What Is Melanated Main Street: Editor’s Letter and TOC

Publisher Mikki Morrissette

At a local Women Winning event we wrote about in June, national activist Dr. Loretta Ross pointed out that justice is about the development of healthy children, families, and communities — and reducing the economic, cultural, and geographic barriers that limit what people can become.

This “Melanated Main Street” issue showcases how neighbors and cultures are working together to create better conditions. The term “melanated” was chosen intentionally for this issue, suggested by outreach director Crystal Brown as a replacement for the BIPOC label that is not universally accepted as a descriptor of identity.

The stories in this magazine, and at our wider selection of stories at womenspress.com, are about neighbors who are working to remove barriers so that everyone in a community is valued and supported.

Alfreda Daniels tells the story of how the Brooklyn Center community rallied together after the killing of Daunte Wright, inspiring philanthropic funding for an 18-month process of racial reckoning.

Neighbors associated with Zeitgeist in the Hillside area of Duluth conducted 13,000 one-on-one conversations to share stories about needs and solutions related to mobility, safety, and health care.

The four members of the LinkingLeaders partnership connect regularly as part of their leadership roles with different organizations that serve Minnesotans who are Native, Latine, Black, or Asian American.

Many of us grew up with a Main Street that represented a center of connection for shopping (transactions) and interacting (building relationships): an actual street, or downtown
area, or food-and-arts marketplace.

With this theme we set out to find out how we are starting to better recognize, honor, and address the conflicts and joys of living in a state that is a melting pot of cultures.

The stories remind us of the hearts at the center of communities that work — the diversity of purpose, function, entrepreneurial spirit, and civic engagement that leads to a sense of personality and pride.

Reading this month’s magazine, we hope you see the potential for growing more of what Nikki Pieratos of Tiwahe Foundation described: “Having a relative wherever you go.”

Find a growing library of stories about our visits to Greater Minnesota communities at tinyurl.com/CALLhometownvalues


Table of Contents


Equity The Emerging Story of Brooklyn Center

Greater Minnesota Sharing Neighborhood Stories in Duluth

Changemakers Alliance Re-imagining Public Safety

Identity — When Cultures Combine: LinkingLeaders

Perspective Anisa Hagi-Mohamed’s Affirmations

Action = Change Cake Therapy: Baking the Way to Change

Thoughts “A Home Away From Words”

Buy Local Harnessing Communal Energy

Pets A Touch of Klass

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