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Cirien Saadeh

Journalism & Research Portfolio

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Dr. Cirien Saadeh is a journalist and educator who works at the intersections of journalism and critical media studies, social movement development, experiential education, and sustainability. She is an Arab-American woman of color who was trained as a community organizer by Voices for Racial Justice (formerly known as Organizing Apprenticeship Project). She has written for local, national, and international publications and is committed to using journalism as a tool in the pursuit of justice for all historically disenfranchised communities. Dr. Saadeh is currently the Executive Director for The UpTake, a nonprofit news organization. She has a PhD in Sustainability Education and teaches community journalism classes, as well as graduate-level classes at Prescott College. As part of her doctoral program, she developed the theory "Journalism of Color," which asks, in short: How do we develop sustainable journalism platforms and spaces in historically-marginalized communities and how do we create journalism methodologies which build community power and resilience?

How We Flipped Media Literacy and Built Community Literacy Instead

In the Twin Cities we have no shortage of community media organizations, but we have also fought long and hard against many of our legacy media counterparts. Whether it was Pointergate or so many other injustices, we have struggled to feel that our stories as people of color, as low-income people, as renters, as members of the LGBTQIAP community, etc.

North News
Community coffee shop set to close - North News

By Cirien Saadeh Staff Reporter | Additional Reporting by Editor Kenzie O'Keefe McKinley neighborhood received a surprise announcement in March. One of the community's cornerstone gathering places, Serendripity Spot, decided not to renew its business license with the city. The fu

North News
Wirth Co-op will not reopen

By Cirien Saadeh | Staff Reporter After ten months of "temporary" closure, leaders close to Wirth Co-op have confirmed that the store will not reopen. "The co-op has permanently closed," said Pat Paulson, who has been a co-op board member since shortly before the store opened in Oct. 2017.

North News
Vacant schools keep community waiting and wondering

There are four vacant MPS schools in North Minneapolis: Willard, Lincoln, Gordon, and Cooper. It costs $15K-$33K per year per school to maintain them when empty. Cirien Saadeh | Staff Reporter Willard School has been nearly empty for over a decade, but community members remember it differently.

North News
With millions on the line, North Minneapolis looks to the riverfront

The 2018 Minnesota Legislature Bonding Bill included $15 million in matching grant funds for the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT). The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board have been tasked with funding the remaining $15 million. With $30 million on the l

North News
Minnesota's "black threadist" brings her services to Broadway

Cirien Saadeh | Staff Reporter Hair removal is something that many have to deal with but rarely is it pleasant. Waxing can be painful and shaving is often cumbersome. Facial threading, however, provides a safe and sometimes-nearly-almost-painless opportunity for hair removal. It is an art th

Twin Cities Daily Planet
North Minneapolis takes back food systems, land through urban agriculture

North Minneapolis is one of the most marginalized communities in Minnesota, but it is also the site of community resistance and liberation movements around a whole assortment of issues. Reclaiming food systems is one way organizers and leaders are taking action. But access to fresh, healthy food is not the first priority, nor is it the end-goal. Transforming the community and its residents is the main goal of Northside food system organizers, who are using food as a tool to aid in that...

North News
So Black, so green: juice and smoothie bar opens on Lowry

"It's a partnership. For us, it was about covering the health and wellness component of the ecosystem. Healthy food is something that the community asked for, what better way to introduce healthy food than juice and smoothies," said New Rules President and CEO Chris Webley.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
Glendale residents fight for homes amidst MPHA disorganization

Michelle Montbriand is not willing to sit back and lose her home. A former cook, a single mother of two, and a grandmother of four, she has turned herself into a community organizer as she and her neighbors take on the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) in a battle to save their community.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
New support bolsters racial disparities bills, but opposition looms

K.B. Brown is a father of two, engaged to be married, a lifelong Minneapolitan and co-owner of a small business in Northeast called Wolf Pack Promotionals. He dreams of being the largest promotional printer in the state and of starting a youth internship program in the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
Three Minnesota bills addressing racial disparities you need to follow

The recession might be over, but not for Black Minnesotans. In 2014, the incomes of Black Minnesotans were the lowest they had been since 2008. With the average salary for Black Minnesotans at $27,000 per year, the rate is nothing compared to Minnesota's average income for all residents at nearly $68,000 annually, said the Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower who recently presented at the Legislative Working Group on Economic Disparities.

The UpTake
North Minneapolis Tells its Own Story through Annual Arts Crawl

Click for a Shareable Version of this Video. North Minneapolis community members are changing the perception of their often maligned neighborhood by telling their their own stories at FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, a community-based, non-juried arts show. The late July event runs for three days and was founded in 2006 by Dudley Voigt.

Twin Cities Daily Planet
South Minneapolis Somali community asks for ethnic, healthy food shelf

When it comes to food shelves in Minneapolis, halal food is hard to come by. But a group of Somali women want to change that. Isuroon, a local nonprofit that works to develop the health and empowerment of Somali women, is asking the city to help develop a new food shelf that provides healthy, ethnic [...]

Twin Cities Daily Planet
A Frogtown feast: Thousands gather to discuss food access in St. Paul

Not everyone thinks about their food as art, but one St. Paul artist is using art to spread awareness about food access issues in his neighborhood. When artist Seitu Jones looked out the window of his apartment in Frogtown, he noticed many people in his neighborhood were buying their groceries from the local convenience store.

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