Equity is more than just a buzzword

Invoking the word "equity" is a lot like talking about Heaven. Everyone likes to describe it, but nobody seems to do what it takes to get there. Or worse yet, the word gets tossed around with no meaning whatsoever. It's become the trendy thing people have to say they want. And yet I struggle to find any meaningful incorporation of its principles into actual policy. When it does make its way into political decisions, equity seems to be applied only to giant, broad initiatives like raising the minimum wage or anti-bullying legislation. When the word is bandied about at community meetings, it doesn't seem attached to any specific actions at all.

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New Minneapolis NAACP assistant secretary: 'Be part of the sunshine! Change the system!'

Farhio Khalif (Photo courtesy of Farhio Khalif)

Farhio Khalif speaks of her life in terms of a “journey,” and what a journey it has been. Khalif ‘s journey began in Somalia and made stops along the way to Minneapolis in Italy; Birmingham, Alabama; Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. She and her two sons arrived in Minneapolis about five years ago. Khalif decided to make the Twin Cities her ultimate destination in order to join its vibrant Somali community.

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"Ex-gay" therapy ban for minors fails at Minnesota Capitol, activists promise reprise in 2015

Legislation that would ban reparative therapy failed in the Minnesota Legislature in 2014 after pressure from “ex-gay” organizations.

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Who do you think you are? Queer voices: GLBT reading series at Intermedia Arts explores what is lost and found

There is a kind of losing where everything is found. It struck me with some force the other night listening to the writers reading for Intermedia Arts Queer Voices series that many of the authors were writing about loss. Some wrote with humor, some with anger, fatigue, tears and acceptance. One wrote about the loss of his long hair while searching for the haircut that would express who he really felt he was. Another wrote about the loss of a special group of friends who came together as pioneering lesbian parents only to lose that bond as their children grew up, others wrote about the loss of religion and the loss of health to HIV and cancer. But there was also a sense that through that loss some essential things were found and acknowledged. Not only was a sense of self affirmed but also a sense of humanity, as children, parents, loners and lovers.

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Moving women into the future

Rep. Carly Melin presents her bill, HF2536, the Women’s Economic Security Act, to the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee March 20. With her are Debra Fitzpatrick, center, director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Kim Borton, director of programs for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. (Photos by Paul Battaglia)

When little girls fantasize about what they want to grow up to be, some might imagine becoming an astronaut or archeologist while others might want to become lawyers or doctors. Others still might want to own a business. Yet, in the end, many don’t follow through with those dreams, thus creating a cycle of women going into lower wage jobs that are considered more traditionally female.

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The new faces of the Minneapolis NAACP

Ilhan Omar (Photo courtesy of Ilhan Omar)

Seventeen years ago, Ilhan Omar was a young girl in war-torn Somalia, with a bleak future and uncertainty about whether things would ever look better. Now she is an aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson, as well as the third vice president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

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St. Paul: East Side transit group awarded for inclusion

After six months of work on the east side of St. Paul, Fostering an East Side Transit Equity Conversation (FESTEC) will receive its first award. The Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is given annually by the local Chapter of WTS International. Founded in 1977, WTS is dedicated to building the future of transportation through the overall advancement of women. The annual awards process recognizes local individuals or organizations, and local winners are placed in contention for the international award to be given later in the year.

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Women and poverty

We are sometimes asked why people are homeless. The simple answer is that people are homeless because they don’t have homes – and they often don’t have homes because they can’t pay for them. Homelessness, or at least housing insecurity, and poverty are intertwined.

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Wafers

My father and I used to go door-to-door delivering wafers in a tiny gold case. I imagined my father gave me this job to make me feel special when all of the older kids went to school. When they disappeared behind the doors of St. Mark’s School with their starched uniforms and shiny pencil cases, I felt left out. As a remedy, my father quickly got me started in the business of delivering communion to neighborhood elders.

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Sisters in crime: Twin Cities writers are clued into camaraderie and connecting

"Visual artists have found cooperative arrangements for work, studio space and housing; why couldn't local crime writers find ways to share their expertise and experience and contribute to a rising tide that lifts all boats?" is how Erin Hart, Minnesota author, describes the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime (TC SinC).

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