Minnesota’s Karen Community: Third Home from Burma

Produced by Marisa Helms

The fastest-growing refugee community in Minnesota over the past few years is a population from Southeast Asia most Minnesotans have never heard of—the Karen (pronounced Kuh-RENN). The nearly 7,000 Karen living here, mostly on the east side of St. Paul, have kept a low profile since they first started arriving in 2000. Their journey to Minnesota has been long and difficult. The Karen are an oppressed ethnic minority from Burma, the country also known as Myanmar, and for more than 60 years, innocent Karen men, women and children have become displaced by violence and civil war. Like many refugees who come to Minnesota, the Karen are here because they want to be safe and free from persecution. Most importantly, they want to give their children a better life and a good education. As producer Marisa Helms reports in this MinneCulture audio documentary, the story of the Karen is about resilience and the survival of a community and culture. Here in Minnesota, the Karen have found refuge, and finally, hope for the future.

"We Hope You're Ready For Flo & Eddie" + Kim Lenz + Old Californio interviews…… show today.  Started off with a surprise phone call by Kim Lenz.  She's so cool, we had to drop what we were doing to chat with her.  Her band, Kim Lenz & The Jaguars are coming back to town to play Lee's Liquor Lounge tomorrow night (well, that depends on when you're reading this, doesn't it?).  Thursday 6/21 it is, or was.


Another fun summer mix of old and new in the Echo Chamber. Kicked things off with the new and old at the same time: the new Pressure Sounds Mek It Run release comprised of new Dennis “Blackbeard” Bovell dubs of old tracks (some going back to the 70’s). More new material from: Richie Phoe, Pale Rider, Mystica Tribe, David Pablo, Mutant Frogs, Razia (from 2010), Yume_Noon, and Marvin Gaye vs. Give Thanks Records. On top of this, we played a chunk of Pete Cogle’s Dub Zone 5th Anniversary Mix as part of our summer mix series.

Had an interview today with Mary Pendergast, executive director and one of the founders of Anodyne Art….a non-profit performing arts school for people with disabilities.The school is located in St. Paul, two blocks north of University and one block east of Raymond.
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Celebrating Twin Cities Pride & more summer fun!