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Each Sunday we bring you a selection of stories from the MPR News North Star Journey series about the history and culture of Minnesota communities. This week, journalist Lee Hawkins talks to the substitute teacher that was so influential in his life, MPR News reporter Hannah Yang shares memories of a special dish Korean mothers make for their daugh…
 
Next Wednesday marks two years since George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer. Floyd’s death prompted many Minnesota institutions to pay new attention to racial disparities in Minnesota. Some Minnesota churches and Christian institutions also have been grappling with how they supported racial prejudice and inequ…
 
Music can be a source of healing, catharsis and inspiration. And it can also be used as a tool for learning, growth and building community. That’s part of the vision behind Walker West Music Academy, a St. Paul music school founded in 1988 by musicians Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West. The school provides affordable music education to children and y…
 
In 2021, leading medical groups and the U.S. Surgeon General declared youth mental health a national emergency, citing increased rates of depression, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide. The percentage of teens reporting “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” jumped from 26 percent to 37 percent between 2009 and 2019. In 2021, it was 44 …
 
Minnesota sees a big jump in employment when the weather warms. Seasonal businesses are hiring workers now to do everything from scooping ice cream to paving roads, landscaping yards and waiting tables at resorts. The tight labor market means businesses are struggling to find workers. They’re also hiring people they may have overlooked before, incl…
 
After an abnormally long, cold spring, it’s finally starting to warm up in Minnesota. That means it’s time to start working on your spring garden. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with two master gardeners about their tips for what to plant this spring, how to manage your lawn and how to plant a climate-resilient garden. Guests: Julie Weisenhorn is…
 
Minnesota has suffered from persistent racial disparities for years. This we know. But what can be done? It’s time to bring it all into focus. In Focus is a mix of community-engaged reporting, live discussions, original digital content and more—all centered on what our communities need to thrive. MPR News host Angela Davis revisits some of the pers…
 
Are you new to Minnesota? You might have heard people say Minnesota is a hard place to break into, with its cold winters, hot summers and insular culture. But Minnesota can be a wonderful home for the many transplants who move here. MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Minnesota transplants about what you need to know when you are new to Minnesota…
 
MPR News has a new reporting project called North Star Journey, focusing on the history and culture of Minnesota’s diverse communities. Since the project launched in March, MPR News reporters have produced a wide range of stories. Some look back at the history of communities, including Black migration to Fargo-Moorhead after the Civil War and the m…
 
When COVID-19 hit Minnesota in March of 2020, Tameka Jones' work as a cosmetic and make-up artist disappeared overnight. So, Jones did what millions of people did during the last two years. She started her own business. Her brand Lip Esteem, sells 40 shades of lipstick, liner and gloss along with a message of inclusiveness. After success online and…
 
Each Sunday we bring you a selection of reporting from the MPR News North Star Journey series. Today, reporter Jon Collins brings us a story about how Black Farmers in Minnesota are reconnecting to the land. Then, reporter Peter Cox explains how COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Minnesota's Hmong community. And finally, reporter Tim Nel…
 
Next weekend is the annual Governor’s Fishing Opener in Minnesota. Each year during the fishing opener, about half a million Minnesotans go out to lakes, rivers and streams to cast their lines and catch some fish. Fishing is a long tradition for many Minnesotans. For others, it’s a new hobby. On Friday, MPR News host Angela Davis talked all about f…
 
More than a generation ago, the construction of Interstate 94 dug a deep trench through the middle-class Black neighborhood of Rondo in St. Paul. The freeway destroyed hundreds of houses. More than 600 Black families were forced to move. Homeowners never saw fair compensation for the destruction of their homes. Renters got nothing. Now, community m…
 
The pandemic posed new challenges for patients and providers during pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, especially if they are unvaccinated. More than two years after the start of the pandemic, health care professionals have protocols in place to address COVID transmission risks and t…
 
Ignacio “Nachito“ Herrera has been playing jazz piano since he was a child. At age 12, he performed with the Havana Symphony Orchestra. Now at 55, he has played on stages around the world, and won numerous awards, including City Pages Best Jazz Artist for four years, Emmys, Grammys, Minnesota Music Awards and the Immigrants of Distinction Award. He…
 
A human rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department concluded that the overarching culture at the Minneapolis Police Department encouraged a “pattern or practice of racial discrimination.” The two-year investigation was launched in June 2020 after the murder of George Floyd and conducted by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. …
 
In this latest selection from the MPR News North Star Journey series, editor Brandt Williams interviews Chad Montrie, who recently published a book about racial exclusion in Minnesota. You’ll also hear a report from Mark Zdechlik about efforts to expand financial literacy education, and a story from Kirsti Marohn about efforts to bridge the homeown…
 
Minnesotans are fighting climate change. Whether it’s taking coal-fired power plants offline, trading in gas guzzlers for electric cars or installing solar panels, there are concrete steps to repair the damage. MPR News host Twila Dang hosted this virtual discussion exploring some of the meaningful and culturally specific ways environmental justice…
 
Women and people of color are more likely to have their symptoms dismissed by health care providers, according to multiple studies. They show doctors are slower to diagnose women with cancer and heart disease compared to men. African American patients are less likely to receive treatment for cardiovascular disease, and to receive worse treatment fo…
 
If you’ve thought about buying a new car, you probably noticed two things: fewer cars on lots and skyrocketing prices. The average price for a new vehicle purchased in December of 2021 was over $47,000, up nearly $6,000 from a year earlier. Car manufacturers are still dealing with a microchip shortage and production will likely be squeezed for at l…
 
Each year, drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes, homicides or guns. Drug overdose deaths reached a record high in 2021, according to the CDC. And synthetic opioids like fentanyl were involved in about two-thirds of those deaths. At 9 a.m. Thursday, MPR News guest host Chris Farrell talked about fentanyl in Minnesota and the work bein…
 
You may not think you know the opera “Carmen,” but you probably do. It’s full of catchy tunes that are easy to hum. In the same way, you may not think you know Denyce Graves, but you probably have heard her powerful voice. Graves is regarded as one of the greatest “Carmen” singers of all time and one of the great mezzo-sopranos of the 21st century.…
 
Minneapolis therapist and author Resmaa Menakem is a leading voice in today’s conversation on racialized trauma. His work explores how racism and trauma affect our bodies and how a focus on our bodies can be an avenue for healing and growth. He is the author of the national bestseller “My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Me…
 
Chris Coleman served 12 years as mayor of St. Paul. Now, he’s leading Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the nation. The local nonprofit housing developer and mortgage lender just received a $13.5 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with Coleman about the housing…
 
One of the things the pandemic revealed is how much many of us love our pets and what good boys and girls they are. Social distancing and staying home as much as possible gave us more time with the dogs, cats and other pets that live with us. They were by our sides and in our laps as many people worked from home or attended online school. Some beca…
 
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