One thing that I love about Rochester, Minnesota is the diversity.  I grew up in small town Iowa where our different ethnicities weren't taught as something positive.  In fact, I was told multiple times that there were neighborhoods that I shouldn't drive in because of who lived there.  That needs to stop.  Everywhere.  I know Rochester isn't perfect and we still have work to do in our own city and if you agree, you might be as excited as I am about the first-ever challenge in our community to undo racism and biases.  Over 1,000 people have signed up for the challenge and you've still got time to get your name added!

I grew up in small-town Iowa, where racism was and still is a huge issue

May 25th, 2020 was an eye-opening day for me.  I was glued to Twitter every night for days and heartbroken on more levels than I've felt before.  I saw.  I heard.  I felt the pain that our neighbors and friends have been feeling for years.  I knew that racial equality was an issue in our country but I didn't personally grasp what that meant until I saw how our world responded.

Thinkstock

The Iowa welcome sign might say that they welcome you but, do they?  I know a bunch of people in my hometown don't agree with me on what I'm going to say next, but the truth is that my hometown was extremely racist when I was a kid.  Sadly, I've been gone over 21 years but some of the thoughts and actions I saw back in the day are still happening in that community.

Now, if you are getting upset as you are reading this story or forming arguments in your head right now, you may just want to move along because I'm not entirely sure that you are ready to have this conversation. But, I will challenge you to take a second and ask yourself why you are immediately upset with my view of my childhood.  If you are basing your argument on something another person has said to you, especially if they are white, I'd suggest checking this challenge out because you shouldn't be mad that I'm pointing out racism in my hometown. You should be mad that it is happening.

Rochester, I'm talking to you as well.  You aren't perfect.

Join in for the free, 21-day Equity Challenge in Olmsted County

According to the United Way of Olmsted County, over 1,000 in our area have already signed up to be part of the free Equity Challenge that starts on October 4th and it is still open and you can join in too.

United Way of Olmsted County

Here's how it works:

  • 15-minute daily time commitment for 21 days.  That's it!
  • Weekdays starting October 4th, you'll receive a daily email with readings, videos, podcasts, and ways to take action.
  • This is open to everyone!
  • Only thing you need is an e-mail address.
  • Get signed up to participate here.
United Way of Olmsted County

Listen On-Demand with the Y105FM app, and on the following podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Credit: Jessica Williams

What do we say to our kids about George Floyd, the riots, and racial inequalities?

I have struggled with knowing what to say for a long time as a parent.  Racial inequalities and injustice are things I'm not an expert in.  If you haven't noticed...I'm a white mom living in Rochester, Minnesota and I don't want to have conversations with my kids based on the lens that only I am seeing through.  I want my kids to learn, lead, and grow and help be part of the future where change can happen, but I can only do that with the help of others.

My friend, Tierre Webster, was willing to have a chat with me and if you missed that interview, click here.  

16 Things That We Now Do Differently Thanks to the Pandemic

When our world experienced COVID, everything changed and we've got the facts to prove it. According to the New York Times and a study done by Vision Direct, here are 16 things that we are doing differently today as a result of the pandemic.