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Red Baraat brings rhythmic sound to Minnesota Orchestra TURN TO SECTION B

April 21 - April 27, 2014

Vol. 41 No. 17 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts •

Community rallies to save Urban League Academy By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Minneapolis school superintendent turns her back on Urban League Academy Community called to rally around the 40-year-old alternative school Despite the pleas of several current and former students of the Urban League Academy – a Minneapolis contract alternative school – a divided school board voted to give the school a oneyear provisional contract, placing the school’s future in jeopardy. Alongside the students were teachers, faculty, Minneapolis Urban League board members and other concerned citizens who urged the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) board to extend the school’s contract to three years, which the board did for other contact schools. But at the behest of the district’s superintendent, Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, the board ignored the pleas and voted 5 – 4 to only offer the one-year provisional contract as opposed to a proposed two-year compromise suggested by MPS board director, Mohamud Noor. And while the board members and faculty of the Urban League said they welcome the opportunity to meet – and exceed – measured student goals, they reject the notion that one year is enough time to judge the academy’s progress, especially considering the district has yet to fully define its measurable standards. Board member Tracine Asberry agreed with the assessment of the school’s supporters. “I do not see one year as a

Samuel Myers

Condoleeza Rice Minneapolis Urban League board member, attorney Clinton Collins, Jr. holds a Minneapolis Public Schools presentation on contract alternative schools and questions the board on the data presented.

An open letter to Condoleeza Rice By Samuel L. Myers, Jr., Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota Editor’s Note: Dr. Samuel L. Myers Open Letter to Dr. Condoleezza Rice was published originally on Monday, April 14 at

Urban League Academy graduate Albert Bratton tells the Minneapolis Public Schools board that he might have dropped out of school if not for the Academy.


Along the Corridor

Wikimedia Commons (Michael Hicks)

April 2011 construction on University Avenue in preparation for the now nearly finished Central Corridor Green Line

Photos: Harry Colbert, Jr.

Dear Professor Rice, I was not be able to attend your sold-out performance at the Carlson Family Stage of the newly renovated Northrop Auditorium. The Carlson Foundation has


University Avenue business owners navigating change When asked how the Central Corridor’s Green Line might impact his business, Dubliner Pub owner Tom Scanlon laughed. “Do you think I have a crystal ball?” The only thing that’s certain, he said is, “It’s going to open up a new world.” The changing physical, and always evolving cultural landscape of University Avenue is what prompted the series of interviews and profile pieces that form “Along the Corridor: An Oral History of University Avenue Business Owners Navigating Change,” a project funded by a State of Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant. Through exchanges with Isabel Chanslor of the Neighborhood Development Center’s University Avenue Business Preparation

Hai Truong at Ngon Vietnamese Bistro Collaborative (U7 for short), Va-Megn Thoj of the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), Carol Swenson and Karyssa Jackson of the District Councils Collaborative of St. Paul


Insight 2 Health




Putting in the work

How to work with a fundraising professional

8 tech tools every nonprofit should use

Church leaders examine role in economic development





Page 2 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Insight News

PUTTING IN THE WORK By Al McFarlane Editor-in-Chief


Photos by: Alaina L. Lewis

Top: Jeff Jefferson Middle: Rachel Schutz leads a Insight 2 Health Fitness Challenge training session Bottom: Adero Riser Cobb

t feels like we are at the beginning of a movement; At the formulation of something important, explosive and expansive. It feels organic and sustainable because the experience is internal and external. So in the middle of a 1-minute plank, I forget about the pain of the moment, the strain of attempting to maintain the form, and fix my gaze on the single beads of sweat being pushed from my brow by sweat beads in queue waiting their chance to drop to the floor mats below. You imagine that for each drop of sweat, it’s like the feeling of hanging from the branch of a familiar back yard tree. You hang till gravity pulls you down, loosening your grip. Likewise gravity beckons the beads of sweat, one by one. They drop. I watch. Quietly, gently, they pool in a puddle 14 inches below your nose. Evidence that the heart rate is up. That you are burning calories. That you are all in. You get a 10-second, or sometimes 20-second recovery period, then it’s on to the next exercise. This week the iron kettle bell became our new best friend. Trainer Tyrone Minor had us pick suitable weight kettle bells. For those who aren’t familiar with the term kettle bell, this weight is like an iron cannon ball, with and iron loop on top. The loop is generally wide enough to grip with two hands, allowing you to lift the weight and swing it from between the legs to a chest high position, using the force of your legs going from bent to snapping back while you swing the

arms forward to mid chest level. The weight ranges from 3lbs to 44lbs or greater. Our routine included halos, circling the kettle ball above the head with arms straight, one direction then the opposite direction, then with no recovery, we did kettle ball presses, lifting the weight from chest high to above the crown of our heads, then deadlifts, squatting to lift the kettle ball and squatting to return it to the flow. We continued to kettle ball swings, described earlier, then did kettle ball rows and kettle ball lunges. Seated, we did Russian twists: clasping the weight to our chest, knees bent, twisting with intensity from side to side, working oblique muscles. Time for a reward…a long break for water and cool down, I think. Wrong again! Follow me, Minor orders, bolting up the stairs, out of the building for a cold lap to the other end of the block. At the end of the workout, he’s laughing, asking how was it? Wet, winded, but laughing back, we say great! Thanks. I refer to this as explosive because on the personal internal level, that is exactly what is happening. It’s like being on fire, burning from the inside. But in the external sense, when I look at my fellow participants, putting in the work with fierce intensity, I get the distinct feeling that working together the way we are not only means a lot to us individually, but a lot to everyone around us, to all the lives that we touch and that connect with ours. And that is what I think is expansive about this idea, the Insight2Health Fitness Challenge. This feels like that something that can grow.

Insight News • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Page 3

HEALTH Program to monitor neurosurgical patients is first accredited in state neurosurgery and orthopedic spine surgeries performed at the hospital include intraoperative monitoring. Typically the surgeon determines if it’s used. “Patients can advocate for it. If they’re having surgery, they should ask their surgeons about the risks and whether their nerves should be monitored,” said Stanley Skinner, a neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist at Abbott Northwestern. According to ABRET, the purpose of accreditation

Kayla Rahm, intraoperative monitoring technologist, watches and tests patient Diann Plummer’s nervous system during neck surgery at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. MINNEAPOLIS – (April 9, 2014) – Abbott Northwestern Hospital recently received accreditation from the Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring Laboratory Accreditation Board of ABRET (LAB-NIOM). It is one of 17 accredited programs in the U.S. and the only one in Minnesota. “If you have the opportunity to use intraoperative monitoring

in specific situations, it is one more safety measure to alert the surgeon for the risk potential of neurological deficits during surgery,” said Mahmoud Nagib, MD, a neurosurgeon at Abbott Northwestern. Diann Plummer of New Hope was in an Abbott Northwestern operating room on April 8 for neck surgery. While she was sleeping and before the incision,

two technologists taped into place tiny half-inch needle electrodes in ten locations on her body just under the skin. During the surgery, a technologist and physician monitored her nervous system. If the readings changed, they would advise the surgeon. The goal is an attempt at protecting the motor and sensory pathways. About 30 percent of all

Facts about Physical Activity Some Americans are getting enough, but too many are not Less than half (48%) of all adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines. Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students. There’s more. Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Rates of activity and inactivity vary across states and regions Americans living in the South are more likely to be less physically active than Americans living in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions of the country. To see the 2010 state rates for physical activity and inactivity, please visit the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data for Exercise, 2010. Some groups are more physically active than others More non-Hispanic white adults (22.8%) meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening


activity than non-Hispanic black adults (17.3%) and Hispanic adults (14.4%). Men (52.1%) are more likely than women (42.6%) to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity. Younger adults are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than older adults. Physical activity socioeconomic status

Adults with more education are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults with less education. Adults whose family income is above the poverty level are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults whose family income is at or near the poverty level.

and Source: Center of Disease Control

is to recognize through an objective peer review process, neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring laboratories that comply with established standards and guidelines, have policies and procedures in place that reflect acceptable standard of care, and support professionalism and quality patient care. About Abbott Northwestern Hospital U.S. News and World Report in

2013 cited Abbott Northwestern Hospital as one of the nation’s best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery, including spine surgery. Abbott Northwestern is part of Allina Health. Allina Health, a not for profit health care system, is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Learn more at

Page 4 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Insight News

BUSINESS How to work with a fundraising professional FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw Are you an executive director who wonders why his development staff doesn’t raise more money? A college president who wishes her vice president was ahead of goal? Here’s a question to help answer those questions: what are you willing to do? Your nonprofit’s fundraising


we have a short fall of 20% that you will need to raise.” Statements like these drive development professionals crazy, contributing to high turnover. If you don’t know why these statements can put your organization or institution at risk, ask your development staff. If you’re not that brave, ask a peer who is a successful fundraiser. Next week: things development professionals say. Visit www. FUNdraisingGoodTimes for a longer list. Copyright 2014 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

results are a reflection of your commitment and your willingness to prioritize fundraising, and your words are a reflection of that commitment. Consider the following things we have heard nonprofit leaders say. Do you hear yourself in these comments? What can you do to change? “Let my assistant to arrange a time for us to talk.” This is a favorite because it often takes weeks to secure an appointment. “Once you have done your homework, call me and I will close the deal.” Does this make any sense? How many nonprofit leaders are so sought after that their presence at the point of solicitation will “close the deal?” “It’s your job to raise the money.” This belief is a luxury no executive can afford. Regardless the number of development professionals

employed, you are the chief fundraiser. Your staff’s ability to raise money requires your active participation. “I want you to make at least 20 calls a week.” Another favorite. Who will your staff call, who will want to talk with

them, and what are they calling donors about? “I want you to chair the homecoming dance committee.” There are many variations on this theme: all pull development staff away from fundraising. Unless there are clear revenue goals keep your

development staff out of events. “Have you asked the board members for their gifts?” Major red flag. Expecting staff to solicit board members is a recipe for low giving. This is the responsibility of the board chair or chair of the board development committee. “You don’t need to know my travel plans.” This closes the door to fund development and fundraising opportunities. Your staff can suggest visits to current or potential major donors and influencers, help coordinate a friendraiser, or a visit to a foundation or corporation who funds nonprofits similar to yours. Other favorites include: “I want you to raise 50% more than you did last year.” “I’m launching the campaign in spite of what the feasibility study says.” “We don’t need to be spending money on a feasibility study.” And, “I underestimated:

Tom Scanlon taps a Guinness Stout at the Dubliner Pub

Nicolai and Linda Alenov at the Russian Tea House

Ron Whyte at Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned Barbeque

Jai Vang at Bangkok Cuisine

Shegitu Kebede (right), with Neyat Tafer, at Flamingo Restuarant

Mike Hatzistamoulos, working at the grill at Best Steak House

Keoni Nguyen at SugaRush Donuts

he would like to see more variety, and expresses regrets about the diminished connections between presentday University Avenue and its historic roots. “There were a few other Black businesses on University when I got here, and I’ve seen that diminish … I would just like to see a better mix of things,” said Whyte. Others are confident that the new light rail line will be a boon to business. Hai Truong, owner of Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, 799 University Ave. W., said, “We wanted to… create a destination spot and customer base through word of mouth, and that helped us survive light rail very well because a lot of people made a very conscious effort to come. “When we opened the restaurant we knew that this

was right for us and we knew that the light rail was coming through.” Jai Vang, owner of Bangkok Cuisine, 432 University Ave. W., was also well aware that the light rail project was on the horizon when he opened up shop, and saw that as part of the location’s appeal. He refused to believe those who said he was going to have a grand opening and a grand closing. Vang is grateful for the resources that have helped his business weather a challenging couple of years. “When you have good resources and good people, I think a lot of things can happen,” said Vang. Shegitu Kebede, co-owner of Flamingo Restaurant (490 N. Syndicate St.), agreed. “Sometimes you have intelligent people just doing business from the head and

Hortencia Reyes and Miguel Lopez at Homi Mexican Restaurant

Son and Ne Dao at Ha Tien Grocery Store

If you don’t know why these statements can put your organization or institution at risk, ask your development staff.

Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your campaign visit www. or call (901) 522-8727.

Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Editorial Intern Abeni Hill Production Intern Sunny Thongthi Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Timothy Houston Penny Jones-Richardson Toki Wright Alaina L. Lewis Darren Moore Alysha Price Photography Michele Spaise Corey Collins Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

LRT From 1 and Minneapolis (DCC), and others, 10 businesses – all community gathering places – were selected to be featured. The business owners who shared their stories come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, yet hold several things in common. They own food-related businesses along the St. Paul portion of the Central Corridor. All call Minnesota “home,” although they started life someplace else. And all are navigating big changes, striving to thrive in “a whole new world” that’s taking shape on University Avenue. Like Scanlon, none of the business owners who were interviewed know precisely what that new world will look like. Some, including Nicolai Alenov, owner of the Russian Tea House, 1758 University Ave. W., with his wife Linda, are less than optimistic. “Is light rail going to bring me thousands more people? I don’t think so,” said Nicolai Alenov. Ron Whyte, co-owner of Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned Barbeque’s (625 University Ave. W.) also has his doubts. Whyte, who does appreciate the various ways the corridor has been cleaned up, said

not the heart and that’s when the little people like us will disappear. This was the heart and the mind together. And when you have that kind of group working together you will not leave anybody behind,” said Kebede. Kebede, a refugee from Ethiopia, said she feels a growing sense of rootedness and community since opening the restaurant with business partner Frewoini Haile. “For the first time in our lives we say we are home,” said Kebede. “I’m Minnesotan, proudly Minnesotan.” One business owner expressed surprise that his restaurant has begun seeing increased sales months before trains are scheduled to start running. “You know what, to tell

the truth the last year, since the construction’s been done, my business has been up like about 15, 20 percent,” said Mike Hatzistamoulos owner of Best Steak House, 860 University Ave. W. Yet, other business owners are weary, expressing fear or apprehension. As the Central Corridor becomes more appealing, property owners are bound to raise rents, they say. That puts business owners who rent their spaces, including Homi Restaurante Mexicano, 864 University Ave. W., and SugaRush Donuts, 712 University Ave. W., in a vulnerable position. SugaRush owner Keoni Nguyen, who has recently decided to vacate his space and look for a new one before his lease ends in July 2014, expressed another concern. “I just hope that corporate American (doesn’t) come in and take us all out,” said Nguyen. Most see a silver lining for University Avenue as a whole. Amidst a host of concerns about his own situation, Miguel Lopez, owner of Homi, with his wife Hortencia Reyes, said, “It’s not the same University street it was 20 years ago. Now you can walk in the night.” Echoing Lopez, Ne Dao, who owns Ha Tien Grocery Store at 353 University Ave. W., with her husband, Son, said, “Now I feel safe.” She and others point out the dramatic decline in prostitution. Now, with the construction finished, trains set to begin running, and a new, improved store, kitchen, and deli, Ne Dao is optimistic. “I think that this coming year, I think that it’s going to improve a lot. We are confident that it will be better, a lot better,” said Ne Dao. This article is part of a Central Corridor small business oral history project, “Along the Corridor: An Oral History of University Avenue Business Owners Navigating Change,” funded through a State of Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant.

Insight News • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Page 5

LIFESTYLE 8 tech tools every nonprofit should use com) is a social media relationship management platform for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, from one secure, web-based dashboard.

Man Talk

By Timothy Houston I recently received an email from Jennifer Jacobson, founder of Jacobson Communication on the eight tech tools every nonprofit should use. With an estimated 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States alone, nonprofits help with everything from ending local hunger, advocating literacy, and other essential services that help build strong community. Yet for all their diversity, nonprofits share many of the same needs. Here are eight useful tech websites that nonprofits can use to stay organized, funded, and in the public eye. NonProfitEasy (www. is an all-inone data management software solution that helps small to mid-sized nonprofits manage their operational logistics. From customer relations and database management, to events, donor engagement and even fundraising, NonProfitEasy offers a onestop, affordable, integrated software solution to help nonprofits focus on their passion – not their paperwork. The second site suggested is Google for Nonprofits ( onlinebasics), a donation payment, documents, Website building and monitoring site.

Number seven on the list is Scribd ( a PDF Sharing Tool. Scribd is easy to-use. Just upload highquality PDFs to Scribd and share them with the world. From one-pagers to full e-Books, Scribd helps share it all. Finally on the list is SimpleBooklet (www., an interactive Web-booklet making tool that converts existing marketing brochures or builds a new web booklet from scratch with SimpleBooklet’s code-free, drag and drop design tools. Add lead generating features such as contact forms, telephone lookups and directions. Every live booklet can generate measurable new business interactions. Knowledge is power. I believe this information is noteworthy and will be beneficial to you, your business, church and community as a whole. Thanks to Jennifer for sharing this invaluable information. PhotoXpress

Third on the list is PayPal Giving Fund (formerly MissionFish). PayPal Giving Fund (www.paypalgivingfund. org) is an independent 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides businesses with a safe and easy way for their

customers to support their favorite causes. Number four on the list is Basecamp (www.basecamp. com). Primarily through wordof-mouth alone, Basecamp has become the world’s number one project management tool,

helping teams stay organized and on-task. It’s easy-to-use and reliable, Basecamp has a 15-year history. WeVideo (www.wevideo. com) is a Cloud-based video editor (web and mobile) offering a video-editing

platform that helps everyone from beginners to experts make great looking videos, complete with custom themes, pre-made titles and a library of professional music and stockvideo. Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.

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, for questions, comments or more information, go to www.

Time matters more than money Motivational Moments

By Penny JonesRichardson I recently watched one of my favorite movies, “A Raisin in the Sun.” I have watched this movie many times, but this past time

Letter From 1 been a very generous donor to the University of Minnesota. It has been very generous in its support of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I applaud them for their financial support of the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series over the years. Previous Carlson Lectures honored the Dalai Lama, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, General Colin Powell, Vice President Mondale and others with notable public achievements worthy of the mantle of human rights and civil rights advocated by the school’s name-sake, former Vice President and Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. Your visit is singular in that it has raised significant opposition from many quarters within and outside of the University because it is linked to the Humphrey School’s year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act and because it comes at precisely the

generated some insight for me that I never thought of before. This movie made me open my eyes to a very simple message that many of us overlook in our own lives. The message that I am talking about is how this family was waiting on money before they could be happy. They all had built dreams on the fact that a check was soon coming. How many of us have been known to do that? We say as soon as money comes we will build our happiness. Money doesn’t

buy happiness. You can’t build your happiness waiting on that big “windfall.” Sure it would be nice to have a lot of money just sitting in the bank at our disposal any time we needed it, but not many people I know are blessed with that opportunity. The key is to start where you are and appreciate what you have right now. That is how you accomplish your goals and build wealth. Focusing on a better future is great, but starting where you are now gives you a roadmap to your future.

It takes a lot of work to achieve any goal. And some of our goals have monetary benefits at the end. I look forward to the day when I become a New York Times Best Seller, and my books are helping people all over the world to achieve their greatness. I also look forward to the money that I will make when that happens. But I am not waiting until I have lots of money before I go after my goals. My journey starts where I am now, not when I have the money to do it.

time when the Humphrey School has embarked on a new program of research and scholarship on international human rights. There will be the inevitable protests from students and faculty, opinion pieces in the local press opposing your visit, as well as the normal and expected teach-ins, counterevents and on-going debates. But because I hold the endowed chair named after Roy Wilkins, one of the most prominent architects of the March on Washington, a major behind-the-scenes strategist for the passage of the Civil Rights Act that we celebrate this year, and a leader of the oldest and largest civil rights organization in America, I would be remiss if I failed to explain my absence. Let me hasten to acknowledge that as one African American to another, born and bred before the March on Washington and the ensuing struggle to mobilize forces to end racial segregation and discrimination, I am proud of your significant achievements. Your pursuit of the Ph.D. and your pursuit of an academic career at a top research institution merged

with a life of public service set an admirable standard that I hope other African Americans will follow. In a world where there is a persistent underrepresentation of blacks and other racial minority group members among recipients of Ph.Ds. and among tenured faculty, it is always reassuring to point to success stories such as yours. I won’t be in the audience of your talk. It is not because I fail to support members of my own race, even when I disagree with them. Nor, is the reason why I will not be there the result of your being paid what is by most standards an outrageously large sum of $150,000 for a one-hour talk on a topic that has been rehashed in the media and in your own writings over and over again. And certainly, the reason for my absence is not related to any opposition to academic freedom or the right of the Carlson Foundation to invite whomever they please of whatever intellectual persuasion. I support academic freedom and the importance of bringing diverse voices to campus to speak on topics on which the speakers

are experts. I believe that it demeans you, as a distinguished academic, and others who have worked as hard as you have to suggest, as some of the organizers of this event do, that it is appropriate to link your engagement to the larger theme of the year-long celebration of the Civil Rights Act. The argument is that you are black and a woman and that even though you have expressed opposing views long held by the mainstream supporters of equal opportunity and fairness, and you are not an academic expert on the topic, your visit should be supported because, well, you are black and a woman! You should be offended. I asked a colleague, “Would Condoleezza Rice have been invited to deliver the Carlson Lecture as a part of the Humphrey School’s yearlong celebration of the 1964 Civil Rights Act had she been white and a male?” I think it may be the norm for Schools of Public Affairs to want to invite former secretaries of state or former United


The true reason people become successful in reaching their goals is not about how much money they invest in their goals, but the time spent on working on those goals. There are so many individuals who have a lot of money but still have goals that they want to accomplish in their lives. Identifying and achieving goals for yourself is all about what’s best for you. Goals make us strive to do better and enhance

our lives. So with that said start today and do not let money or the lack of it determine your success. And as always, stay focused, stay determined, and keep striving for greatness. Penny Jones-Richardson is a published author and life coach. She can be reached via her website at www. or email at

Page 6 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Insight News

COMMUNITY Church leaders examine role in economic development According to Alfred BabingtonJohnson, “Too many of us face poverty when prosperity is breaking out all around.” Babington is the President and CEO of the Stairstep Foundation, a faith-based organization that strives to empower the African-American community through evoking discussion and executing strategies that promote community building. He is reaching out to church and community leaders to examine what is the process

to assure our community is included in the employment and contracting of billions of dollars worth of upcoming construction and development projects. “We believe that the greatest opportunity for the advancement of the AfricanAmerican community is in the unity of the African-American church marching to take its proper place in the struggle,” Babington said in a letter to church leaders. “While we struggle with the ravages of poverty and

Alfred Babington-Johnson

wealth disparities for AfricanAmerican people in the Twin Cities, there are extraordinary opportunities unfolding around us,” he said. Just in the area of construction from 20142016, there is a projection of $8,000,000,000 in projects that will have some governmental oversight in respect to employment and contracting” Other high profile projects include the renovation of the State Capitol and the Minnesota Vikings Stadium. Babington said these projects can help

the community become significantly prosperous over the next few years. The meeting to hear, discuss, strategize and move forward on construction and job opportunities is 11:30 p.m. Thursday April 24th at Shiloh Temple International, 1201 West Broadway, Minneapolis, MN. Lunch will also be provided, Babington said. For more information: Alfred Babington-Johnson at 612-521-3110 or email at

Boys and Girls Club name Gao Hlee Moua Minnesota Youth of the Year Selected among nine outstanding youth, Gao Hlee Moua, of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, has been named the Minnesota Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). As the new Minnesota Youth of the Year, she will receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corporation. Moua was also awarded a Home Team Scholarship presented by FOX Sports North in conjunction with the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Vikings organizations. An example of an extraordinary young leader, 17-year-old Moua will now vie for the BGCA’s Midwest Region Youth of the Year title and an additional college scholarship. Being named Youth of the Year is the highest honor a Boys

& Girls Club member can receive. As BGCA’s premier youth recognition program, Youth of the Year recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and Boys & Girls Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Moua joined the Mt. Airy Club in Saint Paul at age 6. She is the ninth and youngest child of Hmong immigrants, and along with her siblings she was raised solely by her mother in Mt. Airy public housing. Family is a high priority within the Hmong culture and Moua said she knows that her family counts on her. Moua is also a member of the Mt. Airy Club, serving as president of Keystone, a club program, captain of the club volleyball team, and working at the club as a youth worker through

Gao Hlee Moua will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members within the Midwest Region. If named regional winner, she will be awarded an additional $10,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national sponsor. Youth Job Corps, a position that provides extra income for her family. Moua also volunteers at Mt. Airy Club, dedicating her time to younger club members.


Moua attends Harding High School in Saint Paul where she is a senior maintaining a 3.99 grade point average. In addition

Phone: 612.588.1313


to all her other activities, Moua is a member of the National Honor Society, Harding choir, French Club and Prom Committee. She plans on attending the College of Saint Benedict after high school and major in law. Her life goal is to have a career in the criminal justice field, specifically working as a detective. “I dream about my future self, and giving back to the community that helped me to develop from a shy girl with low self-confidence into a leader and catalyst for change,” said Moua. This summer, Moua will compete against other Boys & Girls Club members within the Midwest Region. If named regional winner, she will be awarded an additional $10,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands, the recognition program’s national

Fax: 612.588.2031


The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority has rental units available in Cass County, MN. Please call 218-335-8280. Must meet certain qualifications.

Project: Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium Owner: Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Construction Manager: Mortenson Construction, in association with Thor Construction


Architect: HKS, Inc. Mortenson Construction (the Construction Manager at Risk) is soliciting proposals for Procurement Package #7 on the Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium Project. Notice is hereby given that responses to this Request for Proposals (RFP) will be received by Mortenson for the provision of Construction Services on the Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium project for Stairs and Railings, and Stadium Railings. Please see the RFP for specific subcontract categories. The current projected process and schedule for selecting the subcontractors is as follows: > RFP Proposal Manual Issued > MANDATORY Pre-Proposal Meeting and MWBE Meet and Greet for Proposers > Proposals Due > Proposer Interviews > Award Contracts

April 15, 2014 May 8, 2014 May 20, 2014 May 22-23, 2014 May 27, 2014

All dates are approximate and are provided as a courtesy to Proposers. Mortenson reserves the right, acting in its sole judgment, to modify this process or schedule. Plans and specifications are available via For access to the plans and specifications on, contact My Nhia Vang at (Phone: 763-287-5639). Copies of the plans and specifications will also be provided to the following plan rooms for viewing:

Cokato Apts, Cokato, MN (a seniors complex 62 or over or handicapped) has vacancies on 2nd Floor for one BR apts. Waiting list open. Contact Don at 320-286-2758. E-Mail

APARTMENT OPENINGS Delton Manor located in Bemidji, MN is accepting applications for future 1, 2, & 3 Bedrm apartment openings. Delton Manor has 3 two-bedrm handicapped accessible units located in the building. Delton Manor promotes equal housing opportunities for all perspective residents regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual preference, religion, handicap, marital status, familial status, national origin or source of income. For applications and qualifications, contact NANCY at 218-759-2523. AN EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.

STAFF ATTORNEYS Central Minnesota Legal Services seeks 2 full-time attorneys for its Minneapolis office. Fam. Law; veteran’s with some work in govt benes. Licensed in MN pref’d. Post-law school pov. law exper., fam. law or clinical exper. pref’d. Spanish or Somali language a plus. Salary $45,000+D.O.E. Excellent benes. Resume with references and writing sample to Lynelle Wells, CMLS, 430 First Ave. No., #359, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Appl. deadline: 5/2/14 or until filled. EOE.

One (1) electronic copy and five (5) bound copies of Sealed Proposals shall be submitted to Mortenson at the address provided below no later than 2:00 pm on May 20, 2014, which is the deadline for submittal of Proposals. Emailed Proposals will not be opened or accepted. M. A. Mortenson Company 1010 S. 7th Street, Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55415 Attention: Rob Binford, Sr. Project Manager Phone: 763-287-3631 Proposals shall be valid for 120 days. Proposals will be opened by Mortenson in the presence of the representatives of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, if requested by the Authority. The subcontract will be held by M. A. Mortenson Company. The form of Subcontract Agreement, together with the Construction Services Agreement between the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and Mortenson, are available within the RFP. The Owner has adopted a comprehensive Equity Plan for the construction phase of the Project. The Targeted Business Program sets an 11% and 9% goal for construction contracts for the Project to be awarded to women- and minority-owned Minnesota-based business enterprises (MWBE), respectively. The Targeted Business Program also establishes a Veterans Inclusion Program to ensure that our veterans have every opportunity to participate in the Project. The Veterans Inclusion Program will include efforts to include small veteran-owned businesses. See the RFP Proposal Manual for Subcontract Category specific MWBE goals. The Work Force Program sets a 32% and 6% goal for workforce utilization for the Project of minorities and women, respectively. The Equity Plan applies to all subcontractors and suppliers of all tier levels. The Veterans Inclusion Program will also include efforts to utilize veteran in the construction workforce. Proposers are expected to use all necessary and reasonable means to comply with the Equity Plan, including without limitation soliciting work from a broad number of Targeted Businesses and for work scopes suitable for their participation. Pre-Proposal Meetings and MWBE Meet and Greets have been scheduled as follows:

All questions regarding this RFP shall be directed in writing to Rob Binford, Mortenson Sr. Project Manager, at the address above or via e-mail at rob.binford@ Interpretations or clarifications considered necessary by Mortenson in response to such questions will be issued by Addenda to all parties recorded as having received the RFP documents. Questions received less than seven (7) days prior to the date for openings of the Proposals may not be answered. Only responses issued by formal written Addenda will be binding. Oral and other interpretations or clarifications will be without legal effect. Addenda may be issued to modify the Proposal Documents as deemed advisable by Mortenson. END OF ADVERTISEMENT FOR PROPOSALS

sponsor. Five regional winners will advance to Washington, D.C. to compete for the title of BGCA’s National Youth of the Year. The National Youth of the Year will receive an additional scholarship of up to $50,000 from The Rick and Susan Goings Foundation and will have the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States in the White House. “As a long time supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I am proud to announce Tupperware’s involvement in the Youth of the Year program,” said Rick Goings, chairman and CEO of Tupperware Brands Corporation. “We strongly believe in these future leaders of tomorrow and are proud to support their continuing education.” For more information about the Youth of the Year program, visit


TOWNHOME FOR RENT Brand New 2, 3, 4 Bedroom Townhomes Available May 2014! Income Restrictions Apply Call 651-815-0665

West Falls Estates Rent based on 30% Of adjusted income Call Patricia Brown At 218-283-4967 TDD 800-627-3529


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The City of Minneapolis is currently seeking an African American Community Specialist – Exam #21438/Annual Salary $49,257 - $68,931 in the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. Required Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies, Communications, Public Relations, Urban Studies, Public Administration or an equivalent; with three years of experience working with African American communities in an urban setting, including one (1) year of experience with policy or program development, project management or equivalent and one (1) year of experience working with community engagement work in underrepresented communities for a local government. To view a full job description or apply to this position go to Applications must be received by Friday, April 25th for consideration.

Bergstad Properties is accepting application for Seniors 62 and older. Applicant must be income eligible and must qualify for Section 8 Housing. Please visit our web site at for a virtual tour and application.

1. State the exact assumed name under which the business is or will be conducted: Charger Ride Heavenly Transport Service 2. State the address of the principal place of business: 6043 Hudson RD Suite 372 Woodbury, MN 55125 USA 3. List the name and complete street address of all persons conducting business under the above Assumed Name OR if an entity, provide the legal corporate, LLC, or Limited Partnership name and registered office address. Attach additional sheet(s) if necessary: Apostle Anatha, 1714 8th Ave North Minneapolis MN 55411 4. I certify that I am authorized to sign this certificate and I further certify that I understand that by signing this certificate, I am subject to the penalties of perjury as set forth in Minnesota Statues section 609.48 as if I had signed this certificate under oath. Signed by: Apostle Anatha Date Filed: 04/02/2014 Insight News 04/14/2014, 04/21/2014

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Housing Authority has rental units available in Cass County, MN. Please call 218-335-8280. Must meet certain qualifications.


African American Community Specialist

Assumed Name


The following sites are currently accepting application. Park Street Apartments 321 West Park St. Cannon Falls, MN. 55009 507-263-4773 200 Levee Drive Apartments 200 Levee Drive Shakopee, MN. 55379 952-445-2001

Rent based on 30% of income

2 & 3 bdroms open MetroPlains Management


Insight News • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Page 7

EDUCATION Teacher and principal contracts approved Building Creative Capital By Bernadeia H. Johnson MPS Superintendent It is with great joy that I share with you that both the teacher and principal contracts have been approved. Members of the Minneapolis Federation of

Teachers and the Minneapolis Principals’ Forum ratified the contracts and the Minneapolis Board of Education approved the agreements on Tuesday. These contracts represent more than just salaries and benefits. The content of these contracts aligns with our Shift goals when it comes to how we are going to affect change for some of our highest-need students. The contracts are a pledge that Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and the

Principals’ Forum will provide the best services we can for the students and families we serve. It demonstrates that as we Shift, we are working in solidarity. It is not a matter of us versus them, of central office versus schools, of district versus unions. We are one. We are in agreement about high priority schools, community partnership schools and the work that we need to do as a team to achieve the results that our students and families deserve. The approval of these

contracts is one step in our efforts to improve student outcomes and should be viewed as one strategy in the overall plan to accelerate achievement. There is much more to do and we still need your continued support. When I look at all the work we have accomplished since I announced Shift last May, I am convinced that we are on the right track and I am motivated by those who are with us on the journey – not just rooting from the sidelines, but invested and engaged. These partners include

both internal and external groups and individuals; the approval of these contracts also solidifies our partnership with the teacher and principal unions. We cannot do it alone. We need everyone at the table. This year as part of Shift, we successfully implemented our first Spring Break Academy, developed a detailed five-year enrollment plan and approved a new discipline policy designed to address inequities in our systems and keep students in school.

Academy From 1 real and reasonable time to turn around a school where in some cases the students are four years behind (when they enter the school),” said Asberry. MPS board member Carla Bates backed up Asberry’s statement and admitted the supposed measurable standards the district is calling for are muddy at best. “I don’t think we’re articulating what we’re expecting from the people we’re contracting with and that’s problematic,” said Bates, who also acknowledged the students who come to the Urban League Academy are already disadvantaged. “If we err, I want to err on the side of doing a bit more than doing a bit less.” Bates, along with board members Noor, Asberry and Kim Ellison voted to extend the League’s contact to two years. Despite the fact that the district has an abysmal record of educating students of color – last year just 43-percent of students of color graduated on time and the year before, only 36 percent students of color graduated on time – Johnson decided to throw stones at the Urban League Academy.

Letter From 5 States vice presidents or even presidents. It is the norm to invite controversial figures. But, I find it disingenuous that your visit is linked to our celebration of the civil rights movement under the ostensible banner that you provide a different perspective on civil rights and human rights. I fail to see how you are even qualified to speak on a topic that has received broad technical analysis from many disciplines and points of view. Your defenders say that you qualify because you are black and a woman and can offer a different perspective. I find that reasoning insulting. The many titles of the Act deserve separate and prolonged debate and dialog: Title VII dealing with employment discrimination and which is the basis for much of my own research on earnings inequality could be the source of a day-long seminar with researchers and scholars across many disciplines offering widely differing views about its impacts. Title I dealing with voters rights, Title II dealing with discrimination in public places, Titles III and IV dealing with segregation, Title VI dealing discrimination in programs receiving federal assistance, all offer the appropriate academic opportunity for the kind of debate and discussion that merits investment of large amounts of funds at the Humphrey School. The same funds could be invested in graduate fellowships for students interested in studying the civil rights movement and undertaking careful policy analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans and programs that you have publicly criticized. Your support for the Bush administration’s position in the Gratz vs. Bollinger case would have been more reasoned and more carefully nuanced had there been then a pool of talented policy analysts and policy researchers to rebut the narrow position taken by the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice. I won’t be in the audience during your presentation. I hope that you will be challenged on your positions regarding the wars in Iraq and the determinants of black-white inequality. I hope someone asks you whether you were ever consulted about and agreed with positions taken by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, strengthen via the 1964 Civil Rights Act but weakened during the Bush Administration. I

Harry Colbert, Jr.

Minneapolis Public Schools board chair, Richard Mammen and Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson listen to members of the Minneapolis Urban League and students of the Urban League Academy express desire for a multi-year contract with the district. “Thirty years ago (the Minneapolis Urban League) said we can do it (educate students) better than you can, and that’s not the case,” said Johnson, who in her next breath admitted the district was at a loss as to how to educate children of color. “If I could have done it better, I wouldn’t have gone to you in the

first place.” MUL president and CEO Scott Gray said the League never viewed its relationship with MPS as us versus them, but as a partnership – though mostly one-sided. The district’s superintendent rejected any notion of partnering with the Urban League, or any contract alternative school for that matter.

hope you will be asked whether you agree with the position of Roger Clegg, the former deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights who now leads the Center for Equal Opportunity, the most prominent organization advocating the dismantlement of affirmative action in America. Of course, if you say that none of this is your area of expertise, I hope someone asks, “Then, why did you agree to speak knowing that the event is a part of the Humphrey School’s year-long celebration of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act?” You have made much of the fact that your father sought to protect his children from the brutal violence faced by those brave souls who fought the difficult fight to end segregation and to make discrimination illegal. You are quoted as saying that your father disagreed with the non-violent mantle of the civil rights movement and stood watch over your affluent neighborhood with a shotgun. It is a sign of filial loyalty to support one’s parents and I acknowledge the fact that you have consistently done so. As for me, I also admire my father just like you admire your father. He was one of two African Americans in the Officer Candidate School in Massachusetts, serving with former Republican Senator Edward Brooke, and then was assigned to an all-black ordinance unit in New Orleans before being shipped off to Okinawa servicing white troops. He objected to the fact that since there was no black officers club at the base in New Orleans, he was required to eat with the enlisted men because the white officers club was segregated. His objections almost caused him to be court martialed. He subsequently became the first African American to receive the Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1949 but because of segregation he could not be hired at the University of Maryland, College Park and instead was hired at all-black Morgan State College. He fought the lonely battles – often jeopardizing his career – to redress racial discrimination not only through desegregation and anti-discrimination efforts but also through strengthening of black institutions themselves. I will miss your talk because I will attend the 95th Birthday Celebration of the former president of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education – my dad and role model. I will miss your talk because the now Chairman of the Board of Minority Access, Inc. is still fighting for racial equality every day of his life. I will miss

your talk because the person who introduced the long-lived White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) wants to raise money for the next generation of graduates of black colleges to attend places like the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to develop the tools and skills of policy analysis. I will miss your talk because I want to spend my time with someone who fought in the movement, who lived the movement, who regularly consulted with such stalwart leaders as Leon Sullivan, Parren and Clarence Mitchell, Dorothy Height, Julian Bond, and Joseph Lowery. My father instilled pride in his children and never denied them the right to dissent in the quest for equality. This standard of being willing to disagree even when everyone feels that it will result in funding losses or loss of supporters is a high standard that I live by. I won’t be at your lecture because I will be attending a celebration for a hero who truly deserves to be honored during this 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. I hope that you will understand that by raising funds for minority scholarships we – both you and I – help to assure that there are future scholars and researchers who can help solve the problems of inequality. If you agree with this mandate, I invite you to expand your generous support for minority students and to donate all of the proceeds of your lecture to the Minnesota Office of the United Negro College Fund, the Minority Access Scholarship Fund and/or the Roy Wilkins Fellowship Fund at the University of Minnesota. If you agree to support minority fellowships in the area of human rights or civil rights at the University of Minnesota, moreover, I personally will commit myself to raising matching funds dollar for dollar from the Boule, the Alphas, the Kappas, the Deltas, the Ques, the Links, Jack and Jill and all of the other networking organizations that have benefitted from the foundations laid by our fathers. Even though we may disagree on how to remedy persistent problems of racial inequality, I hope we can agree on this: that training underserved minorities is one viable solution. I hope we can agree that those of us who have benefited from the sacrifices made by our fathers and who have succeeded in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement possess an obligation to support those less fortunate than us.

“When I take my car to a mechanic, I don’t expect the mechanic to ask me to help fix the problem,” said Johnson, comparing the district’s struggling students of color to a broken automobile. “If I could fix it, I’d do it myself.” According to Gray and other Urban League Academy supporters, Johnson and the board

members who voted against a twoyear contract fail to understand the enormous challenges students of the Urban League Academy face. Of the nearly 100 students of the Urban League Academy, 100 percent come credit deficient – many severely behind, all live in households where they are eligible for free or reduced lunch, on average, the academy is their

Together, these initiatives and the approval of the new contracts are signs of the great things to come for our students. I am excited about the momentum we are gaining. I am looking forward to the changes we are starting to see. And most importantly, I am overjoyed with the coming together of teachers, principals and district leadership. We are working more closely together than we have in a long time, which will help us better support the students and families we serve.

fourth high school, and many are not even eligible to return to other schools in the district due to expulsion or suspensions. The Urban League Academy has an open-door policy where it does not deny a student admission for past behavioral reprimands. Ninety-eight percent of the students of the Urban League Academy are students of color – an overwhelming majority African-American. Asberry said Johnson’s critique of the Urban League Academy is quite stunning considering the district’s performance rate of educating students of color. “It’s very disturbing that the criticism is so clear when given for the outside, but not from within, when we are not serving our Black students,” said Asberry. Johnson and her supporting board members insisted that the Urban League Academy could meet its goals based on the turnaround of contract alternative school, Friendship Academy of the Arts. But Bates pointed out a major reason that the Friendship comparison doesn’t hold water. “The analogy to Friendship isn’t appropriate because of the age of the kids,” said Bates. Friendship Academy is an entry level K – 6 grade level school.

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Page 8 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Insight News

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Red Baraat brings rhythmic sound to Minnesota Orchestra Red Baraat, the pioneering, eight-piece world music band from Brooklyn that turns each performance into a joyful dance party, brings its infectious sound to Minneapolis in its first-ever concert at Minnesota Orchestra Hall on April 25. Since forming in 2008, the band of horns, drums and voices has been a hit at clubs, concert halls and festivals alike, drawing praise for its cutting-edge fusion of musical languages. The group has also drawn special notice for its 2013 album, “Shruggy Ji,” which debuted at the top of the Billboard World Music Charts and was named one of NPR’s 10 favorite world music albums of 2013. The concert takes place Friday, April 25, at 8 p.m., at Minnesota Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, in downtown Minneapolis, with ticket prices

April 21 - 27 Aesthetically It! is a list of picks from the editors of Aesthetically Speaking. Aesthetically It! features venues, events, outings and more that are worthy of “It” status. If you have a venue, event or outing that you feel is “It” worthy, email us at

Monday, April 21 Uncaged Voices II: A Poetry Slam for Youth Justice Intermedia Arts 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free admission Derived from the great Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Uncaged Voices offers Twin Cities youth and young adults a chance speak

up and speak out about the unjust structures affecting them, including the intersections of race, poverty, the juvenile justice system and the school-to-prison pipeline. Youth and adults are invited to register online. Each performer will be get five minutes to share poetry. Registration is online at www.brotherhoodinc.wufoo. com/forms/uncaged-voices/. The event is presented by Brotherhood Inc., the University of St. Thomas School of Law’s Community Justice Project, Intermedia Arts, Youthlink, Learning Dreams, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and Save the Kids - Augsburg College Chapter.

ranging from $25 to $45. Tickets are available online at www. and by phone at (612) 371-5656. Red Baraat has drawn worldwide praise for its unique sound – a merging of harddriving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk and hip-hop. Red Baraat tours around the globe for nearly 200 dates a year, furthering its mission of manifesting joy and unity in all people. Critics have praised its performances as “a shot of pure adrenalin” and “a crazy blast of fun” and audiences regularly join in that fun, dancing along with moves taught by the band. Red Baraat’s recent activities include performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Central Park Summerstage and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, as well as tours of both India and Pakistan.

In 2012 it performed at the TED Conference in front of a dancing audience of leaders including Al Gore, Matt Groening and David Byrne. The band was created in Brooklyn by Sunny Jain, a firstgeneration Indian-American whose influences range from jazz to Punjabi music to Bollywood rhythms.

RED BARAAT Live at Orchestra Hall Friday, April 25, 8 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra Hall 1111 Nicollet Mall, downtown Minneapolis Tickets: $25 - $45 (612) 371-5656

TY Dolla Sign

Tuesday, April 22 The Poet’s Groove – Open Mic Blue Nile Restaurant 2027 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis (612) 338-3000 Free admission 21-plus Billed as the longest running weekly open mic in the state of Minnesota, the Poet’s Groove is an open mic hosted by Chadwick “Niles” Phillips that features a full live band including renowned drummer Kevin


Rhonda Gibson of Jazz Noire

Lil Flip

Page B2 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Aesthetically Speaking


10th Anniversary Dance Concert with World Premiere, one night only – May 10, 2014 The Ordway will present TU Dance in performance for one night only, May 10, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the celebrated St. Paul-based company founded by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands. The performance includes “Hikari,” an Ordway-commissioned world premiere by choreographer Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist, Hiroki Morinoue. Inspired by Morinoue’s abstract vision, Uri Sands joined Morinoue at his studio – a former Kona coffee plantation in Hawaii – developing movement as a dialogue with Morinoue’s forms. The dialogue continues on stage, with a large, original scenic work by Morinoue created for the performance. The program will also feature Alvin Ailey’s duet “Twin Cities” from his legendary “The River” (1970), performed by Uri Sands and special guest Laurel Keen. Keen, a St. Paul native, trained at Minnesota Dance Theatre and went on to an internationally acclaimed career with Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco, where she won the Princess Grace Award in dance. The program also includes the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ “One,” recently commissioned by Dance St. Louis to honor the legacy of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell. Lacks, an African-American tobacco farmer, unknowingly sparked a new era of modern medicine when her cells, taken without permission during cancer

treatment in 1951, became the foundation of advancements such as the polio vaccine and in-vitro fertilization. Reflecting on their first decade of TU Dance, Pierce-Sands and Sands, veterans of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will join their company in a performance of “Lady” – a signature, celebratory early work by Sands inspired by the couple’s travels in South Africa. TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and dynamic performance that combine modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular. “Toni and Uri are powerhouses. Their knowledge and passion has propelled TU Dance into the forefront of the national dance scene,” said James A. Rocco, vice president of programming and producing artistic director for the Ordway. “The Ordway is helping to celebrate TU Dance’s 10th anniversary by commissioning this new piece, created by Uri especially for this occasion,” said Ordway Artistic Director of World Music and Dance Dayna Martinez. “We are proud to continue to support and present on our stage wonderfully talented artists that live right here in the Twin Cities. Saint Paul is lucky to have TU Dance, a world class contemporary dance company.” TU Dance is hosting an open rehearsals with Toni Pierce-Sands

Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands and company members on Thursday, April 24

from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts – Drake Room, 345 Washington Street, downtown Saint Paul. The open rehearsal is free and open to all ages. Pre-registration is required. To register, call (651) 2823115. On Tuesday, May 6 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Toni Pierce-Sands will offer a Master Class at the Ordway where participants will be guided

IT! From B1 Washington. Sign up is at 10 p.m. and show starts at 11pm. Prior to the show, Niles spins an eclectic mix of soul and neosoul music.

Wednesday, April 23

BURNT SUGAR THE ARKESTRA CHAMBER Any World That I’m Welcome To: The Steely Dan Conductions Saturday, April 26, 8 pm Walker Art Center “A fleet-footed big band, sliding and swaggering through galactic R&B, brawny jazz and electric funk like a Sun Ra-size spin on Miles Davis’ On the Corner band.” —Rolling Stone Burnt Sugar, the 17-member Afrocentric jazz/funk collective, lays claim to and subverts the Steely Dan songbook in a program curated and conducted by guitar hero Vernon Reid (Living Color). Call 612.375.7600 or visit for tickets.

The Walker Art Center’s Music Season is sponsored by Sponsor

Media partners

Autism Hip-Hop Fundraiser Year 2 @ Honey Featuring Truth Maze, Big Jess, Remo Williams and more Honey 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 7 p.m. 18-plus, Admission: $5 (advance) April is Autism Awareness Month and Minnesota hip-hop musicians have come together for the second year to inform the wider community about the different forms of the condition. All funds raised at this show will be donated to the Minnesota Autism Center to help children and families affected by the disorder. The night features performances by Capaciti, EQsMen (C.M.J. x Panash x .dB), Truth Maze, M.C. Rentz, Remo Williamz, MOHs, Big Jess, Lifted Mindz, Bloomer and Def S. The show is hosted by Big Zach and DJed by A-Scratch and Epistêmê with live art by Katina Elizabeth, Rhia Brutger, Whit and Jamee Varda. For more information, visit

Thursday, April 24

Ingrid Werthmann

through a Horton-based warmup that will prepare them to learn phrases from the company repertory commissioned by the Ordway to premiere on May 10. Class is open to ages 14 and up, with intermediate to advanced/professional level of dance experience. The class costs $10, or $5 with a ticket to the May 10 TU Dance performance.

TU Dance

TY Dolla Sign Fineline Music Café 318 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis 10 p.m. Admission: $20-$40

Teens can connect with businesses and organizations for information about jobs, employment training, internships and volunteer opportunities at the Teen Job Fair. Teens can also attend a “Get a Job Now” workshop for tips on how to find and land a job and a “who we hire” panel where managers describe what they look for in employees.

Singer/rapper/producer from Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang Records, TY Dolla Sign plays in Minnesota for the first time at the Fineline. He’s currently pushing his new single “Or Nah.” TY is also the son of a member of the funk band Lakeside (known for their hit “Fantastic Voyage”).

Friday, April 25 Lil Flip and Absent #Welcome2theClover Release Party Featuring Sti Lo Reel, SP Style All-Stars, Hellebeats First Avenue and 7th Street Entry 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis Admission: $16.00 advance, $20.00 door 9 p.m. 18-plus Platinum recording artist Lil Flip is set to release a new album with Minnesota-bred MC Absent, leading up to their #WelcometotheClover Tour. Flip is known for tracks such as “Like A Pimp” and “The Way We Ball.” North Minneapolis’ own rising star Sti Lo Reel is also on the bill.

Saturday, April 26 Teen Job Fair Minneapolis Central Library 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (2nd Floor) 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 10 7:30 p.m. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington St., St. Paul $23.00 – $48.00 (subject to change) Ticket Office: (651) 224-4222 Groups: (651) 282-3111

Sunday, April 27 Jazz Noir Presents “The Black Hand Side That Feeds You” Dakota Jazz Club 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Admission: $43-$56 (includes meal) “The Black Hand Side That Feeds You,” by award winning playwright, Christina Ham, is the second production in the “Jazz Noir” radio series that pairs a writer with a jazz composer. This performance will also be broadcast live on 88.5 FM, KBEM. The plot takes the audience into the 1960s in the Near North Side neighborhood of Minneapolis around the time of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit and the riots that took place after his assassination. The cast includes Peter Moore, Jane Froiland, James Williams, Rhonda Gibson, Dann Peterson, Elizabeth Efteland and Clarence Wethern. Musicians are John Penny (guitar), Thomas West (B3 and keyboards) and Nathan Norman (Drums). Jazz Noir is made possible through support provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Aesthetically Speaking • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Page B3



Move High school musical artists showcase talents with CD release

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer At stores such as Electric Fetus, Urban Lights and Fifth Element, sitting alongside releases by John Legend, Beyoncé and Pherrell Williams, is a CD of similar quality but greater importance. “The Next Move” is an 11-track compilation recording featuring students of the High School for Recording Arts (HSRA), 1166 University Ave., St. Paul. The CD, with songs of hip-hop, soul and spoken word, is a poignant offering showcasing the talents of some of the school’s students. But aside from the quality of the CD, more important is the fact that these students were able to produce a product at all because of their individual stories. HSRA is a public charter school serving students who face overwhelming life obstacles. According to officials with the school, 92 percent of its students live at or below the poverty line and 30 percent have experienced homelessness at some point. Many have dropped out or have been expelled from other, traditional, public schools. HSRA seeks to educate students in core subjects such as science, math and history through musical learning. “The Next Move” is an auditory glimpse into the realities of these aspiring artists … and hopeful high school graduates. “They wanted to speak from the heart to tell a story of who they are,” said Chadwick “Niles” Philips, instructor with HSRA and the project’s coordinator. The story is not always a pretty one … but one that needs to be told. The song, “To Heal …” shocks listeners into a harsh reality with the very first verse

Harry Colbert, Jr.

Students Ja’Von “Ja’Suvae” Miller (far left), Karon “Skinny” Sumpter (left), Enjolidanae “Red Head” Taylor (seated) and instructor Chadwick “Niles” Philips (right) inside one of the recording studios at the High School for Recording Arts. by a young lady who tells, “When I was seven my life was ended/by a man who wanted business/he took me in a room/ that night I became a woman/ hurt, scared at the same time/ only my mom was on my mind/ he told me if I told, me and my family would die.” Nicki Minaj doesn’t seem to be spitting out such offerings. If she is, they aren’t the songs that are being highlighted and spoon-fed to the public like other obnoxious, mindnumbing singles we hear on radio every seven minutes. Then there’s the standstrong anthem, “Essence of Woman” where 17-year-old Enjolidanae “Red Head” Taylor proudly proclaims, “The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes/it is the doorway to her heart, the place

where love resides.” “Everything I write comes from real experiences,” said Taylor, who as an emancipated teen will graduate in June. “At first I was like maybe (people) don’t need to know that, but I got comfortable with (telling my story) and it just flowed.” Taylor also participated in the school’s 26 Seconds

Tour that sent her and other students across the Midwest encouraging students to stay in school. According to Taylor, the project title came from the saying that every 26 seconds a teen drops out of school. Though many of the tracks on “The Next Move” tell the harsh realities of some of the students, several others are

upbeat and full of fun and folly. Such is the case with “Skinny in the City.” “It was pretty dope stepping

out the box trying something different,” said Karon “Skinny” Sumpter, 18. “And doing a song with your teacher – you never hear about doing a song with your teacher.” Philips cameos on the track with Sumpter. “This school has brought out a more positive side of me,” said Ja’Von “Ja’Suvae” Miller, 20. “It showed me that there’s a time to play and a time to be serious. Now I want to go to college. I just want to incline, not decline.” While every track on the CD could stand alone as a single, standouts are “Where I’m Going,” “Sabatoged Love” and “Vibe Out.” “Sabatoged Love” – a piano-driven ballad – could easily be confused with a John Legend song, and in the right hands, could become an instant hit. Besides being at a few local record stores, “The Next Move” is also available on iTunes and other download sites. Proceeds from the project go back into the school to help fund its mission of educating through the arts. Taylor, Sumpter and Miller are all set to graduate this coming June.

Come have lunch at the Dakota 11:30 - 2 Monday through Friday From Chef Derik Moran, find daily specials, salads, sandwiches and more, and never forget dessert by Pastry Chef Katie Elsing. Prices starting at $8 View our complete menu at

Opens April 26, 2014 No one documented the Twin Cities black community in the ’70s and ’80s like photographer Charles “The Pictureman” Chamblis. This exhibit celebrates the streets, the songs and the soul of a vibrant community.

Join us for a special reception. Tue., April 29 • 7-9 p.m. Meet people featured in exhibit photos and enjoy music and light refreshments. Cash bar. FREE. For more information, visit 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul • 651-259-3000

RetroRama, featuring Cynthia “Funkytown” Johnson Fri., May 16 • 8-11 p.m. Bust out your ’70s and ’80s vintage . . . our annual celebration of retro fashion is back! $25 ($5 MNHS member discount). Tickets at or 651-259-3015.

Page B4 • April 21 - April 27, 2014 • Aesthetically Speaking

Otis Clay Snapshots


Photos by David Bradley.

Blues Hall of Fame legend and gospel powerhouse, Otis Clay recently made his way to the Twin Cities for a performance at the Dakota Jazz Club. Clay belted out an array of his classic gospel and blues hits, which he has carved out during his 50-year career. Born in Mississippi and now residing in Chicago, last year Clay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

BMA Multicultural Channel 937 on Xfinity/Comcast service is Minnesota’s exclusive 24 hour urban video, music, arts and news channel.

Tune in for: Minneapolis Sounds Video Show Monday, Tuesday “Titans of Soul,” “Women Who Rock” Wednesday, Thursday “Old School Video Show,” 100 Black Music America Hits Friday, KMOJ TV Show Saturday, Conversations with Al McFarlane, Backstage at The Dakota, Gospel Vision Sunday.

Experience the Cities Best Looking Sounds on Xfinity/Comcast BMA Channel 937

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Insight News ::: 04.21.14  
Insight News ::: 04.21.14  

News for the week of April 21, 2014. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. Pau...