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 Manyi-Eyong (Manyi) Ayuk, Rhonda Franklin, Governess Simpson, Bryant Jones, and Lulete Mula

Where It Starts

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Lives and identities are shaped by decades and centuries. They can be forever altered in minutes or seconds. For the individuals and communities who continue to make Black history at the University of Minnesota and beyond, change starts wherever the powers of creativity, vision, and joy meet.
Manyi Ayuk poses for photo with her family
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So much pain, so much joy

Manyi Ayuk reflects on the dualities she’s experienced as a Cameroonian American and as an activist for social change.

Bryant Jones wearing face mask in greenhouse with seedlings on wooden table
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From planted seeds

While cooking for 20-hour days to feed the thousands who gathered after George Floyd’s killing, Bryant Jones was struck by an idea that grew into a garden ... and a community.

Governess Simpson
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Defeat turns to growth

In the heartbreak of rejection by her desired major, Governess Simpson found a new capacity to help others.

Lulete Mola wearing leather skirt and dark suit jacket in front of dark blue cloudy background
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Who SHE is

Lulete Mola’s purpose is to build power with individuals, families, and communities for real change.