Monthly Archives: July 2013

Individual Education Plans left my children isolated, unchallenged



By Jessica Wright

Guest Commentator


I would like to warn parents about the disadvantages of an IEP or Individual Education Plan. My children were educated in the Minnesota Public and Charter School systems. Three of my four sons were placed in IEPs in kindergarten, and in two cases they remained there until high school. Normally, an Individual Education Plan is developed for children with learning disabilities. Over the years, I have witnessed IEPs being used as a “tool” to control children and contain them in classrooms that grow smaller as the level rises. Level 1 is mainstream; this is where there is no IEP required. Continue Reading →

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A few WNBA All-Star firsts




UNCASVILLE, CONN. — “Her-stories” were aplenty here last Saturday at the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game. “I think it is very reflective of the 17th season of the WNBA,” said League President Laurel Richie. “We have a wonderful mix of rookies and first-timers but also many of our veterans coming back.”


Her first 

After a couple of near opportunities that for one reason or another didn’t materialize, Shelley Patterson was finally a West All-Star assistant coach. “It’s taken me a long time,” admitted the Minnesota Lynx’s only Black assistant coach. Continue Reading →

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McKnight hires new arts program officer

The McKnight Foundation has hired Arleta Little as arts program officer. She will join the foundation on August 5. Little has worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years, for the past seven as executive director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature in Minneapolis. The Givens Foundation is the only Twin Cities organization exclusively dedicated to advancing and celebrating Black literature and writers. In her capacity as executive director, Little administered arts residencies, author series, and programs for writers. Continue Reading →

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Shed G to emcee Sabathani Senior Center fundraiser

The community is invited to the Sabathani Senior Center’s (SSC) 10th annual Unity in Worship (UIW) fundraising event on Saturday, August 3 from 2-4 pm. This year’s gospel talent showcase is predicted to be the most exciting and dynamic Unity in Worship event to date. It is scheduled to take place at Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN, in the first floor Auditorium. Shed G will serve as the master of ceremonies. Entertainment will include Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church’s choir and praise dance team, “The Ole Tymers,” Unity in Worship Praise Dancers, Macedonia’s First Lady Marie Graham (formerly of the Sounds of Blackness), the Sabathanites Drum Corps, and the Senior Center’s “Still Kickin’” line dancers. Continue Reading →

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Diversify your job search


Let’s begin by examining our job-searching mindset. Successful job seekers think one way, unsuccessful ones think another. What is the difference? In today’s marketplace, it is no longer enough to think of oneself as a mere commodity hoping to be purchased by some company for a fair price. That is the approach of the unsuccessful job seeker. Continue Reading →

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Canton calls for Cris Carter!



Last Friday I was in Mankato for the start of Minnesota Vikings training camp, as I have been now every year since 1978. The Vikings have held training camp in Mankato for 48 years. And for the third straight year, the Vikings will have a player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On August 3, John Randle, Chris Doleman and number 80 Cris Carter will join the 50th Anniversary class of Hall of Famers. During his career with the Vikings, which included eight Pro Bowls, Carter made so many great plays and stretched the field with his ability to make the spectacular plays routinely. Continue Reading →

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Tina Thompson, last of the originals, takes a final bow



Tina Thompson (Seattle) is the WNBA’s last original player. Fittingly, the 38-year-old Thompson, the league’s first player selected in 1997 who since has played in every season, was named as an All-Star replacement player by WNBA President Laurel Richie. As a result, Thompson, the 2000 All-Star MVP and the W’s all-time leader in points, field goals and minutes played, last weekend set a league record ninth All-Star appearance in 12 seasons. “Anytime you get asked to play in the All-Star Game, it is a great honor,” she said. “I actually didn’t know that I set the record for appearances until I got here.”

“She is a great person to come in and let everybody, let all the fans give her that last [applause],” said Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus of Thompson. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

What may be life-altering need not be life-ending
I recently had an opportunity to have a conversation with one of my peers, a friend and an excellent person. I was in the process of taking care of her lawn. She emerged from the garage and stood for a few moments watching me using the lawnmower. She was inspired by my ability to control the lawnmower with one arm/hand. She said: “I am always amazed at how you do some things. Continue Reading →

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Pulley draws national attention to Minnesota talent



Guards TYUS JONES (Apple Valley), ISAIAH MCKAY (Park Center), JARVIS JOHNSON (DeLaSalle), SACAR ANIM (DeLaSalle), MASON JENSEN (Ballard, Iowa) JAKE LAWSON (Hopkins) and BJORN BROMAN (Lakeview Christian) teamed with post players REID TRAVIS (DeLaSalle), JAMES LAWSON (DeLaSalle), and SAM NEUMAN (Cretin-Derham Hall) to lead the Howard Pulley Panthers to a 79-72 victory over Each 1 Teach 1 to capture the 2013 AAU 17U Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida last Sunday. Behind the guidance of coaches ANTWAN HARRIS, MICHAEL WALKER, JABBAR WASHINGTON and DEDRICK JENKINS and Executive Director RENE PULLEY, the Panthers outshined the competition before a national audience, leaving no doubt that the Twin Cities has some of the top prep basketball talent in the country. Travis, the No. 40-ranked player in the country according to ESPN, led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Jones, ranked No. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

Understanding how the African soul endured
Now that the African is in America, the experience of enslavement has resulted in broken families, homes, communities and culture. Losing community leaves the person carrying the intolerable burden of disintegration that manifests and exists across generations. In place of an active spirituality that gives coherence, growth and unity to people-hood, family and society, we are left with our spirits mangled, twisted and stagnant. The people, the family, and our society must transcend the immediate conditions and establish a vision by using what Dr. King expressed through the metaphor of “home,” which equals heaven on earth. Spirituality is inside of the African in America; now is the time to activate it and bring it back to the forefront of living. Continue Reading →

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