#dangerleadair

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Channy Laneigh of the band Polica has become an activist working with community members in North and Northeast Minneapolis fighting to shut down Northern Metals after repeated violations polluting the air with lead.  Polica performed on a river boat on the Mississippi River across from Northern Metals after a peaceful protest.

CTUL

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Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha organized a statewide day of action against retail store Kohls who has decided not to take the route of other corporations and adopt a responsible contractor policy for the janitors who clean their stores. The action called on Kohl’s to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy for the janitors who are subcontracted to clean their stores.

CTUL

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Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha organized a statewide day of action against retail store Kohls who has decided not to take the route of other corporations and adopt a responsible contractor policy for the janitors who clean their stores. The action called on Kohl’s to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy for the janitors who are subcontracted to clean their stores.

Race to Justice

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Adja Gildersleve and Ryan Stopera facilitated a workshop on “Telling Your Story:  Speaking Truth to Power” at Southwest High School.  We talked about the power of storytelling through various formats to create positive social change and invited students to develop workshops with us at the Minneapolis Telecommunications Network.

Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia

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In 2014, organizers and volunteers from the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) convened a group of 20 Latinx renters [Latinx is an all-encompassing convention which embraces all genders and identities] in a small church in the Lyndale Neighborhood to discuss their housing problems. Renters spent hours sharing the daily abuses which their landlords and management companies were inflicting. At the end, the renters realized they needed and deserved more.

The LNA organizers started hosting weekly tenant meetings, which served a twofold purpose. First, they were an opportunity to tell and retell their stories. Over many weeks, the tenants refined the trauma they had suffered into a communal narrative, a story they all shared in which they had each struggled, alone, against an unfair housing system. Tenants were able to leave behind their fear and gain strength from the shared experience. Second, the meetings were a platform to organize their struggle, a place where tenants crafted solutions to their common problems. Through demonstrations of collective power (such as visiting the management office en-masse) the tenants executed their solutions.

Immediately, tenants and organizers began to see concrete victories: repairs were finished, the intimidation ended, city inspections were carried out more promptly, communal spaces in their buildings were opened to them, unjust evictions were stopped, and fear of the landlord disappeared. A year later in 2015, the group had organized a tenant association of 20 renters to sue their landlord, who had grossly violated the 1968 federal housing discrimination law by giving whites preferential treatment over latinxs. Because of the work they had done, the renters and organizers could prove the discrimination.

Tenants had built the power to determine how they lived, and they saw outside their own struggle: the costs and conditions of Minneapolis’ rental housing is not acceptable. Minneapolis chronically underfunds inspections which allows landlords to make huge profits from sub-standard housing conditions. The lack of state and federal funds for affordable housing has caused the market to be entirely determined by business demands. Additionally, there is little legal protection for tenants who advocate for their right to decent housing. While there are several tenant-aid programs in Minneapolis, they are heavily service-based. None of them build power, which tenants need to fight back against abuse. Unjust evictions, stolen security deposits, insect infestations, and neglected living spaces are everyday realities for thousands of families in our city. These problems are not individual, isolated cases, but larger, systemic issues that unite all Minneapolis renters. This is why Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia (United Renters for Justice) was born as an organization for renters by renters.

website:  inquilinxsunidxs

 

Black Forum MN

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MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change hosted a historic Black Forum MN in North Minneapolis today.  Community members were given an opportunity to ask questions about issues communities of color face to Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.  Topics ranged from the prison industrial complex to economic inequity and reparations.

One Minneapolis 2017

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We are working with grassroots media documenting the community led movement for new leadership in the Minneapolis City Council in the 2017 elections.  There will be much more work to come in collaboration with Bully Collective and Line Break Media as the campaign progresses.

Black Lives Matter

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In support of Black Lives Matter Ubuntu Media Productions launched a clothing campaign selling limited edition t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with all profits going to the movement.  Proceeds were donated to the Black Liberation Project to support the group in sending youth to the Creating Change Conference.  The BLP is a group of black youth activists in the Minneapolis area who have created many meaningful actions including #StopTransMurders, #BlackWomenMatter and more.

Momentum

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Ubuntu Media Productions provided video documentation of the Minneapolis Momentum training facilitated by Ayni Institute and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis for people of color by people of color.

The Momentum model merges the traditions of mass protest and structure-based organizing to create a new tradition of organizing in the United States. Following a decade of research by organizer Paul Engler (of the Center for the Working Poor), the Momentum Core Team came together to offer the first pilot training of this material in June 2014. Since then, the demand for this training has grown exponentially, and in just one year our team of highly-committed volunteers has trained over 300 people.

Ayni Institute and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis were finishing up the morning on the final day of the training on November 15 when the news broke about Jamar Clark. During the last hours of that training, Black Lives Matters Minneapolis organizers were applying momentum concepts to their work that would take place later that day — the occupation of the Fourth Precinct.

#Justice4Jamar

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Hundreds of community members from all backgrounds joined Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, faith leaders and the National NAACP in a candlelight vigil at the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis to mourn the death of Jamar Clark.  The 24 year old unarmed black man was shot in the head by police on November 15th, leading to an around the clock occupation of the precinct and national outrage demanding release of the video footage of the murder.

 

#time4Ilhan

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Had a great time shooting for Ilhan Omar’s campaign kick off for MN State House District 60B.  She has a broad progressive platform focused on equity including improving labor standards for working families and divesting from fossil fuels.  If elected she would be the first Somali woman ever to serve in the Minnesota Legislature and would address a need for more woman of color in government who only represent 4% of all elected offices.

Midwest Youth Climate Convergence

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We worked with Adja Gildersleve and Donald Thomas to provide photography and video documentation for the Midwest Youth Climate Convergence at the Minneapolis American Indian Center.  Over 100 youth from states all over the region joined together to learn from each other about divestment from fossil fuels, stopping tar sands, developing renewable energy and more.

Karen

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Karen Monahan has been fighting to shut down the polluting HERC incinerator for years.  Today she continues to bring together community members, activists, labor unions, and faith based organizations in her work building a climate justice movement at the Sierra Club.  Her vision is to the transition from dirty energy and waste management to clean renewable forms in order to heal the earth and create green jobs.

#blacklivesmatter

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Black Lives Matter Minneapolis began just after the non-indictment decision in the case of police shooting 18-year old victim Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. As activists across the nation rallied, a group of individuals in Minneapolis answered this call as well.

Working as a group of organizers comprised of mostly Black LGBTQ individuals, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis’ goal is to prevent the deaths and disproportionate policing of Blacks, and to improve the quality of life for people of color in Minnesota.

Stop Tar Sands March

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The Stop Tar Sands Resistance March in St. Paul, Minnesota rallied allies from across the Midwest including environmental organizations and indigenous groups to protect water, climate, and our communities from the threat of dirty tar sands.  While tar sands already flow from Canada to the United States, there are proposals to greatly expand imports to the U.S. in the Midwest, and on the coasts, through an extensive network of pipelines, rail infrastructure and tankers.  The photo shows an activist from Detroit and the damage that pollution can have on our bodies and health.