YWCA announces 2023 Women of Distinction Honorees

The YWCA has announced the 2023 Women of Distinction Honorees.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event, where the community and the YWCA Mankato come together to honor women, organizations, and businesses for their leadership, community impact, and dedication to the YWCA’s mission.

Here are this year’s nominees and accomplishments, from the YWCA:

Dr. Yalda Hamidi – Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  She teaches Transnational, Postcolonial, Islamic Feminism, Feminist Pedagogy, and Queer of color Critique courses.

Dr. Sherisse Truesdale-Moore – Associate Professor of Sociology and Corrections at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  She has over 27 combined years of experience in the criminal justice profession.

Jennifer Ek – Co-owner of Bellisimo Paint and Coatings in Old Town, and long-time advocate of Spanish-speaking people.  As a social worker, Ek has served as a Spanish interpreter in emergency medical situations.

Michelle Zehnder Fischer – Nicollet County Attorney, known in the legal community for her work in child advocacy. Her work helps put people that would abuse or harm women and girls behind bars and raise issues that are sometimes complicated or difficult.

This year’s Rising Star Honoree is Sumaya Musse, a senior at Mankato West High School.  Musse is a student leader who advocates for inclusion and works to remove barriers.

This year’s Distinctive Difference Honoree is Go! Therapy in St. Peter. Owned by Jenny Kortuem and Brenna Hoisington, the clinic offers services in speech, feeding, physical, and occupational therapy.

Awards will be given during the 50th Annual Women of Distinction event on Thursday, April 13 at the Capitol Room in St. Peter.


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