One of the most critical, yet often overlooked aspects of poverty in this nation is the escalating incarceration rate of American citizens. The Justice Policy Institute notes that since 1970, the number of incarcerated Americans has grown nearly eight-fold to a total of more than 2.2 million people today. In addition, nearly five million more American adults are currently caught up in the criminal justice system through probation or parole. This precipitous spike in the U.S. prison population coincides with this country’s war on drugs and is representative of a proliferation in America’s poor, which now counts more than 46 million people among its ranks.
The link between poverty and contact with the criminal justice system is well established. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Reportedly Barack Obama’s approval rating in Minnesota is at its lowest since he became president over five years ago. But based on the loud, enthusiastic reception he received last week during a stop in St. Paul, his popularity apparently has not yet wane. “We love you,” said someone from the overflow crowd. “I love you back. Continue Reading →
Is a 32 percent people-of-color workforce goal overly optimistic?
By Mel Reeves
The plans are in full swing for the new $975 million Vikings stadium. And yet again many in the Black community hold out hope that the economic stimulus the stadium promises to provide will benefit them as well. Unemployment in the Black community continues to remain high. In fact, in the last quarter of 2012 unemployment in North Minneapolis hovered around 22 percent. Continue Reading →
October 16 will mark the 17th anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington, D.C. I remember that day because I stood in support of the beautiful brothers that had sent such a loud message to the world. I remember listening to great speeches, hearing proclamations, and seeing a spark in the eyes of African American men that had been overshadowed with the mask of hard times. Somehow I knew that this march was going to change the direction of the people I had grown to love so dearly — my people! Two years later, on October 25, 1997, I did not even question whether or not attending the Million Woman March was an option. For once in my life I was not doing something because my family or elders encouraged me to do it. Continue Reading →
The National Children’s Study is the largest and longest study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States. The study is committed to identifying ways to improve the health and well-being of children. It seeks to understand how the environment — the places where children live, learn, and play — may be linked to early childhood diseases. Hundreds of children in Ramsey County will participate in this unique national study, which will follow more than 100,000 children across the United States from before birth until age 21. Researchers from the University of Minnesota are leading the effort in Ramsey County, one of 37 sites nationwide where the study is underway. Continue Reading →
By Jill Melaas
National Adoption Month is recognized during the month of November. This is a national day of celebration for adoptive families. During this month in communities all around the country, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers come together to celebrate adoption by finalizing the adoptions of children from foster care. This year the National Adoption Day Coalition is expecting 4,500 foster care children all over the country to be adopted on National Adoption Day. Here at Ramsey County Human Services, we are gearing up to celebrate our Fifth Annual National Adoption Day celebration. Continue Reading →