Insight News

Jan 30th


Back at the lunch counter again?

We are living in times when progress for communities of color seems to be going in the reverse.  Yet, we have come so far -- more of us have advanced degrees and higher paying jobs; more of us own homes and are living in gated communities. But we seem not to have noticed that our youth are under attack; that there are huge pockets of unemployment and joblessness in our community. Racial profiling and violence continue to plague us in our neighborhoods, as illustrated by the senseless shooting of young, black and unarmed Trayvon Martin in Florida. Through it all, messages, resources, and programs have become watered down and the plight of our people has been given the cold shoulder. 

Now more than ever, our nation is in need of a movement – a force with the visibility and the influence to bring people together.  I believe the Urban League is that movement, and I believe our work is more relevant today than ever -- especially as our global society continues to expand.


The art of effective male-female communication

The art of effective male-female communication


We live in the communication age. With more and more information shared via emails and chats, communication issues are on the rise. When it comes to male / female relationships, effective communication has become even more complicated. Effective communication is achieved when a message is clearly transmitted by the sender and clearly understood by the receiver. Here are my 6 key actions that will help improve communication between men and women.

1.    Share first. Part of the challenge of effective communicating is determining the reason for the message. Men often view a barrage of back-to-back questions as an interrogation and not as communication. When you share your examples, experiences, perspective first, it allows the other person to get a better understanding of the reason for the conversation. Sharing your thoughts first also sets the tone, attitude, and disposition of the sender and the expectation of the receiver.

Water landscape trees soon, but go easy on lawns

Homeowners still need to help their trees and lawns make up for a record soil moisture deficit to mitigate damage done by a dry fall and winter.

This week’s wet weather is providing much-needed moisture to parched soils, but it isn’t enough to pull the state out of its moderate to severe drought classification, according to University of Minnesota Extension climatologist Mark Seeley.

Water landscape trees as soon as ground is thawed
Drought conditions can lead to tree decline, pest problems, and permanent damage for young and old trees alike. “Dry soils get colder in the winter and freeze deeper, which can kill roots,” explains Gary Johnson, Extension specialist in urban and community forestry. And dead roots make it hard for trees to take in water.

Even if damage was caused by the dry fall and winter, you can minimize its effects by keeping the soil moist but not saturated. In the metro area, the ground is thawed enough to begin watering now if you haven’t already.

To check if your ground is thawed and assess moisture, push a kabob skewer or other metal rod into the ground. If the skewer can be pushed into the ground 8-10 inches, you can water. If the 8-10 inches is moist, there’s no need to water yet. If the 8-10 inches is dry, watering is critical.


Be a safe tourist when you go abroad

The world today encompasses very real concerns of crime, health risks, natural disasters and terrorism that can disrupt the best planned vacations. Travelers need to be aware of the risks they can face when vacationing to an unfamiliar territory.
Whether you are a student going on spring break, a family vacationing together or are traveling strictly for business, there are some items that you should ensure are checked off of your pre-trip list before you depart for your destination.
Protect Your Identity
Proof of identity and citizenship are critical while traveling abroad. Your personal safety, and ability to travel, will be at risk if your passport and other identification are lost or stolen. Remember to take a photocopy of your passport and other identification with you on your travels. Keep it in a safe place, in the event something happens to the original.
As soon as you know you are going to travel abroad, locate your passport and make sure all of the information is correct. If you were over age 16 when your passport was issued, it is valid for 10 years. If you were age 15 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years. If you need to apply for a passport, do so at least three months in advance of your trip to avoid fees associated with expediting the process.


Black woman, what makes you so strong?

Black woman, what makes you so strong?

For most of my life, I have heard that Black women are strong.  But, rarely do we talk about what has made us so strong.  Surely the old adage:  “What won’t kill you will make you stronger” has applied to many of our lives.  Unfortunately, many of have not gotten stronger, but have been killed along the way.  While our bodies may not have been killed, our spirits, our hopes, and our dreams have been shattered by what we have experienced.   We have buried our sons and daughters to needless, thoughtless violence.    We Black women have lost husbands, friends, and lovers because of what we have experienced.  We have lost our dignity, received black eyes, experienced infidelity, been riddled with insecurity, displaced by unemployment, and devastated by discrimination.  Yes, we have been challenged in ways that have destabilized and shamed us for generations.


Man Talk: Why do men cheat?

 Why do men cheat? Let me begin by saying not all men cheat. According to MSNBC survey conducted in February of this year of 70,000 adults, 44 % of married men and 36% of married women admitted to being unfaithful. Although these numbers are alarmingly high, they do not reflect all. 56% of the men surveyed indicated that they kept their commitment to their relationships.

Because there is high percent of men who are unfaithful, women everywhere want to know why men cheat. This question has been presented to me at just about every speaking engagement or book signing I have attended. These women believe that if a man has a good woman at home that is taking care of his needs, there is no need for him to look anywhere else. Unfortunately this is not the case. The reason behind why men cheat is much deeper and internal.


Online payday lenders: Ripping consumers off

She was desperate to pay a handful of crucial bills, so she went online and researched digital loans.

She read about Internet payday loan companies and how they work – but she found one that seemed better than the others.

“In order to find out if I qualified I had to give them my bank account and social security number like you would for any loan,” she told The Skanner News. “There was my first stupid thing.”

This Oregon resident -- who has requested anonymity because she hasn’t yet told her family that a $400 loan turned into a $1,000 nightmare -- has helped touch off a national effort by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) to regulate the billion-dollar offshore payday lending industry.

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