Insight News

Oct 08th


HOPE: The perfect gift for the Twin Cities

HOPE: The perfect gift for the Twin CitiesThe holiday season is here, and people both are busy -- frantically searching for the perfect gift. As we look ahead to starting a new year, this is also a great time for individuals and organizations to re-commit, refocus and reignite our dedication to mission and purpose.

Sadly, for far too many of us, this holiday season may be less than a joyful time.  For some, the month of December is associated with despair, stress, and mounting debt. Without question, the holiday season is meant to be yet another special time to create memorable moments with friends and loved ones, but when misguided value systems, low self-esteem, despair, underachievement, and internalized oppression make people think that gifts, trinkets or designer labels can soothe the emptiness that lingers in the depths of their souls, the true meaning of this season has become lost.

How colored colony came to Fergus Falls

How colored colony came to Fergus FallsI had to share with you the article and a little bit about our weekend reunion in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It was powerful. There were 90 descendants of 8 families that came to Fergus Falls around 1897. In 1897 there were 85 Blacks that came to Fergus Falls. The 90 represented several generations – from babies to Dorothy Parsons who is 91 years old and was born and raised in Fergus.

The presentation at the Historical Society that Friday was informational, interesting and enlightening. Many people were able to recognize for the Historical Society people in the pictures as well as correct some of the information they had. We searched articles and the archives and found a lot of information we did not know. For the reception that evening we invited white residents who may have known some of the Black families and any current Black residents living in Fergus.

Ethiopians celebrate Holy Days

Ethiopians celebrate Holy Days Choir members from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Our Savior in Minneapolis sang their traditional praises in Amharic, the Ethiopian national language, and in Ge’ez, the Ethiopian Orthodox church language, at the Mall of America for the 18th Annual Holy Days and Holidays of Thanksgiving Around the World on Sunday, November 21st.

Some fifteen other groups shared their sacred arts during this two day event of “Spirituality and the Visual & Performing Arts” in the Sears Court at the Mall. One audience member said she was moved to the thrill of joyful tears by the chanting and drumming in spite of not knowing the Ethiopian words being sung adding that it was obvious that all of these choir members believed and truly felt the meanings of their praises and thanksgiving.

Inspiring the dreams of North Minneapolis cooks

Inspiring the dreams of North Minneapolis cooksJust in time for the Holidays Catalyst Community Partners has opened up its Kindred Kitchen to let Minneapolis’ Northside community sample some of its flavor. On November 11th, community members and politicians alike gathered into this new full-service licensed commercial kitchen to taste foods from seven different up and coming and established chefs who plan to rent space from the newly opened facility.

One of those chefs was Marnita Schroedl, creator of Marnita’s Table who brought samplings of her Mad Snaps and Mad Nuts. She believes what Catalyst is doing in the Northside community is inspiring. “I want to make sure people who look like me are able to succeed and Catalyst is providing jobs where needed most,” said Schrodel.

Program provides lifeline for older foster kids

Program provides lifeline for older foster kidsThe transition to adulthood can be a bumpy road for young people, and family support is often a critical lifeline. But for foster kids who have aged out of the system, the transition is even harder, as many lack the skills needed to make the jump to adulthood. A recent study from the University of Chicago suggests that extending foster care, or providing additional support until age 21, helps aid the transition, and one Minnesota program is doing exactly that. The Division of Indian Work's Healthy Transitions program teaches a range of life skills such as resume building and job hunting, applying for college, and apartment hunting.

Korina Barry is a youth worker with the program. "All of these youth are coming out of foster care with little to no support at all, and our program alone provides them with at least one person. Just being their support, we can provide them with so much, and saving the system a lot of money because they are not ending up in jail, or ending up on welfare services," she said.

Youth, engagement, philanthropy fund launched

The Minneapolis Foundation and the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) are engaging young people to help address youth violence, through the launch of a new (612)

YEP (Youth Engagement Philanthropy) fund. The fund is the first of its kind created by the two organizations, in which young people will choose which projects receive financial support. The fund is now accepting applications for projects and activities that reflect the goals of the City of Minneapolis’ “Blueprint for Action: Preventing Youth Violence.” Only projects involving youth leadership will be eligible for funding. Grants will range in size from $1,500 to $3,500; a total of $40,000 is available.

“The Minneapolis Foundation and YCB joined forces because we both understand the importance of young people’s involvement in the community, especially around this critical issue,” said Ann DeGroot, YCB’s executive director. “This joint effort combines YCB’s expertise in working with youth, with the grantmaking expertise of The Minneapolis Foundation, while providing an opportunity for young people to understand another facet of civic life and invest in solutions they believe in.”

Community Action makes getting food stamps a SNAP

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties was awarded $120,900 to establish a Food Support Program. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and Greater Twin Cities United Way, this program will increase both awareness of and access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) among low-income households throughout Community Action’s service area.

In a recent report titled How Effective Are We?, Ramsey County Community Human Services stated that “In 2008, 60% of those eligible for food support in Ramsey County received their benefits.” Thousands of eligible Ramsey County residents are not receiving food support benefits. The report further noted that seniors in particular have a “lower rate of participation.” Making food support available to eligible people frees up funds for other basic necessities such as transportation, rent and medical care.
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