Category Archives: Community


Learning from the Experiences of Others
By C.H. Armstrong

The race-related events of the last few months have left our nation shaken. In Minnesota, the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer hits especially close to home. The officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, ignoring Floyd pleading, “I can’t breathe.” In the aftermath, many of us are struggling to understand how this could happen in our own backyard.    Continue reading

Corona-Style Theater

Continuing to “play”
despite a pandemic
By Emily Watkins & Misha Johnson

The arts are of critical importance right now. Art awakens curiosity and allows us to be in the moment with our thoughts and feelings. It also reminds us of our humanity, bringing us necessary beauty in times of struggle. Continue reading


A Musical Family Affair
By Debi Neville

Four sisters in Spring Valley not only live together, but rehearse, plan, work, travel and sing together. “It’s a bit unusual,” concedes Mandy, their mother, considering their age differences. Zena (21), JLee (17), Elsie (14) and Shelly (12) don’t see this as an issue. In the Blankenship household everyone is treated equally, work is divided and everyone’s talent is nurtured and appreciated.  Continue reading

America, Land of Opportunities

Making my dreams come true
By Dina Abo Sheasha

My mom’s voice echoed through the house: “We are going to America.” As a young Egyptian Muslim girl living in Doha, Qatar, the idea of America was a dream to me—or more specifically, the land of dreams. I saw America as the land of opportunity—beautiful lifestyles, success, happiness, skyscrapers and a melting pot of different cultures. Continue reading

Local Elections 2020

Women in Office,
Part 1: Primary Candidates
By Brittney Marschall

Despite generations of strides, barriers persist for female candidates and officeholders. According to the Association of Minnesota Counties, a mere 15% of county commissioners identify as women. Approximately 30% of those who hold city council seats are women, and women make up roughly 40% of school board members.
Nor does leadership on a federal level mirror the population it represents. In the U.S. Congress, about 20% are people of color, and 20% are female. While people of color are expected to represent a majority of the U.S. population by 2040, government representation has a long way to go to reflect this change. Continue reading

International Women’s Day

An equal world is an enabled world
By Eva Cruz Peña

March 8 is International Women’s Day. The theme for this year’s campaign is #eachforequal. We asked four Rochester women of diverse nationalities to reflect on the phrase, “An equal world is an enabled world,” and to share their responses in their native languages.

#IWD2020  #EachforEqual Continue reading


A Regional Round-Up of Women Authors
By Gina Dewink

Dream Eater
Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams. Any skin-to-skin contact transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit. Her father who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment from the brush of a professor’s hand and a mysterious stranger who speaks a rare but familiar Japanese dialect will force Koi to learn to trust the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself. Continue reading

Off to the Unknown

An Immigration Story
By Yusra Hassan

Sudan was all my parents knew. They grew up and went to school there, and their families lived there. After they got married, they knew they would start a family. Sudan lacked good health care, and education was expensive. Life wasn’t the safest for children. Continue reading

Diversity vs. Inclusion

Why it’s important to understand the difference
By Eva Cruz Peña

According to social justice facilitator Meg Bolger, diversity is the presence of differences in a given setting, and diversity exists in relationship to others. These differences often fall into social categories such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, nationality and citizenship, veteran and parental status, body size, ability, age and experience. Diversity is experienced via the five senses and pertains to the quantity of differences. Continue reading

Rethinking Gender

Thinking outside of the binary for our definition of women
By TL Jordan, MSc (They/Them)

Working as a barista means that I am constantly interacting with people, whether that is taking coffee orders, recommending my favorite spots around town or listening to customers talk about their days.  That also means that I spend a lot of time correcting my pronouns (I use “they/them” and am often assumed to use “she/her”) and explaining that I do not go by “Miss” because I am not a woman, but nonbinary. Continue reading