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The day after the tornado, the Minneapolis Urban League had an empty home that could have been available to assist displaced residents – until this day, the MUL has not whispered a peep about the property. These are some of the incidents that made it easy for community members and the mainstream to not get any reports on where the money went. Where are the reports? We told the Minneapolis Foundation that “bringing the bullies to the playground” would come back and bite them in the ass. We also must address Urban Homework’s and see their report also – I’m still seeing tarps in north Minneapolis.
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/ IBNN NEWS and Black Politics in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS/Tornado Recovery Chaos/January 24, 2012)…Please read this very carefully. This is an example of what happens when things don’t work out, or the politics of a skewed-process turn into a train wreck. Karen Kelley-Ariwoola will be leaving the Minneapolis Foundation after 18+ years. Could this be a result of the Tornado “poverty-pimps” brought in that did little to nothing for community members? Remember, Bruce Bjork from GMCC, he’s gone too – so what does that represent when the fiscal agents representative is gone?
In a statement on the Minneapolis Foundation’s website announcing the departure of “Ms. Karen,” one must ask the question, “Why?” IBNN NEWS, it’s affiliates ON POINT, the Minneapolis Mirror and Black Focus with Ronald A. Edwards have brought the community real-time news reports on what we called a system of chaos and greed within the Black community, during the tornado recovery efforts. Ms. Karen and Bruce Bjork could be casualties of a process that took no prisoners and left north side tornado victims hopeless and helpless.
Karen Kelley-Ariwoola, our Vice President of Community Philanthropy, is leaving The Minneapolis Foundation, effective March 30. After 18 wonderful years of service, Karen is eager to spend more time with her family. Karen intends to remain active in the Twin Cities community and looks forward to finding future opportunities for continued engagement and community leadership.
Karen has made a deep and lasting mark on both the Foundation and our community. She is well-regarded locally and nationally for her leadership on education, early childhood, and racial equity. Her persistent, collaborative, and compassionate efforts have contributed to many of Minnesota’s recent gains in each of these areas, as have the relationships she has built over time with nonprofit, corporate and foundation leaders and elected officials at all levels.
Karen has also been instrumental in the Minnesota Helps tornado recovery effort – not just for her role in raising and distributing well over a million dollars in relief, but for supporting the efforts of local agencies to create a new model for working together and a new vision for North Minneapolis. (Many of us were touched by her personal account of the tornado’s devastation and the community’s resilience that was published in the Star Tribune.) She played the same great collaborative leadership role on behalf of our community in the wake of the 35W bridge disaster a few years ago.
Karen will leave behind a huge body of work and impact on the Foundation’s grant making, advocacy, leadership, donor relations, and more. She significantly helped shape our work on racial equity, youth violence prevention, early childhood and student achievement, and our own Minnesota meeting public affairs forum. We will miss her deeply.
We’re grateful that Karen will remain with us through March 30 to help make the transition as smooth as possible for the Foundation, our constituents, and the community. You can expect our grant making and community leadership work to stay on track. We are deeply committed to our strategic goals of transforming education, promoting economic vitality, and building social capital – all towards the end of creating a more equitable community. We’re also committed to being a responsive and effective community partner and look forward to a continued relationship with you in support of our common goals.
We look forward to celebrating her accomplishments later this spring. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Karen for nearly two decades of service to The Minneapolis Foundation, the field of philanthropy, and our community. We wish Karen and her family health, happiness, and prosperity.
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IBNN NEWS would like to wish Ms. Karen the best and maybe sometime in the future we’ll get the real story.
More to come….