Inside Hmong Cornhole, the largest cornhole club in Minnesota
North Star Journey
by MPR News
3d ago
It’s Monday night at the National Guard Armory in northeast Minneapolis, which means it’s time for Hmong Cornhole. A few dozen folks throw little bean bags into holes in rows of glossy wooden boards. They chat and fist bump and update scores on digital tablets. Kids occasionally run weaving through the boards, sometimes squirreling away bags from their parents. This definitely has strengthened our community. Dia Lee “Picturing my life without cornhole before this,” Dia Lee says, “I didn’t know any of these people. I didn’t know anybody from this club or in this Hmong cornhole community ..read more
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Renovated Minneapolis American Indian Center reflects urban Indigenous identity
North Star Journey
by MPR News
3w ago
The Minneapolis American Indian Center's two-year renovation is now complete. The redesign reflects both a sense of belonging and history and showcases ways the Minneapolis Indigenous community embraces its future.  The happy chatter of excited visitors filled a large rotunda inside the center as executive director Mary LaGarde walked through the crowd to greet guests at a soft opening held last Thursday.  “It’s just really exciting for all of us — for community and just for everyone who has been involved in the project all along,” said LaGarde.  The center’s renovation ..read more
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‘I wanted to see stories about our experience’: For 25 years Mizna has helped artists make cultural connections
North Star Journey
by MPR News
1M ago
At a dance studio in Minneapolis recently, Leila Awadallah reflected on what Mizna means to her.  “When I found Mizna, that’s when I unlocked this portal into this beautiful world of Arab Americans and of stories from countries that I longed to know deeper,” Awadallah said.  The choreographer and dancer is half white, half Palestinian and grew up in South Dakota.  She’s one of the many artists who say they’ve found a place of belonging and cultural connection through Mizna. Kathy Haddad and Saleh Abudayyeh founded Mizna in the late ‘90s as a platform for contemporary litera ..read more
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Trailblazer Reatha Clark King on her journey from chemistry to philanthropy
North Star Journey
by MPR News
1M ago
As a child in Georgia, Reatha Clark King picked cotton for $6 a day to help her family make ends meet. Then, buoyed on the hopes and expectations of her family and church, she blazed a trail from a one-room schoolhouse in the segregated South to college.   She pushed past gender and racial barriers as a Black woman to become a research chemist in the 1960s, contributing to NASA’s moon landing. She went on to become a college dean, university president and a philanthropist and a vice president of a major corporation.   Earlier this week, she was honored at the Humphre ..read more
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Power Pair: The mother-daughter duo working to better Golden Valley and beyond
North Star Journey
by MPR News
1M ago
As parents, we teach our children how to move through the world. But as our children grow older, we learn from them, too. That relationship can grow into a real partnership and friendship — and a positive support system pushing each other to be better and do better. Our next Power Pair is a good example of that transition: Mother-daughter duo Rose McGee and Roslyn Harmon. It’s part of our new series on the show about prominent Minnesotans you may know about individually, but who also have a close relationship. Guests: Rose McGee is President and Founder of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie org ..read more
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A modern spin on a Korean tradition: Kimjang in south Minneapolis
North Star Journey
by MPR News
1M ago
In Korea, people often get together for kimjang, a gathering to make large batches of kimchi, the traditional spicy fermented cabbage delicacy. Recently, I joined about a dozen people gathered for kimjang at a house in south Minneapolis. Unlike traditional kimjang, most of the participants were complete strangers, albeit with a shared interest in kimchi.  We rolled up our sleeves, pulled on gloves and got to work on the 14 cabbages at our disposal.  The process is labor-intensive: we tore each cabbage in half and salted them all. Then we set them aside to let the salt d ..read more
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St. Paul’s Cherise Ayers on returning to lead Central High School
North Star Journey
by MPR News
1M ago
Cherise Ayers was president of the student council at Central High School in St. Paul in the late 1990s. Two years ago, the St. Paul native returned to Central in a very different leadership role: as principal. Central is the oldest high school in Minnesota, founded in 1866. Known for strong academics, it was one of the first schools in the state to offer an international baccalaureate diploma program. Its graduates, including Ayers’ classmate St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, have gone on to be prominent leaders in business, education, sports and politics.   MPR News host Angela Davis tal ..read more
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A wide lens: Ethnic studies in Minnesota classrooms
North Star Journey
by MPR News
2M ago
Ethnic studies will roll out to Minnesota K-12 classrooms in 2026. The content area was added to the state social studies standards this winter, joining history, geography, economics and government as major themes. The Minnesota Department of Education is still working on a final framework to guide curriculum. But some districts aren’t waiting. In 2022, both St. Paul and Minneapolis public schools added ethnic studies as a high school class required for graduation. Other districts have had ethnic studies style classes in place for even longer. On March 18, MPR News gathered teachers and stu ..read more
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‘A game changer’: This Minneapolis technical school brings people out of poverty
North Star Journey
by MPR News
2M ago
Summit Academy OIC, a job training center in north Minneapolis, bustled with activity on a sunny Tuesday. Inside, students sat in classrooms learning how to read blueprints and cut wood for special projects. Outside, aspiring carpenters built frames for homes in a large garage on campus, with electrical students wiring lights in a nearby building. Modern and compact, its unassuming exterior belies its power: it’s one of the most successful programs of its kind in the nation. “Summit has been a part of building just about all the stadiums in the Twin Cities,” said Leroy West, president and CE ..read more
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How Hmong and Karen community leaders are fighting youth addiction
North Star Journey
by MPR News
2M ago
Karen and Hmong parents in Minnesota say they are increasingly alarmed by the substance abuse they see in their communities’ youth. Opioids are the largest problem, specifically the the deadly drug fentanyl. MPR News partnered with Sahan Journal to talk about this painful topic, at a special North Star Journey Live event in mid-November, hosted at the Washington Technology Magnet School in St. Paul. There, health leaders, community members and youth advocates explored the complex interplay of genetic factors and life experiences that contribute to substance abuse, addiction and mental health ..read more
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