Archive for November, 2010

Shop with Cops

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Shop with Cops! We started out in 2000 with 50 kids and 15 officers. Last year we served 213 kids with 107 officers. We are growing and we need your help to serve more children!

Volunteers are a vital component to the success of the Shop with Cops program. Coordination of the program is done by volunteers, which allows all financial support to directly benefit the participants of the program. Learn more about how you can help on Saturday, December 4.

Health Disparities

Doctor and Xray

Join us for “Place Matters,” a film on health disparities as related to ZIP code, followed by a panel discussion and community dialogue, at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Open Cities Health Center, 409 N. Dunlap Street, St.Paul.

Seating is limited. Parking available in Central Medical lot.

Presented by: the Twin Cities African-American Leadership Forum Health & Wellness Work Group The charge of the AALF Health & Wellness Work Group is to promote healthy living; mind body and soul in the African-American community and to practice behavior, systems and environmental health change.

Nice Ride Planning St. Paul Expansion

Nice Ride Minnesota is an innovative new bike sharing program—the largest in the country. In an effort to facilitate transportation that is both environmentally friendly and inexpensive, Nice Ride Minnesota has shared bicycles  located in stations around the city, currently in Minneapolis, only. To participate,  you pay a subscription fee to join and a trip fee each time you use a bike. To give you an idea of the cost, the current subscription fees are as follows:

  • 24 hours–. $5
  • 30 days– $30
  • 1 year– $60
  • Student 1 year–$50

Once you have your subscription you pay a trip fee:

  • 0-30—no fee
  • Up to 60 minutes–$1.50
  • Up to 90 minutes–$4.50
  • Each additional half hour–$6.00

To avoid a trip fee, you can return your bike each half hour and take out another bike.

Phase 2 of the program includes expansion plans to the University Avenue/Grand Avenue Corridor area, as well as Downtown St. Paul. Do you have a spot in mind that would be a perfect place the Nice Ride bikes? Attend the next St. Paul planning workshop and share you opinions.

University Avenue/Grand Avenue Corridor Workshop

Wednesday, November 17, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Laura Jeffery Academy, 1550 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul

For more information about Nice Ride Minnesota, see their website.

Building Hope

Zambia trip

Eight women — four from the Twin Cities and four from Cleveland — flew halfway around the world this summer to build a hopeful future for vulnerable children.

Habitat for Humanity International Mission is working in Lusaka, Zambia, in Southern Africa, and putting together a program to assist children and their caretakers. Many of these children are affected by HIV/AIDS; they may have it or have lost parents and family to the disease.

The four volunteer builders from Cleveland have backgrounds in city planning and medical care; the four from the Twin Cities have backgrounds ranging from architecture and economics to city planning.

Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp. employee Marilyn Porter and Bonita Martin were part of the Twin Cities team. During the day these women worked on building a three-bedroom home for a family of eight, that replaced their former windowless, two-bedroom home. While working alongside the local contractors, lifting blocks and digging holes, these women drew a lot of attention from local villagers, as well as some of Lusaka’s own city planners, including the Minister of Land, While in Zambia, they were even able to meet with First Lady Thandiwe Banda for an hour.

“The First Lady was on our schedule at first, but then our meeting with her was canceled because something else came up; however, when she found out we were a team of eight women of color who had come to help her people, that changed,” said Martin.

Once the house was finished, the entire village had a celebration with singing and dancing, and the women gladly joined in as they were invited to be a part of everything. Martin described the celebration in a humbled way, how the home injected the entire village with joy for the family who had received this new home. “That is something I will never forget!” said Porter.

Porter, being the architect of the group, was watching the women in the village cook the food on small, single grills. Porter took some of the left-over building blocks and, after a run to the hardware store to get some old refrigerator shelves, designed a larger open fire grill for the family. The family was so excited about their new grill that they insisted that it be set out where anyone in the village could use it to cook.

When asked if they would do this again, both Porter and Martin replied, “I would go again in a heartbeat.”

“We learned from then and I think they learned from us,” said Porter. “The local contractors were not sure what to expect with a group of eight women coming to help, but they were pleasantly surprised at the end.”

Check out the rest of the photos from the Zambia trip on our Flickr photostream:

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

On Saturday, October 23, residents and volunteers gathered at the Rondo Victoria Peace Garden, located at Concordia Avenue and Victoria Street, to celebrate the hard work they did this summer on the new community garden. There were pumpkins to be carved, cider to be sipped, and plans to be discussed on this quiet fall day.

In June, the garden first opened with a peace pole dedication as the kick-off to Aurora/St. Anthony NDC’s Summer of Peace celebrations. On Saturday, the garden was put to bed as folks cleaned, raked and prepared for the future. This ending also was a beginning as the group planted garlic sent to St. Paul from AfroEco — a group out of Detroit, Mich., focusing on urban community gardens. The bulbs that had traveled all the way from the Motor City were aptly named Motown Garlic.

All summer long, the owners of the lot had asked residents the question, “How would you use the space?” The top answers were revealed at the Harvest Festival and included:

  • Meditating/thinking
  • Vegetable garden
  • Flower garden
  • Neighborhood events

Future conceptual plans were also shared for the garden, with landscape design ideas including mixed planting beds, apple, cherry and plum trees, plus a sitting area with benches.

With the burst in popularity of community gardens — a wonderful way to bring residents together — the Rondo Victoria Peace Garden is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood. It will be very exciting to see what the future holds.

Check out the other photos from the Harvest Festival in our Flickr photostream here:

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Tubby Smith

UM Basketball Coach Tubby Smith

UM Basketball Coach Tubby Smith

2010 North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center presents the Business Leadership Speaker Series featuring University of Minnesota Basketball Coach Tubby Smith at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 10, at the North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center, 1711 W. Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411.

Individual tickets are $50 and include the cost of a catered lunch (which does not include pork) by Elite Catering. Vendor space (including lunch) is available for $75. Corporate/Business packages are $500 and include 10 lunches.

For more information, contact Henry Crosby at 612-588-9484 or by email.

To order tickets online, visit the YMCA web site.

Storyteller Festival

National Association of Black Storytellers

Photo courtesy of National Association of Black Storytellers


Minneapolis will be the center of the Black Storytelling world November 17 – 21, when the National Association of Black Storytellers and the Black Storytellers’ Alliance present the 28th “In the Tradition…” Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference at The Minneapolis Marriott City Center and throughout the Twin Cities community.

This year’s theme, in honor of their Ancestors and traditions, will proclaim “Our Stories Are The Breath of Life!”

The National Association of Black Storytellers is proud to present this one-of-a-kind event for the first time in Minnesota. The Twin Cities public and attendees from all over the country are invited and encouraged to participate and attend.

The first “In the Tradition…” A Festival of Black Storytelling was held at Morgan State University in Baltimore in 1983. Since then the Festival and Conference has traveled around the nation.

For a schedule and ticket information, visit the National Association of Black Storytellers web site.