Bright fall leaves on trees in front of the Anderson Student Center, St. Paul Campus

First Friday Series November 2022

The Intersection of Race and Sports

November First Friday explored a consistent underlying theme in American sports: race. In a candid conversation recorded at Target Field, Dave St. Peter, President and CEO of the Minnesota Twins, and Dr. Yohuru Williams, Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History, and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, discussed the intersection of race and sports.

Dave St. Peter

President and CEO

Dave St. Peter, Minnesota Twins

Dave St. Peter is President and CEO of the Minnesota Twins. In his over three decades with the franchise, he rose from intern to management positions to his naming as president in 2002. His leadership has been integral to the team’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment; the “Go Twins, Go Green” environmental stewardship platform; and expansive alumni involvement — including the creation of the Twins Hall of Fame. St. Peter also played a central role in the approval, design, construction and opening of Target Field, which was named 2011 Sports Facility of the Year by the Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

Individually, St. Peter has been named to the SBJ’s and Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s “Forty under 40” lists. In 2018, he was recognized by the Positive Coaching Alliance as Minnesota’s Triple-Impact Competitor Business Executive of the Year. 

Yohuru Williams

Founding Director, Racial Justice Initiative

Yohuru Williams, University of St. Thomas

Dr. Yohuru Williams is Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the St. Thomas. He received his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1998. Williams is the author, editor, and coeditor of numerous books and scholarly articles on Civil Rights and the Black Freedom Movement. The recently published “Call Him Jack: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Black Freedom Fighter,” is already garnering impressive reviews and praise.

Williams has appeared on a variety of local and national radio and television programs and was featured in the Ken Burns PBS Documentary Jackie Robinson, the Stanley Nelson PBS Documentary: The Black Panthers, and the History Channel docuseries “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen."