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:
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.
They offer some great resources for talking to your kids about race, racism, and racialized violence.
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.
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.
Custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more.
Offers wings and Southern soul food.
Find this local BBQ sauce at HyVee, Fareway, Cash Saver, and Price Chopper.
An art studio offering step-by-step painting classes.
A mobile bakery delivery freshly baked sweets to you.
Bringing the taste of Texas to the Midwest through catering, birthday parties, tailgates, and curbside.
An authentic New Orleans Cajun restaurant.
Specialty coffee roaster and mobile coffee car.
An all-inclusive community for good energy and soulful experiences.
A smoothie bar in the Drake neighborhood.
This Ankeny restaurant offers a unique fusion of Filipino-Pakistani flavors.
This neighborhood bar and grill is named after the Grimes mascot and features loaded breakfast plates, ribs, and fried snacks.
Modern Caribbean menu with West African flavors.
Authentic East Coast pizza by the slice or pie.
Serving fresh seafood East of the Capitol.
Specializing in custom cake pops, stylized dessert tables, and custom hand-dipped confections.
This small, family-owned restaurant features authentic African cuisine.
Everything on the menu of this food bus is 100% vegan.
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?