This issue is dedicated to Black voices in our community.


Since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer, the nation has seen a racial reckoning with protests in every state and major city. Calls to action are happening around the world, and right here in our community. That “Black Lives Matter” should even have to be a movement shows the more than 400 years of oppression, senseless violence and racism across every sector of society that Black Americans have endured.


Floyd’s killing and the ensuing protests point to, yet again, the systemic change that is needed in the United States. Our country cannot be great while leaving Black Americans behind. Our state cannot be “Iowa nice” until Black Iowans feel safe and included in our communities. Our businesses cannot be inclusive until Black citizens face no barriers to employment and are fairly compensated for their work. Now is the time to amplify the voices of our Black friends, neighbors, colleagues and leaders so that we can work toward a more perfect union.


Organizations have grappled with the appropriate response. It’s our belief at the Business Record that affirming Black lives matter is not enough. Mattering is only the minimum, and it is nothing without action to back it up. This edition is just one way we are stepping up our action. As I wrote in last week’s issue, we will be creating a racial equity advisory board that will be in place to hold us accountable for elevating people of color in our content. You can read that letter online.


When we empower Black lives, we are all empowered.

-- Emily Barske, associate editor

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After rebuilding historic Des Moines from the data, undesign: dsm jumps to virtual tours for the public



What role do businesses play in eradicating racism?

Shekinah Young, 2020 Business Record Forty Under 40 honoree

Teree Caldwell-Johnson, CEO, Oakridge Neighborhood

Jeff Johnson, Lora and Russ Talbot endowed president and CEO, Iowa State University Alumni Association

Angela Franklin, president and CEO, Des Moines University

Dwana Bradley, editor-in-chief, The Urban Experience Magazine


Meet two of Des Moines’ community organizers fighting for change



Infographic: Inequity in arrests



A look at disparities that Black women face, as told by three Iowans



The Elbert Files: Racial scar left by freeway

By Dave Elbert


Marketing: How do we address black lives matter?

By Drew McLellan


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