A- A+

Together We Can Ensure DSM USA is a Welcoming Region for All

Welcoming Region

July 28, 2022

Did you know Greater Des Moines (DSM) had the second-highest percentage of foreign-born population growth in the nation between 2010 – 2020? According to Heartland Forward, our region’s foreign-born population grew by nearly 50% during that period. Another impressive statistic: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, our region’s minority population grew 93% during that same timeframe, which is nearly double the national average.

This growth has contributed to the overall 18.6% population growth in DSM from 2010 – 2021, which outpaces our Midwest peers and the national average. DSM is growing, and it is going to continue growing in numbers and in diversity.

Our region is stronger because it is welcoming to people of all backgrounds, and diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and ideas adds vibrancy and health to our workplaces and community. The Partnership is continually focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and delivering additional DEI programs and services is a Strategic Priority for The Partnership in 2022.

Ways to Engage with the DSM Community

There are many ways each of us can individually and organizationally support our shared commitment to be a welcoming region for all. Choose how you’d like to engage from the 5 options below.

  1. On Wednesday, Aug. 3, the community is invited to a Multicultural Reception sponsored by the Central Iowa Chapter of the Society of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Iowa Bankers Association. The event will begin with a roundtable discussion from 4 – 5 p.m. where attendees have the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of DEI topics, and then continues with a reception from 5 – 6:30. These receptions typically draw hundreds of people who are passionate about building an inclusive community and interested in building new relationships. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com/events. This is one of many DEI-focused events that happen throughout the year, including the Inclusion Summit each fall and recurring Untapped Talent events.
  2. DEI is a priority at the highest level of organizations in DSM. In 2020, The Partnership and its Inclusion Council, with input from The Directors Council through its One Economy Blueprint for Action, developed the CEO Commitment to Racial Equity in DSM. A total of 215 leaders at the highest levels in organizations have signed the commitment. The Partnership regularly hosts CEO DEI Roundtables for this group to give a forum for DEI experts to lead a discussion on best practices. These leaders represent some of the largest and most influential businesses and organization in DSM. If you are the top-level leader in your organization and have not signed the commitment, learn how at DSMpartnership.com/ceocommitment.
  3. This year, The Partnership launched two new programs focused on cultivating growth for diverse small business owners. The Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator Powered by Interise hosted a kickoff event for its inaugural year of the program in June. A total of 12 small business owners from diverse backgrounds are participating in this 7-month accelerator. We are thankful to Wells Fargo, which has committed to a three-year sponsorship to support the program. Learn more about the program at DSMpartnership.com/scaleDSM.
  4. Additionally, in May, the Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines launched the Minority-Owned Small Business Incubator Program. This program hosts minority-owned businesses and approved startup businesses at two special incubator-themed booths. One booth is brought to the community by Principal Financial Group® and another is in partnership with Center at Sixth and the Evelyn K. Davis Center and brought to the community by EMC Insurance Companies. The program has been a success so far as vendor slots have filled up quickly and participating vendors are selling out of their products and gaining valuable experience to apply for a permanent spot in the future. Learn more and see a list of vendors appearing at The Market at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.
  5. The Partnership recently promoted Dr. Marvin DeJear to Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. This new role elevates a previous DEI-focused position within the organization and reflects the continued importance of cultivating a welcoming region through DEI efforts in the community.?As an Investor and Member benefit of The Partnership, Marvin offers DEI trainings to organizations. You can learn more by reaching out to Marvin at mdejear@DSMpartnership.com

Each individual and organization in the DSM region are on their own continuous DEI journey. We encourage you to embrace this journey and take advantage of the resources The Partnership offers. Learn about even more DEI resources at DSMpartnership.com/inclusion.

We hope to see many of you at the Multicultural Reception on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Rowena Crosbie

Rowena Crosbie is president of Tero International and 2022 board chair for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She has a commitment to help people challenge the way they think and inspire audiences as a top-rated speaker and trainer. Rowena is also co-author of "Your Invisible Toolbox."