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YPC 2016 Diversity Chair

Young Professionals Connection 2016 Diversity Chair

October 5, 2016

Brandon Pollard

Young Professionals Connection (YPC) Board Position: Diversity Chair

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Alma Mater: Truman State University

What do you do? Nonprofit Program Management

What’s a day in your job like? As one of two people managing the AmeriCorps program I run I wear a lot of different hats. Some days I’m focused on documentation and compliance, some days I’m preparing or facilitating trainings on any one of a variety of topics, some days I’m managing relationships between our members, their supervisors, and/or our program. But most days I’m doing a little bit of of all of the above.

What are your passions outside of work? When you’re not at work, what will we find you doing? Both in and out of work I’m very passionate about inclusion and do whatever I can to work to make my community and any organizations I’m a part of more inclusive spaces. I also tend to be engrossed in the world of politics and policy and am usually up for a rousing, but respectful debate with those I disagree with. Outside of these passions I really enjoy tabletop games and set aside some time every Sunday morning to play.

Where’s your favorite restaurant in Greater Des Moines (DSM)? I actually have several favorites (none of which I visit as often as I’d like), but one of them is Open Sesame.

What is something you would like to see added or changed about Des Moines? There are a few things I’d like to see in Des Moines. I’d love for our local music scene to continue to grow and for us to get a few more good concert venues. I also think it’d be awesome if we got an MLS team in Des Moines. Lastly, but most importantly I’d like to see us continue to work to address racial disparities in our city. There are a lot of great efforts working toward this already and I’m glad the leadership in a number of Des Moines organizations are making this a priority. However, there’s certainly more we can do and whenever Des Moines gets a great ranking like “Wealthiest City” we should all stop to think “wealthiest for who?” We should be proud of those ranking, but we should also consider who’s getting left behind and how we can make sure everyone gets to reap the benefits of our accolades.

What are your words to live by? “I can not be an optimist, but I’m a prisoner of hope.” — Dr. Cornel West

What projects have you been involved with in YPC? I’ve been involved in a number of projects with YPC as part of the Diversity and Culture Committee, but a couple I’ve been especially pleased with include our RACE panel discussion, the 2015 Scavenger Hunt, and YPC’s Night at Noce.