Give 5: Local Organizations Making A Difference in #RochMN


give fiveRochester Mom is starting a brand new resource series called Give Five. The idea of Give Five is simple. We are inviting you to Give Five minutes to read through each of these posts. The series will provide you with ideas, resources, lists, and suggestions on specific topics. We acknowledge that giving five minutes is just the start…a small step in a bigger journey we can all take to become allies to our BIPOC friends, family, and neighbors.

This series is intended to be a resource for YOU and your families. Topics will vary but all will be helpful as we work towards anti-racism and expand and diversify our understanding of race and diversity. Some resources will be collaborative with Rochester Mom writers, and for others, we’ll look to YOU! We want to know what you have learned on your own journeys and what resources have helped you along the way. Our goal with this series is to be a conduit of information: pulling together resources to help one another. We are learning ourselves and it’s been a challenging yet beautiful process. Will you join us?

This month we are focusing on some local organizations that are making a difference for people of color in the Rochester community. These programs and initiatives have been doing amazing work! Learn more about them below. Feeling inspired? Contact the organization directly to support, contribute, or volunteer!

NAACP Rochester Branch

The mission of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.
Find them on Facebook.

Pamoja Women

Pamoja Women amplifies the voices of women and girls of East African heritage as we unite the community. Women from the East African region face challenges within and outside their communities due to race, gender, language, religion, and many others. These challenges create barriers that limit and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. The organization exists to help women navigate the obstacles so that they can flourish and build their families. To make a difference, we do not have to accept our circumstances, rather we must stand for what we believe. To all women out there, believe you are beautiful, strong, powerful, talented, able and capable of changing the world. We want you to always remember Pamoja will always have your back.
Find them on Facebook.


Our youth face a myriad of challenges in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. At Journie, we know that our youth are smart, creative, and curious. We see their limitless potential and aim to provide them with the skills and resources to envision and attain their ideal future. Journie is unique in it’s provision of high-quality, ongoing mentorship in addition to needs-based education and interactive learning experiences. Journie focuses not only on personal development, but on building a supportive, vibrant, and engaged community for our young people.
Find them on Facebook.

Jeremiah Program

Jeremiah Program partners with single mothers and their children to disrupt poverty, two generations at a time. Jeremiah’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for single mothers to pursue a career-track, college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, families find stability and a path out of poverty.
Find them on Facebook.

Community Engagement Response Team (CERT)

An initiative in Rochester using their influence to help create a positive environment. Through engaging the community and collaborating with the Rochester Police Department, CERT’s goal is to build a better relationship between the Black community and police officers.
Find them on Facebook.

Rochester’s People Action Committee

Grassroots action committee of all types of community members working for justice, racial equity, and accountability in Rochester, MN.
Find them on Facebook.

Bolder Options

Bolder Options provides wellness-based mentoring for middle school youth. Once we identify youth who need support we match them with volunteer mentors who meet with them every week for a year. Throughout their year together, participants focus on holistic personal development through weekly activities hosted by staff. We make mentoring fun, easy, and meaningful.
Find them on Facebook.

Project Legacy

Project Legacy serves and supports youth and young adults of color* who are breaking cycles of generational poverty, addiction, homelessness, abuse and sexual exploitation or involvement in the commercial sex industry. Since 2006, we have served hundreds of youth through wraparound support including tuition assistance, mental health support and an alternative, positive peer group.”

*Project Legacy works with young people of all races and ethnicities who are motivated and willing to participate in the process of transforming their lives and legacies.

Find them on Facebook.

Barbershop & Social Services

Barbershop & Social Services mission is to cut away poverty, one haircut at a time, by empowering African American men and their children for successful careers, healthy lifestyles, and well-balanced relationships.

Diversity Council

Growing equitable communities rooted in compassion where all facets of human identity are understood and respected, and where every individual acts conscientiously and with courage.
Find them on Facebook.

Project Hope Movement

The Project Hope Movement is all about bringing people together to build relationships. Some people just need a friend or be able to feel loved. We are looking to make a change within our community by doing all that we can on a variety of levels.
Find them on Facebook

Alliance of Chicanos, Hispanics,and Latin Americans (ACHLA)

ACHLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving Chicano, Hispanic, and Latin American families in Rochester, Minnesota. Our programs are designed to provide direct access to resources, information, and opportunities for the purpose of personal growth, and empowerment.
Find them on Facebook.

Sports Mentorship Academy

SMA is a college campus mentoring program located in Rochester and Winona for male students with untapped potential designed to prevent delinquency and academic failure.
Our mission is to help students with untapped-potential take responsibility for their future through lessons learned through sports, in the classroom, and in service to others. The purpose of SMA is to expose male students to the college atmosphere, provide role models and other positive individuals to emulate so they will become productive citizens.

Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association (IMAA)

Refugees and immigrants arrive in Rochester from many different countries around the world including Somalia, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma, Bhutan, and Iraq. They have demonstrated strength, perseverance, resourcefulness, and courage in the face of remarkable hardships and challenges.
IMAA has served hundreds of newcomers every year by helping to create stability, self-sufficiency, independence, and to build community. As a result, many have attained these goals and have become engaged, established, and contributing members of the community.
Find them on Facebook.

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Blair is a wife to Rodney and mommy to Kyus (2016). She grew up in Red Wing and has lived in Rochester for 15 years. Blair works full-time at the Mayo Clinic as a Psychometrist (she tests people’s thinking). She finds mental health and psychology extremely interesting and loves learning about wellness. In her spare time Blair likes to do all things relaxing. This includes, but is not limited to: napping, going for walks, taking baths, and watching reality television. On the weekends you can find her thrift shopping, and attending fun events around town with her family of 3. Blair loves to make people laugh with her sarcastic and blunt personality, and she doesn’t take life too seriously.