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Myron Medcalf

Columnist | Local

 Myron Medcalf is a local columnist for Star Tribune and recipient of the 2022 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for general column writing. 

Myron Medcalf is currently a senior college basketball reporter and nationally syndicated radio host with ESPN. He's a former Star Tribune news and sports reporter.
Recent content from Myron Medcalf
For decades, the presence of school resource officers has been a polarizing conversation.

Medcalf: Dialogue about school resource officers failed our kids

Our children deserve a more holistic approach to their well-being than the one presented in this conversation. Instead of chokeholds and policing, what about relationships and resources?
“The thing you notice when you’re at the bookstore is how very deeply different everybody is,” said Angela Whited, community sales coordinator a

Medcalf: My quest to read more books led me to 'reading therapist' in St. Paul

Limit Netflix viewing, go on reading dates with friends and other advice to get back to reading more.
Finalists were acknowledged during a banquet to name the 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year on May 7 at The River Center in St. Paul.

Medcalf: As a new school year begins, Minnesota's teachers and students need our support now more than ever

Aftershocks of pandemic have made a tough job even more challenging for teachers, and it will take all of us to fix it.
Columnist Myron Medcalf.

Medcalf: What Minnesota's wealth gap says about opportunity and power structure

If we are to see real progress in addressing gender and racial economic disparities, companies must do more to recognize and reward the impact of women and BIPOC individuals.
In Minnesota, Indigenous students are 10 times more likely and Black students eight times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their white pee

Medcalf: Minnesota's new policy banning school suspensions for our youngest students is progress

Law aims to curb discipline bias in schools, especially during the critical early years.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland listened on June 16 as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke about how Minneapolis will comply with the Justice Dep

Medcalf: An apology was in order, Mayor Frey

Why did it take a federal investigation into Minneapolis police conduct to confirm for city leaders what Black Minneapolitans have been saying for years?
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: On embracing the wonderful, imperfect journey of fatherhood

Fatherhood is a responsibility and a chance to embrace growth.
River Bend Park in Savage.

Medcalf: Decision to remove hoops from park to fight crime is cruel

The decision follows two recent shootings in six weeks at River Bend Park in Savage. Officials do not shut down baseball diamonds and hockey rinks. But basketball rims are an easy target,
George Floyd Square, at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis.

Medcalf: At George Floyd Square and beyond, the vow to never forget continues

The "Rise and Remember" event to mark the May 25 anniversary of Floyd's murder is a testament to a community's strength and perseverance.
Poet Javier Zamora, reading at Sacred Heart School, in Washington, D.C. in 2018. Wikimedia Commons license.

Medcalf: Join us for a timely discussion with the author of 'Solito'

When I started the Mary Ann Key Book Club two years ago — with the support and partnership of the Star Tribune, the Hennepin County…
Has social media compromised our possession of family memories?

Medcalf: How much should parents post about their children?

A Minnesota mom who rewarded her son for staying off social media weighs in.
Two people embraced outside of a bank building where a workplace mass shooting took place in Louisville, Ky., Monday, April 10, 2023.

Medcalf: Is gun violence really the legacy we want to leave for our children?

Those who live with the pain of that violence watch headlines about the tragedies disappear in 24 hours.
Beverly Cottman

Medcalf: The legacy of Minnesota artist, thinker Beverly Cottman

The loss of BIPOC elders carries impact in their significance to the foundations of the community.
Medcalf: Javier Zamora's 'Solito' is spring reading selection for anti-racism book club

Medcalf: Javier Zamora's 'Solito' is spring reading selection for anti-racism book club

The memoir explores the complex story of the immigrant experience.
Luis Cabrera and Carlos Toro, left to right, cleared snow on the sidewalk in front of the Butcher’s Tale on Hennepin Avenue on Thursday in downtown

Medcalf: Nothing like a Minnesota snowstorm to unite us

Drama aside, tough winters here remind us that we're all in this together
Marcos Jimenez, who shops there twice a month, is disappointed that the Aldi in its North Minneapolis location which will be closing this Sunday in Mi

Medcalf: Aldi's closing is a reminder of how north Minneapolis community is starved of key resources

For some, the store's decision to leave is not just an inconvenience — it's a death sentence.
Kyla O’Neal

Medcalf: No woman should have to live in fear for her life for rejecting a man

We should not allow ourselves to become desensitized to the ongoing partner violence by men that cost women their lives.
The New Year’s Eve ball sits atop One Times Square in New York. In 2023, the proverbial ladder many will attempt to climb will have endless rungs. B

Medcalf: On rethinking the way we approach New Year goals

I no longer believe in resolutions, only growth.
Travis Norvell, pastor at Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Minneapolis, relies on a bike and public transportation. He said sometimes he tells storie

Medcalf: Do social media posts of good deeds actually spur others to do good?

I worry these public displays have turned random acts of kindness into an exploitative ambition.
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: Therapy is a valuable tool in dealing with life's struggles

Many men could benefit from mental health treatment, but are reluctant to seek help
Barbara Currin

Medcalf: Minnesota woman who suffered in prison discovered writing was her therapy — and her talent

Barbara Currin put pencil to paper and found herself.
Entrepreneur Jayton Metcalf in front of his kiosk at Rosedale Mall.

Medcalf: Minnesota designer seeks to uplift people with clothing line sporting positive messages

The 22-year-old started working on his streetwear brand during the pandemic to bring light to those around him.
The late author Octavia Butler signed a copy of “Fledgling” after speaking and answering questions from the audience on Oct. 25, 2005. Her book �

Medcalf: The anti-racism book club meets Thursday in Minneapolis. Join us!

It will be the first in-person gathering since the Mary Ann Key Book Club began in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
University of Minnesota Regent Steve Sviggum shown June 10, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Medcalf: What Steve Sviggum's question reveals about the University of Minnesota

The vice chair of the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents just made the system's institutions less safe for its BIPOC students.
Myron Medcalf

Medcalf: Why I wanted to allow people to post comments on my column

The comments can lead to fruitful dialogue in real life.
Octavia Butler signed a copy of “Fledgling” after speaking and answering questions from the audience on Oct. 25, 2005. Her book, “Parable of the

Medcalf: Join us for our anti-racism book club talk about late author's prophetic lessons

Octavia E. Butler's writings — suggesting involving young people and connecting through our shared humanity — are key to curing societal ills.
Edward Barlow, a music teacher at Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis, played the drums during a rally by striking teachers.

Medcalf: Give Minneapolis teachers of color a chance to be there for students who need them most

The toxic dialogue around the Minneapolis teachers' contract ignores the impact teachers of color have on the school district and students who resemble them.
Angela Rose Myers, former Minneapolis NAACP president, is among the Twin Cities women offering advice about how to prepare for high school and the yea

Medcalf: A survival guide for teen girls and their loving parents

Six wise Minnesota women offer advice to their younger selves about navigating high school.
Therapist James Chadwick

Medcalf: Rethinking masculinity for the next generation

Altering the perception of masculinity among our young men is key to shepherding them to the future.
Octavia Butler signing a copy of “Fledgling” after speaking and answering questions from the audience on Oct. 25, 2005. Her book, “The “Parabl

Medcalf: Fall selection for anti-racism book club offers a measure of promise

Octavia Butler's "The Parable of the Sower" is a dystopian novel that speaks to today's challenges, offers remedy for change
Meghan Dunn and Josie Johnstone are street outreach practitioners at People Incorporated Mental Health Services.

Medcalf: Minnesotans who are experiencing homelessness deserve to be seen, heard

A walk with two outreach workers offered an introduction to those living in tents and on the streets — and to their hopes and dreams
An attendee wore a Somali flag tie while holding Somali and American flags during the Somali Independence Day festival on July 2 on Lake Street in Min

Medcalf: The lasting damage of Mpls. Council Member Rainville's rant

In ways he cannot understand, Michael Rainville has hurt the Somali American community in Minnesota and beyond.
A sunset over Clear Lake in Iowa, where the author spent part of a 10-day break from work.

Medcalf: Take a vacation this summer, Minnesotans — you deserve it

Unplugging from work occasionally is healthy, and a choice we don't make as often as we should.
Dudley Edmondson in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in California.

Medcalf: Black outdoorsman wants BIPOC Minnesotans to see state's parks, trails as theirs, too

He has hiked around the world in places accessible to all, but not always viewed as inclusive.
Joy Dolo with the Blackout Improv troupe.

Medcalf: It's OK to laugh, even in these tough times, Black comedians in Minnesota say

Black comedians in Minnesota talk about their art and the power of laughter
Myron Medcalf and his childhood friend Bruce Henderson

Medcalf: How to reconnect with friends you've lost touch with during the pandemic

It can be a struggle to find our social stride now that the world has opened up again.
Marlena Myles, artist

Medcalf: Minnesota artist's work is a form of activism and connection for Native American community

Marlena Myles is among the featured speakers at an upcoming anti-racism book club community discussion
Shekiala McMillan-Washington, of Twin Cities Sneakers

Medcalf: Inside the world of Minnesota sneakerheads

A growing community of sneaker aficionados sees footwear as a mode of self-expression
Jean Mendoza, left, and Debbie Reese

Medcalf: An invitation to learn U.S. history from an Indigenous perspective

Upcoming Mary Ann Key Book Club event features former teacher who helped adapt popular book for young people.
The next book is “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States For Young People,” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizcq and adapted by Jean Mendoza a

Medcalf: Next book club selection to focus on 'America's most overlooked community'

Mary Ann Book Club's next selection is "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States For Young People."
A man held a sign saying “Amir Locke” as cars lined all lanes of three blocks in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, Feb. 4, during a car caravan to p

Medcalf: What happened to Amir Locke feels like it could happen to any Black Minnesotan

If it happens to me, what happens to us, investigate the investigation.
Warren Herreid

Medcalf: Friendly encounter with war veteran in greater Minnesota is a reminder of empathy's power

The pandemic has contributed to an erosion of our collective empathy – a tool that helps unite us.
As the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. pursued equality, America had nearly broken him. In his final weeks, he was beset by doubts and concerns about the

Medcalf: Getting to know the real Martin Luther King Jr.

Let's honor him by studying the full story of his struggle and not just excerpts from his famous speeches.
The author bell hooks at her apartment in Manhattan on Sept. 13, 1995. hooks, whose incisive, wide-ranging writing on gender and race helped push femi

Medcalf: Minnesota women speak about bell hooks' impact on their lives

The late scholar and author birthed a generation of Black women who were empowered by her ideas.
Arbuey Wright and Katie Bryant, the parents of Daunte Wright, left to right, celebrated outside the Hennepin County courthouse after former Brooklyn C

Medcalf: Verdict won't end the pain for those closest to Wright

Testimony showed the trauma friends and family have suffered
Medcalf: What Black Minnesotans are feeling hopeful about

Medcalf: What Black Minnesotans are feeling hopeful about

'The greatest privilege of this space is the people I've met through this journey'
Daunte Wright, shown with his son, Daunte Jr., was shot and killed in April by then-Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter, who reportedly bel

Medcalf: A letter to Daunte Wright's family

Let's not lose sight of the fact that we will never know his potential because his life was cut short.
Prepackaged bags of side dishes and fixings sat in boxes during ICA Food Shelf’s Turkey Distribution Day on Saturday in Minnetonka. The food shelf h

Medcalf: For many Minnesotans, hunger is part of their new normal since pandemic

Hunger is closer to all of us than we may realize.
Dave Chappelle in New York, Sept. 30, 2017.

Medcalf: Why I chose not to attend Dave Chappelle's Minneapolis show

The comedian, an influential voice on racism, has the power to shape the perception of the LGBTQ community, another marginalized group that is full of Black folks he claims to defend.
JaNae Bates speaks during the Yes On 2 Election Night Party at the Gold Room Restaurant & Lounge, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 in Minneapolis.

Medcalf: Minneapolis election result feels like the start, not the end, of police reform fight

To ignore that view is to dismiss the diversified push to create systemic change and to avoid another tragedy.
Cathy Park Hong at a 2016 “Poetry, Publishing & Race” discussion

Medcalf: Minnesota book club to encourage solidarity with Asian American communities

"Minor Feelings" has been filled with reflections on the parallels between the Asian American and the Black communities.
Jeff McCray, left, and Josh Lemonade, friends who met at Skateviille in Burnsville.

Medcalf: For joy on 8 wheels, roll onto Burnsville rink

At the roller rink, there is equality and diversity that illustrate the possibilities within the Twin Cities.
ShaVunda Brown, a native of Texas, is an award-winning actress and spoken-word poet who has been recognized in Minnesota and internationally. As a sin

Medcalf: It's time to start seeing and valuing Black, single mothers in Minnesota

Single, Black mothers are held to an impossible standard without substantial support.
landing page image from

Medcalf: Minnesota's 'teen whisperer' humbled by support he's received during cancer fight

Accustomed to providing support for others, Jason Clopton recently displayed his own vulnerability as he discussed his next steps.
London Bean, 12, was a sixth-grader at Sojourner Truth Academy in Minneapolis. He was shot and killed recently after a dispute with another child. (fa

Medcalf: Black children continue to lose their lives to gun violence. It's a Minnesota problem.

There is a long line of young victims and, in many cases, young shooters.
A memorial set up after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, June 18,

Medcalf: In Minn., boarding school trauma inflicted on Indigenous communities must be acknowledged

Native American history has been buried by a country that knows it cannot be discussed without the admission of complicity.
Bradley Taylor, founder of The Donut Trap.

Medcalf: Donut Trap owner offers a message of hope for a Black community navigating a turbulent world

Through his doughnuts, he has created a platform for dialogue.
Hundreds of Asian Americans and supporting communities gathered in front of the Minnesota State Capital in March to remember the victims of the Atlant

Medcalf: Next book chosen for anti-racism book club focuses on Asian American reckoning

The goal of this choice is to demand respect for the perspectives of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
A new barricade and a new fist sculpture are at the south and north entrance to George Floyd Square a day after part of the square was cleared in Minn

Medcalf: Changes to George Floyd Square threaten to scrub history

The city's move to reopen the intersection follows the playbook in a country that loves to move on when race is involved.
Trinity Ottoson-Smith, 9, was caught in crossfire while jumping on a trampoline on May 15. ORG XMIT: MIN2105272026100384

Medcalf: A love letter to the young Black men in Minneapolis I failed

Our children have a right to live.
Over the past year, artists worldwide have created murals of George Floyd — including these from Kenya, Belgium and Milwaukee — after he was murde

Medcalf: Will powerful white Minnesotans live up to promises made after George Floyd's murder?

Until white people collectively commit to the empathy necessary to unravel systemic racism, this place will be ripe for more horror.
“Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson ORG XMIT: MIN2007221333450079

Medcalf: Antiracism book club explores caste in America

In Chris Rock's 2008 comedy special, "Kill the Messenger," he discusses the limited diversity in his affluent neighborhood in Alpine, N.J. At the time, the…
The casket of Daunte Wright was removed from Shiloh Temple International Ministries after his funeral in April.

Medcalf: Compliance during Minnesota police encounters is only strictly required if you're Black

Reform, in the future, will be tested in a place now known for police killings,
This May 25, 2020, file image from a police body camera shows bystanders including Alyssa Funari, left filming, Charles McMillan, center left in light

Medcalf: Chauvin trial verdict offers glimmer of hope of what Minnesota can become

Although the darkness still lingers, the sun poked through the clouds on Tuesday.
Candles at the base of the fist sculpture that is now installed at the place where Daunte Wright was killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer.  JEFF

Medcalf: Gawking at Black pain steals our humanity

What's the line between reporting atrocities and feeding fascination with Black trauma?
People inside the Brooklyn Center Police Department reacted after first seeing the police body camera footage being live-streamed from a nearby news c

Medcalf: Blackness too often seen as act of resistance by Minn. police

Once again we are asked to tell the world how bad this feels.
Organizer Anthea Yur gathered Asian women in a circle and read their signs as they gathered March 18 at Levin Park in Minneapolis in solidarity with t

Medcalf: In Minnesota and across country, Asian Americans are under attack and need our support

Minutes into my FaceTime conversation with Anthea Yur about the recent anti-Asian attacks around the country, I was struck by her vigor for change, as…
Myron Medcalf’s great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Key, is shown with Medcalf’s great-grandfather, Jolly Key, right, and his great-uncle, Wil

Medcalf: Join a local anti-racism book club for all Minnesotans

The Mary Ann Key Book Club is a collaboration with Hennepin County Library, the Friends of Hennepin County Library and the Star Tribune.
Chain link fence with barbed wire, concrete barriers, and concertina wire surrounded the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, the Hennepin County G

Medcalf: Security buildup before Derek Chauvin trial risks stifling voice of marginalized communities

If the line between protesters and opportunists isn't drawn and respected, it could create more challenges for all involved
The construction of Interstate 94 tore a hole through Rondo, St. Paul’s historic black neighborhood.

Medcalf: Racism, not a highway, tore apart St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood

They didn't just build a major highway through a Black neighborhood in the 1950s and 1960s. They killed dreams.
Nur-D had the audience on their feet during his performance at the MLK celebration in St. Paul in 2020.  GLEN STUBBE • M

Medcalf: Minnesota artists uphold, demonstrate the timeless power of Black music

I've loved hip-hop music since I was a kid. It's filled with vivid imagery, anchored by defiance. Local rapper Nur-D, real name Matt Allen, and…
Lena K. Gardner

Medcalf: For far too long, voices of Black women in fight for justice have been ignored

Throughout the history of the movement for equality, Black women have been denied the recognition they've deserved.
KG Wilson, shown in 2012.

Medcalf: White Minnesotans who ask why BLM protests police shootings, not homicides, aren't being honest

Those who ask why BLM protests police shootings, not homicides, aren't being honest
George Floyd’s tombstone.

Medcalf: In 2021, Minnesotans shouldn't need another tragic image to commit to change

I remember pressing a gray button to get my voicemail messages and hearing the menacing voice. I was 20 years old, serving as the editor-in-chief…
William Green said Minnesotans were surprised that “George Floyd could happen here,” in part because so many hadn’t grappled with the state’s

Medcalf: How can Minnesotans face the truth about racism, past and present? Start with a book

To ponder the past is not an optional quest for a Black person in this country.