Mpls. forum addresses issues in African-American communityby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — African-Americans who gathered in a north Minneapolis high school Saturday say they're forming a grassroots movement to address issues such as drug use, homelessness, and school closings.
Business owner Peter Hayden was one of the speakers addressing the meeting, called the "State of the African-American community."
He said the local African-American community needs to come together to form a grassroots movement.
"When drug abuse is going up, when mental health issues are not being treated, when homelessness is at all time high, when all these things are hidden in a community ... something's wrong," he said.
The black community has to take responsibility for its own problems, Hayden said.
"You just can't sit back thinking somebody else is going to do the work for you," he said. "We're not interested in blaming as much as we're interested in looking at how do we change our environment, because it's clear other people are not interested in changing or even helping us in some cases."
Hayden said the first step is for the African-American community to agree to work together toward common goals.