Minneapolis NAACP

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Mpls NAACP elections result in all-women leadership

Caption: New Minneapolis NAACP officials (l-r) Ashley Oliver, Kerry Jo Felder, Helen Bassett, Cathy Jones, Nekima Levy Pounds, Natonia Johnson, Shirlynn LaChappelle and Wintana Melekin

The new Minneapolis NAACP leadership signals “a turning point” after an historic all-women slate was elected in a special election last Saturday, May 2.
Last weekend’s event at NorthPoint Health and Wellness drew nearly 100 persons, and the lobby had a precinct caucus feel with many lobbying for St. Thomas Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, who announced her branch president candidacy days earlier.
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‘Now is the time’ to diversify the MPD

 Veteran officers campaign to bring more women and people of color into the Mpls police force
 

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer

 

It is no secret that historically the relationship between the Minneapolis Police Department and communities of color in Minneapolis has been tense, at best. Between brutality, shootings, racial profiling and other problems, the tension has led to the creation of a civilian review board, and even at one point, to federal mediation. Yet the tensions continue. Minneapolis police officer Eric Lukes, a 27-year veteran of the force, is attempting to put into place a long-term solution to improve relations: recruiting more people of color to be on the Minneapolis police force. To that end, with support from the Minneapolis NAACP, Minneapolis Urban League, and the Community Standards Initiative, the first of an undetermined number of events was held Saturday, April 19, at North High school to generate interest in the community to join the force. Continue Reading →

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NAACP Labor Chair is ready to fight for jobs

She says no one would call her a ‘well behaved’ woman
The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership. This week, meet Tee McClenty, head of the Branch’s new labor committee. 
 
 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Labor activist Tee McClenty, originally from Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of service and of representing labor interests. As she tells it, “I’ve been a labor activist for a very long time. I worked at a long-term care facility, where I was a union steward. Continue Reading →

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Finding ‘a proper place in our current history’ for the NAACP

The new faces of the Mpls NAACP

MSR’s recent story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership, including for the first time several African immigrant women who bring impressive skills and experience to the organization. In the interest of introducing MSR readers to these new leaders, we begin this week a series of stories profiling three women from our African immigrant communities who appear determined to bring the historic civil rights organization’s power and prestige to bear on the obstacles currently inhibiting progress in our communities of color. Space permitting, we will allow these women to present their views in their own words. This week, meet Ilhan Omar, NAACP third vice president. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members

New leaders say their mission includes no time for negativity
 
 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

The Minneapolis NAACP meeting, held on February 22, was the first membership meeting following the organization’s election of new officers in December. The sparsely attended meeting was a strange mix of business as usual, along with a bit of the unusual. Reverend Jerry McAfee, the NAACP’s newly elected president, started off the meeting by introducing new NAACP officers and committee heads to the membership. Of special note were Farhio Khalif, assistant secretary, who hails from Somalia, and Wintana Melekin, treasurer and chair of communications committee, also from Somalia. Each is the first from her country to hold a Minneapolis NAACP leadership position. Continue Reading →

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Local civil rights leader Matthew Little passes

 

 

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

Matt Little is gone, leaving a legendary legacy. He was widely renowned and will be well remembered as a Civil Rights Era icon who held a soul-deep commitment to empowering the African American community. Graduating North Carolina A&T State University in 1948, he relocated to the Twin Cities and, in 1954 became a board member of the Minneapolis NAACP, beginning a lifelong dedication to the organization. During his career, he was president of that chapter as well as president of the Minnesota state NAACP. Far from being a figurehead, Little was hands-on and counted among his most prized memories filing a federal lawsuit to integrate the Minneapolis Fire Department. Continue Reading →

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H.I.T returns

The H.I.T is back after an extended break. I and the majority of the investigators took sometime off to bring the next generation into this world, but we are back now. First I want everyone to read Jerry Freeman’s book In a Kick-Ass Sentimental Mood. The book is a very good read. I was initially scared to read it when I saw that it was over 700 pages long, but I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was and how it stayed true to Jerry’s social justice ideology. Continue Reading →

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Park Board as ‘hostile workplace’ revisited

 

 

 
MPRB officials, NAACP see positive change; workers still ambivalent
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The MSR last year published a series of stories on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) about unfair discipline of Black employees and other discriminatory concerns (“Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” Jan. 5, 2012 and “Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress,” Sept. 13, 2012). The Minneapolis NAACP last summer received numerous complaints from Black MPRB employees, and its investigation later found a history of discriminatory practices there. Recently we asked Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller to provide an update on how things are now at the MPRB. Continue Reading →

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Council on Black Minnesotans has new director, new agenda, new vision to get beyond tolerance

 

 

 

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

In October 2012, Edward McDonald was appointed director of the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM). The process began when he was approached by friends and colleagues who thought he would serve well in the role. Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completing his undergrad studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1980, he received a post-graduate degree as a legal assistant and completed his graduate studies at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. He returned to the Twin Cities in the early ’90s, working as public policy manager for Family and Children’s Service. Now married for 32 years with two adult children, he has lived in Oakdale, Minnesota since 1994 but says he is not disconnected from areas with a larger population of people of African descent. Continue Reading →

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