By Nekima Levy-Pounds
Civil rights attorney and candidate for mayor of Minneapolis
My dream for the community is to see us, as a people, rise above the limitations that have been imposed upon us in the state of Minnesota and in this nation.
Far too often, our potential for greatness is hidden behind bleak statistics and never-ending stories about persistent racial disparities. It’s time for the powers-that-be in government, philanthropy, and nonprofits to move from talk to action and to stop admiring problems of racial inequality.
My dream is to see a redistributing of resources to the most underserved areas of our community and for the people to have a voice in how they are governed and the changes they would like to see.
There needs to be a concerted effort to increase access to high quality employment opportunities that pay a living wage in North Minneapolis. Additionally, Black businesses need access to capital to start, grow, and sustain their businesses with interest rates that are fair and reasonable.
It makes no sense that there are so many big banks in our community, but very few that cater to the needs of Black businesses and other businesses of color. A strong focus on economic justice and breaking the cycles of poverty and lack are essential to building a healthier community and bringing Dr. King’s dream of racial equality to fruition.
I would also like to see young people gain opportunities to participate in the trades and/or to have a clear path to a college education through the public school system. Our young people deserve to have greater investments directed towards them and their futures, which will have a positive impact on our entire community.
Given all that is at stake, we have zero time for excuses in making these changes. The time for change is always now.