When you think of American diversity, you might think of big melting-pot cities like New York or Los Angeles. The truth is, people of all nationalities are woven into the fabric of American life across the entire country; from small towns to midwest metros and everywhere in between.

To celebrate its own immigrant roots, the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, recently commissioned a public art project called "Speaking of Home," featuring photos from many of the diverse citizens that help make the city what it is today.

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A stranger raised his voice and threw a middle finger her way. Patience Zalanga froze.

This was not the first time someone had reacted violently to her presence. And it likely wouldn't be the last.

Zalanga is a badass photographer.

A black woman and long-term resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, Zalanga recently moved to the St. Louis metro area. But when she heard about the shooting of Philando Castile, she hopped in a car and went back home.

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Natasha Rossi believed she had the perfect life.

She had two awesome kids — two and a half-year-old identical twins — and the love and support of her boyfriend, Desi. Life, she thought, could only get better.

All photos via Upworthy/Walgreens.

Then, in January 2019, she was hit with some of the hardest news that anyone can hear.

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