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Honoring Minnesota's Anti-racism Advocates since 2007

The Facing Race Awards recognize anti-racism advocates 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.

Thank You for Your Nominations

Thank you for all of the wonderful nominations for the 2024 Facing Race Awards. The nomination period for the 18th annual Facing Race Awards has closed.

Award recipients will be announced this fall.

Award recipients are nominated by the community. Each award recipient will receive a grant to benefit a Minnesota nonprofit of their choice and be recognized at a Facing Race Awards ceremony later this year.

Watch the 2023 Facing Race Awards

We are excited to honor the 2023 four Facing Race Award recipients: Trahern Crews, Rayona Kardell, Rose McGee and Asha Shoffner! Watch their stories by streaming the 2023 Facing Race Awards Show right here.

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Meet the 2023 Recipients

Join us in celebrating this year’s recipients and the impact they’re making in our community.

Trahern Crews

Trahern Crews is the co-founder and lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Minnesota – one of the nation’s most active chapters. As a reparationist, social justice advocate and grassroots organizer, the Saint Paul resident strives to make Minnesota a more equitable state.

Over the course of his career in activism, Trahern has led the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission and worked on the Minnesota Migration Act. He has also run for public office as a member of the Green Party and is currently working with other leaders to put together a textbook on how to create social change in an effort to pass down their strategies and techniques to the next generations.

Trahern Crews holding his hand up in a fist

Trahern Crews

Rayona Kardell headshot

Rayona Kardell

Rayona Kardell

Rayona Kardell is one of two client advocates at Breaking Free, a nonprofit that assists clients who have experienced sex trafficking or sexual exploitation. She is passionate about helping her clients overcome the barriers they face and achieve the goals they’ve felt they would never reach.

“Rayona goes out of her way to bring clients food and hygiene items at their homes or treatment facilities after already putting in her eight hours for the day,” said her coworker and nominator. She has helped women, both young and old, break generational curses and find purpose, using her life experiences to provide clients with love and inspiration when they need it the most.

Rose McGee

Rose McGee is an activist who uses an unlikely tool to advocate for justice – sweet potato pies. Since 2014, after the murder of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, Rose has been delivering comfort to those impacted by racial trauma with what she calls ‘the sacred dessert of Black culture.’ Since then she has expanded her concept to Sweet Potato Comfort Pie®, an organization that serves as a catalyst for caring and building community.

With the help of volunteers, Rose has baked and delivered over 4,000 pies across the country in response to racially driven events in Charleston, South Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Standing Rock and our very own Twin Cities.

Rose McGee in her kitchen

Rose McGee

Asha Shoffner sitting in a wooded area

Asha Shoffner

Asha Shoffner

Asha Shoffner is her most authentic self when she’s surrounded by nature. She leads Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s outdoor and environmental education work. She has initiated and managed groundbreaking programs to create opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the Twin Cities to enjoy the outdoors. In the past year, Asha has organized 45 BIPOC-specific events, reaching over 500 people.

She is the founder and creator of BIPOC Outdoors Twin Cities, a safe and welcoming space for BIPOC and queer folks to experience the excitement of fishing (including ice fishing) workshops, cross-country skiing and snowboarding lessons, Indigenous plant medicine hikes, camping/canoeing trips and more.

Advocating for Equity

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

Past Facing Race Award Honorees

2022 Award Recipients

  • Classie Dudley
  • Angela Hooks
  • Txongpao Lee
  • Lulete Mola

View 2022 Facing Race Awards

2021 Award Recipients

  • Victoria McWane-Creek
  • KingDemetrius Pendleton
  • Valerie Shirley
  • Wokie Weah

View 2021 Facing Race Awards

2020 Award Recipients

  • Valerie Castile
  • Resmaa Menakem
  • Alex Miles
  • Leslie Redmond

View 2020 Facing Race Awards

Facing Race Recipients 2007-2019

R. James Addington

Rev. Carolyn Arnett

Susan Ault

Russel and Sarah Balenger

Lou Bellamy

Mary K. Murray Boyd

Elizabeth A. Campbell

Satveer S. Chaudhary

Robert L. Crawford

Ouida Crozier

Joann daSilva

Lucila Dominguez

Mahmoud El-Kati

Dwayne Gibbs

Metric M. Giles, I

Jennifer Godinez

Donna Hauer

Bukata Hayes

James H. Heck, Ph.D.

Delores Henderson

Barbara Corti Herrmann

Ange Hwang

Taneeza Islam

Pamela James

Dr. Josie Johnson

Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D.

Joanne Jones-Rizzi

Angelique Kedem

Nathaniel Abdul Khaliq

Helen Kivnick

Velma J. Korbel

Gary W. Y. Kwong

Dr. Ghafar Lakanwal

Nekima Levy-Pounds

Jan Mandell

Monty Martin

Dr. Cecilia Martinez

Corinth Matera

Jada Sherrie Mitchell

Rajean P. Moone, Ph.D.

Ellen O'Neill

Margery K. Otto, J.D.

Oluwaseyi Daniel Oyinloye

Tuleah Palmer

Steve Pederson

Herbert (Okogyeamon) A. Perkins, Ph.D.

Thien-bao Thuc Phi

Lawrence T. Potter, Jr., Ph.D.

Nieeta L. Presley

Jack Reuler

Gloria Roach Thomas

A. Lori Saroya

Lupe R. Serrano

Dr. Nadarajan Sethuraju

Rev. Paul Slack

T. Gregory Stavrou

Mihailo Temali

Justin Terrell

Dai Thao

Dr. Anton Treuer

Bo Thao-Urabe

Michelle A. Villanueva

Hamse Warfa

Chaun Webster

Alfonso Tomás Wenker

Paul Williams

Hli Xyooj

Otis Zanders



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