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Stadium equity plan not yet a reality

Is a 32 percent people-of-color workforce goal overly optimistic?  
News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer


The plans are in full swing for the new $975 million Vikings stadium. And yet again many in the Black community hold out hope that the economic stimulus the stadium promises to provide will benefit them as well. Unemployment in the Black community continues to remain high. In fact, in the last quarter of 2012 unemployment in North Minneapolis hovered around 22 percent. Continue Reading →

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HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first


The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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Freedom Rider shares his story with Minnesotans

Ernest Patton, Jr. tells untold story of Nashville’s importance to Civil Rights Movement

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Nashville, Tennessee is more known for its country music roots, but the city also has strong roots in the Civil Rights Movement, says civil rights activist Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas’ Tolerance Minnesota sponsored Patton’s October 11-12 visit, where he met with local high school students as well as college students at St. Cloud State University. Patton always wanted to be in music, and his initial goals included teaching music in school. His teaching plans were put on hiatus after he became involved in the Nashville movement in 1961 that led to the eventual integration of the city’s downtown lunch counters. He was featured in Freedom Riders, a PBS documentary based on the book of the same name. Continue Reading →

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Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer


By Vickie Evans-Nash



The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Indy Big Ten windfall bypasses Blacks


INDIANAPOLIS —Reportedly, $18 million was generated from last Saturday’s inaugural Big Ten football championship game. Whenever I hear or read such numbers on large-scale sporting events, I ask myself how much if any of that amount reaches the host city’s Black community. I put this question to local residents as well during my visit. “I would assume not a whole lot,” admitted Indianapolis native Anthony Arnett, who attends Sanctuary Church, located just a few blocks from the football stadium where the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts play and where the conference ti

tle game will be played for the next four years. Arnett says last weekend’s game is “a prelude for the Super Bowl” that will be played in Indianapolis in February 2012. 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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