Minneapolis Foundation

Recent Articles

Lawyers of color names Levy-Pounds one of the most influential law professors in the U.S.

University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds is one of the most influential young minority law professors in the country, according to media and research company Lawyers of Color. Levy-Pounds was named to the company’s “50 Under 50” list for 2014, which recognizes law professors of color who are making “bold contributions to the legal canon and the community at large.”

As professor and founding director of the Community Justice Project, the School of Law’s award-winning civil rights legal clinic, Levy-Pounds fosters and inspires up-and-coming lawyers to work to improve the lives of members of under-served communities and youths in the Twin Cities. Challenging laws and policies that hold back communities of color, she has carved her place in the local civil rights movement. With Levy-Pounds’ vision, the Community Justice Project developed Brotherhood Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uplifts and empowers young African American males who have had contact with the criminal justice system, are involved in gangs, or are at risk of such involvement. Continue Reading →

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Mayoral forum focused on Mpls communities of color — Candidates acknowledged inequities but lacked solutions

 

 

By Jamal Denman

Online Editor

 

On Thursday, June 6, the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis hosted the One MPLS Mayoral Forum, giving candidate hopefuls the opportunity to address the questions and concerns of members of Minneapolis’ communities of color. Questions were collected from the audience before the start of the forum, and the candidates were randomly selected to answer each question. While it is assumed that the participants in the forum were made aware of the forum’s overriding theme, because of the candidates’ constant inability or unwillingness to directly answer questions posed to them it would not be hard to believe otherwise. The auditorium in the Sabathani Community Center was packed with a diverse crowd of community activists, politically active young people, and concerned citizens eager to hear what the people vying to become the next mayor of Minneapolis had to say. Mayoral candidates Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Betsy Hodges, Tony Lane, Doug Mann, Don Samuels, Gary Schiff, and Jim Thomas faced the 500-plus people in attendance and their questions that centered on addressing issues facing communities of color. Continue Reading →

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John Legend urges educational reform as top priority

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Fixing U.S. schools must be a top priority, says award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, who spoke last week at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul in the second Minneapolis Foundation RESET Education event this year. RESET is an acronym for “Real-Time Use of Data, Expectations not Excuses, Strong Leadership, Effective Teaching and Time on Task.” The nine-time Grammy Award winner is a strong education reform proponent and serves on several boards, including Teach for America and the Harlem Village Academies. The singer asked the estimated 900 people who attended his nearly one-hour speech, including two groups of Minneapolis youngsters, why they would come to hear “a R&B singer” talk about education. “I’m a musician, not a [school] superintendent,” he said, strongly pointing out that the present educational system in this country is failing too many kids. Continue Reading →

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Businesswoman specializes in customized strategies

 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

For organizations that want to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace, equip a workforce with new skills, and get better at offering ideas that transcend genres and categories, it isn’t easy. Millennium Consulting Group’s president Yvonne Cheek is up for initiating a dialogue on the subject. At a glance, she is a strategic change consultant. Along with her colleagues at Millennium Consulting Group in Minneapolis, Cheek helps her clientele broaden and shape their ways of thinking about designing, launching and reaping the benefits of new initiatives. The North Carolina native taught at both elementary and junior high schools in Greensboro, N.C., and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Puget Sound, where she served as the chair of music education, in Tacoma, Washington. Continue Reading →

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Tone down the rhetoric on Black museum’s money problems

 

Who would ever say that the legendary and renowned Dorothy Bridges would be involved in harming her legacy and imprint on a community bank, Franklin National Bank, which has done so much for the African American community under her leadership? Thus we are puzzled by the attacks on Franklin National Bank (“Stalled museum now battles bank,” Star Tribune, September 1, 2012), and, by implication, on Dorothy Bridges, who was CEO of FNB from 1999-2008 and put all of her energy, her soul, and her vision into making Franklin National Bank the best it could be (doubling the bank’s assets to $116 million). She did more for the African American community than any other bank. During her tenure at Franklin National Bank, we heard about the institution’s generosity, sensitivity and openness, a legacy crafted by Ms. Bridges. Ms. Bridges departed to Washington, D.C. and then returned last year to be a senior VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis: A Tale of Two Cities

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A new Minneapolis Foundation report claims that racial disparities and other factors have essentially changed Minneapolis into “two cities” — one for the haves and another for the have-nots. “What are we going to do?” Foundation Vice President Karen Kelley-Ariwoola asked as she recently discussed the findings of the 60-page “OneMinneapolis” report released in October. Co-authored with the Wilder Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation report selected 24 community indicators that reflect the city’s educational, economic and social environment. It sketched “a portrait of the Minneapolis landscape” and found disparities in such areas as education, children and youth, and economic vitality. The report’s “Points of Concern” include:

• 83 percent of the jobs in Minneapolis are held by Whites. Continue Reading →

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