Project Sweetie Pie

Recent Articles

Project Sweetie Pie cultivates an urban farm movement

By Dwight Hobbes
Contributing Writer

 

It’s a tough call as to whether Project Sweetie Pie (www.projectsweetie.org) is the proverbial idea whose time has come or if its founder/director, irresistible force Michael Chaney, has brought his tireless tenacity and innovative industry to bear on the immovable object of social inertia. In October of 2014, Chaney told the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, on being honored by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, “Urban farming is a means to an end. It creates economics [as well as] a value system and work ethic within our community. “This serves as an antidote to the poison that we [experience] as African Americans, the mythology that the larger, dominant community tries to spread upon us of self-defeat, of low self-esteem. That we’re not capable.”

Project Sweetie Pie (PSP) encourages youngsters to literally get their hands dirty by learning how to plant gardens and grow food, in the process acquainting them with exercise out in the fresh air as well in entrepreneurship. Continue Reading →

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Can foreign investors rescue North Minneapolis?

New proposal would match Asian employers with Black workforce
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Is foreign investment the key to economic development in North Minneapolis? The jointly created Twin Cities Regional Center (TCRC) by Asian Media Access and Project Sweetie Pie hopes to attract private foreign capital to the city’s North Side that would create a global cultural and technology district to create jobs. The TCRC proposal was introduced October 29 to a mostly Asian audience last week at the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community Summit at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). It includes the federal employment-based (EB-5) investment program by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which allows foreigners to come to the U.S. and invest at least $500,000 to a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). North Minneapolis has been designated as a TEA, declared Asian Media Access Founder-Executive Director Ange (pronounced An-gee) Hwang, who pointed out last week that 35 foreign investors would be needed to raise $16.8 million dollars

in TCRC’s first phase. Continue Reading →

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Environmental activist uses urban farming to build self-worth

 
Award recognizes Michael Chaney’s under-the-radar organizing work
 
 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Encouraging and empowering urban youth to entrepreneurship: That’s what Michael Chaney does, and he’s been pretty good at it over the past several years with a refreshing approach to helping youngsters help themselves to productive options for their futures and that of the community. A grassroots initiative, Project Sweetie Pie (www.projectsweetie.org), that he began on a shoestring now has healthy support and prestigious recognition, not the least being honored by “Art of Collaboration: Community Development Reception and Awards Program”, an event sponsored by LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). It takes place October 9 from 5-8 pm at the Depot Pavilion, 225 South 3rd Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. “We’re excited to recognize Michael Chaney,” says Andriana Abariotes, executive director of Twin Cities LISC. 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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Spirit of volunteerism at the SMSC

 

 

Volunteerism is more than just a concept at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC). John Vig, Sr., an SMSC member, is demonstrating the importance of volunteering through a longtime friendship with SMSC Gaming Enterprise team member Wallace “Jack” Jackman. Vig and Jackman have worked together for many years on volunteer efforts to help others. Through their relationship, which started when Jackman was a bingo caller in the original Bingo Hall during the 1980s and continuing over the years, a strong friendship has developed. Vig and his wife Kathy have joined Jackman in supporting the International Leadership Institute and Project Sweetie Pie through donating their time. Continue Reading →

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