Community Groups Urge Support for Vandalized East African Immigrant Businesses

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 9/19/19) – CAIR-MN, Main Street Alliance of Minnesota, Bethany Lutheran Church, Seward Civic & Commerce Association, Redesign Inc., and the Seward Neighborhood Group urged community members to support vandalized East African immigrant business in Seward.

See: Minneapolis Police make arrest in East African Business vandalism

https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/minneapolis-police-make-arrest-in-east-african-business-vandalism/89-2c8c553c-c6ff-4471-bc25-97a8784b24cf

Community Groups Statement:  

We are coming together to show that while hate can break windows, we won't let hate break our community.  We stand in solidarity with Seward business owners and the East African community that has been targeted more broadly and believe it is important that we all stand up in unison and say that hate has no business here. 

Community groups are asking Minnesotans to join them in helping rebuild and show solidarity with these businesses. 

Here are ways Minnesotans Can Help:

1. Contribute to the Go Fund Me page:  Proceeds will be used to make repairs to damaged storefronts when they aren't covered by insurance.  They will then be used to help provide security cameras, lighting, and other improvements that can deter crime.  Any funds beyond that will be used to help with loss of business and other needs. 

Link:https://www.gofundme.com/f/hate-has-no-business-in-seward 

2. Make a point of shopping at one of these businesses.  Stop by the Capitol Cafe, Lakes Pharmacy, Seward Market and Halal Meat, Barber and Braiding, $5 Pizza and Tobacco Plus and enjoy their many products and services. Show them that our neighborhood is welcoming and supportive by actually supporting them. 

3. Business owners can show support by putting up a Hate Has No Business Here, All Are Welcome Here signs in their windows.  Get one at: https://www.mainstreetalliance.org/hate_has_no_business_here

4. Attend events in the Seward community this weekend at which affected neighbors and businesses will be gathering to process and show support:

  1. The King’s Fair, happening at Matthews Park from 12pm to 5pm, will offer a space for neighbors to come together, listen to live music, and make signs to show solidarity. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/matthews-park/kings-fair-a-celebration-of-seward/464526730795855/

2.            The Milwaukee Ave Peace Celebration takes place from 4pm-5pm to celebrate the International Day of Peace. We would like community members to patronize immigrant businesses on that day.  

https://sng.org/2019/09/12/milwaukee-avenues-peace-pole-dedication-and-celebration-the-story/

The vandalism has caused ripples of fear and financial stress for the businesses that are on the hook for repairing the damage and who have seen a decrease in customers. These businesses are a valuable part of our community and they need our love and support. Please stop in and let them know how much you value their contributions to our community.

Contact: CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Donald Simmons 612-206-3360


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