Monthly Archives: August 2012

Experience the shock-and-awe shoe effect at I Dream of Heels

 

 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

Do you have a fixation on shoes? If finding the perfect pair of shoes and that absolutely-must-have-it feeling is something you can attest to, then you may have a shoe-buying fetish and this story is for you. Enter Shakir Taliaferro, owner of I Dream of Heels, a new, up-and-coming shoe shop that opened last year on Black Friday. His aim is to please customers with a fun yet modest selection of women’s clothing — and shoes galore. Be prepared to be amazed. Continue Reading →

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Film on 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade gets free screening

By Maya Beecham

Contributing Writer

 

On any given weekday morning in 1963, average schoolchildren stood upright in classrooms, hand over heart, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a customary act. Ironically, the lives of average Black children and their families during that time were at odds with the pledge’s line, “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Their humanity was threatened on a daily basis by the rule of Jim Crow laws and practices. In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) struggled with the need to revive the campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. In order to build momentum, they made a controversial decision to recruit students to serve as protesters for the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Continue Reading →

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Black and Latino seniors most at risk of home foreclosure

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Over three million Americans age 50 and over are at risk of losing their homes, according to a recent AARP report. Since 2007, the rate of this population in serious mortgage delinquency because they are more than 90 days behind in their payments has outpaced younger homeowners. Foreclosure rates across all ethnic groups and ages were very low in 2007. However, the rates for Blacks and Latinos age 50 and over began to rise in 2008 until, at the end of 2011, 3.5 percent of older Blacks were in foreclosure, a rate less than Latinos’ (3.9 percent) but nearly twice that of Whites (1.9 percent). “I’m a person of color, an African American woman. Continue Reading →

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Hip hop classes nurture creative expression

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

Arriving at renowned Watershed High School in South Minneapolis and walking to the “Hip Hop, History and the Arts” classroom to speak with curriculum founder-instructor Chadwick “Niles” Phillips is, to say the least, an interesting experience. The students have wrapped up rehearsal for the day, and he’s prepping them for the following evening’s premier of their artistic outing, “The Youth Performance Series (Act 4).”

This is, it’s clear, not simply a gathering reminiscent of Fame. These “at-risk” adolescents of color are taking advantage of the vital opportunity to pursue an alternative to the street life that more and more often sees minority youth ending up either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. The class is a viable alternative to having idle time on their hands and unwittingly following a dead-end path to a trouble-laden future. It’s a chance to begin realizing an ambition to do something positive with themselves and enjoy having their dreams nurtured to the fullest extent possible. Continue Reading →

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Ensuring racial equity in new health care

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Two-thirds of Americans who will be newly eligible for health coverage in 2014 are people of color. Who will ensure that these diverse communities will be fully enrolled in new Affordable Care Act provisions and that its implementation will be sensitive to cultural differences? To that end, members of the Black, Asian, Latino and disabled communities have developed a “Racial Equity Framework” recently introduced by the Greenlining Institute, a California-based racial and economic justice organization established in 1993. “Filling in the Gaps: A Racial Equity Framework for Successful Implementation of the Affordable Care Act” (2012) was co-authored by Greenlining Health Fellow Alexis Dennis, Health Policy Director Carla Saporta, and Research Fellow Chanelle Pearson. “Recognizing the diversity of experiences of all people, including people of color, is critical to creating effective policy,” states the report, which also

includes “Guiding Principles” and “Guiding Questions” to help implement new policies and to “ensure equitable and positive impact of policies in all communities.”

The report’s recommendations include:

• getting input from diverse stakeholders throughout the implementation process. Continue Reading →

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Etiquette as a way of life

Expert on civility teaches jail inmates

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

As the CEO of your own small business, you need all the help you can get. One locally based African American woman is taking charge by arming

herself with top credentials and, through her work, looking to educate both youths and adults on the beauty of business etiquette. Juliet Mitchell is the owner and CEO of Eagles Wings Career Preparation and Workforce Development, LLC located in St. Paul. She is also the first African American entrepreneur from Minnesota to graduate from the prestigious Emily Post Institute’s Business Etiquette Train the Trainer Program. Continue Reading →

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Union election a historic first

Lee Saunders’ recent election as president and CEO of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is historic in that he thus becomes the first African American ever to lead one of the largest labor unions in the United States. Saunders is pictured below second from the left with Hilary O. Shelton (far left), director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau; Melanie L. Campbell (second from right), president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP); and Wade Henderson (far right), president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. All were attending a recent reception held in Saunders’ honor at the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO in Washington, DC. The reception was sponsored by the NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network and the AFL-CIO.  

— From an AFSME press release 

Continue Reading →

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Mark Richie’s own staff proves him wrong on voter fraud

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (hereinafter “Mark the Shark”) is an outspoken opponent of both the Marriage and Voter ID Constitutional Amendments. For now, let me stick with the Voter ID issue. During my own testimony in favor of Voter ID, being followed by Mark the Shark, his argument (along with other Democrats) is that Voter ID is not needed because we have no voter fraud in Minnesota. Mark the Shark, being an opponent making this argument, is now embarrassed by one of his own staff members. News sources have discovered that up to 24,000 Minnesota driver licenses could be the direct result of fraud. Continue Reading →

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Black youth need good educations and jobs, not handholding

Barricades, or containment roundups? That seems to be the false choice offered by the City in dealing with the Black community to provide safe streets for Whites. This columnist, however, stands for safe streets for all, Black and White. As we have written in past columns, the biggest barricade holding back Blacks and keeping them in poverty and enabling crime is the failure to provide quality education (high drop-out rates, poor quality education, low test scores, suspensions) and quality jobs (related to poor quality of education, poor quality job training programs, and the persistence of public policies of noncompliance and discrimination in hiring). Separateness is again repeated with the Minneapolis School District’s plan to give high school students a “gold card” to use to ride public transportation back and forth to school, which will also enable a wider restricting of transportation access. Continue Reading →

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Letter To The Editor: Mpls citizen review of police in jeopardy

With the proposed City action changing the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) ordinance, the City has decided its citizens will not review police misconduct in a meaningful way in Minneapolis. As a citizen of Minneapolis, current board member of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC), former chair and member of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, and a long-serving former member of the Minneapolis Advisory Council on Persons with Disabilities, I find it totally incomprehensible, undemocratic, non-inclusive and in no way engaging the community in a decision that grossly and negatively impacts members of the community in a broad sense. There is police misconduct and abuse of citizens by police officers on a daily basis in Minneapolis. This no more evident than when members of the police force successfully win discriminatory conduct cases against the police leadership team. The City leadership invested heavily in creating the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department and the NCEC but fails to use it when it counts the most. Continue Reading →

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