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Commitment to Inclusion in DSM USA

June 3, 2020

Partnership Investors, Affiliates and Members,

The hurt and pain are evident across our nation and here in Greater Des Moines (DSM). People are suffering as a result of years of inequality, oppression or worse. The protests we have seen over the past several days, with a vast majority of protesters making their voice heard peacefully, underscore that we must listen and empathize with those who are hurting. Then we must act as an organization, and as a community.

Systemic biases, racism and discrimination are wrong. Furthermore, they prevent us from providing equal opportunities and achieving true greatness. It is our innate and personal responsibility to advance the betterment of all individuals in our region, which will in turn impact all our communities. We must have productive diversity, inclusion and equity dialogue as a DSM USA community.

Immediate action is required, and our first step is to listen. This will be a long-term process that will not happen overnight. Inclusion is a core value of our organization and we have had initiatives for many years focusing on these efforts. We also know we can and must do better, both as an organization and as a community. We are dedicated to working within our community to impact real, tangible change to benefit all. To do this, we must stand together as one community, united. We will not tolerate racism and violence. We must demand change and be willing to have the difficult dialogue to shine the light on issues where our community needs to do better. While we cannot undo generations of racial inequities, moving forward we must commit ourselves to diversity, inclusion and equity across DSM as one region, with one voice.

To the peaceful protesters, community leaders, police officers and public officials who continue to demonstrate their commitment to, collectively, creating a better normal — thank you. The future of DSM grows stronger as we walk, and work, alongside one-another.

We ask that you be vigilant in this cause, generous to our region and participate in this challenging and needed dialogue. We need involvement from every corner of our region to make the necessary changes in our community. We are humbly pledging our commitment to be part of the solution. We plan to listen, engage and act as we focus on building opportunity for all. Join us.

Jay Byers

Greater Des Moines Partnership, CEO