ReConnect Rondo Youth Council presents a new podcast series, “Voices of Rondo”

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A new podcast highlights youth voices on the history of systemic racism in American transportation policy. 

St. Paul, Minn.— A new youth-driven podcast featuring Twin Cities metro area high school students titled Voices of Rondo is premiering today. In collaboration with the nonprofit ReConnect Rondo, the podcast will explore the Rondo neighborhood’s past, present, and future through the eyes of its residents, community leaders and local experts. The first podcast will delve into the history of Rondo, which was once a thriving center of African-American culture, business, politics, and music, and discuss how the community has evolved and changed over the years. It will also feature episodes detailing shared experiences of cities across the country and offer solutions on what can be done to heal, restore, and reconnect impacted communities.

“History is not just about the past; it is a dialogue that informs our future. Our commitment to youth voices reaffirms that they are the stewards of our shared history.”, said Keith Baker, Executive Director of ReConnect Rondo

The Rondo neighborhood, located in the heart of St. Paul, is a historically Black community that has been a center of African-American culture in Minnesota for over a century. It is named after Rondo Avenue, once the thriving hub of the neighborhood’s business district and home to a bustling jazz scene. Despite facing significant challenges, including the construction of Interstate 94 during the 1950s and 60s that destroyed 300 Black-owned businesses and displaced thousands of residents, the Rondo community has persevered. It remains an essential and vibrant African-American neighborhood. Even so, the I-94 highway cut through Rondo’s heart and left a scar on the landscape and the community that has yet to heal fully. 

“I want to empower and educate young people about the impact of systemic racism and how past policies continue to affect their community. The Youth Council Podcast is a way to share their stories and give them a platform to amplify their voices, and I am proud to be a part of that.”, said Firdows Mohamed, Rondo Youth Council member and Fridley High School student

The audio podcast will be available on all podcast streaming services and the video podcast will be available on YouTube. Visit https://reconnectrondo.com/ to learn more.

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Voices of Rondo, Episode 1

Connect With The ReConnect Rondo Youth Council

Media Inquiries:

Tim Hunt

timh@reconnectrondo.com

651-242-4959


About ReConnect Rondo

ReConnect Rondo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring equity and opportunity in Rondo by leading a united effort in pursuit of one common goal — a revitalized African-American Cultural Enterprise District connected by a community land bridge. For more information, go to www.reconnectrondo.com

About the ReConnect Rondo Youth Council

The ReConnect Rondo Youth Council centers youth voices through podcast, multimedia, and community outreach experiences that empower the Rondo community and neighborhoods like it affected by the displacement of people as a result of urban renewal and transportation infrastructure. They aspire to amplify stories that have been silenced, uncover the systemic racism that lies under the pavement, and continue the work that previous generations started.

The ReConnect Rondo Youth Council:

Javier Soto – High School For Recording Arts

Josh Boe – High School for Recording Arts/DMI

Erica Lee – Brooklyn Center High School

Firdows Mohamed – Fridley High School

Moises Puente – Brooklyn Center High School

Wisdom Bush – High School for Recording Arts

Andres Kainz – High School for Recording Arts/DMI

Claire Nybeck – High School for Recording Arts

Rafael Karpo – Central High School St. Paul

Stone Williams – High School for Recording Arts

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ReConnect Rondo Technical Advisory Team:

  • David Juliff, Be Civil, Inc.
  • Khani Sahebjam, SRF Consulting Group
  • John Maczko, SRF Consulting Group
  • Kent Arhenholtz, Kaskaskia Engineering Group
  • Brenda Thomas, KLJ, Inc
  • Marcus Thomas, Bolton & Menk
  • Scott McBride, Bolton & Menk
  • Marcell Walker, Bolton & Menk
  • Veronica Burt, 600 Strategies, Inc.
  • Björgvin Sævarsson, YORTH Group
  • Katie Eggers, YORTH Group
  • Jim Erkel, Retired Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA)
  • Brian Isaacson, Ramsey County
  • Diem Van Groth, Strategic Consultant