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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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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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