African American Leadership Forum

Recent Articles

Online network will ease access to after-school programs in Mpls

Fatima Muhammad hired to head project
 
The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) has announced that it is developing an online network aimed at linking parents, caregivers and young people to after-school programs available throughout Minneapolis. The YCB has hired Fatima Muhammad as after-school project director to help manage development of this citywide network. Modeled after initiatives like Saint Paul’s Sprockets, the network will be designed to help create awareness of and enhance opportunities for young people to benefit from the vast array of after-school programs offered, from sports and arts programming to leadership-building, service-learning and other opportunities. “Participating in after-school programs strengthens young people’s ability to complete school, helps them develop essential skills and talents, and contributes to advanced learning, career preparation and future civic engagement,” said YCB’s Executive Director Ann DeGroot. “We want all Minneapolis young people to have access to safe, quality opportunities to learn outside the classroom. This coordinated approach, which Fatima will help manage, is a big step in making that happen.”

Besides benefiting young people, their families and the community, the citywide system is expected to enhance coordination and communication among youth-serving organizations, facilitate the use of data to inform planning for after-school programs, and optimize the resources of the parks, schools, libraries, community partners and families. Continue Reading →

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A silent campaign for the Mpls Board of Education election

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let life be breathed into the education debate. At stake are not only the lives of our children but also the prosperity and happiness killed by the poverty in our urban neighborhoods. I recommend that the following organizations hold at least three major Minneapolis School Board candidate forums, in May, July, and late September, 2014: The NAACP, the Minneapolis Urban League and the  African American Leadership Forum. They should commit themselves to an active and shared leadership role and no longer stand in the shadow of silence. With all of the pretense that goes on in the City of Minneapolis regarding education, you would think that three months into 2014, an election year, we would already be listening to and weighing passionate thoughts and policy recommendations to deal with the continued mis-education of children of color in Minneapolis public schools. Continue Reading →

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First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness
 

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

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Short films’ premiere celebrates voting power of communities of color

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

On Thursday, October 11, between 6:30 and 8:30 pm, the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis will host a unique red-carpet event. Guests will be greeted at the door, and as they arrive their entrance will be streamed live on the theater screen. Entertainment will include local performers, and community members will introduce a series of recently released YouTube videos. This is not a Twin-Cities-turns-Hollywood event; it is rather a kickoff event highlighting the importance of participating in the political process through casting a vote.  
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http://www.spokesman-recorder.com/msr-print-edition-pick-up-locations/

 
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Event opens health dialogue to Black Twin Cities women

 
Baraza creates balance, focusing on mind, body and spirit
 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

An exciting, one-of-a-kind event designed specifically for African American women is set to take place in the Twin Cities; it’s Baraza: A Black Woman’s Health Gathering! happening Saturday, October 6 from 7:45 am to 4 pm at Saint Paul College in St. Paul. Baraza, presented by the African American Leadership Forum’s Health & Wellness work group, is its first major event and aims to get women empowered to commit to a healthy life. The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is a movement of African American leaders that understands, values, and leverages “the power of the collective.”

The AALF, which was established in 2009, is committed to bringing about positive change in the Twin Cities African American community and is engaged in deliberative dialogue and collective action to address the most critical issues affecting the economic, social, educational, and healthy well-being of all African American individuals and families in the Twin Cities community. Continue Reading →

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Contract for Student Achievement can transform our public schools

 

 

Today the Black community has an opportunity to take real leadership in ending our cities’ persistent educational crisis. We have an opportunity to change the game by impacting the negotiations that are currently happening between the Minneapolis Public School District and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT). We can do this by individually and collectively raising our voices in support of the Contract for Student Achievement (CSA). CSA is a manifesto created by active parents, citizens and stakeholders. It calls on the district administration and MFT to “negotiate a different kind of contract — one that recognizes the academic crisis in our schools and makes student achievement the top focus.”

As stated in the CSA, “The teachers’ contract currently being negotiated represents almost $240 million in annual wages and benefits and directly controls who is teaching our children in the classroom. Continue Reading →

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