Harlem Children’s Zone founder gives feedback on Northside Achievement Zone
By James L. Stroud, Jr.
If a revolutionary is a person dedicated to change in any establishment, like a school system, business, or a government agency, then one might consider the appointment of Geoffrey Canada as the commander and chief of an education reform revolution. On October 2, Canada, who is nationally recognized as an educator, mentor, children’s education advocate, poet and the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, accompanied by U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), made a visit to the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) in North Minneapolis. NAZ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education project that was formerly the Peace Foundation, which had a focus of stopping violence in North Minneapolis. Since changing to NAZ, their goal is to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Lead by President/CEO Sondra Samuels, the mission of the NAZ is to build a culture of achievement in a geographic zone in North Minneapolis to ensure that all youth graduate from high school college ready. Continue Reading →
African American community members deliver message of the Zone
By Vickie Evans-Nash
Later this summer, the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) will be hiring just under 30 people to fill new employment slots. They are looking for people who have a firm understanding of the community and the families they will be recruiting to be a part of the NAZ initiative to support the families until their children enter college. People like Andre Dukes. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, Dukes is an assistant pastor at Shiloh Temple church who has always had an interest in reducing youth violence. A few years ago he developed a team of residents who went knocking on the doors of Northside residents to talk to them about safety and non-violence. Continue Reading →
By Vickie Evans-Nash
Over the next five years, just over 1,000 families in an 18-by-13-block area of North Minneapolis will be participating in a $28 million social experiment. What is at stake is much more than money; what is at stake is the future of these families’ 3,000 children, and perhaps, insofar as it could become a model for other such efforts, the futures of countless more families and children. It started with Michelle Martin and Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels founding the Peace Foundation in 2003. Martin served as the organization’s original executive director. The Peace Foundation’s mission was to combat violence in North Minneapolis by first determining what was causing higher crime rates. Continue Reading →