Reporter | Race and Immigration

Maya Rao covers race and immigration for the Star Tribune.

Rao wrote for The Press of Atlantic City and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to Minnesota in January 2012. She previously covered the federal government for the Star Tribune.


Hundreds living in Powderhorn Park, neighbors seek answers

The efforts by those living in the encampments to forge more hospitable surroundings come as public officials and homeless advocates raise alarms that the growing settlement is neither safe nor sustainable.


Kandace Montgomery, who challenged Mayor Jacob Frey, has pushed for police defunding for years

Growing up as one of the few black people in rural Maine, Kandace Montgomery longed to escape.Kids picked on her. She had no black teachers…


As N. Mpls. gun violence rises, neighbors wage a lonely fight

Neighbors, activists and community leaders are reckoning with how to ensure public safety at a time when many feel their security is shaken as much by police as it is by criminals.


Some Mpls. Black leaders speak out against council's moves to defund police

While the movement to defund the police has been driven by Black activists, others say that city politicians rushed the process and failed to include a police chief who has the backing of many Black residents.


Albert Lea, Minn., considers ties to its Confederate namesake

Albert Lea, a Tennessean who served as a Confederate lieutenant colonel, surveyed parts of what became southern Minnesota in the 1830s. Many residents don't know about his past, but some activists are hoping to start a conversation about the city's name.


On the North Side, residents question calls to defund police

"I'm scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?"


Kandace Montgomery, who challenged Mayor Jacob Frey, has pushed for police defunding for years

Growing up as one of the few black people in rural Maine, Kandace Montgomery longed to escape. Kids picked on her. She had no black…


After rioting, Midtown area, Mercado Central anchor hopes for Lake Street's future

Between Interstate 35W and Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis had one of the most thriving hubs for new immigrant communities.


Communities of color step up fight for justice in wake of George Floyd's killing

During George Floyd’s memorial service, Somali-Americans erected a large portrait of him down the street and offered passersby markers to write messages in his honor.…


Riots, arson leave Minnesota communities of color devastated

Now, ethnically diverse neighborhoods are grappling with the loss of jobs, services and investments.