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Minneapolis Urban League

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Human Services, Urban & Community Economic Development, Urban League

Mission: The mission of the minneapolis urban league is to link african descendants and other people of color to opportunities that result in economic success and prosperity, and to effectively advocate for policies that eradicate racial disparities.

Programs: Urban league academyurban league academy is an ideal setting for students, middle school through high school-age who are focused on their future, attending college and building a successful career. Ula welcomes those who have fallen behind in credits, but have the maturity to understand what it takes to succeed and need the chance to prove themselves. The curriculum, which emphasizes mastery of basic skills with real-world applications through technology, allows students to achieve a more focused review of academic content, gain the opportunity to accelerate credit recovery, and to get on track to graduate and go on to succeed in college, work and life. An average of 85 students attended during the 2014/2015 school year and 9 graduated.

13th gradethe 13th grade is an industry responsive, competency based, education and employment job training program integrating academic, career pathway, stackable and latticed credentials, as well as work experiences serving to prepare individuals with skills/competencies essential for qualifying and retaining career pathway employment, and for lifelong career progression. The 13th grade is designed for high school stop-outs, high school dropouts and high school completers who have academic and technical skill deficits and no defined career goals. 103 participants received services from the 13th grade program.

rental activitiesthe minneapolis urban league has monthly rental tenants in two buildings. Most are small nonprofits or small community businesses. There were 21 tenants during 2014. There were also approximately 200 other meeting room or event space rentals during the year.

college readiness and career developmentproject ready programs (mentor and stem)project ready programs provide after-school enrichment curricula and activities for grades 6-12. Activities focus on cultural awareness, health and wellness, academic achievement, college preparedness, and the college application process. Select students who complete the college application curriculum participate in campus visits to colleges and universities within the minnesota state colleges and universities system. Project ready students also participated in activities with trained mentors and unique stem projects/training. 100 youth participated in project ready programs. Futurework$mul's financial literacy and college access program futurework$ seeks to provide outcome-based program services and activities designed to increase the financial literacy and post-secondary enrollment of students in grades 5-12. 100 students accessed mul's futurework$ financial literacy and college access programs. Youth interventiona truancy reduction program that concentrates on increasing attendance at the urban league academy high school by careful monitoring of attendance patterns and by teaching positive decision making skills and giving youth an opportunity to practice them. 96 youth received intervention services that enabled them to avoid ongoing interaction with the juvenile justice system. Workforce solutionsmfip/bestassistance developing and implementing a comprehensive personalized employment plan results in a successful transition into the workplace or entrepreneurship. 55 engaged in job searches through the best program. Building and construction tradesestablished relationships with unions, contractors, trade associations, business and industry, and training institutions offer the opportunities to acquire skills and qualify to become apprenticed in a variety of trades. 90 people were placed in jobs in the construction industry. Gateway to opportunity resource centerprovides constituent's computer skills, workplace soft-skills, resume development, job application assistance and other training events. The resource center offers participants opportunities to increase their marketability. 1,742 visits were made to the opportunity resource center. Adult job placement (cdbg)one-on-one job counseling, employment leads, resume preparation, and interview coaching for minneapolis residents. 68 engaged in job placement activities through the wia adult program. Health and wellnesscultural and ethnic minority mental health servicesmul provides clinical supervision and support for african american mental health practitioners to obtain licensure and access to direct mental health services for african american children who are uninsured or underinsured. 40 children received mental health services. Mnsure (minnesota health exchange)mul offered personalized assistance through certified navigators to help people select the health plan that fits their individual or family needs. Clients are assisted in exploring an online portal to compare plans from multiple insurers. 166 people completed mnsure applications. Outreach methods were used to broaden awareness about mnsure enrollment criteria and requirements within the african american community. Credit smart and realizing the american dreamthis interactive curriculum gives participants the tools to acquire credit, fix bad credit, and maintain good credit in order to have resources available for investments in their futures. Realizing the american dream interactive curriculum covers all aspects of the home buying process, providing participants with the knowledge and confidence to acquire and protect a major asset. 53 constituents completed these courses. Prevention of homelessness/rental counselinga variety of resources exist for tenants who are in danger of losing their rental accommodation. Introduction to these resources can help them avoid the social and economic consequences of housing instability. 77 constituents were provided services. Fair housing workshops and counselingconstituents are presented information on fair housing laws in order to prevent housing discrimination and educate them on their fair housing rights. This information covers home ownership and rental. Mul provides these services in partnership with northside community reinvestment coalition and mid minnesota legal aid. 150 constituents received fair housing assistance or information. Financial opportunity centerthe program offers clients a set of focused services in three overlapping areas: employment assistance; public benefits and work supports; and financial education services. 73 constituents were enrolled in this program the last two months of 2014. Urban gardensthe minneapolis urban league maintains and operates urban gardens. Urban gardens (mul development company, llc) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the minneapolis urban league. Urban gardens consists of six minneapolis rental public housing units. Urban gardens has been operating as affordable housing since 2002.

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IBNN Editors Note: Residents of Minneapolis should read closely the messages sent out in the local Black press that attempt to position this organization as one on the move up, when in fact troubles continue to linger. IBNN has written favorable stories and not-so favorable stories about the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL). Since the Minneapolis Urban League is a membership organization, under the color of law, how will the MUL handle the possible over-throw of the current board to protect “the membership’s $16 million dollar investment on the corner of Penn and Plymouth Avenue North?” If you recall – it was the Minneapolis Urban League management who decided to release great employees in favor of routing dollars to ACORN home foreclosure counseling, among other things. So far the National Urban League has not returned one call to IBNN in over a year… Under the Minnesota Law – “We” (members in good standing) have the sole responsibility to seek out competent board members and management to continue the organizations ongoing commitment to the community. Originally posted in The Minneapolis Story At 5:15 p.m., today, Thursday, 9-17-09, Minneapolis Urban League Branch President Scott Gray announced, in closed session, the new austerity: 10% salary reduction across the board; termination of ten employees within 30 days; and an indication that the staff of the Urban League Street Academy would go on part time employee status (thus losing their benefits). Ever since the sell-outs kicked Nellie Stone Johnson and me (Ron Edwards) out 20 years ago, when I was the President of the Urban League with 118 employees, they have cannibalized the organization, reducing it from the 118 employees then to what will be less than 20 employees now. We show how this got started in Chapter 14 of The Minneapolis Story. (The Book)