5 ‘International’ Rochester Women You Should Know

One of the best parts about Rochester, Minnesota is that it contains residents from all over the world. Some of those residents stay, and some may go, but it’d be foolish to deny the impact that they’ve held within our city.

In honor of March being Women’s History month (and International Women’s Day on March 8th), I took a minute to think about some of my favorite women in Rochester who represent our city awesomely. 

While there are tons of fantastic women in Rochester, at the moment, these women came to mind because they represent their commnities so well. If you don’t know them, you should! I’d like to introduce you to them.

I’ll go in order of how they’re pictured in the collage. Ready?

  1. Rosei Skipper: She’s one-third of The Rochester Posse, and she’s a one women promotion machine for the arts in our city. She collaborates with local businesses to promote artists and their work. It’s because of her that they get more eyes on their work. I’m also proud to say that I’ve collaborated with her on a few things myself. She puts hours into her work, and it shows!
  2. Annie Mack: We know she’s a fabulous singer (seriously, listen to her if you haven’t before!), but I freaking adore her authenticity on social media. I love that she speaks her mind.
  3. Laura Lee:  You probably know Laura from ABC 6. You probably even know that she’s a total sweetheart when you meet her. While I admire her fashion sense, and energy on the air, I also admire that she’s not afraid to show her Hmong heritage online. This is a culture I knew nothing about before moving to Rochester, and I’m so grateful that she shares bits of it with us.
  4. Leah Joy Bee: Small local business owner, and badass. She is also a champion for the arts in this city. Her store, Canvas & Chardonnay, is a refreshing judgment-free zone too! I love the communal way she works. Did I mention that her son is also the cutest!?
  5. Regina Mustafa: Is there a more fearless voice in Rochester? This woman does more than her part (in various ways) to make sure that all religions and communities in Rochester can move toward peaceful coexistence. In fact, just reading her thoughts on social media has opened my eyes to the fact that there are other experiences and perspectives in the world than my own – that, to me, is huge.

Don’t get it twisted, I might be a white girl of Italian, English, and German descent and originally from Pittsburgh, but I believe that living in Rochester has shown me how closely our various ethnic and religious communities work together. You see, in Pittsburgh, there’s still unspoken segregation within our neighborhoods. This isn’t to say that the neighborhoods mistreat each other, but they (and who populate them) have only changed slightly within the last fifteen years.

I believe that more cities in our country will look like Rochester going forward. More of us will join together within our daily routines. These women champion that, and I think that’s amazing.

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