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Archive for January, 2016

Little Africa and On The Green Line gather community’s insights

green line re-cap pic

 

Monday January 11th Little Africa and the On the Green Line Marketing Collaborative hosted a community listening and outreach session at Sabrina’s Café in St. Paul. The purpose of the session was to collect information on how residents, business owners, and other key community stakeholders use the On The Green Line Marketing resources.

Since the launch of the Green Line, the collaborative has organized a number of initiatives to provide marketing resources (directories, websites, bus-stop ads, etc) for local businesses and residents. The collaborative teamed up with the Midway Chamber of Commerce to explore ways to improve those efforts by organizing a series of community outreach sessions. The outreach sessions are taking place during the month of January at different St. Paul and Minneapolis locations along or near the Green Line.

In addition to residents and community members, Little Africa’s outreach session drew folks from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Metro Transit, and State Senator Foung Hawj.

Sabrina’s Café owner Karima Omer, who recently re-opened her quaint coffee shop after being closed for nearly a month for re-modeling, provided participants with food and traditional Ethiopian coffee throughout the meeting. During the outreach sessions participants discussed current neighborhood and district brand presences, identified other community partners and collaborative efforts, and brainstormed potential marketing strategies that could benefit the community.

Things like re-launching a coupon book with deals from local businesses and creating an app to help people better locate small businesses and community happenings along the green line were some of many suggestions made.

“Making it easier to find things to do is a great idea.” Said Fatima Omar, who works as College Navigator for the International Institute of Minnesota, a St.Paul based non-profit.

“I really enjoyed the discussion. I’m glad I found out about this!” Omar said she saw the event posted on Facebook and was curious to learn more.

The information gathered during the outreach sessions will be complied by the On the Green Line Collaborative.To participate in this initiative, take the below survey or attend an upcoming On the Green Line outreach session:

 

  • Downtown Minneapolis
    Tues, Jan 19, 12pm-1pm
    The Open Book
    1011 S Washington Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55415

 

  • Historic Rondo
    Weds Jan 20, 12pm-1pm
    Kings Crossing
    500 Dale St N
    St Paul, MN 55103

 

  • Stadium Village
    Weds Jan 20, 2:30pm-3:30pm
    Bar Luchador
    825 SE Washington Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

 

  • Lowertown
    Thurs Jan 21, 12pm-1pm
    Black Dog Cafe
    308 E. Prince StSt Paul, MN 55101

 

  • Frogtown & Little Mekong
    Tues Jan 26, 6:30pm-8pm
    St. Paul City School – 643 Virginia St
    St Paul, MN 55103
    (part of Frogtown Neighbohood Mtg)

 

Do you use the Green Line for work or play? We’re also conducting a survey of rider habits and district marketing preferences. Take the survey and you’ll be eligible to win one of ten gift certificates to a Green Line restaurant! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/339KM9L

The survey will close Friday January 29th, 2016 at 5:00pm.

Posted in: Company News, Little Africa of Minnesota

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African Economic Development Solutions, Finalist for 2016 Knight Cities Challenge

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In her now famous TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story” acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said “…when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.”

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) plans to do just that.

Tuesday, January 12 the Knight Foundation announced that AEDS’ proposed project “More Than a Single Continent: an intellectual tour of Little Africa through food, music, and discussion.” is a finalist for the Knight Cities Challenge. Of the 158 finalists chosen out of 4,500 applications from 26 different cities across the nation, AEDS is one of 10 finalist based in St. Paul.

The second year of a three-year run, the Knight Cities Challenge will select winners from among the finalist which comprise of nonprofits, government organizations, design experts and urban planning groups. The Knight Foundation will distribute 5 million dollars to the winning projects that best answer ways to make their cities successful. Winners will be announced by the foundation in the Spring of 2016.

AEDS’ proposed project “More Than a Single Continent” seeks to showcase the diversity of local African communities by hosting a series of events and discussions centered on food and music as the entry point to facilitate meaningful community dialogue, to educate, and to provide multidimensional visibility for the many African immigrant communities that call St. Paul home.

The ultimate goal of this project will be to mainstream a more inclusive and complex narrative of what it means to be African, but also to broaden what it means to be a resident of St. Paul. Through these discussions and events AEDS hopes to bridge the gaps that disengage folks, to establish a space where diverse peoples, especially communities of color, see themselves as a vital part of St. Paul’s long-term fabric.

This is the second time AEDS has been a finalist for a Knight Foundation award. In 2015 AEDS was a finalist for the Knight Green Line Challenge award which AEDS eventually won for a separate Little Africa project. Little Africa, a virtual and place based branding effort launched by AEDS in 2013, is rooted in St. Paul’s historic Hamline Midway area.

Since its launch, Little Africa has partnered with numerous community organizations to collaborate on dynamic community centered projects and events. One of the most visually recognizable of those collaborations can be viewed along Snelling Avenue where several murals decorate small businesses, thanks to a collaboration with Midway Murals.

Through Little Africa, AEDS hopes to implement creative placemaking strategies to foster meaningful community engagement, to inspire and create a space where St. Paul’s diverse populations of African heritage communities can thrive.

Posted in: Company News, Little Africa of Minnesota, Press

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