We are proud to call ourselves an official community partner with community organization Reconnect Rondo for the Reconnect Rondo Land Bridge Project. Rock the Cause is working with three teaching facilitators from High School for the Recording Arts (HSRA) , to provide education & vocational training studies to HSRA student interns. Those students are learning urban development planning, and taking a front row seat to look in on the overall development of the land bridge. They are integral to the cultivation of a plan for the community owned spaces that will exist on the land bridge i.e. businesses, cultural corridors, a youth center, etc… The heart of this internship focuses on putting Rondo back into the hands of the Rondo community’s original proprietors i.e. bipoc people.
Students are collaborating hands on with engineering firms in St. Louis, MO to learn how a highway system or a bridge gets built. Projects like the Rondo Lanbridge are a cornerstone of racial justice for Biden administration & in association with Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and MN Govenor Tim Walz.
Building Rondo is not just about the local community–we are part of a vast web spanning across America’s highway system of displaced bipoc communities that fell victim to the U.S. freeway-building boom of the 1950s and 1960s.
When President Eisenhower created the U.S. Interstate Highway System in 1956, transportation planners obliterated the nation’s urban areas with freeways that, through intention and indifference, gutted bipoc communities. Overall, within the first two decades of highway construction alone, more than 1 million people had lost their homes nationwide.
The reconnect Rondo project aspires to become a national model for social justice for the multitude of communities affected by the blatant racism behind the axe that bludgened bipoc neighborhoods throughout the U.S.
The HSRA interns, facilitated by community organizations like Recoonect Rondo and Rock the Cause, will be interviewing youth under the age of 30, in tandem with elder community members to maintain direct input from the community about what they feel is the right thing to do with the land. These interns are in a 47 week internship at 15-20/wk at $15/hr–those wages are subsidized through a grant provided by MNDot. Rock the Cause is proud to act as a teaching contractor of Reconnect Rondo. Through our pacticipation, we’ve made it possible to support licensed teaching staff to guide interns from HSRA into a leading role with this historic tide of change.
Rock the Cause has been an active participant with the Rondo movement over the years, having played a pivotal role in mentoring HSRA students to produce the documentary, “RONDO: Beyond the Pavement” in partnership with HSRA, SPNN and St. Paul Almanac.
The HSRA interns tell the story better than we do! So please hear and see their work in the video on this page, made by HSRA interns under the mentorship of the Rock the Cause, Reconnect Rondo and HSRA teaching facilitators.
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