Washington County

Recent Articles

Poverty and the criminal justice system are intimately related

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

State health officials hope to build more trust, better communication with communities of color

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) survey last fall found that communication barriers such as language, trust, culture and literacy exist that prevent health messages from reaching various communities. “It wasn’t particularly surprising,” said MDH International Health Coordinator Sara Chute of the survey results. “I knew that these were major issues, but I wanted to make sure that I was representing those beliefs correctly.”

As a result, Chute co-facilitated the first of two “community communications conversations” April 25 at Rondo Library in St. Paul. The second is scheduled for sometime in May in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

What happened when we got off the bus?


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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,