Djenane Saint Juste, a Port-au-Prince native, first considered moving to the Midwest from California when she learned that Minneapolis-St. Paul would tick off the boxes on her list for how she wanted to raise her child. Even better, the single mother heard she might be able to receive a scholarship for graduate school.
What tipped her decision in favor, though, was a growing community of Haitian youngsters being adopted from Haiti. Turns out, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti had speeded up the process for a number of white Minnesotans adopting children from Haiti. Saint Juste reasoned that those children would see little diversity and miss their culture living in a Minnesota suburb. As a dancer and educator, she wanted to fill that gap.
Saint Juste followed through with her move with her son to the Midwest. She won a scholarship and graduated with a MAEd from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to a small group of Haitian artists who bring creativity to the area and their lives.
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