This week’s edition covers stories
from March 16th to March 22nd, 2023.
Today’s issue is 910 words, a 7–minute read.
Isabella and Helene talk Springtime, the Afro Deli,
Minneapolis’s Rye House, State Capitol news,
and the new BIPOC Foodways Alliance!
Good morning, NewPrensa readers! Helene here. Spring is arriving slowly but not-so-surely, much in the Minnesota way. It’s exciting to see everyone out and celebrating our few sunny days after being cooped up so long! The next time the weather’s nice, head outside for a walk, if you can. Maybe around Lake of the Isles? And if a walk isn’t in the cards for you, I’ve found that even stepping outside for a minute does wonders. Ramadan started last night, as well, which is a month of reflection and celebration for Muslims. The month is observed through prayer, fasting, and community. Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim friends and neighbors!
But in the spirit of getting out there, why not check out the Afro Deli! It’s sure to be good– the owner, Abdirahman Kahin, was just named Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year! The Afro Deli, which now has four locations across the Twin Cities, is a fusion restaurant serving African, Mediterranean, and American foods. Kahin is looking to create more jobs as the business continues to be more successful and is always striving to keep the business social. Giving back to the community is forever a priority, and they’ve got a whole bunch of community partners already to help keep all our neighbors fed. Kahin still works at the restaurant taking orders and clearing tables, staying connected to the people he’s serving. Do eat here if you haven’t!
Now in other local news, residents of Minneapolis’s Rye House are being threatened with eviction. Don’t know what the Rye House is? I didn’t either, until recently. It’s an intentional community in South Minneapolis that houses transgender and BIPOC youth experiencing housing instability. It has provided rent-free housing to trans and BIPOC youth for over two years now, but the owner of the house, a national Catholic organization called Call To Action, is going to sell the house. Rye House residents are working to raise the funds to purchase the house between them, but it’s a race against time as their eviction date draws near. A representative of Call to Action, Lauren Barbato, said the purchase of the house was originally intended to serve as a mutual aid pilot program, but that the actual business of keeping the program operational was more work than they were prepared to handle. Now, the main focus of the Rye House residents is purchasing a house to continue with their mission, whether it be the same house or a different one. You can help them out on their GoFundMe (here), if you have the means. That’s it from me today!
Hi readers, Isabella here. It’s week two post-daylight savings and the first week of the new astrological year. For those unfamiliar, March 20th is the beginning of Aries season, the first out of the twelve zodiac signs. Aries season is that fresh new start after things have come to an end in Pisces season. Things are going to be fast, new, fresh – and a little chaotic (but in a fun way). It’s also the beginning of the Spring Equinox, which means that we’re hopefully moving away from the cold-degree weather and shifting towards warmer and sunnier days.
In state capitol news, the DFL continues to successfully take the center stage. On Mar. 17th there was a Ranked Choice Vote rally, held by FairVote with lots of support, testifiers, and attendees. The rally was joined by many speakers, such as Alaskan Rep. Mary Peltola and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. On Monday Mar. 20th, the “Reproductive Freedom Defense Act” passed the MN House, which would prohibit other state courts, law enforcement and health providers from reaching into MN state borders with their abortion restrictions. On Mar. 21st, there was also a rally for paid family-medical leave that was immensely well-attended and reached Minnesota Twitter trending topics for the evening, under #PaidLeaveMN. The rally was joined by 250 advocates, over 60 organizations, legislators and Gov. Walz.
Twin Cities food journalist and chef, Mecca Bos and Indigenous chef and co-founder of Owamni, Sioux chef Sean Sherman, partnered to create the BIPOC Foodways Alliance. They plan to “dismantle white supremacy using food as a tool.” The union is there to serve the BIPOC communities around us by telling their stories through documentation, examination, and promotion. I’ve spoken about this before with coworkers, friends and family: food is ritualistic. Cooking is for the soul and it has unified communities for centuries beyond the kitchen and the dinner table. It creates deep connections between loved ones and newcomers who are unfamiliar with the dexterity that these meals require. BIPOC Foodways Alliance seeks to “curate, uplift, and preserve food stories from our BIPOC communities,” and to provide the privilege that many who own a kitchen have. Read this piece from Racket on cross-cultural connection and healing at BIPOC Foodways Table.
That’s all from us this Thursday!
Remember to listen to our bi-weekly’s NewMusica: NewTaste, NewVibes. Curated by the NewPrensa team, just for you!
– Isabella and Helene