Inclusive Growth in North Minneapolis:
How Our Stories Shape Our Future
Northside Storyville is about much more than creating videos – it’s about lifting up the full North Minneapolis narrative. This can only happen by and with the community. And this narrative should not only shift the lens on North Minneapolis, but bring into focus an investment approach that respects and protects generations of cultural assets and catalyzes an exciting, locally-grown vision for the community.
Across the U.S., developers seeking to ‘revitalize’ neighborhoods that have experienced decades of systemic discrimination end up pushing residents out through gentrification. They invest in property and one-size-fits-all solutions rather than in people, businesses, and ideas. Gentrification benefits those outside the community, while local residents with deep roots lose businesses, wealth, and social capital.
At a June 2018 Northside Storyville community screening and discussion, community members heard from the artists, visionaries, and entrepreneurs featured in the Storyville videos as well as from the filmmakers themselves. View the twitter moment for individual panelist comments.
The following themes arose that should guide the efforts of public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations who want to see North Minneapolis thrive in a racially and economically inclusive way.
1. RECOGNIZE & RESPECT NORTH MINNEAPOLIS’ INTRINSIC VALUE
No one has what we have. Celebrate, don’t erase our legacy. Pride fuels the next generation.
“Prince and North Minneapolis families put the Twin Cities on the national map with their ‘Minneapolis’ sound. We need to fight against ‘ego-less’ imagery. Pride in our cultural legacy is necessary to catapult the next generation of creatives.”
— D.A. Bullock, Bully Creative
2. NORTH MINNEAPOLIS IS WHERE WE FEEL MOST AT HOME
People say to avoid North Minneapolis – but it’s where we find safety, culture, and connection.
“North Minneapolis has always been the first place for immigrants. There’s unbelievable passion. We’re accepted in ways we’re not accepted elsewhere.” – Ange Hwang, Asian Media Access
“I find home here, where everyone looks like me.” – Adja Gildersleeve, Free Truth Media
3. JOIN, DON'T LEAD COMMUNITY BUILDING EFFORTS
Don’t invest in our neighborhoods – invest in our people and our vision. Build local wealth and capacity.
“It would have been easier to build elsewhere, but we have to invest in our community.” – Rebecca Polston, Roots Midwives
“All the innovation exists here. We need to continue building with each other.” – Chris Webley, New Rules
“Kids need to see African-Americans investing in North Minneapolis and owning the land and businesses.” - Houston White, HWMR
4. YOUTH HAVE THE ANSWERS. YOU JUST NEED TO ASK.
Listen to, lift up, and invest in Black youths’ insightful ideas and solutions.
“Young black youth want to change the dynamics in North Minneapolis and they have the solutions. We need people who want to hear and listen to the answers.” – LaTaijah, Appetite for Change
5. CHALLENGE WHO GETS TO TELL THE STORY OF NORTH MINNEAPOLIS.
Negative images of North Minneapolis are shaped by white supremacy. Invest in new and inclusive platforms, challenge systems of oppression, and you’ll see a truer North Minneapolis narrative.
“These stories aren’t new, but they’re an affirmation of our existence.” – Ryan Stopera, Free Truth Media