Recent Articles

What is the future of the Council on Black Minnesotans?


It is a poorly kept secret that racial disparities exist in Minnesota. In literally every measurable aspect, education, income, housing, employment, etc., people of color lag behind their white counterparts. This in spite of the efforts of many to make and keep Minnesota an all-inclusive place to live, that provides equal opportunities. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Moving from Tolerance to Allophilia:

Expand Human Rights Enforcement in Minnesota

By the Council on Black Minnesotans

Fifty years ago, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson displayed courage and innovation by taking the unprecedented national step to attack the heart of America’s close friendship with discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Minnesotans such as Roy Wilkins, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Vice President Walter Mondale played a huge role with bringing about this historic day. In fact prior to the passage of the civil rights act, Minnesota passed the Minnesota State Act for Fair Employment Practices in 1955, which prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, creed, religion, or national origin and in 1961 passed laws to prohibit discrimination in mortgage lending and in the sale, rental, or lease of real property. These acts banned discrimination and represented the beginning of the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of many in the costly and painstaking journey to build a society with equal access and opportunity for all. It also provided an external control mechanism to move America from absolute prejudice to tolerance. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Director defends Council on Black Minnesotans: ‘We’re doing it’

‘We’re growing our community. We’re determined.  We know we can do even more.’

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


In March, the Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor’s (OLA) released their audit of Minnesota’s four councils: the Councils on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, Black Minnesotans, Chicano/Latino People, and Indian Affairs. Last week the MSR spoke in depth with Legislative Auditor James Noble about his report. “We laid out four options,” Nobles said, “but what we asked is, ‘What option is not just maintaining the status quo?’ Because we think that the voices of these communities need to be amplified and heard more.” The options:


1. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Black Minnesotans lobby at the State Capitol

Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward? 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


There was nothing new revealed last week during the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Lobby Day at the State Capitol presenting their Black agenda to this year’s Minnesota Legislature. Billed as “Black Minnesotans Helping Move Minnesota Forward,” around 50 people listened on March 19 at the Capitol Rotunda to over 20 scheduled speakers before many of them visited legislators’ offices. “The last two years there was a collective group that sat on this African American lobby day, and this place was filled,” noted Rev. Jerry McAfee, who added that the COBM “didn’t reach out to anybody else. If this is about Black Minnesotans, why are you leaving Black folk out?”

Although McAfee didn’t blame the council’s new executive director, Edward McDonald, for the seemingly solo effort in planning last week’s event, the longtime pastor nonetheless added, “Some of the people around him on the council knew about it, and they should’ve said, ‘We will be stronger if we put everybody in together.’”

McDonald was hired and assumed the COBM executive duties last October. “Whether we like them [organizations that represent Blacks] or don’t like them, every African American group should have been a part of this, and there should have been meetings prior to this so that there could [be] one agenda. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Council on Black Minnesotans has new director, new agenda, new vision to get beyond tolerance






By Vickie Evans-Nash



In October 2012, Edward McDonald was appointed director of the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM). The process began when he was approached by friends and colleagues who thought he would serve well in the role. Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completing his undergrad studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1980, he received a post-graduate degree as a legal assistant and completed his graduate studies at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. He returned to the Twin Cities in the early ’90s, working as public policy manager for Family and Children’s Service. Now married for 32 years with two adult children, he has lived in Oakdale, Minnesota since 1994 but says he is not disconnected from areas with a larger population of people of African descent. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,