St. Catherine University

Recent Articles

Multitalented JD Steele keeps pushing the creative envelope

His latest project: a dance opera score blending Black and Indian genres 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


JD Steele is, of course, even if you have been hiding under a rock, a household name in Twin Cities’ music and, by extension, theatre. For that matter, he’s internationally renowned along with his siblings as a vocalist-songsmith, arranger and producer for The Steeles. Still not ringing a bell? In case that rock you’ve been under is out in West Abu Dhabi somewhere, can you say, to name just a few titles, The Gospel at Colonus (yes, the film, TV and stage production featuring Morgan Freeman), Two Queens One Castle starring Jevetta Steele (Mixed Blood Theatre) and The Young and the Restless (CBS)? So yes, Steele has established his artistry with a rock-solid, far-reaching reputation. Continue Reading →

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Local chapter of National Black Nurses organizes festive gathering

Eliminating health disparities high on their agenda
By Robin James

Contributing Writer


Stepping into Spring with the “Minnesota Black Nurses Association” was the joyous theme at the organization’s first annual gala on Saturday, March 9, held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Brooklyn Park, co-sponsored by The Minnesota Black Nurses Association (MNBNA) and a number of other local organizations. This special event was dedicated to fundraising for scholarships for the next generation of nurses and was attended by nearly 200 guests, who took part in festivities that lasted over three hours but didn’t feel like a long, drawn-out

occasion. According to event organizers, there are approximately 100 Black nurses in the Twin Cities area. The overall polish and organization of the affair gave the distinct impression that the engagement wasn’t the MNBNA’s first go-around. Familiar faces in the crowd included Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter and Roxanne Givens, founder of the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center. Continue Reading →

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HealthPartners’ new diversity leader

Tonya Jackman Hampton faces racism, promotes inclusiveness


By Elizabeth Ellis

Contributing Writer



This past September, HealthPartners appointed Tonya Jackman Hampton the organization’s new senior director of diversity, inclusion and engagement. Hampton has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies. A Minnesota native and mother of a 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, she graduated from Clark Atlanta University and has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Prior to her position at HealthParnters she was the human resources director for global inclusion, engagement and diversity at Medtronic. Continue Reading →

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Deconstructing the school-to-prison pipeline

Volunteers seek alternatives to locking up kids

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

Save the Kids is an all-volunteer national organization that started in New York in 2009. Most of the people involved have been personally impacted by the criminal justice system through themselves or close friends or family members being incarcerated as juveniles or as parents and caregivers of young children. The core objective of Save the Kids is to promote alternative methods of dealing with youth who are in trouble or have made poor decisions rather than just locking them up and giving them criminal records. “We believe that no kid, no matter what they did, should be incarcerated,” says Anthony Nocella, a visiting professor at Hamline University’s School of Education and its Faculty Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. “There’s better community alternatives that can be employed rather than incarcerating kids.”

Nocella introduced Save the Kids to the Twin Cities area and started working with local community activists, educators, and others concerned with the well-being of young people to put together events at universities, high schools, and community centers spreading the word about Save the Kids and getting more people involved. Continue Reading →

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Phillips scholars create summer programs for youth, families


Jazmine Darden designed a summer program to encourage urban students, including many students of color, to learn more about opportunities in the STEM fields, specifically engineering. Through “Bridgin’ the Gap,” students in kindergarten through eighth grade discovered new information about structural engineering through bridge-building activities. Darden, who is from Brooklyn Park and attends Augsburg College, is one of six Minnesota Private College students chosen to complete a community outreach project as a part of the Phillips Scholars Program. The Phillips Scholars Program is a competitive scholarship initiative that asks college students to propose and then implement a service project to meet an unmet community need. The funds available to selected students total $16,500 in the form of scholarships and stipends from the Jay and Rose Phillips Foundation. Continue Reading →

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