Thursday, July 23, 2009

African Americans work to bridge barriers to employment in Duluth

Teresa Jones works as a cook and a participant in the Bridge to Empolyment program. Allegra Henderson is a mentor with the program. The program addresses cultural specific needs of African Americans in Duluth. (Photo by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)

I am finishing up a story written by Allegra Henderson and myself about the racial disparity in employment and family income in Minnesota and specifically Duluth.

Allegra is mentor in a program named Bridge to Employment. Families on MFIP (welfare) are required to become employed after a certain amount of time. But in Duluth racism is a stark fact of life for many people of color. Allegra works with African Americans and employers to bridge that gap.

Many people say when getting a job it is who your know more than what you know as the most important hurdle to finding a job. Couple that with hidden and not so hidden racism and African Americans have a difficult time finding employment in Duluth.