Monthly Archives: September 2012

Cooking from the essence: Who we are is in what we eat

While good nutrition is certainly important, and the food that we eat influences our health, so does the essence of the cook who prepares it — an essence which not only affects the flavor of the food, but which also determines the overall mind-body-spirit reaction we have to it. Cooking is an act of personal power, and eating allows our bodies to undergo a biochemical process that affects our moods, influences our behavior, and ultimately shapes our identity. In a sense, we are not only what we eat: We are who we eat. Food expert Christina Pirello agrees and writes: “We run a risk of giving our destiny to any chef who claims to know how to cook a pot of rice. He or she is in charge of who we are and what we feel and how we behave. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

New program seeks host homes to shelter homeless Mpls youth

 

By Cathy ten Broeke

Contributing Writer

 

Five years ago this community came together around the vision that all people in Minneapolis and Hennepin County will have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing and the supports they need to sustain that housing. That remains our vision, and we have not wavered in our belief that this can be done. Despite the challenges of the last five years — the economy, a major tornado, unemployment, and one of the tightest rental vacancy rates in a decade — hundreds of people working to end homelessness every day in our community did not stop. They worked harder. They worked smarter. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress

Some employees find workplace still hostile 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since MSR’s January 5 exclusive article on racial discrimination against current and former Black Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) employees, MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller, Board President John Erwin, and Minneapolis NAACP President Booker T Hodges have met several times and developed a process to address the issue of “inconsistency” in discipline matters. Whether this process and other measures will satisfy disgruntled employees remains to be seen. The MSR article, “Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” reported that after receiving numerous calls from current and former Park Board employees, Hodges initiated an investigation. The NAACP determined that Park Board supervisors used performance reviews “to systematically target minority employees to terminate them from their jobs” as well as moving longtime Black employees “to less desirable positions.”

Following that investigation and MSR’s story, nearly 80 past and current employees received letters inviting them to set up a time to meet with Miller on their concerns. A MPRB spokesperson explained that these meetings were not “grievance hearings,” but simply “meetings.” Even though the individual could bring anyone they chose to the session, no one else was allowed to speak on their behalf as might be the case in a grievance hearing. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Deconstructing the school-to-prison pipeline

Volunteers seek alternatives to locking up kids
 

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

Save the Kids is an all-volunteer national organization that started in New York in 2009. Most of the people involved have been personally impacted by the criminal justice system through themselves or close friends or family members being incarcerated as juveniles or as parents and caregivers of young children. The core objective of Save the Kids is to promote alternative methods of dealing with youth who are in trouble or have made poor decisions rather than just locking them up and giving them criminal records. “We believe that no kid, no matter what they did, should be incarcerated,” says Anthony Nocella, a visiting professor at Hamline University’s School of Education and its Faculty Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. “There’s better community alternatives that can be employed rather than incarcerating kids.”

Nocella introduced Save the Kids to the Twin Cities area and started working with local community activists, educators, and others concerned with the well-being of young people to put together events at universities, high schools, and community centers spreading the word about Save the Kids and getting more people involved. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Green Central enters new school year amid controversy

 

 

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

“The Developmental Dual Language [DDL] program at Green [Central School] is a new approach, and starting new things — moving out of a comfort zone — is always a little threatening. But it’s the right thing to do for our Spanish-speaking students,” says Green Central Principal Catalina Salas. Salas was not available to be interviewed for this story but provided the MSR with a written statement explaining the reasons for curriculum changes. Salas has come under fire from some parents and community members who are nervous about the program and fear that, while it may be the right thing to do for Spanish-speaking students, it may leave African American students behind. Some even fear that this will result in segregation of those students in the same school. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Wanda Sykes: Wry funny-woman headlines Mpls show

 

Wanda Sykes is wonderful. Just ask anyone who’s seen this stand-up ace in action. She hit town several years back, opening for Tommy Davidson, and had a full house at the Orpheum Theatre absolutely howling. It is wry, dry wit delivered with Swiss-clock timing that distinguishes Sykes as a premier artist. When she returns to the Orpheum on Sept. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Marcus Miller: Music a reflection of revolution, a link to the past

 

We are pleased to present part-two of our interview with world-class bassist Marcus Miller. He performed with his band at the Dakota on Sept 11-12. His new album is Renaissance on Concord Records.  

MSR: As it’s been referenced in the press material, you feel a change is coming, a changing of the guard, a revolution of sorts — can you explain what that means in your opinion? MM: I think people just talk about music by itself, but music never really exists by itself: Music is just a reflection of what’s going on in the world. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Retired baseball player brings attention to autism

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

One in 88 U.S. children — boys are about five times more likely than girls — is diagnosed with autism according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, the federal research agency also points out that the greatest rate of increase is among Blacks and Latinos. According to AutisminBlack.com, there are several reasons why Black children are not diagnosed and treated earlier, including lack of access to health care, distrust of medical professionals, racism and class. It also reports that too often Black children with autism are more often misdiagnosed with other disorders or behavioral problems, especially young Black boys at school. “There are so many dynamics to autism,” says former major league baseball player Reggie Sanders, who started the Reggie Sanders Foundation in 1992 primarily to help provide resources and promote more public awareness on autism. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,