Insight News

May 29th


Clay receives Spirit of Democracy award

Clay receives Spirit of Democracy awardWashington, DC -Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, US Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), is among the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's 2010 Spirit of Democracy Award recipients, Melanie L. Campbell, executive director and CEO of The National Coalition, announced recently. The awards will be presented during The National Coalition's 13th Annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala on Wednesday, May 19.

Other 2010 Spirit Honorees include: Ralph Everett, president and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Tony Gladney, vice president, National Diversity Relations, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.; Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League; and Makani Themba-Nixon, executive director, The Praxis Project.

Fredrick Blocton for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year 2010

Fredrick Blocton for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year 2010Fredrick Blocton, has been nominated for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year. He has 10 weeks (until June 4th) to raise as much money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  His goal is to raise $200,000, which exceeds the national amount raised in last year’s campaign. Read about his campaign and initiatives for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

What is man of the year?
As a candidate for Man of the Year, I am on a quest to raise as much money as I can for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in just 10 weeks (March 25-June 4). I will be competing against a select group of philanthropic-minded business and community leaders to become the top fundraiser, and therefore be named LLS’s Man of the Year. But more important than any title is the knowledge that I, along with my support team, will be playing an important role in the fight against blood cancers.


Mexico criticizes Arizona immigrant legislation

In reference to Arizona state legislature's “Immigration; Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods” (SB1070) bill, which was signed into law this week by the Governor of Arizona, Janice K. Brewer, the Government of México said it tried to communicate its concerns about the impact of such legislation, but did not receive favorable responses from Arizona.

“The Government of Mexico regrets that, despite the efforts made by Mexican federal and state authorities, the legislators that approved this bill and the Governor of Arizona did not take into account the valuable contributions of immigrants to the economy, society and culture of Arizona and the United States. The Mexican Government carried out several actions to communicate to the Government of Arizona its concerns about the possible adoption of the Law, but did not receive a favorable response.

Career fair focuses on jobs for veterans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is sponsoring the Veterans Career Fair on May 5 to help connect military veterans looking for work and employers who are hiring.

The event celebrates Hire a Veteran Month, held each May as part of an ongoing effort to make Minnesota the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.

The Minnesota Veterans Career Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. It will be held at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. The event will help veterans and their spouses find jobs, explore career options or attend workshops by career experts. At the same time, employers and service providers will have the opportunity to connect with job-ready veterans. In 2009, more than 80 exhibitors and 1,000 veterans attended.

A positive progress report for HREEO and Director Frias

A positive progress report for HREEO and Director Frias
St. Paul College soon will celebrate its 100 year anniversary, a fitting environment for the first annual Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Department (HREEO) Progress Report to the community and department commissioners.

On February 12, 2009, Luz Maria Frias stepped into the Directors position of the newly merged Human Rights and Equal Opportunity (HREEO) Department. On April 20, 2010 Frias delivered the Progress Report to the broad overall satisfaction of attendees to the public meeting. “I am extremely proud of the work that our employees have accomplished this past year. You’ll see that our approach has been to think creatively about addressing institutional barriers. As a result, there have been numerous staff-driven measures that have led to systemic change, ultimately benefiting our constituents in unprecedented ways,” said Frias.

Katie McWatt: principled civic leadership

Katie McWatt: principled civic leadershipOn Monday, April 26th, the Twin Cities is celebrating the life of Katie McWatt, noted advocate for civil and human rights, community empowerment and development, a meaningful education system and a just legal system. McWatt, a lifelong resident of Minnesota, died Monday after an extended illness.

Services for Katie McWatt are, 9:30-10:30 am Monday, April 26 at St. Peter Claver Church, 1060 West Central, St. Paul. Visitation Service begins at 10:30 am.  McWatt's Community Celebration follow, 2-5 pm, at Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Pkwy, North, St. Paul.

Doll Carter: principled civic leadership

Doll Carter: principled civic leadershipLenora “Doll” Carter, publisher of Houston Forward Times newspaper, and treasure of National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) – the Black Press of America, died early this month at her home in Houston, TX.

“I am deeply saddened at the unfortunate passing of my good friend and ‘sister in the struggle,’ Lenora “Doll” Carter,” said John B. Smith, Sr., publisher of the Atlanta Inquirer newspaper and former NNPA chairman. “Lenora championed African American achievement, overall and she personified distinctive grace, character and style as a ‘chaplain for the common good’. As treasurer of our newspaper federation, Lenora was an exemplary steward.”

Immigration reform now top priority

Immigration reform now top priority
With health care reform in the “done” column, the White House and Congress should tackle long-overdue immigration policy reform, say media, legal and community service leaders.

Joined by Cara Huang, the immigration issues expert on US Rep. Mike Honda’s (D-CA) Washington DC staff, editors and publishers of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium engaged a leading immigration law expert, a successful naturalized immigrant businessman and a Somali elder whose community service organization provides support to immigrants from throughout Africa, in a broadcast forum on immigration policy.

Andrew Velasquez III named FEMA regional administrator

Andrew Velasquez III named FEMA regional administratorWASHINGTON - President Obama's has appointed Andrew Velasquez III as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Administrator for Region V, which encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

"Regional Administrators are crucial to our ability to respond effectively to emergencies based on the needs of the communities we serve," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Andrew Velasquez is not only an experienced emergency manager with deep roots in the region, but also a dedicated public servant. His knowledge and experience make him uniquely qualified to help lead our efforts there."

Camden scholar advocates Christian activism

Camden scholar advocates Christian activismWhat ordinarily comes to mind when one thinks of a lecture about medieval Europe is a talk a lot less relevant to present-day worldly concerns than the keynote speech recently delivered by Prof. Celia Chazelle at a conference held at University College Cork entitled “Envisioning Christ on the Cross.” Chazelle, who chairs the Department of History at The College of New Jersey, had been invited to Ireland to speak about “The Mass and the Eucharist, ‘Image’ of the Crucified Christ, in the Christianization of Early Medieval Europe.”

While the bulk of her otherwise academic address certainly explored that topic at considerable depth, she prefaced her remarks by reading a poem by her Irish-born pastor, Father Michael Doyle, about the seeming futility of the never-ending fight to eradicate the suffering evident in his midst. For 35 years now, Doyle has presided over Sacred Heart Church in Camden, the poorest city in the US, where over 90% of the population is Black and Hispanic.

Ellison receives housing leadership award

US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) recently received the 2010 Edward W. Brooke III Housing Leadership Award from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) for advancing the cause of affordable housing. 

Ellison was recognized for his authorship of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 that became federal law under the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.  According to this legislation, tenants who are current on their rent payments have the right to stay in their home that enters foreclosure for 90 days or through the end of their lease.  According to the NLIHC, 40 percent of foreclosed properties nationwide were occupied by tenants.  In Minneapolis, this rate was over 60 percent. These protections are set to expire at the end of 2012.  
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