Unify University celebrates neighborhoods in St. Paul


The August 17 Unify University parade featured organizations as diverse the community itself. Children from Heart and Soul Drum Academy sent the parade off to vibrant rhythmic beats. Giants puppets operated by youth from the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent towered overhead. Unifying University refers to University Avenue, which divides the neighborhoods of Frogtown and Rondo.

“Unify University is about bringing this neighborhood together,” explained organizer John Slade, “…it’s about bringing the white community, the black community, the Hmong community, the Asian community, the immigrant community who live here, together.”

Since this is an election year, campaign workers representing mayoral and city council races frequently darted from the parade to greet and apply stickers to spectators. The parade began at Maxfield School and concluded at the West Minnehaha Rec Center where an open microphone provided community residents the opportunity to share their unique talents. This was the fourth annual Unify University celebration. According to Slade, the event increases in size each year.

Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.