Issuu on Google+

An evening with Keb’ Mo’ at the Guthrie Theater MORE ON PAGE 5

Tom Baker/Manitou Photos

Keb’ Mo’

March 25 - March 31, 2013

Vol. 40 No. 13 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com

Larry Lucio reformed education in juvenile justice

Pioneering educator retires after 40 years By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer

Rebel educator Larry Lucio is retiring after more than 40 years of service to students in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Harry Colbert, Jr.

It is said that a society (or a person) shall be judged by what it (or he or she) has done for the least of its citizens. If in fact that is the case, then Larry Lucio shall be looked upon with much favor. The veteran educator, with more than 40 years of shaping young minds to his credit, has dedicated his career – and in many ways, his life – to serving students who were previously given little chance to succeed. Lucio, the state’s first Latino principal, time and again requested to work in schools with populations of underachieving students – many of whom were students of color. Continuing his commitment to

serve those in the most desperate of situations, for the past six years Lucio has been charged with educating teens housed in the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center. It has been his most rewarding assignment thus far, he said. “When I came here six years ago the facility was on corrective action by the state of Minnesota; and deservedly so,” said Lucio of the school inside the detention center, known as Stadium View School. “So I was given the responsibility to improve the education here.” Lucio said when he arrived at Stadium View, which is run by the Minneapolis Public Schools, the school was in total disarray. “There weren’t up-to-date learning materials here so I requested text books, but when

I got the text books they had covers missing, graffiti, pages missing,” said Lucio. He immediately protested. “We made it a point to see to it that if ‘Johnny Jones’ in one school had access to materials then ‘Jimmy Jones’ here should have the same access. We’re a secondary school that just happens to be inside of a detention center.” Lucio said to the school district’s credit, it responded affirmatively to his request – and the many subsequent requests. Today, Stadium View has a technology lab with several computers and an extensive reading library. In addition to being a school within a detention center, Stadium View has the added challenge of only having

LUCIO TURN TO 4

African-Americans took to the Capitol to be heard By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer African-Americans from throughout the state gathered inside the Capitol rotunda to let legislators know their voices will be heard. The gathering was a part of the Council on Black Minnesotans (CBM) Day at the Capitol, designed to bring

issues of importance in AfricanAmerican communities directly to the state’s policy makers. The Council presented the rally, that took place on Mar. 19, as a part of its mandated obligation to fulfill civic engagement. “What we hoped to do is give the public a chance to offer and share ideas with policy makers and support the Council’s

CAPITOL TURN TO 12

It’s time to reduce disparities in Minnesota’s education system By Hector Garcia Harry Colbert, Jr.

Rep. Rena Moran addresses attendees of the Council on Black Minnesotans’ Day at the Capitol inside the Capitol rotunda.

Black History Expo celebrates entrepreneurship By Ivan B. Phifer Staff Writer Members of the Twin Cities community celebrated Black History Month through the spirit of entrepreneurship and excelling African-American businesses. The Midwest Black History Expo was held Saturday, Feb. 23 at the St. Paul River Center, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd. “This is a monumental occasion. This is a time for us to celebrate our history and legacy as Black people,” said Rashida Fisher, Co-Host of “Our Voices” aired on 89.9 FM, KMOJ.

The Midwest Black History Expo started as a small business in 2011. Looking for a vendor not only to celebrate Black History Month, but also to sell merchandise promoting AfricanAmerican history and culture, the small business – now known as Liberation Clothing & Gifts, LLC – helped organize the inaugural event to accomplish its goal. The expo in its entirety, housed over 50 vendors; including but not limited to the African-American AIDS Task Force; Big Brothers Big Sisters, Diva 54 Jewelry, Northside

EXPO TURN TO 4

Business

SBA salutes entrepreneur Richard Copeland

PAGE 3

Pete Rhodes – Black Music America

Keynote speaker Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Full Circle

The power of small beginnings

PAGE 6

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released data that placed Minnesota last among all states in a) the rate of Hispanic students’ fouryear high school graduation, and b) the graduation rate gaps between white students and both Hispanic and Native American students. The same gap between Black and white students was the secondworst in the nation. The state’s ranking in overall graduation rates in 2011 was 29th.* This regretful piece of news is ominous in its implications for our future. The demographic growth of minorities is much greater than that of the majority community. The growth of the Latino population in Minnesota between the Census of 2000 and 2010 was 74.5 percent --approximately 10 times that of the total population. This

Interview

Gabby’s gold and glory

PAGE 7

Hector Garcia means that the low levels of education of minorities will increasingly affect the overall state’s rankings in education and the quality of its largely aging work force. A solution to this growing dilemma exists if we are willing to look outside the constraints of time and culture.

DISPARITIES 2 TURN TO

Health

Race and the persistence of health disparities

PAGE 11


Page 2 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

President Barack Obama on the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War As we mark the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, Michelle and I join our fellow Americans in paying tribute to all who served and sacrificed in one of our nation’s longest wars. We salute the courage and resolve of more than 1.5 million service members and civilians

who during multiple tours wrote one of the most extraordinary chapters in military service. We honor the memory of the nearly 4,500 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to give the Iraqi people an opportunity to forge their own future after many years of hardship. And we express our

gratitude to our extraordinary military families who sacrificed on the home front, especially our Gold Star families who remain in our prayers. The last of our troops left Iraq with their heads held high in 2011, and the United States continues to work with our Iraqi

partners to advance our shared interest in security and peace. Here at home, our obligations to those who served endure. We must ensure that the more than 30,000 Americans wounded in Iraq receive the care and benefits they deserve and that we continue to improve treatment for

traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. With a strong Post 9/11 GI Bill, we must help our newest veterans pursue their education and find jobs worthy of their incredible talents. And all Americans can continue to support and honor our military families who are pillars of so

many of our communities. On this solemn anniversary, we draw strength and inspiration from these American patriots who exemplify the values of courage, selflessness and teamwork that define our Armed Forces and keep our nation great.

Ellison introduces Common Sense Housing Investment Act WASHINGTON--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) this week reintroduced the Common Sense Housing Investment Act (H.R. 6677) to make it easier for middle class and working families to be able to stay in their homes and find affordable rental housing. The bill realigns the mortgage interest deduction to better benefit families who need it most by converting the deduction to a 15% flat rate tax credit on mortgages up to $500,000. The bill strengthens the tax benefits for homeowners, while giving working families better access to rental homes. “The lack of affordable rental housing is one of the greatest economic challenges of our time,” Rep. Ellison said. “Millions of renters are unable to find affordable rental housing. In my home state of Minnesota, one-third of the population spent more than

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) 30 percent of their income on housing in 2009. Affordable housing is about more than just rent; it’s about ensuring that we maintain the ladder that makes America a land of

opportunity.” By converting the mortgage interest deduction to a 15% credit, 60 million homeowners would receive the tax credit, up from 43 million, according to the Tax Policy Center. Because the mortgage interest deduction requires homeowners to itemize their tax deductions, less than half of all homeowners currently deduct interest on their mortgage. Converting the deduction to a credit would benefit all those paying mortgage interest. The bill also lowers the cap on the mortgage size from $1 million to $500,000. It retains the allowance for home equity lines of credit and allows second homes within the $500,000 loan cap. These changes are phased in over five years. The bill would generate $27 billion in revenue, which would help provide critical resources

to address the national rental shortage. The government spends nearly four times as much on homeownership compared to rental housing, and nearly half of all rental housing pay more than 30% of their income for housing. The shortage primarily affects people under 25, the elderly, people with disabilities and low-income families. The bill invests the new revenue in expanding the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Section 8 rental assistance and the public housing capital fund, and provides a source of permanent funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Over 600 national, state and local organizations have endorsed strengthening the mortgage interest deduction and using the savings to fund the National Housing Trust Fund. George W. Bush’s

Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles), the Bipartisan Policy Center Debt Reduction Task Force (Domenici-Rivlin) and scores of economists and academics have recommended converting the mortgage interest deduction to a mortgage interest credit. “We know kids do better at school and adults do better at work when they are stably housed,” Liz Kuoppala, Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless said. “The affordable housing crisis is a school, work, and family crisis for a growing number of people in Minnesota and across the country. We are grateful for Congressman Ellison’s leadership on the Common Sense Housing Investment Act – a bill to make targeted investments in affordable housing and rental

assistance.” “The National Low Income Housing Coalition applauds Representative Ellison for his groundbreaking legislation that will invest billions of dollars to solve the acute shortage of housing that poor people can afford and cost the federal government anything,” Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said. “The bill would make modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction that will make it work better for low and moderate income homeowners. At the same time, these changes would save $200 billion over ten years to be used to fund the National Housing Trust Fund and other low income housing programs. It truly is just a common sense policy idea that ought to appeal to all reasonable people.”

Champion’s drivers license bill supports immigrants On Monday March 18th, the Senate Transportation committee passed S.F. 271. The bill, authored by Senator Bobby Joe Champion (DFL – Minneapolis), changes the documents required to receive a Minnesota Drivers

License. It allows applicants to use official government identification cards from other countries that show a photo of the cardholder, unique identification number and security measures making it difficult to alter the ID

to prove their identity. “This is a matter of public safety. Right now, many members of the immigrant community drive without a Minnesota license and insurance. This bill increases the number of licensed

drivers and insured drivers on Minnesota’s roads,” said Senator Champion. “Furthermore, this process would also ensure drivers are aware of Minnesota traffic laws and have passed both driving and written tests.”

In order to receive a license, people will still need to show proof of insurance and take and pass a behind the wheel test, take and pass a written test, complete an application and go through the regular process and pay the fee.

“Providing a way for immigrants to receive a driver license will help with travel to and from work, or to and from school. It also helps immigrants integrate with the community and strengthen the family.”

Disparities

Since 2010, the Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC) has consulted with education experts nationwide. We have performed research

on programs that have significantly improved graduation rates of Latinos and reduced disparities between and within schools.

Building on this work, CLAC and Minnesota Humanities Center hired the Latino organization HACER in 2012 to do a study, to be published this month, and identify or reconfirm elements of success in such programs. One of the programs was able to raise the high-school graduation rate of Latino students from 35 percent to 100 percent in six years. CLAC has consulted with Pasi Sahlberg at Finland’s Ministry of Education; Tony Wagner, innovation education fellow at Harvard; Finland’s Consul Wargelin; and several Finnish teachers and members of a Minnesota education group who visited Finland. Educational reform in Finland has achieved not only overall excellence but, more pertinently, equity. The PISA global study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has for several years ranked Finland’s the best and most equitable education system in the world. There are little-known parallels between Minnesota and Finland: the latter’s Scandinavian population numbers approximately 5 million, but 4.7 percent are immigrants, compared to 7.3 percent in Minnesota. Some of its schools have nearly 40

percent minority students. Finland’s education reform led to dramatic economic progress. After an economic crisis in the early 1990s, in 2001 it climbed to the top position of the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index and is referred to as the world’s most prosperous nation and one of the most innovative. Four decades ago, it had a mediocre education system and an agrarian economy. Minnesota’s educational system, while good in many respects, has been unable to integrate minority communities. Programs that improve the performance of minority students have existed for a long time, but they have not been replicated sufficiently. Minnesota’s challenge is one of equity in access to opportunity—in which Finland has demonstrated unquestionable success,. Minnesota’s education system is competitive and market-based. Children of immigrants who have grown up in poverty, with minimal education and no English, are placed in competition with children of educators, doctors and engineers who have lived here for generations; so are children of the Minnesota poor. Minnesota’s immigrant situation today cannot be compared, as often done, with

that of the early 20th century: European immigrants were then equally or better educated than native-born Americans since only about 6% of the latter had a high school education, compared to Minnesota’s current 93.2%. Furthermore, the U.S. government, at the time more interested in equality of opportunity than in income, invested heavily in public high schools. Competition is today more highly valued than equity but so are fairness and a levelplaying field. Minnesota could incorporate, as part of a larger reform, a phase-in period from preschool to 6th grade, during which children of marginalized communities are empowered with resources needed to compete successfully in subsequent stages of education. This period would be modeled on the examples of Finland and American history; its benefits would include overall educational excellence, culture and language synergism. Garcia is executive director of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council. This article previously appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Minnesota Editorial Forum. 3/13. *Source: Four-Year Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate, 2010-11, U.S. Department of Education

From 1

Let’s RESET education in Minnesota and create schools where every student succeeds.

Learn how at:

RESETEDUCATION.ORG


insightnews.com

Insight News • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Page 3

BUSINESS SBA salutes entrepreneur Richard Copeland Richard Copeland, Owner & Chairman of THOR Construction, Inc., based in Minneapolis, has been named the Minnesota Entrepreneurial Success of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Entrepreneurial Success Award is selected from individuals who own and operate or who bear principal responsibility for operating a business. Nominees for this award must own or operate a business that initially was defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards, developed into a large business and must have received SBA assistance to help the business grow. Jan Jordet, Director of Consulting & Financing Services at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), nominated Copeland for this award. Copeland is the Founder and Chairman of THOR

Construction, founded in 1980. Through Copeland’s drive, vision and tenacity, he has developed his organization into a major international force in the construction industry. His commitment to redefining the role of underutilized communities has always set him apart. By setting expectations for excellence and assembling some of the most talented people in the world, Copeland and THOR create an extraordinary construction experience above all others. With a half dozen business units and hundreds of employees, Copeland is known in his organization as a dedicated leader – one who moves, touches and inspires others – in all his interactions. Today, THOR is one of the largest African American owned companies in America, the SBA said. Copeland was able to use several SBA programs and

Richard Copeland services to help him grow his business including: 7(a) financing, 8(a) certification,

SCORE assistance, and the Bond Guarantee Program. Based on a solid foundation of

hard work and dedication, THOR Construction Inc. has evolved into one of the largest AfricanAmerican owned construction companies in the nation. THOR is committed to providing quality projects specializing in General Contracting, Construction Management, Design-Build, Consulting, and Concrete. With a proven track record of success and ingenuity, THOR is an industry leader in retail, hospitality, restaurants, entertainment, concrete and civil markets throughout the country. With offices in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, New Orleans, and Atlanta, THOR provides unparalleled service for clients from coast to coast. Even more important than his business success, is his ongoing mentorship and encouragement to other entrepreneurs of color. He has made a special effort to include many woman- and

minority-owned contractors as subcontractors in the work of THOR Construction. This intentional inclusion has benefited dozens of emerging businesses and helped expand the reach of public projects to involve our diverse community of business owners. In addition, Copeland continues to be a role model for giving back. His philanthropy and personal volunteerism is widely known and very much admired and appreciated. In fact, his leadership and financial support of the National Association of Minority Contractors - Upper Midwest, Summit OIC, Dunwoody College, Phyllis Wheatley, and Redeemer Lutheran Church have been instrumental to their ongoing successes. Copeland will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6, 2013, at the Depot Minneapolis.

Commerce Department enlists CPAs to stop financial abuse of seniors this tax season Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, for the second year, issued a letter to more than 9,000 licensed CPAs in Minnesota, to urge tax professionals to use their expertise to help spot elder fraud and financial abuse. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, under the leadership of Commissioner Rothman has made the protection of elderly and vulnerable consumers from fraud and financial scams a top priority. Minnesota CPAs can help their older clients who may have been defrauded and get them the assistance they need. “As millions of Minnesotans prepare their taxes, we can work together in a unified front to

spot the senior fraud and abuse that steals from our parents and grandparents,” said Commissioner Rothman. Seniors control 70 percent of the nation’s wealth, making scams that target seniors like unsuitable financial products and phony investments very lucrative. A 2010 survey conducted by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) showed that more than seven million older Americans (one out of every five citizens over the age of 65) have already been victimized by a financial swindle. According to the IPT, con artists scam senior citizens out of $2.5 billion every year. The most troubling trend

“Lean in” for leadership in a nonprofit career

by far, according to the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, is that upwards of 80 percent of elder abuse cases go unreported. Victims of financial crimes face barriers of embarrassment, fear, and confusion. “Licensed tax professionals have the skills to identify when their clients may be the victims of financial abuse,” said Rothman. “As partners in the fight to stop fraud this tax season, accountants can recognize when the numbers just don’t add up, and help raise awareness of any fraud for the victims and their families.” In preparing tax returns during 2013, Commissioner Rothman has asked all licensed CPAs to keep alert for the following signs of financial abuse in their elderly clients: • Missing or incomplete documentation. Has your client received full and complete documentation

regarding a transaction they engaged in? Is the tax information you have been provided regarding the transaction accurate and professional? • Substantial changes in income. When compared to the prior year, has your client experienced an unusual change in interest or dividend income? If your client has experienced a significant decline in income, is it explainable? Where did the money go? If your client experienced a large increase in income, does it seem too good to be true? • Promissory Notes and Gifts. Has your client been loaning money pursuant to long term promissory notes at interest rates that are not competitive? Has your client been gifting large sums of money to questionable third parties? • Exotic instruments. Has your

client engaged in investing in exotic forms of investment that they do not understand and cannot explain? Fees. If your client employs a broker, does the broker enjoy discretion over your client’s investment? If so, does it appear from year-end statements that an excessive number of trades are occurring that may be resulting in excessive fees to the broker? Investment Advisor. Does your client employ an investment advisor? Do you believe the investments are not suitable given your client’s age and financial situation? Capital gains or losses. Does it appear that your client is reporting an unusual amount of capital gains or losses compared to their historical experience? Exchanges. Has your client engaged in a 1035 exchange

that is not suitable and may have resulted in merely fee generating activity for the promoter of the exchange? If they spot suspicious activity, Commissioner Rothman asked licensed tax preparers this week to encourage their elderly clients to contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Help Line. “Our staff and professional investigators are standing ready to take action against crooks who take advantage of vulnerable investors,” Rothman said. The Commerce Department’s Consumer Help Line can be reached by phone at (651) 2962488 or (800) 657-3602. Questions or consumer complaints can also be directed by email to consumer. protection@state.mn.us or by mail to Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101.

FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook has a new book out. “Lean In” has generated a lot of media attention. It’s all about women and leadership in the business world. Bottom line: she encourages women to seek leadership-level positions. Listening to the news stories we asked ourselves, “what about the nonprofit sector?” What does it take to advance to leadership level positions in the nonprofit sector? Our experience has shown that fundraising experience is an important prerequisite for securing an executive position and most importantly for remaining in the position. Related to this is an understanding of fund development and the ability to manage a fundraising operation. These are not the only prerequisite, but it is an important one that is too often overlooked. If you are working for a nonprofit and want to progress in your career, make your intentions known and begin to prepare yourself. Our guidance relates to building your fundraising skills and network. Here’s why: securing funds from philanthropic sources is often times the primary revenue stream for a nonprofit. Even those funded through government grants or contracts, or through earned income streams, find that philanthropic funding is what makes the difference between a “just getting by” institution and a thriving one. The willingness to raise funds and build a fundraising team provides an organization with the funding and resources it needs. Lean in and prepare yourself to be a leader. Develop career goals that include responsibility for fundraising. Learn about the different types of fundraising and how they work together. Invest in your education and training. Participate in online and in-person training sessions that expose you to new areas of fundraising and

ones that deepen your current skill set. If your employer won’t invest in your professional development, make the investment yourself. Network with people you meet at conferences or online. Ask questions of those who are more experienced. Ask someone from a similar type of organization in another part of the country for a critique of a fundraising project you are working on. Read journals, books and blogs. Get a mentor. If you don’t currently work for a major nonprofit institution, consider becoming a fundraising volunteer for a local hospital, university or public television station. These institutions typically have more robust fundraising programs than grassroots or mid-sized organizations and can provide exposure to campaigns that include major gift solicitations, annual gifts, special events, direct mail, planned gifts, underwriting and other fundraising programs. You will find opportunities to grow your skills and your network. Most importantly make it known that you want to learn more about fundraising. Most people don’t embrace fundraising. That’s a mistake you don’t have to make. Lean in and you will find opportunities to learn and ultimately to lead. © Mel and Pearl Shaw Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www. saadandshaw.com.

Kitchen looking more like an office? At this rate, you might want both. Get a great rate on a Home Equity Line of Credit. Home Equity Line of Credit

1.99

% APR*

Introductory Rate for 6 Months

There’s never been a better time to make those home improvements you’ve been thinking about. U.S. Bank is offering a Home Equity Line of Credit at a great rate with no closing costs. Not to mention potential tax advantages, great service and convenient branch locations. Start adding value to your home today.

Rates As Low As

3.99

% APR*

Variable Rate after Introductory Period

branch

usbank.com/lowrate

800.209.BANK (2265)

*1.99% Introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is available on Equiline Home Equity Lines of Credit with a U.S. Bank Package and a 70% or 80% loan-to-value (LTV) or less, depending upon the market. The introductory interest rate will be fixed at 1.99% during the six month introductory period. A higher introductory rate will apply for a credit limit of $15,000 to $24,999 and an LTV above 80%. After the six month introductory period: the APR is variable and is based upon an index plus a margin. The APR will vary with Prime Rate (the index) as published in the Wall Street Journal. As of February 1, 2013, the variable rate for home equity lines of credit ranged from 3.99% APR to 8.99% APR. Higher rates will apply for a credit limit below $99,999, an LTV above 80%, a low credit score and/or not having a U.S. Bank Package relationship. The rate will not vary above 25% APR, or applicable state law, or below 1.99% APR. An annual fee of up to $90 may apply after the first year. Offer is subject to normal credit qualifications. Rates are subject to change. Property insurance is required. Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest. Other restrictions may apply. Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit are offered through U.S. Bank National Association ND. © 2013 U.S. Bank. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.


Page 4 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

Protecting children caught up in sex trade: 2011 legislature passed Safe Harbor — 2013 needs to put resources in place By Shanika Alston TC Daily Planet For years, children who have been caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking and prostitution were lost in the shuffle of the juvenile justice system and penalized as offenders. However, in 2011, that changed with the enactment of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor legislation. Designed to protect children, Safe Harbor 2011 provides that children involved in sex trade will be protected and receive the services and support they need, rather than being treated as criminals. Human rights advocates, prosecutors, law enforcement and other social service agencies participated in a mandated stakeholder

INSIGHT NEWS

engagement process, which resulted in this effort to create a model that would protect the rights of children. The law has not been fully implemented — provision of resources is the task of this year’s legislature. The Safe Harbor law changed the definition of “delinquent child” under Minnesota law by excluding children under the age of 16 who are sexually exploited. In addition, the law created a mandatory diversion program for children 16 or 17, included a definition of sexually exploited youth in the Minnesota child protection codes, increased penalties against commercial sex traffickers and mandated specialized services such as shelter and counseling. The services were not put in place by the Safe Harbor law. That remains to be done, with implementation set for this year. Advocates are pushing for legislation to establish services under the name of the No Wrong Door model. “The safe harbor law treats

Screen shot from video produced by Minnesota Women’s Foundation. children as the victims they are, not criminals,” said The Family Partnership’s Jeff Bauer, a chief lobbyist for the bill. Prior to the legislation, Minnesota law defined juveniles who engaged in prostitution as both victims and delinquents. Because children were simultaneously treated as delinquents and victims under child protection statutes, it became unclear as to how to respond to sexually exploited youth.

“What was happening for the past few years, before 2011, were two things: victims were treated as delinquent under the juvenile justice system and children weren’t being identified as trafficking victims... they were falling through the cracks,” said Bauer. Mary Beth Hanson, director of communications for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota stated, “It’s exactly what we need as a state. It

behooves us to take care of children. Children are in need of protection and treatment and right now that doesn’t exist. Safe harbor will provide the housing and treatment needed.” That housing and treatment will come from the No Wrong Door Model, meaning that no matter what door a child knocks on, they will not be turned away. No Wrong Door is the mechanism to help implement the Safe Harbor law by identifying supportive services such as housing, staffing and training needed for a victimcentered response. “The safe harbor legislation doesn’t go into effect until 2014,” said Jeff Bauer, “and the reason that we wrote it that way is because we didn’t know where to bring children as far as shelter. This was the result of 18 months of law enforcement, prosecutors, philanthropy agencies, I mean you name it, coming together and what we’ve found is that they don’t want to criminalize victims anymore than we do. So

out of that came the No Wrong Door Model that provides shelter and training.” With funding for the No Wrong Door model, Minnesota will become more effective in responding and providing services to sexually exploited youth. Safe harbor is not without limitations. Children of 16 and 17 still face mandatory diversion and can be adjudicated delinquent. Advocates agree that this is a great start. “What we are building, we are proposing a minimum of what we’ll think we’ll need,” said Bauer. “It’s such a hidden population. Right now we’re seeing two trends, over the past few years victims are getting younger and younger and there are more and more of them. We are building a really great intervention. Communities all over the state are saying ‘we are not going to let this happen to our children any more.’ It’s a long road but it’s a great start.”

www.insightnews.com

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 Production Intern Sunny Thongthi Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Staff Writer Ivan B. Phifer Contributing Writers Cordie Aziz Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Oshana Himot Timothy Houston Alaina L. Lewis Photography Suluki Fardan 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.

Hatcher helps students design individualized degrees Stanley Hatcher, Minneapolis, was appointed academic advisor in the College of Individualized Studies, Metropolitan State University, effective March 13. He provides a range of advising services to adult students designing and implementing individualized degree programs. In addition, he teaches select courses and

workshops in the Individualized and Interdisciplinary Studies Department, oversees referrals, updates college materials, coordinates orientations and provides improvements of student data integrity and advising services. Hatcher is transferring to this position after having worked as African/African-

American student services coordinator and retention specialist since July 11, 2007. Prior to that, he worked at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) for more than 16 years, most recently as program director in counseling and advising student support services, and as assistant director of the

High School Upward Bound Program, a part of MCTC’s federal TRiO programs. He holds a B.A. in human services administration from Metropolitan State University and is working on a master’s degree at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Metropolitan State University, a member of the

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is America’s premier university for lifelong learning, providing unsurpassed, competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels while maintaining affordability

Lucio

students in that short of time,” said Lucio. “We don’t educate in a traditional model; we believe relationships with kids is utmost important. My colleagues have a relationship and trust with these kids. I tell staff it’s more important to create relationships first and work with every student on and individual needs level.” In addition to providing scholastic learning, Lucio feels it’s important to provide his

students with additional support. “Education people use the term mental health; we use the term social support,” said Lucio. “Oftentimes what we see is the reason these kids come here is what was missing was support. We’re working hard to get (Stadium View students) to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” “We call that re-instilling hope,” said Brenda Johnson,

transition specialist at Stadium View. “We try and give them hope that they can return to their communities and be productive citizens.” Johnson gives all the credit for the successful turnaround of Stadium View to Lucio. “He’s a visionary,” said Johnson, who said the entire staff – most handpicked by Lucio – is sad to hear of Lucio’s retirement. “He will truly be missed. We’re losing a trailblazer. He talks all the time about how kids come first. When he advocates on students’ behalves for things we need, we get it.” That may be how Stadium View became the first school housed in a juvenile facility to be designated a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. Freedom Schools provide summer and after-school programs with a goal of increasing students’ self-esteem, and generating more positive attitudes toward learning. The Children’s Defense Fund grew out of the Civil Rights Movement under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman; the first AfricanAmerican woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. Lucio, who was either a teacher, assistant principal or principal at Roosevelt Jr. High in St. Paul, Humboldt Jr. High in St. Paul, St. Paul’s Como Park High School, Northeast Middle School in Minneapolis,

Humboldt High School in St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Thomas Alva Edison High School, said while every student is important, he has been most concerned with educating students of color. “I believe the education system to be innately racist and classist,” said Lucio. “As a young kid growing up in the (19)60s I heard politicians always talking about poor people and that encouraged me. Today in politics and education, all we hear is middle class, so in many cases we’re so concerned about the middle class at expense of the poor. For me, I tended to focus more on the communities of color and I’ve been blessed to work at schools with large student populations of students of color.” And though June 28 is Lucio’s official last day, do not think this rebel educator from West St. Paul (or West Side as he calls it) will simply fade off into the sunset. “My daughter is a teacher, so I’ll be her glorified classroom assistant,” joked Lucio. “But I want to go back to my community. For me, that’s where it all started.” Lucio will be honored for his works during a retirement celebration on May 29 at the Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul. The celebration takes place at 4 p.m.

Expo

Oakland and Cleveland, more than 40 percent of the city’s African-American population is unemployed. “Somehow, it is acceptable for African-Americans to have a high unemployment rate. If other people had this same unemployment rate as AfricanAmericans, this would be declared a state of emergency,” said Malveaux. Statistics show unemployment, especially in the African-American community, is directly correlated with education. Referring to the Mar. 1 sequester deadline, Malveaux made an emphasis on public services and education in her speech. “Policeman, firefighters and teachers will lose their jobs. We cannot afford to lose teachers, or a larger classroom size. This is the tragedy because of Congress being hardheaded,” said the economist, Malveaux. According to the keynote speaker, contrasting images between white and AfricanAmerican students exist in the classroom. She said when white students speak loudly and interrupt one another, they are curious, while African-American students are seen as disruptive. “A lot of people believe our children are dangerous, but they’re not,” Malveaux said. “A disproportionate number of suspensions and expulsions are young African American males.”

From 1 students for a limited time. The center houses youths for an average of between eight to 20 days, after which the juveniles are typically transferred to longterm facilities in the state. “The question became what can we really do with these

From 1 Economic Opportunity Network, Public Allies, and Above Every Name Ministries. The event also included vocal performances from neo-soul singer, Lia Renee Dior and Jamecia Bennett from the Sounds of Blackness. The stage also showcased spoken word artists, fashion shows and a performance from the LoveWorks Academy Drill Team. The keynote featured President of Bennett College for Women; author, commentator and economist, Julianne Malveaux. Malveaux encouraged individuals to explore the vendors to help promote AfricanAmerican businesses. “Take their business cards, and let them know you all appreciate each other,” said Malveaux. She addressed the current political state as foundation to address underlying issues, such as economy, education and employment. “What percentage of your community is employed?” Malveaux asked. According to Malveaux, this demographic is known as the employment population ratio. “Almost half of all Black men between the ages of 16-65 do not work, partly due to the industrial shift and the automobile industry,” said Malveaux. Malveaux said that in most urban areas such as New York,

EXPO TURN TO 9


insightnews.com

Insight News • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Page 5

AESTHETICS MUSIC REVIEW

An evening of blues with Keb’ Mo’ at the Guthrie Theater By Betsy Gabler TC Daily Planet Keb’ Mo’ (Kevin Moore), the award-winning, Delta-bluesinfluenced singer/songwriter, played to a crowded house at the Guthrie Theater on March 18. He’s promoting his album The Reflection, which comes after a few years’ break from recording (2006’sSuitcase was his last album). The Reflection is a selfproduced album and features duets with India.Arie and Vince Gill, among other noted musicians. A press release describes Keb’ Mo’ as a “living link to the seminal Delta blues that traveled up the Mississippi and across America. He’s won three Grammy Awards and also won ten W.C. Handy Blues Awards, including Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year.” This particular two-hour solo concert had no special highlights, but was a consistent show of guitar playing talent and the incredible voice crooning clever and relevant lyrics for which he is well known. There was no fanfare on stage, just the man and his guitar—well, three guitars– one of which was a silver beauty. Although the sound was perfect, the lighting, overall, felt awkward and inconsistent—even distracting to his performance. A dual spotlight treatment

Keb’ Mo’

Tom Baker/Manitou Photos

meant he couldn’t see the audience at all, so he ventured out to the edges for some conversation, a little dancing, and to take requests–at one time even walking up into the audience to listen to quieter voices (no one had a problem hearing the deep, loud voices shout out). He worked the audience like an orchestra, getting the crowd to hum (in tune!), sing (kinda in tune) and, maybe best of all, imagine. Imagine how we all have moments in life where his songs can soothe things over, provide perspectives we hadn’t thought of, and offer reasons to be happy with life...just as it is. If you’re not familiar with his lyrics, they reflect (among other things) his views of beautiful women (his wife being the primary inspiration there), relationships with women, and the intensity of best-friendships. Some offer a contemporary translation of the blues and how to live with’em and through’em. One of the first songs Keb’ Mo’ sang on Monday night was “Keep It Simple,” where phones and TV stations are fodder for angst and frustration like liquor and lying women would have been for one of his legendary predecessors (although in other songs Keb’ Mo’ takes on those topics, too). His history includes playing with blues legends including Albert Collins and Big Joe Turner (Keb’ Mo’ began his career by playing with Jefferson Airplane in the

‘70s). You hear tributes to his influences in the sharp twangs and sexy slides of his chords. On the Guthrie’s stage, the audience heard (among other songs) “Hole in My Bucket,” “Still Got a Crush on You,” (written by Kevin So), “Whole Enchilada,” “One Friend,” “Angelina,” and “Perpetual Blues Machine.” A threeplus-song encore included “Suitcase” and “She Just Wants to Dance”—clearly crowd favorites. Keb’ Mo’ now lives in Nashville, although he explained that he has ties in Minnesota including a mother-in-law (shout out to Delores during the show!) and a sister-in-law’s sofa where the modern day blues ballad, “Government Cheese” (Live and Mo’, 2009) was penned: “It’s a bad situation/ But I love my little friend Louise/ It’s a bad situation/ And I love, my little friend Louise/ Yeah, she’s a wiz in the kitchen/ and she knows what to do with that Government Cheese.” This particular tour will take Keb’ Mo’ to Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday and around the east and southeast through Madison Square Garden and Meridian, Mississippi. The Reflection can be heard via streaming on Keb’ Mo’s website. For more photos: http:// w w w. t c d a i l y p l a n e t . n e t / arts/2013/03/19/eveningblues-keb-mo

Bob Marley’s epic recording “Kaya” celebrated with special 35th anniversary deluxe edition available on April 30th which features the “Smile Jamaica” single for the first time on vinyl. Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to gain worldwide

Bob Marley remains one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. His lifestyle and music continues to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, Marley has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page having over 42 million fans, ranking it among the Top 25 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. His music catalog has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide since 1992 and his accolades continue, including an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). This year marks the 35th anniversary of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ now classic, 1978 release, “Kaya”. To celebrate, on April 23, 2013, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release “Kaya: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” (Island/Tuff Gong/ UMe), an expanded, two-CD collection featuring 24 tracks, all completely remastered to the highest modern standards. Included in addition to the original 10-song release is the B-side “Smile Jamaica,” plus a second disc featuring the highly sought-after, unreleased live show, “Live at Ahoy Hallen,” recorded in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on July 7, 1978. Packaged with the original artwork, “Kaya: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” will come with a 23-page booklet that includes lyrics, rare photos, plus extensive liner notes. With earlier works, Marley took a more political stance. «Kaya» took a lighter outlook, focusing on the pursuit of inner peace, love and romance. “When you expose a situation, you don’t need to expose it again. It’s exposed already,” Marley said. “To sing about suffering all the time is not a deep thing. We want our people to live good. We don’t want to encourage suffering. We want our people to live the way they want to live. We have to stop the suffering.” As a bonus, the «Kaya: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” also includes the non-LP track

“Smile Jamaica,” which was originally released as the B-side to “Satisfy My Soul” and was written for the people of Jamaica after the assassination attempt on Marley’s life at the Smile Jamaica unity concert in 1976. Disc two features the rare, unreleased audio recording of a sold out performance at Ahoy Hallen in Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 7, 1978. It had originally been planned to be released with the “Babylon By Bus” album but was never released. The Wailers were in

top form that night, with stellar performances of “Is This Love” and “Easy Skanking” from the recently released “Kaya”, plus some of Marley’s most beloved songs including “Concrete Jungle,” “No Woman No Cry” “War/No More Trouble,” “Jamming,” “I Shot The Sheriff,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and the closing track “Exodus,” all leaving the packed house in a frenzy. A 35th Anniversary reissue of “Kaya” on audiophile 180Gram virgin vinyl is also

RAHSAAN PATTERSON APRIL 4ÊUÊÇÊ«“

NEO-SOUL VOCALS With a sound that evokes comparison to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Prince, Rahsaan Patterson has become a force in the R&B/neo-soul world. For over 15 years Patterson has released 5 albums, toured constantly and has collaborated with a number of soul music luminaries. CALL TODAY FOR TICKETS

612.332.5299 OR VISIT US ONLINE AT

DAKOTACOOKS.COM 1010 NICOLLET MALL DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS

fame. A musical, political and even spiritual icon - a figure of almost mystical proportions - no artist has so dominated his genre transcending reggae and popular

music worldwide. www.bobmarley.com https://www.facebook.com/ BobMarley


Page 6 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

FULL CIRCLE

The power of small beginnings Man Talk

By Timothy Houston “Do not despise these small beginnings, (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). This month my personal barbershop, Johnson’s Barbershop located at 5257 Chicago Ave S. in South Minneapolis celebrates 16 years in business, which is a major accomplishment worthy of recognition. I remember the first day I walked through those doors and the owner Mike Johnson (Big Mike) welcomed me in. Although I was new to the city, I felt like I had found my barbershop home. A couple of years later when my book “Men are Dirt” came out, Johnson’s Barbershop was one of the first places that openly supported and promoted my book. I have been a loyal customer

to this Black owned business for almost 10 years, and from time to time, I find myself reflecting on the fact that although I am now more that 30 minutes away, I still make that trip 3 or more times a month. After much reflection, I realized that I go for two primary reasons. First, I go because the atmosphere, camaraderie, the always insightful discussions, and more importantly the people (Big Mike, DJ, Little Mike, Quan, Jacob, and Greg). Secondly, I go because I know how important these types of small businesses are to our community. In 2007, Black businesses in Minnesota generated almost a billion dollars in gross revenue. Black owned businesses have filled the job gaps that existed during the recessions, lean years, and economic down turns. In 2007, there were 12,454 Black owned businesses operating in Minnesota, an increase 58.9 percent from 2002. These businesses provided thousands of much needed jobs. These findings come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) and

L-R: Dequon Oliver, Jacob Deisch, Mike Johnson (owner), Mike Johnson Jr, Donald Chrisler Jr, and Greg Epps were collected as part of the 2007 Economic Census. It is clear from these statistics that Black owned businesses are on the rise, but there is a need for even more. With the advances in technology, changes in health care, and the gap that exist due to the limited diversity in the types of Black own business,

the need for entrepreneurs is even greater. Although starting a business is a tremendous amount of work, there is help. The Black Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. I have had two meetings with Lea Hargett, President of Minnesota Black Chamber, and they are positioning themselves to help

Mike Johnson

new imaginative businesses and existing successful businesses looking to expand. Visit their website at www.minnesotabcc. org. They can also connect you with other organizations that can provide you with valuable business development training and help you develop a business plan. A business plan is a key

ingredient to gaining finance. Support Black owned business. We have the power to use small businesses to stabilize our communities, and build a positive future for our children. We should never despise small beginnings. Our parents and forefathers were masters at doing much with little. As we move into this new decade of change, let us look at what goods and services we can provide and / or purchase from our community. We need you to help by changing the way you shop. Go out of your way to do business with a Black owned business and watch our community grow. Congratulations again to Johnson Barbershop for the jobs that you have created and for the families you have impacted. Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. To get copies of his books, or for questions, comments or more information, go to www. tlhouston.com.

What is happiness? Happiness is love! The Moore Therapy Movement By Dr. Darren D. Moore Ph.D., LMFT A question that may appear to be very simplistic is actually one of the most difficult questions to answer in the world. Last week, as I was sitting in my clinical practicum class, this question emerged and proved to be quite daunting. As a matter of clinical supervision, each week four of my graduate students and I meet to consult about therapy clients they see at our campus-based family therapy center or at one of their numerous community

placement sites. Clients that are typically seen by my students present with a variety of complex clinical issues, some of which may include substance abuse, depression, infidelity, sexual addiction, parent-child conflict, grief, marital discord, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, eating disorders, among many, many, others. During our last supervision, I instructed one of my students to ask a client of hers, “What is happiness?” This question was asked in order to get an idea of possible goals that could be worked on during the therapeutic process. During therapy, we often ask our clients what is happiness?” What does it mean to be happy? How would you know if you were happy? What would have to change in your life in order for you to be happy?

As we consulted about my student’s case, I thought to myself, “What is happiness?” How would I answer this question myself? To elaborate on my internal thoughts, I decided to bring the question up for discussion to the class. As part of my teaching style, I am often open with students regarding my thoughts (within reason) and generally have no qualms about disclosing my personal perspectives about a particular phenomenon. I soon realized this is a hard question to answer. I do not know exactly how I would answer this very question if someone posed it to me. As a way to further explore this very question, I asked my students how they would define happiness. I had each of my students go around the room and share with the class how they would answer the question, what is happiness. When asked the question, one

of my students, Tierra Hollaway, responded, “It is having genuine joy and peace that no one can take away from you.” Another one of my students, Lakea Burrison, stated, “My definition of happiness involves inner peace and a state of knowing of all is well. My happiness comes from my higher power, God, which gives me a feeling of joy. Happiness involves being able to look past all difficulties and have hope and a sense of faith to know that it will not always be this way.” A third student, Sophia Crawford, suggested that, “Happiness is the ability to be at peace and content with the end result of all your efforts at the end of the day.” When my fourth student, Amanda Nicholson, was asked the question, she replied, “Happiness to me involves more eustress than

distress and being able to find the positives in negative situations – having a way to find your own center through, rough times.” Of course, as the instructor I have the power and authority to choose not to answer the question myself, but then that would go against my teaching philosophy. I believe in transparency. As a matter of fact, it is my willingness to share personal thoughts and my willingness to travel beyond the pages of a textbook or scholarly journal article, that makes me such a dynamic professor (so I am told). Therefore, I decided to take a stab at the question. Instead of trying to gather my thoughts collectively and instead of focusing on what I thought my students wanted to hear, I decided to simply tell them the truth, as I saw it. During class, I stated, “What is happiness to me; unhappiness to me (long pause, for the dramatic effect)? Well to me, happiness is love.” What was particularly so interesting about this statement was not just my declaration about what is happiness, but was an observation that a student (Burrison) made about my statement. Burrison, who is obviously wise beyond her years and is growing and developing to be a wonderful therapist, said, “Dr. Moore, I knew you were going to say that.” She further mentioned that when I said the words, “Happiness is Love,” she noticed that I grabbed my engagement ring (my fiancé and I both wear rings) and started fidgeting with it as I was speaking (unbeknownst to me). My student picked up on not only what I said, but also my non-verbal communication, which is a skill that proves to be

advantageous when engaged in the art and science of conducting therapy. My student apparently has a spirit of discernment. To be able to pick up on something that is so subtle, but yet so true, is amazing. Yes she is right. Dr. Moore is in love. So, what is happiness to me? Happiness is love. Enough about me; what is happiness to you? Have you ever thought about this question? To some, happiness may be having fame and fortune. To others, happiness may be being able to grow old with a loved one. While for some, happiness may simply lie in a parent’s ability to provide for his or her child or children. As you go about your week and interact with others, I want you to take a second out of your day to reflect on the very question, what is happiness? Do not just think about it, write it down on a piece of paper, hang it on your refrigerator, put it in your wallet (or purse), post it on your Facebook page, carry it with you, share it with your loved ones, read it at night before you go to bed, and then in the morning before you leave for work. Let’s focus on creating our own happiness. Once you focus on defining happiness (whatever it means to you), then write down five goals that you can work towards that will help to you achieve this happiness. And another thing … I want you to know, that happiness can be anything you want it to be. It can be a feeling, a thought, a mindset, an emotion, a state of being, an experience – and most of all – it

MOORE TURN TO 10


insightnews.com

Insight News • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Page 7

Gabby’s Gold and Glory Interview

By Kam Williams kam@insightnews.com Gymnast Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas was born in Virginia Beach on December 31st, 1995. At the 2012 London Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around competitions. Gabby is the first AfricanAmerican gymnast as well as the first woman of color of any nationality in Olympic history to become the Individual AllAround Champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic Games. She was introduced to gymnastics by way of a cartwheel. Her older sister, Arielle, a former gymnast and competitive cheerleader, was determined to teach the toddler the sport she loved. Gabrielle immediately picked up her older sister’s love of the sport and soon taught herself how to do a one armed cartwheel. Gabrielle vividly remembers flipping around the house and off the furniture from the age of four. After a couple years of poking and prodding, Arielle convinced their mother to allow her little sister to train at a local gym. Once formal training began, another two years was all it took for her to be crowned the State of Virginia’s Gymnastics Champion. Gabby soon reached her peak at her local gym, quickly accumulating numerous

balance? GD: Yes. Gymnastics does take great focus and concentration. What I do is look to my coach. He keeps me focused. And I meditate to get myself confident before the competition floor. That helps keep me focused, too.

victories and top finishes over the next few years. The task became clear: she had to convince her mother to allow her, the youngest, to move across the country in pursuit of her Olympic dream. This would allow her an opportunity to train with elite coach Liang Chow in West Des Moines, Iowa. Gabrielle left Virginia Beach at 14 to live with her host family, the Partons, while training with Mr. Chow. Under his tutelage she did develop the skills needed to reach the Olympics, and the rest, as they say, is history. Here, Gabby talks about her autobiography, “Grace, Gold & Glory,” and about “Raising the Bar,” her inspirational book about how to achieve your dreams. Kam Williams: Hi, Natalie. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to speak with your daughter. You must be a very proud momma. Natalie Hawkins: Yes, I’m incredibly proud of the fight, determination and drive that I’ve seen in her and in my other kids as we’ve supported her through this journey. It’s just a wonderful feeling! But I have her right here for you. Gabby Douglas: Hi, Kam. KW: Hi Gabby. I’d like to let you know how impressed I’ve been not only with your performances, but with the grace and poise you’ve exhibited off the floor. So, I’m very honored to have this opportunity to speak with you. GD: Thank you. My pleasure. KW: I have a lot of questions for you from fans, and I will be mixing their questions in with my own. What does it mean to you not only to represent your country in the Olympics but to

KW: Editor/legist Patricia Turnier asks: What interested you in writing your autobiography, “Grace, Gold & Glory,” at such a young age? Did you keep a diary? GD: I had kept many diaries, but I would start one and not finish it, and then start another one and not finish it. [Chuckles] I wrote the book because I had to overcome many challenges and hardships. I wanted to share my story to let anyone facing hardships know that your dream is still possible. KW: Patricia also asks: If Hollywood decides to turn the book into a movie, who would you like to play you? GD: I’d like to play myself, to be sure to capture my personality and my style.

Gabrielle Douglas make history by becoming the first and youngest American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions? GD: Words can’t even describe how much it means, because of all the hard work, sacrifice and effort I put in at the gym, and also because of how much my family supported me and sacrificed their dreams for mine. It also means a lot to me, knowing that I became the first African-American to win the individual all-around gold medal. Not many girls in gymnastics look like me, so I’m honored and delighted to put a

new face on the sport. KW: Grace Sinden says: Your muscles must get sore. What do you do for sore muscles? GD: Yes, Grace, my muscles do get very sore, but I have a massager. They call it “The Stick,” and I just rub it on my muscles. I also take ice baths and Epsom salt baths, and sometimes have to take Advil or Tylenol. KW: Grace also says: Your talent requires a lot of concentration. Is there anything special you do to help you concentrate and keep your

KW: Tell me a little about the book the new book, “Raising the Bar.” GD: Raising the Bar is all about my life now, since the Olympics. It’s kind of a picture book for younger readers. KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: It’s been a while since the magic of the gold—how’s it goin’ now that things have quieted down—or have they? GD: It depends on the month. I’ll have a period when it quiets down, and then I’m traveling and on the go-go-go again. KW: Larry Greenberg says: I have a 5 year-old girl with an amazing, natural inclination

towards gymnastics. Do you have any advice for her? And in a similar vein, Keith Kremer says: My 9 year-old daughter, Olivia, would like to know what advice you have for little girls who love gymnastics. GD: Since they’re so young, I would tell them to just have fun competing at Level 6 and Level 7. At their age, they’re just fine getting gift bags and going to banquets. I would tell them to be patient, take it one step at a time and just enjoy the ride. But also keep your goals and what you want to achieve in the back of your mind. I’d also tell any girl who continues to love gymnastics enough to want pursue a college scholarship to keep pushing yourself 100% in the gym every single day. KW: Patricia also asks: Do you plan to go to college? If so, where would you like to go, and what are you thinking about majoring in? GD: I would love to go to college, but right now my focus is on doing another Olympics. I can’t say where I’d like to attend yet. I’d have to visit some campuses to get a sense of the atmosphere, and what I like and don’t like. I still have a little bit of time. KW: What message do you have for young people who have big dreams but are not focused enough to put their plans into action because they believe in instant success without hard work and sacrifices? GD: That’s a hard question to answer, because even if you have the talent, you still have to push yourself. I don’t think dreams magically appear, that’s why they’re called dreams. But if you do want to make that dream a reality, then you have

DOUGLAS TURN TO 8

Charity Bess wins crown and title of Miss Minnesota 2013 Charity Bess of Minneapolis was crowned 2013 Miss Minnesota International. The competition took place in St. Cloud, on Mar. 16. Bess will compete with 50 other state winners for the title of Miss International 2013. That

Courtesy of Minnesota International Pageants, Photo by Paula Preston

Charity Bess

competition takes place July 22 – 28 and will be held in Skokie, Ill. Bess’ platform is Changing Lives Through Girl Scouts Mentoring. As a mentor, Girl Scout and someone who understands the power behind

positive guidance, Bess said she feels that it is her civic duty to give back. As Miss Minnesota International, Bess hopes to teach the values of courage, confidence and character to all her mentees. The Miss Minnesota

International Pageant is dedicated to professional and community involvement among young women. The official charity of the Miss Minnesota International Pageants is American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign.


Page 8 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

LIFESTYLE

Attracting backyard pollinators EarthTalk® E - The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: I’d like to have a garden that encourages bees and butterflies. What’s the best approach? --Robert Miller, Bakersfield, CA Attracting bees and butterflies to a garden is a noble pursuit indeed, given that we all depend on these species and others (beetles, wasps, flies, hummingbirds, etc.) to pollinate the plants that provide us with so much of our food, shelter and other necessities of life. In fact, increased awareness of the essential role pollinators play in ecosystem maintenance—along with news about rapid declines in bee populations—have led to a proliferation of backyard “pollinator gardens” across the U.S. and beyond. “Pollinators require two essential components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen,” reports the Xerces Society, a Massachusetts-based non-profit that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. “Native plants

iStockPhoto

Attracting bees and butterflies to a garden is a noble pursuit, given that we all depend on these species and others to pollinate the plants that provide us with so much of our food, shelter and other necessities of life. are undoubtedly the best source of food for pollinators, because plants and their pollinators have coevolved.” But, Xerces adds, many varieties of garden plants can also attract pollinators. Plant lists customized for different regions of the U.S.

can be found on the group’s website. Any garden, whether a window box on a balcony or a multi-acre backyard, can be made friendlier to pollinators. Xerces recommends providing a range of native flowering

plants that bloom throughout the growing season to provide food and nesting for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Xerces also says that clustering flowering plants together in patches is preferable to spacing individual plants

apart. “Creating foraging habitat not only helps the bees, butterflies and flies that pollinate these plants, but also results in beautiful, appealing landscapes.” Along these lines, gardeners should plant a variety of colors in a pollinator garden, as color is one of the plant kingdom’s chief clues that pollen or nectar is available. Master gardener Marie Iannotti, an About.com gardening guide, reports that blue, purple, violet, white and yellow flowers are particularly attractive to bees. She adds that different shapes also attract different types of pollinators, and that getting as much floral diversity of any kind going is a sure way to maximize pollination. Another way to attract pollinators is to provide nest sites for bees—see how on the xerces.org website. The group also suggests cutting out pesticides, as these harsh chemicals reduce the available nectar and pollen sources in gardens while poisoning the very insects that make growing plants possible. Those looking to go whole hog into pollinator gardening might consider investing $30 in Xerces Society’s recently published

book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, which provides a good deal of detailed information about pollinators and the plants they love. Gardeners who have already encouraged pollinators can join upwards of 1,000 others who have signed onto Xerces’ Pollinator Protection Pledge. And the icing on the cake is a “Pollinator Habitat” sign from Xerces stuck firmly in the ground between two flowering native plants so passersby can learn about the importance of pollinators and making them feel welcome. CONTACTS: Xerces Society, www.xerces.org, About.com “Bee Plants,” gardening.about.com/od/ attractingwildlife/a/Bee_Plants. htm. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@ emagazine.com. Subscribe: w w w. e m a g a z i n e . c o m / subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

Minnesota Energy Tips: Fireplace efficiency This weekend as you huddle around the fireplace to escape the spring chill, remember the fireplace likely loses more heat than it gives off. Warm air in a home is sucked up the chimney and is replaced by cold air leaking into the house. Especially as the fire dies down, more heat is drawn up the chimney than is created by the fire—and the

reduced rate of airflow can lead to backdrafting of flue gases and smoke into the living space. The following tips will improve the operation and safety of your fireplace and will reduce your energy losses: • Seal the flue damper. To test the damper’s seal, close the flue, light a small piece of paper, and watch the smoke. If

the smoke quickly goes up the flue, there is an air leak. Seal around the damper assembly with refractory cement, but don’t seal the damper closed. • Install tight-fitting glass doors or an airtight fireplace insert unit. Controlling the airflow in your fireplace improves combustion efficiency by 10 to 20 percent

and reduces air leaks up the chimney. • Install an inflatable “chimney balloon” in seldom-used fireplaces. A properly installed balloon will significantly reduce heat loss through the flue. • Ensure proper operation of fresh air supply. Many fireplaces and stoves have

a source of fresh air to aid in combustion; in fact, it is required for most new installations to prevent backdrafting and poor performance of furnaces, water heaters, and exhaust fans. Fresh air supplies should have a well-sealed damper to prevent air leakage when not in use.

• Caulk or foam the joint where a brick or stone chimney meets the wall or ceiling to prevent unwanted air flow. For more information on fireplace efficiency, check out page 14 of the Division of Energy Resources’ “Home Envelope” energy guide at www.energy. mn.gov.

Douglas

Wilder. http://www.amazon.com/exec/ obidos/ASIN/0060535253/ ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

I recently wore Donna Karan, and it was just fabulous! I love her clothes, so I’d have to pick her.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to? GD: I was just working out, so I had my music on. I think the last song was “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin http://www.amazon.com/exec/ obidos/ASIN/B000001Y37/ ref=nosim/thslfofire-20

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? GD: [Giggles] I don’t know. That’s a good question. When I look in the mirror, I see Gabby Douglas.

What is your earliest childhood memory? GD: What pops in my mind is my mom making pancakes and waffles for me and my siblings one night when we couldn’t fall asleep hiding in a tent after telling each other ghost stories.

King. He’s pretty amazing. KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity? GD: I’ve been so busy, I haven’t settled on a favorite one to work with yet.

time, Gabby, best of luck with both books, and continued success with your gymnastics career. GD: Thank you, Kam. Here’s my mom.

From 7 to push yourself. It takes a lot of hard work, and if you don’t have the focus, then it’s going to be all the harder. If you have a big dream, it takes all of the above to achieve it: passion, the focus and the effort. That’s definitely my advice. KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read? GD: I’m reading John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” right now. http://www.amazon.com/exec/ obidos/ASIN/1907590331// ref=nosim/thslfofire-20 But the last book I finished was “Our Town” by Thornton

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? GD: I rarely cook, but I really like to eat seafood. KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer? GD: Clothes designer? Well,

PUZZLES

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? GD: That’s a hard one. I don’t know. KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? GD: I think I’d be a black panther. KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question:

KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? GD: Invisibility. KW: Would you choose that because it’s hard to find privacy now that you’re such a big celebrity? GD: [Chuckles] Yeah, kinda. KW: The Michael Ealy question: If you could meet any historical figure, who’d it be? GD: Anyone? Martin Luther

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered? GD: Whew! I would love to be remembered as someone who inspired young girls never to give up on their dreams. KW: Are you willing to give me a Gabby Douglas question that I can ask other celebrities? GD: Yeah, I have one. Ask them: If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

KW: Thanks again, Natalie. Gabby’s even more graceful and charming than I expected. NH: Absolutely! Thank you, Kam. It’s been a pleasure. To order a copy of Raising the Bar, visit: http:// w w w. a m a z o n . c o m / e x e c / obidos/ASIN/0310740703/ ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 To order a copy of Grace, Gold & Glory, visit: http:// w w w. a m a z o n . c o m / e x e c / obidos/ASIN/0310740614/ ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

KW: Thanks again for the

The Twenties ANSWERS TURN TO 10

ACROSS 1. Property held by one party for the benefit of another 6. Band booking 9. Mary’s pet 13. Blood circulation organ 14. Under the weather 15. Last test 16. Beech tree fiber textile 17. Jersey call 18. 2:3, e.g. 19. Conceited 21. *Common Twenties description 23. Relations 24. Update, as in iPod 25. Read-Only Memory 28. Light beige 30. Mother? 34. “____ to it!” 36. Space above 38. Respected Hindu 40. Bride screen 41. Suggestive of an elf 43. *7-Up was one such drink created in the twenties 44. Betty Page, e.g. 46. Italian money 47. Commoner 48. Type of advice 50. Cecum, pl. 52. “But I heard him exclaim, ___ he drove out of sight” 53. Fiber used for making rope 55. “For ___ a jolly...” 57. *a.k.a. ____ ___ 61. *Speakeasy serving 65. Accepted truth 66. Earned at Wharton or Kellogg 68. Infested with lice 69. As opposed to down feather 70. *Woodrow Wilson, e.g. 71. Relating to the ulna 72. Boundary of surface 73. ___-Wan Kenobi 74. Smooth transition

DOWN 1. Woolen caps of Scottish origin 2. ____ canal 3. Pakistani language 4. Library storage 5. *”The Jazz Singer,” e.g. 6. Long John Silver’s gait 7. International workers’ group 8. Civil War movie starring Washington and Freeman 9. One with burning pants 10. Prefix often preceding #1 Across 11. *”____ Street” by Sinclair Lewis 12. It features postings 15. Bar brawl, e.g. 20. Cry of surrender 22. The loneliest number? 24. Be sufficient or adequate 25. Please get back to me 26. WWE’s Titus _____ 27. Easternmost state 29. *1920’s Jazz great, Jelly ____ Morton 31. Coarse file 32. Oar pin 33. Opposite of seeker 35. It fits in a socket 37. Cars have a spare one 39. *1927 was his hit season 42. Popular ball game snack 45. Slumber party wear 49. Carry a suitcase? 51. God of the winds 54. Moderato, e.g. 56. *What “Pretty Boy” Floyd did in the 1920s 57. Humorous anecdote 58. What Lizzie Borden did 59. Move like a bullet 60. Z in DMZ 61. Island near Java 62. Black ____ 63. Brother of Jacob 64. Swirling vortex 67. *Hairstyle


insightnews.com

Insight News • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Page 9

COMMENTARY Simeon Booker deserves Medal of Freedom award By William Reed The Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed by the president of the United States and is – along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of the U.S. Congress – the highest civilian awards in America. The awards recognize individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of U.S. world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Black Americans should take a stand in 2013. Stand up for the chronicling of “Black Life in America” and petition President Barack Obama to award a 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Simeon Saunders Booker, Jr. for “meritorious contributions” he has made to the country. The 94-year-old African-American

magazine and newspaper reporter has been giving Blacks news through the lens of their own eyes for more than 65 years. Because of their enthusiastic support of his presidency, Blacks should get President Obama to publicly acknowledge individuals and works geared toward “serving and educating” their communities. Blacks need to praise their press and tell the president and Congress what Booker, and the medium he represents, means to them. The well-known and highly respected writer and author was born August 27, 1918 in Baltimore, Md. He is steeped in race and Black culture. He became interested in journalism through a family friend, Carl Murphy, the owner and operator of Baltimore’s Afro American Newspapers. In 1942, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in English from Richmond’s

The History Makers

Simeon Saunders Booker, Jr.

Virginia Union University, Booker accepted a position as a reporter with the Afro American newspapers. By 1945, he worked for the Black Cleveland Call and Post newspaper, where he won Newspaper Guild and Wendell L. Willkie awards. Then, Booker received a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism at Harvard University where he developed his reportorial talents. In 1951, Booker became The Washington Post’s

first full-time Black reporter. Not to be confused with contemporary journalists who “just happen to be Black,” Booker has a long history of engagement in civil rights. His book, “Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement,” is legend. Booker has played a unique and important role in Black American history. In the 1950s, he covered many of the major events that affected the lives of Black Americans; including moments, such as the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School and the administrations of 10 U.S. presidents. Our man is worthy of this nation’s top honors recognition. Booker is overwhelmingly supported by his peers. During Black Press Week 2007, Booker was honored with the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s News Maker of the Year Award. In January

2013, Booker was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame. He has also been honored by the National, and Capital, Press clubs. Much of Booker’s acclaim comes from his dates and datelines with Jet. In 1954, Booker was hired by John H. Johnson’s publishing company to report on current events in its weekly news digest, Jet. Booker became the publication’s Washington bureau chief in 1955. A pocketsized weekly magazine, Jet was founded in November 1951 and was considered the bible of things of interest to African Americans. He made his mark in 1955 with coverage of Emmett Till’s murder and trial. In 1961, Booker rode with the Congress on Racial Equality’s Freedom Riders through the Deep South. Booker wrote Jet’s Ticker Tape column, which gave credit to Blacks who were achieving

important things in America. Booker ruled the Johnson Publishing Company’s roost in the nation’s capital, at 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue, which was often filled with that time’s Black members of the media. Let’s stand up and be counted showing appreciation for his body of work, by writing the president and/or Congress imploring them to give a medal to Booker. Nominations for the Congressional Gold Medal can be made by writing to your member of Congress. Nominations for the Presidential Medal of Freedom can be made by writing the president at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500 William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

State of Equality and Justice in America: ‘The Maternal Wall’ By Kristin RoweFinkbeiner In our national conversations about equality and justice in America, we have too often avoided the conversation about the realities of women and mothers in the workforce. This is particularly odd given that women comprise half of the entire paid labor force, threequarters of moms are now in the labor force, and most families now need two breadwinners to make ends meet. Yet, despite comprising half of the paid labor force, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. The glass ceiling remains solid and a Maternal Wall is blocking the way for many women to even get anywhere near that glass barrier. Yes, a Maternal Wall. Here’s what the Maternal Wall looks like: • Women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar, mothers make only 73 cents, single moms make about 60 cents to a man’s dollar, and women of color experience increased wage hits on top of that. • Mothers with equal resumes are hired 80 percent less of the time than non-mothers and are offered lower starting salaries.

Expo From 4 The expo concluded with a series of documentaries and seminars. One documentary, “Slavery by Another Name,” focused on private sector correctional institutions. A seminar titled, “Three Things You Must Know When Raising Black or Mixed Race

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner • More than 80 percent of women in our nation have children by the time they’re 44 - and most hit the Maternal Wall. • Overall women make only 77 cents to a man’s dollar for full-time year round work, with AfricanAmerican women making only 68 cents to a man’s dollar and Latino women making just 59 cents to a man’s dollar. Think all of this doesn’t matter to you, or to our national economy? Consider this: Women make three-quarters of purchasing decisions. When women don’t have adequate funds in their pockets, our entire economy - which for

Children” consisted of panelists, Nikki Hopf, Teresa Penn and Brittany Mayfield Lane. They discussed multiple issues of those with multiple ethnic backgrounds; where they grew up and how these aspects shaped the world around them. “Some will not lift up our history, while others will attempt to destroy it. It is very important that we know our history,” said Malveaux.

better or worse is now built on consumer spending - suffers. The glass ceiling and Maternal Wall not only hurts women’s pocketbooks, they also hurt the bottom line of our nation’s businesses. A 19-year Pepperdine University survey of Fortune 500 companies found that those with the best record of promoting women outperformed the competition by anywhere from 41 to 116 percent. In other words, more women in leadership meant higher profits. Many women and mothers are struggling against tradition, subliminal discrimination, and structural barriers. Indeed, we need to start uniting and lifting each other up. We are living in more than one America. The realities of life for higher-wage earning women are vastly different from the realities of most women in our country. More than 80 percent of low-wage workers don’t have access to a single paid sick day for themselves or their children. Our national “floor” for workplace policies is way too low. These floors need to be raised; and structural barriers need to be addressed, particularly since it now costs over $200,000 to raise one child from birth to age eighteen.

Despite what it may appear from the focus of recent media coverage, there are vastly more women in low wage positions than in high. In fact, only 9 percent of all women in the labor force earn $75,000 or more annually, 37 percent earn between $30,000 and $74,999 annually, and 54 percent earn less than $30,000 annually. The majority of minimum wage earners are women. Most mothers in the low wage workforce are struggling to find quality and affordable daycare (which now costs more than college in most states) and are working in jobs without paid family leave, sick days, or flexible work options that ensure that employees can be successful both at home and at work. Middle-income women struggle with many of these same work structure issues, while women in higher income positions often have access to these programs. We’ve seen recently that the mere ascension of women in the workplace alone does not guarantee that family friendly policies will be implemented. One example is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s move to end the company’s policy of allowing employees to work remotely. Solutions are within our reach.

We know which policies like paid family leave, earned sick days, and affordable childcare - save taxpayer dollars, improve women’s economic security, act to help close gender-based wage gaps and break down the Maternal Wall, while strengthening our national economy as a whole. These solutions won’t magically happen without people coming together to push to update our outdated workplace policies, practices, and laws. It’s going to take all of us - women, men, elected and corporate leaders - leaning forward together to build a nation where women, families, and businesses can thrive.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner is Executive Director/CEO & Co-Founder of MomsRising. org. This article - the tenth of a 20-part series - is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today. For more information, please visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.


Page 10 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

COMMUNITY Members of area churches fight urban obesity epidemic When Marcia Pruitt set out to create a church program that could help her rally support for her own healthier living and weight loss goals, she found a whole new mission. “I was out in the community trying to collect information on making healthy lifestyle changes and weight loss for the St. Albans COGIC Biggest Loser Church Challenge participants and started to notice a disturbing theme,” said Pruitt. “Researching the statistics on obesity

Calendar • Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by email: info@insightnews.com, by fax: 612.588.2031, by phone: 612.588-1313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411. Free or low cost events preferred.

Minneapolis, 35W on the east, and France Avenue on the west. For information about NIP Senior Services email seniors@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-374-3322. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org

EVENTS

RAKE IT Spring Yard CleanUp Improve your health while helping a senior citizen in Minneapolis remain independent in their home! You choose the date and time to rake and clean up the yard. Perfect for individuals, groups, and families. Seasonal: April – November (depending upon the weather). This is a one-time fun, flexible activity on weekdays or weekends. Feel free to sign up multiple times! Supplies needed: rakes, gloves, brooms, and compostable bags. Exact location TBD in North or Southwest Minneapolis, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. Ongoing volunteer opportunities are also available. Please contact Jeanne the NIP Seniors Program, Volunteer Coordinator at srvolunteer@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-746-8549 for more information. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org

HELPING SENIORS IN MINNEAPOLIS Seniors Program of Neighborhood Involvement Program assists elders aged 60 and over in North and Southwest Minneapolis with a variety of services so that they can remain safely in their home or apartment. Our services are specialized for each resident and we strive to provide as much as possible via the assistance of volunteers. Townhomes To be eligible for Available seniors’ Fieldcrest in services, Moorhead, MN p e o p l e live Rent based on 30% must of income within the following 2 & 3 bdroms open boundaries: south of 44th MetroPlains Management Avenue in North Minne 701-232-1887 apolis, north th www.metroplains- of West 36 management.com Street in Southwest

and the complications and the diseases thought to be associated with it, I found urban communities of color are disproportionately impacted. In fact, I found that Black females had the highest incidence of obesity. I’m an African-American woman.” Pruitt said she felt compelled to do something. “I starting making calls to area churches and came across Juliet Mitchell of Camphor United Methodist Church, in St. Paul and

Phone: 612.588.1313

they are given opportunities to work on hand-eye coordination and basic motor skills training. Beneficial to all young athletes, this weekly program is sponsored by Kenny Kids Pediatric Rehab and will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Thursday, March 28-May 16, at 3111 124th St NW, Suite 123 in Coon Rapids. For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Hansen at jennifer.hansen@somn.org or 612.604.1277. A detailed schedule including all locations may be found online at http:// specialolympicsminnesota.org /Young_Athletes.php.

Community Photojournalism Basics Mar. 28 Freelance photographer Tom Baker will teach you how to report with a camera in a 2-hour Photojournalism class on Thursday, March 28, 20137 PM - 9 PM. You will learn the basic nutsand-bolts of photojournalism, including caption writing, identifying the best storytelling image, what equipment you’ll need, and using your cell phone to take reportage images. Ethics of photojournalism will be explored, too. Tom Baker has worked Special Olympics Minnesota at three newspapers and Mar. 28 – May 16 has been The Special Olympics freelancing since 2006. Minnesota’s Young Athletes™ By sharing stories program will bring together from the field, he will children ages 2 to 7 years- illustrate the challenges and Staff Attorney old with and without rewards of being a photo Jerry Lane Fellowship (Staff Attorney), Midintellectual disabilities journalist. He will also share Minnesota Legal Aid. For details go to http:// for an hour-long weekly some tips on networking www.mylegalaid.org/jobs. session, during which and on what it takes to become a successful p h o t o j o u rnalist. Senior Project Coordinator The class will be and Project Coordinator at the Twin Cities The City of Minneapolis seeks two economic Classified Sales Representative development professionals (Senior Project Daily Planet office, 2600 E. Franklin Insight News is looking for a Classified Coordinator and Project Coordinator) to reSales Representative to start immediately. cruit business investment to Minneapolis and Ave. Suite 2, This is a part-time position perfect for a colfacilitate the expansion of existing Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN lege student or someone looking for supplebusinesses. This staff position is also respon55406. Class fee: mental income. Candidate must be a motisible for managing assigned real estate devel$10.00. Register: vated self-starter with the desire to grow the opment projects and various public financing business. Candidate must be focused, must programs and assisting private investors in the http://www. have the ability to work under deadlines and development of property for commercial use. tcdailyplanet.net to meet or exceed set sales goals. ResponFor a complete job description and a list of all sibilities include calling and emailing new clients and following up with past clients for classified sales. Please e-mail cover letter and resume to batalara@insightnews.com. Please: No walk-ins and NO phone calls.

Moore From 6 can be a reality. Believe it or not, you have the right to be happy, and you have the ability and the power to create your own happiness. It is true; you make the decision to be happy, to obtain happiness, and to not let others take away your happiness. Therefore, instead of

job requirements including minimum qualifications for each position applicants are encouraged to review the job announcement online at www.minneapolismn.gov/jobs. Applications will be accepted until April 5, 2013.

doubting yourself, dwelling on the past, hating someone, being jealous of someone because they have something that you do not have, choose to be happy. I know I will, because to me, happiness is love.” Darren D. Moore, Ph.D., LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an assistant professor in marriage and family therapy at a University in Georgia.

Good Prayer Mar. 29

Friday Vigil

He works with individuals, couples, and families regarding mental health and relationship concerns. His research, teaching and clinical interests include general mental health, obesity, weight loss, eating disorders and addictions, within couple and family relationships, with an emphasis in working with men, African-American families, and marginalized populations. Moore is a north Minneapolis native and

Loretta Bush at Mount Olivet Baptist Church, both of whom are actively promoting healthy lifestyle changes and disease prevention along the same lines in their own churches,” said Pruitt. “I was able to attend a ‘Go Red’ meeting at Mount Olivet and learned a lot about heart disease prevention and detection in women. Obesity was mentioned as a factor in heart disease as well.” The Go Red campaign is a program started by the American Heart Association

to promote awareness of heart decease in women. “I was very much inspired by these two women who have been in the trenches fighting to promote the health of their community. I am now working to extend this fight beyond my church walls as well,” said Pruitt. In doing so, she has organized a kickoff meeting for the new Community Biggest Loser Challenge, which will be held Saturday, Apr. 6, at the Mount Olivet Church, 451 West Central

Fax: 612.588.2031

All Day March 29, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the new MegaPlanned Parenthood Abortuary, 671 Vandalia St. St. Paul, MN 55114. Fifteen area pastors will lead in scripture and prayer each half hour throughout the day. For more information, contact us at 651-771-1500 or vigil@plam. org. There is no parking near the new mega-Planned Parenthood on Good Friday. Free parking reserved at one of the University of St. Thomas parking areas (at the St. Paul Seminary) and will be running shuttle buses all day to and from the Vigil. Groups are encouraged to arrange a bus of their own. All buses must be registered. For more information or to register a bus, contact Stephanie at 651-771-1500 or vigil@plam.org. Exhibition: Huroub: Travel Across Identities through Mar. 30 A group of 13 artists who left a homeland politically known as the Arab countries. They left chasing dreams with abstract perspectives of what it means to be American and what it means to be Middle Eastern. Their expressions include visual art, music, dance, theater and spoken word. They are linked by a language, a set of social values and an anthology of aesthetics which pass through a finer array of variable races, dialects, religions, and artistic forms than the post 9-11 homogenous group that is often categorized. As artists, they are continuously dealing with issues of identity either by defying it or by consciously or subconsciously embracing it. Hence, the title of the show is Huroub (Arabic for escape). Vine Arts Center, Ivy Building For the Arts, 2637 27th Avenue South Minneapolis, MN. Gallery Hours: Monday & Thursday 5:30 - 6:45 pm; Saturday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for more information: www.vineartscenter.org

PROGRAMS AND SERVICES obtained his bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Minnesota, his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Valdosta State University, and his Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Virginia Tech. Dr. Darren D Moore can be reached by email at ddmoore@vt.edu or (612) 2963758.

Email: info@insightnews.com

West African Dance & Drum Classes African Dance w/ Whitney $12 - All classes Drop-In. Every Saturday 1:00pm - 2:30pm; Every Tuesday 7:00pm - 8:30pm. at Patrick’s Cabaret, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55406. Foster Parent Information Meetings Find out about becoming a foster parent and changing a child’s life! Open information meetings are held every Friday from 10AM-11:30AM at 7625 Metro Boulevard Edina, MN 55439. Volunteers of AmericaMinnesota is looking for skilled parents to provide 6-9 months care for troubled youth in our new Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Program (MTFC). We have kids, ages 12-17, who are in need of a stable home with dedicated parents who appreciate the difficulties of childhood! Volunteers of America provides quality foster parents with lots of friendly training, 24 hour support and a monthly stipend. If you would like more information contact Jolene Swan at 952945-4064 or ftpfostercare@ voamn.org, or visit us online at voafostercare.org! GED, ELL, College Prep and skills development courses offered Minneapolis Public SchoolsAdult Education is offering free GED, ELL, College Prep and skills development courses. Prepare for GED exams; Increase Math, Reading, and Writing skills; Develop Computer skills; Job training and specific certifications; Comfortable learning environment; and Day and evening classes available! For more information, please

Answers From 8

Avenue, St. Paul. Each participant pays a $20 fee to join. Pruitt said all money from entry fees goes directly to the prize pot which will help to set the top prize, which could top $600. Unlike some office versions of this challenge, there will also be second and third prize winners. For more information on the challenge, visit www. c o m m u n i t y b i g g e s t l o s e r. eventbrite.com.

contact staff at: Minneapolis Public School Adult Education, 1250 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 55411 or Abe. mpls.k12.mn.us or (612) 6681863. SUPER DUPER HANDYPERSON WANTED Help an elderly Minneapolis resident stay in their home. Assist with MINOR REPAIRS to make certain that their home is safe. Snowbirds, retirees, and trainees welcome (over the age of 18). You must have some experience to ensure that the work is done correctly (license not required). Choose your own schedule. Adult individuals, twoperson teams, and small groups welcome.Exact location TBD in North or SW Minneapolis, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. One time opportunities are also available. Please contact Jeanne the NIP Seniors Program, Volunteer Coordinator at srvolunteer@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-746-8549 for more information. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org The Council on Crime and Justice is moving temporarily! While the current location at 822 S. 3rd Street is under construction, The Council on Crime and Justice will be working at a new location in Golden Valley and expect to return in approximately 6 months. Effective October 26th, the mailing address is: Council on Crime and Justice, 1109 Zane Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55422. The phone numbers and email address will remain the same. If you have questions, please contact us at 612-3533000 or info@crimeandjustice. org


insightnews.com

Insight News • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Page 11

HEALTH “Race” and the persistence of health disparities: How far have we come? Justspeak

By Irma McClaurin, PhD Culture and Education Editor This is an excerpt of a speech delivered at the first annual “Springing Towards Health Gala” of the Minnesota Black Nurses Association on March 9, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis North, Brooklyn Center. In 2000, I was part of an historic panel organized by the Congressional Black Caucus on Black Health. At the time, I was a Diplomacy Fellow at USAID just returning from a trip to South Africa. During that trip, one particular agency predicted the number of deaths that would be attributed to HIV-AIDS, and the thousands of Black South African children who would be left orphaned as a result. The numbers were staggering, and I felt tremendous empathy for South Africans, especially Black South Africans, who were the most affected. Little did I know that we would be facing our own HIV-AIDS epidemic in the United States; one that would disproportionately impact African Americans and Latinos, especially African American and Latino heterosexual women who have the fastest growing rate of contracting HIV-AIDs today. We were also celebrating the establishment of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Although the NIH National Center was established in 1986, it became an integral component of our national landscape through the “passage of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, Public Law 106-525, signed by the President of the

against racial inequality in the health field. My sister shared with me yesterday some music by an American Indian group called “Brule; they are the only American Indian group that I have heard. One member spoke about the words his grandfather had shared with him growing up; he told him once: “There are lots of people in the world, but only a handful of human beings.” As Nurses, you have a higher responsibility as one engaged in the gift of healing to be one of those “…handfuls of human beings.” Only with your help can we begin to dismantle this system of “health apartheid;” only with your support and health activism will we be able to close the health and health access gap, and erode the foundation of inequality upon which health disparities, along with education disparities, and employment and wealth disparities, are built and perpetuated. Let me close with some excerpts from one of my favorite poems (For MY People) by one our great African American Women poets, Margaret Walker— fitting as we enter Women’s History month on the heels of Black History month:

country that cannot fix our health system so that regardless of one’s socioeconomic and/ or racial or immigrant status, people are treated with the same care regardless of race, class, ethnicity immigrant status, language, gender, sexual preference, or religion. DEFINING HEALTH DISPARITIES Health and health care disparities refer to the significant differences between groups in incidence of diseases and illnesses, significant differences in the quality of treatment received, and increased risk of mortality from preventable diseases. The evidence is overwhelming in documenting this. So here are some data to wrap your minds around: Among the following groups, known in the past as “historically underrepresented minorities”: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN); Asian American, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino (H/L), Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, a Kaiser Report states that there is “compelling evidence that race & ethnicity correlate with persistent and often increasing, health disparities among US populations…” The report points out other startling statistics: Using a 2008 Age Adjusted Study, it finds that the death rate from diabetes is 40.5 per 100,000 persons for Blacks as compared to 19.9% per 100,000 for whites. And, if you are American Indian or Alaskan Natives or Hispanic/Latino, the rates continue to climb. How far have we come in eradicating health disparities? Not far. Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations has defined a developed country as “… one that allows ALL it citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment.” We, as one of the most technologically advanced countries, are not there yet.

For My People by Margaret Walker

PhotoXpress

by $22 billion for Latinos. And over 90 percent of these same costs felt were in urban areas. What to Do? Black Nurses, You are our Hope In preparation for this talk, when I searched the internet using the phrase “Race and Health Disparities,” I had 2,720,000 hits

hurting you emotionally and spiritually. Healers are interested in knowing how is your being, your inner self beyond the hurt back, the headaches, the stomach, the aches and pains—they understand that our bodies, our minds, our spirits, are all interrelated. We forget that sometimes. I had a friend who was continuously

Nurses, you are part of a healing tradition in the Black community locally and globally, and you have a greater responsibility to your community and to how you treat the people who have been most underserved by the health system. Your attitude matters— don’t have one unless it is compassionate and caring. Your appearance matters—you can’t

“You Black nurses, and those from other underserved communities, must be our champions”

Dr. McClaurin with Shirlynn LaChapelle, President of the Minnesota Black Nurses Association United States on November 22, 2000” (http://www.nimhd.nih. gov/about_ncmhd/history.asp; accessed 3/7/13) . Thirteen years ago we thought this new National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, recently renamed the National Center on Minority Health and Health Equity, was to be the silver bullet that would reduce the health gap between minority populations and majority white populations. So in addition to an Achievement Gap, we face a Health and Health Care Gap. Two strikes against us. Thirteen years later, there are too few answers, if any, to the question of how far we have come in eradicating health disparities that are the result of class status and racial identity. How far have we come? It pains me to say it, but not far. This is an American tragedy of the highest magnitude. We are a country that has identified the gene sequence for DNA—the double helix, but we cannot end health disparities. How far? Not far enough. We have scientists who can extract DNA from ancient bones and fossilized insects, but in 13 years we have not made a huge dent in the prevalence of health disparities among our most underserved citizens. How far? Not far enough. We are able to manufacture designer drone missiles that can seek and destroy our enemies, whether they are asleep in secure bunkers or driving their cars surrounded by armed personnel. We can design machines that KNOW who they are supposed to kill. Yet, we are the same

RACE AND HEALTH DISPARITIES IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD-MINNEAPOLIS A perusal of Health Powers, a website devoted to providing information about health improvement, reveals several factors that contribute to health disparities among minority groups in Minneapolis; they include the fact that preventive care is a low priority among minorities for several reasons: either lack of health insurance or being under insured; inadequate number of multicultural health professionals; lack of awareness of how life styles and health practices increase risk of health disparities, and many others. They also mention the reality that many minorities distrust the medical profession because of experiments like the Tuskegee and forced sterilization. Lack of access is also a critical factor that increases risk. For example, Sherri Pugh a community organizer and advocate used to comment that North Minneapolis had the highest incidence of diabetes, which often results in kidney failure, but there was not one single dialysis facility in close proximity. This is counterintuitive. African Americans are dying in increasing numbers and at younger ages, and it is costing our society and our communities. The impact of health disparities on the American economy is staggering, costing the U.S. economy $82.2 billion in direct health care spending and lost productivity in 2009. The price tag for Blacks was a whopping $54.9 million followed

Angela Gerlach.

in less than 2 seconds, available at the touch of my finger, on my smartphone, computer, and television set. There is certainly NOT a dearth of information. Anyone who is not knowledgeable about their health, the risks factors, or the symptoms of those illnesses that strike our communities more, are living in a fantasy world or in complete denial. I propose that we need to return to our roots. In the past, we respected the knowledge of elders and people in the community about traditional ways of healing and herbs that we should review again. Penicillin cannot be a cure for everything, and the more you use it, the more resistant your body becomes to it. We need to return to the non-western concepts of health, which are not just concerned with physiology and ailments, but with the whole body. In other words, when a doctor or a nurse asks you how you feel, they don’t want to know that your children are driving you crazy, your boyfriend /husband/ or partner is getting on your last nerve, that you have had enough microaggressions rooted in racism and white privilege at work to last two lifetimes—but these factors impact our health. In non-western cultures, the emphasis in healing the whole body; healers, and I worked with a healer when I did my research in Belize, Central America, focus on the entire person, not just the parts. And so, when a healer asks you how you feel, they want to know not just about what hurts you physically, the pain that precipitated your visit, they also want to know about the things

having accidents—a fall, bumps, etc. I would always ask her, what’s going on in your life? Whenever your life is stressed, you seem to have accidents. She finally stopped and realized there was a connection. We now know that art and meditation can contribute to people’s cancer treatments, and so now bio-western medicine is returning to the things the old folks, our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers knew. And we need to return to listening to them and passing on the traditions of healing knowledges. As Nurses, you are part of the solution to the eradication of these health disparities. But as Black

educate patients about their need to take care of their health, if your own is health is suspect—obesity, diabetes, hypertension, inactivity, etc. It’s like going to a hairdresser who is always having a bad hair day! Would you trust him or her with your hair? I don’t think so! You Black nurses, and those from other underserved communities, must be our champions in what I would describe as an “apartheid health system”—and I do not use the word “apartheid” lightly, given the South African Struggle. You must be willing to call out inequalities when you witness them. This means being willing to take risks and becoming soldiers in the fight

…For my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an unknown god, bending their knees humbly to an unseen power; For my people lending their strength to the years, to the gone years and the now years and the maybe years, washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching dragging along never gaining never reaping never knowing and never understanding; …For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn to know the reasons why and the answers to and the people who and the places where and the days when, in memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we were black and poor and small and different and nobody cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood; For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and play and drink their wine and religion and success, to marry their playmates and bear children and then die of consumption and anemia and lynching; …Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing

HEALTH TURN TO 12


Page 12 • March 25 - March 31, 2013 • Insight News

insightnews.com

NAACP continues historic association with Haiti (Port-au Prince, Haiti) - Last week, a NAACP delegation led by Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, met with Haitian President Michel Martelly to discuss key civil rights issues including education, health care, and economic sustainability. The NAACP’s delegation which included Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley, Chair NAACP International Affairs Committee; Kamilia Landrum, Youth Representative, NAACP National Board of Directors, NAACP Chief Operating Officer & Chief of Staff Roger C. Vann and leaders from partner organization the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti, were also joined in the meeting by Haitian cabinet members, including Paul Altidor, Haitian Ambassador to the United States and Bernice Fidélia, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE). Sophia Martelly, Haiti’s first lady also participated in the meeting.

Health From 11 in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men [and I will add women] now rise and take control. Margaret Walker, “For My

Capitol From 1 recommendations we believe will improve the quality of life for African-Americans in the state,” said Edward McDonald, director of the CBM. McDonald said the CBM has identified five key areas of concern that it wants addressed by legislators. Those areas are human and civil rights and fair housing, economic development, access to health care, criminal justice reform and education. One of the key agenda items for the Council is strengthen

“This visit is an important step toward enhancing and expanding the long-standing relationship between the NAACP and our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” stated Brock. “The NAACP has a rich history and association with Haiti. W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the Association’s founders was Haitian American. In 1920, the NAACP sent James Weldon Johnson on a fact finding trip to Haiti in response to reports of the mistreatment of Haitians and suppression of self rule during the war years. Following his 1920 visit to Haiti, James Weldon Johnson published a series of articles recounting the adverse impact of US occupation of Haiti. The NAACP’s efforts contributed to the evacuation of troops from Haiti. “The work of the NAACP has a beacon of hope for many people in many countries around the world. Haiti is no exception,” stated Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley. “During our visit, we

heard frequently how the NAACP has offered inspiration and instruction globally for those who are committed to human rights and social justice. By deploying this delegation, the NAACP continues a journey for partnership with our Haitian siblings as they seek a safe, strong, and secure future.” The delegation also met with Simon Dieuseul Desras, President of the Senate. During their visit, delegation members traveled through Portau Prince to view the progress of NAACP-funded humanitarian efforts after the 2010 Earthquake that killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions. The group visited the Santo community – a Habitat for Humanity project that received a $50,000 grant from the NAACP. The NAACP funded three additional civil society projects, including an orphanage. A criterion for the project grantees was Haitian leadership. Overall, the NAACP donated $200K to

Haitian civil society projects. “We must continue to work together with our partners in organizations like the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti to ensure that the people of Haiti not only survive this tragic natural disaster but begin to thrive” stated Brock. “Advancing quality public education is a top priority for the NAACP,” stated Kamilia Landrum, who sits on the Board’s Youth Work Committee. “it is important that we look into how we can advocate for the Haitian students to get the best education possible.” The Association will use the information gleaned from government officials, civil society leaders and partners to discern how to advocate for some of the issues affecting this embattled nation—including our strategic game changers of economic justice, education, health, civic engagement and criminal justice.

Those who choose to do nothing, risk peril.

So let me close with my own take on Walker’s poem: For my people of Minneapolis and the world,

for the Black Nursing students, and others who represent our underserved communities in the health field, for those who will be the recipients of the scholarship funds raised tonight, Let us take control of our personal and community health, let us take control of our lives, our prosperity, and of our future in this United States of America.

To read More: http://www.cbcfinc.org/ community-breakfast-and-healthfair.html; accessed 3/7/13 h t t p : / / w w w. k f f . o r g /

minorityhealth/index.cfm; accessed 3/7/13 h t t p : / / healthpowerforminorities.com/ cities/Minneapolis-MN.html; accessed 3/7/13 http://www.finalcall.com/ artman/publish/Health_amp_ Fitness_11/article_9437.shtml; accessed 3/7/13 http://www.tpt. org/?a=programs&id=18871 ; accessed 3/7/13

© 2013 McClaurin Solutions Irma McClaurin, PhD is the Culture and Education Editor for Insight News of Minneapolis. A bio-cultural anthropologist and writer, she lives in Raleigh, NC (www.irmamcclaurin.com) (@ mcclaurintweets). Most recently, she provided technical assistance to the Friends of Oberlin Cemetery to acquire Landmark status for an historic African American Cemetery in Raleigh, NC.

the state’s Department of Human Rights. According to McDonald, though charged with 19 objectives, the department is limited by legislation to addressing just four. He also said the Department of Human Rights has not had a net funding increase in 15 years. To remedy the issue, the CBM is pushing legislation to increase enforcement and oversight functions of the Department of Human Rights. In Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget, it calls for a $250,000 increase in funding for the department. It is unclear at this point as to what type of funding the Legislature has allocated for the department in its budget plan. “To that point, yes, it would

be helpful in our efforts to eliminating disparity outcomes if more funds were available,” said Kevin Lindsey, director of the Department of Human Rights. Lindsey said the Day at the Capitol is important because the African-American community should have a direct link to the state’s policy heads. “(This event) creates an opportunity for the community to have a longstanding relationship with legislators,” said Lindsey. “But this interaction has to continue. Change doesn’t happen with just one interaction. Events such as this allow us to build a coalition, and building coalitions is of great importance.” “Today is the day to let your

voices be heard,” said Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-65A), one of only three African-Americans in the Minnesota Legislature. Moran called on the nearly 75 attendees – some from as far as Duluth – to hold members of the House and Senate accountable to the needs of the state’s various African-American communities. Minnesota House Speaker, Paul Thissen (DFL- 61B) vowed that the Legislature would be accountable to the state’s African-American constituents and admitted the state has not done a good job in improving the quality of life for AfricanAmericans. “One of our darkest marks is that we have disparities in

economics, healthcare and education,” said Thissen. “We need everybody to succeed in the state of Minnesota and education and jobs are clearly the ticket out.” Another person heard at the Minnesota Capitol is not even a resident of the state, but has a serious gripe with the state and its foster care system. Dorothy Dunning, who has taken her fight to gain custody of her two granddaughters from their foster parents all the way to the state’s Supreme Court, called on legislators to enact legislation to ensure qualified blood relatives be given first preference when it comes to determining guardianship of a minor.

“I want to know why you (residents of Minnesota) would waste your tax dollars – $6,000 a month – to raise my granddaughters in foster care when I will raise them for free,” questioned Dunning, a resident of Mississippi. “The system is broken. The system needs to be fixed.” Dunning vowed that her fight will ultimately change the foster care system in the state. “I will not stop fighting. Even if I get my grandchildren, I will never stop fighting (to change the system),” said Dunning. “I promise, you will remember me.”

Michel Martelly People” from This is My Century: New and Collected Poems. Copyright © 1989 by Margaret Walker. Reprinted by permission of University of Georgia Press. Source: Poetry (November 1937). (http://www.poetryfoundation. org/poetrymagazine/poem/11053)

Wikimedia Commons

Let a new generation of healers, of Black Nurses, of Champions of the Black Community ARISE. ARISE.


Insight News ::: 03.25.13