Posts Tagged ‘ NAACP ’

JUST Equity

Veronica Burt

Veronica Burt

Veronica Burt, public policy advocate and organizer for JUST Equity, works diligently with other community organizations within the African American community in the historic Rondo neighborhood. Their shared passion for racial justice and equitable development brings awareness to community members so that they can voice their questions and concerns.

“We look at the large development projects and the impact they will have on the communities around them,” says Burt. “I look at the policies that exist on the books, to see if they will be beneficial or harmful to the community and then work to organize our communities to take action.”

JUST Equity is a network of several local community development groups, including the Aurora/Saint Anthony NDC, North Side Development Council and the NAACP (Saint Paul Chapter), all African Americans working for the betterment of their communities.

They are looking at the Central Corridor light rail line as one such project, with the hindsight of the construction of Interstate 94, in the 1960s through the Rondo neighborhood; they are hoping to see something different with this transportation project.

Community members were made aware of the project when it was still in the beginning stages and were able to ask questions about positive and negative impact on their communities and livelihoods.

JUST Equity has set out with the goal of “Lifting our community members out of poverty and not out of the community,” Burt said.

“We want to stay in our neighborhoods and we want to thrive,” says Burt. “The end goal to our particular effort and emphasis is essentially, development that takes place in this community that would be a benefit to the African American community. … What we want is a Rondo Renaissance … a revitalization vision that honors our community’s history, helps preserve what we have left in Rondo, helps restore components of the Rondo community, and builds wealth for our community members.”

JUST Equity seeks to be a partner with government agencies so that, together, they may be thoughtful planners of projects that lead to restoring and healing our communities.

About JUST Equity

JUST Equity is a network of several local community organizations, including Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, North Side Development Council, and the Saint Paul Chapter of the NAACP.

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Veronica Burt, Public Policy Advocate/Organizer
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Workshop to Focus on LRT Jobs

Construction

In October, the Metropolitan Council and five community organizations will hold a business and employment workshop featuring the Central Corridor LRT Project.

This will be the Met Council’s fifth large community meeting in a year for minority- and women-owned small businesses or job seekers to learn about job opportunities on the biggest public works project in state history. More than 300 people have attended the first four meetings.

The latest session is targeted at African-American business owners and workforce advocates who have an interest in ensuring African-American inclusion in the Central Corridor LRT line’s construction, which will begin in late summer 2010.

The meeting will be held twice on Oct. 14, running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center at 270 N. Kent St. in St. Paul. To register, contact Jackie Becker by email or 651-602-1940 by Oct. 8.

Besides the Met Council, the other sponsors are the Council on Black Minnesotans, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corp., Selby Area Community Development Corp., African Economic Development Solutions and the St. Paul branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The two sessions will highlight what the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is and how firms may become DBE certified, the construction bid packages that will be forthcoming and the range of construction trades that will be used on the project.

“The African-American community has been a staple of the area surrounding the Central Corridor route. As such, it only makes sense that the businesses and workers of that community participate in the construction of the line which will usher in a new phase of development and sense of community for the area,” said Roderic Southall, lead staff on the Central Corridor project for the Met Council’s Office of Diversity. “There are many African American construction-related companies that have already expressed interest in working on the project. They are seeking more information on how and when the construction projects will roll out.”

The Met Council’s Office of Diversity plans to conduct more specialized business and workforce opportunity sessions with various communities in the near future.

Community Celebration in Honor of Fredrick McGhee

frederick-l-mcgheeJoin us June 17 for a community celebration to honor Fredrick McGhee, the first African American admitted  to the bar in Minnesota and founder of the St. Paul  Branch of the NAACP. The event will be from 4-6 p.m. (program at 5 p.m.) in the Western Bank parking lot, 663 University Ave., St. Paul. Come enjoy Big Daddy’s BBQ and live music by Walker West. We will dedicate a plaque to be mounted on the front of the Western Bank building, the site of McGhee’s home from 1893-1919.