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ENEWS: City of Lakes Summer Games - Joy, healing, & community service

Date Published: 07/15/2021

Author: Growth & Justice

Helping Kids be Kids: Summer Games and G&J 

For the past few months and into the 2021 summer, Growth & Justice has been turning policy development and advocacy into pragmatic practice as the fiscal agent and one of many supporting partners in the creation of the City of Lakes Summer Games (July-August) for youth, hosted in North Commons Park, North Community YMCA, and other local facilities in North Minneapolis. 

Organized by Seeds to Harvest, the Games officially open this Sunday July 18, running through Saturday August 7 — to promote peace, progress, service, and sportsmanship through a “bustling hub of sports, games and volunteer projects — a place for kids to play safely and participate in free activities after a difficult year of violence and COVID-19 disruptions.”

It’s an extraordinary community-led effort to create a safe, healing, and joyful space for kids to be kids. Three children have been shot this summer in crossfire on the North Side, two of them fatally, and a 12-year-old drowned at the North Commons pool in June. These are tragedies that must not happen again, according to Brett Buckner, a longtime North Sider, co-chairman of Seeds to Harvest, and managing director of OneMN.org, G & J’s partner organization in the creation of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint.

"We're coming together because we know we must do better," says Buckner. "We're seeing where the gaps are and where the opportunities [are] to really bring community together."

G & J is honored to be working with Seeds to Harvest and the Summer Games. To sign up a child, volunteer, or donate to the Summer Games to support a summer of healing and joy for children in North Minneapolis, please go to seedstoharvestmn.org. 

Go Dane! President Emeritus Letter to the Editor 

Our President Emeritus, Dane Smith, has a great letter to the editor in a series of letters to the editor this week responding to the Star Tribune op-ed by John Phelan of the Center for the American Experiment (“Minnesota, we have a problem,” Opinion Exchange, July 12). Phelan argues there’s a link between higher, progressive taxes in Minnesota and issues like racial disparities and lower state GDP growth. In response, Dane writes that the racial equity advocates and the Black leaders that Phelan references would be “highly unlikely” to agree with the solutions and convoluted logic Phelan puts forward. Dane also notes that Minnesota ranked eighth in the top ten states for GDP growth during the first quarter of 2021. You can read both Phelan’s op-ed and Dane’s response at the links above. 


“We do have serious problems with racism and inequality, which are similar to other Upper Midwestern states. But most advocates for racial equity actually want Minnesota to more aggressively apply our egalitarian and liberal traditions, not abandon them in favor of individualism and conservative denial of white privilege.”— Dane Smith, letter to the editor 

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