Minneapolis Urban League

Recent Articles

No More Excuses

Too many have sacrificed for us to give up now
Most of the excuses we make up make it hard for our life on this earth. Everything that really matters we make excuses for: excuses why we won’t go to school, why we don’t listen to our parents, why we don’t stay out of trouble, why we end up in jail, why we have a criminal record, why we have felonies. More excuses: I don’t have a job because I won’t work for less than $10 an hour. I don’t have a job because no one will give me a chance. If you don’t listen to your parents and drop out of school, your chances of being successful are slim to none without education. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Congressional candidates’ radio debate ends in name-calling

 
Fifth-District rivals differ on debating vs. door-knocking
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

With two weeks remaining before Election Day, have the voters in the Fifth District congressional campaign received enough information from the two main candidates to make an informed choice? In addition to many other disagreements, the two candidates do not agree on this either. An October 18 debate aired on KFAI Radio between three-term Democrat incumbent Keith Ellison and Republican challenger Chris Fields, which station staff described as “a spirited and feisty” exchange, turned about halfway through into a brief name-calling exchange between the two men. “I acted beneath my personal standard as a public official, and I apologize,” said Congressman Ellison in a subsequent released statement. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

No to the Republicrats and Demicans — And no, I ain’t crazy

 

 

Malcolm X used to tell a story about how a field slave said, “Let’s run away from here,” but some of the content, satisfied and visionless house slaves responded, “Where can we find a better master [but master nevertheless] than this? Where can we find better clothes [second hand and tattered] than this? Where we gonna get better food [hog guts, scraps from the master’s table] than this? Where you going to go?”

The old field slave said, “I don’t know but anyplace is better than here.”

When talking about this year’s presidential election, I feel like that field slave who couldn’t quite articulate what freedom would exactly look like but knew that his current condition was unsatisfactory. Some folks have talked real bad to me when I have suggested that maybe, just maybe, we should try something new, since most folks have to admit that no real significant changes have been made by either Democratic or Republican administrations on behalf of us Black and poor folks over the last few decades. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Andrew Young: Public projects (like stadiums) should invest where most needed

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

 

Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, as featured keynote speaker at last Thursday’s 2012 Minneapolis Urban League Gala “Picking up the Torch,” offered an example of how a public project in Atlanta — not unlike Minneapolis’ new Vikings stadium — invested heavily in an economically depressed community and served as a catalyst to turn it around. The implication was clear: What was done in Atlanta could be replicated here. Scott Gray, MUL’s president and CEO, pointed out during the May 31 event at the Minneapolis Convention Center that 2011 was not an easy year for the organization, now in its 87th year of serving the community. It dealt not only with the Northside tornado, but also a state shutdown and a lingering recession that affected funding and gave the organization reason to scale back on services, which they were fortunately able to avoid. Yet, “Last year [we placed] 200 job seekers in living-wage jobs… We served over 1,000 people impacted by the tornado, we helped 67 families avoid foreclosure and saved their homes, and we nearly served 3,000 folks that came through the Urban League to get free tax help with our partnership with Accountability Minnesota,” Gray reported during the event. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Beauty Exxtreme showcases full figures in fashion

 

 

 
Local company puts plus-size women, big-and-tall men on the runway
 

 

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

 

In American media and advertising outlets everywhere, there are images of tall, freakishly thin, fair-skinned women that are intended to represent the ideal model of beauty all females are constantly told in one way or another they should strive to emulate. Most people do not fit the description of the model that is often presented. People come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and shades; even those that can be described as tall, thin and fair-skinned usually look nothing like the professionally styled and digitally enhanced images seen on screen and in print media. This current situation is the reason why Nena McAlister started Beauty Exxtreme, a company dedicated to promoting alternate versions of beauty standards and building the self-esteem of those who are rarely represented or recognized in media, advertising or fashion. While McAlister wants to help promote everyone who feels underrepresented by the media and fashion industries, her focus is on plus-size women and big and tall men. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Met Council committed to minority hiring on light-rail construction

 

 

By Wanda Kirkpatrick

Guest Commentator

 

Sixteen years ago, when Gwen Miller told family and friends she was going to be a construction worker, the reaction was, “Are you kidding me?”

Miller wasn’t kidding. Her children’s misgivings quickly turned around when food appeared on the Thanksgiving table and presents showed up under the Christmas tree. Over the years, Miller has bought a home in New Hope and built a solid life for herself and her family. Today she still takes pride in her old construction sites. “I just glow when I drive by,” she said, ticking off a long list of her projects, including the giant scoreboards at Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Task force prepares for Affordable Care Act provisions

 

 
Group offers recommendations to ensure health disparities are addressed

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

One of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major provisions is the creation of insurance exchanges or state-based marketplaces for small businesses and people without employer health coverage. Although these exchanges, designed to offer choices of affordable health plans, are not mandated until 2014, Minnesota officials are now meeting to decide how to set them up. Will these insurance exchanges, which must be in place beginning in 2014, address health disparities? This was the oft-asked topic at the January 17 state health insurance exchange advisory task force meeting at Shiloh International Temple in North Minneapolis. Health disparities “are a high-priority issue,” says Task Force Chair and State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman at the four-hour meeting at Shiloh Temple. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,