A Blueprint for Action + Progress in DSM
At the most recent One Economy webinar, Chair of the Directors Council Teree Caldwell-Johnson welcomed panelists to discuss the One Economy 2020 Blueprint for Action. Caldwell-Johnson, along with speakers including Kevin Walker, CEO of Northwest Area Foundation, Deidre DeJear, director of Polk County Financial Empowerment Center and chair of the One Economy financial inclusion subcommittee, as well as the One Economy work group chairs, Jacquie Easley (health), Phil Herman (housing), Jasmine Brooks (education) and Lonnie Dafney (employment), focused on building opportunity for all through this Blueprint for Action.
There is much work to be done within the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community. DSM joins the cities of Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, Minneapolis and St. Paul in the One Economy vision. The 2020 Blueprint for Action rollout highlights two truths about the racial/cultural climate:
- Fight undeniable progress.
- On nearly every measure of progress, Blacks fall short of White counterparts.
These truths stem from the impact of systemic racism right here in the DSM community. Now is the time to confront them and seek change. Walker says this is a time of hope in order to drive lasting change. He says the work of One Economy will help build solutions and that the Blueprint for Action will assist in changing the structures that disadvantage the aforementioned communities. Disparities continue to prevail in health, housing, employment, education and financial inclusion. In 2020, the Blueprint for Action creates a plan for tackling these five issue areas.
The One Economy virtual event calls for residents of DSM to consider the recommended strategies proposed by One Economy and to read and share the report’s data and strategies. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, inequalities are becoming more evident.
African Americans only represent about 4% of the state’s population, but account for 10% of the positive COVID-19 population. Easley says that access to healthcare and expansion of telehealth will offer more resources. In terms of education, COVID-19 has created and will create more disparity without specific strategies put in place.
Herman highlights the importance of communicating ownership as a way to build wealth in this country. DeJear says you can educate people, but you must also understand that African Americans are consistently denied loans which doesn’t allow for financial inclusion. She says that financial inclusion is achieved by more Black-owned small businesses and ideal loan approval rates for Black people.
See the complete webinar below:
Visit tdcdsm.org/one-economy for a 2020 Executive Summary & Full Report and other available resources and tools.
Become part of the solution by:
Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.
You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.