Philosophy: What did the Star Tribune get wrong when questioning the integrity and credibility of long-established African American leaders?
Insight News publishing a story citing the Star Tribune newspaper has attacked local leadership. The real question is who do these people represent and how do self-appointed leaders with access to media decide they are being attacked while there is no accountability for actions taken in the last decade?
By Don Allen, Founder, OurBlackNews.com
Minneapolis, Minn. (April 21, 2015)…As a metamodernist, I recognize oscillation to be the natural order of the world. With that said, all things are in production, consistently changing, redesigning and retooling the machine to complete output. Philosophers Deleuze and Guattari see machines all over; the body, the earth, craving, everything techniques as a machine. In the same light, they announce, “Everything is production.” Nothing is ever done delivering. Sustenance, a PC, a spoon, everything is generation as it keeps on creating and is attached up to different machines that keep on delivering. Regardless, only in light of the fact that nothing is ever done creating does not imply that nothing is ever delivered. It is critical to note that “Something is created: the impacts of a machine, not simply allegories.” Items exist yet just as makers. Besides, “creation is quickly utilization and a recording procedure.” The qualification in the middle of creation and utilization – and the procedure that records those – is caved in by the commonness of generation in both utilization and recording.
Some black leaders in the Twin Cities must answer for their lack of production. Black Minnesotans have experienced racketeering, influenced corruption, marginalization and obstructionist behaviors from local leadership that denies those who have different opinions, political party affiliations and sound business acumens. The philosophy of the current leadership is that anyone that does not agree with their processes is dismissed from inner circles; questions about process will not be answered.
The blind spot in the Insight News story pretends like nothing is wrong in the black community; the local newspaper is randomly attacking these black self-appointed leaders. Not so.
Did senators Champion and Hayden push (too vigorously, some alleged) for funding for Community Standards Initiatives (CSI), a group that said it could help more low-income African-American students graduate. The Minneapolis School District paid CSI a portion of a possible $375,000 before terminating the contract when the group failed to deliver, via reports from the school districts and the black community.
Did Senator Hayden, who is deputy majority leader of the Senate, served on the board of Community Action and something unethical happen? The agency is closed and is now under scrutiny for questionable spending. When is the press conference to explain?
More recently, reports surfaced that the pair urged funding for two Minneapolis Urban League education programs that failed to fulfill their purpose, which is obvious.
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.
The community would like to know the names and successes of the 3000 young adults served. What was the education and employability solution? When were they initiated? How much money did you spend?
The integrity and credibility of long-established African American self-appointed leaders in the Twin Cities is in question because of over 30 years of inactivity that does not show positive results. Therefore, production has stalled and forward momentum has been skewed to personal momentum for those who agree with a certain group, political party, family member or organization. Clearly this is a baseline example of racketeering, influenced corrupt and the profiteering from direct funding that never makes it to community members of original design destinations.
The assumption of an “attack” on Twin Cities “leadership” is misleading because said leadership has never been appointed, elected or assigned to local black people. Using local black media silos in an attempt to distribute propaganda is even more damaging to members of the black community.
In closing, the Star Tribune did not attack; what they did is expose a process hidden in a vial of heinous malfeasance to show why members of the black community must question community spokespersons.
Growing concern from community groups, parents and local corporations see the immediate need to restructure the MPS into several mini-districts sans a few board of directors. The Minneapolis city council, mayor must consider taking control, reappointing board members to reset the MPS crumbling infrastructure.
By Don Allen, Founder – IBNN News
Minneapolis, Minn. (April 19, 2015)…With the total collapse of the Summtech program at North High School, originally to begin in the fall of 2015, community member have become more dejected with the MPS, its administrators and cite manager for their lack of educational competence. The future of African American students being hired by Fortune 1000 firms headquartered in Minnesota is slim. The MPS “ready-for-college” development has critically botched African American learners in sciences, math, communications and literature.
Many African American learners signed up for what should have been a revolutionary new educational tactic for the MPS. In an environment that denotes African American learners do not to read, write or understand math at grade level, the Summtech program at North High School seemed like an option for learners to bypass blight and poverty by becoming skilled college ready contenders. Many concerned residents went to social media to discuss their displeasure with the MPS.
“They never even hired a coordinator to start the development of the program. They could not possibly think that it was going to be done in house. That person is not going to be hired until next week. There was never any intention to open it this fall,” said decorated United States military veteran and former Mpls NAACP education chairwomen Lisa Neal-Delgado.
The questions were asked, what would the students who signed up do?
Unchallenged MPS board director Kim Ellison wrote via Facebook: “Principal Harris-Berry worked hard to ensure Summatech (sic) was ready to open this fall…we all did. We forgot to work with North’s site council and when we finally brought them to the table, they did not see us ready to implement the world-class program we all know Summatech should be and supported waiting a year to get it right. I will accept the blame for Summatech not opening in 2015 and continue to work with North to produce what is needed for 2016.”
Ms. Neal-Delgado responded: “And for parents who’s children have already been accepted into Summtech (sic) this year? What are we telling them Director Ellison? I have been contacted by several…. one being my niece (since I was told I didn’t have a dog in this race). What are we telling these parents, who think their children are in Summtech and still haven’t been told otherwise?”
Director Ellison: “Students enrolled in Summatech will take ninth grade requirements (English, social studies, math) with NAC students. There will be elective courses aligned with the outcomes of Summatech (these may include dual-enrolled college courses) so when Summatech is fully functional they will already be on course. This is what I have been told – I was not able to confirm with staff today but did not want to leave this question unanswered all weekend. I will follow up when I have confirmation.”
The story of Summtech (sic) is like many of the stories inside the MPS. One thing the district does not seem to understand – black students are at a disadvantage from the beginning. When black students enter school in kindergarten or first grade, they are already achieving at lower levels than their white counterparts on standardized assessments. The gap in educational achievement widens as children get older, with black students falling steadily behind. If a kid is hungry, feels threatened, unsafe, not well, insecure or lacking to satisfy any of those needs towards the bottom, he or she might but is not very likely going to scale the heights of success, no matter what you do or what shining resources you throw at them.
It appears the Minneapolis public schools has failed, and continues to fail in many areas of ‘new learning,’ including a current curriculum of African American and African studies.
The ideology of “some” non-profit social service agencies have been replaced with a “bank-like” operation that in most cases only helps itself.
By Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief – OurBlackNews.com
There is something to be said about organizations, politicians and community spokespersons who become ingrained in a process of using humans as a way to gain access for funding and dismissing the notion of helping their cash crop to become stable and acquire some type of standardized normalcy.
Author Ralph Ellison wrote, “All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried telling me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory” (Invisible Man). In the Twin Cities some are “told” what they are, where to go and who they can be. This is a sad documentary on defining humanity, culture and identity in 2013. The status quo of poverty in the Twin Cities is to let those in poverty stay lost within their environments, undeveloped, misinformed and of course misguided.
Residents of the Twin Cities, especially those residing in areas with large populations of blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Somali, and the poor have seen a downtick in proactive engagement and services. In most cases the right process would lift service-dependent clients up from current norms into an abnormal hemisphere of self-sufficiency while stabilizing their foundations into a station of strength, solidarity and forward progress. For that to happen, poverty in the Twin Cities would need to have an expiration date – an elimination of life-disrupting incidents brought on by circumstance, environments and the political infrastructure.
The protagonist blocking the success of the lower one-third and middle-class in the Twin Cities are those who operated in the areas of non-profit organizations whose life’s-blood depends on the next grant; number of poor, homeless, unhealthy, unemployed, untrained, uneducated and of course poor children. I need to make it very clear; there is a need for these agencies, but not at the current levels. A consolidation of repeat programing could form a cohesive tracking of those in need to the next level of personal success versus the multi-facetted referral system, which in most cases has too many interconnected loopholes that leads to missing those who really need the assistance.
Another part of this puzzle is the lack of community engagement. The Star Tribune posted a story this week, “Where’s the community and the engagement?” – citing, “Community engagement seems to be all the rage these days as a buzzword at 1250 Broadway, headquarters of Minneapolis Public Schools.” Again, one of the many protagonists in Designer Poverty is the public school system. Community engagement does not mean asking teachers unions, hiring people who can’t read a book, write a proposal, talk in a sentence to do outreach – which the school system is currently doing. This unfavorable one-sided process is masked in conflict, irony – foreshadowed by a process that will not ever provide great outcomes. This is the true meaning of Designer Poverty.”
Other examples of origins of Designer Poverty and how it is created can been seen in real time by local agencies to include, but not limited to: Minneapolis Urban League, Minneapolis Foundation, Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, NAACP-MN, African-American Leadership Forum and of course, any political organization who takes their constituency for granted – this goes for the Minnesota DFL and the Minnesota GOP. Politics have not been a good bedfellow for those in poverty. In minority-ethnic communities, it is only a few that come to the table or organization, outreach and information. The usual suspects are encouraged and in some cases make WAM (walking around money) to redirect poverty-stricken residents into hopeless engagement similar to telling them, “If you buy a lottery ticket, you could have the winning ticket.” Perpetual anxiety, mixed with the promise of a “new tomorrow” complicates comprehension of the basic needs of humans who suffer.
Designer Poverty in the Twin Cities is a multi-billion dollar business. The people who benefit, for the most part don’t live within the boarders of the Twin Cities. To stay in business, successful measurable outcomes must be limited; focus must be narrow and the usual suspects must develop a secret agenda absent of the mainstream.
Some of the smallest nonprofits in north Minneapolis have the ability to reach thousands of Twin Cities residents. The Minneapolis Urban League lost their ability to be heard and reach all black Minnesotans more than 20-years ago. The black community in Minnesota is monumental; we do not read one local newspaper, nor do we listen to one radio station. There are hundreds of qualified and capable black men and women in education and business. These men and women can lift the Minneapolis Urban League out of their drought. The recycling of old has-beens and wannabes and political cronyism has left the MUL abandoned by those who understand what a good model of “community” is all about. The gateway to coonery has been open wide and for too long.
By Don Allen, Founder – www.OurBlackNews.com
Minneapolis, Minn. (April 13, 2015)…Over 20 years ago, historian and civil rights leader Mr. Ronald A. Edwards left the Minneapolis Urban League as the longest seated chairman of the board. When Edward was the leader of the flagship civil rights organization, the MUL had over 250 employees (well paid), two-schools (functioning) and programs that made organizations like the United Way smile with appreciation. Within the last 20-years, into 2015, the MUL has become a ghost town with a handful of employees, a school that is less than exceptional and programming that misses the target by a long shot. To make matters worse, the MUL leadership, board and inner-workings have bowed down to a political plantation infrastructure that has left the agency hopeless, hungry and very dysfunctional. The story in the Star Tribune is just the tip of the iceberg…and I have not gotten to why Minnesota senators Jeff Hayden and Bobby Joe Champion should have never pushed forward legislation for a 13th grade, for $800,000 a year. As noted, the program never lived up to its promise of graduating the city’s most troubled high school students…but that was never the plan.
I write this post today out of my passion and conviction to address what I believe are the grievous woes that continue to plague the minority- ethnic populations of the Twin Cities, and to seek to find solutions to them. I have addressed the Minneapolis Urban League and alleged misappropriation of funds. I have addressed the challenges facing our schools and asked how the Minneapolis Urban League would attempt a multibillion-dollar community engagement for less than one million. At the top of any urban agenda must be securing the right to a high quality education, and providing stable, good paying jobs to those adults who are willing and able to work, which the MUL decided was secondary to their mission of suspending extinction…an action of their own doing.
I have indeed been an outspoken critic of the MUL, but also I have many reasons. I have asked when board meeting were scheduled; who voted in the new board chair? It was obvious I was not getting an answer. As a membership organization, the members are far removed from a process that should include voices that might no agree with political positioning. Maybe someone could have warned the MUL board…the MUL is not ready to program any educational outcomes for black people.
As it pertains to civil rights, black lives, equity and the pursuit of liberty, the MUL is just a building on a weak foundation ready to crumble when the wolf huffs and puffs. Last year, IBNN News told thousand the MUL needed to be checked.
Today (Monday), the first wolf was the Star Tribune.
The Minneapolis Urban League will not call a press conference, nor will a lion ask sheep permission to eat them.
Yes, I told you so. I’ve been writing about the Minneapolis Urban League’s #fails since I heard about the bill dreamed up by Senators Bobby Joe Champion and Jeff Hayden. This collaboration was bound to fail based on the internal process of the MUL, it’s board, partners and political affiliations. Please…read my stories, then read the story in today’s Star Tribune.
Stories by Don Allen, published last year about the Minneapolis Urban League’s 13th Grade. Former MUL president R. Scott Gray never returned a phone call.
In light of the resent Senate Ethics Committee filings on senator Jeff Hayden, it is important for community members to be clear on what a nonprofit board is suppose to do, rather than play the race card and cry racism. Again, members of the black community are being led to think ethics in accountability is an attack…its not.
By Don Allen, Founder – IBNN News
Minneapolis, Minn. (April 13, 2015)…The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits provides a clear and relevant list of Board Basics on their website in simple clarity. It says, a nonprofit’s board of directors is responsible for defining the organization’s mission and for providing overall leadership and strategic direction to the organization. Each nonprofit board should:
- Actively set policy and ensure that the organization has adequate resources to carry out its mission;
- Provide direct oversight and direction for the executive director and be responsible for evaluating his/her performance; and
- Evaluate its own effectiveness as a governing body, as a group of volunteers, and as representatives of the community in upholding the public interest served by the organization.
It is also very clear on why a board should preserve financial resources: Financial mismanagement is a critical risk facing community-serving organizations. Thus, one of the most important functions of a nonprofit board is the proper oversight of the organization’s finances.
Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound governance and financial management policies, and ensuring adequate resources. One of the most important responsibilities for many boards is to hire a talented CEO/executive director to run the day-to-day management activities of the organization. The vast majority of board members for charitable nonprofits serve as volunteers without any compensation.
What is the role of the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation? Just as for any corporation, including nonprofit corporations, the board of directors have three primary legal duties known as the “duty of care,” “duty of loyalty,” and “duty of obedience.”
It is obvious that Community Action of Minneapolis had some serious challenges, and IBNN attests that most board members looked the other way, while others bathed in the glory of “free things” supported on the backs of community members in the name of God and poor people.
In sum, the legal duties require that nonprofit board members do the following:
- Take care of the nonprofit by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will; and provide oversight for all activities that advance the nonprofit’s effectiveness and sustainability. (Duty of due care)
- Make decisions in the best interest of the nonprofit corporation; not in his or her self-interest. (Duty of loyalty)
- Ensure that the nonprofit obeys applicable laws and acts in accordance with ethical practices; that the nonprofit adheres to its stated corporate purposes, and that its activities advance its mission. (Duty of obedience)
Were these obligations met within the board leadership of Community Action of Minneapolis? As it stands today, the answer is no.
The bleeding heart liberals are calling this a political attack. Those of us in the black community who have watched this political tomfoolery unfold already knew some black elected officials (especially the state senators) weld power and social positions as if they were gods on Mount Olympus. Unfortunately, only close friends and left-leaning political cronies benefited from these “godly” gestures.
By Don Allen, Founder –OurBlackNews.com
On Friday, April 10, 2015 – MPR’s Capitol View reported, “Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are filing a second ethics complaint against a DFL senator who was a board member of a controversial nonprofit. Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, says Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, lied under oath about his knowledge of the problems at Community Action of Minneapolis. Hann also alleges Hayden lied when he told the Ethics Committee that he never personally benefited from the nonprofit. Records show Community Action of Minneapolis purchased airline tickets for Hayden and his wife to travel to New York City in 2012.”
As some of us already know, Community Action Minneapolis was dealt a closing blow when investigators uncovered thousands in alleged misappropriations of funds. The Star Tribune reported the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service are investigating Community Action of Minneapolis, and its leaders allegedly misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money.
The investigations were disclosed for the first time a couple of months ago in a court filing by the organization’s court-appointed receiver. The CAR was hired by the state to assess the full scope of the organization’s finances after a state audit revealed the agency’s board and its chief executive, Bill Davis, used taxpayer money for a celebrity cruise, tropical vacations, a personal car loan and other questionable expenses.
Now enter board member and one of the overseers of CAM, Minnesota senator Jeff Hayden who is also being investigated as it pertains to Community Action of Minneapolis. The records that also show the receiver said there have been several other problems that need investigating. According to the MPR story, they include:
- Paying the personal credit card bills of friends of senior management
- Close friends of senior management being paid as contractors without substantiating their work
- Senior management using CAM funds to pay for the medical bills and personal expenses of friends who were non-CAM employees
- Excessive gift-giving to board members
- Senior management using CAM staff to perform work for outside interests and/or businesses of senior managers
- Diversion of CAM money in the form of “wages” to family members and close friends of senior management who performed no/minimal work or services for the money received
There are community members that say, republicans are just out to get the black senator. Others, who have watched say it is about time that someone answers the question of fiscal responsibility in dealing in what we attest are under-the-table deals on a state level for friends and political allies. Now, there is away to play this game – but it seems Hayden made up his own rules.
Minnesota Republicans (cleverly disguised Democrats) must elect new GOP leadership…get the Do-Do out
On this upcoming Saturday, delegates of the Minnesota GOP have the opportunity to upend the current system of loss and move closer to a win. What will they do?
By Don Allen, Founder – IBNN NEWS
Bloomington, Minn. (April 9, 2015)…For the record, Democrats in Florida are more conservative than most Minnesota republicans. Secondly, the Minnesota GOP needs a suppository to purge mess caught inside the leadership and its cronies who are fine with congressional candidates having the worst losing record in Minnesota’s congressional campaign history in the fourth and fifth congressional districts. It seems the Minnesota GOP is good at taking an ass whipping lying down.
I’m not going to waste a lot of room trying to convince some of you racist bastards (both black and white) the current leadership needs to go. Nor am I going to tap members of Minnesota’s Somali community and give them a mirror to reflect their blackness back to them, because simply put my bothers, you still are not white men.
The Minnesota GOP as it stands today is not your friend.
Delegates, please make the “right” choice on Saturday.
Some of the most dangerous killing weapons in the Twin Cites sit behind desks in the Black community
Today (4.8) North Minneapolis under siege with double-homicide. Now remind me, who does the city, county and state give that money to prevent this kind of community horror? How did Minnesota’s black community let the Four Horsemen bamboozle everyone? Black on Black crime happens without a gun.
By The Ron and Don Show – #BlogTalkRadio
City, County and State should track money granted to prevent violence in the black community. Tonight on the Ron and Don Show, we will answer some very important questions. The phone lines will be open.