Featured Stories

Why Is Fremont So Happy?

Muggy weather on a weekday afternoon in Fremont can’t keep residents from enjoying their city. Under an oppressive sun, Umesh Velayudhan strolls slowly down a path at the popular Centerville Community Park. For him, it’s no surprise that Fremont has topped the list of “America’s Happiest Cities” for the fifth consecutive year.
“It’s very nice,” Velayudhan says. “I love the community here.”
Each year, personal finance company Wallethub conducts a study comparing quality of life in cities across A...

Policies-in-Peril-as-Fire Risk-Rises

On the afternoon of Oct, 19, 1991, Beth Keer hiked up Sonoma Mountain with a friend. After some time, the pair looked back and spotted a plume of smoke in Oakland’s direction. Frantic, they rushed down the mountain, and Keer’s friend, who lived in Oakland at the time, prepared for a potential evacuation. Fortunately, neither of their homes was demolished, but the two witnessed the aftermath of what was one of the most devastating wildfires in the Bay Area’s history.

“I said, ‘uh oh,’” Keer re...

'We’re not learning anything': Kennedy High students frustrated with software that subs for a Spanish teacher

For students at John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond, a teacherless classroom is nothing new. Many kids start their day in the library, huddled over a calendar that shows teacher absences for the day. Teacher vacancies impact various subjects, but Spanish classes have been particularly difficult to fill. In response, the school has turned to Edgenuity, an online learning software that delivers pre-recorded instruction and has been at the center of controversy in recent years.

Edgenuity is...

Joy and harmony at a Point Pinole song circle: 'Just come and we’ll see what we can create together.'

Saturday’s bleak forecast in Richmond may have meant fewer parkgoers than usual at Point Pinole, but the dreary skies didn’t seem to faze Eileen Hazel and her band of 14 vocalists. Bundled in their winter coats, they carried on with the “Sing with the Season” event.

The crew came prepared. Many brought chairs, some brought snacks, and some sat on picnic blankets. When everyone found their place, Hazel began what would be her first time leading a song circle, a non-formal, community singing styl

Being in exile oceans away has not changed how Somalis feel about their Independence Day

For the last three decades, Somalia has been one of the most unstable countries in the horn of Africa region. More than 1.5 million Somali citizens have been displaced and ended up in faraway lands since 1991, when a civil war broke out following a coup that ended two decades of Mohamed Siad Barre’s regime.

Most of the Somalis who call Minnesota home were among the first refugees to flee the east African country. Given that history of instability, it might seem strange to some that anyone would

Moriarty celebrates winning Hennepin County Attorney seat, promises to prioritize criminal justice reform

The new Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty celebrated her election Thursday and promised to make changes that will restore trust in the county’s law enforcement system.

“People have asked me if I see this as overwhelming,” Moriarty told her supporters at the All Square restaurant in Minneapolis. “I see it as an opportunity to create change.”

In the last decade, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has been heavily criticized for continuous malpractice in officers’ encounters with reside

Everyone but Africa — The Wake

An investigative look into hegemonic worldview and its influence on study abroad destination preferences


Do you swoon at the idea of a guided culinary course in the Italian countryside? Perhaps you have a penchant for francophone culture and daydream about learning the language in a Parisian backdrop. Year after year, thousands of collegiate hopefuls pursue opportunities just like these: going in with buoyant spirits and leaving with enviable résumé

As Minnesota sees lowest unemployment rate ever, efforts are underway to include immigrants

New research from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) suggests a swift economic recovery from the early days of the pandemic, but the state’s immigrants bear a grimmer reality.

At a community discussion Tuesday in Mercado Central, the Latino business mall in the East Lake district of Minneapolis, DEED’s officials addressed the persisting economic roadblocks that immigrants run into. As a part of their Summer of Jobs Campaign, the state agency celebrated the wo

Glass ceiling at Minnesota state senate shatters as 3 Black women are sworn in

The 2023 swearing in of lawmakers who were elected to Minnesota’s state legislature was like no other before. The ceremony, which was held on Jan. 3, saw the swearing in of a Black woman for the state senate for the first time since Minnesota joined the United States 164 years ago.

Make that three Black women sworn in. Zaynab Mohamed of District 63, Clare Oumou Verbeten of District 66, and Erin Maye Quade of District 56 shared the honor of making history when they got elected in November.


Minnesota Gov. Walz signs ‘Driver’s Licenses for All’ bill into law

For the first time in nearly 20 years, undocumented immigrants in Minnesota will be able to obtain state-issued driver’s licenses.

Community leaders and elected officials joined Gov. Tim Walz in the signing of the Driver’s License for All bill on Tuesday. Walz called the bill, which was spearheaded by grassroots Latino organizations and carried into state legislature with the support of Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) senate and house members, a step toward stability for Minnesota’s immigra

‘Griot Series’ aims to revive community enthusiasm for Kwanzaa

The holiday season is here, and for Kenna-Camara Cottman that means curating Afro-fusion musicals that grip individuals of all ages. This year, Kenna wants to bring attention to Kwanzaa, the African American holiday, which some say has lost popularity among Black youth.

Kenna, who is non-binary and prefers to go by their first name, is promoting Kwanzaa through a series of events they call the Griot Series. It is a project of VOICE of Culture, an organization founded in 2008 in Minneapolis’s No

Minnesota finally passes CROWN Act, making hair discrimination illegal

Just two months after elections, Minnesotans are feeling the effects of a Democratic-controlled Minnesota legislature, with the passing of the long-awaited CROWN Act. The bill prohibits hair-based discrimination toward individuals seeking employment, housing, and other public assistance programs and services, according to the Library of Congress.

“The CROWN Act will ensure that no Minnesotan, now or in the future, can be discriminated against because of their natural hair,” said Bobby Joe Champ

Bay dipping in Alameda: 'It can feel really good to get into the water, especially cold water.'

Early on a Saturday morning, Polly Conway picks up coffee and drives to Crown Beach in Alameda. She sets up a tent in the sand and waits under gloomy skies until the rest of the group shows up, and the monthly meeting of the East Bay Dipping Society is underway.

Dipping is as simple as getting in the water for a few minutes, sometimes with chatting involved, and always followed by coffee and snacks. Conway started open water swimming during the pandemic and found it helped her manage anxiety an

Black and immigrant entrepreneurs get creative to grow their businesses

The unmistakable mouthwatering aroma of east African food filled the air around Nicollet Avenue and 13th Street. It was the aroma of food from the tent of TAMU Grill and Catering, a restaurant in Minneapolis that specializes in African food, mostly from Kenyan.

At the tent, George “Jojo” Ndege, TAMU’s owner, and his team were busy trying to keep up with the demand from dozens of hungry festival goers. Ndege dished out plates of the Kenyan food, including the beef samosas that have earned him fa

Collins Oppong, AKA “Mr. Beyond,” invites you to tee up this summer

Looking for a fun way to unwind outdoors this summer? Look no further; the Beyond Season Golf Tournament, hosted by Collins Oppong and presented by Dependable Home Health Care, will be returning August 26th at Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville, MN.

“This unique golf event is specifically designed to unite and celebrate a diverse community of golfers, with a primary focus on Black and immigrant individuals and their partners,” Oppong said.

Oppong, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and media developme

Trailblazing author releases Somali language novel to promote her heritage

When she’s not working her day job as a medical device engineer, Fadumo Yusuf writes the stories her younger self yearned for.

“I never saw myself represented in the books I read, so I decided to become the change that I wanted to see,” Yusuf said during a recent signing for her new novel at the Doubletree hotel in Bloomington, Minn.

The book, Ebyan, Waqti iyo Waayaha Jacayl, is Yusuf’s first novel written in the Somali language. Her first, Ayan, of the Lucky was in English. Yusuf, whose famil