Sign Up
All Charities Count, Inc. helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

Posted: 2018-12-06 14:47:52

December 4, 2018; Yes! Magazine

“In 2017, Minnesota was named the second-most unequal state for Black people in a study of Black and White inequality by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion website,” reports Ivy Brashear for Yes! Magazine. In particular, Minneapolis’ Northside has a severe shortage of shopping centers, grocery stores, and banks. Poverty is widespread in the city’s Near North and Camden neighborhoods. A local activist, Me’Lea Connelly, observed that systemic oppression was stripping wealth from the community and decided to do something about that.

Connelly and others recognized that the community needed to take the lead in its own revival—or else risk having others develop the community, but in ways that promote gentrification and which would likely drive many current residents out. Gaining control over the money was a key part of the vision. “How do we take control of our own community and not let the lack of financial services in our community dictate our future? We have to have our own,” Connelly tells Brashear.

In 2016, Connelly helped found Blexit shortly after Philando Castile was shot and killed by police. “Blexit,” of course, is a play on Brexit (which had occurred in the month before Castile’s death) and refers to “Black exit,” or economic self-determination. As the group’s website explains, “The Black economy contributes 1.1 trillion dollars to the American economy, not to mention the revenue we generate as victims of racist and predatory practices across public and private sectors. The time has come to shift our dollars in ways that benefit and protect us all.”

The following year, in 2017, Connelly and her colleagues developed the idea for Village Financial Cooperative, a Black-owned credit union. The group has succeeded in raising over $1 million and hopes to get its charter and begin operating in 2019. Over 1,300 community members have already pledged in writing to open accounts at the credit union when it opens.

The North Minneapolis

View More
  • 0 Comment(s)