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Black Twin Cities leaders talk receiving Bush Fellowship: "There's almost nothing that we cannot do"

Twin Cities leaders discuss Black excellence in the community
Twin Cities leaders discuss Black excellence in the community 02:42

MINNEAPOLIS — While Juneteenth is rooted in the past, it's important to recognize what's happening in the present. WCCO sat down with three local leaders to talk about Black excellence in the Twin Cities.

It's lunchtime at the Regions Hospital cafeteria. With red beans and rice and a sweet potato and collard stew, chef Lachelle Cunningham is using soul food to teach history.

"My mission is to impact people through food and I do that because I want to see healing in my community and the world," Cunningham said.

And now she's got some extra financial support. She is one of 24 recipients of the distinguished Bush Fellowship. It's a program started by one of the founders of 3M that funds community missions for two years. Cunningham said when she got the news, "I screamed so loud."

"It was amazing, it was a long road," she said. "I really resonate with the resilience piece, because that's what it took for my ancestors, to really make it through enslavement. That's what it took for my people to make it to where we are today and that's what it is gonna take us to continue to evolve and improve."

Alysha Price, a fellow recipient, is a co-parenting coach and author.

"Whether we are parenting across households or in the same household, bringing back the power of the Black family," Price said.

So is Leslie Redmond, founder of Don't Complain, Activate.

"Black people have never had the luxury of complaining, we always had to activate," Redmond said. "So to sit here on Juneteenth we are still activating and the activation won't stop."

"I am really proud of the contribution that African Americans have made to our nation's history and the culture and in of itself," Price said. 

"In spite of what we have all endured, that there's still joy and there's still love and when we recognize that we have an abundance of love, there's almost nothing that we cannot do," Redmond said.

Each of these leaders applied for the Bush Fellowship three times before they got it. They say it's a lesson for everyone to keep trying and keep believing. 

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