racism

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Monday, Nov 4: Who decides it’s racist? Confronting issues with the Washington D.C. NFL Mascot

This Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Washington Redskins at the Metrodome and the American Indian Movement (AIM) will be there in throngs,  signs in hand, to educate football fans about why the Washington D. C. Mascot is a racist emblem. This week’s protest will not be the first, just last weekend the Washington team was met by protesters at the Mile High stadium in Denver, and these demonstrations will continue across the country as the movement catches fire. This controversy has had a slow build, but now in 2013 a burst of new major publications and broadcasters have joined the boycott of the team’s name, including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Native Nations all over the country have been standing up to team owner Dan Snyder, who publicly stated last week that he still  has no intention of changing the team’s mascot, even after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a personal meeting with Synder over the mascot issue. This meeting was arranged on behalf of the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York who first called a meeting with Goodell. Even President Obama has weighed in on the debate saying if he were the Redskins he’d "think about changing it."

There are many arguments about why the mascot shouldn’t be changed. Some say the tradition should overshadow the controversy. Some say it pays homage to the Native Americans, and should not be construed as a mockery of their culture. Some point to mascots like Minnesota’s own Vikings as a comparable caricature and a reason we should not be able to be offended. But critics say, why choose something that could be offensive at all if there are plenty of other mascot options that are far more benign? Ultimately, who gets to decide if it’s racist? This Monday morning, TTT’s own Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi discuss these points and more with our guests: 

CLYDE BELLECOURT– Executive Director of the AIM Interpretive Center and co-founder of the American Indian Movement; former Minneapolis School Board Member

JOEY BROWNER-Former Vikings All-Pro Safety, Vikings Ring of Honor Inductee- One of just 21

 

 


CROW BELLECOURT- Musician, recorded the ‘Redskins!’ song with Larry Long.

LARRY LONG- American singer-songwriter

TruthToTell, Nov 4: Who decides it’s racist? Confronting issues with the Washington D.C. NFL Mascot

On-air date: 
Mon, 11/04/2013
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.

This Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Washington Redskins at the Metrodome and the American Indian Movement (AIM) will be there in throngs,  signs in hand, to educate football fans about why the Washington D. C. Mascot is a racist emblem. This week’s protest will not be the first, just last weekend the Washington team was met by protesters at the Mile High stadium in Denver, and these demonstrations will continue across the country as the movement catches fire. This controversy has had a slow build, but now in 2013 a burst of new major publications and broadcasters have joined the boycott of the team’s name, including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Native Nations all over the country have been standing up to team owner Dan Snyder, who publicly stated last week that he still  has no intention of changing the team’s mascot, even after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a personal meeting with Synder over the mascot issue. This meeting was arranged on behalf of the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York who first called a meeting with Goodell. Even President Obama has weighed in on the debate saying if he were the Redskins he’d "think about changing it."

There are many arguments about why the mascot shouldn’t be changed. Some say the tradition should overshadow the controversy. Some say it pays homage to the Native Americans, and should not be construed as a mockery of their culture. Some point to mascots like Minnesota’s own Vikings as a comparable caricature and a reason we should not be able to be offended. But critics say, why choose something that could be offensive at all if there are plenty of other mascot options that are far more benign? Ultimately, who gets to decide if it’s racist? This Monday morning, TTT’s own Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi discuss these points and more with our guests: 

CLYDE BELLECOURT– Executive Director of the AIM Interpretive Center and co-founder of the American Indian Movement; former Minneapolis School Board Member

JOEY BROWNER-Former Vikings All-Pro Safety, Vikings Ring of Honor Inductee- One of just 21

 

 


CROW BELLECOURT- Musician, recorded the ‘Redskins!’ song with Larry Long.

LARRY LONG- American singer-songwriter

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."

 

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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."

 

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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 23: FACING RACE: Are We Sliding Back? - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/23/2012

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 Ask, The 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 Initiative, The Saint Paul Foundation

 

 


58:25 minutes (53.48 MB)

TruthToTell Monday, August 8 @9AM: FACING RACE WINNERS: The Kids Have the Ideas - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’sFacebook page.

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

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

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

TruthToTell Monday, August 8 @9AM: FACING RACE WINNERS: The Kids Have the Ideas - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

TruthToTell has a policy of presenting programs that address the persistent problems of racism and poverty in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Those two social cancers combine to deprive huge groups of our neighbors from adequate food, housing, education and the other basic needs we all take for granted. Among the topics we’ve covered are race and discrimination in the classrooms around here, something we wish would simply disappear, but, according to UofM’s Institute on Law and Poverty, has become exponentially worse over the last several decades. All this, despite the lip service politicians give to efforts to desegregate and improve our schools.

It looks like it may be up to the children to help where we adults have failed
The St. Paul Foundation, its Facing Race Initiative, and the joint initiative for face-to-face civic engagement efforts known as InCommons have joined in one project with a competition for relative modest grants challenging organizations and individuals in reducing racism in their communities. The kids won out. And we’ll talk to representatives of the two winners about their plans and projects. Thanks to St. Paul Foundation’s Rowzat Shipchandler and Laura Mylanfor helping us structure this show. Let’s meet the winners:

1. Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership – Submitted by longtime schools advocate and activist Kate Towle of Minneapolis Idea Generator and Paul Robinson.

  Kate Towle will apply her $2,500 Facing Race grant to support curriculum development, outreach and the ongoing work of Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership – a youth-driven initiative that engages Minneapolis Public School students as leaders in racial equity work.

 “The heart of Project s.t.a.r.t. is that we can’t just rely on the adults in our schools to create the environment we want,” says Towle. “We have to engage students in making our schools safe, respectful and culturally-competent.” Towle, a Hamline University alumna, is an active racial justice facilitator who volunteers for the YWCA and consults with the Minneapolis Public Schools... s.t.a.r.t., named and created by students at South High School, stands for “students together against racial tension.”

2. Youth Peacekeepers – Submitted by Jake Branchaud-Linsk of Saint Paul.

 Jake Branchaud-Linsk, a philosophy and political science major at Hamline University, will use his grant to provide conflict resolution and communication training to groups of diverse high school students for use in facilitating conversations about race with younger peer groups. The inspiration for his idea came from his youth engagement work at the Dispute Resolution Center in Saint Paul, made possible by a Phillips Family Foundation scholarship. “I want to help youth apply good communication and mediation skills to discussions about race,” says Branchaud-Linsk. “Working with youth on this topic is exciting because we can make an early impact. They have their whole lives ahead of them to use the skills they’ll acquire through Youth Peacekeepers.”

Now, we’ll let the young people talk about doing something about this clinging issue.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead the discussion with these committee young folks.

GUESTS:

KATE TOWLE – Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership

PAUL ROBINSON - Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership

JAKE BRANCHAUD-LINSK - Youth Peacekeepers

 ROWZAT SHIPCHANDLER – Facing Race Initiative of the St. Paul Foundation

INVITED: Youth Participant(s)

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

MIGIZI’s New Media Pathway completed a total of 32 media projects in the last three years, including documentary videos  and new media projects shown on YouTube and Facebook.

The highlight of the program over its first three years of operation has been the emergence of the Community Media teams as a training ground and revenue center for participating youth. Youth completing the summer media institute have the option of participating in community media team activities afterschool and weekends during the school year.  Edited videos become part of the digital archive of community cultural events that MIGIZI is creating and they are shared with the broader community through You Tube, Face Book, and other venues.  Youth-produced video have filmed events for pay not only metro-wide but throughout the state. Over the past year, the Community Media teams generated over $50,000 in media production contracts.

Join First Person Radio’s Laura Waterman Wittstock with Andy Driscoll as we talk with:

 Michelle LaGarde

Michelle is going into her Senior year at South High School. She participated in the Summer Media Institute in 2010 and is back again this year. When she graduates, she will go on to college and has her sights set on post baccalaureate programs to pursue her interests.

 Ashley Anderson

Ashley is a 2011 graduate of South High School. She is the mother of two children. This is her first summer participating in the Summer Media Institute, but she has grown a quick interest and ability in Media Arts.

 Nicole Stately 

Nicole graduated from South High School in June of this year. She is interested in going to college, but hasn't made a decision as to where she would like to go. She is interested in studying Native American arts.

 Marie DeCoteau 

Marie has two tests left before she gets her GED. She has been involved in the Summer Media Institute for the past two summers and was significantly engaged in the Community Media Team in 2010 and 2011. Marie has a four year old daughter and looks forward to completing her solo media project documenting the Summer Media Institute.

[no picture available for Valentin Strong]

ALSO: VALENTIN STRONG - graduate of South High in Minneapolis June, 2011. Valentin's interests include Media Arts and Photography and GRAHAM HARTLEY - Migizi Director of Programs

TruthToTell August 8: FACING RACE WINNERS: The Kids Have the Ideas - Audio BELOW/Video COMING

On-air date: 
Mon, 08/08/2011

TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv or in iTunes

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

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

TruthToTell has a policy of presenting programs that address the persistent problems of racism and poverty in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Those two social cancers combine to deprive huge groups of our neighbors from adequate food, housing, education and the other basic needs we all take for granted. Among the topics we’ve covered are race and discrimination in the classrooms around here, something we wish would simply disappear, but, according to UofM’s Institute on Law and Poverty, has become exponentially worse over the last several decades. All this, despite the lip service politicians give to efforts to desegregate and improve our schools.

It looks like it may be up to the children to help where we adults have failed
The Saint Paul Foundation, its Facing Race Initiative, and the joint initiative for face-to-face civic engagement efforts known as InCommons have joined in one project with a competition for relative modest grants challenging organizations and individuals in reducing racism in their communities. The kids won out. And we’ll talk to representatives of the two winners about their plans and projects. Let’s meet the winners:

1. Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership – Submitted by longtime schools advocate and activist Kate Towle of Minneapolis Idea Generator and Paul Robinson of Wilder Foundation.

  Kate Towle and Paul Robinson will apply the $2,500 Facing Race grant to support curriculum development, outreach and the ongoing work of Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership – a youth-driven initiative that engages Minneapolis Public School students as leaders in racial equity work.

 “The heart of Project s.t.a.r.t. is that we can’t just rely on the adults in our schools to create the environment we want,” says Towle. “We have to engage students in making our schools safe, respectful and culturally-competent.” Towle, a Hamline University alumna, is an active racial justice facilitator who volunteers for the YWCA and consults with the Minneapolis Public Schools... s.t.a.r.t., named and created by students at South High School, stands for “students together against racial tension.”

2. Youth Peacekeepers – Submitted by Jake Branchaud-Linsk of Saint Paul.

 Jake Branchaud-Linsk, a philosophy and political science major at Hamline University, will use his grant to provide conflict resolution and communication training to groups of diverse high school students for use in facilitating conversations about race with younger peer groups. The inspiration for his idea came from his youth engagement work at the Dispute Resolution Center in Saint Paul, made possible by a Phillips Family Foundation scholarship. “I want to help youth apply good communication and mediation skills to discussions about race,” says Branchaud-Linsk. “Working with youth on this topic is exciting because we can make an early impact. They have their whole lives ahead of them to use the skills they’ll acquire through Youth Peacekeepers.”

Now, we’ll let the young people talk about doing something about this clinging issue.  Thanks to Saint Paul Foundation’s Rowzat Shipchandler and Laura Mylan for helping us structure this show.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead the discussion with these committee young folks.

GUESTS:

KATE TOWLE – Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership

PAUL ROBINSON - Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership

JAKE BRANCHAUD-LINSK - Youth Peacekeepers (CALL 651-500-6271)

 ROWZAT SHIPCHANDLER – Facing Race Initiative of the Saint Paul Foundation


57:28 minutes (52.61 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)