insightnews.com Insight News
September 24 - September 30, 2012
September 24 - September 30, 2012
Small computer center making large impact
“It is my
rst time to touchcomputer and I am very happy.”These were the wordsexclaimed by Zulfa Fara, anEthiopian immigrant who wasat a computer center developedthrough the Broadband AccessProject (BAP), an outreach project of the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research andOutreach/Engagement Center (UROC). In response to thegrowing digital divide amongunderserved communities in theTwin Cities, UROC developeda project that aims to increase broadband access, awareness anduse in four federally designated poverty zones in Minneapolisand St. Paul. The project isfunded through a federal grantfrom the Broadband TechnologyOpportunities Program.The Minneapolis PublicHousing-Glendale lab is one of 12 new or enhanced community based BAP computer centersthroughout the metro area.While the Glendale lab is oneof the smaller centers with only
ve computers, it can still have alarge impact.Kadra Abdi, a University of Minnesota employee who worksat the Glendale center explainedhow the small size allows her tomake strong connections withclients.“We’re a small center sowe don’t have a lot of training but we assist people in other ways. We give them one-on-one assistance; we sit with themas they’re trying to learn basiccomputer skills,” said Abdi.Larger BAP computer labsoffer technology training withclasses covering topics suchas Microsoft Of
nancialsupport, social media for business use and even Internet programming and design.Through these classes andthe assistance offered in eachlab, BAP aims to help peopledevelop to meet the increasedtechnological demands of today’s world.According to BAP sources, people of all ages
nd thatcomputer use at these centers plays a large role in their everyday lives. Abdi taught Farahow to set up and use an emailaccount so she can communicatein the workplace and with lovedones all over the world.“I’m so happy, believe me or not, because I send to my kidsemail to Ethiopia, to Africa. Inthe job place also they send me(emails). It’s a big knowledge Iget, big knowledge. (I’m) oh sohappy,” said Fara.Deshawn King, a regular visitor to the center, uses thecomputers to do homework and submit schoolwork. She is pursuing her Certi
ed MedicalAssistant degree from a localcollege and appreciates thatthere is no time limit on BAPcomputers, unlike those at the public libraries.“You don’t get but an hour at the library and you have tolet somebody else get in,” saidKing. “Here I’m able to get alot in. Whenever I have to dohomework and submit it, I’mable to do it over here. There’s alot of lab work and stuff that wehave to look up.”Because King’s schoolwork requires a lot of time and efforthaving a computer center staffedwith helpful employees keepsher motivated.“I come here every day;every day because the work thatyou have to have for college is persistent. I don’t know what Iwould do without it, it would bevery hard to submit my work,”King explained. Not only does the center supply a bene
cial resource tothose with more professional pursuits, it also provides away for young people to feelconnected and involved withtheir peers through socialnetworking sites such asFacebook and Twitter.“(Also people will come in)if they want to learn how to typeor open their
rst email account,or if they just want to come inand build a resume and other things like job research, cover letters,” said Abdi. “If they wantto set up a Facebook account;if they’ve never done it beforeor try to
gure out how to useYouTube, those are just some of the things we can help with for our clients.”In only a year working atthe center, Abdi said she has been able see the lab positivelyimpact people’s lives.“I had people who came hereand the computer lab helpedthem get a job because they werehere to do their resumes. Thatwas a really good thing to see,”said Abdi.For more information onthe BAP labs visit www.bap.umn.edu.
By Britta Anderson
MPH Glendale Computer lab
The Rev. McAfee said he believed a common groundcould have been reached withsupporters of gay marriage, butmembers of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)community refused to meetwith him and other membersof the clergy. “For more thana year (State) Senator (Jeff)Hayden tried to get the twosides together, but they (LGBTleaders) had no interest inmeeting with us.”McAfee said he would haveno opposition to strengtheninglaws in support of civil unions,“But to change the de
nitionof marriage is a different thingall together.”Pastor White’s troubleshave brought a nationalspotlight to Minnesota, withmedia outlets such as
CNN and the Huf
ngton Postall exploring the story of hischurch.“We were called outof a building to set up acongregation of acceptanceand love,” said a hopefulWhite.The issue on gay marriagewill be decided by Minnesotavoters in the upcoming Nov. 6election.
support was no more evidentthan on the album’s release date,when “Music” soared to number one on the iTunes R&B albumchart. iTunes is the world’sleading online music outlet.Mint bassist Rick Kinchensaid with this latest release,“Music” was a completelycollaborative effort among thegroup. “This was a record whereeverybody was on the same pageon every song,” said Kinchen.“When we were putting this CDtogether it just all fell perfectlyin place.”With the new album,Mint ventured into unchartedterritories for the band. Themost notable difference in theMint sound this time around isthe addition of horns.“We talked for yearsabout adding horns and withthis album it totally took it toanother place,” said guitaristHomer O’Dell. “And to haveEric Leeds; one of my favoritehorn players on this (album) isamazing.”The horns on the album arecourtesy of M Factory Horns(Leeds, Bradley Shermock and Michael Nelson). Leedsarranged all the horn for thealbum.Mint also collaborated withthe legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff for the song, “Girl of My Life”and rapper, Brother Ali, who provides a powerful verse onSixFortyNine/Changes.“I don’t think anybody couldhave done a better verse on thatsong than Brother Ali,” saidKinchen.Mint is preparing to takethe stage where it all beganfor them (the group performedthere when they were seen – andlater signed – by the legendary production duo of Jimmy Jamand Terry Lewis) at the fameddowntown Minneapolis club,First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N.The upcoming show takes placeon Friday, Sept. 28.Mint keyboardist, JeffreyAllen, said the group’s liveshow is the reason the group hasendured for so many years.“Our live show is where weexcel,” said Allen. “That’s our biggest asset; it’s our biggestadvertisement. We’re no holds barred on stage. It’s emotionalup there on stage.”The group said the MFactory Horns will be joiningthem on stage for the Sept. 28First Avenue show.“One of the good thingsabout being a live band is younever know what to expect,”said O’Dell. “This is going to bea fun, exciting show.”
An Evening with MintCondition
First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N,Minneapolis (www.
rst-avenue.com)Friday, Sept. 28Doors: 8 p.m.Admission: $26 in advance $29at the door Ages 18 and upThe new single “Believe In Us”is currently at #15 UAC, andthe new album “Music @ theSpeed of Life” (just released)is ALREADY #1 on the iTunesR&B album chart!
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