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Tune in to the Awards on TPT

The Facing Race Awards recognize anti-racism activists in Minnesota who challenge absent and harmful narratives on race, and push for justice and equity.

The 15th annual Facing Race Awards premiere at 7 p.m. October 24 on your local TPT MN channel. Tune in to learn about the impact our award winners have made, hear from special guest Kao Kalia Yang, and watch Ujamaa Music Group perform an original song.

Then, join us for a post-show conversation with the honorees at 7:45 p.m.

Meet Our 2021 Award Recipients

Victoria Mc Wane Creek headshot for web
Victoria McWane-Creek

Victoria McWane-Creek is a performance improvement specialist. She has the talent and expertise to guide individuals, teams, organizations and communities toward their ideal performance by designing and executing strategic interventions that close knowledge and skills gaps. Victoria is an Art Hosting practitioner and the lead facilitator for Respectful Conversations. She serves on the City of Fergus Falls Human Rights Commission, Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership Board and the Youth Advisory Council of the Workforce Area Board.

King Demetrius Pendleton headshot for web
KingDemetrius Pendleton

KingDemetrius Pendleton is a father, truth-seeker and independent photojournalist who uses imagery to tell stories of injustice and unrest. After the tragic killing of his daughter by a drunk driver, KingDemetrius became an activist dedicating time to becoming a “voice for the voiceless.” Under the brand ListenMedia!, his mission is to capture beauty in the world through his lens one photo at a time.

Valerie Shirley headshot for web
Valerie Shirley

Valerie Shirley is the founder of the Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community, a nonprofit that ensures access to effective communication for individuals who are deaf, deaf plus, and hard of hearing. She began her career in deaf education as a way to communicate with her deaf son. Since then she has taught others to sign and has made it her mission to ensure mosques in Minnesota include American Sign Language interpreters at prayer services.

Wokie Weah headshot for web
Wokie Weah

Wokie Weah is the first and current President of Youthprise, a philanthropic nonprofit dedicated to increasing equity for Minnesota’s Indigenous, low-income and racially diverse youth. As an immigrant from Liberia, she knows firsthand the importance of disrupting systems of oppression and looking at things from a multicultural lens. Under Wokie’s leadership, Youthprise has granted more than $30 million to youth initiatives and provided training and technical assistance to more than 100 youth-serving organizations.

Kao Kalia Yang headshot for web

Kao Kalia Yang

Meet Our Special Guest

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She is the author of the memoirs The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang is also the author of the children’s books A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most Beautiful Thing, and Yang Warriors. She co-edited the ground-breaking collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color.

Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards. Kao Kalia Yang lives in Minnesota with her family, and teaches and speaks across the nation.

Meet Our Musical Performers

No stranger to adversity, the pandemic inspired the men in Ujamaa Place’s Music Therapy program to start their very own music group, Ujamaa Music Group.

During the Facing Race Awards show, they will perform an original song, “The Color Of My Skin,” created especially for the event.

Ujamaa Music Group 1

Ujamaa Music Group

Nadege Souvenir Headshot

Nadege Souvenir

Attend the Post-show Conversation

Following the Facing Race Awards broadcast, on October 24 at 7:45 p.m., we invite you to join us for a conversation with honorees hosted by Nadege Souvenir. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Advocating for Equity

The Facing Race Awards recognize anti-racism activists in Minnesota who challenge absent and harmful narratives on race, build solutions that unite, instead of divide, and push for justice and equity. Through these Awards, we celebrate and learn from those leading the way forward.

The Facing Race Awards, established in 2007, are just one way the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation advocates for equity. Learn more about our narrative change and anti-racism efforts, and how you can join us.

Watch the 2020 Facing Race Awards

Join us in celebrating the four Minnesota anti-racism activists who were honored at our 14th annual Facing Race Awards, featuring special guest Jonathan Capehart.



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