Cinnamon Janzer

Cinnamon Janzer

Cinnamon Janzer is a Minneapolis-based freelance journalist dedicated to covering lesser-told stories across Middle America.

Billboards near State Fair will champion Minnesota artists and reproductive freedom

By: - June 20, 2022

The leaked draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision to undo Roe v. Wade brought a hot flash of relevancy to the billboard-based work of Kelly Searle and Kristin Brietzke. In 2019, the St. Paul couple founded the Minnesota Billboard Project — a grassroots effort to combat anti-abortion billboards across the metro area with […]


Fix policing? Sure, but don’t forget poverty at the root of crime | Opinion

By: - October 21, 2021

The headlines about crime in Minneapolis are sensational.  “Violent crime surges across Minnesota with record murders,” reads the headline of a July Associated Press article.  “Minneapolis’ bloody summer” reads another from the Star Tribune in September.  “Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves,” reads yet another, this one a November 2020 piece […]

The group working to get more Minnesota women of color onto corporate boards

By: - July 20, 2021

Lorinda Burgess is an accomplished businesswoman. She’s worked at Medtronic for over 23 years, rising through the ranks to become the company’s vice president of finance and its chief financial officer of the Americas region. Burgess has no desire to leave Medtronic, but she found herself still hungry for ways to develop and network as […]

Suburban cities spearhead effort to remove racial covenants

By: - June 17, 2021

A lawyer by trade, when Maria Cisneros and her husband, Miguel, went to buy their house in Golden Valley five years ago, she read all of the house’s documentation more thoroughly than most would. That’s when she found some unexpected and disturbing language in the home’s property deed: A racial covenant stipulating that only “caucasians” […]

Minnesota Supreme Court pauses PolyMet mining project

By: - April 28, 2021

PolyMet was dealt a setback from the Minnesota Supreme Court Wednesday as it seeks to start the state’s first copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The state’s highest court sent the permit to mine — a key permit among many — back to the Department of Natural Resources for further review, after the agency first issued […]

Bipartisan effort would end driver’s license suspensions for unpaid tickets

By: and - March 2, 2021

On a recent Friday night, Lamont Fondern Jr. was driving to Walmart in Bloomington when he noticed a cop car behind him. He got nervous. The cop’s lights flashed as Fondern took an exit. He turned on Facebook Live. As a Black man getting pulled over, he said,“I needed someone to watch.” The officer told […]

Mapping prejudice: How the legacy of racial covenants still haunts Minnesota today

By: - November 13, 2020

The Minneapolis City Council recently formed a “truth and reconciliation commission” to examine the city’s history of racial oppression. A fertile area for examination: Covenants like the kind first documented in the 1910 sale of a property on 35th Avenue South. A covenant is a contract embedded in a property deed, in this case banning […]

Unrest ruined their businesses, rebuilding may displace them for good

By: - September 11, 2020

First came the pandemic that forced many of the small restaurants in St. Paul’s Midway Shopping Center to temporarily close. Then, as many were preparing to open again come June, the unrest following the police killing of George Floyd made its way to the Midway neighborhood, causing damage to the strip mall that many of […]

A different messenger: Ramsey County relies on culturally competent voices — instead of government — to deliver COVID-19 info

By: - August 10, 2020

Black and Latino Minnesotans are facing disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death, which has highlighted a complex public health problem: Distrust of the health care system. State, county and other public health officials are experimenting with new ways to break down barriers of mistrust built up over centuries.  Ramsey County, for instance, created […]

Hmong America businesses, already struggling due to pandemic, now picking up pieces after looting

By: - June 23, 2020

In the early hours of May 28, Rob Yang woke to a slew of missed calls from his security company. He rushed to his St. Paul boutique Phenom to find a broken window and stolen merchandise. After waiting for over two hours for the police to arrive and boarding up the window, he made his […]

Twin Cities historian Michael Lansing on why this is happening

By: - June 1, 2020

As protests began on Tuesday following the killing of George Floyd in south Minneapolis Monday, an Augsburg University historian took to Twitter to offer some context.  Here’s a singular and incomplete historical perspective on the events here in Minneapolis, which reflect both national trends of white supremacy and a particular, local history of the same. […]

Religious progressives get loud and proud

By: - May 26, 2020

Rev. Doug Pagitt says he loves everybody as Jesus commands. But there are limits.  “As a pastor and Christian, I follow Jesus’ teaching that everyone is a light of the Earth and a child of God, but not every light of the world should be president,” he says.  That’s why the Minneapolis pastor created Vote […]