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Wednesday July 23rd 2014
The Independent Business News Network was established in July of 2008. The goal of IBNN is to provide a different view of the local, national and global news and events that happen in the Black communities around the world. IBNN's expectations are to provide a level of coverage and investigative reporting not seen on local mainstream media, while covering Politics, Education, Money, Business, and Community events. IBNN is an affiliate of Black Politics in Minneapolis, Radical Black USA and other African American news sources. Comments, concerns and questions can be emailed to

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This Friday do something different: Turn off KMOJ and tune to KFAI 90.3 this Friday, February 25th at 8 a.m. for a Black History Month Special

A Public Service Announcement from IBNN NEWS

On Friday, February 25, 2011 KFAI will celebrate Black History Month (BHM) with a special day of programming on Friday, February 25, 2011.

The station will broadcast live programming – produced by African Americans – that explores the history of their people in America.

This Friday’s Black History Month Special, “Voting Rights Act, Past Present, Future, The Struggle to Vote,” hosted by Springboard Economic Development Corporation’s Lennie Chism and Editor in Chief of the Independent Business News Network Donald “Star Tribune Plaything” Allen. Yes, we have a lot to say!

Springboard has invited former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry, who is a current city councilman to call in and join the conversation.

As Black Americans go through struggles in the United States still in 2011, fighting for Civil Rights and a fair playing field – we must remember the struggle is not over.

There’s a new revolution and a new movement. Never again will Black citizens be tricked into an “Impact Minnesota.” (More to come on that!)

In 2011, the fight is for people and votes.

In the Twin Cities, people of color – especially Black people have seen “disastrous” unsuccessful outcomes by elected officials who promise change and new direction. Social Justice has become a game where the highest bidder wins every time.

Tune in Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. to KFAI-FM Radio 90.3 in Minneapolis and 106.7 in St. Paul.  You can also listen to KFAI-FM online by going to

KFAI is a non-commercial FM radio station.

Don Allen supports the Minneapolis Public Schools – he doesn’t support “Jackwagons” (Video Blog)

Video by Donald W. R. Allen, II for IBNN NEWS.

Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN Editorial)…The Star Tribune’s Corey Mitchell has used this platform to lambaste me for his own personal desires.  Having been a vocal critic of the school system, he claims, I should have been disqualified to work on a campaign to help promote and improve the schools.

I find this  assertion to be highly problematic and illogical.  I firmly believe that it is the right, and in fact the duty, of an informed, active citizenry to seek to reform the institutions and structures that we inhabit. Especially those that work most directly with our children. This is something that I was taught by my parents, who migrated to the Twin Cities from Mississippi and Jamaica, respectively, in the 1940s.

I have indeed been a vocal critic of the school system in the past.  But it is the job, and the duty of any informed, engage citizenry to actively seek to bring about change and reform.   And critics must also work towards finding solutions.  Complacency, silence, and a willingness to stand silently by in the face of inequality and injustice are emphatically not forms of civic virtue. Mr.  Mitchell’s characterization of me as having “savaged” the school system, and as a “crazed negro” manifest his personal distaste for me, and his failure to acknowledge the right and necessary place of debate and reform in a democratic society.

In closing, the Star Tribune and Mr. Mitchell were told that the ads posted in Tuesday’s paper we’re “spec” ads to show the “idea” of the campaign – they (Star Tribune did not have permission or was authorized to use any of the work.)

I also hold a list of no-bid contracts, (some over $50,000), some of which the “taxpayers” of Minneapolis have NEVER seen the final results, but regardless, folks were paid.

I support Sup. Johnson and the Minneapolis Public Schools because I am a product of that system who told us in the 70′s, “You can do, be and have anything as long as you work hard for want you need.” ~(Peter H. Neighborhood Youth Corps – who provided jobs for thousands of students in the Minneapolis Public Schools from 1971 until 1982.)

Donald Allen – Independent Business News Network
Far and Balanced like FOX News” (Far reaching and well balanced – just in case any “Jackwagons” thought it was misspelled)
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis Public Schools Jill Davis: “You don’t know my name?” You will after Saturday’s ON POINT! Black Talk Radio on BlogTalkRadio

“Tune in Saturday to ON POINT! for local and national news and information.”

"Be afraid, be very afraid." ~Aliens

Memory loss is a serious condition suffered by millions of people everyday.

Selective Memory Loss” is not a medical condition, but is used in situations were “rear-end” covering is needed.

Join co-hosts Ronald A. Edwards (Black Focus; The Minneapolis Story; MSR) and Donald W.R. Allen, II (Independent Business News Network; USA Radical Black) on Saturday, February 26th at 4 p.m. (CST) for Black Talk Radio on one of BlogTalkRadio’s highest rated programs ON POINT!

We review several mistakes by the Star Tribune newspaper and comments made by MPS director Jill Davis, who mistakenly “vetted” out misinformation and will now have to explain MPS contracts for over $50,000 that are all “no-bid” awards.

Also on Saturday’s show we will discuss the malicious and yellow journalism by St. Louis transplant and Star Tribune token Corey Mitchell and why Mr. Mitchell has decided not to talk about education in any way, shape or form. There’s much more news and we will break some new developments on the Council on Black Minnesotans.

Saturday’s special Black History Month program will be a 90-minute LIVE call in show. We ask listeners to participate by calling (877) 572-4288.

There’s a lot going on – to listen from the comfort of your home computer, laptop or smartphone device, go to

Star Tribune and writer Corey Mitchell: Flawed by Design


“Minneapolis Public  Schools paid $15k and Don Allen figured out a way to find his ads onto the Minneapolis Star and Tribune with major coverage on a feature story. Anyone have a guess as to how much a full color ad like that would actually cost? Mr. Allen appears to have utilized an old marketing technique knows as flawed by design marketing to get enormous amounts attention for his client for very little costs. Just watch, Allen will make some extremely minor adjustments and his mission will be completed with the greatest of ease! Can you say owned? The schools win and that is what is important as the word is out as promised!” ~Jordan Hawkman Group

by Donald W.R. Allen, II – “Marketing Wiz and Internet Guru

“First of all, “I love it when a plan comes together…” Read the Star Tribune story here.

Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/February 22, 2011)…Corey Mitchell, writer for the Star Tribune Newspaper writes, “The Independent Business News Network blog has repeatedly savaged the reputation of the Minneapolis schools, calling the district ‘disastrous’ and accusing Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and others of mismanagement.”

It took IBNN NEWS to take a closer look at the Minneapolis Public Schools. When children of color are failing at a catastrophic rate, missing the opportunities for college and schools have not passed the yearly average progress, yes – it is “disastrous.” As far as “repeatedly savaged the reputation of the Minneapolis schools,” they didn’t need me to do that; can you say Lincoln, Willard, Jordan Park, Cityview, Harry Davis and Franklin and The City, Inc?

Long before Corey Mitchell arrived on the scene in Minneapolis to side with folks that are into hype, rather than report on education, the Minneapolis Public Schools was one of the most admired school systems in the country.

What happened?

What the Star Tribune and Mitchell fail to recognize is, there’s a problem, deep seeded and not talked about. Education is a civil right; if a race or class of children are not passing tests, not taught by teachers and still are passed along to the next grade Minneapolis Schools has some challenges.

While I am flattered at the Star Tribunes story, I still wonder when the focus will be on education. Mitchell, like former school board member Stewart lack in Black conciseness, choosing a “prejudice” position versus one of investigation of education and the lack of successful outcomes.

The story in the Star Tribune brings about many questions. The first being, how long will Mitchell have a job; Secondly – why no reporting about education? Mitchell and the ‘Strib’ have deconstructed the Minneapolis Public Schools on several occasions.

What makes me the focus? I’ll tell you:

In Minneapolis, if a Black man has a skill-set(s), it is mandatory for the Star Tribune and some of those who look like him (Black) to attack.

My advice to them, “If you have no critics, you have no success.” ~Malcolm X

I will continue to promote and work with the Minneapolis Public Schools. Look for new and exciting things.

One things for sure, the Star Tribune sure knows how to run some free ads.

North High School: Rebuilding through Trust and Partnership  

"Shall we overcome?"

by Marcus Owens, Guest Contributor (Photos by IBNN)

Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS – All Rights Reserved 2011)…A few thoughts come to mind that help me understand how we have gotten here and where we need to go with North High. First, we must understand that North High is more than a building at 1500 James Ave North. North High has become a sign of what is wrong with education in North Minneapolis, quite possibly all of Minneapolis and beyond. I believe there is failure to trust.

A number of parents did not trust that Minneapolis Public School (MPS) could do the best for their children, so they utilized programs such as the Choice is Yours and open enrollment to send their children outside of the district.  This caused declined enrollment which led to a flood of school closures on the North side. Leaving the remaining elementary and middle school parents, alumni and community members upset and with limited MPS options for their children. This lack of trust permeated to high school parents which led to the mass exodus of students out of North due to the fear of it closing, which unfortunately almost became a self fulfilling prophecy had it not been for some dedicated students, parents, staff and community members. For example, the perception that North is closing remains prevalent among 500 community members asked by the North Community Coalition.

But the lack of trust doesn’t only persist on one side. The MPS leadership has had issues with trust. When the two choice programs began, the MPS trusted that their monopoly on education within the city limits would trump any choice option because of its legacy. It would be easy to only say that 11 years ago the district had trust issues. This form of “corporate” arrogance has led to a 50 percent decline in market share for a district that was once the biggest in the state. In November, the district no longer trusted that North High could produce a quality and equitable education for Minneapolis students. There were multiple failed tactics including the removal of an attendance zone, which were upended and replaced by another failed tactic. This contributed to a recommendation to close North without ever utilizing the same strategies deployed for MPS schools such as Edison and Washburn.

Through this process of rebuilding North High, I’ve learned that not one entity–district or community–can do this alone nor should they bear the blame. Interdependent of each other, both groups are needed, to create success and none is more critical than the other.

For the community (including alumni of North, parents and students), we’ve spent too much time talking about the past and not enough focus on what could be. The media stories about the decline in achievement, low enrollment and the fall of the athletic programs portray North as if it were already closed. These stories exacerbate our current negative mindset.

Schools are like children to a community, and when you take a child’s life the family (in our case, the community) must grieve in order to move on and

"MDE Commissioner Ms. Brenda Casselius, Governor Mark Dayton's plan for Education in the 21st Century?"

we’re mourning the death of Lincoln, Willard, Jordan Park, Cityview, Harry Davis and Franklin. Now, even the threat of North closing puts us all in a state of shock. The seven steps of grieving are already being set in motion. We are done with shock and denial, anger and bargaining, pain and guilt. I sense we are beginning to turn the corner into life without those elements of the past but moving forward to spend more time with the schools we still have and make them the best for all.

As I said before, not one entity can do this on their own, the district needs to own up to its part in the death of educational opportunities in North Minneapolis. We need an apology in order for forgiveness to begin. MPS please admit that the way things went down weren’t because of ill intent but rather because of you did not identify the problem and act on it properly. You can mend the bridge by accepting those failures and promising to do better publicly. When you say those things mean them, start partnering with community shareholders and look for their guidance on how to make things better for our children. You will be amazed by what you will learn and will become more proficient in when you start make the right partners. Don’t spend time spinning your wheels and guessing what a barrier is, ask a student what a barrier is and do your best to remove it. The culture within your organization to accept mediocrity and complacency must be dismantled. This is one of the most prevalent issues that hinder success. It isn’t easy to change a culture but to not address it is inadequate, to say the least.

Despite what has happened in the past 10 to 20 years of education in North Minneapolis, there is a rare and substantial opportunity to mend, balance and excel now. What can a student be able to do when adults stop acting immature and truly build a relationship on trust and collaboration and strive for the best for student achievement? What can a school district be able to do if they break the old culture of seniority superseding sustainability and future thinking? What can a community do if they put past accomplishments into context and start yearning for better, more progressive ways for their children to grow and become the global citizens of tomorrow?

Ask yourself…

Minnesota DFL Political Plantation misses the opportunity to include everyone for Education Forum with MN Department of Education Commissioner

"Bamboozled, Hoodwinked and Dishonored"

Democrats or Republicans, it doesn’t matter. Each side manipulates its devotees into believing the other is evil, while extrapolating for you that your side, or ‘team,’ can do no wrong, while in reality they agree on most things and are an inch apart on others. If you can’t see this, you’ve been manipulated.

by Donald W.R. Allen,  II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black

Twin Cities (IBNN NEWS/February 21, 2011)…It’s very strange that several events are taking place dealing with some form of “education theme” on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., including a reception and forum at Sabathani Community Center – Banquet Center 2nd floor, located at 310 East 38th Street in Minneapolis.  This is called “community meeting cannibalism.”

Since I’ll be at UROC, I want to talk about the “dog & pony” show of sorts put on by Rep. Jeff Hayden (61B) and Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (58B) that offer a chance for “some” to meet Brenda Cassellius, the new MN Department of Education Commissioner, who supposedly will discuss Governor Dayton’s plan for education in the 21st Century. 

I wonder if Gov. Dayton’s plan includes closing the achievement gap – or just some very strong talking points?

The Minnesota DFL African American Caucus, Outreach Director for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, sent out the email to a select “few,” and at this point we don’t know if anyone from the Republican, Green or Independent Parties received this important notice – or if they even cared.

Again we (“some” members of the community) will get a chance to hear how “they,” (the Republicans) are taking away funding and doing a slapstick job on the budget. What’s left out of the conversation is the DFL was in charge of over $30.8 billion dollars before the GOP took the majority. No explanation here. But certainly they can come up with some snappy talking points about former Gov. Pawlenty and the role he did or didn’t play in Education.

Folks, we’ve seen it all before.

There was no thought out advanced planning was put into this event because if it were, the DFL African-American Caucus would have known that on this particular night the Minneapolis Public School Board has a regularly scheduled meeting.  Also on Tuesday, there is a “Leap forward Youth Collaborative” and dinner in St. Paul, and the University of Minnesota’s UROC facility will hold a forum to present the three finalists for the Executive Director. There’s also a professional networking party in downtown Minneapolis on 6th and Hennepin.

But of course, this has been the standard procedure by those (Democrats), who still cannibalize community events.

Secondly, after forwarding this information to MPS board members, it seems no one at the MPS District 1 knew about the event. Which brings me to my next point.

State education is a concern of all people in Minnesota. Citizens from around the state should have been involved in this important forum but again, checking with sources in Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, and local universities, colleges and trade schools – no information was distributed unless you are on the email list for the DFL Political Plantation.

This event with the Commissioner of Education isn’t a forum, it’s a play on a platform that has become all too familiar making it  one of the worse kinds; in one of they worst ways.

Urban Prep Academy Gets 100% Black Male College Attendance…Again – “Can someone explain Noble Charter Schools?”

"Urban Prep in Chicago. (Photo from AOL Black Voices)"

Editors note:Noble Charter Schools? Give me a break! If there’s a model, which is successful in sending Black males to college, why haven’t we looked at it?  This oversight by the powers that be could prove to be fatal for plans to adopt a model to match wits with the $700 million dollar institution called the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Originally posted by Boyce Watkins, PhD on Feb 17th 2011 AOL Black Voices, with extra title by IBNN NEWS

Chicago, IL. (Source: AOL Black Voices)…Well, they’ve done it again. Urban Prep Academy of Chicago, an all-male charter school with kids from the “worst” parts of Chicago, is sending 100% of its graduating seniors off to college. The school, founded in 2006, has stated that its continuous objective is to see to it that all of its students go to college. They are succeeding with flying colors.

The school started with kids whose futures had been left for dead by their public schools: Only four percent of the school’s incoming freshmen were reading at grade level when they arrived on campus. But by sending all of their graduating seniors to college, they’ve not only gotten these kids up to speed, they’ve allowed them to zip past every other public school in the entire United States.

“No other public [school] in the country has done this,” said Tim King, the founder of Urban Prep.

Nuff said, read the full story here.

Negros for Sale: “When money and ass hit the table, all bets are off on solving Poverty”

Ending poverty? Making money?

By the title of this story, readers might think I’ve stumbled upon some juicy information – well, you’re right…stay tuned…

What happens when you mix over $500 million dollars, 20 years and some Black folks that have never run a shoe-shine shop directed by a White political plantation who asks them to focus on ending poverty? They end poverty for only themselves and a few friends. The Corrupt Dirty Bastards Club is in full affect.

by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black

Minneapolis, MN-United States (IBNN NEWS/February 17, 2011)…When a Black flagship organization is in the black financially why does it make news? (Of course we know that’s not the case.)

The non-profit, social-service infrastructure in Minnesota is a program creating, money wasting, stratified group of people that let those without the intellectual properties to idea, create and implement a strategic plan be drawn to the inner-circle while those who could perform and exceed expectations are left out to look in.

But that’s how Minnesota Nice works.

How many non-profits have you heard address ending poverty? Look around; who do they think they’re fooling?

(Read: Northwest Area Foundation grants $2.04 million to reducing poverty through building prosperity) LOL!

As we come to the end of Black History Month, organizations that should embrace Black culture, history and Blackness in general have swayed far to the right while barely busting a grape for the only month of the year dedicated to America’s Black folk. This is the time of the year when all Black folks should pull out their “bully-pulpit.”

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, I’m sure all Black people have a local Urban League or Council on Black “something” that for the most part, under the color of Black law failed in bringing attention, building capacity or redirecting the ills of a community in a way to start a conversation with not only people in the community – but also the mainstream.

“Some people left their neighborhoods to get an education and returned to help their community.  Some people returned to help themselves.”

Now at the tail end of Black History Month, in my city (Minneapolis, MN) we are faced with several catastrophic crises’ involving Black organizations that for the most part have failed the community for more than 20 years, feeding millions of dollars in a direction that in the beginning has always been a dead end but looked good on paper.

"Of course, if you've never ran a shoe shine shop - solving poverty might be easy...NOT!"

Minnesota’s local print news giant, Star Tribune originally pressed a story on Sunday, February13, 2011 titled, “A 10-year lesson in how not to spend $200 million…A costly experiment to combat poverty had some serious problems.”

The story read: A jaw-dropping $200 million anti-poverty experiment launched in about a dozen communities a decade ago was called a bold innovation by some experts. Others smelled a disaster.

The idea of the Northwest Area Foundation was to tackle a pressing social issue, pour some significant cash into it for 10 years, and explore new…often-untested…ideas to carry out the mission.

IBNN NEWS reported on the train-wrecked Northway Community Trust in 2008 in a story titled, “Changes at Northway Community Trust  – Bad Cooks!Northway Community Trust doesn’t have anything to show for them being open on Broadway Avenue the last 5 years other than executive director Wesley Walker and board “giving away” $50,000.00 to a firm outside of Minnesota to do a survey on Broadway Avenue businesses…it was never done and the money was paid up front.

Northway’s Newsletter – The Beam reported (2008), “After five years, Northway Community Trust is adjusting the way we work in the community. Our relationship with our primary supporter, Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF), along with the downturn in the economy, has necessitated these changes. We will continue our role as community convener and our work will concentrate on three essential initiatives: the Northside Achievement Zone, Manchester Bidwell’s Center for Arts and Technology and a “Main Street” commercial corridor project. Staffing has been reduced with only Executive Director Wesley Walker and Northway’s Administrative Assistant.”

Northwest Area Foundation has always tried to “play it safe” – “adjusting” in north Minneapolis with agencies like Northway Community Trust – a “brick and mortar” non-profit that has moved away from their original commitments of building capacity and being a community support organization (CSO) said to be dedicated to improving the quality of life in North Minneapolis while giving grants to the Peace Foundation.

Of course with the current state of non-functioning social service agencies, and the lack of “know-how”, expectations have not been met. Furthermore, how can any agency have a staff or board that between them can’t come up with a $1000 bucks?

Poverty and the solutions for poverty cannot be solved in Minnesota until the bigger issues of Racism and having a Black Conciseness is addressed.

In 2011 the folks that govern and lead the Black community in Minnesota have no since of what a Black Conciseness is. The moment money & sex hits the table all bets are off. We’ve seen this too many times in the Black community. It ends today.

It’s a sad commentary for Black Minnesota.

BlogTalkRadio’s ON POINT! Black History Month brings resignations from Council on Black Minnesotans board members – But what happened to the money? Tune in Saturday to learn more!

"Council on Black Minnesotans plays cat and mouse - unfortunately, their the mouse."

“It might be time to ‘sunset’ the current board and staff of CBM. No word from Governor Mark Dayton’s office on this Pawlenty appointed lame-duck state agency that we allege will have huge money and accountability challenges once an audit is done. They run now – but not too far.”

Co-hosts Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen discuss the recent crisis behind the resignations of three of the Council on Black Minnesotans board of directors and how this crisis will affect people of color in Minnesota.

The City of Minneapolis is prepared to lie to rest one of the most damaging reports that prove, show and outline why people of color in Minneapolis are treated as second-class citizens. The Council on Black Minnesotans has not addressed the October Minneapolis 2010 Disparity Report with chairperson of the Council on Black Minnesotans citing that she works for the criminal division of the city and didn’t know about the catastrophic implications of the disparity report. Therefore it was never a discussion with this state agency governed to commit resources, studies and alternative solutions to issues facing Black Minnesotans.

Furthermore, this brings up some significant questions about how Governor Mark Dayton’s cabinet is handling the issue and why no clear effective direction is being taken by the governors staff or elected officials who should be at the table but don’t participate.

In the current crisis, who speaks for Black Minnesotans is the Council on Black Minnesotans is ineffective, lackadaisical and we allege have not managed properly hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to address heinous issues facing a race of people in the state of Minnesota.

The Ron and Don Show will also talk about a meeting at the Star Tribune Newspaper with one veteran writer, a new comer and their editor.

Saturday’s show will prove to be more hot topics not reported in the mainstream media, which actually should be.

To listen to ON POINT! – Tune in by going to

This is a 90-minute LIVE call in program. We invite listeners to call in at (877) 572-4288.

The death of 24-year-old Quincy Deshawn Smith – One of the many reasons Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan must resign immediately, along with the whole Mpls Civil Rights Department

Quincy Smith learned that an appeals court had cleared the way for his lawsuit alleging police brutality against several Minneapolis officers stemming from a 2005 arrest. In that suit, Smith claimed that he was handcuffed and thrown to the ground despite being compliant; police said he obstructed officers as they cited a friend of his for walking against a red light. This article is better than the one in today’s Strib.”

"No Civil Rights Department that works for the people - just for the players."

Minneapolis, MN (Source: Star Tribune/IBNN NEWS/February 15, 2011)…Quincy Deshawn Smith, 24, went into cardiac arrest as officers used punches, kicks and a Taser to control him during the Dec. 9, 2008, arrest, according to the lawsuit filed by Bettie Smith.

Smith was eventually handcuffed while he was face down, but when officers rolled him over they discovered he was not breathing, the suit said. Devick began chest compressions while other officers called for an ambulance.

Her son was dead upon arrival at a hospital.

City attorney Susan Segal said Monday that the city has not seen the lawsuit and had no comment. (No surprise)

No officers saw a rifle during their pursuit of Smith, the suit said.

Last March a Hennepin County grand jury declined to indict five officers in connection with the death of 24-year-old Quincy Deshawn Smith.

There’s no better reason for Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan to resign immediately.

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