Despite rhetoric on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. that change we can believe in is here, and contrary to claims that unemployment is on the run, the answer to that question is, for far too many Americans, especially African Americans, a flat “No.”
For that matter, having a job doesn’t necessarily mean earning enough money to make ends meet. If you work part-time, odds are it’s not only on one job. You probably have, at a bare minimum, two of them. Like Jason Borths, who’s employed at Hennepin Theater Trust, L.L. Bean, Target Center and the Minnesota Twins. Continue Reading →
One of the most critical, yet often overlooked aspects of poverty in this nation is the escalating incarceration rate of American citizens. The Justice Policy Institute notes that since 1970, the number of incarcerated Americans has grown nearly eight-fold to a total of more than 2.2 million people today. In addition, nearly five million more American adults are currently caught up in the criminal justice system through probation or parole. This precipitous spike in the U.S. prison population coincides with this country’s war on drugs and is representative of a proliferation in America’s poor, which now counts more than 46 million people among its ranks.
The link between poverty and contact with the criminal justice system is well established. Continue Reading →
Introducing a new column from a longtime MSR contributor
Now that you have started the journey toward self-sufficiency, you need to identify your values at work. Values are conditions and attributes which we consider necessary to our well-being and on-the-job satisfaction. When we think of what we value, words such as family, time and love often come to mind. When we think of what we value at work, compensation, salary, benefits, achievement and recognition are some words that come to mind. As you begin to identify what you value, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do I want to work? Continue Reading →
Good credit — is it overrated?
There was a time when cash was king. It seems like those days are long gone and now credit determines everything. Our county, from top to bottom, is built on credit. We need credit to buy a home, a car, to rent an apartment, to lease anything, to get a cell phone, to gain employment, to start a business, to determine interest rates on any financial obligation and your insurance payments. Continue Reading →
Can the new ‘Black agenda’ move the community forward?
By Charles Hallman
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 →