HIRE Minnesota

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Frustrations run high at HIRE MN meeting

(James L. Stroud, Jr./MSR News)

HIRE Minnesota — not to be confused with the HIRED program in Minnesota — hosted a community meeting at the Minneapolis Urban League in North Minneapolis On April 30. According to the email blasts and flyers, the purpose of the meeting was to address the lack of minorities hired on highway construction projects in Minnesota. HIRE MN invited the community to join them in strategizing to address many of the issues and barriers.
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Community organizers lay foundation for racial equity agenda in Minneapolis

OUR MPLS: strategic proposals aimed at keeping City leaders accountable to communities of color

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer


With new leadership now at Minneapolis City Hall, a coalition of locally based organizations have developed a new racial and economic justice agenda for the city. Their dialogue at a recent community meeting reflected a new enthusiasm and optimism for moving with this new leadership in “moving racial equity forward.”

“What would racial and economic justice in Minneapolis look like?” asked Vina Kay last week during a monthly community meeting hosted by Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden at Butter Bakery Café on the city’s South Side. “We have a lot of trouble thinking that way about [racial justice] in Minneapolis,” she said, adding that the community needs to help City leaders see “that these disparities run throughout our communities and cut across multiple issues.”

Kay, research and policy director for Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP); Hope Communities Organizing and Community Building Director Chaka Mkali; and Avi Viswanathan, an organizer for HIRE Minnesota spoke on OUR MPLS, whose key components include “authentic community engagement” by City leaders with communities of color and low-income communities “in defining City priorities,” prioritizing bus rapid transit in low-income neighborhoods, and more investment in youth programming. “We came together in mid-December because we saw this as an opportunity — a lot of new leadership” including a new mayor and several new council members in Minneapolis, recalled

Kay. Minneapolis “is a racial and unjust city right now,” she pointed out. Continue Reading →

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White professionals already cashing in on ‘People’s Stadium’ — But promises that construction will benefit communities of color remain unkept as deadlines approach




By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer


While there is much talk about possible delays in the construction of the “People’s Stadium,” it appears that the Vikings and MSFA are still confident it will be built. And according to a recent Associated Press (AP) article entitled, “Many already cashing in on Vikings stadium,” lots of white collar professionals have already profited from the proposed stadium. Incidentally, it appears at this point that the only people who may be left out of the benefits are people of color. Despite lots of compelling testimony last Friday at the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) meeting by several prominent African Americans and Somali leaders, it was all but ignored. Practically all of the media outlets in the Twin Cities were in attendance, but none reported [as of yet] or followed up with the testimony of the Black folks who were complaining that it appears that Blacks may yet again be left out of a major development project. MSFA Board Chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who seemed a bit annoyed by the testimony, did respond. Continue Reading →

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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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