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INDEX DISCLAIMER The Des Moines Urban Experience provides news, opinions and articles as a service to our readers. The views and opinions, political endorsements or statements expressed in the Des Moines Urban Experience publication do not necessarily represent the writers, columnists, editors, publisher, management or its agents. The Des Moines Urban Experience reserves the right to edit or not publish comments and/or articles in printed, mobile or digital format. Therefore, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or reliability of information written by external parties. No Part of any of our publication, whether in print or digital may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, photocopying, electronic, mechanical or otherwise without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

AUGUST 2019 11 Art & Music 19 Spirituality 23 Community SUBMIT YOUR NEWS TO: dsmurbannews@gmail.com Join our email club at: joindsmurban@gmail.com 33 37 Beauty Public Affairs BECOME AN OUTLET OF THE URBAN EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE Contact Dwana Bradley at contactdsmurban@gmail.com ADVERTISE WITH THE URBAN EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE dsmurbanads@gmail.com August 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 Editor Lindsay Schwab Celeste Lawson Lori A. Young Angela M. Jackson Teresa Bradley Cle’Shai Harden Dr. Eric Johnson Copy Editor Virgina Smith Tiffany Braxton Donnetta Austin Terry Howell Tenelle Thomas (Queen T) Dani Relle Courtney Nevilles 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 Ty Daye

www.zumi.com facebook.com/zumicollection Twitter @ZumiCollection DISCOVER REAL POSSIBILITIES IN IOWA AARP is in Iowa creating real, meaningful change. We're proud to help all our communities become the best they can be. Like providing family caregivers with tips to take care of loved ones, helping to make our communities more livable and hosting fun, informative events all across the state. If you don't think Real Possibilities when you think AARP, then you don't know “aarp". Get to know us at aarp.org/ia. ---/aarpiowa -@aarpiowa Real Possibilities is a trademark of AARP. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 7

4700 GRAND AVENUE / DES MOINES, IOWA 50312 / desmoinesartcenter.org Joyce J. Scott sculpture from Des Moines Art Center permanent collections on view at DMACC Urban Campus in August MISTAKEN IDENTITY, 2018, a major sculpture by the American artist Joyce J. Scott, will be on display at the Des Moines Area Community College Urban Campus from August 19 to 23. This work by the MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient exemplifies her approach to artmaking, which often merges traditional, labor-intensive handicraft, or what has been defined traditionally as “women’s work,” with potent social commentary. As she states, “I’d like my art to induce people to stop raping, torturing, and shooting each other. I don’t have the ability to end violence, racism, and sexism. But my art can help them look and think.” In MISTAKEN IDENTITY, Scott combines glass beadwork and Murano glass forms in a seated figure holding fire in his hands to reference a variety of concerns, such as gun violence, abuse of women, and other social justice issues related to race, gender, and economic disparity. She draws from traditional African and Native American methods in her approach to beadwork. In addition, Scott often employs humor as a strategy to engage her audiences. Her works are found in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, LA County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MFA Houston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. This is the first work by the artist to enter the Art Center’s permanent collections. “The staff and board are honored and excited to be able to work with DMACC to place this sculpture within the community,” said Des Moines Art Center Director Jeff Fleming. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to share Scott’s art with broader audiences.” ARTIST LECTURE JOYCE J. SCOTT On Sunday, August 25, 1:30 pm, the Art Center welcomes artist Joyce J. Scott for a candid talk about her life and work. Titled “Joyce J. Scott: My Best Voice is an Artist,” the lecture will take place in Levitt Auditorium at the Des Moines Art Center. The event is free; reservations required. Learn more at desmoinesartcenter.org. Photo of Joyce Scott above by John Dean Joyce J. Scott (American, born 1948) Mistaken Identity 2018 Blown glass, beads, thread 18 3/4 x 21 x 10 inches Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., 2018.42 Photo: Rich Sanders, Des Moines, Iowa

Editor Message QUOTES TO LIVE BY................... This month I struggled with my message, so I decided to leave you with some quotes that I’ve made up and some that you’ve heard before. I hope these help in whatever you may be going through in life. There is no competition ONLY PURPOSE – This has been a quote that I’ve held onto for the last year. I know that my life has a purpose and because of that purpose no one or anything can stand in my way. I’m competing against no one. I’m living out my purpose and enjoying every moment of it! Get comfortable with being UNCOMFORTABLE – I currently live in this space and through most of my life, I’ve been comfortable with the people, spaces, and circumstances. I’m not doing things that I don’t always believe I’m qualified to do. I have conversations with people who challenge my thinking, and changes have been made in my life that make me see a different point of view. I now embrace uncomfortableness. Live your BEST Life – We only get once chance at life. There are no do overs and when life comes to an end, that’s it. I’ve decided to live my best life which is different for each one of us. I know what I’m gifted it, and I know what I’m supposed to be doing in this season in my life, and everything I do, I want to do it at my BEST. LOVE while you have the chance– There are many different definitions of love based on your life circumstances. The world defines it one way, the church defines it another, people around you have their take on it. I’ve made the decision to open my heart to others and do my best to love people where they are. For me, I want to love people no matter what. That includes my significant other, kids, parents, friends, acquaintances, enemies, business partners, etc. These four letters have messed with me my entire life. Growing up love has changed for me. In my late 30’s I decided I wanted to love people no matter what. No matter if they like me, hate me, are jealous of me, are sick and tired of me, or want to see me do great things. Since I have made that request, I’ve had some rough people in my life. I don’t give up on people easily. I listen to understand and do all I can to love them if they’re having the best or the worst day……….. I choose LOVE! When you FALL DOWN, get UP – I have fell down so much that I shouldn’t even want to get back up, but I believe when we fall don’t we normally look up anyways? I will admit when I fall, I don’t immediately get back up, but I can’t stay down forever. I remember going to church one Sunday and I literally fell down to the ground. I was in the middle of the street, and I stayed down for a little bit. I looked up to the sky and after a few minutes, I got back up. Life is just the same way. You will hurt someone’s feelings, end a relationship, lose a job, and many other life circumstances can happen, but don’t let it keep you down. Get up! You can make it! LISTEN to others – One of the great gifts you can give someone is to listen to them. Think of the last time you listened to someone without interrupting them. I do a lot of listening because it’s important for me to hear people. I believe everyone is looking for someone to listen to them and that’s it. Try listening you will learn so much about a person when you do. Life is a JOURNEY – The journey in life will bring you through everything. Your path might start smooth and you feel everything is going right, and then your journey encounters a bump in the road that might have you stagnant for a while, but the journey continues. Everyone’s journey is different. I desire to help people on my journey, love people on my journey, support people on my journey, and live life like it could be the last day. I hope you all are enjoying your journey in life and that you are living your best life. Dwana Bradley -Dwana Bradley Dwana Bradley , Editor of Urban Experience Magazine August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 9

THE GREAT FRAME UP SUPPORTS AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTISTS AUGUST FEATURE: JOYCE J. SCOTT BY ANGELA JACKSON 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 American artist from Baltimore, Maryland – Joyce J. Scott. Joyce J. Scott (born 1948) is an African-American artist, sculptor, quilter, performance artist, installation artist, print-maker, lecturer and educator. Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016, Scott is best known for her figurative sculptures and jewelry using free form, off-loom bead weaving techniques, similar to a peyote stitch. One piece may be constructed with thousands of glass seed or pony beads, and incorporate various other found objects and materials such as glass, quilting and leather. In 2018, she was hailed for working in a new medium — a mixture of soil, clay, straw, and cement — for a sculpture meant to disintegrate and return to the earth. Scott is influenced by a variety of diverse cultures, including Native American and African traditions, Mexican, Czech, and Russian beadwork, illustration and comic books, and pop culture. Scott is renowned for her social commentary on issues such as racism, classism, sexism, violence, and cultural stereotypes, as well as themes of spiritual healing. Her work is about how Scott sees herself in a rapidly changing world: “These works are about personal growth, personal epiphanies and how not to get stuck in the easy ways of life- about art I am fairly fearless but in everyday life I am not”.

Arts & Music “They say talk about what you know . . . that’s why I use myself and my career as a visual and performance artist as my platform. Being born in the 1940’s and now living in the first quarter of the 21st century as an African American woman, I have a lot to say about what I’ve experienced. . . to express my citizenship and commitment to change by speaking through it, of our social and political existence. My work’s beauty is a lure.” - Joyce J. Scott, Des Moines Art Center Magazine July, 2019 Joyce Jane Scott was born in Baltimore in 1948 and has described herself as, “a true Baltimore babe and Sandtown girl”. She has lived in a row house in the Sandtown neighborhood for more than four decades Scott is the daughter of Charlie Scott Jr. and noted quilt maker Elizabeth Talford Scott. Her mother encouraged her creativity and Scott began drawing at the Coppin Demonstration School, a public education institution, and later attended Lemmel Middle School and Eastern High School in Baltimore. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende in Mexico. Later, Scott pursued further education at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. Scott’s own mother was an artist who taught Scott appliqué quilting techniques and encouraged her to pursue her career as an artist. One of her earliest artistic endeavors was sewing doll clothes. Scott is also influenced by craft traditions in her extended family of “quilters, woodworkers, basketweavers, chair caners, planters and blacksmiths,” where people developed skills in more than one craft so that they could survive. Her love of music and sense of spirituality solidified in her Pentecostal upbringing rich in gospel music. Scott’s African influences are manifested in her use of August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 11 intricate and elaborate decoration. By using techniques similar to West African Yoruba beadwork crowns and regalia, she reconfigures beads into a sculptural format. Scott’s practice includes performance in addition to sculpture. Her unapologetically critical and humorous personality is often employed in her performances to critique issues such as feminism, sexism, and racism. Like her jewelry and quilt works, her performance also often addresses storytelling and memory. Scott’s works are held by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, the Mint Museum of Art, North Carolina, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. Featured at the Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa - On Sunday, August 25th, 1:30pm, the Art Center will welcome artist Joyce J. Scott during their lecture series. She will speak about her work and life to the audience. The lecture theme is, “Joyce J. Scott: My Best Voice is an Artist”. I’ve made my reservation for this free event. I encourage the readers of the Urban Experience to make their reservations now. The lecture will take place in the Levitt Auditorium. Joyce J. Scott’s sculpture, “Mistaken Identity” entered the Art Center’s permanent collection in 2018. It will be on view at the Des Moines Community College Urban Campus from August 19-23.


COMMUNITY Arts & Music For more information— www.wikipedia.org and credits desmoinesartcenter.org 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. Upcoming Open House & Exhibit - Local Artist Kali Mayfin – Open House Thursday, August 1, 2019 5-8pm. Exhibit through August 31, 2019. 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 108pm & Saturday 10- 5pm. SAVE THE DATE: The Great Frame Up Features Local Artists! Original Art – Kaly Mayfin – Thursday, August 1st 5–8pm thegreatframeup.com and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tgfuwdmiowa. Please follow us on Pinterest www.pinterest.com/tgfuwdm and Twitter @tgfuwdm. URBANDALE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Serving, protecting and promoting businesses across the Des Moines Metro Experience what a 5 Star Acredited Chamber can do for your business! www.uniquelyurbandale.com | 515-331-6855 August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 13

COMMUNITY A Monumental Journey: TOLD BY THE ONES WHO TOOK THE JOURNEY by Dwana Bradley I had the opportunity on July 11th to talk with Judge Odell McGhee, Judge Henry Hamilton, and Dr. Vicky Long-Hill. Last year on July 12th, 2018 A Monumental Journey, an art piece created by Kerry Marshall was dedicated and now sits on the corner of 2nd and Grand Avenue. It was Judge O’Dell McGhee who came up with the idea to have an art piece in our city. I wanted to talk to these three to learn the history behind the monument, and the journey it took to make this monument a reality. Here is our conversation. Dwana: What is the history behind the monument, how it came to be, and the journey behind making this monument a reality? Judge Hamilton: There was the Iowa National Bar Association (INBA) and there is the National Bar Association (NBA). The INBA started out as the Iowa Colored Bar Association which started in 1901 and then five individuals from Des Moines started the National Bar Association in 1925. Judge McGhee: The five got together, they were the people who developed the initial concept of the NBA, and then they invited folks in surrounding states, and that’s when it became incorporated. We have twelve founders and they incorporated in 1925 as the National Bar Association Dr. Long-Hill: You will hear the story often and people will ask why some are referring to it as five founders and there are stories about the twelve. Five founders started it and approximately a year later, others from other states I believe Missouri, Illinois, joined in and by that time it became incorporated, there was twelve of them. Kerry James Marshall (American, born 1955) A Monumental Journey 2018 Manganese Ironspot brick, steel, granite Commissioned by Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation Collection, 2018.1

COMMUNITY Arts & Music Judge McGhee: Several lawyers had made a petition to the American Bar Association and all over the country they had been denied. Only one black got in, and then when they figured out it was a black person, they got thrown out. That was the atmosphere of the time, many people will say ‘why was the Bar Association so important?’ well it was at the time the organization that represented the interest of the group. It had a lot of political and social power at the time, so you wanted to be a member because they controlled so much of what was going on. So, it was imperative that if we wanted to be a part of the legal society we needed to be members of the bar association. It was important to be a part of the association because it opened doors for others in so many ways, doors other groups couldn’t open for you. I advocate today we don’t have be apart of what’s going on with everything else we can do stuff for our own so that’s why the NBA stands as a great example of people who said, “we can’t get into yours, we are gonna do our own thing”, and we are going to make it work and that’s what we need to be involved in. We have so many things going on in the world and our community, but we don’t seem to be able to get organized. Judge Hamilton: The interesting thing to is that the American Bar Association had admitted at least one black member and then there was a big uproar so they actually changed the rules to where if you were nonwhite you had to state your race on the application. Then they used that rule and there wasn’t another African American admitted into the American Bar Association until 1948. Judge McGhee: That’s amazing. Dr. Long-Hill: What I also find astonishing is that the five attorneys that started here in Des Moines were local attorneys, Gertrude Rush, James Morris, Charles Howard, Sr., S. Joe Brown, and George Henry Woodson. I think three of the five were officers commissioned at Fort Des Moines so that relationship between the finding and the incorporation of the NAACP is close in the timeline to the National Bar Association. Judge McGhee: Several of the original founders were also founders of the NAACP. The people who started the National Bar Association, they refused to let it die because they didn’t have the backing of the community. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 15

Judge Hamilton: Gertrude Rush was an awe striking person in the state organization which was around before the national organization was founded. She was the president of the Iowa Colored Bar Association in 1921, that made her the first female to lead a state-wide bar association. Dr. Long-Hill: She is the first African American female to be admitted to practice in the state of Iowa. Dwana: With hearing the history speak about the journey of getting to the monument and what made you want this in our city and what was involved with that? Judge McGhee: I think the story was we need to do something for ourselves and that’s why I felt this was an important thing. You can treat it however you want to that’s why from my perspective the monument is so important. We did not allow race to be a hinderance, we did something ourselves. On the 75th Anniversary of NBA, we were able to get them to come down to Iowa for a regional meeting and some of the board knew it was founded in Iowa, but they wanted to know where specifically it was founded. We had nothing to point to. We were able to find a small, little marker at St. Paul A.M.E. churches parking lot. We had a hard time finding that, but we were eventually able to find it. Drake University did give us an NBA room in the lower level of the Law School and we put the marker in that room. Here we have an organization that is supposed to represent over 60,000 people around the world. We have all these famous people and the like who are apart of this organization and we have nothing to show that it was founded here. I said I was going to do something about it. I was going to work with our organization and build a monument. You should see all the drawings I created and went onto sell it, most people didn’t find it interesting, but we found people after a while that started to say ‘that’s a good idea’. We were able to go out and we found a man by the name of Ralph, he was a wonderful guy, and executive at one of the banks. He liked what we were doing, and he started to sell it with us. He would be the person that could give you $1,000 right now. He had personality, and you know what, he died right in the middle of our first major campaign. When he died, it faltered for a while. We got back on and the public art people decided to give us a little money. They wanted a minority project. Judge McGhee: All these symmetrical problems are typical, and we went through them. The first site was in front of the Law Center. We had this project that was talking about injustice and the plight of African America. Then on the Riverwalk and that was going be our big place and we built it and it looked really good, it was a beautiful thing, we got federal money and the city worked with us, but you know what happened? The Riverwalk commission said our initial proposal for the wall was three feet too short we had everything worked out by the time we got around to find the extra money to raise the three feet, they pulled the federal money and moved it to Fort Dodge. They took our money and moved it there. Our artist floundered. We were able to get it reestablished with the Des Moines Art people and that was a long story. We finally got them to get it together to help us with the fundraising. Through all the hardships as in all projects it’s just good to have it up there and see it. You don’t know this, but it took us 18 years to get this done. Dr. Long-Hill: I felt personally that there was a point in time that as we struggled I reflected, and I said, “I can understand what the founders may have gone through.” The same atmospheres and attitudes.

COMMUNITY Arts & Music Judge McGhee: We were going in and out of offices and trying to get someone to go with the concept of having an African American piece. Your talking to people who barely know who you are, and they can’t begin to understand why you want to have this done, and you can explain it to them and they are like ok, but why would you want to recognize that. For a while there we would go in and out of lawyer’s offices and make presentations. We figured things out. It’s an important project because of the need for us to have more things to show that we did it our way. We did it our way and it worked, that’s why it’s important, look at these founders, they were denied something, and this is very important for young people to understand. We don’t have to wait, we just do it ourselves. As we go forward we need to understand that we have to do things ourselves. You can get there even if you’re asking for nickels and dimes. You can do what you want to do if you plan and work, you have to work for it. You can do it. Dwana: While talking to these three I understood the importance of the monument and the dedication that was given to make sure those who started the National Bar Association were remembered. It was five individuals who started the journey and partnered with other to make something of their own, and for that they should be recognized, discussed, and their story should be told by all. I thank Judge McGhee, Judge Hamilton, and Dr. Vicky Long-Hill for taking their time to talk with me. Take the time to learn about a Monumental Journey. You can visit the Des Moines Public Art Foundation’s website at https://dsmpublicartfoundation.org. Make sure you stop by and visit the monument. Have a conversation while your there and tell all about the rich history we have here in our city. Next month check out our story on Dr. Vicky Long-Hill she was a recipient of the Gertrude Rush award and she is someone you will want to know. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 17 RICKI KING Ricki@RootsToBranchesGenealogy.com www.RootsToBranchesGenealogy.com

SPIRITUALITY One Door Closed, God Opened Another by Donnetta Austin At some point in our lives we’ve all been face to face with the truth of knowing that all things must come to an end. The beginning stages or process of where you start is not always easy. You may go through some high and low moments but, how you finish or bring closure to an end is an accomplishment. When you are able to remain standing through any race, storm, or trial that comes against you in life, God is smiling. You let faith step in and conquer over the battle. God has created us to fellowship with Himself and others. However, we are human and sometimes make unwise decisions or choices which can cause adversity. Proverbs 27:17 says, As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Ask yourself; is the relationship or friendship a liability or an asset? Don’t miss out on your purpose that God is trying to take you to. The outcome of where you are headed should be producing good fruit. As an example: I think about the story of Naomi and Ruth in the Bible. Ruth chapter 1-4 Naomi’s husband passed away and soon after that both of her son’s Mahlon and Kilion died also. Naomi just had her daughter-in-laws left Orpah and Ruth. Naomi insisted that both of her daughter-in-laws go back to their mother’s home. Naomi was feeling bitter about her loss. Orpah kissed her mother-inlaw good-bye, but Ruth clung to her. Ruth remained adamant about sticking with Naomi through thick and thin. Ruth loved Naomi and remained not only her daughter-inlaw but a great friend. Ruth could have easily missed out on her blessing meeting her husband Boaz had she not been so accommodating to Naomi. When we intentionally stay obedient, keeping our focus on God, that shows our trust in Him. Author: Donnetta Austin Book: “Never Retire God” on Amazon Facebook: Be Encouraged, Inspirational Books by Donnetta Austin August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 19

Overcoming Fear with Faith: Step by Step Faith Walker Adrienne K. Brown By Tiffany Braxton It was a bright, summery, ethereal evening when I met with Adrienne K. Brown at Smokey Row Cafe. When Adrienne walked in she made an entrance with that, “million dollar smile” of hers complimented with her beautiful soul warming, soothing brown eyes. Adrienne and I embraced a reflection of our Christian upbringing of faith and love. I thanked Adrienne for coming and explained that I was pleased to announce that she had been selected as Step by Step Faith’s first Step by Step Faith Walker. Adrienne expressed gratefulness. Step by Step Faith is a creative and positive place where people are encouraged to step out on faith, live their dreams and change the world one step at a time. If you are interested in learning more about us and joining the family like our Facebook page Step by Step Faith and visit the website at www.stepbystepfaith.com A working definition of a Step by Step Faith walker is someone who defies the odds. A person who looks beyond their life circumstances and makes a conscious decision to walk by faith and embrace their God given purpose while encouraging others to do so and “live’. Adrienne K. Brown epitomizes these characteristics. Join me on this journey as we uncover a few pages of Adrienne’s amazing life. Adrienne was born and raised in Des Moines, IA. She was raised by her mother, sadly her father passed away right before she was born. Adrienne notes at an early age seeing her hardworking and strong mother doing all she could to make ends meet to provide for her and her three other siblings. Adrienne learned from her mother the importance of working hard and understanding the things we want in life takes diligence, nothing is handed to you. Adrienne has been singing since the age of 4 largely due to her godly grandmother and being raised in church. Adrienne often sang Praise and Worship songs. Around the age of Step by Step Faith is a blog which has expanded to an online community of faith that I prayerfully believe will transform into a movement. 11 Adrienne caught her family by surprise and showcased her sultry and rich voice proving she could really “sang” during a family barbecue. Adrienne belted out a popular Mary J. Blige classic remake of I’m Going Down and the rest is musical history. Adrienne notes she received her big break in God’s timing. Recently a friend of a friend connected Ms. Brown with Booker T. Productions. She was then approached to do an album. It is Adrienne’s dream not only to have a music career but that career is focused on ministry.

SPIRITUALITY Her heart’s desire is to reach out to people, especially those that feel “invisible” an invisibility she has felt in the past living in this complicated and ever changing world. Adrienne K. Brown is stepping out on faith and living her dreams one step at a time. Right now she is working on her first album. There have been trials that have come her way but she refuses to give up. Adrienne has made a conscious decision not to let trials that surround her bring stress and anxiety as she leans on God to guide the way. Adrienne is utilizing her abilities through song writing and collaborating with a talented team of producers and musicians. Her single was recently released. It is titled In and Out of Season. The single has received rave reviews. Adrienne’s advice to people who want to live their dreams but are afraid to take the first step is “Don’t hold yourself back on the blessings God has in store for you. Just do it.” Adrienne’s charisma and trust in God has helped her to conquer her trials and overcome fear with faith. That is why Adrienne is recognized as a Step by Step Faith Walker. Does Adrienne’s story resonate with you? Stay connected by liking her Facebook page Adrienne K. Brown Ministries for updates plus booking information if needed and Instagram Adrienne K. We wish Ms. Brown well as she Steps out on Faith The best is yet to come! August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 21

A Special Tribute from your by Celeste Lawson Daughter While I realize that Father’s Day was celebrated on June 16th this year, and was followed by Juneteenth, which was statutorily observed on June 15th this year, I am taking this opportunity to express my appreciation for the tireless work my father, Gary L. Lawson, has done, and is doing, to improve community development and relations in Iowa. Although my father was born and raised in Pennsylvania, his community service in Iowa spans across four decades and is evidenced by such accomplishments as: 1) appointed by Governor Terry Brandstad, and confirmed by the Iowa Senate, to serve as the first Division Administrator for the Iowa Commission on the Status of African-Americans, within the Iowa Department of Human Rights https://humanrights. iowa.gov/cas/saa; 2) conceived and organized the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame https://www. studentaffairs.iastate. edu/iaahf/ (he was also inducted); 3) lead organizer, in collaboration with the Iowa Workforce Development agency, of Iowa’s first statewide School-To-Work conference, Iowa Works, that served as the precursor for the current Iowa workforce intermediaries that address

COMMUNITY skill gaps in the workplace https://www.iowaworks. gov/vosnet/Default.aspx; and 4) organizer of Iowa’s first statewide workforce diversity initiative, the Diversity Institute of Iowa, that was attended by leaders in business, education, government, and labor. from The Legal Services Corporation of Iowa; 8) Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Education from the State of Iowa Board of Education; 9) the Award for Educating on the Historical Significance of Juneteenth from the Creative Visions Human Development My father has received numerous national, state, and local awards, and recognition. Among them are: 1) induction into the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame; 2) the Judge Luther T. Glanton Community Service Award from the Central Iowa Chapter of Blacks in Government; 3) the Exemplary Leadership Award from the State Employees’ Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Celebration Committee; 4) the Excellence in Community Service Award from the Collaboration of Des Moines Community Organizations; 5) the Outstanding Vision Award from the Presbytery of Des Moines; 6) the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Des Moines Black Ministerial Alliance (currently the Des Moines Pastors and Ministers Alliance); 7) Excellence in Service Award Institute); 10) the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award from the Mid-Iowa Council - Boy Scouts of America); 11) the Community Service Award jointly presented by the Des Moines Black Ministerial Alliance (PMA) and the Des Moines Branch of the NAACP; and 12) the Legacy Award from the I’ll Make Me A World In Iowa organization. The accomplishment that I am focusing on in this article has to do with my father’s body of work with Juneteenth activities. He founded the Iowa Juneteenth Celebration in Des Moines during 1990. Starting in 2001, he spearheaded efforts in the Iowa Legislature to establish Juneteenth as a holiday in Iowa. In 2002, Juneteenth legislation was passed in both the Iowa House and Senate and sent to Governor Tom Vilsack for his signature. On April 11, 2002, Governor Vilsack signed the legislation into law during a special ceremony in his office, establishing Juneteenth as an official day of observance in Iowa to be celebrated annually on the third Saturday during June. Following the official recognition of Juneteenth in Iowa, my dad changed the name of the Iowa Juneteenth Celebration to the Iowa Juneteenth Observance. In 2006, he initiated efforts with the State Librarian that led to placement of Juneteenth history books in all of Iowa’s public libraries (see State Library of Iowa Footnotes, Volume 31, No. 3-4-5, March, April, May 2006). In 2007, he led collaborative efforts with the Iowa Department of Education for the placement of Juneteenth history books in the libraries of middle schools across Iowa. My father successfully worked with Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to establish a permanent Juneteenth museum exhibit. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 23

Over the years, my father has served as a board member, and commissioner, of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation http://www. nationaljuneteenth.com. In 2011, he successfully initiated efforts to design and produce an Iowa Juneteenth Patch for the Mid-Iowa Council - Boy Scouts of America. In 2015, my father initiated efforts to transfer custodianship of the Iowa Juneteenth Observance to what is now the Urban Experience Magazine https:// to primarily operate his consulting business, he repeatedly set aside his business pursuits to respond to pleas from the community for his assistance. The countless hours he has worked in service to the state community has been his priority. Ranking high on his priority list was Juneteenth. Nine years ago, my father’s sister, Carolyn A. LawsonMills, who lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contacted her local State Representative about pursuing legislation in Pennsylvania to officially When my father was made aware that his sister’s work with Juneteenth was about to be completed in Pennsylvania, he was ecstatic https://www. pennlive.com/news/2019/06/ when-juneteenth-is-madeofficial-wednesday-in-paone-harrisburg-family-willhave-special-reason-tocelebrate.html. On June 19, 2019, a historic event took place in Pennsylvania as Governor Tom Wolf signed the Juneteenth legislation into law during a special ceremony in his office. Dad, I’m proud of you and what you have personally sacrificed in service to the people of Iowa! www.desmoinesregister. com/story/news/local/ community/2015/11/28/ iowa-juneteenthobservance/76489858/. I began this article with wanting to express my appreciation for the tireless work my father is doing in Iowa. Practically all of this was done through the Connect Foundation (a non-profit organization he founded) and Quality Management Services (a consulting business he established). Although my father left state government recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday observance. My aunt continued pursuing the Juneteenth legislation until her death on October 28, 2018. Following her death, work continued on establishing Juneteenth as an official holiday observance in Pennsylvania until legislation was finally passed by both the House and Senate in the Pennsylvania General Assembly earlier this year, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf prepared to sign the Juneteenth legislation into law. The event was attended by her son, Larry Mills, Jr., and a host of state officials and community leaders. In addition, a historic achievement was complete as my father and aunt became the only known siblings who spearheaded efforts that led to official Juneteenth holiday observance laws in their respective states of residence.

COMMUNITY The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We are prone to judge success by the index of our own salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.” Ms. Evelyn Davis, the late honored and pioneering community activist in Iowa, once referred to my father as making “a big difference, a huge difference” (Des Moines Register, May 19, 1997). Celeste Lawson is a freelance writer who focuses on various aspects of education and cultural diversity. She earned a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, with concentrations in English and Language Arts. In addition, she has more than 20 years of classroom experience with teaching students at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. 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 August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 25

Well, contrary to popular belief, feelings do not just disappear because they are suppressed or avoided. In fact, hidden feelings are like silent assassins; hence the phrase “silent but deadly”. Just when we think we are safe from them [our feelings], they sneak up on us, and attack without warning at the most inopportune moment! This attack comes in many forms. It could be bouts of anger, a physical attack on our bodies such as a heart attack, being disrespectful to someone that is trying to show genuine concern for us, or even in the form self-sabotage. Regardless of how it is manifested, the effects are often devastating. Men are notorious for messing up perfectly good situations because of a lack of communication Silent But Deadly by Terry Howell For many generations, men have been designated to bear the weight of responsibility for their households, families, careers, and so on. Of course, we should be responsible for these things. The issue in question is not the responsibility. The concern; however, is how we are taught to handle that responsibility. It is common practice to teach our young boys to be tough – that feelings are for girls. This line of thinking plagues our society to this day! Because boys [whom will eventually become men] always view expression as a sign of weakness, they continue to hide the way they are truly feeling inside. Why is this a problem? or a lack of expression. We would rather go down in flames than open up and allow ourselves a brief moment of vulnerability. Why? It is because we don’t want to appear to be “soft” to others. As I mentioned earlier, feelings do not just disappear. At some point, if not properly expressed, those feelings are going to come out in one form or another. More often than not, when they do boil to the surface, we often act out of character and leave a trail of devastation and destruction in its wake. Make no mistake; men are not always what they appear to be! Yes, they laugh, they joke, and they have fun on the outside, but on the inside, they are in anguish because they are trapped little boys that have yet to heal. They mask their pain with the appearance of confidence, arrogance, humor, conceit, and the like, but on the inside they are suffering from depression and anxiety. Many men are stuck in a mindset that is unhealthy, and yet, refuse to choose something different. They are not stuck because they can’t talk or become vulnerable. They are stuck because they are not willing to talk or become vulnerable. Men willingly keep themselves locked away in selfimposed prisons of their minds because of pride. It is my hope that every man that reads this article will understand how critical it is to talk about your

COMMUNITY pain! Some of the things that you have endured in your life have not been fair, but it is also not your burden to carry to your grave alone! You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. It takes courage to talk, but I believe in each of you. Our lives are not unpredictable; it is a direct result of every decision we make! When you choose not to talk, whether you realize it or not, you are choosing depression and loneliness over the beautiful life you could potentially have if you are willing to set yourselves free. I have been surrounded by many people that loved me in my lifetime, and I still felt lonely inside. Why? Because I had unexpressed pain, and even in the moments I wanted to talk, I didn’t because I had a lack of trust for others. There is a time and place to be the protector and the provider, but you also have to know that you cannot be “superman” all the time! At some point, “Clark Kent” needs to make an appearance so you can be healed of the emotional trauma that you have undoubtedly suffered. Join me, and let’s change the narrative of what we teach our young boys together! Let’s choose expression over silence. Take the pledge to put pride under our feet, and win our lives back! Talk to someone today, and let us become “Men Above Pride!” After all, our boys, the future generation, are following our lead. Show them that feelings are ok, and allow them to express those feelings without the fear of being judged and ridiculed. We owe that to ourselves, our sons, and the future of our communities. Free yourselves! Terry Howell is a freelance writer in the Des Moines area whose topics of discussion will be centered around male vulnerability, male pride and the mental well-being of men. His emphasis is on the AfricanAmerican community.Terry did his undergraduate studies at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. He is passionate about conveying the importance for men to express their emotions, and break the silence of their inward struggles with confidence and August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 27 courage. He is the Executive Director of his company TH Consultants, LLC where he specializes in various writing services, and has started a Men’s Movement called, “Men Above Pride” which will be holding meetings in the Des Moines area soon.

MEET OUR FOURTH SISTER STATE About: Terengganu, Malaysia Population: 1 million Capital: Kuala Terengganu Language: Bahasa Malaysia Area: 13035 sq.km Religon: Islam Major Attractions: Redong Islands, Lake Kenvir, Pasir Raja, Chendering, Pulau Redang Goverment: Parlimentary form, headed by a Chief Minister, with a Sultan as the titular ruler Climate: Tropical

COMMUNITY Iowa’s first Malaysian exchange student, Alias, was partnered up with a young man named Bill, as Bill was the only other Muslim student his professor knew of. As time went on and they parted ways, a Trade Mission to Malaysia in December 1979 allowed Bill and Alias to meet after many years of distance as global travel and trade was still in its infancy, especially between U.S.A. and Southeast Asia. Iowa became a State leader in International trade. Eventually, there was a meeting in Des Moines with Governor Ray and the Sister State Committee members. As an official representative of Terengganu, Chief Minister Dato Seri Amar Di Raja proposed with Governor Ray that a new Sister State program between Iowa and Malaysia be initiated. This would be the first Iowa Sister State program with a country of Islamic Heritage. Our fourth sister state developed as a lot of citizen diplomacy things do, through a person-to-person interaction. Many in Malaysia were surprised at a linkage between Iowa, the Heartland of America, and Terengganu, far from the Capitol and main activities of Malaysia, to partner for education, trade, tourism, and mutual exchange. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 29

Janet with Batik group Over the course of two years, the Sister State program was formalized and in 1987 then Governor Branstad led an official Sister State Committee to Terengganu, Malaysia to inaugurate the official Sister State program. One of the highlights of the trip was the dinner reception by the Iowa Malaysian Alumni Student Association, with nearly 300 Malaysian Iowa graduates attending along with representatives from the U.S. Embassy and friends of the U.S.A. Since then, a number of exchanges have occurred spanning art, religion, education, and culture. Students from Malaysia, including Terengganu, attend Iowa universities every year. A conference highlighting the Muslim faith took place as well as courses on Batik art. Although the relationship has slowed down in recent years, it is a relationship that remains special and very much a part of the heart of Iowa Sister States. To get involved with this relationship please connect with Iowa Sister States on Facebook and Twitter at @ IASisterStates, on Instagram at @IowaSisterStates or visit their website at www.iowasisterstates.org. Web Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terengganu Kass(ISS), Speaker Noripah, her husband, Danial Shafri (Malaysian Student Association planner) and Del Christenson (IRIS (1)

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 August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 31

Beauty Tips Self-Care by Ty Daye of TranZitions Salon & Beauty Bar. Of course, we all enjoy going to our favorite beauty professional & requesting our favorite beauty treatment whether it be a luxurious mani & pedi, that facial that leaves your skin feeling like silk or that tantalizing shampoo & style. We believe that health and beauty are a “Inside Out” combination. As women we wear so many “hats” that something as small as alone time and silence can go overlooked. However, these “small things” that compounded over time could have a huge effect on our overall health and internal/external beauty. This month we want to share a simple meditation exercise.

BEAUTY TIPS Meditation is simply control over your thoughts- instead of going through our lives and our days allowing the music we listen to or that phone call from our girl friend to dictate our emotions and actions. We will now live with purpose ON PURPOSE. Meditation can be done anywhere! On your lunch break, in the bathtub, or even laying in bed. Once you find yourself with a moment alone try and dedicate that time to you. Cancel out everything around you. Don’t think about work, friends or even what’s for dinner. Use this moment to listen. Decide for yourself what will be the thought of interest for this moment. Ex: If happiness is your thought for the moment, think about what happiness looks like for you. What happiness feels like for you. Even try to visualize the Happiness. Once you’ve decided what the thought will be, think only about that thought. Visualize that thought. Every time your mind tries to wonder off bring it back to that thought. In the beginning try to start with 1-2min per time. Eventually you’ll be able to meditate longer times as needed! Sitting alone with just your thoughts... Sounds simple right!? Our hope is that this exercise will help when dealing with hard situations. Which will positively impact your internal health, and in turn radiate your external beauty. Please follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with our upcoming events and beauty specials and giveaways. Also be sure to comment on our feedback post about subjects you all would like to see us cover in Urban Experience Magazine. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 33 D C G f L

BEAUTY TIPS Follow us on Instagram and Facebook IG- Tranzitionsbeauty FB- TranZitions Salon and Beauty Bar At TranZitions Beauty our passion is to create and inspire. We realize that we are all given gifts and talents out hope is that in using our given talents we are able to inspire others to recognize and utilize their own. We specailze in Hair and spa services. ————————————————Ty Daye is a well know licensed hair Stylist in the Des Moines area who has been in the industry for over 15 years. She enjoys teaching all she’s learned over the years. Courtney Nevilles is licensed Esthetican in Des Moines area who has over 2 years experience. She offers Semi Permanent makeup, full body waxing, facials, chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, Eyelash extensions. Quianna Tucker is Chicago native licensed hair Stylist in the Des Moines area who has been in the industry for over 15 years. She specializes in braids and natural hair. Gives you the latest care tips about how to take care of your braids & save your “edges ladies”. Teen Boss Mentorship Program Does your teen have a natural talent for hair, nails, skin care, fashion or make up? Yes! Then they are the perfect candidate for our TranZitions Beauty Teen Boss Mentor Program. Please Contact at Tranzitonsbeauty@yahoo.com Send pictures of work and social media outles. If you are selected we will contact you with next steps. Marsai Martin Essynce Moore

August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 35

Joshua Christian Academy: An Education Oasis in a Desert of Academic Challenges by Celeste Lawson

PUBLIC AFFAIRS There are religious scholars who refer to Joshua as an attendant to Moses, and a fearless warrior in the service of God. In the city of Des Moines there is a school, Joshua Christian Academy, that is waging a modern-day war to turn the tide regarding urban education. The school’s Executive Director/Elementary School Principal, Reverend Keith A. Ratliff, Sr., who is also the Pastor of Maple Street Baptist Church, is considered a present-day Joshua when it comes to waging a war against substandard education in the Des Moines urban community. Joshua Christian Academy is also proud of their competitive sports activities and has an impressive basketball facility. Joshua Christian Academy is open to all, regardless of church affiliation. If you are a parent or know parents in Des Moines who are seeking a better education for their child(ren), you may want to contact Joshua Christian Academy and inquire about tuition costs and assistance. Depending on your financial status, there are several options for admission. You won’t know whether or not your child(ren) will qualify unless you call or visit the school. On July 16, 2019, I had the pleasure to visit with Reverend Ratliff and discuss his mission and future plans for the Joshua Christian Academy. Celeste: Briefly, would you please provide the objective and history of why and how Joshua Christian Academy came about to its present-day existence? Rev. Ratliff: The objective of the school is to give students who normally couldn’t afford a Christian education the opportunity to do so without the economic hardship that it can carry, and to teach Christian education as they learn other core academic subjects. Our mission statement is ‘To build a Christ-centered academic foundation within the hearts and minds of urban children, equipping them and their families to serve God and others to their fullest potential through outstanding biblical education’. Back in 2008, Ms. Chris Hurley asked me what I thought about an affordable urban Christian school. I answered, ‘Let’s pray about it’. We agreed that this would be something very valuable to the Des Moines community. During the summer of 2008, we formed a group called the Design Team as we prayed and planned what we hoped the Joshua Christian Academy would be like. We wanted to serve the underserved by providing them with love and resources necessary to overcome the odds to become catalysts for positive change in their families and communities, all within a Christcentered approach. We opened the doors of our school, Joshua Christian Academy at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in September of 2009. We are multi-denominational, even though we started at Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, Joshua Christian Academy is not just for those attending a Baptist church, Church of God in Christ, nor any other specific denomination, Joshua Christian Academy is open to all denominations. The Joshua Christian Academy is presently located where the Logan Elementary School was formerly located, 1740 Garfield Avenue, Des Moines. We’ve been at this location going into our seventh year. We have existed as a school going into our eleventh year. We started with nine students enrolled in K-3 (kindergarten-3rd grade), and basically added a grade each year. Now, we have students enrolled in K-12 (kindergarten-12th grade). We had our first graduate this year, Ms. Laya Rudison, who was accepted by the University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, Des Moines Area Community College, and the University of the District of Columbia. She chose the University of the District of Columbia and received a full scholarship/financial package to continue her education. Currently, the Joshua Christian Academy has approximately 140 to 145 students enrolled to begin K-12 classes starting this fall. August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 37

students are better prepared coming out of Joshua Christian Academy. Our student population is 85% minority, meaning African-Americans, Latinos, Native Africans, and Asians. Caucasians make up 15% of our student population. Celeste: How were you able to enroll such a high percentage of culturally diverse students? Rev. Ratliff: We put it out there on our website, which is www.gotjosh.org. We visited with a number of churches where the congregations consisted of a majority of African-Americans. We also visited churches with a majority of Caucasians in their congregations. Additionally, we reached out to churches that have multicultural congregations. We sent out fliers. Information about our school also spread by word-ofmouth that there is an urban Christian school that is not only teaching about our ABCs with smaller class sizes, but also teaching about God and Jesus…and the word has spread. Celeste: Generally, African-American students do not perform well academically in the public school system. What academic future do you envision for such students who enroll in the Joshua Christian Academy? Rev. Ratliff: We have smaller class sizes that average 15 students per class. We feel that having smaller class sizes is very important. We also take the Iowa Assessments (an achievement test for grades K-12 which measures a student’s knowledge in subject areas that students have learned in school) like public schools, and our Iowa Assessments are higher than public schools…we do a better job. Third through twelfth grade is tested and we get better results. Our Ms. Chris Hurley is the president of our board of directors. A partial list of our staff includes Reverend Brandon Spriggs, our secondary school principal; Ms. Andrea Terry, our second grade teacher; Reverend Toni Jenkins Harris, our teacher associate; Ms. Marjorie Shade, our fourth grade teacher; Ms. Lois Edwards, our secondary social studies teacher; Ms. Alice Boyd, our social studies teacher; Ms. Phyllis Ousley Voss, our resource teacher; and Ms. Allonna Stovall, our third grade teacher. We utilize what is called the Abeka curriculum. For example, if you are in third grade, you are actually learning at the fourth grade level. So, we are a year ahead in our teaching and learning activities. We know it is very difficult and we are very positive. We never want to put anyone down, our public school teachers are doing the very best that they can, many of them have to teach 35 to 40 students in one classroom. We are blessed that we average 15 students per classroom and have to place children on our waiting list. Celeste: How can parents in the Des Moines community, especially African-American parents, enroll their child(ren) in the Joshua Christian Academy? Rev. Ratliff: View our website, www.gotjosh.org. Stop by our school, we invite everyone to speak with our staff and get a tour of our building. I am humbled and blessed to be the executive director, and the elementary school principal.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS I mention these individuals because I believe that most people in the urban community know them and are provided with insight as to the kind of teachers and other staff that we have at this school. They are no-nonsense, disciplinarian people who love our students and all children in general. Celeste: Are there any other thoughts that you want to share? Rev. Ratliff: Only that we must continue to teach our children that: 1) they can be all that they can be; 2) to inspire our students leaving them wanting more, not less, out of life; and 3) that God’s way is always the best way to be all that you can be. God Bless. Celeste: Thank you. Made Easley makes the creating process easy by providing branding, advertising, and event services! GET 2 Digital Flyers for $40 $400 for Animated Logos Made 360 Celeste Lawson is a freelance writer who focuses on various aspects of education and cultural diversity. She earned a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, with concentrations in English and Language Arts. In addition, she has more than 20 years of classroom experience with teaching students at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels. $600 Package * Custom Logo * Business Cards * 6 Flyer Designs *Custom Social Media Plan Visit https://asheasley.myportfolio.com/ August 2019 The URBAN EXPERIENCE 39

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