North Minneapolis

Recent Articles

U of M takes on Minnesota’s school achievement gap — Community organizations collaborate on Northside research

 
First of a two-part story
 

By Lauretta Dawolo Towns

Contributing Writer

Last spring’s edition of Connect, a quarterly newsletter of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), announced a major initiative to reduce the Black-White achievement gap in Minnesota. Since it was not apparent in the story what role African Americans were playing in this effort, we decided to inquire further. Our question: Given that African American children are least proficient in reading and math (grades 3-12), where are African Americans involved in the U of M’s efforts to close one of the worst achievement gaps between Blacks and Whites in the United States? We began our look into the U of M’s response to the achievement gap with a leadership profile. Professors Michael Rodriguez, associate professor of educational psychology, Campbell Leadership Chair in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and Misty Sato, associate professor of curriculum and instruction and Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair for Innovation in Teacher Development, were featured prominently in the Connect story as initiative leaders. Continue Reading →

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Run & Shoot League ‘catches’ kids to grow future leaders

 

 

 

The idea for the Run & Shoot High School Basketball League came about three years ago, says its founder-director. He didn’t know at the time where it would lead. When Dunwoody Academy moved into North High’s building in 2010, Minneapolis Public Schools ruled that two high school sports programs couldn’t run out of the same location. “But we still had a lot of kids at the school who wanted to play [basketball],” recalls Jamil Jackson, then the school’s boys’ JV coach. As a result, he assembled a traveling team to play in local and regional AAU and youth basketball tournaments. Continue Reading →

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Project Sweetie Pie: Teens get fresh food in North Minneapolis

 

 

By Stephanie Fox

Contributing Writer

 

It began in 2010, with sweet potato pies and a new idea. The new idea was to create sustainable agriculture in the heart of the city, letting kids learn to grow vegetables and then (the new part) to show them how to sell what they grew to local businesses. Project Sweetie Pie is the brainchild of community organizer Michael Chaney and Rose McGee, the owner of Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts. Their idea was to train high school students in North Minneapolis to plant, maintain, and harvest food from gardens as a commercial enterprise. “We started with five gardens in 2011.” said Chaney. Continue Reading →

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All-Star hype offers little for Blacks

 

 

The Minnesota Twins last week kicked off the team’s apparent year-long promotional blitz on their hosting of the 2014 All-Star Game. It is their third time being hosts at three different venues: the old and gone Metropolitan Stadium (1965); the old and soon-to-be gone Metrodome (1985); and, a year from now, at their present edifice located on the North Minneapolis-downtown border. “We dreamed of hosting this incredible event,” said Twins Owner Jim Polhad in a team release. After reading this and the media-distributed fact sheet, my curiosity got the best of me and I came up with some Roberta Flack-Donny Hathaway-Billy Preston-type questions:

Where were the Blacks then, and will there be any Blacks next year? Willie Mays and Bob Gibson were among 12 Blacks who played here in the 1965 game, and seven Blacks played in the 1985 dome game. Continue Reading →

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Patrick Henry valedictorian sets her own course rather than follow the crowd

Her example refutes stereotype of young Black women

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

One has to wonder whence the next Michelle Obama will come. After all, it’s apt to be quite a while until we see another Black president — of either gender. In the First Lady’s wake, though, the national climate is set for someone to ascend — along with fields that are such glamour magnets as sports, music and the movies — in areas like business, law, politics and more. While she enjoys her next few years of prominence before moving on to a career as considerably more than decoration on her famous husband’s arm (she did, remember, graduate Princeton University and Harvard Law School) today’s generation of young women are poised to prevail, enhancing the image of Black women. Enter one such face of tomorrow, Maria Maddox, this year’s valedictorian at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, bound in the fall for the rarefied, Ivy League clime of Brown University. Continue Reading →

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Mpls to build 100 green homes on city’s North Side

 

Welcome, MSR readers, to a new section you will see appear regularly in these pages, something we call Green2Green. Most of you by now have heard of the green movement to clean up our planet, stop the waste of precious natural resources, and get climate change under control. What is not always clear is just what this movement means to each one of us in our everyday lives. Nor is it always clear how this movement includes environmental justice issues of particular concern to communities of color. And finally, it is not always clear how the green movement can also save us green, as in Benjamin green, and is creating new opportunities for productive careers. Continue Reading →

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Does Minnesota need a ‘13th’ grade?

 

 

By Donald Allen

Contributing Writer

 

The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in postsecondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year 13th-grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education [if any] in the Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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Adding race to the ACE (Study)

Currently, in social service circles across the nation the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study is becoming a focal point on understanding and treating clients. Dr. Vincent J. Felitti originally conducted the ACE study in 1985. The original study was created from a weight-loss program for people with obesity. That study produced a result that showed that many of the participants unconsciously used their obesity as a shield against unwanted sexual attention, and many had been sexually or physically abused as children. The study was reproduced in the 1990s with the addition of Dr. Robert F. Anda. Continue Reading →

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There’s no love in the gang

 

Summer’s coming soon — time for any conscious or concerned parents to make a decision. Young boys and girls must make a decision, too. There’s no love in street organization or what people call gangs. It’s time to step away, get out and separate. It’s not illegal to be an organization, but it is illegal to engage in crime through an organization. Continue Reading →

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Northside Achievement Zone hiring mostly Northsiders

 
Nontraditional approach seeks workers already ‘connected to the Zone’
 

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash 

Editor-in-Chief

 

Lucretia Gill is a connector. She talks to families with children in North Minneapolis to determine their family’s goals, and then she connects them to the organizations that can address the challenges hindering them from reaching their goals. Last year, Gill was a personal care attendant (PCA). She now works for an organization that has added 42 new positions over the past year — 32 of them filled by Northsiders — to the North Minneapolis job market. Gill had previously been one among the hundreds of families in North Minneapolis that the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) is charged with reaching. Continue Reading →

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