Racial Justice Initiative Director Honored for Saving a Life

Dr. Yohuru Williams, founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, recently received an honor from the city hall of St. Paul suburb Mendota Heights because he was in the right place at an unfortunate time. Williams helped save a man’s life.

Yohuru Williams

Williams was one of two people alone in an Anytime Fitness gym when one gentleman working out next to him collapsed with a heart attack. The fast thinking of Williams and the other patron, Dan Goodstein, who conducted chest compressions and prepared the defibrillator, saved a life that day – the life of Ken Sperle of St. Paul.

“It’s moments like this that kind of remind us of the importance of savoring the sanctity of life, but then also recognizing the importance of community,” Williams said to KSTP-TV reporters about the ceremony to thank them and first responders.

The news report stressed the importance of having access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) and learning other resuscitation methods.