PPGJLI Founder Gives Historic Rondo Neighborhood New Life with Read Rondo Project

By: Planting People Growing Justice
ST. PAUL, Minn. - April 29, 2024 - PRLog -- The roots of Planting People Growing Justice™ Leadership Institute (PPGJLI) founder, Dr. Artika A. Tyner, runs deep in the Rondo community. The PPGJLI founder grew up there and is working to preserve its history and culture through the arts, humanities, and projects such as Read Rondo. Tyner is a daughter of Rondo and the non-profit organization began there in 2017.

"We are building an intergenerational community of learning and growth to preserve cultural heritage," said Tyner. "PPGJLI has blossomed into a beacon of hope and empowerment through our innovative programs, educational initiatives, and community outreach efforts."

Few people are aware of the Rondo neighborhood's deep cultural roots and history. It was largely lost to history by all except those who lived there and their descendants. In the 1930s, the Rondo neighborhood was the center of a large community of African Americans in St. Paul, MN. Some of its residents had lived there for decades. That came to an end in the 1950s when a route for I-94 was sought. The highway cut through the center of the Rondo neighborhood through the expedient of eminent domain, destroying homes, lives, businesses, institutions, and organizations. The action directly affected African American communities. Hundreds of families in Rondo were displaced. The construction resulted in lost home equity, wealth, and stability.

The unquenchable spirit of Rondo never weakened or waned. It lives on and still flourishes today with an annual Rondo Festival. The Rondo neighborhood is a testament to African Americans' resilience and unity in the mid-20th century.

"PPGJLI pioneers Rondo's national model for arts-based community development, fusing the transformative power of arts and humanities to forge a sustainable, equitable future for all," said Tyner.

Children's books can be found at the PPGJ Press and Bookstore (http://www.ppgjbooks.com), a Black, woman-owned business. Some have a connection to Rondo. All the books encourage literacy, introduce young scholars to new concepts, and feature African American heroes and sheroes.

Planting People Growing Justice
Source:Planting People Growing Justice
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