Students at Stillwater Area High School greeted Ruth Cherinet with stares when she walked into a classroom for the first time two years ago. Cherinet moved from school to school throughout the east metro for various reasons. She knew how it felt to be the new kid at school. But it was different at Stillwater. The daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, Cherinet was among the school's few students of color, who comprised just under 8 percent of the student body at the time.
There's no shade of pink Wenceslaus Muenyi doesn't own. Each time he goes jogging near his Woodbury home, he's sure to wear bright colors. It's not out of fear of wayward motorists. Instead, Muenyi said he does it to wick away the long looks he gets from neighbors as a black man running. At times, they've called the police on him. "Image control is key in Woodbury," said Muenyi, 23.