services would count toward that threeday hospital stay, so therefore, seniors would not have to pay the big out-of-pocket costs if they do need skilled nursing care.” In the meantime, George urges seniors to make sure they’re asking questions about their admittance status if they are hospitalized. And if they have questions, she suggests contacting the Senior Linkage Line - and that includes Medicare beneficiaries who may have experienced this situation in the past. “Because some of these decisions can be appealed, and seniors can perhaps get their money back,” she says. “And the Senior Linkage Line number is 800-333-2433, if somebody has felt that they have not been rightly admitted into the hospital.” In Minnesota, more than 800,000 people rely on Medicare for their health coverage.

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women safe, but we must do more. I will continue to fight for the rights and safety of all women in the fourth district, in Minnesota, and around the world.” Congresswoman McCollum was a supporter of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. She championed language included in the law to require the Administration to develop comprehensive strategy to address child marriage globally and ensure additional protections for Native American women. She also introduced legislation (H.Res. 213) calling for the creation of a Special Committee on Sexual Assault and Abuse in the Armed Forces to protect the women serving our country in the armed forces. Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations Committee. She is Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

Insight News ::: 12.2.13  

News for the week of December 2, 2013. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. P...