Penumbra and Ragamala Dance win $50,000 2016 Joyce Awards
MORE ON PAGE 10
Insight News December 21 - December 27, 2015
Vol. 42 No. 51 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com
(NEON) green is the color of money North Minneapolis nonprofit assisting African-American entrepreneurs By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Recently a social media meme has been making the rounds showing the struggles of African-American entrepreneurship. The meme reads ‘“I got the job,’ 234 likes, 86 comments. ‘I started my own business’ six likes, three comments.” The meme implies that among African-Americans being employed is more valued than being the employer. Thus, that is just one of the many obstacles encountered by African-Americans pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Aside from perception, those seeking to start or maintain a business confront issues of staffing, marketing, insurance (for the owner and employees), taxes, etc. And of course there
Marcus Owens, the executive director of NEON. is that whole issue of funding. But for those who do successfully navigate the pitfalls of being an entrepreneur the rewards are plentiful. In north Minneapolis, one nonprofit is assisting AfricanAmericans in the pursuit of their enterprising goals and come January, a new business
incubator opens on West Broadway Avenue offering greater resources to area small businesses and start-ups. The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) heads into its tenth year of operation providing services for budding entrepreneurs. Its new incubator is due to
NFL player. Williams’ dental practice was a fixture in north Minneapolis for more than 30 years. The building that houses NEON at 1011 W. Broadway was owned by Williams and is now owned by his widow, Barbara Butts-Williams. Marcus Owens, NEON Executive Director, said once African-Americans change the mindset from employee to
open next month at 1007 W. Broadway Ave. With the incubator, NEON (www. neon-mn.org) will offer office space, copy/printing services, networking opportunities and possible financing for some businesspersons. NEON was, in part, the brainchild of the late Dr. John Williams, a dentist and former Minnesota Gopher and
employer the community as a whole will benefit. “Entrepreneurship is one key of starting to put AfricanAmericans in a better economic position,” said Owens. “We have been told that we can’t own businesses and the way to a stable life is to go to work for someone. We need to start
NEON TURN TO 4
Minneapolis Urban League selects Steven Belton as permanent CEO
Jamar Clark case: No more business as usual, please By Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative (MN-05) When it was announced that the investigation into Jamar Clark’s homicide would proceed to a
grand jury, I became concerned. Grand juries usually indict in regular criminal cases, but rarely in officer-involved shootings. This time cannot be business as usual. This moment cries out for transparency and accountability — for justice. We can provide
that by reforming the grand jury process for officer-involved shootings, fixing the criminal sanctions system and addressing the debilitating racial gaps that plague our state.
CLARK TURN TO 7
The Minneapolis Urban League Board of Directors last week announced that interim President and CEO Steven Belton has been selected as the permanent CEO of the nearly 90-year-old organization. Belton won the top job after a six-month national search which attracted many highly qualified candidates from across the country. Belton has a wealth of professional and community organizing experience, including serving as Chief of Staff, Executive Director of Employee Relations and Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity for the Minneapolis Public Schools. He was a partner and litigator at the law firm now known as Stinson, Leonard Street. Belton has also served as President and CEO of the Urban Coalition of Minneapolis and Executive Director of
MUL TURN TO 4
Volkswagen apology ads ignore Black, Latino media revealed possess $1.1 trillion in collective buying power that’s expected to increase to $1.3 trillion by 2017. Equally inexplicable is the company’s exclusion of Latinos, whose college enrollment has more than tripled since 1996 and who now represent 20 percent of the white and gray collar labor force. In an effort to garner some needed goodwill, Volkswagen earlier this month placed advertisements in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and 28
By Stacy M. Brown NNPA News Wire Contributing Writer Still facing an uphill battle to regain its reputation as a trusted automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen has turned a blindeye to consumers in the Black and Latino community. To some, it’s puzzling that the scandal-plagued automaker would ignore African-Americans, whom a Nielsen Company study
other newspapers apologizing to what it called its “trusted consumer” base for its misdeeds. Those ads were not placed in any of the more than 200 National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Blackowned newspapers that carry a combined weekly readership of more than 20 million people. Nor were they placed in any of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) newspapers, which serve 41
ADS TURN TO 6
For communities of color, the fight against diabetes is far from over
Impact Network partners with AT&T DIRECTV
Confidence equals style
Kwanzaa: A community affair
Page 2 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
African American community establishes 10 for 36 fund By Professor Mahmoud El-Kati, Professor Sam Grant and Jeffrey Hassan African American Self-Help is a long-standing tradition through which the African American community has both endured the onslaught of slavery and white supremacy, and also innovated to make America the best possible place for all Americans. During the Civil Rights movement, we sought to assert our inclusive propositions, but, unintentionally, allowed the diminishment of our ethos and foundation of selfhelp. This proposal calls us to restore that foundation within the African American community of Minnesota. The initial proposed model presented here would channel
more than $9 million from our own hands into our own businesses over the next 5 years. At a leadership retreat on November 7, 2015, Prof. Mahmoud El-Kati proposed that the African American Leadership Forum (AALF) develop and implement an investment fund, modeled on the Rev. Leon Sullivan’s (1962) 10 for 36 Plan. When Rev. Sullivan announced his plan, within 1 week he had 250 investors. Six years later, the number of investors was up to 3,300. “The 10 for 36 Plan was a broad-based program to improve the community. It was built on four premises: (1) an operational definition as a ‘people’s campaign’, (2) community development of its own resources for its own needs, (3) community involvement in its own destiny, and (4) a basic belief
10 for 36 Partnership Investment Trust Year
# of institutional investors
Funds raised at $1,000 each
# of individual investors
Funds raised at $10/m each
Not counting interest earned
10/36 Investment Fund Structure Issue
Build Wealth MN will hold funds
A Partnership Enterprise Development Council (PEDC) will make decisions on both an annual and long-term basis about which businesses will receive support.
The investment fund will designate 30% of assets for grants and 70% for loans. The PEDC will be charged with making decisions on both who gets loans and who gets grants.
Business Advisory Council
A Black Business Advisory Council will meet, under the auspices of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce twice per year to consider
AALF will be responsible to report how we are leveraging community commitment to black business success. The PEDC will be responsible to report on how our collective investments are increasing the capacity and impact of black businesses. Everybody In will report on the role black businesses are playing in closing the racial employment gap. AALF members accept collective responsibility to consistently grow the base of institutional and individual members.
in the ‘self-help’ doctrine”. As we discussed at the leadership retreat the need for a self-help approach to address both the urgency and the sustainability of finance for African American enterprise development and expansion, the people in the room recognized that if we couldn’t answer the call by looking in the mirror, it might not ever get an acceptable answer anywhere else. We are answering the call. We are inviting our African American community members to be the catalyst and make an investment of $10 for 36 months individually or through your institutions; and, for those who can afford it, to make an initial launch investment of $1,000 to get the fund started. We ask that you engage your constituents and your partners to invest as well.
Together, we can raise enough money to double to size of the investment pool available to support African American business development. The difference is, our fund is explicitly focused on African American enterprise development, retention and expansion. AALF has established a dedicated 10 for 36 savings account, and is working with Build Wealth Minnesota, a Community Development Financial Institution, to be the fiscal agent of the fund. Prof. El-Kati followed-up his words with action, by making the first contribution to the fund. Many others have followed, making contributions of $10 for 36 months, and $1,000 launch donations. This investment fund is to be supported by a mix of public and private investors to grow the capacity of African
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American-owned business enterprises in Minnesota to grow, and help our community to grow right along with them. We are asking for individual and institutional members who support the principle of Self Help to go online to www. aalftc.org, click on the Donate button, and make a donation of $10 for 36 months and/or initial launch donation of $1,000 by Ujamaa Day of Kwanzaa (December 29, 2015); and to reach out to their constituency base and get as many people as they can to invest $10 per month for the next 3 years – $10 for 36/months. Funds will be used explicitly to support African American owned business ventures in Minnesota to develop, grow their capacity, and hire more talent from our community. It took Rev. Sullivan’s original Opportunities
Industrialization Center in Philadelphia six years to grow to more than 3,000 members. That was 1968, a time at which the Civil Rights Movement significantly increased the leverage of African American legacy organizations with philanthropy. AALF calls on all of us to secure the investment of 50 African American legacy organizations and 1,000 constituent contributors to our 10/36 Investment Fund by December 29, 2016. In order for this model to work, we need to consistently grow our base of institutional investors each year and our base of individual contributors each year. We can do it, and we must do it, let’s pull together and do it NOW. 1. See http://thesullivantrust. org/10-36-plan/ downloaded 11/8/15
Insight News • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Page 3
HEALTH For communities of color, the fight against diabetes is far from over By Patricia Maryland NNPA News Wire Guest Columnist Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the rate of new cases of diabetes in the United States declined by about 20 percent from 2008 to 2014. This represents the first sustained decrease in diagnosis since the disease emerged as a major threat to public health over the course of the past two decades. But the fight is far from over, especially for communities of color. While the CDC report is good news regarding an overall decline in diabetes rates, it did not acknowledge a significant change in prevalence among the African-American community, which continues to be far more vulnerable to the disease than other racial and ethnic groups. Consider the data: Black adults are about twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic White adults. They are also twice as likely to die from the disease. What’s more, African-Americans are more than three times as likely to suffer from health complications related to diabetes, such as lower-limb amputation and kidney failure.
Patricia Maryland says that it’s clear that the AfricanAmerican community is shouldering an unequal burden when it comes to diabetes treatment, prevention, research and education. It’s clear that the AfricanAmerican community is shouldering an unequal burden when it comes to diabetes treatment, prevention, research and education. And so the CDC’s announcement—while welcome news—does not signal that the fight against the disease is over. There is more work to do to not only overcome the diabetes epidemic, but also eliminate the healthcare disparities that
disproportionately plague our community. To do that, we must redouble our efforts to create a culture of health in African-American communities—one that removes the stigma of seeking care and helps our neighbors and family members access the opportunities provided under the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare.gov is now available for the open enrollment period through January 31, 2016, and taking advantage of the options available today is the first step our community can take to reclaim Black health and wellness. But coverage alone isn’t enough to guarantee better health outcomes for AfricanAmericans. Healthcare providers have a responsibility to deliver inclusive, quality care that considers the needs of the whole patient. That means providing patients with relevant, reliable information that empowers and engages them to make choices for a healthier life. The truth is that all healthcare providers should strive to provide an environment where no one is excluded— where everyone has access to compassionate, personalized care and the opportunity for better health regardless of their
struggles or station in life. And that’s the right model for all providers. Because we must get to know our patients on an individual, holistic level—not prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach—if we intend to truly improve their health outcomes. Finally, our policymakers, civic leaders and all who have a stake in the health of our community must address the social determinants that influence and widen the diabetes equity gap. For years, we’ve known that diabetes can be prevented and managed with healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and good nutrition. But it’s difficult to go for a run around the block when you live in a high-crime neighborhood. It’s challenging to find fresh fruits and vegetables when you live in a food desert. We must marshal our communities around the policies that affect our environment’s ability to support a culture of health and wellness. Diabetes has been—and will continue to be—a major public health issue in the U.S. We’re making progress in the fight against the disease, but we need to do more to address the disparities felt by the AfricanAmerican population. With a focused effort from members of the Black community,
policymakers, civic leaders and healthcare providers to create a culture of health, deliver compassionate, personalized care and advance the policies that make healthy lifestyles viable, I am confident we can
curb the diabetes epidemic for good, for everyone. Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH, is the President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Ascension Health.
Is marijuana the holy grail for pain medication? Dr. Lynn R. Webster, MD, is the Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at PRA Health Sciences, and author of a book, The Painful Truth, and producer of a PBS TV documentary by the same name. Visit him online at www.thepainfultruthbook.com. He lives in Salt Lake City.
By Dr. Lynn R. Webster Is marijuana the Holy Grail for pain medication? You might think so by reading the popular press. An ideal drug therapy is one that is highly effective for a multitude of pain disorders and has low to no toxicity regardless of duration of exposure. Marijuana flirts with this profile—but it is a Trojan horse. Depending on where you live, it may be legal for you to get a prescription for marijuana. But before you rush to your doctor’s office with your request, remember that all drugs have risks. It is a clinician’s responsibility to evaluate the potential benefit, relative to the potential risk, of each drug option. Marijuana products have fewer risks than opioids. Still, marijuana should be used judiciously and with awareness that it could be harmful. Here are five things to think about: • Marijuana is a plant, not a drug, and it has many active chemicals. We need to know which of the chemicals are therapeutic, and for which specific pain diseases, and at what doses. • Some people get addicted. A small percentage of people who use marijuana get hooked on it. The younger you start, the more likely you are to become addicted. Children or adolescents who use marijuana are more likely than most adults to develop an addiction. • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) alters brain function. There was once a lot of hype, fed by Hollywood, about
how marijuana can drive a person insane. Most of that was exaggeration and even false. It’s true, however, that tetrahydrocannabinol can override your ability to feel sensation, reduce your access to memories, restrict your ability to move, and even trigger psychosis. Marijuana users today are at greater risk of side effects than those in the past because of the increased potency of THC in recent years. • Long-term use can be problematic. Using marijuana over time can cause mental health problems for many. Even those who do not become addicted can experience hallucinations and paranoia. Some users can experience anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies. Also, teens’ use of marijuana can interfere with the healthy development of their brain. And for pregnant women, marijuana use could affect the brain of their fetus. • Marijuana increases heart
and breathing problems. TCH, the same chemical in marijuana that affects your brain, can also adversely affect your heart. It has been linked to heart attacks in adults. Smoking marijuana can lead to many of the same breathing problems, including lung infections and coughing, as smoking cigarettes. The point to remember is that all drugs used to treat disease, including chronic pain, come with risks. That means our approach to drug therapy should be thoughtful and wide eyed, not blind. I am not making an argument against marijuana but rather am encouraging greater understanding of marijuana’s potential risks. Considering the current opioid crisis, marijuana may be a safer alternative in some clinical situations. But we must be aware of the potential harm if it is used. Although marijuana may offer a solution to some people with pain, it is not the Holy Grail of analgesics.
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Page 4 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
EDUCATION U.S. high school graduation rate hits new record high U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to data released recently by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The nation’s high school graduation rate hit 82 percent in 2013-14, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago. “America’s students have achieved another record milestone by improving graduation rates for a fourth year,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The hard work of teachers,
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administrators, students and their families has made these gains possible and as a result many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family. We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color.” What’s more, the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas continues to narrow, and traditionally underserved populations like English language learners and students with disabilities continue to make gains, the data show. “A high school diploma is absolutely critical, absolutely attainable and key to future success in college, in the workforce and in life. It is encouraging to see our graduation rate on the rise and I applaud the hard work we know it takes to see this increase. But too many students never
Overall Changes in Graduation Rates
get their diploma, never walk across the graduation stage and while our dropout numbers are
also decreasing, we remain committed to urgently closing the gaps that still exist in too
many schools and in too many communities.” Since 2010, states,
districts and schools have been using a new, common metric—the adjusted cohort graduation rate—to promote greater accountability and develop strategies that will help reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates in schools nationwide. For four consecutive years, graduation rates have continued to climb, which reflects continued progress among America’s high school students. To ensure the economic strength of our country, students must graduate high school ready for college, careers and life. The Department has invested more than $1.5 billion in early learning; implemented strategies that improve achievement and close opportunity gaps, and awarded billions of dollars through such grant programs as Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and School Improvement Grants; and expanded college access and affordability for families.
Research—the engine behind the Northside Job Creation Team By Sarah Gisser, Program Director of Carlson Consulting Enterprise, and Tobin Nord, Program Director of Carlson Ventures Enterprise, academic programs in the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. This article is the second in a series by members of the Northside Job Creation Team, a business-focused community partnership coordinated by the city of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and OutreachEngagement Center, aimed at bringing 1,000 sustainable wage jobs to north Minneapolis by 2018. Research—rather than
corporate goodwill or social responsibility—is the engine behind the Northside Job Creation Team (NJCT), a partnership of more than 40 educational, municipal and non-profit organizations and businesses committed to bringing 1,000 sustainable wage jobs to North Minneapolis by 2019. Of course, corporate and personal social responsibility can play an important role in job building, but the NJCT relies on quantifiable research and economic principles to evaluate opportunities for job creation — opportunities which are shared with community stakeholders and decision makers. As instructors in the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management’s Carlson Consulting Enterprise and Carlson Venture Enterprise groups, we lead the student teams behind the research that
supports NJCT’s findings and recommendations. The NJCT is founded on the principle that communitybased living-wage job creation is a foundational pillar toward community and individual selfsufficiency, housing stability, and increased wealth—an environment that leads to a cycle of stable families, healthy communities, the elimination of disparities, and equal economic vitality. When NJCT members approached us for help with research and statistical analysis on job creation opportunities in North Minneapolis, we weren’t surprised that our students jumped on board — while our students come from diverse career and education backgrounds, they all share a passion for combining coursework with real world experience. Working in teams, our students used applied research techniques with the goal of
evaluating potential sectors for job growth in North Minneapolis, identifying potential clients interested in relocation or expansion into North Minneapolis, and addressing knowledge gaps and barriers to job growth in the broader Twin Cities community. Over the course of three years our students interviewed more than 200 business leaders, community leaders, and economic experts from the across the country. Our reports include a macro industry fit and attractiveness study that identified the food and transportation sectors as ideal for job creation in North Minneapolis; a value proposition and program offer analysis from a business owner perspective to determine if a move/expansion made business sense; opportunity analysis of the development of a food cluster; and a financial exploration of the creation of a proposed “maker’s district.”
Our colleagues at the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs conducted additional research projects on the availability of North Minneapolis real estate and the need for a dedicated business park. All of our reports are available at http:// uroc.umn.edu/programs/njct. html In short, our student researchers provide the NJCT with critical thinking and applied research to inform both “go, no go” recommendations and direction for further investigation. In return, the NJCT has provided them with an opportunity to learn by doing while working on breakthrough solutions to critical problems. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the perfect application of science for the common good. Next: How business owners profit from working with the NJCT
Minneapolis Board of Education suspends negotiations with approved superintendent amid abuse allegations In what they called “due diligence” in the Minneapolis Board of Education superintendent hiring process, board members conducted a site visit to Massachusetts this past Friday (Dec. 18). The visit was to further
gather information regarding allegations about the treatment of special education students in the Holyoke School District under the leadership of thensuperintendent Dr. Sergio Páez. Páez was approved by the board to take over the
beleaguered Minneapolis district just less than two weeks ago but this past week the board voted to suspend superintendent contract negotiations with Páez. The Minneapolis Public School Board will revisit the issue of contract negotiations at
its regularly scheduled business meeting on Jan. 12. At that time, the board will also receive an update from board members Josh Reimnitz and Tracine Asberry about their site visit to Massachusetts. A statement released by
MSP the Board said it “takes seriously the allegations in Holyoke and looks forward to thoroughly reviewing and evaluating all pertinent information before finalizing a contract with Dr. Páez.”
Minneapolis native, graduated from Minneapolis Central High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his law degree from the top ranked University of Michigan Law School. Clinton Collins, Jr., chair of the MUL Board of Directors, said “We are extremely
pleased that Steven Belton will be our permanent CEO. In the past eight months, he has demonstrated extraordinary leadership during a time of great challenges to our organization. Mr. Belton has tremendous support from all of our stakeholders, and is highly respected throughout the Twin Cities business and
non-profit community. He has a clear vision for rejuvenating the MUL and restoring it to its historic role of leading the charge for better economic and social outcomes for people of African descent.” The Minneapolis Urban League is a community-based organization that has been a National Urban League affiliate since 1926. Its
mission is linking African descendants and other people of color to economic opportunities while effectively advocating for policies that eradicate racial disparities. For more information about the Minneapolis Urban League and its programs and services, visit www.mul.org, or call (612) 302-3100.
Photography David Bradley
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For Owens, he said his hope is to see a north Minneapolis that in 10 years from now has a marked increase in the number of African-American owned businesses. “Residents of the 55411 and 55412 (north Minneapolis zip codes) spend $40 million a year in food businesses and $17 million – or about 40 percent – leaves our community,” said Owens. “I want to see less money going as we start to support the businesses right here in north Minneapolis. Studies say a dollar only stays in our community for about six hours. I’d love to see that go up to a couple of days.” To do that, he said, there has to be a shift in the mindset of the African-American consumer. “First and foremost, we have to understand that businesses owned by African-Americans are not ‘Black businesses’ – they’re businesses like any other … period,” said Owens.
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From 1 the State Council on Black Minnesotans. He is currently youth minister at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, where he will continue his ministerial duties. Belton, a
telling ourselves that we can be owners and these businesses can offer a superior product or service.” Owens said the statistics show the best way to cut the employment gap among African-Americans and whites is by encouraging business ownership. “In Minnesota there’s a 29 percent employment gap between African-American men and white men. That’s in part because people tend to hire other people who look like them, therefore we need more African-Americans to transition into ownership to lessen the gap,” said Owens. Prior to becoming a fulltime advocate for business ownership, Owens spent eight years with the Target Corporation and prior to that with TCF Bank – along the way starting his own business.
Insight News • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Page 5
A time to look back FUNdraising Good Times
By Mel and Pearl Shaw As the year comes to an end there will be family celebrations, travels, and delicious meals. In between the many activities we hope you will also have time to reflect. We hope you can let your thoughts wander over the
year that is ending, and extend into the year that is to come. Open your heart and mind to questions only you can answer. “Where did you find joy?” “What about disappointment?” “Were there dreams that came true?” “Dreams that were deferred?” These are personal reflections. They are also nonprofit reflections. Here are some additional touchstones to guide your reflections.
year who “opened the door” for you? Did he or she introduce you to a new partner? Facilitate new opportunities for the children you serve? Perhaps there was a conversation that led to a new way to engage advocates and policy makers? What about the conferences and meetings you attended? Were you exposed to a new idea that you brought back to your nonprofit and began to implement?
Conversations. In the bustle of daily activity we sometimes overlook the impact of a conversation. Was there someone you talked with this
Challenges. When you experienced challenges this year, how did you grow? If there were budget cuts were you able to reorganize your
Bigger Questions. We hope you will find time to reflect on the bigger questions as well. These include “what could we do differently?” “Are we truly meeting our goals?” “Have we become used to doing things a certain way, assuming we are making an impact?” and “are we really making a difference?” Sometimes these get lost in the daily rush. We don’t have time to step back and think about “the big picture.”
staff or programs in a new way? Were you able to create new partnerships or to consider a merger? If you lost a key staff person or board member were you able to look at your work culture and board configuration, and regroup in a positive way? Successes. Did you receive funding for a new program, and during the process of implementation uncover challenges you hadn’t anticipated? Did you find a better way to implement your program once you began the actual work? Were you embraced by new donors or sponsors?
We hope you will have a few days off, with unstructured time to allow your creativity and intuition to guide your
reflections and help you prepare for 2016. We will think of you – our readers – throughout the holiday season. We look forward to sharing 2016 with you, offering suggestions that may help guide your way. Copyright 2015– Pearl Shaw
Mel and Pearl Shaw wish you a joyous holiday season. For more reflections and suggestions visit www. saadandshaw.com
Entrepreneurs make strategic deposit in Black-owned bank By Hazel Trice Edney (TriceEdneyWire.com) - In a strategic effort to continue the movement of “Black-on-Black economics” - circulating dollars in the Black community to every extent possible - a group of Black male entrepreneurs led by the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC) has opened accounts with the D.C.-based Blackowned Industrial Bank. “In order for there to be a strong Black America, you must have strong Black businesses. In order for there to be strong Black businesses, we must have strong Black banks. So, from my standpoint, this is just a reciprocation for what Industrial Bank has done for our communities for the last 80 years,” said USBC CEO Ron Busby Sr. “There’s a trillion dollars of spending power in our community and we want to make sure that dollar stays within
our community. Twenty-eight days a dollar stays in the Asian community, twenty-one days a dollar stays in the Hispanic community. In our community, our dollar leaves within six hours. We have got to change that...Until we have total control of how we circulate our money, our power and respect will continue to be marginalized.” The 15 young men who gathered in the lobby of the historic Industrial Bank are members of the Black Male Entrepreneurship Institute (BMEI), which is in partnership with the USBC. The meeting took on a celebratory mode as Industrial President/CEO Doyle Mitchell congratulated Busby for his influence. “I’m just humbled at the presence of mind that you have displayed since you first came to town and started taking a leadership role with the Chamber of Commerce and came to Industrial Bank and
USBC CEO Ron Busby Sr. (center left, red tie), with Industrial Bank CEO Doyle Mitchell along with members of the Black Male Entrepreneurship Institute. made a $5,000 deposit. You put your money where your mouth is,” said Mitchell. “Our only solution for us to get out of the situation that we are in as Black people is Black on Black economics. I love and appreciate the way you have taken that forward with this effort.”
control company, and moving company. “Everybody that touched the transaction was a Black firm. The service was superior and the price was right.” Since then, Busby has become a leading advocate for support of Black banks and Black-owned businesses. In that
Busby recalled that when he made that $5,000 deposit five years ago, he was intentionally choosing Black businesses in every area of his life. Buying a house at the time, he said he made sure he had a Black mortgage company, title company, home inspector, pest
regard, USBC has now launched an ongoing fundraising effort for the BMEI, co-founded by Randall Keith Benjamin, Jr. and Howard R. Jean, who accompanied the young entrepreneurs to the bank. “This is bigger than just a moment or taking pictures. It’s about how can we go out of our way to make sure that our communities are as strong as possible,” said Benjamin. According to Jean, a BMEI reception and launch will take place Jan. 15, 2016. “We know that our community banks are the strongest funder of small businesses, particularly Black businesses in the community,” Jean said. “So this is our campaign, starting here at the Industrial Bank in Washington, DC as we launch nationally with BME to encourage and inspire other entrepreneurs - male and female - of all ages to start banking Black.”
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Page 6 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
COMMENTARY Impact Network partners with AT&T DIRECTV Black Press of America By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., President and CEO, NNPA The Gospel is about “Good News” for all humanity. In particular the Black Church in America has always been about proclaiming the “Good News” of liberation, freedom, justice, equality and empowerment for Black families and communities across the nation and throughout the world. The Lord knows we need some good news today for Black America. The Black Church and the Black Press and other Black-owned institutions and businesses have both an historic and a contemporary mission to secure and to help improve the quality of life of Black America and of all African people globally as well as all other people who cry out for justice and freedom. Thus, it is with a special sense of acknowledgement that we pause to resolutely salute the monumental “Good News” about Black America’s largest Blackowned faith-based television network, the Impact Network, announcing its partnership with AT&T DIRECTV. Millions of African Americans and others
will benefit from this national broadcasting strategic alliance. In a statement issued by AT&T Newsroom, it was confirmed that “The Impact Network, the only African American owned and operated Christian television network in the U. S., is now available on AT&T’s DIRECTV platform on channel 380. The network features programming on urban ministries and gospel lifestyle entertainment.” Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, co-founder and CEO of the Impact Network affirmed, “We’re excited about the commitment AT&T DIRECTV has shown to the AfricanAmerican community by adding our network…We hope our programming empowers the community with its uplifting entertainment and with additional opportunities for minorities in the television industry.” Dan York, AT&T chief content officer, emphasized, “We look forward to bringing our customers a wide variety of programming and unique viewpoints… Impact is a welcome addition to our channel lineup. We’re proud to deliver content that speaks to the different communities we serve.” We should take due notice of those major American corporate companies that build significant business relationships with Black-owned businesses. AT&T in this instance is making a positive sustainable difference
Now let’s find more ways to continue to advance the sustainability of Black-owned businesses.
to help African Americans empower themselves. I personally know Bishop Wayne T. Jackson. I have firsthand witnessed the entrepreneurial results of his strong work ethic, faith, dedication, and irrepressible energy. Bishop Jackson is a visionary leader. The Impact Network is now poised to provide an increase in critically needed jobs, as well as professional and technical training for the next generation of African American TV producers, directors, and onair talent. An accomplished TV broadcast business leader, Bishop Wayne Jackson brings his innovative and cutting edge approach to The Impact Network. As the senior pastor of Great Faith Ministries International located in the city of Detroit, Bishop Jackson and
his wife Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson, have devoted their lives to serving their congregation and the greater Detroit area for over 20 years. Today they serve together on the world stage producing and promoting positive spiritual and uplifting television programming for intergenerational viewing audiences. In our long struggle to advance the cause of freedom and human liberty, too often the so-called mainstream media has maintained a disproportionate negative coverage about the perplexing challenges that African Americans continue to endure. But now to have a national and international faithbased television network that is broadcasting across the nation and throughout the world will certainly be welcomed by many more millions of people of
faith as a result of the Impact Network’s expanded broadcast footprint thanks to AT&T DIRECTV. Roz Edwards reported in a news feature for the Michigan Chronicle that, “Before 2010 there was not an African American Christian-owned television network in the country or the world. But if you look at the Black community which is historically faithdriven, the faithful were left to find religious programming through laborious channel surfing and hit or miss programming.” Bishop Jackson and the Impact Network proactively have changed that reality in the television viewing interests of Black America. Bishop Jackson especially acknowledged the following three AT&T DIRECTV officials for their diligence and assistance: Emma Brackett, V.P Content and Programming, Ryan P. Smith V.P. Content and Development, and Julie Tran, Content. U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Detroit’s iconic freedom-fighting civil rights leader and the House Judicial Committee’s senior ranking member concluded, “I applaud the recent announcement by AT&T’s DIRECTV to broadcast the Detroit-based, Impact Network, to over 20 million viewers across the country. The addition of this minority-owned network will bring diversity to
the broadcasting company’s programming lineup. This is an important step to providing informative and inspirational programming that benefits families and communities.” Impact Network is now broadcasting 24-hours a day, seven days a week and can be viewed on DIRECTV’s channel 380, or DISH Network channel 268 and Comcast Xfinity channel 400. Check the local listing in your area. We in the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) congratulate Bishop Jackson and the Impact Network for achieving this important milestone in the television broadcasting industry. Further, we appreciate the transformative support of AT&T DIRECTV for the Impact Network. Now let’s find more ways to continue to advance the sustainability of Blackowned businesses. Economic development and progress are essentials keys to a better future. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached for national advertisement sales and partnership proposals at: firstname.lastname@example.org; and for lectures and other professional consultations at: http:// drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/ drbfc.
College Democrats of Minnesota condemn Trump on his ‘atrocious’ comments towards Muslims By Haylee Hilton, President, College Democrats of Minnesota On Monday, December 7th, Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made news once again by calling for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The College Democrats of Minnesota are appalled by Trump’s statements. Language like this is incredibly dangerous to the integrity of our nation. It threatens the ideals our country was founded upon, and is just another in an infinitely long list of reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to serve as President. America should pride itself on the immense amounts of diversity that exist in our nation being that we are a nation of immigrants and a land of opportunity founded on the
Ads From 1 markets in 39 states with a combined circulation of more than 23 million readers, according to the NAHP. “While new vehicle purchasing remains steady overall, more Latinos and African-Americans are buying new cars, yet we do not see Volkswagen engage with our communities especially when brand loyalty is one of the
Haylee Hilton principle of religious freedom. This rhetoric, which has become all too common in the Republican party, is destructive and contrary to the values that stand at the very core of our country. As horrendous as these comments may be, they are only the latest in a history of anti-immigration sentiments that have run rampant within the Republican presidential strengths of our consumers,” said Martha Montoya, the president of the NAHP and publisher of the award-winning El Mundo newspaper. Montoya provided statistics that revealed that Latinos and African-Americans accounted for at least 18 percent of new vehicle purchases in 2018, up by three percentage points from last year. “[Yet], Volkswagen’s spending in Latino media declined by 49 percent so far this year, when compared to last year. “Now that they have the
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz. candidates. With Ted Cruz calling for a ban of all Muslim Syrian refugees and open arms for Christian refugees, Jeb Bush impressing a need to focus on
Christian refugees over Muslim refugees, and Ben Carson comparing refugees to rabid dogs, the Republican Party has shown it is plagued with
anti-immigration, anti-Muslim candidates. It has been proven time and time again that a nation is stronger with many diverse
voices and ideals shaping the narrative. America deserves this rich narrative, and America deserves better than the hateful values these candidates spew.
opportunity to grab a market share with relevant cultural material, they keep insisting on ignoring our industry which is absolutely puzzling,” Montoya said. That means ignoring more than $1.5 trillion to $1.7 trillion in annual buying power that Latinos possess, according Carlos Santiago, president and chief strategist of Santiago Solutions Group, a leading growth strategy consultancy focused on Latino markets. In the Volkswagen mea culpa ads, the company apologized
for concealing the high-level of emissions in its diesel models with a sensor and software that conveyed phony data. The transgression has raised doubts about the company’s credibility, and hearings in the United States Senate and elsewhere were convened to investigate the matter. Along with the ads, Volkswagen said its offering affected car owners a $500 Volkswagen Visa Prepaid Loyalty Card and a $500 Volkswagen Dealership Card.
They’re also offering free, 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years. However, excluding minorityowned newspapers signaled that minority consumers, whose combined annual spending power is more than $3 trillion, were not included in the offer.
“We placed the ad with papers in key markets that had the widest diverse readership possible,” said Machelle D. Williams, general manager of diversity and CSR at Volkswagen.
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Insight News • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Page 7
John Choi honored by the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Ramsey County Attorney John Choi was presented with the Minnesota County Attorneys Association (MCAA) Award of Excellence at the group’s annual meeting. This award honors an individual who has engaged in activities that show a high level of dedication, professionalism, and commitment to public service and the public practice of law by demonstrating extraordinary leadership, initiative, or innovation in the performance of their duties. Choi was chosen in part due
Clark From 1 The independent investigations being conducted concerning Clark’s shooting are significant. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to review the case within two days of Jamar’s death, and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is reviewing a Minneapolis case for the first time in 15 years. These are important accomplishments. In too many recent cases — from Eric Garner to Tamir Rice to Mike Brown — grand juries have refused to indict in officerinvolved killings. Grand juries are secret and almost always do what the prosecutor wants. We have better options than
Ads From 6 “I know that VW values communities of color as is evidenced by our focused efforts over the past few years to implement a diversity and inclusion strategy that strengthens the communities where we live and work,” she said, but even she noted that, “Of course, there is always room for improvement and we look forward to continuing our efforts.” The company insisted that diversity and inclusion are top priorities for Volkswagen of America and officials said this commitment is part of
the challenge he issued fellow prosecutors in February of 2011 to rethink criminalizing youth who commit acts of prostitution and instead to treat them as the victims. He also led the charge to intensify focus on arresting and prosecuting traffickers and commercial sex purchasers throughout the state. His leadership in these areas served as a catalyst for the Safe Harbor initiative and a resulting 450 percent increase (from 14 to 63) in the number of statewide sex trafficking convictions in four years.
Under Choi’s stewardship, his office is leading statewide efforts to develop a model protocol for identifying and intervening with sexually exploited and trafficked youth through a state legislative appropriation. To do so, his office has partnered with the Sexual Violence Justice Institute at the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) to convene more than 10 work groups across disciplines, as well as obtain input from survivors, youth, judges and culturally-specific
populations. The resulting model, expected to be ready in early 2016, will consist of tools, checklists and other resources to help individual communities develop their own protocol. In addition to protocol development, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is leading the statewide Safe Harbor training of law enforcement personnel and county attorneys on best practices for identifying and intervening with youth and traffickers. Other system professionals, from child protection workers to doctors
and nurses, are being trained by a variety of other agencies as well. “John’s high level of dedication, professionalism and commitment to public service and this organization make him a deserving recipient of this award” said MCAA President Kathleen Heaney. The Minnesota County Attorneys Association is the statewide organization of county attorneys providing training and organizational services to county attorneys’ offices throughout Minnesota.
a grand jury. The prosecutor could take responsibility for the charging decision and skip the grand jury. This approach offers accountability and transparency. California has ended grand juries for cases involving the use of deadly force by officers. Appointing a special prosecutor is another option. If a grand jury is used, the prosecutor should be independent, maintain all transcripts and release all evidence. New York has named a special prosecutor for police deadly-force cases. In 1990, Tycel Nelson, 17, was shot by a Minneapolis police officer. I was involved when the community rallied and protested, as is happening now. The county attorney knew business as usual would not work and appointed a well-respected lawyer, Billy
McGee, as special investigator to prepare the case for the grand jury. Although the officer was not criminally charged, the involvement of a special investigator gave the community some confidence in the fairness of the process. In addition to reforming the grand jury process, we must fix our broken criminal justice system. Activists are shining a light on the moral failings of mass incarceration and the need for police accountability. Policymakers have an important role. At the federal level, we should reclassify certain nonviolent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors and eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. We should ban the Bureau of Prisons from doing business with the private
prison industry. I’ve introduced legislation that addresses both of these issues — the RESET Act with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and the Justice Is Not For Sale Act with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. We should condition federal law enforcement grants on efforts to improve police-community relationships. In our communities, we should demilitarize the police and keep weapons of war off city streets. Body camera programs should be implemented to increase accountability and to protect civilians and police officers. Let’s acknowledge that even the best-trained police can’t change the conditions under which officerinvolved shootings often occur. We must get serious about creating opportunity for all, especially given the stunning economic gaps between blacks and whites.
Communities of color suffer from intolerably high unemployment and unaffordable housing. State legislators have made a tremendous start for formerly incarcerated individuals by “banning the box” on employment forms and clarifying the law on how to expunge criminal records. We must restore voting rights to ex-felons. Police-community relationships are toughest in the most economically depressed neighborhoods. Minneapolis is no exception. In north Minneapolis, unemployment and poverty are high, and pay and test scores are low. We have among the largest racial disparities in the nation. Sadly, Jamar Clark’s story is not that surprising. Leaders and activists throughout our community are
beginning to work together to fix these opportunity gaps. Gov. Mark Dayton has called for a special session to address these gaps. Activists are advancing a working families agenda in Minneapolis. When I sat with Jamar Clark’s loved ones, they made it clear through their grief that they do not want his death to be in vain. They want their loss to help move our community forward. We must seek justice and launch a reform movement to prevent future tragedies. We have no time to waste. Let’s join hands for fairness and economic opportunity for all our children.
the company’s goal of being recognized as a leader in diversity and inclusion practices by 2018 and includes partnerships with key national organizations such as the National Urban League, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, and Rainbow Push. “Volkswagen also remains focused on efforts to rebuild trust and confidence in the brand, committed to work as quickly as possible to develop an approved remedy, and eager to reach as many customers as possible affected by the TDI issue in markets where their vehicles were purchased,” said Darryll Harrison Jr., a company spokesman. “The Volkswagen Goodwill Package is an important first step in our
efforts to begin making things right with our customers and dealers.” However, the company did not explain why they overlooked minority-owned media outlets. “The only thing that Volkswagen has ever done as it pertains to ethnic marketing is just a couple of things with the Latino media,” said Ken Smikle of Target Market News. “They’ve always taken the African-American community for granted.” And, it’s not just Volkswagen who’s ignored that buying power. A Nielsen Company consumer spending report released last year revealed that companies spend just three percent of their advertising budgets marketing to African-American consumers.
“The Black population is young, hip and highly influential,” said Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a vice president at Nielsen. “We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market.” But, Volkswagen’s credibility appears to be shrinking. The YouGov Brand Index, which tracks consumer perception, found that Volkswagen’s U.S. score plummeted to minus-24 as of Sept. 22 from a plus 12 just before the scandal broke. Negative tweets about Volkswagen jumped to 99,900 during the week from Sept. 18 through 24, compared with 1,187 in the seven days before the crisis, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence.
Earlier this year, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition its annual Auto Diversity Scorecard revealed that, when it comes to advertising, marketing and minority dealership development, Volkswagen did display some indication of diversity. Dr. Ben Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA and civil rights leader, said that he’s appalled at Volkswagen’s deliberate exclusion of newspapers and individuals of color. “The National Newspaper Publishers Association is singularly distinguished in the national marketplace as the sole trusted print and digital media voice of Black America,” Chavis said. “Volkswagen did
the right thing by attempting to offer a public apology to its consumers, but Volkswagen did the wrong thing by failing to reach out to African-American-owned newspapers represented by the NNPA.” Chavis continued: “So-called mainstream news media are not trusted by Black America because of the long history and contemporary manifestations of the publication and distribution of negative racial stereotypes and disrespectful news coverage concerning the overall quality of life in Black America. Yet, that missed opportunity by Volkswagen can be and should be corrected forthwith and expeditiously.”
Keith Ellison, a Democrat, represents Minnesota’s Fifth District in the U.S. House.
Page 8 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
Confidence equals style By Chaise Dennis Lifestyle Columnist Let’s face it, confidence is everything! It is the key ingredient to being successful in life. I’ll put it this way: people want to listen to presenters who know what they’re talking about and investors want to invest in people who are competent and have leadership qualities. Confidence is not something everyone is born with, but it is something that everyone can obtain in this lifetime. This brings me to the topic at hand, how do you dress well and be confident at the same time? It’s not an easy task and there are rules to doing so, but luckily I’ve been able to life-hack a number of them. First: manage your wardrobe, obviously! When attending an event, a job interview or anything that’s important it’s mandatory to always look your best. You should always strive to be the best dressed person in the room. Those who are insecure always tend to show it in the way they dress. Often, insecure people worry about over-dressing or they start to over-think scenarios that will probably never happen
and usually everything looks overdone. Confident individuals, however, never fear such a thing. When picking out an outfit for any occasion be sure it looks good on you; take a few turns in the mirror or ask a friend how you look. Never analyze an outfit for too long, however, because you may start to tweak things that look perfectly fine. If you have children ask them how you look, they never lie! Understand that dressing fashionable is a way to project power, so don’t be too concerned if people think you’re trying too hard or not. As Nene Leakes would say: “Walk into the room and own it.” Second: pay attention to how you speak. You’re probably asking yourself why speech matters when it comes to confidence and the way that you dress? Well, the ability to hold a conversation in this day and age is very important simply because social media has taken over the way we communicate with one another. When you’re able to speak clear and be firm and assertive while talking, it exudes confidence. Yes, when you look good people pay attention and it’s not so hard to command their attention. But those who know how to interact correctly will never have to repeat
themselves regardless of the way they look. But be careful though, sometimes when we get wrapped up in a good conversation we can become a little aggressive and our words can easily get twisted so expand you’re vocabulary and know
what you’re talking about. I also find that people who ramble off in conversations easily turn me off so don’t do that it’ll only make you sound unsure of the subject at hand. Third: be mindful of your body language. Many times
I’ve seen great looking clothes or outfits on the right person yet they don’t do a good job of wearing the garments. The garments usually are wearing them. If you’re going to wear the ugliest Christmas sweater at you’re office holiday
party treat it like it’s couture. Nobody wants to see you slouched over in the corner looking irritated because you didn’t want to participate in the festivities, so whatever the case is OWN it. Body language says more about your confidence level than a verbal statement does. Always maintain good posture, look people in the eye, walk confidently and smile. The way you carry yourself is very important and can exponentially expand how much confidence you project. Fourth: brag humbly. Many people ask me how those two words are even capable of being used in the same sentence. Arrogant people constantly brag and talk about what they have while confident people do it just enough to still keep your interest. If you happen to be wearing something really fabulous and want to mention it in a conversation, ask a leading question that will introduce it. I like to say that I’m not bragging, I’m just answering the questions asked of me. Remember, you can have whatever you want in this world if you’re willing to work hard enough for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t and let your confidence shine in whatever situation you’re in. That’s the real key to success!
The true meaning of Christmas Man Talk
By Timothy Houston It has become a tradition for me to share the story of the Charlie Brown Christmas. I believe that it is a warmhearted reminder of the true meaning for Christmas. This year marks the 50th anniversary of CBS debut of the animated TV special. At the beginning of the program, the main character Charlie Brown is not sure of the real meaning of Christmas. He confides in Linus that even though
Never give up on your quest for the true meaning.
Christmas is approaching, he still feels depressed due to the over-commercialization. Is Christmas overcommercialized? That is an individual question. I do
believe that if we don’t keep the real meaning of Christmas in mind, we may also become depressed or overwhelmed. Here are some Christmas lessons you can learn from Charlie Brown. First, Charlie Brown discovers that there is more to Christmas than just getting presents. Christmas is about giving. On Lucy’s advice, Charlie Brown agreed to direct a school nativity play. Lucy is right, we can all benefit from giving. Look around. Become more involved in the things that connect you to your family and others. Giving is the first step to connecting to the real meaning of Christmas. Secondly, Charlie Brown discovers that there is more to Christmas than spending money. On the way to the auditorium, Charlie Brown stops by Snoopy’s doghouse, only to find out that even his own dog has gone commercial.
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He later runs into his sister Sally, who asks him to write her letter to Santa Claus requesting large sums of money. We should not follow Snoopy and Sally’s example. Steer clear of people and events that add to your frustration. The financial pressure of keeping up with the “Jones” can be overwhelming. Thirdly, Charlie Brown discovers that there are some situations during this holiday season that are outside of your control. Charlie Brown arrives at the rehearsals, but he is unable to control the situation as the uncooperative kids are more interested in modernizing the play with dancing and lively music. Charlie Brown, in an effort not to let the play become too commercial, decides to focus on the traditional side of the story. To bring everyone back in focus he decides they needed a Christmas tree. Choose your battles. It’s ok to go against the grain. Make sure the choices you make this season reflect how you truly feel. Finally, Charlie Brown discovers that Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Never give up on your quest for the true meaning. Charlie Brown was determined. With Linus in tow, he sets off on his quest. When they get to the tree market, he zeroes in on a small baby tree which, ironically as well as symbolically, is the only real tree on the lot. They return to the school auditorium with the tree and everybody laughs at him. In desperation, Charlie Brown begins to wonder if he really knows what Christmas is all about. Ultimately, Linus steps in and helps by reciting the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 8 through 14: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” And that is the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas to all! Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go towww. tlhouston.com.
Insight News • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Page 9
Kwanzaa: A community affair Umoja means Unity Kujichagulia means Self Determination Ujima means Collective Work & Responsibility Ujamaa means Cooperative Economic Nia means Purpose Kuumba means Creativity And… Imani means Faith
By Titilayo Bediako African Americans are a great and mighty people! Kwanzaa, an African American holiday, helps the world to understand just how great and incredible Black folks really are. For the last two decades, WE WIN Institute has taught children about Kwanzaa, who in turn have taught the world. WE WIN Institute partnered with Seward Coop Friendship Store in south Minneapolis, to share this African tradition with the community. With the support of Master Storyteller Nothando Zulu, and Kenna Cottman and Voice of Culture, WE WIN youth used dance, poetry, singing and drumming to teach the importance of Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by a professor at the University of California named Dr. Maulana Karenga. Dr. Karenga believed that Black people needed a holiday that expressed their culture and their values. Because African American culture is so rich, it takes 7 days to celebrate all their accomplishments. Kwanzaa is based on a 7 principle value system called the Nguzo Saba. Principles are things that people believe and live by. Umoja is the first principle of Kwanzaa. It means Unity. Umoja means helping each other and staying together as a family, a community and a nation. Kujichagulia is the second principle of Kwanzaa. Kujichagulia means Self Determination. It means that it is the responsibility of African Americans to learn about themselves as a people and know about their rich culture and history. It means that they should determine their goals and how they will reach them. African Americans must decide their own destiny. Ujima is the third principle of Kwanzaa. Ujima means Collective Work and Responsibility. It means that African Americans should build up and take care of their communities. They should work together to solve any problems. Ujamaa is the fourth principle of Kwanzaa. Ujamaa means Cooperative Economics. It means that African Americans should build and maintain our own stores, shops, and businesses. They should collectively profit from business ventures. Nia is the fifth principle of Kwanzaa. Nia means purpose. African Americans purpose
Kamareon and Marlin Brown
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga In 1966 A University Professor Who wanted the world to know about The greatness of African American culture
Kwanzaa is a celebration of Family and community Red, Black and Green Are the Kwanzaa Colors Red stands for the blood Black stands for the people Green stands for the rich land
Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26 – January 1 Kwanzaa is a celebration of culture Kwanzaa brings all people together Using principles, using dance, using stories And… Family Which creates love and happiness
Left to right front: Amareona Brown, Laquandice Jones. Back: Reba Kissell, Haley Picknell, Jemeka Norman, Shalom Ametor, and Katrina Sloan.
Kwanzaa is an African American Holiday Kwanzaa will celebrate Fifty years in 2016 Kwanzaa has seven principles Seven days of Kwanzaa Spelled with seven letters
Left to right front: Chrishona Brown, Amareona Brown, Laquandice Jones, Reba Kissell, Jemeka Norman (Can’t see face) Diamond Davis, Shalom Ameor, Selena Lerma, Tyona Spencer and Katrina Sloan. is to make their people and communities great and be the best people they can be. They do this by taking care of their homes, their communities, developing skills and expand their understanding of the accomplishments of their people. Kuumba is the sixth principle of Kwanzaa. Kuumba means Creativity. Kuumba is the way African Americans dance, the way they sing, and all the creative things they do to make their homes, their communities and their lives beautiful. Imani is the seventh principle of Kwanzaa. Imani means Faith. It means that African Americans believe in themselves and their greatness! It means that they believe in working hard to create
successes for themselves, their people and humanity. WE WIN Institute is also partnering with Robbinsdale Middle School, a seventh grade language arts class, led by Amanda Dalquist. Students have been studying Kwanzaa. They have read and discussed why Kwanzaa is important to African Americans and why it is an integral part of the American experience. Nothando Zulu, founder of the Minnesota Black Storytellers Alliance, has been working with WE WIN to support students’ understanding of key concepts of Kwanzaa; through sharing her stories, brainstorming with students and assisting them in formulating ideas of which they created Kwanzaa poems.
Left to right: Kenna Cottman, Khetasar MenHeer, Eden Shelton, and Ezra Frasier
Learning about Kwanzaa has reinforced students’ understanding of nonfiction, its purpose, fact and opinion, and elements that make up a poem. Three Kwanzaa Poems from Robbinsdale Middle School Amanda Dalquist’s Class
families African Americans did not have power They could not name themselves Kwanzaa helps African Americans Act for themselves
Kwanzaa As kids laugh and play To celebrate Kwanzaa Kwanzaa is an African American holiday It honors Black people and their history
On the last day of Kwanzaa Everyone drinks from the kikombe The kikombe means cup Kwanzaa teaches everyone about African and African American culture
Kwanzaa is especially for children To celebrate Dr. Karenga is a teacher That created Kwanzaa for
Kwanzaa Time Kwanzaa is an African American holiday Based on 7 important principles
Red, black and green are the Kwanzaa colors Black for the people Red for the noble blood Green for the rich African land The start of Kwanzaa was in 1966 The first Kwanzaa stamp was 1997 The newest stamp was 2013 A stamp that celebrates African Americans Kwanzaa is rooted in African culture Black people from around the world Are seen as one All are welcome to join the celebration Kwanzaa means first fruits Celebrities are known For joining in the Kwanzaa Celebration Those like Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou Kwanzaa is a great time for all
Children at North Minneapolis Daycare Center create holiday gift bags for children and families at local hospitals The children and staff at Catholic Charities Northside Child Development Center and mentors at Free Arts Minnesota created handmade holiday cards and gift bags to give to children and families at two Twin Cities hospitals. During the hour-long activity, kids assembled gift bags and create handmade cards of support. They also participated in a story-time and discussion on the season of giving. Later that day, the
Classifieds North Memorial Needs Volunteers to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse SafeJourney, a program serving North Memorial Medical Center and Maple Grove Hospital, helps patients and individuals in the community who are experiencing domestic abuse. Volunteer advocates are needed to provide a listening ear, support, safety planning, information and referral. You do not have to have previous knowledge or experience, but rather looking for people who are sensitive to the issue, caring, and nonjudgmental. Advocates sign up for 2 on-call shifts per month. Flexible scheduling - daytime, overnights, and weekends. Training is provided. Deadline to apply and schedule a short interview is January 26. Please call Suzy at 763-581-3942.
gift bags were delivered to Shriner’s Hospital and cards sent to the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital. Fifteen 4-year-old preschool kids at the childcare center created the holiday cards and care packages for children and families at the two local hospitals. Catholic Charities Northside Child Development Center provides daycare and education to underserved children in north Minneapolis.
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Volunteer Greeters Hennepin County is seeking volunteer greeters for its North Minneapolis human service center at 1001 Plymouth Avenue North to welcome and guide visitors, answer questions and assist with special projects. Reliable adults who enjoy working with people and who are available for a few hours twice a week are encouraged to apply. Ideal candidates will be able to volunteer for a minimum of three months. Volunteers are integral to Hennepin County’s mission of enhancing the health, safety and quality of life of its residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way. Get involved by visiting http://www.hennepin.us/humanservicevolunteer and submitting a volunteer application.
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Page 10 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
insightnews.com Imani Uzuri
Kyle Abraham Zakiyyah Alexander
Penumbra and Ragamala Dance win $50,000 2016 Joyce Awards CHICAGO – Two collaborations between artists of color and cultural organizations in the Twin Cities have each won $50,000 from The Joyce Foundation’s annual Joyce Awards competition. Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, will commission musician and composer Imani Uzuri and playwright Zakiyyah Alexander to stage “Girl Shakes Loose Her Skin” in the spring of 2017. The play revisits work from the Black Arts Movement and delivers it in a fresh new way. It will be presented by Sarah Bellamy, artistic director at Penumbra. «When we first began work on ‘Girl Shakes Loose Her Skin,’ we had no idea what we were getting into and no plan on how we would continue to develop this work,” said Alexander. “Winning a Joyce
Award means that we get a chance to finally put all the moving pieces together as part of a historic season at Penumbra Theatre. An award like this ensures our forward momentum.” Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance Company will commission choreographers/ performers Aparna Ramaswamy and Kyle Abraham to create a new work to be presented at the Walker Art Center, with live music from Colin Jacobsen. Drawing from the artists’ own experiences of cultural hybridity, the new work will be informed by concepts of identity and place. The process will incorporate various community discussions and workshops, and will premiere in the fall of 2017. “The Joyce Award will allow us to experience this dialogue
with the public in an ongoing way over time and to see how it can translate into an artistic work that crosses genre and form,” said Ramaswamy. “I feel many points of kinship with Kyle, specifically the way in which each of us finds grounding in traditions that are deeply rooted. It is important to us and to Ragamala that this project have an enduring impact on the Twin Cities community, and we are eager to see how this long-term engagement will impact our creative process.” “Aparna and Kyle are two dynamos of dance, and the promise of seeing them create a choreographic mash-up of style is thrilling,” said Angelique Power, Joyce Foundation culture program director. “Equally exciting is the work coming out of Penumbra. Sarah Bellamy’s fierce artistic
vision and collaboration with Zakiyyah and Imani is destined to produce one of the seminal new plays of our generation. We are honored to support the work, the artists, and the organizations.» Ragamala is now a twotime Joyce Awards winner. The Joyce Awards supports artists of color in major Great Lakes cities. The Chicagobased foundation has awarded $2.6 million to commission 50 new works since the annual program started in 2003. A distinctive feature of the Joyce Awards is that in addition to being new, winners’ work must include the process of engaging community members to inform and shape their art. Community forums, workshops, panel discussions, social media input and oneon-one conversations help influence each artist’s final
presentation. “The Great Lakes region has so many talented artists working across genres, tackling complex social issues and bringing incredible new pieces to life,” said Joyce Foundation President Ellen Alberding. “We are honored and proud to play a role in supporting this critical work.” The other 2016 Joyce Awards recipients include Charles McGee in collaboration with Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African History, and Chicago visual artist Juan Angel Chávez, collaborating with the Chicago Children’s Museum. McGee, 91, is perhaps Detroit›s most important and influential visual artist. The Joyce Award will allow the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to commission McGee for
what he has described as his largest and perhaps final outdoor piece, a steel sculpture titled, “United We Stand.” The piece will be unveiled in July 2016 to conclude the Wright Museum’s celebration of its 50th anniversary and also kick off a year-long citywide commemoration of the 1967 racial unrest. Chicago visual artist Juan Angel Chávez, collaborating with the Chicago Children’s Museum during its upcoming renovations, will create a largescale public art installation spanning the museum’s second floor walls and ceiling. Schoolchildren and museum guests will inform the content of Chávez’s piece and will continue to evolve over time with audience input. The piece will be installed in the summer of 2017.
Insight News • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Page 11
Kwanzaa Family Day at the Minnesota Historical Society Since 1966, Kwanzaa or Matunda ya kwanza (an East African Swahili phrase for “the first fruits”) has been celebrated as a holiday tradition of cultural pride in the African-American community. The Minnesota Historical Society’s annual family gathering focuses on the seven principles of Kwanzaa with engaging and educational activities including music, dancing, demonstrations, art making and storytelling. In honor of Kwanzaa Family Day, Café Minnesota will serve a
special entree of spicy chicken gumbo with black-eyed peas and collard greens. A schedule of events for the Dec. 26 celebration includes a 12:15 p.m. opening ceremony and blessing by Beverly Cottman, a quilt square workshop with artist/quilter, Cecile Lewis, storytelling by writer and cook, Rose McGee, African mask-making with sculptor, Melvin Smith and painter, Rose Smith and sample treats from Cookie Cart. In addition, there will be Kwanzaa symbols and face-painting, Kwanzaa
bingo, a steppers session, coloring for the children and West African drumming and dance with Fatawu Sayibu/ Tyumba Dance Company. Kwanzaa Family Day takes place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students and $6 for those ages 5 years to 17 years. Children age 4 and under and Minnesota Historical Society members are free.
A.J. Nelson and Wiyaala give power to the people By Oral Ofori “Power to the People” by A.J. Nelson, a Ghanaian hip-hop, soul and Afro beat musician, has been making waves on radio stations and music charts in Ghana following the song’s release late in 2015. The single, which features award-winning female performer Wiyaala, is off Nelson’s debut album, “Soul Food,” released this past October. iTunes ranked “Power to the People” No. 3 on its list
of most downloaded songs in Ghana in the last week of November while the site Wepluggoodmusic ranked the song as Best New Music of the week. “Power to the People” is produced by Fizzi Ankude. Nelson and Wiyaala connected when they first performed on the bill of the same concert in Accra, Ghana. Nelson initially wanted Wiyaala to feature on his then studio track, “Dream.” “Wiyaala, however had other plans after listening to
other tracks of A.J. Nelson and decided the track “Power to the People” really resonated well with her,” said Joshua Kofi Tetteh Akwada, manager of Nelson, who said the two artists have such great cohesion. ‘“Power to the People’ is a song aimed at motivating the youth all over to stand up for what is right in society while condemning what is wrong, like war and corruption while encouraging and preaching peace and harmony,” said Nelson.
Wiyaala and AJ Nelson in rehearsals for their show at the 233 Jazz Bar and Grill on December 13, 2015
New exhibit exploring Somali life in Minnesota opening in Landmark Center’s North Gallery A new exhibit opened in Landmark Center’s North Gallery, 75 5th St. W., on Dec. 17. “Through the Lens of Mohamed Barre: Reflections of 25 Years of Somali Diaspora in Minnesota” will be on display through Jan. 16, open during regular building hours, and free of charge. Mohamed Barre has been documenting the Twin Cities’ Somali community in photos since 2007. In an effort to archive the
community’s history for future generations, Barre captures moments that illustrate the first and second generation of immigrants, and the resettlement and acclimation process. The archive will give future generations of SomaliAmericans the chance to compare and contrast their lives to the lives of Somalis today. “Mohamed’s photos give us an insight and understanding of our Somali neighbors,” said Judy Brooks, Landmark
Center’s director of community programs. “They capture the hopes of a displaced culture for opportunity and a bright future in Minnesota; a new home so far from their cultural homeland.” A collection of Barre’s work can also be found in the book “Somali Community in MN Photos: Somali MN Legacy/ Heritage,” available through the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and St. Mary’s University. Landmark Center’s North
Gallery hosts temporary art, culture, and heritage exhibits of interest to Minnesotans. Past exhibits have included several Minnesota artists, memorabilia from past St. Paul Winter Carnivals, and most recently a collection of photos and artifacts from St. Paul’s sister city, Nagasaki, Japan, commemorating peace between Japan and the U.S. and the establishment of the “sister city” relationship.
Page 12 • December 21 - December 27, 2015 • Insight News
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News for the week of December 21, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St....
Published on Dec 21, 2015
News for the week of December 21, 2015. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St....