Maya Beecham

Recent Articles

Local couple gives back to their Haitian homeland

 

By Maya Beecham

Contributing Writer

A journey of 2,186 miles from Minnesota to southern Haiti is a regular trip for Nick and Madeleine Avignon. Throughout the year, they travel to their native country to plant seeds in lives and harvest leaders. In 2001, with the help of friends, they founded Christian Operation for Health Education and Development (COFHED). The organization’s mission is to engage in long-term community-led development in southern Haiti. Nick said, “I always had a desire to go back to my home country and do community development work. Continue Reading →

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Civil rights activist keynotes for nonprofit’s Black History Month event

 

 
Youthprise uses history to engage, motivate young people
 

By Maya Beecham 

Contributing Writer

 

Statistics paint a bleak picture of modern-day segregation unfolding within the classroom. African American youth areexperiencing the negative impact. In October 2011, the African American Leadership Forum Education and Lifelong Learning Work Group (AALF/ELL) released a position paper entitled “A Crisis in Our Community: Closing the Five Education Gaps.”

According to the report, “The State of Minnesota is facing a state of emergency: We have created two Minnesotas. In one, White children get a great education in our schools; in the other, African American children enter our schools behind, fall further behind as they advance in grade, and drop out with alarming regularity.” This discouraging reality is a call to action. Youthprise, an intermediary and funder founded by the McKnight Foundation, seeks to answer the call in tandem with our youth and community. Continue Reading →

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