Dennis Spears, successful local entertainer and beloved mentor to youth on the North Side, attributes much of his life success to a man who loved him unconditionally, taught him patiently, and provided steady examples of good citizenship and integrity in the way he lived his everyday life. This man was Spears’ grandfather, known to most in his Mangham, Louisiana community as Mr. George. Spears was born in Toledo, Ohio to a single mother he adores and describes as his “biggest fan.” Early on in his life, Spears’ grandparents stepped in to help their daughter and grandson, raising Spears on their farm and teaching him the values of hard work, community service and loving God.
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Federal Reserve VP works to increase economic growth for marginalized communities
Dorothy Bridges, senior vice president responsible for community development and outreach at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, thought life was good in New Orleans in the 1950s and ’60s. She doesn’t recall noticing what others clearly saw as the poverty that existed inside and outside of the walls of her childhood home, a dwelling partitioned into apartments that housed her parents, siblings, extended family and others.
Bridges grew up feeling safe and loved, surrounded by a caring family and protective neighbors. She was born in rural Mississippi where her parents, grandparents and other relatives worked as sharecroppers. At age two, her family moved to New Orleans where her parents started out as laborers in a poultry processing plant. Continue Reading →
“My name is Rachel Campbell, and I’m straight up off the block.”
These are the words that Campbell uses when she stands before her women’s group at the Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility (ACF) each week. What she means is that she too has stood behind those bars looking out at a world that has offered neither kindness nor help when she desperately needed it. She knows what it feels like to be “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” and she has paid the price for giving up on herself and her dreams.
Campbell grew up in a poor family with a single mother and nine siblings. She loved her family, but ongoing issues of abuse and neglect led to feelings of hopelessness and anger — feelings that often drive teens to unhealthy choices. She left home early and began spending time with men and women who further diminished her chances of a happy or healthy future. Continue Reading →