The Cicchetti Plan returns

Ever since the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center’s (UROC) Futures Conference, “Coming Together to Create a Shared Future for North Minneapolis,” held in February 2009, there have been many discussions within the Minneapolis mental health community about how and when to put into play the University of Minnesota/UROC Dante Cicchetti Plan. UROC is comprised of 30 organizations and 10 programs.

The “when” is now. The tornado that struck Minneapolis on May 22 catalyzed the implementation of the Final Solution for the Grand Plan being developed.

The “how” is through the newly created North Side Tornado Response Team, now called the North Side Community Response Team (NCRT), indicating the long term intent to, in a word, pacify.

Dr. Cicchetti is a brilliant, award-winning psychologist conducting programs and research in psychology, psychiatry, psychopharmacology, pediatrics, inter-parental conflict and associations with child adjustment, abused and neglected infants in the U of M Medical School psychiatry department. The university applies his intelligence to the wrong vision.

The best vision came from Nellie Stone Johnson, a DFL progressive: empowering people with real education, jobs and housing.

The worst vision is UROC’s vision that I call the Cicchetti Plan: the White vision of disempowering by using the social control-industrial complex mechanism of Black medicalization with a variety of legal (prescription) and illegal drugs, as if people were potted plants to be pruned and shaped and kept in their place according to the will of the gardeners. No mention of the true solutions, education and jobs.

Psychiatry and other mental health fields characterized the angry and belligerent Black males of the Civil Rights Movement as irrational and schizophrenic (as society was good). Incarceration as a method was added in the ’80s.

Gentrification (replacing inner-city Blacks with Whites), on the UROC agenda, is another way to rip apart the African American community spiritually, physically and mentally. By June 22, a part of that engine had been chosen — the North Side Community Response Team (NCRT) subcommittee on mental and chemical health. The document was well done and crafted in such a way as to lead the community into the grasp of the Cicchetti Plan.

Very quietly at UROC, training and coordination meetings were taking place to formulate the delivery teams. Review documents of the subcommittee on mental and chemical health; the introduction of “chemical” refers to antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs used on African Americans, such as haldol (haloperidol), thorazine (chlorpromazine) and stelazine (trifluoperazine).

There are a lot of money and grants involved in carrying out plans to deal with such problems, as already addressed in the mayor’s special commission report of 2008 and the article in the annual report of 2009, “The State of City Leadership for Children and Families,” issued by the National League of Cities Institute for Youth Education and Families. Note the specific information contained at pages 57, 58 and parts of 59 of the NLC report in regards to Minneapolis, which sounds a lot like Cicchetti’s research mission.

In fact, it is said in some quarters that some of the $1.1 million provided to the North Side Community Response Team in two parts, June 1, 2011 ($206,000) and July 9, 2011 ($500,000), contain support dollars from the pharmaceutical industry in support of the Cicchetti Project. We would like to think that that is not an accurate description and that, in light of the subcommittee on mental and chemical health, there is some other explanation for how much funding is actually being made available to deal with the African American mental health problem.

I would prefer the therapeutic method of tornado damage relief. I assume these questions can be answered by the committee in private consultation with the Minneapolis Foundation. We need to keep in mind that the $206,000 awarded on June 1, 2011 was never reported to the committee and, in fact, no one has identified who the fiscal agent was for that $206,000.

The Council of Churches is the fiscal agent for the second award of money, $500,000, awarded to the committee for services to be rendered. As the headline of a column in this paper by NAACP President Booker T. Hodges stated December 1, 2010: “Some leaders put personal agendas ahead of community interests.”

All should be aware of the professional mental health community activities through which Dr. Dante Cichetti, at long last, will be able to spin his clinic magic. God help Black people.

Stay tuned.

Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm; hosts “Black Focus” on Blog Talk radio Sundays at 3 pm; and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 4 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at Hear his readings and read his solution papers for community planning and development and “web log” at