In the video below (by IBNN), many black women who approached the tornado recovery organization were sent packing.
Fast Tube by Casper
In 2013, we can still see the effects of the 2011 tornado. Houses still remain with the signature blue tarps; an increase in the homeless population and no jobs created for residents in north Minneapolis – in spite of the political rhetoric spewed by city officials who are the best at doing the misdirect. I invite you; take a spin on the north side (during daylight hours – public safety issues). You will see a storm that continues to rage.
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – The Independent Business News Network
North Minneapolis – There was a storm in north Minneapolis long before the tornado of May 2011. The storm I speak of before the tornado was one of dramatic irony, rising action and violent economic exceptions that streamed in a community whose main source of income was county assistance.
Again, let me remind you, north Minneapolis has always been looked upon to provide “political” assistance to those people running for office that need a talking point about poverty in the Twin Cities. We’ve all heard outgoing Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak say, “My focus is on north Minneapolis.” Words to hear, but not words to live by.
Again, we have another “news station” trapped in the rhetoric of “focusing on north Minneapolis. KSTP-TV channel 5 posted a story on Sunday, “Poverty Reduction Effort Targets North Minneapolis.” Unfortunately, the reporter (Nick) didn’t have a clue where to go, or what he was talking about. A funny piece in the story, “The organization, a collaboration of organizations that united after the tornado hit, has set a goal of reducing the number of people receiving government assistance by 25% in the next 5 years.” Hey, what’s another critical falsehood in the black community – they don’t read this stuff anyway, right?
How can this be? How can people who blatantly used money for everything else other than getting much needed cash into the “peoples” pocket reduce the need for government assistance?
The tornado of 2011 brought opportunities to continue fundraising and let organizations around the table become sustainable. No effort was made to produce, build or distribute any information in the area of “tornado organization sustainability.” The citizens of Minneapolis still have no report on who received money and what mission were they to address within the “tornado organizations?”
We watched as a local contractor set up shop on Broadway and Penn Avenues north to make it appear they were concerned with getting houses fixed. The fact remained; they went door knocking for residents that had insurance. When the insurance ran out, the contractors left.
I personally sat in meetings about the tornado recovery from the first one above the Cookie Cart until July 2011 when I was asked not to return because of my critical assessment of waste, foolishness and fuckery.
Again, the fact remains – a local foundation brought the bullies to the playground. The bullies disrespected black families, women and children. Now we come to find out there must be some kind of hidden meaning?
Maybe governor Mark Dayton can raise money for the new people’s stadium by taxing some people in his cabinet members for dropping the ball on civil rights, contract compliance enforcement and that silly little oversight of not hiring any blacks on the state capital restoration project. Matter of fact, let’s tax white guys who pop pills and have crazy eyes.
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – The Independent Business News Network
St. Paul, MN – It’s amazing what the Minnesota DFL elected officials will do to raise money from its citizens. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, according to the Star Tribune, wants a bailout of the $977 million Minnesota Vikings stadium by smokers and businesses. This crazy plan was presented on Thursday as a hedge against the limited success of electronic gambling games that were supposed to help build the sports palace.
Bad decisions by Minnesota governors have led to many business shutdowns. Let me walk you through why it’s not going to work. First off, former governor Tim Pawlenty outlawed smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments on Oct. 1, 2007. The attempt by Gov. Dayton would be salient if the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants was lifted (by those who wanted to) and other establishments could welcome Minnesota smokers back to the “smoking bar.” Going outside a minus-ten, seems pretty stupid.
Secondly, this is not a “smokers or small business” problem; this is a State and local elected politicians problem. The “people of Minnesota” did not have a say either way in choosing if a new stadium should, or should not be built in Minnesota. To dump the responsibility of financing your f**k up on special interest groups is insane.
“White America no longer needs the KKK. There are House N****rs that will get the work done for them.”
Fast Tube by Casper
by Donald Allen, Editor-In-Chief – OurBlackNews.com
Booker T. Washington said, “To hold a man down, you have to stay down with him.”
The great words from Mr. Washington can be translated today by watching house Negroes throughout the Twin Cities and the US who continue to manipulate, obstruct and deny most black Minnesotans a seat at the table of plenty. At that “table” the usual suspects fight over pennies while the mainstream makes decisions that involves millions of dollars. Unfortunately for them, while they focus their efforts to block some of us in back rooms, behind close doors and social gatherings of the black elite and clueless, they too suffer from a modern day extinction that has rotted their moral fiber to nothing more than dust.
In 2013, the Klu Klux Klan and white supremacy are no longer needed to stop black progress. Black America has the NAACP, the National Urban League and other local and national ad-hoc black organizations that have successfully put a stranglehold on the “New Black,” which is educated, economically successful and progressive. The obstruction of black progress has been successfully outsourced to black leaders who continue to work for their handlers, sometimes unknowingly but never the less function as agents of despair to the black communities they should speak up for.
Black Minnesotans and black people all across America can see the events to stop black progress in real time. A story in Marketplace, “Wealth gap grows between black and white in U.S.” tells us, “For a typical white family, a $1 increase in average income over the 25 years returns about $5 of wealth. For [the] typical African-American family, that same $1 average increase in income returns only 69 cents in wealth.“ Unemployment has had a devastating effect on the wealth of black families as well. The unemployment rate for whites is 7%, while the black unemployment rate sits at nearly double that, 13.8 percent.
The silence of black leaders can also be seen in politics. The Examiner reports, “The protesting voices of American Black leaders has not been heard as Obama opens the door to legal immigration and job opportunities for 800,000 to over a million young illegal Hispanics while at the same time the unemployment rate for Blacks in the same age group is close to 40 percent. They appear to look the other way as the available slots for admission to institutions of higher education creates even more intensive competition between minority groups.” Worshiping President Obama like a deity at the right hand of Zeus has been black America’s juggernaut.
While passing of same-sex marriage bills rewards GBLT communities, black people don’t have any bills being passed or implemented to stop the blight of black America.
The House Negro Syndrome exists and is stronger today then in the 1800s. House Negroes have gotten comfortable looking the other way and lining their pockets with a little drop of lint. Black Americans face some of the largest disparities in modern history.
America is searching for that new black leader who will not be shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet. One who will stand up for us and look straight into the eyes of controversy. Its time for a real change in black America – are you willing to join the movement?
Editors note: IBNN NEWS and OurBlackNews.com would like to welcome “White Boy Living in Minneapolis” as a guest commentator.
“There is not one black leader (oxymoron) that can tell me the public policy for Black Minnesotans. Furthermore, most of the issues black people have in the Twin Cities are by design, created to keep people dependent on anything but the American Dream. “
by White Boy Living in Minneapolis – Guest Commentator-IBNN
This morning I was alerted and tune into a local public radio station, one that I never listen to, that had a young man on talking about some type of jobs for black people in Minneapolis, especially north Minneapolis on the news Vikings Stadium. The funny thing is, this person (God bless his soul), never gave the details on how black people in north Minneapolis would get jobs.
I’ve asked the editor of this outlet to let me speak freely. He assured me it was okay.
I’m a white male. I’ve lived, raised a family and worked in Minneapolis all my life. I graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and then went to college in Wisconsin. You might say I took full advantage of my white privilege granted to me by just being born white. I’m not ashamed in the least bit.
What troubles me in Minneapolis is when my black friends don’t work and complain about how hard it is – and I see this first hand (my company has not hired a black male or female since I’ve been there), makes me wonder who is really speaking and doing what needs to be done for my black brothers and sisters?
In the 70s I played basketball, went to movies and partied with some of the greatest black men and women in Minneapolis. There wasn’t any talk of racism; I wouldn’t get my ass kicked walking down 4th Avenue in north Minneapolis – it was great! Today, every time I turn on the television or pick up that dreaded Star Tribune newspaper I hear of nothing but death, jail and drugs as it pertains to black people in Minneapolis. What’s really happening?
Now you have some dude on the radio station talking about jobs for blacks in north Minneapolis. I’m here to tell you, “It ain’t true.” First of all, the new People’s Stadium is a union shop. Unions don’t hire anyone. Secondly, the prime and sub contractors will need people (base on the design) that are skilled artisans. If you remember Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsay’s “goof” with the restoration at the state capital on why no minorities (blacks) are on the job was because the Prime contractor was not “delivered” and qualified people. Oops. From what we know, there aren’t any qualified marble cutters in the black community.
This brings me to my main point. If the “People’s Stadium” could section out and hire some black people from north Minneapolis – it would be illegal. These jobs must be open to the general public and anyone who is qualified to do the work. This includes sub-contractors that do clean up.
I’ve listened year-after-year to black people from Minneapolis telling other black people “the jobs are coming” on this, or that project – and if you look at the numbers, black people don’t get hired in Minneapolis, especially city, county and state jobs.
My advice to black people in Minneapolis: Fire the people who have lied to you for so long. Get some new people to listen to.
To keep it real: There are no jobs on the stadium for black people in north Minneapolis. If someone tells you different, ask him or her to show you the plan on paper.
Don’t mind me, I’m just a white boy living in Minneapolis who wants his black friends to have a job and hang out.
Hennepin County seeks community insight during preparation for north Minneapolis human services “hub”
Don’t forget to “LIKE” the Hennepin County Facebook™Page by clicking here.
Minneapolis, MN…Starting May 14, Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department will host a series of community conversations about a proposal to create a more convenient location for north Minneapolis residents to access services including medical, emergency, child care and food assistance, child support and homeless services.
The current proposal to refit a building on the southeast corner of Plymouth and Emerson avenues north is part of a larger plan to move access to services into “hubs,” located in the communities where Hennepin County residents live and work. Others are planned for south and central Minneapolis.
A Bloomington location is slated to open this fall, and another in Hopkins around the end of this year. The first hub, located at the Northwest Family Services Center in Brooklyn Center, opened in October 2012. A network of smaller “satellite” locations will offer other supports.
“Making county services accessible to residents in their communities will help them access the help they need earlier, and become self-sufficient, sooner,” said Rex Holzemer, assistant county administrator for human services. “This is a major change in how the county addresses the needs and goals of individuals and communities.”
For the past 20 years, residents from across the county have had to go downtown to the Century Plaza building to apply for assistance. In addition to being inconvenient to families located in all corners of the county, the 80-year-old building is in need of extensive repairs, inside and out. It is scheduled to be vacated at the end of 2014.
North Minneapolis residents have told us they want to be engaged in the process. “It’s important to hear from the residents of the area where the office is to be located,” said Second District Commissioner Linda Higgins. “The community meetings are a chance to voice their thoughts, ask questions, and hear the information first-hand.”
Starting this week, the county will host facilitated community engagement meetings, designed to share our proposal with interested residents, and to best gather their hopes and concerns. Representatives from county’s developer and the building owner, The Ackerberg Group, will present the current plan. County representatives will talk more about what this means for residents.
The meetings will proceed as follows:
- May 14: English and Spanish
- May 15: Hmong
- May 22: English and Somali
All of the meetings will be held 6-9 p.m., at PICA Head Start, 700 Humboldt Ave. N., Minneapolis. Look for more news on the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us/news.
Saturday May 11th, 2013 at the The Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the University of Minnesota Campus from 10 a.m. -3:30 p.m. (Check in begins at 9:00 a.m. Registration is completely FREE! Lunch and a T-Shirt will be provided! If you know any YOUTH (Middle-High School students) that would be interested in participating in this summit, please have them register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SNSsummitregister The MN Solutions Not Suspension Youth Summit is sponsored by a grant from the General Mills Community of Color program. Race Equity Fellows on this project are funded by the Minneapolis Foundation.
Minneapolis, MN – This Saturday, May 11th, the MMEP “Solutions Not Suspensions” campaign team and allies will host a summit to gather 100 Black young men and discuss the discipline gap data in Minnesota and gather their input and voices to crafting policy solutions to this crisis!
The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute will host us from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and keynote speakers and trainers include: Nekima Levy-Pounds, Anthony Galloway, Dreamers from the Dream Act movement, spoken word artists, and the MMEP Race Equity and Advocacy Fellows 2012-2013.
BACKGROUND ON OUR SOLUTIONS NOT SUSPENSIONS RATE CAMPAIGN:
As part of our mission to increase the success of youth of color and American Indian students in Minnesota schools, since 2008 we embarked on a focus on the academic achievement of African American male students. In 2008, the national Schott Foundation released its report, “Given Half a Chance: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education for Black Boys”
The findings in this report were devastating – “More than half of Black males did not receive diplomas with their peers in 2005-2006. These statistics were worse in Minnesota. Overall, 41% of African American students graduated from high school in 2006-2007 compared to 80% of White Minnesota students. (MMEP, State of Students of Color 2009 Report). For Black male achievement, specifically, Minnesota was highlighted in the 2008 report as a “state of emergency”. The report highlighted that ONLY 59% of Black males graduated in the 2005-2006 class compared to 86% of White males—a near 30 point difference! (Schott, “Given Half a Chance” report, p.11)
Suspension Rates as a Barrier to Black Male Student Achievement: The Beginning of a Minnesota Movement: Spurred by the Schott Foundation’s movement and Minnesota’s glaring achievement gaps, Our board and researchers and community leaders began to organize a council, the “African American Males in Education Advisory” group (AAMEA) for solutions. In 2009, an MMEP staff brought K-12, university and community African American leaders to form AAMEA and advise MMEP on strategies –research, convening, and policy aimed at finding key issues related to the success of African American male students in education. This is where suspensions, or pushout, was identified as a major barrier for success of our Black male students.
From 2010-2011, MMEP with AAMEA hired an AAMEA Advocacy Fellow who began to research best practices in addressing Black male student achievement and data related to suspension rates in Minnesota schools. Statewide the gap between Black boys suspension rate and White boys is very wide. According to the Schott Foundation, while 27.6% of Black boys were suspended at least once in 2009-2010, only 2.3 % of White boys were suspended at least once in that year. (Schott Foundation, “Urgency of Now”, p.34) According to the Minneapolis Foundations, “One Minneapolis” community report on health and education, a quarter of all Black students were suspended in 2009-2010 school year – including 1 in 10 Black kindergarteners. (Minneapolis Foundation, “OneMinneapolis,” p.23)
“Solutions Not Suspensions Campaign”: The MMEP campaign- “Solutions Not Suspensions” is led by our Advocacy and a Research/Policy Fellows. The main goal of the campaign is to change discipline policies that disproportionately impact young men of color and develop a public commitment to a goal of specifically decreasing suspension rates for African American male students in Minneapolis Public Schools. Therefore, the strategies that we are deploying to make systemic changes include:
1. Community Organizing: The campaign with engage youth and families in community dialogues on the issue of systemic pushout and African American males in Minneapolis Public Schools.
2. Policy Team Development and Overall Network-Building: The campaign will bring allies into a coalition that, in conjunction with youth and families, will propose changes in the district’s discipline policy and code of conduct policies. A network around this issue will be built through social media and e-alerts on the local issues, coupled with research on national models that this community can review and propose to education leaders.
3. Collecting Baseline Research and set goals to decrease the levels: The campaign will produce policy analysis to understand the disproportionate rate of suspension rates on African American males in education from the most recent school year (2011-2012). We are also collecting information on juvenile justice statistics related to suspension rates. This is crucial, since we have more general data available around overall suspension rates for groups by ethnicity, but little public data on the disparate impact on male students of color.
4. Building a community coalition to Set Goals to End Discipline Disparities: Youth, families and community leaders will work in tandem with the schools and juvenile justice departments to create mutual public goals of decreasing suspension rates and referrals into the juvenile justice system.
We will be presenting outcomes of the summit and recommendations through summer 2013! Please stay tuned for more!
This is the story: Something observed has to be measured to be analyzed; One cause can have more than one effect; One effect can be caused by more than one cause; Causes almost certainly have to be cross-correlated. To establish good theories, taking into account all of the above, you need large samples to observe, measure, and analyze. The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) must be a part of the collective for it to work. There is no “high-brow” agenda in education…or maybe there is?
By Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – OurBlackNews.com
Minneapolis, MN – The Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) met today (5/6) to further conversations about the topic, “Out of School Time.” This mostly Minneapolis focused citywide collaborative was held at in south Minneapolis at the Waite House.
Over 60-organization from Minneapolis showed up that dealt with Pre-K, K-12 education including a networking group from the north side concerned about violence, dropouts and summer jobs for youth.
From YCB’s website they state, “The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board champions the well-being and healthy development of Minneapolis children and young people. We are a collaborative effort of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and the Minneapolis Public Schools.”
YCB also asks, “Are you a policymaker or administrator”? They invite interested parties to learn about public policy priorities, research, and YCB initiatives focused on Minneapolis children and youth. Discover the Youth Congress, which engages young people in policy development and decision-making. YCB also includes Parent Resources for helpful resources including those for early childhood and childcare, the k-8 years, teens, after school and meal programs, and more. Learn about the Minneapolis plan to prevent youth violence.
The facts are unnerving. YCB says, “In the 2008-09 school year 63.8% of students in the Minneapolis Public Schools received a free or reduced price lunch, a common indicator for living in poverty. (Minneapolis Public Schools) In 2006, one-third of Minneapolis children lived in poverty, with children of color at the highest risk:
- 60.5% of African American
- 55.8% of Asian children
- 38.3% of Latino children
- 7.7% of White children
What was missing at today’s meeting was representation from the Northside Achievement Zone. Attendees tell IBNN NEWS that it was highly suspect that NAZ had no visual or physical presence at this meeting. A current NAZ “connector” tells IBNN that, “We’ve been through plenty of training, but I don’t see an end-game.”
NAZ was developed (supposedly) for partnership with agencies having success doing exactly what YCB is doing in all areas of education from Pre-K to “12th” grade. Many left the meeting not comprehending why NAZ would not have attended.
Stay tuned, “Open Letter to Sondra Samuels, Northside Achievement Zone and US Promise Neighborhoods…”
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – OurBlackNews.com and The Independent Business News Network
Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in postsecondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year “13th” grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. (Read HF1149 here)
The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education (if any) in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Public School systems.
The Minneapolis Urban League who currently operates the Urban League Academy in Minneapolis has not shown any success in their private educational ventures. The school, according to U.S. News and World Report shows test scores (U.S. News calculates these values based on student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level coursework) of 27% reading proficiency with math not reported and college readiness omitted from the report. It is not educationally sound for an agency like the Minneapolis Urban League to be involved in a venture of this nature when they cannot communicate, represent, or show positive outcomes for the people they currently represent, if any. In 2013, the MUL does not speak for many residents as it pertains to Minnesota’s education system or successes therein.
This leads to the second challenge in Minnesota’s K-12 education system. Last week, outgoing CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien toured the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) facilities for an upcoming report on “Black in America.” O’Brien and CNN, seeking to answer questions on Minnesota’s challenges with the achievement gap was in Minneapolis to celebrate the NAZ program who identifies poor families with pre-K children in a predetermined pilot area of north Minneapolis. The parents are channeled through a variety of different classes with the award being a t-shirt for their pre-K children that reads, “College Graduate 2035.”
The Northside Achievement Zone, who in December of 2011 received $28 million from the US Promise Neighborhood Program has yet to show how they will report successes in 2013 with promises of graduates from college in 2035. Pre-K children in the NAZ project area and surrounding neighborhoods are more likely to be dropouts, expelled, or killed by violent crime according to Ronald A. Edwards, a Minnesota historian and the longest seated chairman of the Minneapolis Urban League. Edwards states, “The Minneapolis Urban League has not seen much in the area of educational success for its now closed elementary school or their high school. The Urban League is attempting to make themselves relevant in 2013 not because of their concern for the education of black youth – but to get money – they’re broke.”
The NAZ program from the US Promise Neighborhood Grant only lasts for five years; after $28 million is spent, mostly in administrative costs – what real results will north Minneapolis see in education? The Minneapolis Urban League’s “13th” Grade proposal at the Minnesota State Legislature and NAZ both feature a boutique community engagement piece reminiscent of many past failures in Minnesota’s education system.
It could be important to ask the question, “Who represents students in the Pre-K and K-12 public school system?” The duty should fall upon the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the local districts – but in the last 10 years, the MDE has done little to nothing in the area of addressing the achievement gap while celebrating more “performance art” initiatives in a failed attempt to solve a problem of educational equity from the top down.
What both programs and program leaders fail to recognize are the facts. There is too much racial discrimination in Minnesota to adequately address the achievement gap and issues of unemployment. According to a story in the Star Tribune: “Minnesota has the worst joblessness gap in the country between whites and blacks according to the Institute on Public Policy in Washington, DC.” The 2010 City of Minneapolis Disparity Report states the same: “We conclude that the statistical evidence presented in this report is consistent with these anecdotal accounts of contemporary business discrimination.” Minnesota’s public school system has problems also. Minnesota, more specifically the Minneapolis Public Schools has one of the largest achievement gaps between whites and blacks in the US. If one were to combine the issues, based on fact and sound logic there is no way either of these programs will work given the current methods of perpetual poverty in Minneapolis, especially the city’s north side. This is nothing more than moving chairs around on the Titanic.
Please, take our poll on the right—->
“There will come a time when the need for a grassroots community engagement will put Black and Hispanic men and women back in their communities to reach the youth that need to be in school. This need will outweigh the bureaucratic, office-bound agenda that has not been effective in over 10 years.” ~D. Allen
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – OurBlackNews.com
St. Paul Police Truancy officials want to keep St. Paul students in school and off the streets during school times. The focus on education versus being in the system is a comfortable sign that the City of St. Paul law enforcement is ready to try something outside the box. In a preliminary meeting with Mr. Wesley Smith, founder of Drop Outs to Drop Ins, Smith and a development staffer took the opportunity to discuss the DODI program model with assistant chief Bill Martinez and Sgt. Christopher Byrne of the Juvenile Unit – St. Paul Police.
Smith said, “There are many things involved in getting a child back in school. That kid you see on the street corner during school hours has many things going on in his life that keep him away from school.” Smith and Chief Martinez both agreed there is a need for a more creative approach to truancy including exploring technical schools, Internet training courses and creative outlets to keep St. Paul youth interested in education.
Truancy at a Glance:
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, habitual truancy can be defined as unexcused absences from school by a minor that exceed the number of such absences allowed under State law. Each State has its own school attendance laws, which specify 1) The age at which a child must begin school, 2) The age at which a youth can legally drop out of school, and 3) The number of unexcused absences that constitute truancy under the law (NCSE, N.d.). (PDF Report 2009)
No one really knows what the drop out rate for truants is; most school districts do not collect the data. Data from the 2000 census show that high school dropouts had only a 52% employment rate in 1999, compared to 71% for high school graduates, and 83% for college graduates. Of those who worked full-time year-round in 1999, high school dropouts earned only 65% of the median earnings.
Drop Out to Drop Ins takes a non-traditional approach, combined with common sense methods to get students thinking about education and the benefits of being back in school. Volunteers and law enforcement majors from local colleges combined with individual’s whose interest might range from math, science, English and philosophy join with DODI staffers to custom design a curriculum that focuses on successful student engagement while providing the necessary tracking data to the public schools and law enforcement officials.
Smith, who sees the summer fast approaching said, “I don’t see a crisis; I see an opportunity to get out on the streets of St. Paul and invite youth to one of the many community engagements DODI will plan. These children, for the most part test as creative and need to find out who they are. We can do that.”
Drop Out To Drop Ins at a glance:
Mr. Wesley Smith founded Drop Out to Drop Ins in 2006. He is responsible for re-entering over 200 K-12 students back in school. Mr. Smith has received no funding whatsoever for his mission. He survives from the kindness of friends, families and people who believe in his work.
Join Drop Out to Drop Ins and become a fan on Facebook.
Northside Achievement Zone: Aiming kids towards College? Former NAZ board member pulls the covers off no achievement in NAZ
On Saturday, April 27 a former board member of Peace Foundation/NAZ was interviewed on the Internet radio program ON POINT with Ronald A. Edwards and myself. This former board member uncovered that NAZ was not doing the community any favors and the agency does call other north Minneapolis based organizations for human needs assistance. The former board member also alleges that NAZ is not doing what it was designed to do and the current model is nothing more than “talking point fluff.” Listen to the program on iTunes “The Ron and Don Show” or click here to download Saturday’s program. What is the black community to do when some of our leaders work harder to “back pat” each other versus actually doing the work? Listen to the program here.
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – OurBlackNews.com
North Minneapolis – Where are the “culture brokers, creators and sustainers?” boutique engagement words used by NAZ president Sondra Samuels to describe how NAZ is “trying” to help everyone. The challenge is NAZ has shown no results other then meetings and payout in administration costs. Betting on a poor black child in north Minneapolis to graduate from college in 2035 (under the cities current political and economic infrastructure) is like expecting to win the lottery. Is that why the Samuels sends a child 11 miles outside of north Minneapolis to school. Fixing a challenge starts in your own back yard.
Without the assistance of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF); excluding interviews with Black in America’s Soledad O’Brien, can Sondra Samuels and NAZ open up their playbook to the public and provide a list of clients to be surveyed for an evaluation of NAZ – it’s services and programs?
NAZ president Sondra Samuels told MPR in an interview, “If this program doesn’t work, I will resign.” This is a problematic statement if you take in to account NAZ is hoping for college graduates in 2035. Of course, salaries will be paid – the money will be gone.
Some organizations in north Minneapolis consider themselves above reproach, as if they were knighted by the Queen of England – or operating under some form of Sainthood, appointed by a higher power to bring forth an end to whatever it is they’re working towards.
The Star Tribune ran a story on Sunday (4/28), “Aiming kids toward college.” Northside Achievement Zone’s president Sondra Samuels told reporter Adam Belz, “Our purpose is to end multigenerational poverty using education as a lever, creating this culture of achievement in this geographic zone, where all children graduate high school college-ready.”
Samuels statement provides the foundation on why a close look must be taken at the Northside Achievement Zone and why a program that gives a t-shirt with a date of college graduation to it’s littlest participants excludes the data that tells us children in north Minneapolis are more likely to be drop outs; economically disenfranchised or killed by violence than graduate from high school.
North Minneapolis and the surrounding geographic area has not seen the kind of economic uplift out of poverty that Samuels is expecting from her programming with NAZ. Waiting until 2035 does not guarantee any successes.
The community of North Minneapolis is considerably diverse: 26.2% of residents speak a language other than English and 91% have incomes below 275% of the Federal poverty level. According to the 2010 Census, 57,765 individuals live in the North Minneapolis neighborhoods served by NorthPoint (Health Clinic), of whom 26% self-identify as African American, 8% Asian, and 5% Hispanic. In 2012, 37% of patients at NorthPoint were uninsured and 50% received Medicaid; 4% received Medicare and other public programs covered an additional 3%. Private insurance covered only 6% of patients (Hennepin County).
So how many black families are involved with NAZ? We don’t know….
In the Star Tribune story, the reporter asked Ms. Samuels:
Q: Explain how you think the program can stop the cycle of poverty in north Minneapolis.
A: We have a saying that “population-level results are revolutionary.” We’re not just trying to impact the children of families that actually come through NAZ; we’re trying to impact the entire zone. Even in families that don’t ever come to NAZ, and that’s creating a tipping point. They become the culture. They are the culture brokers, creators and sustainers.
Our question to NAZ and Ms. Samuels: What are the current results from the 217 families with 584 children in 2012? Have the situations of these families with children changed with the “Touch of NAZ?”
Stay tuned; IBNN NEWS and its affiliate will release an exclusive interview with a mother and child who participated with NAZ.