“It impacted many students and families including my own,” said David Branch, Principal of Lucy Craft Laney. “Our students returned, that was one of our biggest concerns. Because of the number of homes impacted and damaged, and we have a lot of rental properties in North Minneapolis, we weren’t sure we were going to get folks to return. But our attendance is stronger than ever, and our student learning is stronger than ever, and we thought we had to commemorate this event, acknowledge it happened, and also make sure that we are showing our resilience.”
Following the release of the balloons, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and several City Council members joined the students in a peace circle. Shortly thereafter, Rybak and several students hopped on bikes and pedaled to the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center for speeches on the state of North Minneapolis one year after the tornado.