Cover to Cover Open Book

Cover to Cover Open Book – September 12, 2008

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We honor Raza Heritage by looking at the plight of latinos/as in Minnesota by bringing you this documentary, Aprendemos Juntos (We Learn Together). Minnesota has gained national and internationl notoriety as a result of massive raids by ICE. We go to rural Minnesota: Long Prairie.

Not a single Latino student has ever graduated from the high school in Long Prarie, Minnesota. The Univesity of Minnesota Minnesota went to these Mexican youths to ask them why. Aprendemos Juntos began as an academic study of the low high school graduation rate of Hispanic teens in Minnesota. Nationally, the rate is lower than for other groups, but in rural Minnesota, the contrast is very stark. In the small town of Long Prairie, the location of this piece, the high school graduation rate for Hispanics is zero, depsite the overall graduation rate being 97%. Rather than writing up a conventional research report to try to address the problem, the research team at the University of Minnesota decided to try making a radio documentary instead, to reach people on a deeper level. The idea was to get the teenagers themselves to weigh in on why no Latino student has graduated from Long Prairie High School. This piece is the result of many hours of group and individual interviews with these young Mexicans in Long Prairie.

Project direction: Claudia Fuentes
Narrator: Jason Ruiz
Research team: Jared Erdman, Annie Ericson, Elizabeth Meza, Jason Ruiz