Jamil Ford asked for a show of hands, and determined that well over 50 percent of those in the room do not live in North Minneapolis. He remembers growing up being able to get on the bus with no fears, and a local bike shop owned by a black resident. We need to “inspire our youth to be entrepreneurs. If we don’t get this right today, outsiders will define for us.” He urged “turn North Minneapolis into the front yard, not the back yard,” of the city.
Ford urged people to play by the rules and guidelines set out by WBC and the West Broadway Alive plan, and alluded to “Spike Lee on gentrification (after he moved to the East Side). When whites redefine communities,” they make them to what they understand. “We should have defined areas, like Eat Street, for cultural tourism.”