Author Archives: huichen1990

Final Reflection

         As an international student, I was thinking “intercultural communication” refers to basically the oral communication, or non-verbal communication among people from different countries, with various cultural backgrounds. Now I realize this is to narrow, there is much broader meaning for “intercultural communication”. From the content of our textbook, “Intercultural communication in Context” finished by Judith N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama, intercultural communication is related to factors like identity, power, language, nonverbal codes, history, context. It’s far more complicated than I thought before, and I strong believe that it’s super necessary to know more about intercultural communication from a professional way, due to the increasing importance of being a globalized person, also the significance of intercultural communication in a rapidly changing world, I appreciated the chance I got to studying in USA, since I have been in America for three years, I realized the value of cultural practice, also helps me better understanding the practice of “intercultural communication”,  as the example illustrated in the “Intercultural communication in Context”,

           “Living in another country widens your horizon. It makes you appreciate the things you have, and it strengths the family unit. You look at your country from a different view. We have learned not to expect everything to be the same as “at home”

            This is exactly what I feel recent years, also the reason I like New York City and San Francisco, diverse culture have relatively healthy environment to flourish here. People mostly agree that the place like NYC is a really cultural diversely; actually we also have lots of chance to get to know how intercultural communication works in Twin Cities Area. We got plenty neighborhood, which are really cultural diversely here, my partner and me are responsible for Phillips, one of the most cultural vibrant community that locate in the south of downtown Minneapolis, after the expansion of neighborhood, currently it’s a community consists of four neighborhood. For getting to know how intercultural communication works in Phillips, as well as how does it influence over the city, we did historical research, contemporary issue research, identity and power analysis, most importantly, the conversation with people live or work in Phillips, through the whole process, I got more knowledge about how these elements in community work together to influence intercultural communication in Phillips and Minneapolis.

            Getting to know the history of the community is always the first step to establish everything, after doing all the steps, I realize the influence of history can be really powerful, it relates to the identity of the community, decides the power which impacts intercultural communication, also some contemporary issue that is continued through the history. In Phillips, the most significant change was about racial composition started in 1920’s, during the period of the Great Depression, before that time, Phillips was famous for its rapid economic growth, various business, and great transportation, it was the organized residence area mainly for wealthy people, whites, many of them are immigrants from Europe, like Sweden, the rich, comfortable life of residents in Phillips still can be seen in American Swedish Institution, a museum aims to preserve the cultural of European immigrants in Phillips, which was originally the home for the most famous family in Phillips, that operated newspaper. As our exploration in American Swedish Institution, the luxurious life situation of earlier residents in Phillips is uncovered, which has strong contradiction to the current residents. Nowadays, most people living in residents are Blacks or Latinos, the demographic in Phillips had a significant change, and this lead to the shift in identity, give rise to new social problems. In the early times, the main social issue in Phillips largely differs from now, for one reason, racial composition changed a lot, it’s hard to see whites in Phillips, also, the expansion in boundaries enlarge the range of Phillips, which brings new cultural to the area. Unlike previously, nowadays, the hottest issue in Phillips is safety problem, according to the Minneapolis city network, Phillips is one of the most dangerous areas in the city, and high crime rate impressed many people, from the online discussion, one of the citizens published 

          “All I know is that a teenage kid got shot there by someone who wanted his bike. I’d say the odds you are safe is pretty good, but still, if you check MPD crime maps, there are incidents going on week in and week out. Look at the crime map I’m linking to. 6 armed robberies and 5 aggravated assaults in one week. To me, that’s pretty bad.”

            As we can see, safety issue is the major concern for people live in Phillips, people considered it as “dangerous area”, this is one of new identities associated to Phillips. The other problem relates to poverty such as unemployment, and education. There are still 13% unemployment rate in Phillips, declines 1.8% compare to 1990, currently, only 5.8% Phillips residents work in the Phillips area, 38.5% people work in other district in Minneapolis. Unemployment leads to poverty directly, even though the community keeps making impressive progress in economic development, poverty rate still stays much higher than the average rate in Minneapolis. See? Safety problem, poverty are new social issue as the change in demographics in Phillips, they bring the new identity to Phillips. To analyze what decides the development of Phillips, economics, race can be main power impact on Phillips, shift in racial composition lead to shift in culture directly. From the conversation we talk to people in Phillips, I found no matter the race, they have great loyalty to their own culture, therefore, the majority racial group has great power to influence the history. Judith Martin and Thomas Nakayama, writers of Intercultural Communication in Contexts, wrote:

        “Power is the central dynamic in the writing of history. It influences the content of the history we know and the way it is delivered. Power dictates what is taught and what is silenced, what is available and what is erased.”

            For instance, one of the old lady said: She strongly supports the expansion the protection of American Swedish Institution, she is the spring of European, and the museum is one of her favorite place.

             To summarize, the intercultural communication is a pretty dynamic process, any change in one aspect can cause the other change, and they are interlocked. To know more about intercultural communication, we can better understand the city.

Work Cited:

Marks, Wizard. Phillips neighborhood network. The Alley in May, 05 1990. Web. 26 May 2012. <;.

“Phillips Community.” City of Minneapolis. N.p., 27 09 2011. Web. 26 May 2012. <;.

Martin, J., & Nakayama, T. (2010). Intercultural communication in contexts. New York: McGraw-Hill.


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Power influence everything

          The relationship between power and intercultural communication is clearly illustrated in our textbook “intercultural communication in Context”, Power has significant impact over the interaction of people having different culture, it’s sometimes decides people’s communication style. Since neighborhood consists of people, power is influential over the development and identity of neighborhood for sure. Identity, has close relationship with power, as I stated in my previous analysis about identity in Phillips, identity is determined by culture, this is also why people have different expectation and impression for people in different race, because people have different cultural background, which constructs distinct identity for themselves, so we behave, thinking in various way. So in previous analysis, I illustrate the relationship between identity and culture, that is, our own cultural background, experience plays important role in building up our sense of identity. I am going to discuss that how power and culture influence each other in specific context, Phillips will be an example.

             The movie we watched in class on Wednesday really impressed me, the movie introduces the story about the history of Israel, their tough revolutionary way from crucial imperialism to democracy. Moreover, we can see how power influence culture in Israel, dictator in Israel has absolute power to interfere people’s life by controlling the spread of western culture, people were not allowed to have their own cultural preference, had seldom access to getting to know western culture. In the movie, the girl taking risk of being arrested to buy the CD of Michael Jackson, she is a big fan of American pop music, she almost being put into jail because of wearing Nike sneakers, everything related to American cultural is forbidden in Israel. The movie well illustrated how power influences over the spread of culture, government or dictator intervened people’s daily and belief by protecting dominant culture, prohibited any other culture that is different from dominant culture. Most time, power is harmful for the diversity of cultural development, excess power constraints people’s life and belief, creating an unhealthy cultural environment.

            Power is dynamic, affected by many reasons, like race, economy, gender, geography, also culture. Power shifted, as the change in culture, the shift of power in Phillips can be a typical example, illustrates how historical context impact culture and power. In the early period, Phillips was constructed because it great transportation, which is very beneficial for the development of business, therefore, Phillips was the residence area for even the wealthiest family in the city, so the identity for Phillips was the place for rich people, later, immigrants from Europe came to Phillips to start their new life in New Continental, so at that time, the main ethnicity in Phillips is white, whites are the power can influence everything in Phillips, culture of European immigrants were dominant culture in Phillips. The shift in culture happened in the 1920’s, because of the Great Depression, the economic situation became awful; people lose jobs, industry and all the business couldn’t run normally, so we say sometimes power is affected by economics, whites in Phillips started to move out, from that time, whites culture lose there are dominant culture position in Phillips, which means, they lose the power in influence Phillips. The development of Phillips went into a state to “backward”, it was not as rich as before. Soon, due to the cheap rent and living expense here, black people and Latinos began to move into Phillips, either black or Latinos, they have their own distinct culture, which is totally different from whites culture. Until now, black and Latinos are still dominant race in Phillips, which means they have the power to construct the main culture in Phillips, also bring new identity.

           Unlike earlier years, Phillips is not the symbol of rich area any more, adversely, now the mainly social problems here are: High crime rates, high poverty rate, and unemployment rate, political ignorance. These contemporary social contexts are current social issue in Phillips, as the change in composition of race, the new power, and new culture. For instance, government pays highly attention to these hot issue, recent years, under the support of community, many international companies started their business, hire people in Phillips, this action relieved the pressure of unemployment, increase income of residents, also decrease the crime rate, so the power keeps influence the context in community, currently, safety issue already replace poverty, became the most serious problem in Phillips, therefore, context is also dynamic, change as power change.


        Power, culture and context influence each other all the time, once one of the factor changes, the others two shifted as well.

Work cited:

Martin, Judith, and Thomas Nakayama.INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN CONTEXT. 5TH. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.

Marks, Wizard. Phillips neighborhood network. The Alley in May, 05 1990. Web. 26 May 2012. <;.

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Second Conversation

Q: Do you have suggestion for Phillips community? In other words, are there any aspects you are not satisfied with the neighborhood?

A: Even Black and Latinos can really live happily here, cause they got lots of people with same background, they don’t feel hard at all in communicating, as I lived so many years here, I would suggest there should have language institution, having voluntary whites people to teach English for children in Phillips, they need a better English environment, need to get more experience in communicating with whites people. I am not saying they should learn how to get well along with whites, but the environment for children should be more healthy and comprehensive, not just interact with people having same race.    —– Molly

A:  The neighborhood needs more attention from police station; they can let it be the ignorance area. I don’t see the patrol car in Phillips, cause it’s absolutely dangerous for you going out in the evening, I don’t like this point, yeah.. it’s definitely not easy to solve the criminal issue I know, but more attention from police makes me feel safer.     —– Matt


Q:How do you like the expansion of American Swedish Institution,  do you think it’s necessary?

A:  Honesty I don’t see why there’s an expansion about this, I mean the protection and support for historical museum is good. But American Swedish Institution is good enough, also, I don’t see many people go there; it’s not a popular place. I support the maintenance of the museum, but not expansion, not like this, government should apply funds to other place, after all, there is so many things can be improved in Phillips.       —– By Jason

A:  Well, if you ask anyone like me, the spring of the immigration from European, I guess you will get the same answer, Yes, I feel happy about the expansion of American Swedish Museum. Especially more and more people here are blacks or Latinos now, the museum is my favorite place in Phillips actually, for my age, I can visit there almost for free!  I love going there, it’s the place means a lot to me, for all the spring of European immigrants, it’s the place full of memory and brings us the splendid, real history, how the first immigrants live in new continental? We can see the life of our grandparents, that’s really impressive, American Swedish Museum bring you a distinct experience which is different from any other places in Phillips, it’s so special. And I am so glad for the attention of government; they are preserving the valuable memory.    —– By Molly


Q: What’s the action by government or change you believe influences Phillips most?

A:    Recent years, much influential company like Wells Fargo locates in Phillips, also many others. I believe this is also a policy from government, which aims to promotes economic development in Phillips, more importantly, creating more jobs for Phillips residents, decrease unemployment rate. This make Phillips reactive, more vibrant obviously, as I work in super market, we got better business since these multinational companies started business here. Boom in economic development definitely change people’s impression for Phillips.

—- Matt

A:    I guess you know there is only one neighborhood in Phillips, now we got much more than before. Residents actually still consider only one. The expansion in boundaries changes Phillips a lot, the community became even more diverse than before, I am kind of like that.                                       —- Jason

 Q: What do you think is the most special characteristic of the Phillips Community?

A:  It’s hard to answer this question. I grew up here; everything is ordinary for me. I don’t find anything special in this community since I’m so familiar with them. If I have to choose one, the answer might be the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. I know many heroes of the states are buried there. They fight and died for American people. I think we do need such a place to cherish the memory of them.  — Matt

A: I prefer to say peace. (Q: Peace? I don’t understand. Peace is the opposite of war. Was there a war?) I didn’t mean that. You get some misunderstanding. When you live here, you feel relaxed. The Phillips Neighborhood is in the city, but it is somewhat out of the city. Before my family moved to this neighborhood, I have experienced too much bad things. The Phillips Neighborhood is not a place filled with rich people. The rent here is not high. You don’t feel too much pressure when you live here. You can restart your business here. Neighbors here are enthusiastic. I experienced many interesting things I had never experienced when I was young. I like the Phillips.          — Molly

Q: The report says crime in this area is a big problem. What do you think of that?

A:  Actually it is a big problem. I have seen the Minneapolis crime map. I know crime rate keeps at a high level. To be honest, I feel worried about this. It is a big reason for me to move out. I am looking for a new place now. You should consider about safety especially most of your family members are female. My daughter is going to elementary school next year. I need to find a good school district for her. And safety will be extremely important for me.


A: I did read this kind of report in last century. I don’t care about it too much now. I took the high crime rate as a big problem when I was young, but now I won’t worry about it any longer. In fact, it is not so scary like the newspaper announced. Crime is a problem in most neighborhoods. It’s impossible to find a place without crime. For safety, you just need to be careful. Most crime occurs on person who are careless and off guard. As I said, this neighborhood is peaceful. A small problem won’t be a big trouble.    —– Molly

Q: How do you think the neighborhood will be in the future? Just make a prediction.

A:   Well, I’m not good at forecasting. I think there will be more Asian people in this community. You know, the Asian population seems to increase every day. One of my neighbors is Asian immigrants. They are from Laos or Vietnam, I can’t remember clearly. They told me many of their friends were willing to move here. It could change the community greatly.                                  —- Matt

A:  The neighborhood will get bigger and bigger. And there will be people from more different backgrounds. I think the neighborhood will be more interesting.   — Molly

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Identity is never simple

When we interview for a job, the most frequent question to be asked is: Can you introduce yourself in short?  How many forms we filled out in our life, like the application form, we need to write our name, age, gender, ethnicity, hobbies, religion, nationality and political orientation… Maybe we didn’t realize that, when we fill out those question, it’s the process we identifying ourselves. Various labels on us helping us to locate ourselves in society also differentiate us from others, for me, I define myself as Asian, female, friendly, an international student studying in UMN.

According to Erikson’s Identity Model, “Identity is central to people’s psychological development, there are three aspects form identity, Soma, refers to biological process of the body and organ systems. Psyche, means psychic process of organizing individual experience or ego synthesis. And Ethos indicates that communal process of cultural organization of the interdependence of persons, which is cultural identity, when people’s identity is under effect of specific social environment, their families, community, and ethnicity. As I stated above, we sometimes describe our personality, locate ourselves in individual way, but in broader perspective, we introduce our race, religion, nationality, all these are significant parts of our identity. Especially in America, a special country with super cultural diversity, our first identity impressed other can always be our race, the cultural we belong. Here, I will focus on the relationship between the developments of identity, culture and context; share my experience from the fieldtrip in Phillips, Minneapolis.

On the global view, nothing is more influential for our identity than culture, even out personality. I was taking sociology and psychology class in California, now I am taking Intercultural communication, when we discuss the rough impression of people from different culture, people’s opinion tend to be similar, Asian people are really shy, quiet, hardworking, kind of bored sometimes, looks like nerds, they always be careful when making decisions, care about their future, some Asian students blame themselves for getting B+. American always feel confused about this point, B+ is an honor grade, isn’t it? In contrast, Whites, especially American people often leave impression like these, they are open-minded, very nice due to always having smile, they enjoy adventure, they are creative and independent, based on my experience, it’s hard to find American student care about grades like Asian do, seems like studying is a process more than results for them.  Of course not everyone perform same as people’s expectation, cause people can be different because of their specific family education, personal experience, having their individual, exclusive characteristics.  However, why people always have rough generalization for different ethnic groups, label them different identity. Here we come the discussion about intimate relationship between the culture and identity, people are labeled with different identities owing to there are various cultural background, culture plays significant role in constructing one’s identity, people normally have strong emotion toward their own culture, countless examples illustrate this point, as we live as America, there are people who are keep their cultural tradition everywhere, Somalia people insist wear their distinct traditional dress even they born in America, when I traveled in a small European style village around Santa Barbara in California, I found many interesting store are embellished in Demark style, the owner of the store are spring of Denmark people, they dress in traditional Denmark costume, still living in their small village, leading a life style that is totally different from American, even they bored in America.

We can see the importance of their culture of people around world, especially when live another country, their own culture became more meaningful for them, it brings them powerful sense of belonging, make them feel distinct, especially for minorities, keeping cultural custom means a lot for people’s formation of identity, also influence over their behavior in daily life. People may have different expectations for people with different cultural background. However, people’s belief about their identity is not firm, but can change overtime, the identity is dynamic based on people’s it’s historical and contemporary context, so does neighborhood.

As we know about Phillips, the neighborhood currently consists of people who mostly are blacks or Latinos. “Phillips is the neighborhood with high crime rates, the place mainly for minorities and people who are in poverty.” This is the most common identities for Phillips in nowadays, but things could be very different in the past, as I stated in historical report, Phillips was the place for immigrants from Europe, even wealthiest people in the city, and this is the previous identity for Phillips. But the identity for Phillips started to change due to the Great Depression; the change in identity can be a gradual process. Even Phillips was in hard time for a long time, government pays attention to its contemporary social issue very carefully, like the unemployment problem, afterward, and many multinational companies began to start business in Phillips, which largely promotes the economic development of neighborhood, relieve the pressure of employment. Therefore, Phillips got new identity instead of being poor area; people can see it as the flourished community that has great deal of business chance.

All in all, the close relationship between identity, culture and context in obvious, they influence each other in a dynamic way.

Work Cited:

Cote, J. E., & Levine, C. G. (2002). Identity, Formation, Agency, and Culture: A Social Psychological Synthesis (illustrated edition.). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hogg, M. A., & Terry, D. J. (2000). Social Identity and Self-Categorization Processes in Organizational Contexts. The Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 121-140.

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Do we still need to pay attention to race?

             Racism is always the issue can’t be talked casually in most people’s mind, so do I, it also keeps “hot” in American than the any other country in the world, as I was in China, racism don’t exist. Cultural diversity in America can be most significant in the world, according to Wikipedia, in this country, about 68% of population is non-Hispanic Whites, and 12% of them are African American or Latinos, 4.4% are Asians, also other minorities, like Native American. Therefore, race problem can never be avoided in America whether people want to talk about it or not, because the national demographic in American is different from other country, racial issue exist here in various forms. Psychologist, Beverly Daniel Tatum, PHD, she states the reason why she believe racial issue should be talked by people, in her book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” She illustrates many people are doubting the necessity for discussing racism,

          “ I mentioned that I would be teaching a course on racism.” “She replied, “oh, is there still racism?”

           “But in fact, in almost every audience I address, there is someone who will suggest that racism is a thing of the past.”

            What Professor Tatum is correct, some people believe racism is already solved in USA, however, I think there is still lots work to do about it, and never should be ignored. Of course the problem is much better than previous, compare to the old south in America, things look much positive now, however, now we have different form with racism, it’s more invisible and sensitive, so it’s more necessary to talk about race in current USA.

              Actually, it’s still hard for many people talk about race bluntly, especially in class, facing people who are not very familiar with. For me, I am not American, so most time I feel comfortable to express my opinion toward racial issue objectively, for African American and Latinos, maybe much harder to talk about this than me, because they experience this more than me. It’s normal than people don’t want to memorize the history they don’t like, to mention the unfair treatment they experienced, many minority people choose to ignore racism rather than confess their feeling. But I also believe race is not a confortable topic for whites either, it can be as sensitive for them as for minorities, they take the risk of public outrage and blame for discrimination when talking about race, due to whites are always “master” through the history, they never experience unfair treatment because their race, currently, I don’t think many whites are supporter of racism, adversely, most whites seems very nice, but it’s more dangerous for them to talk about race.

              Like Professor Tatum mentioned in her book, the form of racism can be a gradual, obscure process, she gave an example about Native America, many children have no idea Native American until they are told “Indians”, cause they never interact those people in their life. Therefore, discussion for race need a very positive environment, prejudice, the former state of racism should be prevented as early as possible. 


Beverly D. Tatum. “Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting together in the Cafeteria.” 1997.

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          We interviewed at least 5 people and collect the conversation below. It may not be exactly the same with the original conversation since my English is not so good. Sometimes, I need to “guess” what they are saying by context. But the main idea is similar. Matt is working in a supermarket. Molly is a kind old lady; we met her in a cafe. Jason doesn’t want to tell us his job.


Q: How long have you been lived in the community? What is the biggest change in the community during these years?

Matt: My family lived here for about 25 years. I grew up here. I can’t memorize what it was like when we moved here. I was only 2 years old, maybe. The community gets bigger these years. Many new families move here.

Molly: I lived here for two decades. We had no other choice at that time; houses in Phillips are much cheaper than in other neighborhood. It took about three months to get adjusted. Everything went well since we moved here. My husband’s company made a comeback. Although we have money to buy a house in other neighborhood, we chose to stay here. Everything is changing in every second. The biggest change? It’s hard to say. I prefer to say that new buildings. Like the new ASI.


Q: Do you mind talking a little about identity? I mean, do you feel your world view similar to others in the community?

Jason: Hey this is a hard question. I don’t know other people think. At least my brothers and friends are similar with me. We have the same interests. I don’t care what other people are thinking. You life is your lifestyle, man.

Molly: It takes time to be identical. I grew up in a middle-class family. My father worked for P&G. Childhood is a good memory for everyone, isn’t it? My husband owned a small company when we married. But the business didn’t go well. So we had to sell our old house and moved here. It was a very difficult decision. In 1990s, this neighborhood was not safe. I don’t know what to say when I met my neighbor the first time. But she was friendly and became my first friend here. I really appreciate her kindness. People in the neighborhood are very friendly. That’s why I chose to stay here. Now I can say I belong to this community.


Q: What’s your experience in intercultural communication in this community?

Matt: I have a Chinese friend. He also works here. I don’t think we have gaps because of culture. It is good to have friends who have different backgrounds with you. I learn many things I have never heard before from him. People in this community have different backgrounds. I met people of different culture every day. I like to talk with them. It’s interesting.

Molly: Susan is from Mexico. (Who is Susan?) Oh, Susan is my neighbor. She is very kind. I meet more friends via her. You can meet many different people in this neighborhood. I like it. I like to hear more things I can’t experience by myself. If you want to know more about intercultural communication, I strongly recommend you to visit the ASI. For me, intercultural communication is interesting. It makes the neighborhood more fascinating


Q: Do you think the community affects you? If so, can you share your experience?

A: Yeah definitely. Since my families stay here over 20 years, everything in community is part of my life, which influences me a lot.  I work here, even not really many whites live in Phillips, I got used to communicate, to know people with backgrounds. As I grow up here, attending school here, I never felt white like me is dominant race, staying with black people or Latinos seems natural for me. I am kind of enjoying my current life; growing up in such a quiet community let me feel comfortable, without many challenges.  —- By Matt

A: Honestly, I feel comfortable staying here, cause most people seems similar to me, Phillips makes me feel proud of who I am, no discrimination here. I am familiar about the culture, tradition here, the community bring me positive feeling about myself.  —- By Jason


Q: If you have chance to choose, do you want to raise children in Phillips?

A:  Not really, even thought I live here over twenty decades, I live longer in other place. I don’t think here is a nice place for children. Safety problems is my major concern, nothing is more important than is, right?  Criminal issue make me scared, we don’t often take a walk after dinner cause awful thing happens every week!  I’d like letting my children experience different culture, but not really much minorities, here is just too much.       —- By Molly

A:    I can do that. But you mean I can choose anywhere? Well… then not here I think. Phillips is fine, but not perfect definitely. I wish my children can go to better school, spend more time on studying and get a better grade, the stuff I didn’t get. But Phillips is ok, if kids like to stay here, I don’t want them feel different in other place then lose confidence. —- By Jason



Q: How do you like the development in Phillips? We know the community develops a lot.

A. I don’t see any thing bad about the change. For me, works in supermarket, of course hope the community can be more populous, I know lots of job are created, I like that. Even recently I thinking about get another job, a more interesting one, we got free job training center, which is really good. I never there’s other work I can do in Phillips before, but more choice for us now, life gets more flexible, you know, I mean Phillips is getting better now.      —- By Matt

A:  Development is always a good thing for young people, well… for old guys like us, I don’t see by difference, if there’s something I love, is the expansion of American Swedish Institutes, you guys may feel bored about that, I believe that’s the greatest place in Phillips.    —-By Molly

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Current issue in Phillips

            Based on the research I did, Phillips is a community with lots of social problem, included political issue. Even though the neighborhood has a long, splendid history, also keeps making progress, it has great space to improve. Hot issues such as poverty, crime, education, and political ignorance are mainly problems need to be paid more attention to Phillips.

             I’d like to talk about Poverty issue existing in Phillips first, the organization like Phillips Partnership aims to funding affordable housing and occupational training for residents living in Phillips. Poverty can be an extremely big issue because it associates with unemployment issue in short term, and education in long run, even crime is totally a different issue, and it can be caused by poverty. According to the data from Minneapolis official city network, only about 24% residents are whites in Phillips, African American and Latinos are mainly ethnicity here, even diverse racial group promotes the cultural development in Phillips, also a more vibrant community, and poverty problem is serious. The poverty rate in Phillips is much higher than the average rate in Minneapolis, according to the Phillips Story, from 1989 to 2008, the percentage of total population in Minneapolis, which are under the poverty line is around 20%, doesn’t change a lot. However, people who are in poverty state in Phillips is much more than this, in 1989, nearly half of the residents are considered as poor people, situation keeps developing to better direction, in 1999, 15% percent people get rid of poverty in Phillips, but from 1999 to 2008, poverty rate stays at 35%, still much high than 20%, the average rate in Minneapolis.

              The other problem relates to poverty such as unemployment, and education. The rates of labor participation rose from 66% to 72% in Phillips, situation still unsatisfactory compare to the situation in Minneapolis, in 2000, there are still 13% unemployment rate in Phillips, declines 1.8% compare to 1990, currently, only 5.8% Phillips residents work in the Phillips area, 38.5% people work in other district in Minneapolis. Unemployment problem can bring many other problems, like crime rate, the safety issue I will talk about later.  To solve job problem, Corporations like Abbot Northwestern, Allina Health System, Wells Fargo, Children’s Health Hospital and Clinic making great deal of job opportunities for people in Phillips. There is not doubt that government cares about employment in every community, from the local newspaper “Phillips West News”, lots of job information are highlighted, especially for neighborhood like Phillips, composed of minorities, with high crime rate.

               “Crime Curbs Development, Development Curbs Crime.”

                                                                 —–MPD Chief Dolan & CPED Mike Christenson

             Nowadays, Safety problem already being the most serious problem in Phillips instead of Poverty. According to the Crime Map published by Minneapolis Police Station, Phillips is one the most dangerous area that suffers high crime rate in Minneapolis, from the “Midtown News”, tag “Police” is the second most information only less than “events” information, safety warning keeps updating by police department. The community makes great deal of efforts to building a healthier environment for residents, Midtown Safety Center is the central place, which focuses on deterring, discussing safety issue with residents in neighborhood and police, other projects like Safety Zone, Midtown Safety Collaborative all aim to solve criminal issue in Phillips from 2005 to present. Here are two typical people’s safety impression about Phillips from the online forum.

               “Personally would never live there, as there are far too many drugs, gangs, wannabes, what have you, that cause enough trouble that I wouldn’t subject my family to if I had better choices, but I’m also not you. I don’t know your situation, I don’t know what you are accustomed to, and I don’t know what your expectations or even perceptions are (what may be “lots of drugs and violence” to me may be a laughing joke to you.”


          “ All I know is that a teenage kid got shot there by someone who wanted his bike. I’d say the odds you are safe is pretty good, but still, if you check MPD crime maps, there are incidents going on week in and week out. Look at the crime map I’m linking to. 6 armed robberies and 5 aggravated assaults in one week. To me, that’s pretty bad…s1p-089513.pdf


           Obviously people don’t satisfy with the safety condition in Phillips.

             Other issue includes transportation, low political participation, local media is super important for the healthy development of a community, various newspaper mentioned make great contribution to the democracy in Phillips.



 Work Cited

“Income.” Minneapolis City of Lakes. N.p., 27 09 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <;.


“The Phillips History.” . Department of Community Planning & Economic Development – CPE, 04 2010. Web. 31 May 2012. <;.


“How Bad is the Phillips Neighborhood?.” 01 2010. N.p., Online Posting to Minneapolis-Saint Paul Twin cities. Web. 31 May. 2012. <;.



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