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The legacy of Marvin “Corky” Taylor — Rest in peace, Black Warrior, one of the Honest Five who refused to lie


Marvin “Corky” Taylor was recognized by NERA (National Economic Research Associates) for his contributions to the completion of NERA’s October 21, 2010 report to the City of Minneapolis on the City’s purposeful failure to meet its diversity, equity and affirmative action responsibilities. NERA’s crack global research team of Wainwright, Holt, Kim Stewart and J. Wesley Stewart wrote: “This study would not have been possible without the assistance and perseverance of Mr. Marvin Taylor of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.”

In Mr. Taylor they found a dedicated and persevering professional refusing to join in the sabotage of the research report. The response of his bosses at the City and its Civil Rights Department was his demotion and eventual loss of job. The things that were done to Mr. Taylor after his demotion were calculated to break him. He was put into a dank basement office surrounded by asbestos. Continue Reading →

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Will Blacks finally get a fair share of work on this stadium?

Chair of stadium authority raises serious questions about past inclusion

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), who oversees design and construction of the Vikings’ “People’s Stadium,” told Minnesota Public Radio in an interview on February 8 that serious questions have been raised about the Equity Plan implementation passed by the MSFA that same day. Three City-commissioned studies by two separate research groups support Chairwoman Kelm-Helgen’s observations. The last study was issued on May 15, 2012, by NERA (National Economic Research Associates) at a cost to Minneapolis of $500,000. These studies expose the City’s serious and purposeful noncompliance with Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) utilization requirements. NERA’s report provided evidence that supports the investigative reporting in this column for a decade. Continue Reading →

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So much for 32 percent Black participation in stadium construction — When will the State deposit its $50M statutory requirement?


Vikings People’s-no-new-taxes stadium is unraveling for the African American community. “It’s ours” ballyhoo regarding Minnesota has become “it’s mine” for NFL, the Wizard of Oz behind the Vikings’ curtain. • 32 percent minority participation goals of Minnesota’s State Department of Human Rights Director Kevin Lindsay were pulverized into dust. My estimate of 1-1.5 percent African American participation: too high. Actual and factual: unless there is unanticipated change, less than half of one percent, including employment and contracts. Continue Reading →

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Let the games begin: the selection of stadium construction manager — Fraser, Davis and Tomlin: quota guys in the NFL?


The push-Black-Americans-in-football-to-the-back-of-the-bus games have begun, raising “Blacks need not apply” signs not only for stadium construction jobs but also NFL team head-coaching jobs. This is not about quotas. It is about statistical probabilities not being met due to intentional skewing out of contention a specific group of people. In this case, Black American workers, whether on stadiums or on stadium-field sidelines. On or about February 1, the Sports Facilities Authority will select a Vikings’ stadium construction manager. Continue Reading →

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Sports Authority Legislative Report, with Unequal Equity Plan, sent to legislature

It is an unintended but very real sad irony of history that on the birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, the Vikings, the NFL, and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) sent its first annual report to the state legislature carrying the message that there may be some room in the People’s Stadium construction bus, but only in the back, a Minnesota refrain I’ve steadily warned about since 2005. Our community has not believed. Will they now? On page six of the MSFA report to the legislature, we can see how the MSFA blindsided Commissioner Kevin Lindsay and the African American leadership of Minnesota. The highly touted, well-publicized PR charade of 32 percent minority participation evaporated. Continue Reading →

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Decision announcement days: January 15 & 18, February 1, 2013

Sports Facility Authority and the Minnesota Vikings

Will the “Stadium Powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Facilities Sports Authority that oversees the stadium construction project), all regarding the Vikings (“people’s” “no new taxes”) stadium, stand up for fairness in employment and equity or hide behind the skirts of a “best effort” calendar? January 15, 2013: The Sports Authority is to file its first annual report to the Minnesota State Legislature’s super-commission. Report only. No public hearing. No public comments. Continue Reading →

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The abuse of Black children in MN’s education system — Highlighting the Mpls. and Bloomington districts



Thurgood Marshall wrote: “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody — a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns — bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

But what if you have no boots? The chilling reality in education is that some Black children are being denied boots in the first place. The only true way out and up for any child, Black or White, is education. But when purposefully denied, the eventual result is no job, and if no job, no housing for family. Continue Reading →

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The Vikings Stadium: a historic reckoning point in its history regarding the equity plan

 Vikings Stadium legislation called for an equity plan outlining Black participation in construction contracts and workers. Its absence is the story of continued injustice, discrimination, and official sneering at the idea of Black participation. This major story of 2012-2013 will be a 2013-2014 albatross around the necks of the self-appointed and imaginary Twin Cities leaders and journalists who stand silent as the Equity Plan sinks in “best effort” cement boots to a lake bottom. In the People’s Stadium’s two big broken promises — equity plan and “no new taxes” — we see how the “rights culture” of the 1960s has continued too many aspects of the Democratic Party’s White rights Jim Crow culture in American cities, with the purposeful disobeying of the requirement to bring an Equity Plan for seating African Americans at the stadium construction economic table. State legislature mandated an equity plan. Continue Reading →

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‘Study of people’ leads to advising corporations, hosting talk radio


By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


CulTives & Associates CEO/Founder Verona Mitchell’s success at impacting community is no surprise. It stems from a passion for exploring culture and empowering communication. This passion goes back to her days in academia at Bethel University, where she earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership before moving on to a Ph.D. in public policy administration at Walden University. “I like the study of all people,” she reflects while sitting down over a cup of mocha latte at Pow Wow Grounds in South Minneapolis. “I like to study about cultures. Continue Reading →

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A historical presidential election

This nation’s voters face a historic decision November 6, 2012: choosing between two Harvard graduates, both good, admirable family men, each with similar visions but clear differences on how to meet them. Given the improvement trend in the economy, does America change horses midstream and risk reversing improvement? Will Americans allow President Obama to complete his mission to help America recover economically and spiritually? In six days, the final votes will determine our future course. I urge America to set aside the issue of race and appreciate the character of President Obama as well as the content of his policy proposals. Continue Reading →

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