Black History Month: Volunteers help Twin Cities Homeless Youth Feel like Royalty for a Day!

Black History Month: Volunteers help Twin Cities Homeless Youth Feel like Royalty for a Day!

 Makeup Artist Alekedia Jefferson, left, worked on Stella Luoma’s face during the Kings and Queens Day event at YouthLink

 

The event was held to commemorate Black History Month. With the help of volunteer stylists, barbers and makeup artists, young people struggling with homelessness were given the chance to look and feel good during Minneapolis nonprofit YouthLink’s third Kings and Queens Day, held in conjunction with Black History Month last Wednesday.

YouthLink Community Coordinator and Opportunity Navigator Thomas Collins said that 75% of the young people they serve are Black and brown, making it crucial to celebrate Black History Month. The drop-in center for homeless youth hosted a Malcom X brunch earlier this month and will showcase art during an event on Friday. Looking good can help uplift these young people, he said.

 

Junior Davis worked on Erick Brandon’s face during the Kings and Queens Day event at YouthLink

 

“Appearance plays a lot into people’s self esteem, their self worth. They don’t get too many chances to go to a barbershop or afford having their makeup did,” Collins said.

The young people getting pampered are also getting inspired, said Collins. They can see themselves in the stylists, barbers and makeup artists, all people of color. The young men got to experience the barbershop atmosphere that builds community for many Black men, said Collins.

“Everybody that’s here right now, they really care about these youth and they want to see these babies smile, because they don’t get to smile too often,” Collins said.

 

Photo by Star Tribune on February 24, 2021. May be a closeup of one or more people.
Dynasty Born Asia watched through a mirror as makeup artist Morayo Allibalogun worked
on her face during the Kings and Queens Day event at YouthLink
Photos: @lizrflores
Star Tribune: The New Survivors Memorial – Boom Island Park, Minneapolis

Star Tribune: The New Survivors Memorial – Boom Island Park, Minneapolis

The new Survivors Memorial, near downtown Minneapolis at Boom Island Park, is the nation’s first permanent monument to survivors of sexual violence. It’s a reminder that survivors surround us, like veterans of some forgotten war, writes columnist Jennifer Brooks.

Every 73 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network estimates. But no one built memorials to them — not until now.

“For far too long, the suffering of sexual violence victims and survivors has been forced into the shadows, swept under the rug,” said Sarah Super, survivor, speaking at the virtual dedication ceremony for the memorial she and thousands of others worked for years to fund and create. “This memorial brings our suffering into the light.”

The idea for a memorial came to Super in the first weeks after she was raped. As she spoke openly about the experience, she watched her story ripple out, touching other survivors, who reached back with stories of their own.

A series of panels, created by mosaic artist Lori Greene of @mosaiconastick, tell a story of survival. A shattered survivor curls up alone in a dark wood. Then a second figure arrives to hold her as she grieves. More and more figures approach, until the survivor stands on her own, surrounded and supported by her community.

The memorial stands in a sunny corner of the park, the city skyline at its back. Etched into it are words to remember, the next time a survivor shares their story. We believe you. We stand with you. You are not alone.

 

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The new Survivors Memorial, near downtown Minneapolis at Boom Island Park, is the nation’s first permanent monument to survivors of sexual violence. It’s a reminder that survivors surround us, like veterans of some forgotten war, writes columnist Jennifer Brooks. Every 73 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network estimates. But no one built memorials to them — not until now. "For far too long, the suffering of sexual violence victims and survivors has been forced into the shadows, swept under the rug," said Sarah Super, survivor, speaking at the virtual dedication ceremony for the memorial she and thousands of others worked for years to fund and create. "This memorial brings our suffering into the light." The idea for a memorial came to Super in the first weeks after she was raped. As she spoke openly about the experience, she watched her story ripple out, touching other survivors, who reached back with stories of their own. A series of panels, created by mosaic artist Lori Greene of @mosaiconastick, tell a story of survival. A shattered survivor curls up alone in a dark wood. Then a second figure arrives to hold her as she grieves. More and more figures approach, until the survivor stands on her own, surrounded and supported by her community. The memorial stands in a sunny corner of the park, the city skyline at its back. Etched into it are words to remember, the next time a survivor shares their story. We believe you. We stand with you. You are not alone. Read more about the Survivors Memorial in the full story, linked in our bio. 📸: Photo by @lizrflores

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