Last winter I observed the actions and heard the message of Black Lives Matter (pictured above at the Mall of America December 2014). They said we need to work the top of the system to improve the conditions of the inner-city. In response, I asked, “But where are the leaders working the ground level of these communities, challenging one another to do better for themselves?”
A friend replied.
They exist, he said, but they don’t get the coverage.
So with his recommendations, I went out and found three such organizations in Minneapolis working with the residents of these neighborhoods, helping them in matters academic, relational, and even psychological.
I interviewed the facilitators. I sat in on sessions. Then I followed up with a client five months later to see how the young man had responded to the work. He opened up about his life of crime, the neighborhood that had nurtured it, and how he’s doing today.
From all this, I came to understand what makes these organizations so effective.
After a year of interviews, follow-ups, writing, re-rewriting, and pitching, this piece will be the feature story of the Opinion section in this Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. Please pick up a copy or go online to check it out.