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Educating for Change: Developing New Leaders for Racial Equity and Social Change

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/15/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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Join Truth to Tell host Tom  O'Connell as he discusses the leadership challenges in current social justice movements with Artika Tyner,  assistant professor of public leadership at the University of St.Thomas and author of The Lawyer as Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice (ABA Books, 2014).

Monday, April 29-9AM: FACING RACE: Getting the Conversation Started; April 15: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS III: Re-entry Issues for Ex-Offenders

Many will tout these days, particularly since the election of President Obama, that racism is no longer an issue in the country. But as we've seen how the disparate rates of black male prisoners in this country have created slavery by another name, we must also see how certain daily privileges afforded to the majority groups in power in the United States, media portrayals, and the like, are, in fact, racism by another name.   

The fact is, even if we have succeeded in quashing the completely irrational fears that led to the formation of hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other groups that sought to torture or kill people based on race, we are still dealing with the socio-economic aftermath of what that way of thinking has done to this country and its diverse body of citizens.

Right here in Minnesota, a recent study from the Wilder Foundation found that 37 percent of people in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey counties still say they get nervous walking into a room of people from other races, if they are the only one of their own race present. One third of these same folks say they strongly or somewhat agree that they would like to get to know people of other races better, but often feel as if they might be ridiculed or shamed if they say the wrong thing. Combine that with the disheartening statistics on education and housing disparities by race in this state and it’s hard to deny that racism is still an issue that needs much attention.  

Who will step up to help bridge the cultural and institutional divide that racial tensions have spawned? How exactly do you confront racism in a way that is both implicating and welcoming? These are all goals of the Facing Race ‘We’re all in this together’ Initiative. Hosts, Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O'Connell will discuss these issues of racism that are subtly embedded in our societal structure today as we talk about their upcoming Facing Race Ambassador Awards ceremony, happening the evening after our broadcast, and what these folks are doing to shed light on the privileges and the fears that continue to perpetuate racism in this country.  

TTT’s MICHELLE ALIMORADI and TOM O’CONNELL talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event. 

On-air guests: 

JOSIE JOHNSON- former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity, and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting, and recipient of a 2013 Facing Race Amabassador Award.

 


CORINTH MATERA- Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis. Corinth was nominated for a Facing Race Ambassador Award for her work in creating an education unit addressing the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.  Ms. Matera has been a leader in promoting this education unit, and it has reached over 600 students in the past three years.

 

DR MANUEL PASTOR- Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Southern California; His most recent book, published in 2010,  is Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. Keynote speaker at this year’s Facing Race Awards Ceremony. 


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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ed. NOTE: This week, TruthToTell looks at Earth Day as an entrepreneurial and responsible opportunity. Our colleague and engineer, Kel Heyl, himself a green contractor, offered to help assemble this program and offers, too, this reflection on the Day’s creation and this year’s TTT approach to celebrating this now iconic annual reminder of our human responsibility to protect the planet in all ways possible – and, ironically, as businesses new and adapted:

Making Cents of Earth Day

It’s the summer of 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, already considered a champion of the protecting the natural world, had visited an oil spill site in Santa Barbara, California. On his return flight he was reading an article about various “teach-ins” on college campuses dealing with Vietnam, when…“It popped into my head. That’s it! Why not have an environmental teach-in and get everyone involved?”

Senator Nelson returned to Washington and quickly formed a non-profit – Environmental Teach-In, Inc. – recruiting a few Republicans and conservationists to help with the project. On September 20, 1969 he went public with his mission from Seattle:

“I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation’s priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Young people can take the leadership away from the indifferent, venal men who are concerned with progress and profit for the sake of progress and profit alone…”

After considering a number of names like Environment Day and Ecology Day, they settled on the appellation, “Earth Day.” Nelson chose the date to maximize participation on college campuses. The week of April 19–25 did not fall during exams or spring break and did not conflict with Easter or Passover. It was late enough to ensure good weather. During the middle of the week there would be more students in class and no competition from other events – so Wednesday, April 22, 1970 was anointed as the target day. When critics later pointed out it was Lenin’s birthday, Nelson replied that it was also the birthday of both St. Francis of Assisi, the nature saint, and his own Aunt Tillie.

The above was excerpted from this article. In September,1995, Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, much of the work flowing from those first Earth Days were seeking top-down large-scale Federal legislation and regulation.

What makes progressive change so difficult now is that a sizeable percentage of the American people are inserting their heads into deep holes they purchase from entities whose short-term bottom lines are enhanced by maintaining unsustainable patterns of consumption. Just regulating industry will not yield a viable future. Today, we look at small-scale day-to-day successes with special attention directed to increasingly sophisticated tools that allow us to make sustainable decisions and how an NGO is becoming a de facto global standard.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead our guests through their work on three different points along the sustainability continuum. Each runs a businesses which helps clients make better informed decisions – decisions which make their futures more sustainable without further disrupting the present.

GUESTS:

CINDY OJCZYK – Principal of Simply Green Design and A More Beautiful Home.

RAMY SALIM  –  OwnerSunny Day Earth SolutionsCompleted the first City issued permitted straw bale building in over a decade 

DALE FORSBERG – President of Watson-Forsberg Contracting; specialist in LEED*

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a point based rating system used to answer the questions: How green is this design or building. It was created by theUnited States Green Building Council.

 

TruthToTell, Monday, April 29 - 9am: FACING RACE: Getting the Conversation Started - AUDIO HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/29/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Many will tout these days, particularly since the election of President Obama, that racism is no longer an issue in the country. But as we've seen how the disparate rates of black male prisoners in this country have created slavery by another name, we must also see how certain daily privileges afforded to the majority groups in power in the United States, media portrayals, and the like, are, in fact, racism by another name.   

The fact is, even if we have succeeded in quashing the completely irrational fears that led to the formation of hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other groups that sought to torture or kill people based on race, we are still dealing with the socio-economic aftermath of what that way of thinking has done to this country and its diverse body of citizens.

Right here in Minnesota, a recent study from the Wilder Foundation found that 37 percent of people in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey counties still say they get nervous walking into a room of people from other races, if they are the only one of their own race present. One third of these same folks say they strongly or somewhat agree that they would like to get to know people of other races better, but often feel as if they might be ridiculed or shamed if they say the wrong thing. Combine that with the disheartening statistics on education and housing disparities by race in this state and it’s hard to deny that racism is still an issue that needs much attention.  

Who will step up to help bridge the cultural and institutional divide that racial tensions have spawned? How exactly do you confront racism in a way that is both implicating and welcoming? These are all goals of the Facing Race ‘We’re all in this together’ Initiative. Hosts, Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O'Connell will discuss these issues of racism that are subtly embedded in our societal structure today as we talk about their upcoming Facing Race Ambassador Awards ceremony, happening the evening after our broadcast, and what these folks are doing to shed light on the privileges and the fears that continue to perpetuate racism in this country.  

TTT’s MICHELLE ALIMORADI and TOM O’CONNELL talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event. 

On-air guests: 

JOSIE JOHNSON- former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity, and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting, and recipient of a 2013 Facing Race Amabassador Award.

 



CORINTH MATERA- Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis. Corinth was nominated for a Facing Race Ambassador Award for her work in creating an education unit addressing the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.  Ms. Matera has been a leader in promoting this education unit, and it has reached over 600 students in the past three years.

 

DR MANUEL PASTOR- Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Southern California; His most recent book, published in 2010,  is Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. Keynote speaker at this year’s Facing Race Awards Ceremony. 


TruthToTell Monday, April 30-9AM: POVERTY TODAY: The Painful Part of the 99%; TruthToTell Monday, April 23: FACING RACE: Are We Sliding Back?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The baffling thing about poverty, like other societal maladies, apparently, is that, despite the dry, old statistics showing incredible increases in poverty, the decline in median incomes, the rise in homelessness and the decline in public assistance, the increase in foreclosures and the plunge in property values – the gap widens – and the people in power really don’t seem to give a damn.

What is it going to take – a complete collapse (as if we’re not already witnessing one) of our economic infrastructure before middle-class suburbanites take up arms against The Man and find themselves in the same place as the poor and people of color have been for decades – on the business end of a police officer’s 9mm Glock or Billy-club, a pepper-spray can or tear-gas canister for their trouble?

Perhaps. Then again, perhaps, that will be the only time a march on the banks and politicians will yield some results and policies will change and wealth will be shared.

But, leave us not hold our breath.

Average citizens/residents are feeling the pinch created by people and institutions who literally could care less – because they seem to have no depths to their lack of caring.

Poverty is NOT one of those conditions that will get better by the pulling up of bootstraps.Poverty is a societal disease that needs a major injection and infusion of capital – real capital – money and other resources. Anything else is a punishment inflicted on people who have less than the people making the decisions and who spend much of their legislative or administrative time and capital denying others their fair share of a pie they keep shrinking.

How bad is it?

Cynthia Boyd of MinnPost.com wrote last Fall:

Nationally, the poverty rate is 15.1 percent, while Minnesota ranks 13th lowest in the nation in numbers of those living below the poverty line ($11,344 for an individual or $22,113 household income for a family of four), but the state's numbers have increased significantly from 2007-2008. The poverty rate then was 9.6 percent.  

The effects play out in the state in concrete ways. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson told MinnPost last month that 104,000 more Minnesotans have signed on for food support this year compared to last.

And a September 2011 Minnesota Budget Project report comes this:

In 2009-2010, 560,000 Minnesotans lived in poverty, or roughly one out of ten state residents. That represents a 2.1 percentage point increase from 2006-07. Nationwide, 46.2 million people were in poverty in 2010.

Even more staggering, the preliminary numbers show that over the last decade, Minnesota’s median household income fell from $65,120 in 1999-2000 to $54,785 in 2009-2010, or by more than $10,000, after adjusting for inflation. Only Michigan experienced a larger decline in median income during the same period.

And, should anyone believe this is limited to the Metro – where many believe all “those people” live – this from Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press:

John Woodwick, executive director of the Minnesota Valley Action Council in Mankato, said the number of people in the nine-county area served by MVAC rose from 16,292 in 2000 to 26,233 in 2009, an increase of 61 percent.

During the same period, federal and state funding for MVAC’s (poverty-related) services has decreased 21 percent on a per-person basis. In 2000, MVAC received a total of $793 in federal and state funds for every person living in poverty in the south-central Minnesota service area. By 2009, funding had decreased to $627 per person, according to MVAC’s annual budgets.

“We haven’t seen lately the massive layoffs we’ve seen in the last two years, but the new hires aren’t happening either,” Woodwick said. “And many people haven’t been able to locate work, especially not at what their previous wages were.”

The once-reliable Minnesota, Metro and regional foundations have cut their humans services funding, sometimes by half, even as many nonprofits and advocacy groups came to believe philanthropy would fill the gaps political types either created or refused to fill.

This year’s legislative session almost made a complete disaster of its humans services bill(s), but escaped some of the worst cuts tendered for passage by Republican bill sponsors, perhaps in the face of sure vetoes by Governor Mark Dayton. But, this is all relative, is it not?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with just four of the many Minnesota advocates whose ulcer-ridden work continues to be a war against the disproportionate impact of rightwing politics and a struggling economy that gives the policymakers the excuse to cut further into the lives of the people they blame for being poor: the poor themselves.

GUESTS:

Katherine Wagoner, Executive Director, Affirmative Options Coalition

Angel Buechner -  Co-Chair, Welfare Rights Committee

Alexandra Fitzsimmons - Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Director, Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota

Nancy Maeker - Executive Director, A Minnesota Without Poverty

ADDITIONAL STATS:

1 in 10 Minnesotans miss an average of 10 meals a month (that is 100 million missing meals every year).

1 in 4 women over 16 years of age is experiencing poverty in Minnesota

2010 food shelf visits in Minnesota: 3 million visits statewide.

37.2% of African Americans and 39.5% of American Indian Minnesotans are living in poverty.

599,000 individuals are experiencing poverty in Minnesota.(2010 US Census bureau)

A family of four living in greater Minnesota would need to make $12.56/hour per worker to meet basic needs.

Minnesota children living in poverty: 192,000 (15.2%) - this is a 62% increase since 2000.

Minnesota minimum wage is $6.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Number of homeless individuals in Minnesota: 13,100 on any given night (47% are age 5 and under).

Poverty rate among African Americans in Minnesota is the 3rd highest in the nation.

The 2011 Federal Poverty Guideline for a family of four is $22,350.

MORE RESOURCES:

Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 (Final Report)

THE RICH AND THE REST OF US - by Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley:

 

PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that poverty in America "threatens our very democracy," and that it threatens our national security.

Smiley and Princeton Professor Cornel West, co-authors of the new book The Rich and the Rest of Us (Smiley Books), talked to host Bob Schieffer about how half of Americans - 150 million people - are poor, which they defined as living one or two paychecks away from poverty.

"There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in this town - and you know how hard that is to do - but a bipartisan consensus that the poor just don't matter, that poverty is just not an important issue," Smiley said. "We cannot abide another campaign for the White House where the issue of poverty isn't raised higher on the American agenda."

 

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, April 23, 2012
TruthToTell Monday, April 23: FACING RACE: Are We Sliding Back? - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

PLEASE HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sometimes think that, for all the talk about race we think we’re hearing, that incidents involving clear human and civil rights infractions – whether individually perpetrated (physical and psychological violence), or institutionally perpetuated (segregation, employment discrimination, environmental injustice, voter suppression, economic and health disparities, housing discrimination and predatory lending) – are seen as essentially isolated occurrences and not the culturally and emotionally, therefore institutionally, manifestations of embedded sickness in a society whose history belies its founding principles embodied in the Declaration and Constitution and Bill of Rights. We are NOT facing race as a reality in this culture. We are NOT talking honestly about this leprosy of democracy – at least as much as we ignore the other pestilence destroying democracy: homeland security and the misuse of law enforcement to turn average citizens and journalists into criminals.

African-American folk, American Indians, Latinos, Asians – and now, with a vengeance, Arabic and Muslim citizens and immigrants – have all felt the sting of racial separation in all those categories, considered The Other in this country on so many levels, one wonders if we can recover from the parasites that infuse our rhetoric and official behavior such that the harm inflicted could be permanent.

It must be difficult, if not impossible, for majorities of our brethren and sisters of color to hold out hope for any sort of positive outcomes of any effort to work in concert with the white community and white-run institutions to bring honesty and open dialogue to the table to expose that embedded fear and loathing for its very real danger to our nation’s economic and political stability.

Not all answers can be covered by dialogue only, of course, but that’s where it must begin. Many groups in our communities of color – and, yes, among white folks as well – are taking a stab at such opportunities as present themselves for opening up the conversations necessary to start the ball rolling. But, the question remains – and we will ask it: after the discussion, what? What will participants do as next steps to move to outcomes that serve the communities in ways that bring very real change. How much is geography responsible for the continued isolation among such communities – in institutions – churches, schools, governments, companies and unions? Can we breach the physical segregation by breaching the psychological and emotional separation among peoples that share this larger space of ours?

Again this year, the evening following our show featuring some key presenters and awardees, the The Saint Paul Foundation’s Facing Race Initiative will present its awards to outstanding mentors of this notion of addressing race and its implications for their own and other communities. Last year’s Honorable Mention, author, filmmaker and Native language advocate, Dr. Anton  Treuer, will give this year’s keynoter. Old hands at combating racism, like Macalester Professor Emeritus Mahmoud El-Kati and Steve Pederson, an executive leadership team member with Diversity Resource Action Alliance up in Alexandria will be recognized as Ambassadors, along with Honorable Mentions emerging business inclusion coordinator Elizabeth A. Campbell for contractorsRyan Companies US, Inc.; Taneeza S. Islam, Esq., civil rights director, Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-MN Chapter; and T. Gregory Stavrou, executive director of the Rochester Civic Theatre. The free program will be held at St. Paul’s Crowne Plaza Riverfront at Wabasha and Kellogg Blvd. starting at 6:00 PM, with hors d’oeuvres, program at 7:00.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event.

GUESTS:

  DR. ANTON TREUER – Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University; cultural preservationist working to restore the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) language as a means of healing the wounds of racism; Author, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to AskThe Assassination of Hole in the Day and seven other books.

 TANEEZA ISLAM ­– Attorney and former Civil Rights Director, Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -MN Chapter

 

 

  SHARON GOENS - Racial Equity Conversation Coordinator,Facing Race InitiativeThe Saint Paul Foundation

 

 

TruthToTell Monday, April 30-9AM: POVERTY TODAY: The Painful Part of the 99%; TruthToTell Monday, April 23: FACING RACE: Are We Sliding Back?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The baffling thing about poverty, like other societal maladies, apparently, is that, despite the dry, old statistics showing incredible increases in poverty, the decline in median incomes, the rise in homelessness and the decline in public assistance, the increase in foreclosures and the plunge in property values – the gap widens – and the people in power really don’t seem to give a damn.

What is it going to take – a complete collapse (as if we’re not already witnessing one) of our economic infrastructure before middle-class suburbanites take up arms against The Man and find themselves in the same place as the poor and people of color have been for decades – on the business end of a police officer’s 9mm Glock or Billy-club, a pepper-spray can or tear-gas canister for their trouble?

Perhaps. Then again, perhaps, that will be the only time a march on the banks and politicians will yield some results and policies will change and wealth will be shared.

But, leave us not hold our breath.

Average citizens/residents are feeling the pinch created by people and institutions who literally could care less – because they seem to have no depths to their lack of caring.

Poverty is NOT one of those conditions that will get better by the pulling up of bootstraps.Poverty is a societal disease that needs a major injection and infusion of capital – real capital – money and other resources. Anything else is a punishment inflicted on people who have less than the people making the decisions and who spend much of their legislative or administrative time and capital denying others their fair share of a pie they keep shrinking.

How bad is it?

Cynthia Boyd of MinnPost.com wrote last Fall:

Nationally, the poverty rate is 15.1 percent, while Minnesota ranks 13th lowest in the nation in numbers of those living below the poverty line ($11,344 for an individual or $22,113 household income for a family of four), but the state's numbers have increased significantly from 2007-2008. The poverty rate then was 9.6 percent.  

The effects play out in the state in concrete ways. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson told MinnPost last month that 104,000 more Minnesotans have signed on for food support this year compared to last.

And a September 2011 Minnesota Budget Project report comes this:

In 2009-2010, 560,000 Minnesotans lived in poverty, or roughly one out of ten state residents. That represents a 2.1 percentage point increase from 2006-07. Nationwide, 46.2 million people were in poverty in 2010.

Even more staggering, the preliminary numbers show that over the last decade, Minnesota’s median household income fell from $65,120 in 1999-2000 to $54,785 in 2009-2010, or by more than $10,000, after adjusting for inflation. Only Michigan experienced a larger decline in median income during the same period.

And, should anyone believe this is limited to the Metro – where many believe all “those people” live – this from Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press:

John Woodwick, executive director of the Minnesota Valley Action Council in Mankato, said the number of people in the nine-county area served by MVAC rose from 16,292 in 2000 to 26,233 in 2009, an increase of 61 percent.

During the same period, federal and state funding for MVAC’s (poverty-related) services has decreased 21 percent on a per-person basis. In 2000, MVAC received a total of $793 in federal and state funds for every person living in poverty in the south-central Minnesota service area. By 2009, funding had decreased to $627 per person, according to MVAC’s annual budgets.

“We haven’t seen lately the massive layoffs we’ve seen in the last two years, but the new hires aren’t happening either,” Woodwick said. “And many people haven’t been able to locate work, especially not at what their previous wages were.”

The once-reliable Minnesota, Metro and regional foundations have cut their humans services funding, sometimes by half, even as many nonprofits and advocacy groups came to believe philanthropy would fill the gaps political types either created or refused to fill.

This year’s legislative session almost made a complete disaster of its humans services bill(s), but escaped some of the worst cuts tendered for passage by Republican bill sponsors, perhaps in the face of sure vetoes by Governor Mark Dayton. But, this is all relative, is it not?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with just four of the many Minnesota advocates whose ulcer-ridden work continues to be a war against the disproportionate impact of rightwing politics and a struggling economy that gives the policymakers the excuse to cut further into the lives of the people they blame for being poor: the poor themselves.

GUESTS:

Katherine Wagoner, Executive Director, Affirmative Options Coalition

Angel Buechner -  Co-Chair, Welfare Rights Committee

Alexandra Fitzsimmons - Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Director, Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota

Nancy Maeker - Executive Director, A Minnesota Without Poverty

ADDITIONAL STATS:

1 in 10 Minnesotans miss an average of 10 meals a month (that is 100 million missing meals every year).

1 in 4 women over 16 years of age is experiencing poverty in Minnesota

2010 food shelf visits in Minnesota: 3 million visits statewide.

37.2% of African Americans and 39.5% of American Indian Minnesotans are living in poverty.

599,000 individuals are experiencing poverty in Minnesota.(2010 US Census bureau)

A family of four living in greater Minnesota would need to make $12.56/hour per worker to meet basic needs.

Minnesota children living in poverty: 192,000 (15.2%) - this is a 62% increase since 2000.

Minnesota minimum wage is $6.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Number of homeless individuals in Minnesota: 13,100 on any given night (47% are age 5 and under).

Poverty rate among African Americans in Minnesota is the 3rd highest in the nation.

The 2011 Federal Poverty Guideline for a family of four is $22,350.

MORE RESOURCES:

Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 (Final Report)

THE RICH AND THE REST OF US - by Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley:

 

PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley said on "Face the Nation" Sunday that poverty in America "threatens our very democracy," and that it threatens our national security.

Smiley and Princeton Professor Cornel West, co-authors of the new book The Rich and the Rest of Us (Smiley Books), talked to host Bob Schieffer about how half of Americans - 150 million people - are poor, which they defined as living one or two paychecks away from poverty.

"There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in this town - and you know how hard that is to do - but a bipartisan consensus that the poor just don't matter, that poverty is just not an important issue," Smiley said. "We cannot abide another campaign for the White House where the issue of poverty isn't raised higher on the American agenda."

 

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, April 23, 2012
TruthToTell Monday, April 23: FACING RACE: Are We Sliding Back? - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

PLEASE HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sometimes think that, for all the talk about race we think we’re hearing, that incidents involving clear human and civil rights infractions – whether individually perpetrated (physical and psychological violence), or institutionally perpetuated (segregation, employment discrimination, environmental injustice, voter suppression, economic and health disparities, housing discrimination and predatory lending) – are seen as essentially isolated occurrences and not the culturally and emotionally, therefore institutionally, manifestations of embedded sickness in a society whose history belies its founding principles embodied in the Declaration and Constitution and Bill of Rights. We are NOT facing race as a reality in this culture. We are NOT talking honestly about this leprosy of democracy – at least as much as we ignore the other pestilence destroying democracy: homeland security and the misuse of law enforcement to turn average citizens and journalists into criminals.

African-American folk, American Indians, Latinos, Asians – and now, with a vengeance, Arabic and Muslim citizens and immigrants – have all felt the sting of racial separation in all those categories, considered The Other in this country on so many levels, one wonders if we can recover from the parasites that infuse our rhetoric and official behavior such that the harm inflicted could be permanent.

It must be difficult, if not impossible, for majorities of our brethren and sisters of color to hold out hope for any sort of positive outcomes of any effort to work in concert with the white community and white-run institutions to bring honesty and open dialogue to the table to expose that embedded fear and loathing for its very real danger to our nation’s economic and political stability.

Not all answers can be covered by dialogue only, of course, but that’s where it must begin. Many groups in our communities of color – and, yes, among white folks as well – are taking a stab at such opportunities as present themselves for opening up the conversations necessary to start the ball rolling. But, the question remains – and we will ask it: after the discussion, what? What will participants do as next steps to move to outcomes that serve the communities in ways that bring very real change. How much is geography responsible for the continued isolation among such communities – in institutions – churches, schools, governments, companies and unions? Can we breach the physical segregation by breaching the psychological and emotional separation among peoples that share this larger space of ours?

Again this year, the evening following our show featuring some key presenters and awardees, the The Saint Paul Foundation’s Facing Race Initiative will present its awards to outstanding mentors of this notion of addressing race and its implications for their own and other communities. Last year’s Honorable Mention, author, filmmaker and Native language advocate, Dr. Anton  Treuer, will give this year’s keynoter. Old hands at combating racism, like Macalester Professor Emeritus Mahmoud El-Kati and Steve Pederson, an executive leadership team member with Diversity Resource Action Alliance up in Alexandria will be recognized as Ambassadors, along with Honorable Mentions emerging business inclusion coordinator Elizabeth A. Campbell for contractorsRyan Companies US, Inc.; Taneeza S. Islam, Esq., civil rights director, Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-MN Chapter; and T. Gregory Stavrou, executive director of the Rochester Civic Theatre. The free program will be held at St. Paul’s Crowne Plaza Riverfront at Wabasha and Kellogg Blvd. starting at 6:00 PM, with hors d’oeuvres, program at 7:00.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event.

GUESTS:

  DR. ANTON TREUER – Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University; cultural preservationist working to restore the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) language as a means of healing the wounds of racism; Author, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to AskThe Assassination of Hole in the Day and seven other books.

 TANEEZA ISLAM ­– Attorney and former Civil Rights Director, Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -MN Chapter

 

 

  SHARON GOENS - Racial Equity Conversation Coordinator,Facing Race InitiativeThe Saint Paul Foundation

 

 

TruthToTell, Monday, May 16-9AM: LABOR'S UNTOLD STORIES: History Belies Successes:First Person Radio: May 11: CROW BELLECOURT: Lead Singer-Midnite Express with Comic Tito Ybarra

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on Facebook pages – TruthToTell’s or Andy’s

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many of us know and understand the struggles working people fought when corporations and managers abused their workers, the 100-year effort to improve wages and working conditions, to organize craftsmen and laborers, the police-supported thugs hired to prevent them from it. We know how labor unions that emerged from all that conflict gave us the 8-hour day, the 40-hour week, paid vacations, toilets at the work site, lunch breaks, coffee breaks, holidays off – all of it union-made.

But other stories lie underneath all of those successes, stories that provided hope, but have failed to fulfill their promise.

Monday night (May 16), the next in a long line of presentations on Labor’s Untold Stories organized by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, a panel of speakers on discrimination in and against union workers and workers of color and the birth and work of theFair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). The panel will present at Rondo Community Library in St. Paul at 7:00PM. And we have

Labor pioneers in the Twin Cities pushed for similar laws in Minnesota, including the late Katie McWatt of the old North Central Voters League, A. Philip Randolph, the St. Paul Urban League and one of its activists, Monsignor John J. Gilligan of St. Mark’s Parish.

Thus do the issues of race, class and labor merge once again into a classic untold story – because we do not openly discuss those discomfiting matters in this state or this nation. We want to believe it never happens, that race and class don’t matter, especially when we have human rights commissions and civil rights commissions and fair employment practices commissions and employment discrimination rulings and settlements and all the rest. Still, the pathology of racism and classicism plague our society and our labor unions.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with Twin Cities and national labor activists, scholars and writers to discover some of Labor’s Untold Stories.

GUESTS:

MAHMOUD EL-KATI – Professor Emeritus of History, Macalester College, Essayist, Speaker, Honoree of Macalester’s Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies and Author, Haiti: The Hidden Truth (2010)

ANDREW E. KERSTEN – Professor of History, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; Author, Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-1946 (Illinois, 2000) and Clarence Darrow – an American Iconoclast

TOM BEER –  Retired Business Agent and Political Director, AFSCME Council #6 (Minnesota); Labor Union Director, Paul Wellstone 2002 re-election campaign; co-author of biographical article on Very Rev. Msgr. John Gilligan (to be published soon)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First Person Radio: May 11: CROW BELLECOURT: Lead Singer-Midnite Express with Comic Tito Ybarra – Audio HERE

Midnite Express commemorates the release of its 10th recording in honor of one of their elders and teachers, Jerry Dearly, Sr.– Sutapi – which means “Sharpshooter” in Lakota Sioux. Jerry has been a guiding influence to the Midnite Express singers as well as many others. His knowledge of the Lakota language and traditions is evident throughout this album culminating with the title track, composed by his son, Jeremy.

 Midnite Express Singers

Joseph Rainy, Buffalo Campbell, Chris Whipple, Crow 
Bellecourt, Opie Day-Bedeau, Carlos Day, Marcus Denny, 
Jason Kingbird along with John Teller, Jr. from Bear Traks 
and Myron Pyawasit from Smokeytown Singers

Crow Bellecourt is one of the lead singers/manager for the Midnite Express drum group from the Twin Cities. They represent the Ojibwe, Lakota, HoChunk and Menomonee and Pueblo. Last year, ‘MNX’, as they are known, were the winners of the Best Powwow album, at the Nammy’s (Native American Music Awards) for their album, “Band of Brothers” CD. Four times in the past 10 years they have won as world class Northern Singing Champions at Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are also the first group ever to win this award three years in a row. They enjoy singing for the people and representing their Twin Cties Indian community. Crow began singing traditional music when he was a student at Heart of the Earth in Minneapolis.

“Midnight Express is a group of Ojibway, Menominee Sioux & Ho-chunk Nations. We travel to powwows & gatherings all year round singing every where we go...we’ve recorded over nine albums & one DVD. Our most recent CD’s are called MIDNITE EXPRESS BAND OF BROTHERS and SHARPSHOOTER."

The sounds of Midnite Express, originating from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, have grown from local Great Lakes area favorites to renown across Indian country. MNX, as they are often referred to on the powwow trail, have traveled from coast to coast competing and hosting as one of the most prominent drums on the circuit today. This drum group has proven to be one of the most powerful drum groups on the powwow trail today. They have captivated powwow arenas from coast to coast with their unique original style of singing. Coming from the twin cities of Minnesota, they have taken numerous singing championships along with various host drum jobs at some of the most prestigious powwow in Indian Country.

FIRST PERSON RADIO's  RICHARD LaFORTUNE (with Andy Driscoll) talks with Crow Bellecourt and Comic Tito Ybarra and listen to the Express' latest CD.

GUESTS:

CROW BELLECOURT - lead singer, Midnight Express, Native American singers.

TITO YBARRA – Native Comic and Singe

TruthToTell May 16: LABOR'S UNTOLD STORIES: History Belies Successes - Audio Below-Video in Archive.

On-air date: 
Mon, 05/16/2011

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on Facebook pages – TruthToTell’s or Andy’s

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many of us know and understand the struggles working people fought when corporations and managers abused their workers, the 100-year effort to improve wages and working conditions, to organize craftsmen and laborers, the police-supported thugs hired to prevent them from it. We know how labor unions that emerged from all that conflict gave us the 8-hour day, the 40-hour week, paid vacations, toilets at the work site, lunch breaks, coffee breaks, holidays off – all of it union-made.

But other stories lie underneath all of those successes, stories that provided hope, but have failed to fulfill their promise.

Labor’s Untold Stories organized by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, a panel of speakers on discrimination in and against union workers and workers of color and the birth and work of the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). Labor pioneers in the Twin Cities pushed for similar laws in Minnesota, including the late Katie McWatt of the old North Central Voters League, A. Philip Randolph, the St. Paul Urban League and one of its activists, Monsignor John J. Gilligan of St. Mark’s Parish.

Thus do the issues of race, class and labor merge once again into a classic untold story – because we do not openly discuss those discomfiting matters in this state or this nation. We want to believe it never happens, that race and class don’t matter, especially when we have human rights commissions and civil rights commissions and fair employment practices commissions and employment discrimination rulings and settlements and all the rest. Still, the pathology of racism and classicism plague our society and our labor unions.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with Twin Cities and national labor activists, scholars and writers to discover some of Labor’s Untold Stories.

GUESTS:

MAHMOUD EL-KATI – Professor Emeritus of History, Macalester College, Essayist, Speaker, Honoree of Macalester’s Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies and Author, Haiti: The Hidden Truth (2010)

ANDREW E. KERSTEN – Professor of History, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; Author, Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-1946 (Illinois, 2000) and Clarence Darrow – an American Iconoclast (Kersten will be reading and signing his Darrow book at Common Good Books in St. Paul at 7:30PM Tuesday evening)

TOM BEER –  Retired Business Agent and Political Director, AFSCME Council #6 (Minnesota); Labor Union Director, Paul Wellstone 2002 re-election campaign; co-author of biographical article on Very Rev. Msgr. John Gilligan (to be published soon)


57:47 minutes (26.45 MB)

ENCORE: TTT June 16: A Conversation About White Privilege

On-air date: 
Wed, 06/16/2010

REMINDER: Starting July 5th, TruthToTell will air live at 9:00 Monday mornings following Amy Goodman moving to 8:00AM M-F.

This is a consolidated one hour from our two-part series on White Privilege which aired earlier this Spring. It is truly an evergreen issue, one worth revisiting, in any event. The individual originals can be found in the Archives section.

Do you think of yourself as white? Or have you never thought of it before? If you think of yourself as white, how do you feel about it? In fact, African-American children learn as early as age four or five that they are, indeed, Black, and they continue to learn as they go along what it means to be a person of color in this culture. Same with Asians. And Latinos. And American Indians. Confronting our privilege as whites is being seen as an essential step in understanding what it means to be NON-white, something that's always been true. In fact, few of us ever give our whiteness a thought - or a second thought - and the benefits whiteness accrue to us as a result of not being a person of color in Minnesota or the United States.


54:57 minutes (25.15 MB)