Insight News

Aug 02nd

News unlocks ancestral roots of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Marcus Garvey unlocks ancestral roots of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Marcus GarveyNigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau identified as present-day countries of origin for Descendents of Renown Leaders

(October 2010) – For the children of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and social justice icon Marcus Garvey, DNA roots tracing has confirmed they have something genetically in common:  Both their paternal ancestries trace to Europe; and both their maternal ancestries connect them directly to Africa., the pioneers of DNA-based ancestry tracing for African Americans, recently revealed the paternal roots of King and Garvey through their sons -- Martin Luther King III and Dr. Julius Garvey respectively – during a special DNA Reveal Dinner hosted by the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation’s African Policy Summit in Atlanta on Sept. 26.

Minnesota gets $56 million to help homeowners

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced HUD will provide nearly $56 million to help struggling homeowners in Minnesota through its Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP).  The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in July, authorizes HUD to administer a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, to provide assistance – for up to 24 months -- to homeowners who have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition and are at-risk of foreclosure. HUD will assist borrowers in 32 states and Puerto Rico not otherwise funded by Treasury’s Hardest Hit Housing Fund program, based on the state’s relative share of unemployed homeowners.  It is HUD’s intention for the program to begin taking applications from eligible homeowners by the end of the year.

Color The Vote mobilizes for November election

Color The Vote mobilizes for November electionRepresentatives from Minnesota’s ALANA (African, Latino, Asian & Native American) communities came together in a strong show of solidarity to issue the call to action: ‘You Vote, We Win!’ launching the Color the Vote campaign from the State Office Building in St. Paul last week.

The Color the Vote campaign is sponsored by, a collaborative network of ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) communities, leaders, and individuals who agree to “eliminate racial barriers to success in Minnesota.”

“The margin of victory of the last three gubernatorial elections has been less than the collective voting strength of ALANA voters in Minnesota says Ezell Jones, a member of One Minnesota’s leadership team. “Our collective vote is critical in the upcoming election November 2.”

Alecia Carter named Mrs. Saint Paul International 2011

Alecia Carter named Mrs. Saint Paul International 2011Alecia Carter has been named Mrs. Saint Paul International 2011 at an event at the Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation's Garden the end of August. Her official banner was presented by Mrs. Minnesota International State Director Allison Stravrakis, City of Saint Paul Environmental Policy Director Anne Hunt, Concordia College Executive Vice President, and Dean of Diversity Dr. Cheryl Chatman, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter.

Carter will represent the community at the 2011 Mrs. Minnesota Pageant on March 12-13, 2011 in St. Cloud, MN and compete for a grand prize package and the opportunity to represent Minnesota at the 2011 Mrs. International Pageant.

Let's hear it for the seniors..."Seniors" who graduate

Let's hear it for the seniors...Patricia Anita Young, born and raised in South Minneapolis, celebrated her 59th birthday on September 8, 2010. On May 18, 2010 she received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Young is also a poet. She is a life-long learner who believes it is never too late to learn in order to give back to our children.

To Dream the Afro American Dream
By Patricia Anita Young

It's time to move up, the time is now to move on,
The time is now, to be all that I am.
It's time to plant trees and build lofty towers,
I choose to refuse to fantasize, instead to dream with my eyes open wide.
It's time to let go of sorrows, and prepare out children for bright tomorrows.
The mentees await our arrival, mentors are essential to their survival.
I am dreaming the Afro American dream
My passion will show me the way.

Remarks of President Barack Obama at The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.'s Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner

Hello CBC! It is wonderful to be back with all of you. I know you’ve spent a good deal of time talking about what the future holds for the African American community, and the United States of America as a whole. I’ve been spending time thinking about that, too. And at this time of great challenge, one source of inspiration is the founding of the Congressional Black Caucus.

I want us all to take a moment and remember what was happening forty years ago when thirteen black Members of Congress decided to come together and form this caucus. It was 1969. More than a decade had passed since the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. It had been several years since Selma and Montgomery, since Dr. Martin Luther King told America of his dream, all culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Saint Paul receives $50,000 grant to train developers on sustainable and energy efficient development

Grant will give workers around the state skills in “green” development

Recently, the Saint Paul City Council approved a resolution accepting a $50,000 Green Training Grant awarded by the Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership. The City of Saint Paul, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) will use the grant to develop a curriculum and provide training on the Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy.

The Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy is the first policy in Minnesota that requires compliance with energy efficiency and sustainable development standards for new municipal buildings and private construction receiving $200,000 or more in City or Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) funding. The Minnesota State Grant will fund training for developers, architects, contractors, city staff and others in the private and public sectors on how to comply with The Sustainable Building Policy, in addition to providing green development skills in general.

VOX Global adds White House communicator Corey Ealons to senior team

VOX Global adds White House communicator Corey Ealons to senior teamCorey Ealons brings 17 years of political and strategic communications experience

VOX Global, a bipartisan public affairs firm, has hired Corey Ealons, who most recently served as White House Director of African American Media. Ealons will serve VOX as Senior Vice President in the agency’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, where he will lead client efforts in broad political, public policy and reputational campaigns.

"Corey is a unique talent in this profession. He has worked at the highest levels of government, communications, policy and politics to communicate complex and critical issues to audiences across diverse communication platforms," said Robert Hoopes, president of VOX Global. "Corey's ability to see opportunities in the public policy and political arena, coupled with his enthusiasm and zest for winning, will be invaluable to our clients from every sector."

Report finds nearly 80 percent of school waste could be recycled

Results from a first-of-its kind school waste composition study provide valuable insight on the best targets for reducing waste and improving recycling programs in schools.

The study was a collaboration of Hennepin County; the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA); the City of Minneapolis; and Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Hopkins public schools.

Significant findings from the report include:
•    Nearly 80 percent of all the waste generated by a school could be recycled or composted.
•    More than 60 percent of what is currently discarded as trash could be recycled or composted.
•    Food waste and recyclable paper are two prominent materials thrown away by schools that could be recycled.

Mayor Coleman seeks applicants for Boards and Committees

Mayor Chris Coleman is seeking applicants for Saint Paul’s committees, boards and commissions. The City of Saint Paul has dozens of committees that cover a wide range of topics and appeal to a variety of interests. The Mayor and City Council rely on committees, boards and commissions for thoughtful advice to create policies and develop programs.

Some committees have requirements, including Saint Paul residency. You can learn more by visiting or by contacting Chai Lee at 651-266-8512 or

One Nation Working Together: Our Blueprint for Prosperity, Equality and Justice for All

In a recent op-ed, NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous and I spelled out in great detail the importance of the upcoming "One Nation Working Together" march, a mobilization that will assemble in our nation's capital on October 2 for jobs, justice and education.

On that wonderful day, we will forge our considerable will and determination with hundreds of other progressive organizations to declare our unequivocal unity with the communities, many of them underserved, who have joined us in the mobilization. We will revitalize those forces that in the past have been so formidable in their call for social and political equality. And we will ensure that those with access to decent jobs, a good education, and uncompromising justice are among the nation's majority.
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