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Ken Davis: the face of success for Minnesota Black business

Grandmother’s recipe generates millions of dollars across the Midwest
 

First in a muli-part series
 
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

After Ken Davis closed his take-out restaurant in Edina after owning it for a year, he physically took his homemade barbecue sauce on the road to local supermarkets to sell it. “There was more than one discouraging word” when Davis made his decision to market his sauce, recalls Barbara Davis. “We did receive lots of discouraging words. It was hard to market barbecue sauce. [Some] people said they don’t eat barbecue sauce – it’s like eating hot sauce to them and they weren’t interested.”

Her late husband’s bio on www.ken davis-bbq.com says that the discouragers included the Small Business Administration that “thought he was crazy,” and banks and financiers resisted his requests as well. 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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City reports renovation of Riverside Plaza complete

 

According to a recent City of Minneapolis press release, the $65 million renovation of 1,303 affordable housing units at the iconic Riverside Plaza is now complete. The renovation is one of the largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-supported projects in the country. 

An event was held at Riverside Plaza October 10 to celebrate the revitalization of the property. The housing unit improvements include upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems that will extend the lifespan of the property for another 40 years. The exterior and site work focused on returning much of Riverside Plaza to its original 1970s appearance. The two-year construction period provided 200 construction jobs, 90 of which were reserved for Minneapolis residents with an emphasis on hiring Riverside Plaza residents and residents of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Continue Reading →

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Prostitutes are people

 

 

Prostitution is an ugly fact of life. And it’s not going to go away by either ignoring it or looking down one’s nose at women who are out walking the streets all hours of the day and night. They are people. Females who did not embark on this as a career pursuit, got sucked up into a dead-end existence and more than likely would love to find a way out but can’t seem to devise the means. Tons and tons of research over the years has identified over and over again that an incredible majority of women who prostitute themselves have been physically or sexually abused as girls, not infrequently as far back as childhood. Continue Reading →

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Breast cancer advocate tells of personal struggles

 

By Debra J. Stone

Contributing Writer

 

Reona Berry is a petite, quiet-spoken woman. She is a 22-year breast cancer survivor and one of the founding members, past president, as well as the executive director of the African American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. (AABCA). AABCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate and provide an emotional and social support system for African American women and men diagnosed with breast cancer and their supporters, assisting them in their breast cancer journey. During an interview with the MSR, Berry’s (RB) compelling personal story revealed how she became one of Minnesota’s strongest advocates for African American women, men and families in education and support for the fight against breast cancer.  

MSR: Tell us about your experience with breast cancer. Continue Reading →

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‘For our people, by our people’ — Turning Point launches a unique, culturally specific approach to providing service

 

 

In recognition of the June 13 open house for Turning Point, Inc.’s new Culturally Specific Service Center, the MSR is republishing online our September 8, 2011 story “For our people, by our people” to remind readers what the new center is all about and how its culturally sensitive programs can “address disparities and the issues surrounding chemical dependence, poverty and homelessness” in the community.  

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Turning Point, Inc., a North Minneapolis-based private mental health and chemical health agency, soon plans to open its doors for a “Culturally Specific Service Center.” The one-stop comprehensive approach to addressing dysfunctional individuals and families will take into account the history of Black people and the disparities they must still contend with in their daily lives. “We have been working on this for a long time,” notes Turning Point President/CEO Vincent “Peter” Hayden, who has long dreamed of establishing a culturally specific “one-stop” service center. He believes that existing local organizations aren’t working in a collaborative fashion to better serve the Black community. “We are not working together as Black people — we are still trying to be the big person on the block,” admits Hayden. Continue Reading →

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Local law professor finds her calling in civil rights work

 

 

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer

 

On December 3, 2011, the Minnesota Jaycees organization held their Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) awards celebration at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Park. Associate Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds of the University of St. Thomas law school was recognized as one of those outstanding 10 people. Since 1950, the TOYM program has recognized outstanding young leaders ages 18-40 statewide. The young leaders are acknowledged for their contributions to Minnesota through service, thought, influence, community involvement and/or entrepreneurship. Continue Reading →

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