Vickie Evans-Nash

Recent Articles

Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Short films’ premiere celebrates voting power of communities of color

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

On Thursday, October 11, between 6:30 and 8:30 pm, the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis will host a unique red-carpet event. Guests will be greeted at the door, and as they arrive their entrance will be streamed live on the theater screen. Entertainment will include local performers, and community members will introduce a series of recently released YouTube videos. This is not a Twin-Cities-turns-Hollywood event; it is rather a kickoff event highlighting the importance of participating in the political process through casting a vote.  
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Black RN starts health academy to increase profession’s diversity

 
Even with stellar success, she struggles to keep school open

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

 

Rachelle Simmons has been a nurse for 23 years. “I grew up in St. Paul’s Summit/University neighborhood. And I always knew the one nurse that worked out of Regions [Hospital] — everybody did, because she was the only Black nurse there then,” Simmons explains. Now she’s in the business of ensuring there will be more nurses of color working in those hospitals. Continue Reading →

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Most agree MCTC needs more faculty of color

 

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

In last week’s story, one former and two current faculty members questioned Minneapolis Community & Technical College’s commitment to creating a diverse faculty. What may contribute to a lack of confidence in the college’s efforts is that while these and other concerned faculty members envision a faculty that reflects their student body, the college’s administration, under criteria set by the overall Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, has no obligation to create such an environment. Diana Cusick is director of legal affairs for MCTC. In that capacity, she oversees the school’s Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity goals. All MnSCU colleges and universities are required to submit Affirmative Action plans every two years using State documentation that divides the Minnesota workforce into Affirmative Action categories. Continue Reading →

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Andrew Young: Public projects (like stadiums) should invest where most needed

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

 

Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, as featured keynote speaker at last Thursday’s 2012 Minneapolis Urban League Gala “Picking up the Torch,” offered an example of how a public project in Atlanta — not unlike Minneapolis’ new Vikings stadium — invested heavily in an economically depressed community and served as a catalyst to turn it around. The implication was clear: What was done in Atlanta could be replicated here. Scott Gray, MUL’s president and CEO, pointed out during the May 31 event at the Minneapolis Convention Center that 2011 was not an easy year for the organization, now in its 87th year of serving the community. It dealt not only with the Northside tornado, but also a state shutdown and a lingering recession that affected funding and gave the organization reason to scale back on services, which they were fortunately able to avoid. Yet, “Last year [we placed] 200 job seekers in living-wage jobs… We served over 1,000 people impacted by the tornado, we helped 67 families avoid foreclosure and saved their homes, and we nearly served 3,000 folks that came through the Urban League to get free tax help with our partnership with Accountability Minnesota,” Gray reported during the event. Continue Reading →

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Unique school educates two generations

 

 
Helping young mothers graduate and parent their children are priorities
 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

 

While walking down the halls of Broadway High School at Longfellow, where Lutunji Abram, M.A. works, one would think it’s like any other school. The walls display students’ projects, and the halls are mostly quiet except when passing open classroom doors where students and teachers are working. However, the mission of this school, unlike most, is to educate two generations of learners. According to the City of Minneapolis’ website, the pregnancy rate among 15-to-17-year-olds in Minneapolis was 39.1 pregnancies per 1,000 during 2009, down significantly from 54.4 in 2007. Broadway High School at Longfellow helps to meet the educational needs of teen and young adult mothers who have not received a high school diploma or GED. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Allen’s legislative agenda: social and economic justice

 

 

 

She credits her district’s support for progressive candidates
 

By Vickie Evans-Nash 

Contributing Writer

 

When former state representative Jeff Hayden was sworn in last October as State Senator Jeff Hayden, his vacant District 61B seat attracted several candidates. One prevailed in the January 10 special election, and on January 20, 2012, Susan Allen, a member of the LGBT community, became the first American Indian woman elected as a state representative in Minnesota. Allen spoke with the MSR recently on the challenges of people of color in the electoral process and on upcoming legislation that will affect low-income people and communities of color. Allen has lived in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood for 14 years after moving across the country in her youth due to her parents’ work for a national organization. Her parents developed a new model for working in the Indian community through their church. Continue Reading →

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Banquet celebrates women who not only survived, but thrive

 

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

On Saturday, March 17, National Empowerment Group, Inc. in partnership with R&B entertainer J. MOST will be honoring 10 women for their work and breaking their silence on domestic abuse. The 4th Annual Women’s Appreciation Banquet will be held at the Mall of America Hilton in Bloomington in celebration of Women’s History Month. The celebration, now in its fourth year, started as a way for J. MOST to honor his grandmother. He wasn’t aware of Women’s History Month until his daughter told him about it. Because not everyone has a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day and not all women have children to celebrate them on Mother’s Day, J. MOST says, “Those days are special, but you would be surprised how many women are really down on those days. Continue Reading →

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Wanted: Northside residents with passion for helping families

 

 
African American community members deliver message of the Zone
 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer 

Later this summer, the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) will be hiring just under 30 people to fill new employment slots. They are looking for people who have a firm understanding of the community and the families they will be recruiting to be a part of the NAZ initiative to support the families until their children enter college. People like Andre Dukes. Born and raised in South Minneapolis, Dukes is an assistant pastor at Shiloh Temple church who has always had an interest in reducing youth violence. A few years ago he developed a team of residents who went knocking on the doors of Northside residents to talk to them about safety and non-violence. Continue Reading →

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Northside Achievement Zone envisions a ‘tipping-point’ of success

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Contributing Writer

 

Over the next five years, just over 1,000 families in an 18-by-13-block area of North Minneapolis will be participating in a $28 million social experiment. What is at stake is much more than money; what is at stake is the future of these families’ 3,000 children, and perhaps, insofar as it could become a model for other such efforts, the futures of countless more families and children. It started with Michelle Martin and Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels founding the Peace Foundation in 2003. Martin served as the organization’s original executive director. The Peace Foundation’s mission was to combat violence in North Minneapolis by first determining what was causing higher crime rates. Continue Reading →

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