Urban Education: MAV Activist Calvetta Williams Her Story in Her Own Words Arts & Music Purvis Young Are We Death Phobic? National >>> View THE POWER OF NETWORKING >>> DISPARITIES IN EDUCATION >>> CULTIVATING MINDS OF TODAY & TOMORROW


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APRIL 2019 10 16 Art & Music 19 32 SUBMIT YOUR NEWS TO: dsmurbannews@gmail.com Join our email club at: joindsmurban@gmail.com Spirituality College & Career 42 Community Health BECOME AN OUTLET OF THE URBAN EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE Contact Dwana Bradley at contactdsmurban@gmail.com ADVERTISE WITH THE URBAN EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE dsmurbanads@gmail.com April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 5 What’s Inside?

WRITERS & STAFF Editor-In-Chief Dwana Bradley Contributors Bert Moody Pastor Rosezine Wallace Hal Chase Margo Jones Gary Lawson Celeste Lawson Lori A. Young Copy Editor Lindsay Schwab Pastor James Wilson Greg Harris Angela M. Jackson Virginia Smith Teresa Bradley Shyasia Barker Cle’Shai Harden MAGAZINE OUTLETS Broadlawns 1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50314 CareMore 1530 East Euclid, Des Moines, Iowa 50313 Cardinal Cleaners 1245 21st, Des Moines IA 50311 Cardinal Cleaners 835 Hull Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316 Central Library 1000 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309 DMACC Urban Campus 1100 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314 DSM Brew Coffee Co. 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Suite 140, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 Drake Diner 1111 25th Street, Des Moines, IA 50311 Eastside Library 2559 Hubbell Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50317 Evelyn Davis Center 801 Suite #3, University Ave, Des Moines IA 50314 Fifields Pharmacy 501 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50314 Iowa-Nebraska NAACP 1620 Pleseant Suite #210, Des Moines, IA 50314 Forest Library 1326 Forest Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314 Franklin Library 5000 Franklin Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50310 Hy-Vee 3330 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50310 John R. Grubb YMCA 11th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 Johnston Library 6700 Merle Hay Rd. Johnston, Iowa 50131 Northside Library 3516 5th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50313 Mr. Bibbs 2705 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313 Senior Polk County 2008 Forest Ave, Des Moines IA 50314 Smokey Row Coffee Co. 1910 Cottage Grove, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 Southside Library 1111 Porter Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50315 The Great Frame Up 5515 Mills Civic Parkway Suite #150, West Des Moines, IA 50266 The Des Moines Civil and Human Rights 602 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines IA 50309 The Urban Dreams 601 Forest Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314 Traditions Grooming Parlor 1111 E. Army Post Road Ste. 154 Urbandale Public Library 3520 86th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322 Urbandale Chamber of Commerce 2830 100th Street, Suite 110, Urbandale, IA 50322 West Des Moines Library 4000 Mills Clive Pkwy, West Des Moines, Iowa 50365 The Zone of Comfort 3829 71st Street, Suite B, Urbandale, IA 50322 Also Available at churches, our directory can be found on our website at dsmurban.org Graphic Designer Ashle` Easley Dr. Eric Johnson Jeremy Barewin Tiffany Braxton Donnetta Austin Howell Dixon Tenelle Thomas (Queen T) Dani Relle

Welcome Liz! SAY HELLO TO THE NEW GIRL! My name is Lindsay Schwab, but everyone calls me Liz. I recently accepted the Editor position at the Urban Experience. I also work as a Bank Teller at Fidelity Bank. I have been passionate about editing since I was in high school which led me to pursue a BA in English from the University of Iowa. I was published twice with the author Bri Stone shortly before graduating with my BA in English from the University of Iowa in 2017. My passion is helping authors uncover the best version of their stories or articles to share their passion with the world. Every 2 seconds someone’s identity is stolen. We’re fighting back with the AARP Fraud Watch Network. It provides resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family. It’s free of charge for everyone—members, non-members and people of all ages. Because for more than 50 years AARP has been committed to safeguarding Americans’ financial futures. aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork To request a free Fraud Watch program in your community, e-mail us at IAaarp@aarp.org or 1-866-554-5378. Watchdog Alerts / Tips & Resources / Free for Everyone April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 7

It's important to take the time to acknowledge the uniqueness of the deceased: the individuality of their personality, and the uniqueness of their life's path. Not just for them, but for you; it affirms the relationship, and leads to healing after loss. Honoring their life is truly an act of love – for the both of you. “WE’RE FAMILY” PHONE: (515) 309-6550 3500 SIXTH AVENUE DES MOINES, IA 50313 HENDERSONSHP.COM

Editor Comments GRATEFULNESS It’s April and winter seems to be behind us, I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful for warmer weather. This month, I want to take a moment to talk about gratefulness. I believe that gratefulness is a state of mind and one has to put effort into being grateful. There are times we feel so much negativity is going on that gratefulness isn’t a possibility, but I would challenge you to see if there is just a fraction of good going on that would allow you to be grateful. I believe there is always something to be grateful for, I know some may challenge this idea. I’ve found myself taking the time to be grateful about the little things in life from waking up each day, to being able to feel pain, to being able to see, hear, smell, I think you get the idea. I’m grateful that doors are opening for me to have new life experiences. I’m even grateful for being uncomfortable at times. I want to take a moment to share what’s going on with the Urban Experience Magazine that makes me grateful. I want to take a moment to thank Justin Koromo, Kia Bradley, and Angel Tiengkham who have been interning with me. They represent Hoover, Roosevelt, and Lincoln High School. This edition was put together by them, and they went through the process of requesting advertisements and reaching out to people to write articles. I appreciate all of their help, input, listening to me talk…..a lot, but most importantly learning more about the Urban Experience Magazine. I’m grateful that Lindsay and Ashle` contacted me and they both are excited to be apart of the Urban Experience Magazine. Find out more about them both in this edition. We are on pursuit to become state-wide this year as we believe everyone across the state should have the opportunity to read the magazine. We I want to thank you the readers for sticking with and supporting us. We at the Urban Experience have been going through a rough patch. I guess that’s normal in business, but it hurts when your business effects others. We’ve gone a few months without printing a magazine, and we had hoped to start by printing an edition for March. This month, as long as everything goes according to plan, you will get the opportunity to have a print copies in your local churches and outlets. I would like to welcome two new individuals to the Urban Experience Magazine team, Lindsay Schwab and Ashle` Easley. Lindsay will be our Editor and Ashle` our Graphic Designer. Both Lindsay and Ashle’s joining the team couldn’t come at a better time. As I continue this journey, I’m realizing that you can’t do everything on your own, and I’ve done more than I should on my own because I have a hard time letting people in. April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 9 will continue to push and take opportunities to become the largest African American Media company in the state of Iowa and provide you with articles focusing on health, economic well-being, education, and much more. Make sure to share the magazine with others as we continue to provide great news and tell the stories of others. -Dwana Bradley Dwana Bradley , Editor of Urban Experience Magazine


Arts & Music DES MOINES, IOWA – As a local custom frame retailer and art gallery, The Great Frame Up in West Des Moines enjoys supporting the visual arts. This month we introduce readers to visual artist and collagist originally from Miami, Florida – PURVIS YOUNG. “Painting is about an artist’s ability to reveal personal truths, and Purvis Young was the storyteller of his neighborhood and his era.” - Mera Rubell, New York collector Purvis Young (February 4, 1943 – April 20, 2010) was an American artist from the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Young’s work, often a blend of collage and painting, utilizes found objects and the experience African Americans in the south. A self-taught artist, Young gained recognition as a cult contemporary self-taught artist, with a collectors’ following including the likes of Jane Fonda, Damon Wayans, Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, among others. In 2006 a feature documentary entitled Purvis of Overtown was produced about his life and work. His work is found in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. Visit Purvis Young Museum, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2018, he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. of Early Life & Mid Career - Purvis Young was born in Liberty City, a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on February 2, 1943. As a young boy his uncle introduced him to drawing, but Young lost interest quickly. He never attended high school. As a teenager Young served three years (1961–64) in prison at North Florida’s Raiford State Penitentiary for breaking and entering. While in prison he would regain his interest in art and begin drawing and studying art books. When released, he began to produce thousands of small drawings, which he kept in shopping carts and later glued into discarded books and magazines that he found on the streets. He proceeded to move into the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. Young found himself attracted to a vacant alley called Goodbread Alley, which was named after the Jamaican bakeries that once occupied the street; he would start living there in 1971. In the early 1970’s Purvis Young found inspiration in the mural movements of Chicago and Detroit, and decided to create a mural of inspiration, Overtown. He had never painted before, but inspiration struck, and he began to create paintings and nailing them to the boarded up storefronts that formed the alley. He would paint on wood he found on the streets and occasionally paintings would “disappear” from the wall, but Purvis Young didn’t mind. About two years after starting the mural, tourists started visiting the alley, mainly white tourists. Occasionally, Purvis Young would sell paintings to visitors — tourists and collectors alike —right off the wall. The mural garnered media attention, including the attention of millionaire Bernard Davis, owner of the Miami Art Museum. As Davis became a patron of Purvis Young’s, Young’s notoriety grew, and he became a celebrity in Miami. In 1973, Purvis Young began affixing hundreds of painted panels to a run-down building in Overtown, a few blocks north of Downtown Miami. The area became known as Good Bread Alley and developed over a period of two years. It served as an artful veil of the rougher reality of the ghetto surrounding it. Artistic Work - Purvis Young found strong influence in Western art history and voraciously absorbed books from his nearby public library by Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Gauguin, El Greco, Daumier and Picasso. His work was vibrant and colorful and was described as appearing like fingerpainting. Reoccurring themes in his work were angels, wild horses, and urban landscapes. Through his works he expressed social and racial issues and served as an outspoken activist about politics and bureaucracy. He is credited with influencing the art movement terms Social Expressionism or Urban Expressionism. April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 11

COMMUNITY Arts & Music In 2016, the records of art collector and dealer Jimmy Hedges and his Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery were donated to the Smithsonian Archives of American including materials documenting Hedges’s interactions with Purvis Young. A 2018 addition to the papers consists of two linear feet of materials relating to Purvis Young, including photographs, biographical material, correspondence, notes, business records, and printed material. In 2018, during the Art Basel / Miami Art week, Purvis Young was not only presented at the Japour Family Collection, but an entire floor of the Rubell Collection was dedicated to his works. Two Purvis Young works appear on the 2018 David Byrne album, “American Utopia.” Suzanne Khalil, curator of EXOR Galleries in Boca Raton, described him as an “urban storyteller,” who created “raw” work. Morehouse president Robert Michael Franklin, described Purvis’ work, “… Purvis Young has used his art as social commentary and a catalyst for justice.” For more informationwww.wikipedia.org and credits www.venicemagftl.com/art-soul by Venice September 1, 2014. We currently feature originals, prints, sculptures and framed artwork of numerous African American and Iowa artists in the gallery. To see some of the prior artists featured visit www. westdesmoines.thegreatframeup. com and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ tgfuwdmiowa. Please follow us on Pinterest www.pinterest.com/ tgfuwdm and Twitter @tgfuwdm. About The Great Frame Up Founded in 1972, The Great Frame Up, Inc. is a custom picture framer, offering more than 1,000 custom frames, mat styles, ready to hang framed art and local artwork. The West Des Moines location of The Great Frame Up opened in 2005 and is located at 5515 Mills Civic Parkway in the West Glen and is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10-6pm; Thursday 10- 8pm & Saturday 105pm.

COMMUNITY Arts & Music Art | Memories Conservation Materials | Commercial & In-Home Consultation Bring in this ad for 30% Off Your Custom Framing Order! West Glen Town Center 5515 Mills Civic Parkway #150 West Des Moines, IA 50266 515-226-2310 westdesmoines.thegreatframeup.com For millions of prints - shop our online store shopthegreatframeupart.com April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 13

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April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 15

GOSPEL MUSIC is MINISTRY & MUSIC MINISTERS by Dr. Gregory Harris The words are in the lyrics of a song and a song can minister to someone that needs a lift or needs encouragement. There have been times that a song somehow softened the heart of the ones listening and brought them to Jesus Christ. I can remember the song penned by Gospel Artist Twinkie Clark “You Brought The Sun Shine”. This has been one of her most famous songs that not only was this song enjoyed by gospel music lovers but also by the mainstream secular music lovers. This song crossed over to the mainstream and the church world spoke negatively about the song crossing over. There were some who said, “I was on the dance floor and heard the song played by the DJ and it made them think about Jesus loving them so much and bringing the sunshine into their life. We have had such a wonder winter wonderland of snow and ice and now its time to enjoy some spring winds and sunshine. Jesus really can bring the sunshine into your life. All you need to do is let him come into your heart because one touch from the master can make a difference in your life. Jesus is the answer to your issues and concerns. If you will let him take full control of your life, he has a way of making a difference in your life. Just like the song written by Twinkie Clark says since I have found Christ there has been a difference in my life. I won’t lie to you and tell you that every day will be Sunday so to speak but I can tell you that the good things in my life have out weighted the bad things that have happen. Jesus is the best thing that could have ever happened to me and I give him all the praise for all the things that he has done for me. I realized that God has been with me all the time. In our world everybody seems to be hung up on he said, she said but I am hung up on doing what Jesus wants me to do. I can reach out to my fellow man to let them know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no man can come to the father but by coming to Jesus. I have found him to be a true friend that will come to your rescue, even when you can’t chase him or you don’t know what he is doing. He is there all the time and he will come through. As we continue to move forward in this year let’s remember that Jesus bled and died on Calvary’s Cross just for me and you as we celebrate our savior let’s remember that the tomb could not hold him down and on the morning of the third day, he rose with all the power in his hand. Because he got up with all the power, you and I can get up and live out our lives with our God given gifts and talents. What are you waiting for? You were brought into this world to live out your life using your God given gifts and talents. What gifts do you have to share with the world? Have you been tolerating the status quo? Have you allowed people to influence your gifting in a positive manner? It’s time to start today putting all your energy into what God has called you to be. If you are the best chicken fryer then you need to get busy frying chicken. If you bake the best cakes, then you need to get busy baking cakes. Whatever your God given gift is, you need to start using your gift for the glory of God. You may say, how can I know if it’s my gift. A gift is something that you don’t necessarily have to work for or put a lot of effort in it to accomplish. Your gift is what you do with the least amount of effort. I love to sing and cook. It doesn’t take a lot of effort on my part to do these things because I have a God given gift to do these things. I also like teaching and breaking things down in simple form where others can understand it. I guess it’s like one of the radio announcers I heard the other day say, “put It where the goats can get it.” I hope that you will be inspired to get moving, this is the fourth month into the year 2019. If you keep waiting, we will be close to the end of the year and you will be at the same place you were in this time last year. You will never change what you tolerate and anything you tolerate will never change. You will need to become angry with what you are, before you will see any change.

SPIRITUALITY Gospel News Updates The Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. and the Alliance of Gospel Music Professionals set the Annual Board Meeting and National Convention from West Coast to the East Coast. The Board meeting was held recently on March 17-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Los Angels. The National Convention will take place July 27– August 2, 2019 in Washington DC for more information please visit www.gmwanational.net Anthony Nelson & The Overcomers grabbed 4th Billboard top 10 song and Two Nominations. The 34th Annual Stella Awards will Premiere on BET April 19 at 8 p.m. ET 7 p.m. CT and The Biggest Night in Gospel (Stella Awards) was taped Live on Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena. Stella Awards Executive Producer and founder, Don Jackson shared, “It was 35 years ago when Aretha performed “Precious Lord” on my first Gospel Music television special “Living the Dream. In recognition of Aretha’s roots in Gospel Music and her continuing love for the genre, the executive committee agreed to present her with our ICON Award posthumously and continue to present the award forever in her name as the Aretha Franklin ICON Award.” This years presenters include Anthony Brown, Yolanda Adams, Dr. Bobby Jones, Devon Franklin, Janice Gaines and JJ Hairston. The Stella Awards nominees with multiple nominations include Jonathan McReynolds, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney, Jekalyn Carr, Koryn Hawthorne, Snoop Dogg, Tori Kelly, Bishop Noel Jones & City of refughe Sanctuary Choir, Jarell smalls and Company, Kelontae Gavin and Tasha Page-Lockhart. Dr. Earnest Pugh Present The Worship Leaders Lounge Podcast Dr. Gregory Harris gregharris365@gmail.com “Send gospel cd’s you would like me to highlight next month” April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 17 Greg’s Top 10 1. Jekalyn Carr It’s Yours (Live) LUNJEAL 2. Fresh Start Worship Mention FRESHSTART/ MARQUIS BOONE 3. Fred Jerkins Feat. LAST CALL Victory DARKCHILD GOSPEL 4. Charles Jenkins Can’t Turn Back INSPIRED PEOPLE 5. Kirk Franklin Love Theory FO YO SOUL/ RCA INSPIRATION/PLG 6. Tamela Mann Potter TILLYMANN 7. Joshua Rodgers Pour Your Oil MIXED BAG 8. Demetrius West & Jesus Promoters Feat. Karen Hoskins Open The Floodgates BLACKSMOKE 9. Maranda Curtis Nobody Like You Lord BUTTERFLY WORKS/RED ALLIANCE/ FAIR TRADE 10. Nashville Life Music My God (live) NASHVILLE LIFE

SPIRITUALITY Who Do You Say That I Am? by Donnetta Austin Each day that we arise and awake standing on our two feet is a moment to think that if it wasn’t for the Lord where would I be? God has given each of us a platform. Use it and be the example found in our heavenly father Jesus Christ. God has given a breath of fresh air for us to stay in tune with his heartbeat. He has paid the way, given a new life and a reason for our existence. Bloom right where God has you planted. Plant your feet and stand still. Psalms 27: 13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord, Be of Good Courage, And he shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord! Jesus rose again so that we could be set free from our past tribulations. Anything that is holding you back or hindering you from moving forward, let it go. God is for you and nothing or no one can prosper against you. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. See the salvation of the Lord and claim the victory because you already have it. Believe God’s word about the promise he has placed on your life and situation you’re going through. If you end up feeding the problem things will get shaky and enlarged than intended to be. Jesus is the solution to life and the problem. Fight against the enemy by reading God’s word. The battle is won on our knees with a belief system that works every time when you know that God is able. Author: Donnetta Austin Book on Amazon “Never Retire God” Facebook: Be Encouraged, Inspirational Books by Donnetta Austin

COLLEGE CAREER The Power of Networking The Power of Networking Via the Targeted Small Business (TSB) program, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is committed to helping targeted businesses connect and build relationships – whether that is connecting business owners to public procurement opportunities through the TSB 48-hour advance notification portal, or through business-tobusiness opportunities through the TSB community. Claudia Schabel, owner of Schabel Solutions and a certified TSB, says “Networking is not a superficial activity. It’s a must-do activity to connect with people and connect with your community. It is about making connections that are meaningful and impactful.” To facilitate business-to-business networking opportunities, TSB staff have worked with local small business resource partners to organize networking events throughout Iowa as a means for businesses to connect with others in the program. Recently, the TSB team partnered with several resource providers in the Iowa City area to bring together small business owners for a networking event. More than 40 people attended the gathering, which was specifically formatted for attendees to meet and create connections with other attendees, including April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 19 the small business resource partners supporting the event. Sarika Bhakta, a TSB business owner of Nikeya Diversity Consulting, attended the event and approached it like she approaches all networking opportunities, “it’s an opportunity to build a longterm, trusting two-way relationship which allows me to expand my network. That network is what really helps me and my business.” It was at the Iowa City event that Bhakta met with another business owner who learned about her services and thought it would complement services she offered. This connection led to a coffee meeting. Over coffee, the two business owners explored how they could share opportunities, expand their services, and assess the needs and the demands of the markets they were both in - but it all started by getting to know each other through networking. Bhakta indicated that, “it’s really about getting to know that person first. Get to know who they are, what they do and what areas are their pain points, then offer solutions through partnership.” Although Bhakta and the business owner hit it off, she added that networking isn’t always about an immediate return. With some people she may make an immediate connection, while others make a connection with her at a later point. So, it’s important to continue to attend events and be visible.

COLLEGE CAREER “Your services may not be needed at that time, but down the road when they need it, they will remember you. It’s not just a one-time connection or one-time contact.” Making networking a priority in her calendar is what has helped Bhakta build her brand and her business. She specifically carves out time on her calendar to attend, learn about different industries or follow-up with those she has met at various networking events. Bhakta concluded that, “you have to continue to feed your pipeline and if you don’t network it’s going to be very hard. If you’re not out there, either online or in person, it’s easy to be forgettable.” To find out more about the TSB program visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/tsb or contact tsbcert@iowaeda.com. For many business owners, networking is one more thing to do on top of running a business and can be intimidating. “I know that the word networking has connotations that aren’t always positive,” Schabel said, “but if you look at approaching it a little differently, it can become less intimidating. I always walk in with the intent to build relationships. Not just a direct connection with a specific business - but building relationships that will enhance my knowledge about how to grow my business or help the community.” “There are times when it’s easy to talk yourself out of going to networking events,” Schabel said. When she is on the fence, she always asks herself, “What are you missing if you don’t go? Who are you not meeting if you don’t go?” Schabel remembers a significant connection she made at a small business event in Des Moines. The business owner had attended a forum Schabel had spoken at and approached her afterward. That connection led to a coffee meeting and ultimately, a close friendship. “She just came over for dinner with her kids. And now we’re always checking in with each other about the events that we’ll be going to together.”

by Gary Lawson

COMMUNITY Mr. Phillip D. Ayers, a Washingtonian who, through his ongoing efforts, has improved the lives of students by preparing them for the real world. For more than 35 years as a teacher and mentor in the District of Columbia and Charles County School System, Ayers has changed the lives of more than 5,000 students. While working at LaPlata High School, he was inspired to mentor young African American students both males and females. In doing so, he successfully assisted students with raising their grades and improving their self-image. Mr. Ayers effectively used positive peer pressure and mentoring as tools for bringing about better student behavior. In 1993, at La Plata High School, Mr. Ayers founded The Twelve Good Men Elite Club which was followed by Sisters Unlimited in 2000. The programs significantly changed the lives of over 850 African American males and females by providing them with a source for obtaining answers to personal questions and introducing positive role models into their lives. Many members of these programs have attended college and become positive members of their communities. The Twelve Good Men Club and Sisters Unlimited programs have both received the highest award for Minority Achievement presented by the state of Maryland’s Board of Education in 2002 and in 2005. Pictured: Phillip D. Ayers Mr. Ayers’ road to success started as a graduate of Anacostia Senior High School in 1968. He furthered his education by earning both a B. S. degree in Elementary Education and a B. A. in Industrial Arts Education from Central State University in Ohio. From there he returned to his roots at Anacostia High School where he became an instructor of Woodworking and During 1985, Mr. Ayers became an entrepreneur by starting his own business, utilizing his wealth of skills to help others solve problems in their homes and businesses. He has been married to his wife, Charlotte, since 1975, and they have one son, Allen P. Ayers. “The education of the African American Male is lacking on purpose, because if he is uneducated…then he may have to earn a living by doing something negative. If he does something negative to survive and gets caught, then he can become part of the criminal justice system… and in essence become a legalized slave. Furthermore, it seems to me that one of the best solutions to this problem is positive role modeling and mentoring of young African American males by African American men” - Phillip D. Ayers April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 23 Technical Education. Mr. Ayers realized that a B. S. degree was not enough, so he decided to enroll in the masters program at Bowie State University. He graduated cum laude in 1977, obtaining a Masters of Secondary Education degree. Mr. Ayers possesses a wealth of knowledge, which he eagerly shares with young people. Students in one of Mr. Ayers’ classes not only learned how to use tools to solve problems, but also learned how to get along with others. In addition, students learned that they have great potential for accomplishing goals, if they put forth the necessary efforts.

Mr. Ayers is active in numerous church and community organizations; however, his first love is his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was initiated into the fraternity during March of 1970 at Central State University. He has been an active member of the KEL graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity since 1975 and has held multiple offices. In 2005, he was selected by his Brothers for KEL’s highest award, ‘Alpha Man of the Year’. Last, but not least, he reveres his membership with the Pershing Rifles, a military fraternity, while enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Command (ROTC) as a student at Central State University. Lawson: What inspired you to become an educator? Ayers: I was inspired to become an educator because of a friend of our family who tutored me after I was kept back and repeated the second grade. In 1956, racism was still very much a part of what we had to face on a daily basis, but since I was only seven years old at the time, I never thought about it and consequently did not understand how racism could impact me. That summer, Ms. Velma Elmore, also a graduate of Central State University, taught me to read by using phonics and she also helped me to learn math. The most impressive thing she did was not allowing me to believe that I wasn’t smart or less capable than others. My ego and self-esteem remained undamaged as a result of the sincere love she showed me. This inspired me to get my first degree in Elementary Education because I wanted to share what Ms. Elmore did for me with other African American youth. Lawson: What was your greatest teaching challenge as an educator in the District of Columbia and Charles County School Systems? Ayers: When I think about my greatest teaching challenge, I think it has to be that I always had to remind myself that I was being watched constantly, not only by my students, but also by my counterparts most of which were white teachers and administrators. In addition, 70% of the time my students were white in the two different high schools where I taught metal working, welding, home mechanics, engineering and finally technology education. I went to a predominantly African American high school in Washington D. C., then I attended Central State University, which is a HBCU institution (Historically Black College/University). Following graduation from Central State University, I returned to my old high school, as a teacher. I taught there for seven years, then went to a small fishing community in southern Maryland. This was significant because as an African American male, I was teaching in an environment where there was a lack of respect for African American professionals. I consider myself fortunate for the professional preparation I received at Central State University, and Bowie State University it really made a major difference for me regarding how I was received and respected by all of my students. This was made evident in 1988, when the student body voted me as the ‘Most Influential Educator’. Lawson: As a mentor to African American students, how do you measure success? Ayers: In order to measure the success of my mentees, I use something very simple to gauge success and that is basically whether or not they become good and responsible citizens. To that end, I am very proud to share that many of them are responsible husbands, fathers, engineers, government workers; three have become millionaires and two are high ranking officers in the military. Overall, I have directly influenced the lives of over 500 young African American males and only three, that I know of, ended up serving any jail time, while 95% received their high school diplomas. That statement alone is very significant when you consider that nationally, 80% of African American males in jail do not possess a high school diploma and 70% of those without a high school diploma end up in jail by age 35.

COMMUNITY Lawson: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a mentor to African American students? Ayers: My greatest accomplishment as a mentor has been to see [students] wanting to keep in touch with me. They are 20 to 40-year-old men now with great families, good jobs, and a respect for God in their lives. There is nothing like knowing that you have helped to mold and impact their lives. They take time to call me and acknowledge the impact I’ve had on them, and they are like sons to me and I am received as their second father. Lawson: When mentoring African American students, do you interact with their families? If so, how? Ayers: I have always had a good relationship with the mentees’ families because I respect them as parents or guardians and don’t try to take their place. I have made some really great new friends and have become a part of my mentees’ extended family. I have attended numerous graduations, birthday parties, and football games with family members. Lawson: Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share? Ayers: In conclusion, I must say that being a mentor for young African American males for over 40 years, at three different high schools and through my fraternity’s mentoring program, has been a labor of love. I must also say that we need more positive, responsible and dedicated men to be mentors. Gary Lawson is a freelance writer who focuses on various aspects of public affairs. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Central State University. He is also a Vietnam-era veteran that served in the United States Army as a Commissioned Officer. His work experience includes various administrative and management positions in the public and private sectors to include serving as the former Director of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans and a member of the Human Rights Council within the Iowa Department Email: hiringmadeeasley@gmail.com or text: 309.550.3415 of Human Rights. He is the recipient of numerous national, state, and local awards to include induction into the Iowa African American Hall of Fame. Since the 2000 national election cycle, Gary has donated his time conducting public affairs interviews that include decision-makers and policy makers on the national, state, and local levels to enrich Iowa’s minority community with information that will better inform. ALL APRIL LOGOS $200 April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 25

COMMUNITY IOWA SISTER STATES Connecting with our world community is something that all Iowans have an opportunity to do! Over the next several months we will be featuring Iowa Sister States to talk about what partners the state of Iowa has around the world. Here is an overview of the organization to begin this journey. Iowa Sister States (ISS) is a non-profit that was founded in 1985 to manage the official relationships established by the Governor of Iowa with foreign states. There are nine of these including: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan (1960), Yucatan, Mexico (1965), Hebei Province, China (1983), Terengganu, Malaysia (1987), Stavropol Krai, Russia (1988), Taiwan (1989), Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine (1996), Veneto Region, Italy (1997) and the Republic of Kosovo (2013). ISS is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to connecting Iowans with the world community. Our mission is to develop and implement international partnerships and programs that promote cultural, economic, and other interests of the State of Iowa and its citizens through volunteer, public, and private action. We do this by facilitating and hosting exchange programs between Iowa and our various sister states. We also foster conferences and summits in Iowa that relate directly to our mission statement. ISS is committed to exposing Iowans to people, ideas, and experiences that are of an international flair. We bring the world to Iowa by providing opportunities statewide for Iowans to communicate with people from different cultures. This helps to bring Iowans a cultural experience and openness that they might not otherwise have access to. We also facilitate exchanges that send Iowans to our sister states. April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 27 Overall, we strive to be a leader in integrating Iowans with the world community. Stay tuned for our first partner feature – Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan! Connect with Iowa Sister States in the meantime on Facebook and Twitter at @IASisterStates, on Instagram at @IowaSisterStates or visit their website at www.iowasisterstates.org.

COMMUNITY BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS GROWS TO SERVE MORE DES MOINES KIDS & TEENS For over 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa (BGCCI) has provided life-changing support for the young people of Des Moines. BGCCI provides a safe, supportive place for kids and teens to be after school and during the summer. BGCCI provides structured programs with caring staff role models in place to address the challenges our young people face. “There are a variety of programs at Club that I think are awesome,” said teen Club member Ashley L. “I love to watch the kids participate in the activities and seeing the looks on their faces when they learn something new. Club is the place to bWe. That’s why I choose to go to Club every day I can.” Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa serves 1,900 members a year, efforts are currently underway by the organization to expand that reach and serve even more kids and teens in the Des Moines metro. In 2016, BGCCI launched its Club Pathways capital campaign to nearly double the number of Des Moines metro youth served to 3,300. The campaign aims to create four paths throughout the Des Moines community where a Boys & Girls Club can accompany a child throughout their entire education. “Our goal is to truly remain with a child in their neighborhood and to walk hand-in-hand with them to high school graduation,” said BGCCI CEO Jodie Warth. “By expanding our reach across the Des Moines area, we can ensure more youth get the opportunity to experience the support, programs, and mentorship that comes with being a Boys & Girls Club kid.” Phase I of the Club Pathways campaign notably includes the new E.T. Meredith Jr. Club at East High School as well as the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club currently under construction at Drake University. This unique Club which will open in August 2019 is only the third Boys & Girls Club in the nation to be located on a private college campus. April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 29

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa stands on the verge of exciting growth and great accomplishments. In the spirit of my grandfather and BGCCI founder, Ellis I. Levitt, and my mom and BGCCI trustee, Maddie Levitt, I look forward to being the third generation supporting both BGCCI and Drake University,” said Suzie Glazer Burt, who alongside her late husband, Gregory Burt, made the lead gift for the Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Boys & Girls Club. “I am committed to taking the Clubs to greater heights!” Central Iowa and its Club Pathways capital campaign, visit bgcci.org. Phase II of the project includes a new Club site at Studebaker Elementary and expansions of current Clubs at McCombs Middle School and Moore Elementary. Each site will provide a safe, fun, and supportive outlet for Des Moines kids and teens. Structured programs after school and over the summer will include STEM education, a cooking café, volunteerism, sports, and arts programs. “As I reflect on my Club experience, being a part of the Boys & Girls Club has— and still is— preparing me for my next role,” said BGCCI Club Member Princess W. “I’ve gained so many new relationships [with] people from all kinds of backgrounds, and know that these Club members, staff, and partners will continue to guide and support me.” For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of

COMMUNITY The Clash of the Clippers Expo is looking for sponsors for their event on September 15th, 2019. This will be a day full of workshops, fun, and competition. If you would like to learn how you could become a sponsor, please contact Robert Presswood at 515-255-4555. www.zumi.com facebook.com/zumicollection Twitter @ZumiCollection April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 31

“Education is the Most POWERFUL Weapon We can Use to Change the World” - Nelson Mandela One Economy: Disparities in Education Disparities in Education Polk County enrolls a greater percentage of Black students than the state as a whole. In the 2015-2016 school year, 7,927 Black students were enrolled in Polk County public schools, representing 10 percent of the total Polk County PK12 student enrollment; the statewide number is 6 percent. In the Des Moines Independent School District, the proportion is even higher; Black students represent 18 percent of the district’s PK-12 student enrollment and account for 78 percent of all Black students in Polk County. This number has continued to trend down as African Americans and families of African descent have moved into Des Moines suburbs. Even more powerful is the women who made this movement even possible. Their efforts and sacrifices have changed the face of America; or at least it’s mask. In 2000, Des Moines Independent School District Black student enrollment represented 89 percent of total Black Polk County PK-12 student enrollment. The following table ranks all Polk County public school districts according to percentage Black student PK12 enrollment and the percentage change in Black PK-12 enrollment since 2000. The term “Black” in State of Iowa data is inclusive of African American students and students of African descent. The State of Iowa also collects enrollment data for immigrants as well. However, the term “immigrant” is inclusive of students of African descent, and thus is reflective of a broader diversity of ethnicities and nationalities. Among all Polk County school districts, Des Moines Independent School District enrolls the largest percentage of immigrant students at 4 percent of total 2015-2016 district K-12 student enrollment. This is a 20 percent increase in immigrant enrollment since the 2005-2006 school year. Across the state of Iowa, Black students under perform white students on academic assessments. In 2015, Black 4th grade students had an average reading score 32 points lower than that of white students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (31 points). This performance gap continues through 12th grade. Statewide, only 17 percent of Black students taking the ACT, a primary assessment of college readiness and one of two primary college entrance exams accepted by post-secondary institutions, met three or more benchmarks, or indicators of college readiness, compared to 52 percent of white students. In 2005, 12.9 percent of Black Polk County residents had less than a high school education. By 2014, this number had risen to 17.1 percent. Education is one of the most effective social justice strategies as evidenced by its strong correlation with

COMMUNITY several important outcomes impacting an individual’s quality of life: crime and incarceration, earnings and employment, and health. Furthermore, compared to the general population of Polk County, Black residents are losing ground in educational attainment, and at an alarming rate. In contrast to the total population of Polk County, the proportion of Black Polk County residents with less than a high school degree or equivalency has grown between 2005 and 2014. Black Polk County residents have significantly lower levels of post-secondary degree attainment than the general population. Since 2005, the total population of Polk County has improved the proportion of the population receiving a post-secondary degree by 14 percent. However, Black residents were not attaining post-secondary degrees in 2014 significantly more than in 2005; the proportion of Black Polk County residents receiving a post-secondary degree only rose by 5 percent. A significant issue facing the state of Iowa is the disproportionality of African American students in special education and related services. According to the Iowa Department of Education, disproportionality “refers to the percent probability, or likelihood, of disproportionate representation of racial and/or ethnic groups in special education and related services that is the result of inappropriate identification.” (The Annual Condition of Education Report 2015). In the 2013-2014 school year, African American students had a 74 percent probability of being disproportionately represented in special education compared to all students. Although down from a 113 percent probability in 2011-2012, African Americans are still significantly more likely to be placed in special education or receive related services than their peers. The two highest margins of African American dropouts to overall dropouts among Polk County public school districts belong to Southeast Polk (2.8 percent African American, 0.7 percent overall) and West Des Moines (3.5 percent African American, 1.8 percent overall). Considering the significant academic achievement April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 33 However, Des Moines Independent School District has the distinction of the highest dropout rate for African Americans in the county. Compared statewide, several districts beat that marginal rate, some by as much as 15 percent. Without further data we can only guess as to what these numbers look like today. can do is take action toward a better tomorrow. Join us at the next One Economy Education Working Group sessions: Monday, April 22 & Monday, May 27, from 5:30-7pm at the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families. There is power in numbers and together we can make a difference. Although, what we lifetime gaps, it may not be surprising that African Americans would drop out at a higher frequency than their peers at the same schools. Data reported to the Iowa Department of Education reveal narrow margins between African American dropouts and overall dropouts in some Polk County public schools. For some suburban schools, the margin is significant. For Des Moines Independent School District, the district enrolling the largest number of Black students in the county and the state, there is only a 5 percent difference in dropouts for African American students compared to dropouts across the district (4.8 percent to 4.3 percent dropouts overall).

COMMUNITY Iota Zeta Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Presents Its 41st Scholarship Cotillion: “CULTIVATING MINDS OF TODAY & TOMORROW” The members of Iota Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. are preparing for their annual Scholarship Cotillion where 13 African American high school seniors will be recognized for their educational achievements, leadership, and overall success. These students will be presented to the community as Cotillion participants on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport/ Conference Center. The theme of the 2019 Cotillion is “Cultivating Minds Of Today & Tomorrow”. For several months, the Cotillion participants have been engaged in Pre-Cotillion activities and workshops leading up to the April 20th Cotillion presentation. Activities have included personal development and college prep workshops as well as community service at a local community center. Kathelina Moody, Waukee High SchoolJanae Weber Moore, Valley High School Nautika Bradley Norman, Roosevelt High SchoolSandrah Nasimiya, Valley High School The participants were also given a task to express their thoughts on the current social climate by writing an essay in response to the topic, “The hate you give-how do you navigate being your authentic self in a world that would see you as something different”. From now until the evening of the Scholarship cotillion, the participants are busy each week rehearsing their dances for the Cotillion event with their presenters and escorts. Each of the Scholarship Cotillion participants have a unique talent. A Senior Showcase has been planned for the participants to show off their talent for family and friends, ranging from artistic and musical talent to displays of personal interests. The Showcase will be held at Grand View University on Friday, April 5. Laya Rudison, Joshua Christian AcademyKhalil Summerville, Lincoln High School Antwaneisha Tolson, Valley High SchoolPrincess Walker, Valley High School Zoe Young, Valley High School The 13 Participants in the 2019 Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholarship Cotillion are; Najim Berry North High School Te’Ara Burgs, Roosevelt High School Aapri Dukes, Roosevelt High SchoolJalen Long, East High School April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 35

MY STORY: Calvetta Williams Her Own Words Her Story in By Dwana Bradley

COMMUNITY On March 18th I had the opportunity to talk to Calvetta Williams. She was recently acquitted of child endangerment. At the Urban Experience we believe that everyone has a story, and I reached out to Calvetta to tell her story in her own words. The Day My Life Changed That day has almost been two years ago, it was July 12th or 13th the day my life changed for real. I was watching a child as a favor because I no longer did daycare. When I got my grant from the Attorney General’s office, they told me I had to retire daycare and I kind of wanted to retire anyway. There was a certain young lady that I did daycare for who kept asking me for months. Now that I think about it, I told my boyfriend that I should have trusted my gut because she kept asking me over and over to watch her daughter. her (the mother of the child I had been watching). She is hollering, “what did you do to my baby?” “What happened to my babies face?” I’m in shock and I ask her, “What are you talking about?” I had just given her, her daughter and there was nothing wrong with her and she didn’t say anything about it when she picked her up. She had even paid me. Doing Mothers Against Violence, I know the steps of what to do if a child is hurt in my care. I know to write accident reports, I know to care for them, give ice packs and band aids. I’m still looking at her like what are you talking about. It was dark, but she was like see her face, see her face and I said to her, “I don’t see anything.” Since it was dark, I asked her to come into my home so that I could look at her child’s face in the light and I still didn’t see anything. I remember a month before there was a shooting that happened, two young men who shot each other, and I found out they were cousins, I was at the hospital. My Uncle had gone into a coma that same day the mother is calling me, and I kept telling her, “I can’t keep your daughter”. She said she didn’t understand why and I’m thinking cause my Uncle is in a coma. It never registered with me, I’m like why does she keep asking me to watch her child? Before I got my grant about 9 months before I did watch her child. I never had any issues, I had her daughter all the time like Monday-Sunday the mother always worked double shifts, so I’ve never had any issues watching her child. This particular night in July, she came and got her daughter, she gave me the money she owed me, and I was like goodbye. I had originally agreed to watch her for a week. My kids were out of town with their dad’s side of the family and I needed some money because of some other issues I was going through at the time and so that’s the only reason why I watched her daughter. When we exchanged money, my granddaughter was home with me. At about 2 something in the morning I didn’t think anything of it, I got up to got to the bathroom, and then I hear this boom, boom, boom it sounded like the police. I asked my granddaughter if she heard it and she was laying down sleeping, so I opened the door and it’s The pictures the mother posted on Facebook, I have never seen those pictures, never seen that bruise. Those pictures that the mother posted on Facebook along with my picture that she posted alongside her post was used in court. When they asked me in Court, my stories always stayed the same rather it was my lawyer or the prosecutor asking me. The media, prosecutor, and even the mother tried to say that I said the marks on the child’s face were bed marks. I said on the stand I have never seen those marks until I got up the next morning and saw the pictures the mother had on Facebook with my picture next to the pictures of her daughter. I immediately started crying because I was thinking how I had not saw those marks. I’m now looking like a monster, and I’d never seen those marks but, in the pictures, they had in the courtroom, there were sleep marks on the babies face there were like two or three. When the Police came, I have the body cameras which they didn’t get to see in court, no one else in the public have seen them, and even the Police officers were like they didn’t believe that I did this. I don’t want to talk bad about the mother, but one of the Police officers was like it looks like she is acting (referring to the mother). People know that I was acquitted, but they still ask what happened to the baby’s face. I answer people by saying that you should of came to the trial and seen the evidence for yourself. April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 37

I no longer have to explain to no anyone. I’m not saying the mom did it, I don’t know who did it, but I know one thing for sure, it wasn’t me. I will say that until the day I die. I’m glad that part is over I don’t know how those bruises got on that baby, I wish I did, oh I wish I did. I want people to think about this, why would I hand a child over to its mother with scratches or whatever was on the baby, why would I do that? I want people to think about this, would I wait to do this once I had my dream job? I’ve been retired from daycare for over a year and I would lose a lovely grant that no one had received in this community, to beat up a baby and sacrifice everything I have? That makes no sense to me. Time went on, I lost my job, my house, my car, and I lost my kids and that was the worst four months. I wasn’t allowed to have any contact with them I wasn’t allowed to talk, text, speak, see or anything with my kids. I missed my son’s first day of Kindergarten, and I missed all three of their birthdays. I had written a letter to the judge on one of my daughters’ birthday to say I’m missing her birthday. I was being labeled a child abuser but now you have four other kids (my three plus my granddaughter) are now victims, how is this fair? If DHS would of came and took my kids from me, I would have at least got supervised visits. I was considered a child abuser, but DHS didn’t offer me any services. What kind of sense does that make? You are labeling me as a child abuser you put me on the child abuse registry, but you don’t offer me any services. I thought that was so cruel. As a mother, my kids’ school was right next to where I lived. I would see other people’s kids come out of school every day, and I had to deal with the fact that my kids were there, and I couldn’t see them. My son would cry everyday while he was with my dad for four months, and his teacher called me one day and said, “I don’t want to get all in your business you know I have seen the news, but I feel so bad that he cries every day”. She said she asked him why are you crying every day? He would tell his teacher, “I want my mom” “I miss my mom.” He was 5 at the time. He was in Kindergarten and he had never been out of my care except for the vacation he was on with his dads’ side of the family for that week. I felt like I was a bad mom because I didn’t get to explain anything to them. I followed everything by the book. I remember when I finally had a hearing about getting my kids back. My kids’ father had brought them to the hearing and he and my lawyers were like you can hug them, and I said. “no” I’m following everything to the book. I won’t hug them. There were three sheriffs and I wasn’t going to mess anything up I was going to wait. That day at the hearing they made it hard.

COMMUNITY They were going to grant me supervised visits with my ex-mother-in-law who isn’t even related to my kids you know because she had my granddaughter, but I told the court no, “I’m not walking out of this courthouse until my children walk out with me.” You can put a restriction on me that I can’t be around anyone else’s kids but my kids? No. We ended up winning and my kids came home right before Christmas. That was the best feeling ever. I was able to walk my son to school and reenact his first day of school. It was the little things I missed, like conferences, I always attended conferences for my kids. I missed those. My kids are doing so much better now that they are at home. That four months hurt me. Many people say to me you won, but I ask did I really win? People still think I’m a child abuser and a lot of people don’t know that when you are charged criminally, you still have to fight DHS on another level, so they put me on the registry after they did their 21-day investigation, how they founded me a child abuser, I don’t know. There burden of proof is less than the state. The one thing I never wanted to be labeled as was a child abuser. It’s just crazy to me. I’ve got a trial coming up on that. I’ve had several different jobs, and I’ve talked to people who have been wrongly accused and they give up they don’t have money or a lawyer, when you go through this, they don’t give you a lawyer. I had a lawyer for what I just went through, but I don’t have a lawyer for the DHS thing this month, I’m representing myself. Most people have told me since, that they would have given up on the criminal part. Through the process, I had court canceled 6-7 times and each week like a week or a couple days before, they would postpone, and at one time I had a lawyer quit. There were days I got frustrated, but not one time during this was I ever going to plead guilty. I was taking it all the way to court. Some family, friends, and lawyers had told me to take the plea deal so I could get it over with and be charged with a misdemeanor. I was like, “no I’m not.” Never. My lawyer had said to me, “you know they put innocent people in jail.” I said yes, I know that, and I knew I would take that chance of being that one in Mitchellville because I was never taking a plea deal. I knew I was innocent. They wanted me to do jail time if I took this to court and I knew that was a chance I was taking. I didn’t want to be away from my kids, but I wasn’t going to admit to something I didn’t do. What’s Next for you? I say I want to bring MAV (Mothers Against Violence) back and then I say I will rebrand. I just take it one day at a time. I know I will continue this fight with DHS first because people are ready for me to get back out there to do events, but when I was doing events that was money I used when I was doing daycare. I don’t have money like that anymore. I’m barely making it, but even if I did have the money, I don’t want to have an event being on the child abuse registry. think that looks too good. I don’t I felt like a lot of people turned their back on me. I think I had to go through this because I trusted a lot of people before this happened. I thought a lot of people were my friends, even all the families I helped. I have only seen one family stand up for me. I don’t think they should pay me back, but at least stand up and say that’s not the Calvetta we know. They all knew me. I know if I do start MAV back or anything, I’m a lot smarter now I know now, maybe God did this. I go back and ask myself, was I not humble enough when I got the grant? was I cocky? Did I come off like I was better than others? I helped 56 people in the first year of the grant with MAV. I felt like I was doing a good job, the Attorney General’s office said I was doing a good job. I wondered why God took everything from me. He gave me everything and then took it back. I was thinking what did I do? I go back and forth with my own self. There must be something positive that comes out after everything I went through. Maybe somebody will hear my story especially women who have lost their kids. I know I have a different fight in me when it comes to people taking kids. There is a feeling of helplessness and that no one is there for you. The courts don’t help you and you don’t have money for lawyers. I also now think of people who are wrongly accused, and you just mess up that person’s whole life. My lawyer told me I could possibly get this expunged in 100 days, and I’m thinking possibly? April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 39

COMMUNITY It should be wiped clean you would think since I was found not guilty, but no. It’s been hard finding jobs. If I fill out a job at a daycare, I won’t get it since I’m on the registry. The news, I learned a lot about them. When I did my first interview, they wanted to only talk about asking me questions about stealing grant money. I didn’t steal any grant money. I told them to call the Attorney General’s office and they will tell you I didn’t steal any money. It was a made-up excuse for the reasoning behind taking my grant. They have never done this for any other organization. That is a different issue. They weren’t fair and I felt they treated me differently and I don’t agree with it, and I hope to address it in the future. I also feel like our community doesn’t stand up for each other and maybe some are afraid since they are in high places and positions, they don’t want to lose anything. I have a lot to speak on and address. I think maybe I was supposed to see all this for a reason. At the end of the day, you don’t have any friends. All you have is the Lord. I’m lucky to have close family and friends. Everyone seemed to go on with their lives and didn’t care that I lost everything. The mother who accused me moved and went back to where she was from. Everyone continued and my life stopped. What do you say to those who abandon you? I am not mad. I forgive. I just know now, a lot of my family and friends say, don’t you help them. I know myself, and if those same people who did me wrong would ask for help, I know I would help them. I know my heart. I know to cherish those who were there for me and pray for the ones who weren’t. I can’t dwell on it. I can’t hate and I must forgive them for myself. I know people are still looking at me and saying things, but the people who came to support me know. I’m grateful for my last lawyer Andrea Flanagan and her law firm, she really helped me. She was court appointed. I had two paid lawyers at one time. I was blessed. I was in the court house crying because one of my paid lawyers had quit on me a week before trial and I didn’t have a lawyer. One of her assistants was in the courthouse and they were like we know her, we will defend her. I believe God had His hands in having them help me. She helped me in ways my paid lawyer didn’t. I was able to watch the body cameras that the police had on them and I heard the things they said. It was crazy that the police waited three weeks to arrest me after the accusation was made. I’m just glad it’s over. My dream is to have my own childcare again, but this time there will be cameras everywhere. I have seen all the comments, I even got death threats. Going through all this has taught me not to be quick to judge that is between them and the Lord. Final Words If anyone finds themselves in any situation don’t give up, get on your knees and pray. Watch people around you and treat people good. Make sure you’re a good person, remain humble especially when starting a business and keep God first. I want to take this moment to thank Calvetta for her story and giving part of her evening to share this in in her own words. Dwana Bradley

Iowa Juneteenth Observance A Program of The Des Moines Urban Experience Magazine “Marking 29 Years of Service to the Iowa Community” 2019 Iowa Juneteenth Observance Essay Contest Sponsored by Drake University To: Iowa High School Students, Grades 9 - 11 From: Nakia Ewing Iowa Juneteenth Observance nakiae78@gmail.com Subject: 2019 Iowa Juneteenth Observance ‘Essay Contest’ Juneteenth’ is an international observance marking the end to slavery on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth will celebrate 154 years of celebration during 2019. The Iowa Juneteenth Observance will mark its 29th anniversary as well. On April 11, 2002, Governor Tom Vilsack signed legislation establishing Juneteenth as an official day of recognition in Iowa that is observed annually on the third Saturday in June. This year’s theme for Iowa Juneteenth 2019 is “Reclaiming Our Time: Together We can do More.” ELIGIBILITY: The essay contest is statewide and open to “all students” enrolled in grades 9 through 11. We encourage essayists to enlist the guidance of a teacher or other adult when completing the essay. The essay contest serves as an inspirational vehicle for youth to strengthen appreciation for: 1) scholarship; 2) cultural diversity; and 3) the enhancement of community relations. ESSAY QUESTION: “Write about an unsung historical figure. Explain their contribution to society and why it’s important to preserve their legacy?” CONTEST RULE REQUIREMENTS: 1) Essays must be a minimum of 500 words and not exceed 700 words; 2) Essays may be typed or word-processed (double spaced); 3) Essayists must use at least 5 sources of information from books, newspapers, magazines, or websites which must be listed (cited) on a separate page and submitted with the essay; 4) Submit a color photo (portrait style – headshot), and 5) Complete the Student Information Form provided with this application which can be accessed at www.iowajuneteenth.com TOP HONORS: Each of the three winning essayists will receive a trophy. In addition, the first-place winner will receive a $1,000.00 cash prize, the second-place winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize, and the third place winner will receive a $250.00 cash prize. The trophies and cash prizes are scheduled to be presented at an Iowa Juneteenth Observance awards ceremony in Des Moines (TBA) and winning essayists must be present to receive their trophies/cash prizes. DEADLINE: Submit your essay, along with the Student Information Form, your photo, and your list of reading sources, by email, on or before Friday May 3rd, 2019, to Nakia Ewing at nakiae78@gmail.com or send the original essay by regular mail (postmarked by May 3, 2019) to: The Urban Experience Magazine Iowa Juneteenth Essay Contest PO Box 3092, Des Moines, Iowa 50316 Note: Students who are family members of the: 1) Iowa Juneteenth Observance Planning Committee; The Urban Experience Magazine, or Drake University administration, faculty, or staff - are ineligible for the essay contest. For additional information, please contact: Nakia Ewing at nakiae78@gmail.com ****Complete the Student Information Form**** 2018 Iowa Juneteenth Observance Essay Contest Sponsored by Drake University April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 41

Are We Death Phobic? BY Yogesh Shah, M.P.H., M.D., FAAFP Let me share some good news and some bad news. The good news is that due to advances in medicine there has never been a better time to be alive if what you want to do is to just be alive. The bad news is that in spite of advances in medicine the death rate for humans still remains 100%. Death is inevitable but a good death is not. In general, we are death illiterate, death phobic and we are unprepared for death. A few decades ago, living with a chronic illness, breast cancer or any form of cancer was not common. Humans died suddenly and often anxiety and mental stress of the illness. Palliative care is appropriate at any age, during any stage of an insidious illness and should be provided along with your curative treatment. If you are not quite sure what palliative care means, you are not alone. Too often, when people hear the term palliative care referenced with anything, they associate it with dying. In reality, true palliative care is about living well. Living better. Living based on our values, what we find sacred, and how we want to write the chapters of our lives — whether it’s the last chapter . . . or the last three. It’s about better quality of life. Palliative care assists patients and family to make a commitment to an improved quality of life. It focuses on hope and goals. It sheds light on life going forward when it seems there is only darkness due to the disease process. unexpectedly. Medical care and treatment options have changed how we live with chronic conditions, including cancers. We get so busy treating the conditions that we forget about quality of life. We need to focus on the quality of our life along with managing our illness. Quality of life is a sum total of our total health, happiness and vitality. We don’t need for the disease we are fighting to define us. Palliative care is a rapidly growing medical field aimed at improving the quality of life for both the patient and their family members. Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms like peripheral neuropathy, nausea, bone pain, physical stress, A report from the Patient-Centered Health Advisory Council, in response to House File 393, showed that there is a need for increased education, awareness and access to palliative care in the state, and the need for palliative care will continue to grow as Iowa’s aging population continues to grow. The PatientCentered Health Advisory Council is a legislativelydirected council within the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Palliative care and hospice care differ from one another. Hospice is a subset of palliative care. Palliative care does not have any eligibility requirements; whereas with hospice, the physician must certify that the individual is unlikely to live more than 6 months and

Health that all curative treatment must cease. Many studies have concluded that the early introduction of palliative care in cancer treatment improved symptoms and health. It also improved quality of life. Palliative care aids in the decisionmaking process for patients and their loved ones. Think about it this way . . . Palliative care can add more days to a patient’s life and more life to a patient’s days. It provides higher quality care for patients and caregivers. An important reminder from Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques - “The quality of life is more important than life itself” Yogesh Shah, M.P.H., M.D., FAAFP Director, Palliative Care Services Geriatric Medicine and Memory Center Broadlawns Medical Center Member, PatientCentered Health Advisory Council, IDPH April 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 43

Our family CARING 1761 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50314 | (515) 282-2334 | www.broadlawns.org All forms of insurance accepted.

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