Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

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Washington mascot protest heats up in Minnesota

Activists say R-word and N-word equally offensive
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Advocates who consider the Washington professional football team nickname racist and offensive believe that change eventually will come, but not without constant pressure on the team owner to do so. Since purchasing the team in 1999, billionaire Daniel Snyder consistently says he will not change the original nickname given by the team’s founder in the early 1930s. Some argue that Washington’s annual estimated revenue — at $245 million — is largely based on team merchandise and other apparel that feature a racially insensitive logo. But Snyder strongly contends that most fans support him and often refers to a 2004 Annenberg poll of mostly White respondents that found that nearly 90 percent of those polled were not offended by the name. “There is now a national conversation — politicians, journalists, sports figures, activists and leaders of all races — coming together to stand with Indian people in pursuit of respect and dignity,” proclaimed U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum

(D-Minn.) last week at a November 5 forum at the University of Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota adopts new MNsure health exchange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a new health exchange law on March 21, which is expected to enroll an estimated 1.3 Minnesotans starting next year, including 300,000 currently uninsured.  The health exchange is a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new MNsure health exchange will mainly be used by those who can’t get affordable health insurance through their jobs and those on public health plans. Small businesses with 50 or fewer employees also can buy group plans through the exchange for their employees. It is expected to begin open enrollment on October 1, and coverage will take effect on January 1, 2014. As a result, national advocates strongly suggest that these new state marketplaces are “consumer-friendly,” especially for Blacks and other people of color. Continue Reading →

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Pastor celebrates 50 years of ministry

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Alphonse Reff, Sr. accepted the call to ministry in 1962. “I thought I could do some other things other than [being a minister],” admits the reverend, adding that ever since he took “a whipping from God, He whipped me into shape, and for 50 years I’ve been trying to tell the whole story.”

Both the community and his church, Wayman A.M.E. Church, where Reff has pastored for nearly 30 years, and others helped celebrated his 50 years in ministry during a three-day celebration last September. He received proclamations from both Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak among the best wishes expressed to both him and his wife Janice, who he married in 1963. “He has been a leader in the community for years now, and we are just grateful to see folk coming out and recognizing his leadership,” noted Rev. James Moody of Chicago. “It was just my honor to be here, to this great celebration and gathering with these wonderful people,” said AME Senior Bishop John R. Bryant, who was the featured speaker at a service given by the St. Continue Reading →

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Black Fashion History Day a great success

By Rosa Bogar

Contributing Writer

 

October 21, 2012, was declared “Black Fashion History Day” by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. When the governor’s Proclamation was read by “fashion enthusiast” Roger Clark to the crowd gathered at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis that Sunday evening, it brought down the house with thunderous applause. The event was historic, memorable, and enjoyed by all who attended. The emcee was Carol Payne, who also moderated the panel discussion with panelists Rozenia Hoodfuller, a former model; Jewelean Jackson, former director of the Ms. Black MN Pageant Inc.; Sylvia Loveless-Amos, who designed for the entertainers Prince, Jody Watley, and other noted musicians; and Charles Caldwell, a former model and now owner of C. Caldwell Fine Arts Gallery and Studio. The panel did an outstanding job of informing the audience of what the fashion scene was like during this period known as the “epicenter” of Black fashion in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Amazing moms and incredible dads get well-deserved praise

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Over 30 local parents were honored at an event at the State Capitol on Friday, February 10 as part of National Parent Leadership Month, co-sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota (PCAMN) and several other local organizations. “This is really about you,” State Representative Rena Moran of St. Paul told the gathering of parents, children and others, including Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and fellow State Representative Bobby Joe Champion of Minneapolis. “It was really nice for the governor to come out and recognize what these parents are doing,” said PCA Minnesota Parent Leader Consultant Lisa Deputie, who coordinated last week’s event. “This is about recognizing that families and parents are doing good work in their communities and in their households,” said Moran, who also is PCAMN’s parent leader coordinator. Continue Reading →

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