The wide disparity in jobless rates between blacks and whites in the Twin Cities is the subject of a town hall forum and job fair, hosted by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Uban League headquarters, 2100 Plymouth Ave.

Seventeen companies will participate in the job fair and people are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume.

An article I wrote last year described the disparity between black and white unemployment rates in the Twin Cities as the worst in the nation.

Speakers at the Wednesday meeting will include Ellison, Tom Gillaspy, Minnesota state demographer, Duane Ramseur of Mdwest Minority Supplier Council, Amy Keegan of the Women Business Center and Louis King from Summit Academy OIC. For more information, contact Aya Johnson, 612-522-1212.

A meeting is also scheduled today, Tuesday, at 6 p.m. at Zion Baptist Church, 621 Elwood Ave. North, where the issue of racial disparities will also be addressesd. That program is sponsored by Hire Minnesota, a coalition of organizations and activists, and will propose a "Wor\st to First" campaign to turn the problem around. Louis King will also speak at that event.