Black Fashion Week Minnesota (BFWMN) Has Returned for a Spring 2019

Black Fashion Week Minnesota Returns

Black Fashion Week Minnesota (#BFWMN) is alive and right around the corner. #BFWMN is a platform that gives IPOC designers and makers a chance to showcase their talents and efforts. Attendees of Black Fashion Week MN also get the rare opportunity to truly surround themselves with a fashion industry made of members from our black, latinx, asian, and indigenous communities. BFWMN will showcase local talent and include nationally recognized names during its run from April 18- April 27.

Black Fashion Week MN is hosting five official events including the jump off event “The A-List Mixer” hosted on Thursday, April 18. This premier event will be held at the stylish boutique hotel, Moxy Minneapolis Uptown. The A-List Mixer will be an event where BFWMN attendees can rendezvous, sip a little somthin’, and meet other fashion & style like-minded folks before fashion events get underway. Tickets for this fashion-packed week will be sold on-site at discounted rates for events that haven’t yet been sold out.

The current event roster lists the Tim & Thom presents Black Hearts Ball (black & white formal event) taking place on April 19, Fashion Bazaar will happen on April 20, 40 Lux & Fashionable on April 26 and Black Man Magic with Karl Kani on April 27.  

There will be photographers (and people that be doing the most with their cameras and phones, much like myself) on shutter mode. BFWMN is definitely a dress to impress affair. When I reached out to ask about the dress attire for guests this what a representative had to say, “For any of the fashion shows you attend at Black Fashion Week Mn you can wear whatever you like...whatever feels fashionable, whatever you feel pretty in.”  

Before go time you should brush up on fashion show etiquette and stay updated on everything #BFWMN related by following @blackfashionweekmn on Instagram. Don’t forget to check out events & such  to stay in the know of the latest MN POC Community Events & Upcoming Opportunities at kissmypassion.com.

As always I will do my best to keep you updated on all of the latest MN POC Community Events, but I am only one person, please visit the events & such page to submit an event or updates, today.

Where Black Excellence, H. White Men's Room, and Community Meet

When one thinks of Urban Contemporary Art, Minneapolis comes to mind. But when it comes to Urban Contemporary Fashion, it almost seems like a foreign concept. The Twin Cities fashion scene is at the early stages of appreciation as local creatives are showcasing the many faces and cultures that call this area home. HW Men’s Room was founded by Houston White in 1978, starting as an upscale barbershop located in the Camden Community in North Minneapolis serving black men and the community.

In the heart of H White Men’s Room Barbershop began the evolution of HWMR expanding from styling black men to coffee & conversation to lifestyle and fashion. Today, HWMR is best known as an urban community lifestyle label with the mantra and brand, Black Excellence. HW’s Black Excellence and fashion line King Kunta are more than just brands and logs produced by HWMR, they’re a part of a movement. HW has showcased through style, fashion and community events its commitment to challenging the normalized ideas of silencing black voices and the erasure of black people from existing “traditional” spaces.

Whether you are looking for a tee, hoodie, or hat, HWMR offers classic streetwear with a contemporary urban feel. HW features fashion with a positive message and a nod to yesteryear with collections such as BE the Change, Black Excellence Collection, HWMR Classic, and the SMaRT Art Collection. As a woman of color, I respect the space and the fact that it is reserved for Black Men as a barbershop. Ways that you can show support are by attending HWMR hosted events, stopping in to shop merch, and by telling the Black and Latinx men in your life to stop in HWMR to get lined up, have a cup of coffee, and tell two more people to stop in.

Bonus Info:

At the time of this posting, there was a “30% Off All ‘Classic’ Black Excellence Tee’s” when using the discount code: BHM30.  Be sure to support HWMR and everything that they are representing for our community by stopping into HWMR or shopping online at HWMR to get your urban fashion look right.

A Win for the Black Community: Village Financial Cooperative

what tragedy brought

It was on July 6, 2016 Philando Castile was murdered by St. Anthony Police leaving a community feeling powerless, angry, terrified, and left with so many questions. How could this happen? How do we recover from this tragedy? Why did this happen? How can we reclaim our power as a community?  

A community seeking answers through healing, collaboration, and ensuring continued existence soon created Blexit (the real one). Blexit, a community organization seeking empowerment within black communities that challenge the root of oppressive systems by finding ways to exit them by creating and/or using replacement systems that support the community (#investdivest). With more than the idea and a plan coming to life the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) came together and powers combined to take with action.

Thus, forming what is known as Village Trust Financial Cooperative (VTFC) a banking alternative.

big banks and people of color

Big Banks are traditional financial institutions have been known to habitually exploit and profit off of people of color through practices that focus on penalization and punishment for profit. With accessibility to traditional banking no longer being a viable option for many, people are looking for an alternative.  

Members of communities of color are seeking financial institutions that they can trust, as the current relationship between Big Banks and communities of color uneasy. Village Financial Cooperative provides an alternative and helps reclaim economic power within the Black Community and trust in the (African) American dollar.

what is this black-led financial cooperative

Through collaboration and action the road to solidifying the first Black-led state-chartered credit union to be approved in the last 15 years, Village Financial Cooperative Credit Union is a reality. A significant difference between Big Banking and Village Trust Financial is that VTFC is a nonprofit organization that operates following the co-op model designed to serve its members.

Village Financial Cooperative is a credit union that provides free check cashing and start up capital for Black Cooperatives. Members of Village Trust have ownership in the credit union and have a vote in operations and services.

Big Banks on the other hand are for profit financial institutions that practice penalization and punishment for profit (all of those extra hidden fees you end up paying for everything bank related) and in turn that money goes into the pockets of CEOs and shareholders.

membership and getting involved

This mission-driven financial cooperative is located on the Northside (Minneapolis) located at 227 Colfax Ave N Suite 230 currently serving the community. Membership and pledges are still being accepted by those that that live, work, attend school and/or worship in Hennepin and Ramsey County.

Village Financials membership goal is 5,000, and you have the opportunity to help them meet that goal. Not only do you have the chance to show your support right VTFC has opportunities for the community to get involved by pledging, sponsoring, volunteering or taking advantage of the interning opportunities. You can expect to attend the grand affair and opening during Juneteenth. Pledging today won’t cost you a thing except bit of your time. Get involved (or pledge) today by visiting https://villagefinancial.org.

Don’t just be woke, do the work.

Giveback, Volunteer

Volunteering is one of many ways that we can give back to our communities and share a little bit of cheer. There are a plethora of organizations and groups that are short on supplies and people.  Volunteering is a great way for you to give back to those that need help whether or not you have the funds to donate. 

By donating your time, you are telling someone that you care and that they matter. We’ve all had moments of struggle and we often find gratitude and joy in the kindness of strangers. To help others is an adventure that not everyone gets a chance to do.  Not everyone is gifted with the time or resources to seriously volunteer to help others.

If you do have an opening, be assured that there are volunteer opportunities everywhere, it’s a matter of narrowing down your options and really thinking about what you want to get out of your experience.  You can find an organization to work with by simply googling “volunteer opportunities”, using volunteer search engines, or asking around of those that you know volunteer on a regular basis. A set of my go-tos’ for finding volunteer opportunities are through websites such as Volunteer Match, Hands on Twin Cities, and Idealist. When you donate your time, your efforts and your kindness you are ensuring someone an opportunity for a moment of happiness. 

Don’t be shy fellow philanthropist, down below share what organizations and activities you love in the comment section. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve done!

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Mahina

An online personality and storyteller in the realm of fashion, local Twin Cities life, and the empowerment of women of color and supporting communities of color. Generally spotted around town snapping photos, riding buses, and attempting to mind my own business.