DAY 20:

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“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy 

At one time or another in our journey, we may find ourselves hesitant to pursue change due to the fear of making mistakes. We invite you to view it as an opportunity to be brave. Let us all do what we can to create and inhabit the “brave space” described in this poem:

You are invited to be yourself in this brave space:
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space we seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be but
It will be our brave space together,
And we will work on it side by side.

by Mickey Scott Bey Jones

Doing the Work

Over the past 19 business days, we have learned how racial inequities permeate our communities on individual, institutional, and systemic levels. We are all impacted by the system of racism in our country and therefore all responsible for dismantling the structures that allow it to persist. Change is possible, and there are many tools and approaches we can employ as individuals and organizations to drive transformation. We encourage you to explore Racial Equity Tools, a comprehensive site of resources. You’ll find fundamentals, ideas for planning, implementation strategies, and evaluation resources. They are all designed to support efforts to achieve racial equity.

Right Here in Central Iowa

Capital Crossroads is the strategic vision plan for central Iowa and is based on three guiding principles: Talent drives success, capture high-value opportunities, and growth must be sustainable. Ten Capitals, or work platforms, support these three principles and form the structure of Capital Crossroads.

The Capitals are the framework for our community’s well-being. They span the breadth of topic areas that make central Iowa a top place to live, work, and play. The Social Capital focuses on building leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion, and civility in Iowa. The 4 Equity Tool was developed by the Social Capital, and is intended to be used by anyone, but especially leaders when making decisions. It is essentially a pause button that forces important conversations to move racial equity forward.


4 Equity Tool

Use The 4 Equity Tool to ensure diverse perspectives and people are involved and represented in decision-making.

Get started using one or more of these Tools/Approaches...

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Creating equitable outcomes requires that we change the way we think about members of our community, focusing on their aspirations rather than their challenges. In practice, this is called “asset-framing” and uses narratives to change the unconscious associations ingrained in our society. The opposite practice of deficit-framing—or defining people by their challenges—encourages continued stigmatization of groups or individuals.

Learn about how the Skillman Foundation is using asset-framing in their work with Detroit children, and watch videos from Trabian Shorters, founder and CEO of BMe Community, discussing how to put asset-framing into practice.

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How might your organization’s norms embody dominant culture approaches over other options that would be more inclusive and equitable? This worksheet breaks down the differences and suggests some useful pivot points.

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Watch Success is My Protest (S.I.M.P.) created by the Children of Oakridge Neighborhood. The Oakridge Neighborhood Youth share a powerful way to protest and express yourself through music and dance.

During times of uncertainty, the youth were able to produce love and light. Their message is clear: "Success is My Protest".

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Even though it may feel difficult at times to do so, use these strategies of Being an Active Bystander when faced with the emergence of bias in interpersonal interactions. Adapt this Group Discussion Guide the next time friends and colleagues join you in discussion.

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Shine a light on Black voices and listen to learn, with “Iowa Week 2020: Listening to Black Voices” on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa.



To change, we must gain knowledge and understanding. Throughout our community, there are places we can physically go to learn more about the people and issues in our community. This video hosted by Des Moines community advocates Manisha Paudel and Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel highlights just a few places in the downtown Des Moines area, and this list has many more options.

Go on a walking tour of your community and learn about the people and places that influenced Iowa’s history and culture.


Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today's content. Click below to download a free journal page for today.

Journal Page


If you are participating in the Challenge as part of a group, download this free discussion guide to help facilitate discussion.

Journal Page






CONVERSATION PIECE: Art Addressing Equity

Day 17 - intersectionality

Artist: Jami Milne
Title: Intersectionality
Date of piece: 2016
Description:  Photograph with digital text overlay

“Intersectionality brings us together to challenge deeply embedded structures of inequity.  Ballet Des Moines is committed to breaking down traditional barriers to access for classical performing arts by bringing the work directly to the streets and schools of our communities.”

Blaire Massa
Ballet Des Moines

Thank you to the members of BRAVO Greater Des Moines for curating the Equity Challenge Gallery, a collection of art in various media that speaks to the issues of equity in our society.

BRAVO Greater Des Moines