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Ray Seville looks back at 30-plus year entertainment career TURN TO SECTION B

Insight News May 19 - May 25, 2014

Vol. 41 No. 21 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • Photo: Emily Blodgett.

Rights chief: Minneapolis insincere on civil rights legislation

Photos: David Bradley

Seeking transit justice

By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Tensions at Minneapolis City Hall have been brewing over the city’s Department of Civil Rights and have spilled into an over boil at a recent City Council board meeting. During the weekly council meeting on May 7, Council President Barb Johnson erupted in frustration with the length of time it is taking to produce a report on how to create equity within the city. Though Johnson said her anger stemmed from a meeting in her ward (Ward 4) earlier that day where there had been a shooting and drug arrest,


By Lydia Schwartz

Jamil Ford, President of Mobilize Design & Architecture, at his office at 1108 West Broadway.

Jamil Ford

By Emily Blodgett Neighborhood Development Director, Director of External Communications



amil Ford lives and works in north Minneapolis, but his relationship goes far beyond that though. He believes that his business, Mobilize

Design Architecture, is an important part of creating a prosperous, dynamic and safe community there. His passion is to design beautiful and accessible buildings and housing at blighted or crime-ridden intersections to spur economic development. Prosperity, security and pride, he believes, will follow. Ford is one of those rare guys who had his path mapped out in the 8th grade. He was the kid who was corralling friends

to haul logs, lumber and railroad ties to build the clubhouse he designed. He would see cranes building skyscrapers downtown, and he would start sketching. Fortunately, North Community High School offered a four-year architecture and engineering program focused on residential drafting, designing and building a solar boat. “My parents pushed me to have big dreams and I knew architecture was it,” said Ford,

whose first completed formal project was a solar boat that was entered into a statewide tournament. Two of the more highprofile projects Mobilize has recently taken on are designing an airy and artistic Hennepin County Human Services hub on Plymouth Avenue and the Commons at Penn Avenue, at the corner of Penn and Golden Valley Road.

Helping support families back home in Somalia

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie was recently honored at a recognition reception held at University of Minnesota Urban Research OutreachEngagement Center in Minneapolis (UROC).


By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Academy Award nominated actor and former Minneapolis resident Barkhad Abdi was in town to support the system of sending money from loved ones abroad to his native land of Somalia. The acclaimed actor and Tom Hanks co-star of “Captain Phillips,” Abdi was on hand for a public forum on remittances – the method of transferring money to individuals in Somalia, a country with no banking system. The May 12 event was hosted by OXFAM America and African Development Solutions at Safari Restaurant,


Harry Colbert, Jr.

l-r: Rep. Keith Ellison, Kristin Toretta, Aden S. Hassan, and Barkhad Abdi

Insight 2 Health



Sugar substitutes

Take the time to appreciate life

Bonding Bill makes smart investments and creates jobs



Michael McDowell

Gary Cunningham

Adam Duininck

Jennifer Munt


Ellison’s Money Remittances Improvement Act Makeda Zulu-Gillespie honored for outstanding community service

Minneapolis, MN—On May 10, community members met with a panel of Metropolitan Council members and local transit riders to discuss the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit METRO Green Line Extension (SWLRT) and address the racial inequities present in the regional public transportation system.


The forum was held at the Minnesota chapter headquarters for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, located at 911 West Broadway Avenue. The memberled, nonprofit works to build power in communities of color through community organizing, civic engagement, and leadership development. Michael McDowell, a transit organizer for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, has implemented a North Minneapolis bus canvass to see what the typical rider thinks the system is lacking. He finds that people simply want equitable investments from public dollars. “As we develop this billion-dollar light rail project,” McDowell said, “we need to make sure the communities that rely most on transit will benefit from it. This is a crucial opportunity for us to increase racial equity in our transit system, and make it work


West Broadway Business Profile Paradise Beauty Salon


Page 2 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Insight News

Sugar SUBSTITUTES Whether your goal is cutting calories or eating healthier, sugar substitutes abound. Understand the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

If you’re trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren’t alone. Today artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages marketed as “sugarfree” or “diet,” including soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, and ice cream and yogurt. Just what are all these sweeteners? And what’s their role in your diet? Understanding artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes Sugar substitutes are loosely considered any sweetener that you use instead of regular table sugar (sucrose). Artificial sweeteners are just one type of sugar substitute. The chart lists some popular sugar substitutes and how they’re commonly categorized. The topic of sugar substitutes can be confusing. One problem is that the terminology is often open to interpretation. For instance, some manufacturers call their sweeteners “natural” even though they’re processed or refined, as is the case with stevia preparations. And some artificial sweeteners are derived from naturally occurring substances — sucralose comes from sugar, for example. Regardless of how they’re classified, sugar substitutes aren’t magic bullets for weight loss. Take a closer look. Artificial sweeteners Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners because they are many times sweeter than regular sugar. Uses for artificial

sweeteners Artificial sweeteners are attractive alternatives to sugar because they add virtually no calories to your diet. In addition, you need only a fraction compared with the amount of sugar you would normally use for sweetness. Artificial sweeteners are widely used in processed foods,

Artificial sweeteners Acesulfame

also popular for home use. Some can even be used in baking or cooking. Certain recipes may need modification, though, because artificial sweeteners provide no bulk or volume, as does sugar. Check the labels on artificial sweeteners for appropriate home use. Some artificial sweeteners

artificial sweeteners One benefit of artificial sweeteners is that they don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities. They may also help with the following: Weight control. One of the most appealing aspects of artificial sweeteners is that they are non-nutritive — they have virtually no calories. In contrast,

calories. If you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners rather than with higher calorie table sugar may be an attractive option. On the other hand, some research has suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners may be associated with increased weight, but the cause is not yet

Sugar alcohols

Novel sweeteners

Natural sweeteners


Stevia extracts (Pure

Agave nectar

Via, Truvia)

potassium (Sunett, Sweet One) Aspartame (Equal,



Date sugar

NutraSweet) Neotame

starch hydrolysate Isomalt

(Naturlose) Trehalose

Fruit juice



concentrate Honey


Maple syrup



(SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low) Sucralose (Splenda)

Sorbitol Xylitol

including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jams and jellies, dairy products, and scores of other foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners are

may leave an aftertaste. You may need to experiment with artificial sweeteners to find one or a combination that you enjoy most. Possible health benefits of

each gram of regular table sugar contains 4 calories. A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. For perspective, consider that one 12-ounce can of a sweetened cola contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130

known. Diabetes. Artificial sweeteners may be a good alternative to sugar if you have diabetes. Unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners generally don’t raise blood sugar levels because

they are not carbohydrates. Butt because of concerns about how w sugar substitutes are labeled and d categorized, always check with h your doctor or dietitian aboutt using any sugar substitutes iff you have diabetes. Possible health concerns with artificial sweeteners Artificial sweeteners have been n the subject of intense scrutiny y for decades. Critics of artificial sweeteners say that they cause a variety of health problems, including cancer. That’s largely y because of studies dating to the 1970s that linked saccharin to bladder cancer in laboratory y rats. Because of those studies, saccharin once carried a warning label that it may be hazardous to your health. But according to the National Cancer Institute and d other health agencies, there’s no sound scientific evidence that any of the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. cause cancer orr other serious health problems. And numerous research h studies confirm that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities, even n for pregnant women. As a result of the newer studies, the warning label for saccharin was dropped. Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the Food and d Drug Administration (FDA) as food additives. They mustt be reviewed and approved d by the FDA before being made available for sale. In n some cases, the FDA declares a substance “generally y recognized as safe” (GRAS). These GRAS substances, including highly refined steviaa preparations, are deemed by y qualified professionals based d on scientific data as being safe for their intended use, or they y


Insight News • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Page 3

HEALTH Tap water: Safe and healthy to drink too, but it costs a lot more to buy. If you ever have questions about the safety and quality of your water, you can call your city’s water utility or the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-4700. You can also go to the Minnesota Department of Health website at http://www. Learn more about the history of safe drinking water in Minnesota at http://youtube/inLZwGZSvSc. The Jones family used to spend $100-$200 a month on bottled water. Denise thought that bottled water was safer for her family. They recently switched from drinking bottled water to drinking tap water and now they pay less than $1 a month for their drinking water. Bottled water can be convenient because it is easy to carry around, but tap water can be just as convenient. The Jones family bought reusable bottles because they are better for the environment and can be filled at home or at drinking fountains.

Did you know that tap water in the Twin Cities is healthy and safe? Most people get the water in their home from a city or other type of public water system. These water systems make the water safe to drink by filtering and disinfecting the water. Anything that can cause people to get sick is removed. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has samples from the water system checked to make sure the water meets all the standards and is safe. Water from a public water system, such as Minneapolis, St. Paul, or a suburban water utility, is tested regularly to ensure safety. Once in a while a problem is detected through the testing. When this happens, the water system corrects the problem. The system will also inform residents of the situation. Unless you hear otherwise, you can be confident in the safety of the water that comes out of your tap or faucet. Tap water is a great bargain when you compare it to the price of buying water in a bottle. It costs only pennies for thousands of gallons. Bottled water is safe

Sweeteners From 2 have such a lengthy history of common use in food that they’re considered generally safe and don’t require FDA approval before sale. The FDA has also established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each artificial sweetener. This is the maximum amount considered safe to consume each day over the course of your lifetime. ADIs are intended to be about 100 times less than the smallest amount that might cause health concerns. Sugar alcohols and novel sweeteners Sugar alcohols (polyols) are carbohydrates that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables, but they also can be manufactured. They’re not considered intense sweeteners, because they aren’t sweeter than sugar. In fact, some are less sweet than sugar. As with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates the use of sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols aren’t considered noncaloric or nonnutritive sweeteners because they contain calories. But they’re lower in calories than is regular sugar, making them an attractive alternative. Despite their name, sugar alcohols aren’t alcoholic. They don’t contain ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages. Novel sweeteners are combinations of various types of sweeteners. Novel sweeteners, such as stevia, are hard to fit into one particular category because of what they’re made from and how they’re made. Note that although the FDA has approved

Zulu-Gillespie From 1 UROC awarded ZuluGillespie, UROC’s director of community outreach, the 2014 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Award. The award honors university faculty, staff, students and community partners who have made extraordinary and significant contributions to society through research, academic studies, or public service. As UROC’s chief community liaison, ZuluGillespie worked to establish alliances between the university and the community with the goal of creating long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. According to officials at UROC, Zulu-Gillespie helped steer UROC through its early years, building trust and understanding of the university among north Minneapolis residents along the way. Among her many accomplishments, ZuluGillespie was part of the university’s Northside SEED grant team, she facilitates UROC’s Engaged Dissertation Fellowship Program and is a graduate of the President’s Emerging Leaders program. She is also a frequent guest on community radio and cable/ network stations to share her community liaison perspective on urban community-university


highly refined stevia preparations as a novel sweetener, it has not approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extracts for this use. Tagatose and trehalose are considered novel sweeteners because of their chemical structure. They’re categorized by the FDA as GRAS substances. Tagatose is a low-carbohydrate sweetener similar to fructose that occurs naturally but is also manufactured from lactose in dairy products. Foods containing tagatose can’t be labeled as “sugar-free.” Trehalose is found naturally in mushrooms. Uses for sugar alcohols Sugar alcohols generally aren’t used when you prepare food at home. Rather, they are found in many processed foods and other products, including chocolate, candy, frozen desserts, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouthwash, baked goods and fruit spreads, usually replacing sugar on an equal basis. When added to foods, sugar alcohols add sweetness, bulk and texture. They also help food stay moist, prevent browning when heated and add a cooling sensation to products. Sugar alcohols are often combined with artificial sweeteners to enhance sweetness. Check the food label to help see if a product contains sugar alcohols. Food labels may list the specific name, such as xylitol, or simply use the general term “sugar alcohol.”

sweeteners because they contribute calories to your diet. Still, sugar alcohols have fewer calories than does regular sugar — about 2 calories per gram on average. This means that sugar alcohols can be considered lower calorie sweeteners, and they may aid weight-control efforts. Diabetes. Unlike artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols can raise blood sugar levels because they’re carbohydrates. But because your body doesn’t completely absorb sugar alcohols, their effect on blood sugar is less than that of other sugars. Different sugar alcohols can affect blood sugar differently. You can consume sugar alcohols if you have diabetes, but you still must pay attention to the total amount of carbohydrates in your meals and snacks. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for guidance. Possible health concerns with sugar alcohols As with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates sugar alcohols as food additives. Sugar alcohols used in U.S. manufactured food generally have GRAS status. There are few health concerns associated with sugar alcohols. When eaten in large amounts, usually more than 50 grams but sometimes as little as 10 grams, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, intestinal gas and diarrhea. Product labels may carry a warning about this potential laxative effect.

Possible health benefits of sugar alcohols One benefit of sugar alcohols is that they don’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities. They may also help with the following: Weight control. Sugar alcohols are considered nutritive

Natural sweeteners Natural sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often promoted as healthier options than processed table sugar or other sugar substitutes. But even these so-called natural sweeteners often undergo processing and

partnerships. Other Outstanding Community Service Award recipients include Larry Jacobs, Faculty Award; Rahsaan Mahadeo, Student Award; and Teenwise Minnesota, Community Award. The 2014 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice

Award recipients are Priscilla Gibson, Associate Professor, Faculty/Staff Award; and Daniel Nidzgorski, Student Award. The Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award was established in honor of Josie R. Johnson in recognition of her lifelong contributions to human rights and social justice. The

refining, including agave nectar. Among the natural sweeteners that the FDA recognizes as being generally safe for consumption are fruit juices and nectars, honey, molasses, and maple syrup. Uses for natural sweeteners Natural sweeteners have a variety of uses both at home and in processed foods. They are sometimes known as added sugars because they’re added to foods during processing. They may be used to sweeten drinks such as tea and cocktails, in desserts, as pancake and waffle toppings, on cereals, and for baking, for example. Possible health benefits of natural sweeteners Although natural sugar substitutes may seem healthier than processed table sugar, their vitamin and mineral content isn’t significantly different from that of sugar. Honey and sugar, for instance, are nutritionally similar, and both end up in your body as glucose and fructose. Choose a natural sweetener based on how it tastes and its uses, rather than on its health claims. Possible health concerns with natural sweeteners So-called natural sweeteners are generally safe. But there’s no health advantage to consuming added sugar of any type. And consuming too much added sugar, even natural sweeteners, can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, poor nutrition, weight gain and increased triglycerides. Also, be aware that honey can contain small amounts of bacterial spores that can produce botulism toxin. Because of that, honey shouldn’t

award honors university faculty, staff, and students who, through their principles and practices, exemplify her standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning and working environments.

be given to children less than 1 year old. Moderation is key with sugar substitutes When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer. Get informed and look beyond the hype. While artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes may help with weight management, they aren’t a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation.

Minnesota Department of Health Just because a food is marketed as sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s free of calories. If you eat too many sugar-free foods, you can still gain weight if they have other ingredients that contain calories. And remember that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don’t offer the same health benefits as do whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Mayo Clinic Staff

Page 4 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Insight News

LIFESTYLE 6 leadership quotes for leading social change By Dr. Artika Tyner Social change begins with the exercise of leadership. Throughout the passage of history, there have been leaders who have played a key role in promoting justice and leveraging their influence to foster change. They have modeled the way for future generations to achieve a vision of justice and freedom for all. We can learn from their example how to take a stand in the face of injustice and chart a new course for the future. These leaders have shown us how to be courageous despite the obstacles set before us. They remind us that we must lead social change since we are indebted to future generations to leave the world in a better place than when we found it. These leadership quotes will serve as a resource as you learn and grow as a leader. Leadership is a continuous learning process. It requires reflection on your goals and vision. What do you hope to achieve? How can you build a better tomorrow? Your progress will be measured by your ability to move your leadership vision closer to fruition. These quotes will provide you with direction on how to serve in the global community, initiate strategic social action, and empower

others to lead. A CALL TO SERVICE Service is the foundation of leadership. It begins by recognizing the need to commit your time and energy to the betterment of humanity. This moral responsibility compels one to first serve and then seek to lead. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is tempting for each of us to get lost in the demands of our daily schedules related to our work, family, and personal needs. This is the battle between the “I and me” mentality vs. the vision of “we and us.” However, Dr. King reminds us of the importance of prioritizing service in the community since our existence is inter-related. Dr. King stated “whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” Therefore, we must be committed to a life of service which uplifts and motivates others to reach their full potential. “Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

- Marian Wright Edelman Marian Wright Edelman is the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund and served as counsel for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final campaign, the Poor People’s Campaign. Very early on in her career, she made a commitment to lift her voice for the ‘least of these’— the poor and children. She leaves us with the daily challenge of paying our rent in full by serving the needs of others and leading policy reform in our communities. “I was going to do something for the black man of South if it would cost my life. ” - Fannie Lou Hamer When asked why she

persisted in her fight for equal access to voting rights and the democratic process, Mrs. Hamer courageously proclaimed: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” She had become “sick” of African Americans being relegated to second class citizenship in the United States. Through not only her words but also her deeds, she demonstrated the leadership quality of courage (moral strength to persevere). Mrs. Hamer was unwavering in her commitment to improve the social, political and economic conditions plaguing the African American community. To this aim, she committed her time, energy, and talent. A CALL TO ACTION

Taking action focuses on setting in motion the process of social change. This requires raising your voice and channeling your energy towards change. This follows the basic laws of physics: an object in motion tends to stay in motion. The leader sets into motion a process of collective engagement and strategic action. “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines.” - Shirley Chisholm The message is clearly stated: roll up your sleeves and get to work for social justice. Shirley Chisholm modeled the way by becoming the first black congresswoman in 1968 and serving within this capacity for seven terms. She recognized that life is not a spectator’s sport but calls for collective engagement. Today, we each have a critical role to play whether it be to educate, mobilize, or organize others in the community for advancing social change. Chisholm assumed her role as a team leader by advocating for equal access to quality educational and competitive employment opportunities. “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” - Wangari Maathai

Dr. Wangari Maathai led a movement in Kenya to empower women to lead change in their communities. They could no longer ignore the devastating impact of the environmental damage on their communities’ well-being and viability. Instead, Maathai challenged them to stop talking about change and begin making change happen by planting trees as a symbol of unity and hope. This earned her the honor of being named a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate in recognition of her commitment to “sustainable development, democracy and peace.” “The progress of the world will call for the best that all of us have to give.” - Mary McLeod Bethune Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune embodied the qualities of a servant leader. She served as an advocate for education. She believed a quality education would empower young people to discover their gifts and in turn use those talents to better the world. Her motto for education was: “enter to learn, depart to serve.” Her timeless message beckons each of us to go forth and take a stand for justice, equity, and freedom. Take a stand today! What are the leadership quotes which inspire you to create change in your community?

Take the time to appreciate life Motivational Moments

By Penny JonesRichardson Have you ever taken the time to just appreciate the things that you have been blessed with? I heard someone say once that

every morning they wake up and spend time meditating on everything that God has blessed them with. They don’t just talk about their home or their cars, but they say thank you for everything. And I do mean “EVERYTHING!” This was the strangest thing I had ever heard. Not that they are thankful, but the fact they mention everything. This process can take up to two hours they said. That seems a bit excessive to me, but if it works

for them, then who am I to say anything different. Lately I have found myself thinking about all of my blessings, too; although I don’t spend hours naming them all. I realize that in all of many blessings I am most thankful that I have a family who supports me and is there when I need them. I know that many people have family who love them, but how many of you have a family that is willing to be there for every step of your journey?

Truth is, I didn’t realize I had this until I moved to another state. I remember when I first left and how it broke my heart to leave my family. I had never lived anywhere except around my family and the move away from them devastated me. I thought that we would lose contact or we would just not be a part of each other’s lives anymore. The lesson I learned in all of this, is that no matter where you are in this world, you still communities. MDA is a part of the change that our community needs. Our presence, our commitment and our passion is here for the long haul,” said Ford. Neighborhood Development Center is a nonprofit organization that believes in the power, drive and daring of local entrepreneurs to transform lives and revitalize neighborhoods. In its 21-year history, NDC has provided business training to more than 4,500 potential entrepreneurs and nearly 500 loans totaling more than $10 million in financing. For more information visit

Commons at Penn Avenue rendering, courtesy of Mobilize Design & Architecture.

Ford From 1 This project is taking a blighted corner known for crime and vagrancy and turning it into commercial space topped with a 45-unit affordable apartment building. It was another man dreaming of a stronger north Minneapolis who pushed that project in former pro basketball player and Ford’s childhood friend, Devean George. Construction will begin later this summer. Recognizing the early modeling and apprenticeship programs he was involved with that shaped the kind of man and architect he is today, Ford pays it forward. The Mobilize office is located on West Broadway in a building recognizable by its funky mural façade and tenants who are creative and communityfocused. One neighbor is Juxtaposition Arts, a nonprofit

Rights From 1 tensions between the council and Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel have been high for quite some time. In late March the council approved Korbel’s reappointment, but the approval

that pairs driven, talented youth with professionals to learn such skills as production, marketing skills and architectural design. Ford and his partner, David Witt, are mentors to Juxtaposition’s young aspiring architects and designers. They have an open door policy and have even allowed these students to design features on some of their projects. Ford’s first connection with the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) came in 2010 via the Northside Economic and Opportunity Network (NEON) that helped them get off the ground. NEON Executive Director Grover Jones provided support and made connections with potential clients, but also kept pushing Ford forward, encouraging him to make a difference in his hometown. Ford took NDC’s Plan It! Entrepreneur Training program in 2012 through NEON, where he graduated with a business plan and greater marketing skills. One takeaway Ford got from that

class was the value of building community and of creating future jobs through Mobilize. NDC was also able to provide Ford with a loan when it was needed most. He used it to cover the cost of computers and insurance. And true to form, Ford wants to help NDC. He’s offered his services to consult with entrepreneurs to decipher zoning and city codes or façade projects. “The name Mobilize comes from the idea of mobilizing people through architecture and design … mobilize a community that’s been set back for many years. If we can begin to transition north Minneapolis, the city of Minneapolis as a whole will be a much better place,” said Ford. “We want to drive that.” Ford recognizes that fine architecture alone won’t ignite the needed changes in north Minneapolis, but it can be the agent that inspires energy and commitment in its residents. “Buildings don’t change communities, people change

came with the stipulation that the city consider creation of a new labor-management committee in the department. Korbel was accused of promoting a hostile work environment within the department. “I’ve had conversations with the council president and I think she understands that the underpinning issues affecting

her ward relate to the issues of equality and equity in particular and I think she knows that,” said Korbel. “I don’t want people to think the exchange was aimed at the work we’re doing, but more so at the procedural – the day-to-day.” But in a subsequent event


can have the support of family. My family has supported me during every part of my journey. They cheer for me when I accomplish my goals and they help build me up when I am down. And for this I am truly thankful. Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I didn’t have the support of my family, but I hope that is something that I never have to experience. So if you are taking the time this week to think about all of your

many blessings, if you have a supportive family, add that to your “Thankful List.” 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

Insight News • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Page 5

BUSINESS Bonding Bill makes smart investments and creates jobs The Minnesota Senate released the details of a $1.165 billion capital investment bill recently outlining the use of $846 million in General Obligation (GO) bonds and an additional $200 million in one-time cash taken from the state’s budget surplus. The bill is estimated to create more than 28,000 jobs and provides a broad cross section of projects that invest in Minnesota communities. One such investment project is the $20 million appropriation in the Senate Bonding Bill to re-envision and rebuild Nicollet Mall. This project will support

the next generation of our very important downtown’s economic growth. After more than 20 years of use, the aging infrastructure on the Nicollet Mall needs to be revamped. The $20 million in the Senate Bonding Bill will be matched with private dollars through special assessments and public agencies. As a member of the Bonding Committee, I am pleased this important Minneapolis asset is funded in this year’s bill. The Nicollet Mall is home to hundreds of businesses such as US Bank, Wells

Fargo, Ameriprise Financial, Target and a number of other businesses and the Hilton Hotel. These employers and people from across the state identify the Nicollet Mall as a central corridor to recruit top businesses and talent to Minneapolis. The 2014 Bonding Bill is a fair, balanced and sensible bill that creates thousands of jobs by investing in important economic development projects, higher education, transit, roads and bridges. I am hopeful this project will be part of the final bill that becomes law.

Sen. Bobby Joe Champion

Warren named Chief Administrative Officer of Greater Twin Cities United Way INSIGHT NEWS

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.

Greater Twin Cities United Way has hired Craig Warren as the organization’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). As a member of the nonprofit’s executive team, Warren will lead the Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology departments. He will oversee maximizing effectiveness, operating systems and work processes. Warren’s long-term ties to United Way include his commitment as a donor and a former member of the Leadership Giving Cabinet. He begins his new position May 19, 2014. “We are pleased to welcome

Greater Twin Cities United Way

Craig Warren

Craig to the senior team,” says Sarah Caruso, president and

chief executive officer of Greater Twin Cities United Way. She continues, “He brings a wealth of administrative and human resources expertise from across a variety of sectors. We look forward to his guidance and leadership in this critical area of United Way, especially as we continue to evolve as an organization.” With more than 15 years of global human resources knowledge, Warren was most recently at Best Buy as the Senior Director for Human Resources. His expertise includes executing large-scale initiatives, improving

human resources delivery organizations and leading global teams. Warren’s reputation in the human resources field has been established at some of the most widely recognized corporations among them Rockwell Automation; The Coca-Cola Company; and in management consulting. He is also a military veteran having served as a Captain in the United States Army. Warren expressed his thoughts about working with the nonprofit, “I’m thrilled to be joining Greater Twin Cities United Way and look forward to

collaborating with staff, donors, partner agencies and volunteers to address the key challenges facing our community.” Warren volunteers with Twin Cities RISE! and America’s Corporate Partners, a nonprofit that assists veterans transitioning from the military to the business sector. He holds a Master of Arts in public policy from The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and anthropology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Black men make giving easy and meaningful FUNdraising Good Times

By Mel and Pearl Shaw African American men are pooling their money to create positive community change. The Ujima Legacy Fund brings together men who invest $1,100 and collectively increase their impact. Founder Reginald Gordon shares a few details so you can create a fund in your community. We pick up our interview with Gordon with a discussion about grantmaking. “Once we have reviewed all of the applications, a representative group of Ujima men go visit the site of the most compelling applicants,” Gordon shared. “The next step is for those applicants to make a presentation to the entire membership. After the membership has heard from each of the top applicants, then the members vote. The agency

Rights From 4 hosted by the DFL African American Caucus, Korbel said she is frustrated that the city does not live up to its outside image. “In 2012 the city of Minneapolis passed an ordinance saying it would be a leader in equity,” said Korbel. “But we have serious disparities across the board – in employment, education, you name it. Why is it that the city is claiming to be so progressive?” One of the council members who is also frustrated with Korbel and with the length of time it is taking to produce the forthcoming report is Ward 5 Councilman Blong Yang. Yang, a former employee of the civil rights department under Korbel, and who voted against retaining her in her post, said Johnson’s angry outburst was due to department bureaucracy. “I think what she (Johnson) was saying is we’ve got to take care of basic issues,” said Yang. “My best sense is that everyone on the council is committed to creating a racial tool kit that works. All of us recognize we have issues of racial disparity and we want to address them. The big question is how do we address them. Crime and safety are things we have to address as well as the issue of disparities of AfricanAmericans and whites in home ownership, health, employment and education.” Korbel may not agree that Yang is interested in the issue of equity for African-Americans. “We have a city councilman representing north Minneapolis

The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.

with the most votes is awarded the grant. Last year, we gave $20,000 to Partnership for the Future (www.partnershipforthefuture. org). This year Ujima received proposals for funding from 23 applicants. We will vote on our 2014 grantee in mid May.” The fund started through barber shop conversations, now “we are using word of mouth, email and social gatherings to spread the news about the Ujima Legacy Fund. We asked each member from last year to try to

recruit two other men to join this year. We have been successful in asking for time on the agenda at regularly scheduled African American male networking events and meetings, like fraternity meetings. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.” Joy has accompanied the process. “One of the unexpected joys is the renewed sense of brotherhood. We now have a band of brothers who have made a commitment to transform our community by financially

supporting critical pathways to success for our young adults,” Gordon shared. “We actually have a Ujima Legacy Fund lapel pin that we wear to symbolize our unity of purpose. The word has spread around town that African American men in Richmond are coming together to give money to causes that they want to support. We definitely have helped expand and diversify the list of major philanthropic donors in Richmond. We have even inspired black women in Richmond to

and I don’t think he knows he’s supposed to represent the community,” said Korbel during the DFL African-American Caucus public meeting. For Yang’s part, he said the time for talk is over.

“There’s too much in the way of paperwork and studies (regarding equity) and not enough action,” said Yang. The 5th Ward councilman finds assertions that he devalues equity as absurd. On his Facebook page

he wrote, “As this racial equity dialogue continues, I find folks questioning my commitment to racial equity. Seriously? I represent a Ward that has over 70 % (sic) people of color. It should be obvious where I stand.

begin the process of creating their own giving circle. We have jokingly asked them to not raise more money than us their first year.” Gordon suggests checking out information about the Ujima Legacy Fund on the Community Foundation of Richmond website. “Get a small group of men (no more than six) who want to champion the creation of a giving circle. Have this core group decide on firm goals and objectives of the giving circle. (Please feel free to use any language that you like from Ujima.) Find a fiscal sponsor and some organization that can help administer the fund. Then, go out and boldly recruit members for your giving circle.” Learn more at UjimaLegacyFund. Copyright 2014 – Mel and Pearl Shaw Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your campaign visit www. or call (901) 522-8727.

“I am impatient that this process has taken so long. I am pushing for greatness. I want whatever we create to be useful and applied throughout the City enterprise. Anything short of that will be a big waste of time.”

Page 6 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Insight News


New brand announced Harold Mezile North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center By Lydia Schwartz May 10, 2014—The North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center, located at 1711 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis, is one of the only YMCA facilities in the country dedicated solely to serving children and youth. On May 10, the facility was renamed the Harold Mezile North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center, to include the name of the man who played an essential role in its creation. Newlyelected Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who was unable to attend the ceremony, also passed along a proclamation officially declaring May 10th as Harold Mezile Day in the City of Minneapolis. In addition to changing the name of the building, the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities has established the Harold Mezile YMCA Urban Youth Impact Fund, a current-use fund that will support the YMCA’s work with underserved children and youth in North Minneapolis and across the Twin Cities. “There is no higher honor in the YMCA than the one that you all are giving me today,� Mezile said. “I believe that if I can help somebody as I pass your way, then I want to make a difference and live a life of significance. I

SWLRT From 1 better for all of us.� According to the Metropolitan Council, the SWLRT project will cost approximately $1.7 billion and will be funded through federal, state and local sources. Gov. Mark Dayton has approved an additional $400 million in contingency funding, should the project be approved by the federal government. The proposed 15.8mile line will extend the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit from downtown Minneapolis through the rapidly growing southwestern communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The Southwest Corridor contains a concentration of businesses, including several of the state’s largest employers. The SWLRT has the potential to either improve racial and economic equity in North Minneapolis or make things sorely worse. The Metropolitan Council currently plans to warehouse diesel trains in the Linden Yard next to the proposed Van White station, located next to Van White Memorial Boulevard and the North Cedar Lake Regional Trail. This would seriously undermine the ability of the Harrison Neighborhood to

want to have an impact on the youth of my community who are having a troubling, extremely hard time.� Mezile, said his supporters, has an unwavering commitment to helping all young people reach their full potential and the decision to change the name of the youth center underscores the YMCA’s

thousands of children would not have found their success.� The facility, which opened in 2009, offers academic support programs, after school and summer activities, leadership training, music and arts opportunities, swim programs, and more to local children, youth and teens. Matt Kjorstad, the current Executive

Peggy Mezile and Harold Mezile continuing dedication to youth development. Gary Cunningham, Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the Northwest Area Foundation, highlighted the importance of adding Mezile’s name to the facility at the renaming ceremony. “This is permanent,� he said. “The name is going to go on and on beyond all of us being here today because we get to honor him in memorial as we put the name on this building. Without the leadership of Harold Mezile,

Director of the now-named Harold Mezile North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center, spoke to Mezile’s continuing legacy of dedication to serving the youth of Minneapolis’ north side. “Most of us are here from sun up to sun down, and now this building is being renamed after [the man] from whom I’ve learned everything I know,� Kjorstad said. “Every day when young people come into this space, they are simply coming

develop diverse housing, small businesses and open space, and to carry out its Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan, opponents to the plan argue. Most community members agree that the SWLRT could benefit North Minneapolis, but only if it is designed in an equitable way. Metropolitan Council Member Gary Cunningham (District 7) represents north Minneapolis, downtown Minneapolis, southcentral Minneapolis and the City of Robbinsdale on the seventeenmember council. At the public forum he addressed the history of public policy relating to transit that has actively disenfranchised the north side of Minneapolis and the African American community. He is a strong advocate for a modern streetcar that can fit along narrower corridors and begin to reverse the disinvestment of the past with new jobs and housing. “Well-planned economic development and investment are crucial pieces to moving toward equity Cunningham said. “Equity means that people of color simply have a seat at the table and the ability to determine the future of what their community will be‌ It’s not just about equal opportunity, but making sure that the history of denying opportunity based on race gets addressed. We need to develop economic opportunities and we

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to be young person. This is their Y, a young peoples’ Y. This place has had an incredible impact on this community. People come to the North Side to come here, and we’re proud of that.â€? Stacey Guilfoyle, a Youth Support Specialist for the YMCA’s Intervention Services in the Twin Cities, is just one of many of Mezile’s success stories. She spoke to the importance of seeing a person of color at the top of an organization and its impact on herself and her peers. “This is more than just a building,â€? Guilfoyle said. “[Mezile would] jump right into activities with us and would talk to us about our interests and education goals. Now it’s our turn to continue to reflect his legacy‌ Driving by on West Broadway everyday will now be a reminder of how far we’ve come, and of how far we have to go.â€? Mezile led a number of local and national youth development efforts during his 40-year career with the YMCA, leading in Minneapolis from 1995 until his retirement in 2012. “[I have had that] burning passion since my very first day in Kansas City to see young people succeed in life,â€? Mezile said. “We want our children to graduate from high school and be ready to succeed. Education is the bridge to success that changes lives.â€?

need our public institutions to support that.� Affordability and a reliable bus system with higher frequency routes that could connect them to a light rail station are major hurdles for many low-income residents that would benefit from SWLRT. Metropolitan Council Member Adam Duininck (District 8), representing the eastern portion of Minneapolis and the City of St. Anthony, argues that reducing fares in targeted stations along the alignment would actually generate more money; and that raising fares for a deteriorating service is not an option. “In some stations where we’ve lowered fares,� Duininck said, “we’ve seen that the fare box revenue actually improves. In other words, lowering fares can actually be more of a net positive in terms of operations. I’ve been pushing this and I like the idea of certain corridors as reduced fare [like downtown Minneapolis.]� The current, unacceptable conditions of bus shelters in disrepair across North Minneapolis, however, leave many residents discouraged that the Metropolitan Council will take their concerns seriously. Metro Transit is currently in the process of reacquiring bus shelters within the City of Minneapolis after it ended its maintenance contract with CBS Outdoor earlier this


Spartans celebrate 1st and 2nd place wins for 3rd and 4th grade boys basketball teams The Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) Gopher State Spring Basketball Tournament was held in Prior Lake on May 3 and 4. The Spartans 3rd grade team was seeded first in the division 1 tournament and went undefeated to win first place. The team also took second place in the NY2LA Swish Dish Invitational Tournament held in Milwaukee in April and took first place in the King of the Courts Classic held in Urbandale, Iowa this past week. The 4th grade team was seeded fourth with one loss and took second place honors. Many of the Spartan players are from the Northside. The team is coached by Jerome Williams, Sr. whose coaching philosophy revolves around defense. Williams played basketball in high school and college and has years of

year. However, little is likely to change unless it is directly negotiated into the improvement plans to benefit lower-income transit riders. “African Americans make up the majority of bus ridership,â€? Cunningham said. “I am in favor of people of color being at the table, having a voice in the decisions being made for them. Otherwise, we’re going to wind up with what we’ve been getting—cold bus shelters‌ If it took public policy to get us here, it’s going to take public policy to get us out.â€? SWLRT is a crucial opportunity for communities who rely on public transit, but are frequently left out of the conversation. Metropolitan Council Member Jennifer Munt (District 3)— whose district includes the cities of Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and stretches west into Carver County to Minnetrista and St. Bonifacius—was also present at the public forum and agrees that a more sustainable and resilient Twin Cities region depends on easy, affordable access to good jobs for everyone. “Poverty is about having access to money,â€? Munt said. “And for that, people need to have access to education and jobs. [North Minneapolis] has undergone decades of disinvestment, and it’s not going to be easy to fix.â€?

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experience coaching at the AAU and high school level. Leading the way for the Spartans 3rd grade team were six 2nd graders, Jerome Williams, Jr., Demari Larkins, Zashon Rich, Casmir Chavis, Elijah Huerta and Tameron Ferguson along with 3rd graders, Tommy Humphries, Courtney Ohara, Jessye Lewis and Antonio Fondren. Leading the way for the Spartans 4th grade team were Jamez Garner, Terrence Roberts, Roosevelt Lett, Terrence Matthews, Trevon Howard, Isagani Stevens, Avon Carter and Jasean Glover. Outstanding defense, great rebounding, hustle, dedication and heart were the key to the Spartans success. “Our players are understanding that defense is the key to championship,� said Jerome Williams, Sr.

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Insight News • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Page 7




Salon By Shaina Brassard, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition Marie Egbujor has been operating Paradise Beauty Salon on West Broadway in North Minneapolis since 2009. The inviting salon is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm. Ms. Egbujor is kept busy by her loyal clients; Paradise Beauty is famous for its Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdayonly specials: $75 for a full weave sew-in, and dread retouching for just $40. Egjubor’s expertise is evident in her clients’ satisfied faces; “She’s very gifted at what she does; her hands are blessed” explained a client named Tiquita, who only entrusts her hair to Egjubor. However, what’s truly remarkable about Paradise Beauty Salon is the sense of calm, care and tranquility that one feels almost immediately upon stepping inside. “When you come in you feel the difference.

Egbujor originally opened the salon for “financial” or entrepreneurial reasons but soon started to recognize it as a callinga way to share the calming effect she has on others. “People told me, without me asking, that when they come here they feel relaxed, the atmosphere is different than any other shop. That’s when I figured out that it was more than just a business,” she said. Egbujor’s clients include both men and women, old and young, “and all of them feel comfortable here.” Many new clients come to her after being referred by one of her regulars. In all ways, Egbujor makes sure Paradise Beauty Salon lives up to its name. The shop is spotless, brightly painted and decorated with beautiful plants and artwork, including a large oil painting much admired by owner and clients alike. Somehow, the sound of cars passing by on busy West Broadway does not penetrate the windows. It truly

Photos by Shaina Brassard

Marie Egbujor tending to a customer

You leave the chaos of the street and feel a sense of peace. I love to be around Marie, she is very loving and nurturing,” continued Tiquita.

is a place of retreat, and one of many woman and person of colorowned small businesses that make North Minneapolis’ main business district so unique.


means you have a strong political force. You’ve got to convert that into meaningful policy for the community.” Minneapolis Ward 6 Councilman Abdi Warsame applauded Ellison for championing the Money Remittances Improvement Act and getting it passed through a Republican controlled Congress. “I never believed House run by our Republican friends would ever pass such a bill so it’s a testament of the work (Ellison is) doing,” said Warsame. “What’s missing is the voice of the Somali-American community. Our community has to support this.” Warsame pledged to contact the state’s senators to urge their support of the bill.

From 1 3010 4th Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Along with Abdi, Rep. Keith Ellison sat on a panel with local community leaders, including Kristin Toretta of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Aden S. Hassan, a Kaah Express Compliance Officer. Ellison’s Money Remittances Improvement Act, which recently passed the U.S. House with bipartisan support, is said to improve oversight of non-bank financial institutions such as money service businesses while reducing duplication for regulators and businesses. According the bill’s author, by allowing federal regulators to utilize state exams, regulators are able to more efficiently ensure compliance with laws and regulations while also reducing costs for the regulated firms themselves. Under current regulations most banks are reluctant to allow people to transfer money to Somali money service businesses, knows as hawalas, because of the cumbersome paperwork and fear of being targeted for hefty fines under laws such as the Patriot Act that was enacted following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Today if I wanted to send money to my uncle in Somalia I’d go to the local hawala and within a few minutes I get a text (from him) saying he received the money,” said Abdi, who played the lead pirate in the action drama “Captain Phillips.” “The victim here is Somalia. The people who suffer are the Somali people.” Ellison, who pushed for the House’s passage of the bill along with fellow Minnesota legislator Rep. Erik Paulsen and Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin – both Republicans – called on the nearly 100 people in attendance to lean on their senators to get the bill passed in the upper chamber. “We didn’t wait around and hope for the best, we had to work at getting this bill passed,” said Ellison. “We’ve got to work and call our senators to the bill passed in the Senate. Minneapolis and St. Paul is Ground Zero for the Somali community in America. That

Paradise Beauty Salon 919 West Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411 612-521-2800 minneapolisparadise

Because Somalia does not have a recognized banking system, international governments speculate much of the money transferred to the African nation goes to fund various terrorist organizations. Kristin Toretta of the U.S. Treasury Department said while there are documented cases of funds being funneled to terrorists, the vast majority of the $1.5 billion that is sent annually is for legitimate purposes. “The Treasury recognizes the important role of remittances to Somalia and the Somali economy,” said Toretta. “Unfortunately, as long as transfers have existed, so have ways to misuse the system, but the vast majority of transactions are undoubtedly legitimate.”

Page 8 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Insight News

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Ray Seville looks back at 30-plus year entertainment career By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer Sitting down in Ray Seville’s Robbinsdale home to discuss his career in entertainment was no quick trip down memory lane. In a nearly four-hour conversation, 53-year-old Seville – born Ray Samuels

– recalled stories of his life as a disc jockey, promoter, manager, host, Flyte Tyme go-to-guy and so much more. “When I was on tour with Jesse Johnson I was the body guard, bus driver, road manager, emcee, hairdresser … I did it all,” laughed Seville. “I had to do everything, he kept firing everybody.” But let’s back up for

a minute. Before Seville worked with Johnson, the extravagant front man of the Jesse Johnson’s Revue and original member of The Time, Seville was still just Ray Samuels, a guy who grew up in north Minneapolis and had a love for music and a couple of key connections. “I was driving in my car with Jimmy Jam (yes, that

Jimmy Jam) and we went to the old Studio 94, a club on McKnight and (Interstate) 94 so Jam could buy the club’s old turntables – Jimmy Jam was a cold DJ,” recounted Seville. “He used to spin records and play the keyboard at the same time. So we’re driving with the turntables and we get pulled over by Prince (yes, that Prince) and he asked

Jimmy to be in a band (that band would become The Time). Jam said cool and just gave me the turntables he just bought.” Seville, who was just out of high school and working for the Federal Reserve at the time, began practicing on his gift tables, but with


Ray Seville sits next to his uncle’s (Noble “Duke” Samuels) bass with his gold plaque from Sounds of Blackness behind him.

Page B2 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Aesthetically Speaking

Seattle/Brooklyn duo THEESatisfaction returns to Minneapolis with a ‘weird’ party By Toki Wright @mrwrighttc Weird - adjective \'wird\ 1 : of, relating to the supernatural : magical 2 : of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic -Webster’s Dictionary Calling someone “weird” has always been ... weird. What exactly does that mean? Is it how someone dresses? What about when someone says a person “talks weird?” Also, for someone to be weird what is considered “normal?” What gives one person the right to become the authority? We probably won’t get to all of those answers in one article but Seattle

to Brooklyn musical duo THEESatisfaction will be returning to the Twin Cities to gather all “weirdos” in one place for their one-of-a-kind party. THEESatisfaction are signees on the Sub Pop record label that discovered such notable alternative acts as Nirvana, Soundgarden and more recently, Shabazz Palaces (the later of which are frequent collaborators). Their critically acclaimed album “awE NaturalE” spawned the single and video “QueenS” in which they are heavily recognized for presenting a house party packed with Black women in full representation of their “Queendom.” I got the group on the phone (Cat in Seattle and Stasia in Brooklyn) to find out more about the Black Weirdo party’s origins

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and what should be expected when they hit town. “We first started throwing them back in Seattle and everybody would show up.

We focus on playing Black music and showcasing Black artistry. We don’t have a set audience that we are trying to target. We’re all inclusive

but we want to make it a safe place for Black people to be at so they don’t feel out of place,” said Cat. This is an all too familiar

story with developing music and cultural spaces in places where the group you belong


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Aesthetically Speaking • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Page B3


Boz Scaggs brings his mellow brand of blue-eyed soul to the Garden State By Kam Williams Boz Scaggs will be turning 70 next month, but you’d never know it judging by his demanding two-hour set, including three encores, at New Jersey’s legendary State Theatre in New Brunswick on May 7th. The legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist brought his unique brand of blue-eyed soul to town on a cross-country tour promoting “Memphis,” his first studio

album in five years. The show featured the best of Boz tunes released over the course of an enduring career which has spanned a half-century thus far and counting. Believe it or not, this critic first caught him in concert 45 years ago at the Fillmore East when he was a sideman in the Steve Miller Band as the opening act for Neil Young. Last night, Boz’s group was the only one on the bill, and it performed

inspired renditions of his much-beloved hits like “Lido Shuffle,” “What Can I Say,” “Harbor Lights” and “Lowdown” which won the Grammy for Best R&B Song of 1976. They also played an array of popular standards ranging from “Rainy Night in Georgia” to “Proud Mary” to “Corrina, Corrina” to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mic Elf Agin).” Since he was fresh from the New Orleans Jazz Festival,

From B2 to doesn’t have control of the room. It’s also a reason why innovators such as Prince were able to develop such a strong scene in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. “We were in college and we would go to house parties and not dig the music,” said Stasia. “So we started hosting our own. People would always ask us to play the cuts and we did them more often. So we decided to move to a bigger space. We had our first Black Weirdo party in Brooklyn two years ago in 2012.” When asked what one can expect to hear on May 23 Stasia said, “You’re going to hear the jams. We’re old heads at heart. We love soul music from the 60s, dance music from the 80s. You are going to hear a wide range of stuff – stuff from our friends, stuff that isn’t out there all the way but we want out there; the homie hookup.” THEESatisfaction has a very hands-on approach to how they present their art and their parties. “We host, we perform, we pre-jam, we organize it. We

Boz decided to do “Sick and Tired” in tribute to Big Easy native son Fats Domino. And he played “Cadillac Walk” and “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl” from the new CD, too. Boz’s velvety voice was backed by a very talented ensemble ostensibly wellschooled in creating the trademark lush ambience his fans came to hear. A truly soothing, mood-setting treat by a smooth crooner who like a fine wine just gets better with time.

do every aspect of the party,” said Cat. This kind of approach allows them to create a space that truly fits their groove and vibe. And the vibe is catching on. Everyone from cast members from the hit Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” and India.Aire have attended their events. While the parties they once attended catered to only Top 40 music, Cat and Stasia have developed a night for all of the “weirdos.” Hopefully Webster’s will be right in having a night that may be a little odd for those who only flow with the mainstream but full of a lot of magic. Black Wierdo takes place Friday, May 23 at The Gamut Gallery & Studio at 1006 Marquette Ave. S. in Minneapolis. It features performances and DJing by THEESatisfaction, DJ Just Nine, Mamadu, Sweetz P, and Sarah White. The event is from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. and is an 18-plus party. The event is sponsored by Voices Merging and presented by Brilyahnt Peace and The Purple Hocus Pocus. For more information on THEESatisfaction, visit www.

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Seville From B1 little musical guidance wasn’t progressing. That’s when Jam stepped in again. “I had the tables about a year and when Jam came off tour he asked me how I was doing DJing and I told him I didn’t know how to mix. So in a day he showed me how to mix, blend records, told me about beats per minute, everything I needed to know,” said Seville. “That was in 1981.” People tend to gravitate to Seville. Maybe it’s his personality. Maybe it’s the natural salesperson in him. So once Seville felt his skills were worthy of showcasing he decided to throw a house party. According to the Twin Cities entertainment pioneer, whose home is full of gold and platinum plaques, the party had 300 people inside and an additional 200 out on the lawn that the police made disburse. Seville was a DJ, but he quickly realized he was cut out to be a promoter. “That kind of sparked my career,” said Seville. “Jam was a better DJ and I felt I had to be better in other aspects and that was promoting.” According to Seville, early in his career he was DJing and promoting at five different clubs each week while maintaining his day job at the Federal Reserve until he was passed over for a promotion and quit. His “night job” earnings were far outpacing his $7,500 annual salary at the Fed. OK, fast-forward some years. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have splintered off from The Time to form the now famous Flyte Tyme Studio and Seville is back from tour with Jesse Johnson. Seville said he wasn’t working a “regular” job so during the day he was hired to gut the 15,000 square foot warehouse that would become Flyte Tyme. Once he finished, he stayed on to assist in construction and … well just kind of stuck on from there. “They (Jam and Lewis) hired me to do their record

parties and as a music consultant,” said Seville. “It was the perfect job.” According to Seville it was one of his events that led to a fateful connection. “I threw a concert for three bands and one was Mint Condition,” said Seville. “I invited Jam and Lewis down and so did ‘Popeye’ (who worked with Mint at the time). Jimmy and Terry came down and said they liked them and were going to sign them.” Now let’s talk about those plaques. Seville, who became the operations manager at Flyte Tyme, assisted in one form or another with several successful projects. In his home are plaques of gratitude from artists such as TLC, Usher, New Edition, Mariah Carey, Gladys Knight, Janet Jackson, Johnny Gill, Boys II Men, Jesse Johnson, Mya, Solo, Sounds of Blackness and more. The Sounds of Blackness and Janet Jackson plaques are mounted in the dining room. The only other mounted plaque is one from a movie. It’s a gold plaque for sales of over 500,000 copies of the soundtrack to “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” Seville said that’s the plaque that means the most to him. “Jimmy and Terry didn’t know anything about reggae music,” said Seville, discussing

the reggae themed soundtrack produced by the duo. “I did all the consulting on that one. I picked all the artists and coproducers. I even mixed and edited on a couple of songs.” As a promoter and event producer, 53-year-old Seville has worked with everyone from Salt n Pepa to Keith Sweat, to Tyler Perry to Mike Epps. Each Friday he’s out at Knights of Columbus in Bloomington with Walter “Q Bear” Banks, Jr. and Lorna Pettis. Annually as part of Sumthin’ Special, the group produces the two largest urban parties in the state – the White Out Affair and Black Out Affair. During our marathon talk Seville threw out a slew of names that many old schoolers would immediately recognize such as DJ Cowboy, Brother Jules and DJ Carl Ray. Seville showed me an “antique” turntable/mixer in his garage next to thousands of boxedup records. We discussed his musical pedigree – his uncle, Noble “Duke” Samuels was a bassist and president of the jazz union in Kansas City and his father and siblings were part of a traveling band while orphans. We talked about the state of music today and we talked more about Seville’s career, which he summed up as such.

“When I first started, a girl who went to North (Community) High School asked me if she could interview me for the school paper. She asked me what I wanted out of my career and I said, ‘Longevity.’ She said that wasn’t a word.” Seville has proven that longevity truly is a word.



8 8 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y



SAVE THE DATE June 19, 2014 Keynote Speaker

Marc H. Morial National Urban League President & CEO

Hilton Minneapolis Hotel

NOW ON VIEW 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. For more information, visit 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul • 651-259-3000

Page B4 • May 19 - May 25, 2014 • Aesthetically Speaking

expulsions, and arrests.” There will also be speakers and performances with Keno Evol, Chili Lor, and more. For details contact: Dua Saleh School: Work: Twitter: @punchbuggiez

Tuesday, May 20th May 19th - 25th

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

Monday, May 19th Unchain Us Rally #3: Poets, Protests, and Pipelines St. Paul, MN State Capital 75 Rev. Martain Luther King, JR. Blvd., Saint Paul, Minnesota Noon to 2PM Several community organizations are gathering for a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol to stop the School to Prison Pipeline. A proposal will be made to the State of MN Department of Education that includes; “phasing out SRO’s from Schools and Introducing Transformative/ Restorative Justice Programs, and a Moratorium on out-ofschool suspensions on minor behavior infractions in all grade and administrative transferring,

The Poet’s Groove – Open Mic Blue Nile Restaurant 2027 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis (612) 338-3000 10PM - FREE 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 world-renowned drummer Kevin Washington. Sign up at 10 pm every Tuesday at the Blue Nile; show starts at 11 pm.

Thursday, May 22nd 60 Years Later: Brown v. Board of Education MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) 911 West Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 6:00-8:30PM FREE “May 17, 2014 is the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled in 1954 that racial segregation in public education is unconstitutional, overturning the doctrine of “separate but equal.” Today, right here in Minnesota, the stark racial disparities in educational opportunities and

Sweetz P Chadwick Niles Phillips



Muja Messiah outcomes are at crisis levels in terms of academic proficiency and graduation rates for lowincome students and students of color… Students, parents, educators, administrators, community activists and organizers, advocates, journalists and policymakers - and anyone who cares about the public education of low-income students and students of color— are invited to participate in this summit for education equity and justice.

Friday, May 23rd Black Weirdo The Party: Minneapolis Gamut Gallery 1006 Marquette Ave South, Minneapolis $12 Advance/$15 Door

8:00PM /18+ THEESatisfaction, Stas THEE Boss, Sassyblack, DJ Just Nine, MAMADU, Sweetz P., and Sarah White Sponsored by #VoicesMerging Muja Messiah “GOD KISSED IT THE DEVIL MISSED IT” Release Show First Avenue & 7th Street Entry 701 First Ave N, Minneapolis $7 advance/$10 door 18+/9:00PM w/ Mike the Martyr, Metasota, Bobby Raps, Simone Steppa Dujour, DJ Turtleneck and more

Saturday, May 24th

DJ Willie Shu EXPRESSIONS Vol. 3 - Day Party Edition Darby’s Pub and Grill 315 North 5th Ave., Minneapolis, Minnesota 2-7:00PM After an 8-month hiatus the EXPRESSIONS Graphic T-Shirt party returns. Join Soul Tools Entertainment’s own DJ Willie Shu and PINK for a Day Party with a full menu of food and drinks.

Sunday, May 25th Soundset Canterbury Park Shakopee, MN Take part in the biggest independent Hip-Hop Festival in the United States.

Presented by Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents, the festival is looking to exceed 25,000 attendees this year. The lineup includes: Nas, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Atmosphere, Cypress Hill, Pusha T, EarlWolf (Tyler The Creator & Earl Sweatshirt), Toki Wright & Big Cats, Chance The Rapper, AbSoul, Mac Irv, Prof, Grieves, G-Eazy, DJ QBert, The Grouch & Eligh, Flatbush Zombies, Lizzo with Lazerbeak, Rapsody & 9th Wonder, Shad, deM atlas, Snow Tha Product, Roc Marciano, Dosh, Jonwayne, D-Styles, Will C, Allan Kingdom, Breakbeat Lou, Nacho Picasso, Freddy Fresh, Los Nativos, K.Raydio & Psymun, Ecid, DJ Fundo, DJ Lean Rock, DJ D. Mil, and DJ Sidereal.

Beer Mugged. Extra DWI patrols this weekend.

Insight News ::: 05.19.14  
Insight News ::: 05.19.14  

News for the week of May 19, 2014. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. Paul...