John Woods

Recent Articles

Time for change on Hennepin board

By Don Allen

Guest Commentator 


For 160 years, since it’s beginning, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners has never included an African American. This is telling in itself on how community members are ignored by big government. We, the Black community, have a serious challenge with members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. First of all, Hennepin County has approximately 1.2 million residents, which represents 22 percent of Minnesota and approximately 41 percent of the metro area. Why hasn’t the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners ever reflected or represented the many unique cultures of Hennepin County’s population? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Providers call for investigation of referral process they consider unfair

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


Hennepin County residents seeking chemical health assistance are offered “culturally competent and specific” programs to meet their needs, according to County officials. But providers of culturally specific services claim that is not what’s happening. The Minnesota Department of Human Services defines a culturally specific program as one that (a) “address[es] the unique needs of individuals who share a common language, racial, ethnic, or social background; (b) is governed with significant input from individuals of that specific background; and (c) that employs individuals to provide individual or group therapy, at least 50 percent of whom are of that specific background.”

However, an owner-operator of a local Black culturally specific chemical dependency treatment program claims that culturally specific organizations, including his own, are not getting their “fair share” of County referrals. “The majority of our clients are African Americans,” says John Woods of New Perspectives Behavioral Health System (NPBHS). He also points out that his organization received less than 100 of over 4,000 total cases reviewed and assigned in 2012 and 2013. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Referral numbers suggest Hennepin County bias against culturally specific providers

By Brandon Jones

Contributing Writer



In our conversations about injustice and systemic racism, we tend to focus on individuals who have been mistreated. Whether we are speaking about current police brutality incidents, something that happens to Black entertainers, or racist rants, the injustice and systematic assaults on Black people continue. Oftentimes one element of this oppression that is often overlooked is how Black organizations get caught up in the abusive system. John Woods, an African American who is the program director and owner of New Perspectives Behavioral Health Systems, is speaking out about the injustice that he is experiencing now. Woods claims that the review team at 1800 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis (Hennepin County Detox) is systematically running his agency out of business. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,