Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tone down the rhetoric on Black museum’s money problems


Who would ever say that the legendary and renowned Dorothy Bridges would be involved in harming her legacy and imprint on a community bank, Franklin National Bank, which has done so much for the African American community under her leadership? Thus we are puzzled by the attacks on Franklin National Bank (“Stalled museum now battles bank,” Star Tribune, September 1, 2012), and, by implication, on Dorothy Bridges, who was CEO of FNB from 1999-2008 and put all of her energy, her soul, and her vision into making Franklin National Bank the best it could be (doubling the bank’s assets to $116 million). She did more for the African American community than any other bank. During her tenure at Franklin National Bank, we heard about the institution’s generosity, sensitivity and openness, a legacy crafted by Ms. Bridges. Ms. Bridges departed to Washington, D.C. and then returned last year to be a senior VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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Greatest political shows on earth come and go again

We’re suckers for the same old promises

The Republican and Democratic conventions were little more than a show. And like most shows, when it’s all over you realize it was a lot of “sound and fury” yet “signifying nothing.”

Every four years, this show makes promise after promise. The “Republicrats” promise rain, and when a few raindrops hit a few of our kind (the poor, the colored, the immigrant, wage workers), we run around singing their praises as if our socio-economic drought has ended. Incredibly, the plot is not difficult to figure out; it’s the same one all the time. It goes something like this: Let’s figure out how to keep what we the rich and powerful have, and convince them, the working class, that they have a stake in our success. Continue Reading →

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Ritchie gets a real smack-down


Mark “The Shark” Ritchie, Minnesota’s secretary of state, was pinned in Minnesota’s wrestling pay-per-view event: 1, 2, 3, and the sound of the referee slapping the mat as Ritchie’s shoulders were down for the count. It must have been excruciating. The Democrats took a serious beating August 27, when the Minnesota Supreme Court tossed mustard on Mark Ritchie’s attempt to rewrite the titles of both the voter ID and marriage amendment questions. This columnist, speaking at various conservative meetings, predicted the court would issue such a ruling. I also provided the idea that the only reason for the challenges was an attempt to delay the matter on the ballot in November, because the expectation was that the matter would not be heard as quickly as it was, leading to motions to delay the matter until the court would decide. Continue Reading →

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Open letter to the community on The Links’ new youth program


The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Chapter of The Links, Incorporated (The Links) is pleased to introduce a new and exciting program called “Links to Success…an African American Leadership Experience.”

A year ago, The Links announced the suspension of the Debutante Cotillion Program for the 2011-12 school year and committed to come back with a new youth program to recognize high achievers. We believe “Links to Success…” will be that program, providing innovative and engaging leadership development and college preparation curriculum, mentoring, and exposure to academically high-performing girls. We’re optimistically expecting this new program to engage 20 to 30 high school juniors and seniors. We’re looking for teens who are able to demonstrate commitment to community engagement and service. Applications were available September 4 from the counselors’ offices in the high schools in the Twin Cities school districts and are due back by October 5. Continue Reading →

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Blacks most likely to be long-term unemployed

But less likely to get unemployment insurance benefits 

For Black workers, it’s a one-two punch to their economic security: Blacks are not only disproportionately more likely than Whites or Hispanics to experience long-term unemployment, they are less likely than Whites to benefit from unemployment insurance (UI), a new report from the Urban Institute’s Unemployment and Recovery project shows. Even when taking into account differences in education, past employment, and reasons for unemployment, there is an eight percent gap in the receipt of UI benefits between Whites versus Blacks and Latinos. African Americans, 11.6 percent of the labor force in February, were 22.9 percent of those unemployed for more than six months. Latinos were 15.7 percent of the labor force but 18.1 percent of the long-term unemployed. The comparable figures for Whites were 72.7 and 59.1 percent, respectively. Continue Reading →

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Phillips scholars create summer programs for youth, families


Jazmine Darden designed a summer program to encourage urban students, including many students of color, to learn more about opportunities in the STEM fields, specifically engineering. Through “Bridgin’ the Gap,” students in kindergarten through eighth grade discovered new information about structural engineering through bridge-building activities. Darden, who is from Brooklyn Park and attends Augsburg College, is one of six Minnesota Private College students chosen to complete a community outreach project as a part of the Phillips Scholars Program. The Phillips Scholars Program is a competitive scholarship initiative that asks college students to propose and then implement a service project to meet an unmet community need. The funds available to selected students total $16,500 in the form of scholarships and stipends from the Jay and Rose Phillips Foundation. Continue Reading →

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New Gophers AD says increasing diversity is ‘high on my radar screen’


Has the role of today’s big-time college athletic director changed? We recently put that question to Norwood Teague, who was hired in April to succeed Joel Maturi as University of Minnesota athletics director. “It’s multi-faceted,” explained Teague, formerly the AD at VCU for the past six years, on his new job. “You have to be very cognizant of a lot of different areas.”

Even more so today, the athletic director is more CEO than cheerleader. “[College sports] has become a bigger business and a larger operation. Continue Reading →

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Vikings survive Jaguars 26-23 in overtime


Victory is so sweet, especially when you work hard, change your approach to everything you do, and things just work out. Sunday the Vikings were looking for a fresh start after a miserable 2011 season when they finished 3-13. Getting players to buy into what you’re doing takes positive results. For the Vikings, it started with winning at home and finding a way to somehow start turning this program around from the depths of the NFC North. Jacksonville, like the Vikings, finished last in their division in 2011, so they looked at the Vikings as a great opportunity to get a win. Continue Reading →

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Lynx rookie Peters off to a strong start


Devereaux Peters was drafted third overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft in April by the Minnesota Lynx. Despite being injury-prone, she’s proved herself ready to play thus far. At Notre Dame, Peters had two knee injuries and three surgeries in her first three seasons. “In the women’s game, [previous injuries] can play a part. I tried not to concentrate on that and just work on getting back to the college game,” she recalls. Continue Reading →

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