It’s Time to Listen and Act


I don’t know how to write this post, but I know I can’t ignore the racial issues we are currently facing.

I am a middle class, privileged, white mom, living in a predominantly white city. However, that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t broken over what’s happening in our country and our city concerning race, violence, police brutality against African Americans, discrimination, and hate.

As an owner of Des Moines Mom, I want to use this platform that is created to encourage moms to also challenge us to be better. We won’t ignore these issues of racial injustice and violence.

We can do better.

And it’s not just about doing better, it’s about listening and taking action. Asking questions and sitting in the tension of the uncomfortable answers. It’s about realizing that without knowing it we have unconsciously perpetuated stereotypes or misperceptions by things we’ve said or things we haven’t done in the past. It’s about being an ally and showing up for those that live with constant discrimination.

If we don’t stop and pay attention and try to change right now, when will we? I will be the first to admit that it’s been far too easy for me to live in my safe, white, privileged bubble. But that ends now.

Now is the time to be talking about racism and what that truly means. Having the hard conversations with friends, family, and kids. When my 3 year old innocently asks why another girl’s skin is a different color, I won’t brush it off. I will explain to her that everyone is different and that’s the beauty of the world.

It’s easy to feel helpless. I wonder, what in the world can I do to make a difference? But I can change my thinking and understanding and encourage my kids to recognize differences in others and to embrace them rather than discriminate.

Together, we can commit to learning, reading, understanding, listening, asking questions, and growing. Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it has to start somewhere. For me, that is in my home, with my family. I hope and pray that by the time my kids are older, the world will be a safer, more accepting and welcoming place for all.

Resources if you want to start learning more about how to end systemic racism:

Des Moines Chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice

Their mission is to build connections among white people who are committed to justice and equality. They want to help white Iowans get off the sidelines and into an active and ongoing commitment against racism.

Center for Racial Justice

They offer some great resources for talking to your kids about race, racism, and racialized violence.

Be The Bridge

This organization is working to empower people and culture toward racial healing, equity, and reconciliation. They offer tons of resources and material for starting conversations and learning about the history of racism injustice in our country.

Support Black-Owned Businesses in Des Moines

We also want to highlight some local businesses that are owned by people of color. In no way is this list exhaustive. We welcome your recommendations and additions! Let’s exercise our spending power and support these businesses.

BLK & Bold

This specialty coffee and tea company launched 2 years ago by one of our contributor’s husband, Pernell Cezar Jr. It is sold nationally at select Target and Whole Foods stores. BLK & Bold donates 5% of their wholesale proceeds to support programs that help youths, end homelessness, and embrace workforce development.

Bake Sale Customs

Custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more.

Bess Kitchen Soul Food

Offers wings and Southern soul food.

Big Daddy’s BBQ

Find this local BBQ sauce at HyVee, Fareway, Cash Saver, and Price Chopper.

Bottle & Bottega

An art studio offering step-by-step painting classes.

Chellie’s Sugar Shack Bakery

A mobile bakery delivery freshly baked sweets to you.

Coaches Kolaches

Bringing the taste of Texas to the Midwest through catering, birthday parties, tailgates, and curbside.

Fat Tuesday

An authentic New Orleans Cajun restaurant.

Happy Home Coffee Roasters

Specialty coffee roaster and mobile coffee car.

Good Vibes Yoga

An all-inclusive community for good energy and soulful experiences.

Lifestyle Juices

A smoothie bar in the Drake neighborhood. 

Lola’s Fine Kitchen

This Ankeny restaurant offers a unique fusion of Filipino-Pakistani flavors.

Mustang Grill Grimes

This neighborhood bar and grill is named after the Grimes mascot and features loaded breakfast plates, ribs, and fried snacks.

Palm’s Caribbean Cuisine

Modern Caribbean menu with West African flavors.

Papa Keno’s Pizzeria Drake

Authentic East Coast pizza by the slice or pie.

The Seafood Trap

Serving fresh seafood East of the Capitol.

T’s Sweets

Specializing in custom cake pops, stylized dessert tables, and custom hand-dipped confections.

Taste of Africa

This small, family-owned restaurant features authentic African cuisine.

Veggie Thumper

Everything on the menu of this food bus is 100% vegan.

Wingz on Wheels

This food truck is known for southern comfort food including fried catfish, mac n cheese, and of course wings.


What businesses would you add to the list? 



  1. Thank you so much for talking about racial injustice. As a mom who is woman of color and resides in Des Moines , this brings so much joy to me. It breaks my heart to have conversations with our little girls that they will be judged by the color of their skin. We pray God will touch people’s heart to love people the way Jesus did.
    It’s imperative change happens and it starts with all of us in the community.


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