School Library in Rondo is Dedicated to First Lady of Civil Rights

By: Planting People Growing Justice
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - April 27, 2024 - PRLog -- The restoration of the St. Peter Claver Catholic School Library has been completed. The event was celebrated by its dedication to the First Lady of Civil Rights, Dr. Josie Johnson. A new book vending machine was also unveiled (sponsored by St. Paul Promise Neighborhood). The renovation effort and dedication to Johnson was led by Dr. Artika A. Tyner, founder of the non-profit organization, Planting People Growing Justice™ Leadership Institute (PPGJLI).

PPGJLI is committed to promoting childhood reading & literacy and inspiring a future generation of leaders. Funds for the project came from a grant and the support of the Thrivent action teams.

"St. Peter Claver Catholic School is an anchor in the Rondo neighborhood," said Tyner. "It's a vital part of the fabric of the Twin Cities African-American community. It has been serving the needs of children and families for nearly 70 years. The school is dedicated to inspiring children to discover the joy in reading. It has a rich history as a beacon for the care and development of the whole child and the school continues to play that role today."

Worship began at the church in 1888. St. Peter Claver Catholic Church was officially established in 1892. Tyner grew up in Rondo, listening to the stories of the area's greatness and rich cultural history.

In the 1930s, Rondo was the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota's largest community of African-Americans. Some of its inhabitants had lived there for decades. The thriving neighborhood was a center for African-American homes, businesses, institutions, and organizations. All that came to an end in the 1950s Residents lost their homes and livelihoods to eminent domain when the I-94 highway was routed through the neighborhood.

The road system cut the community in half. Hundreds of families were forced to relocate. Businesses were shuttered and many families never recovered.

Through its own projects and initiatives, along with projects such as St. Peter Claver Catholic School Library. PPGJLI is making books available that encourage child literacy. It also serves to preserve Rondo's cultural heritage and tells the story of the close-knit community (

Jacklyn Milton
Planting People Growing Justice
Source:Planting People Growing Justice
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