Executive Director Ellen O’Neill

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St. Paul Foundation honors race ambassadors

Josie Johnson took on Voter ID  

Ellen O’Neill helped spark Duluth racial dialogue

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

University of Minnesota Regent Emeriti Dr. Josie Johnson and YWCA of Duluth Executive Director Ellen O’Neill are among the five Facing Race Ambassadors who will be honored April 29 by

the Saint Paul Foundation at the Prom Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota. O’Neill was nominated for her leadership in working with people and organizations in Duluth in anti-racism efforts. She has helped “spark thousands of conversations around racial equity in families, workplaces, community gatherings and in the


Dr. Johnson, who has been “an ambassador for racial justice and racial equity” in Minnesota for over 50 years, was nominated for inspiring and mentoring new leaders, along with her advocating against the ramifications if the 2012 Voter ID


constitutional amendment had passed last year. In separate interviews, both women recently talked to the MSR.

O’Neill admitted that upon first learning of the award, “I actually had a mixed reaction. The work that the Duluth community have been doing for the last year and a half very much has been a collaboration — the YWCA has been involved in starting it but there are 17 partners in our community in this specific campaign. Continue Reading →

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