Ruth Ann Gaines Making Herstory By James Mendez Contributions by Mezekerta Tesfay Inside Interview with Ms. Courageous Fire Part 2 Arts & Music Artist Feature: Jill Wells BluePrint The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia March 2021 ISSUE


WRITERS & STAFF Editor-In-Chief Dwana Bradley Contributors Copy Editor Virgina Smith Creative Director Ash Easley Donnetta Austin Debra Carr Terence Haynes Angela Jackson Celeste Lawson Gary Lawson Bert Moody Lori Young DeMarcus Hamilton MAGAZINE OUTLETS Broadlawns 1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50314 CareMore 1530 East Euclid, Des Moines, Iowa 50313 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 Fields 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 Join our email club at: joindsmurban@gmail.com 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 Submit your news to: dsmurbannews@gmail.com COVID-19 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 Become a Outlet for Urban: contactdsmurban@gmail.com

Features 09 14 15 Ruth Ann Gaines Artist of the Month 18 21 Blueprint God our Provider The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia 26 28 Stop letting a sleep disorder keep you up at night… The Honorable Ross Wilburn The first Black Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 5 What’s Inside?


Advantages of Buying versus Renting FINANCIAL FACTORS Build Equity – For most mortgages, monthly payments include both principal and interest, with principal representing your actual ownership of the home. Over time, the principal portion of each monthly payment increases, helping homeowners build equity faster. Owners can also build equity by making smart improvements, especially if the cost of the project boosts your home’s resale value by more than what you invest in the improvement. Tax Benefits – If you itemize your federal income tax return, you can deduct property taxes and any mortgage interest paid during the tax year. You may also be able to take advantage of other local, state or federal incentives, such as home improvements that qualify for an energy tax credit. Potential Rental Income – At some point, you may decide to convert your home into an investment property by leasing out some or all of your space. (For example, keep your first home for rental income when you decide to move to larger quarters.) Just be sure to investigate local rental property laws first. Capmbel l You r DM I Realto r P O BO X 2643 D se Moinse , AI 61305 Penoh : “I’ m you r ARB® waDn 515-084- 8350 Dawn@DMIeralrot.co m www.dmieralrot.co m ” Deciding to buy a home is a highly personal choice that involves weighing numerous financial factors and individual preferences. While renting may be easier on your budget and provide more flexibility to relocate for new work opportunities, there are a number of strong reasons to purchase a home, including: SUBJECTIVE CONSIDERATIONS Creative Freedom – Your home is your space, and you can do whatever you want with it, just be mindful of zoning violations. Paint the walls, add a deck, create a workshop for your favorite hobbies, etc. When you own a home, you’re only limited by your imagination. Privacy – In contrast to sharing space with roommates or other family members, owning a home provides a private “sanctuary.” Even if you’ve been renting your own apartment space, you may be craving a retreat from noisy (or nosey) neighbors. Sense of Belonging – Buying a home involves a larger, longer-term commitment (than renting) that often extends beyond a house into a community, opening the door to participation in local events, meeting and supporting neighbors, and building deeper friendships. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR® Agent Council (REBAC), a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® ) designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s (NAR). To learn more about REBAC and access various homebuyer resources, please visit REBAC.net.


DES MOINES, IOWA – As an established custom frame retailer and art gallery, The Great Frame Up in West Des Moines is dedicated to supporting local artists and creating awareness of noted African American artists. This month we introduce our readers to Jill Wells —a local painter celebrated for her paintings, public art and murals. “I really gravitate towards situations that deal with struggle, . . . I can work through what I’m going through, and I can help someone else work through things as well. It lets you have the conversation you were never able to have or didn’t feel comfortable having.” - Jill Wells Jill Wells is a Des Moines - based artist with prints available at The Great Frame Up. Most known for her murals and art therapy she enjoys large scale work as a way of conducting a public healing exercise. Her selections of subjects are sometimes personal and sometimes historical. She did a series that featured some of the iconic pioneers in African American history to add her voice to the public narrative. Her earlier work evokes a melodic feeling when viewing the painted portraits. Sometimes mixed media is used in her artwork. She has one of a young girl dressed in pink working in a field of copper pennies.

Education Jill Wells was born in Indianola, Iowa. She graduated from Drake University where she received her B.F.A in painting in 2005. Over the past 12 years she has been creating public and private murals across Iowa, Arizona and New Orleans. In an article by Tiffany Westrom from the Ames Tribune she describes some of Jill Wells earlier artwork entitled “The Cotton Memoirs” – “unexpected billowing swipes of paint characterize canvases that depict the dark scenes of slave labor.” Jill said that the children in the pictures caught her attention first and foremost. Jill Wells shared that “One of the pictures used to make me cry, the shadow of the darkened eyes was just extremely compelling.” “The Cotton Memoirs,” included large painted canvas and small pencil drawings that contained replicas of old black and white photographs illuminated by color. She stylized the images, instead of wearing traditional farm clothes, the children wear special garb. One is depicted in a graduation gown, another a judicial robe — all for the purpose of giving the audience more clues so that they might do their own research. “I stressed the palette,” she said. “They were black and white originally, but color provides a soothing luxury for a situation that was extremely difficult.” Wells grew up in Iowa and was aware of the lack of diversity in her community. When she began attending Drake University, it became clear that one day each year during black history month was not nearly enough to understand her history. “The Cotton Memoirs” began as her thesis in 2003 and continued on for years as she added to the collection. For her, these pieces became a way to talk about tough things and to start the conversations that people are afraid to have. Wells continues to use art to proclaim a humbling past and real pain paired with enduring hope. As a result of the social unrest do the murder of George Floyd and others, she co-hosted several virtual conversations with artists in 2020. Jill recently participated in the first artist co-hort at Mainframe Studios. She is currently one of the local professional artists selected for the Arts Inc. hosted by the Des Moines Art Festival. Professional Accomplishments - Gallery ExhibitionsHeritage Gallery: CIML 1999; Des Moines Art Center: Ice Cream Social group exhibit 2003; The Great Frame Up: Solo exhibits 2005-2013; Iowa State University Multicultural Center: Solo exhibit 2013. Community Projects - Murals Creative Visions 1999 “Running Out of Time” (65’ x 11’); The Blank Park Zoo 2006 “Under The Sea” (62’ x 9’); YMCA Walnut Creek 2006 Pool Mural (76’ x 17’); Iowa Lutheran

Hospital 2007 Children’s Health & Science Unit (220’ x 12’); Warren County Conservation Center Annette Nature Center 2012 Prairie Mural (17’ x 10’); St. Gregory’s Retreat 2012 “Sunflower” (10’ x 3’) “ Valor” (7’ x 12’); Disabilities Rights Mural . . . . .Credits: Ames Tribune by Tiffany Westrom & www.jillwellsart.com About The Great Frame Up Founded in 1972, The Great Frame Up, Inc. is an established, nationally-known custom picture framer, offering more than 1,000 custom frames, mat styles, ready to hang framed art and local artwork. Treasured keepsakes and collectible art are preserved. All custom framing is done on site. The West Des Moines location of The Great Frame Up opened in 2005 at 5515 Mills Civic Parkway in West Glen and is open Monday - Saturday 10- 5pm. The Great Frame Up currently features originals, prints, sculptures and framed artwork of numerous African American and Iowa artists in the gallery. To view some of the prior artists featured visit www.westdesmoines. thegreatframeup.com and like our Facebook page at www. facebook.com/tgfuwdmiowa. Please follow us on Instagram @thegreatframeup_wdm, Pinterest www.pinterest.com/ tgfuwdm and Twitter @tgfuwdm.

by Donnetta Austin Lord this season may we look to you to intercede on behalf of those who are feeling depleted. The thought of trying to figure out where to turn to , or go from here next is overwhelming and quite frankly stressful. Take the fear of what is hindering us to having your way in our lives. Help us to have self-discipline, courage, and be willing or open to experiencing a relationship full of life with you. May the abundance of your grace and mercy along with your captivating love endure within us forever. As we make our request known to you Lord, may you provide the peace that surpasses all understanding. We are reminded in the Bible scripture Matthew 6:25-34 “Do not worry” and Philippians 4:68 “Be anxious for nothing”. You have not given us a heart of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. Lord you are the source of our lives and the solution to all of our problems we face. May we continue to meditate on your word as it will enlighten us, have an attentive and listening ear, remain obedient, and trust in you. As we will continue to always give you the praise and glorify your holy name. By: Author Donnetta Austin Email: be.encouragedbyone@ gmail.com Book on Amazon: Never Retire God

Ruth Ann Gaines Accepts “Uncommon Public Service” Award in Uncommon Way By James Mendez Contributions by Mezekerta Tesfay

State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines became the second Black person to accept the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Public Service Award at the beginning of this year. The “Uncommon Public Service Award” is presented annually to one State Senator and one State Representative. The honor was created by the Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation in West Branch, Iowa. According to their website, the award is given to Iowa legislators who have “demonstrated uncommon service to the people of Iowa above and beyond their legislative responsibilities.” Representative Gaines accepted the award on 13 January 2021, in a ceremony held during the first week of session. State Representative Bobby Kaufman, who has presented many former recipients with the award, opened the ceremony by highlighting Gaines’ accomplishments. “Giving this award is particularly special for me, because we’ve be friends for over half a decade,” said Representative Kaufman, “and I can think of no one in this chamber more deserving of this award.” Continuing through his introduction, Kaufman also shared some highlights from Rep. Gaines’ career. “She has been recognized as teacher of the year many times by many organizations, she was the first recipient of the Heritage legacy award, and most recently named as the BHM Honorees by Banker’s Trust,” said Representative Kaufman, speaking to the Iowa House of Representative’s chamber. The Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation usually does not inform recipients of the Uncommon Public Service Award before the presentation ceremony. However, due the COVID19 pandemic, the award presentation for 2020 was rescheduled, and Gaines was informed of her win in June 2020. “Unlike other recipients of this very prestigious award, I’ve known about it... since the middle of June, in fact, and I’ve waited for this date for about 6 months,” said Representative Ruth Ann Gaines. “I want to thank Rep. Kaufman and President Jerry Fleagle of the Hoover Foundation for making arrangements for me to receive this award today.” A lifelong educator, Gaines acknowledged some of the milestones that lead her to this award. “On January 5th, [that] was my 50th anniversary of classroom teaching,” Gaines said, “and as I thought about it, I realized that my teaching experience laid the foundation for being a legislator.” “Working all those years with so many different kinds of people and families, gave me a keen insight to the human condition, and allowed me to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and respect for others.” Gaines is a veteran and highly decorated educator. Starting work as a teacher in 1971 at both East High School and Des Moines area community college, Gaines taught at East High School for 40 years before retiring to serve as a legislator and continues to teach at DMACC today. During her tenure, she received numerous awards for her teaching. She was the 1997 Rotary High School Teacher of the Year, the 1998 Iowa Teacher of the Year, and a 1999 Finalist for National Teacher of the Year. Gaines is also a highly respected leader in the Des Moines community. She founded the Sisters for Success organization at East High School, a group dedicated to helping students of color in Des Moines. She has served as the Des Moines Human Rights Commissioner, is credited with reinstating the Friends of Des Moines Human Rights Committee. She has also served on numerous boards under Governor’s Vilsak and Culver. More recently, she co-founded and is the current Vice President of the Iowa Legislative Black Caucus. On her achievements and merits for the Uncommon Public Service Award, Kaufman said “the list of her public achievements is very long… and [we] agree that her heart is focused on Iowans.”

Gaines’ acceptance of the Hoover Uncommon Public Service award makes her only the second Black, woman to win the honor. Helen Miller, a former Iowa State Representative from Fort Dodge, became the first Black person to win the award in March 2015. The 2020 Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation’s Uncommon Public Service Award Senate recipient was Senator Brad Zaun, President Pro Tempore and Chair of the Judiciary in the Iowa Senate. Inspired by a great leader, Bright College is taking a new approach to education. Want to do school differently? So do we. Our two-year associate degrees are designed to accelerate your career. drake.edu/bright

By Terence Haynes My Kinetic DNA is magnetic that’s why they are drawn to govern over my existence.We can’t be it, but let’s control it. They couldn’t buy it, so they stole it and stripped it down to its very core. Then dispersed it and renamed it, prostituted and defamed it and turned it on its self for self-control. For a title and a few cents, we can pit them, cause they’ll lose sense, sensibility, sense of worth, sense of placement on this earth. Since we’re at it let erase their race and race against time and set a pace in this race to have them race in their minds. While their minds race lets erase the finish line so they will never think about the end being near.

They’ll just exist for the here and exist for the now and exist for the oohh and exist for the wow and the things that are shiny and the things that are loud. Exist for the fortune, exist for the fame, exist for the day someone’s calling your name asking for an autograph, while they have autographed and integrated everything about you and in you into everything that surrounds you, but then you can’t have it, you can’t touch it, you get no credit for it, but it all came from you. You just had no clue that all these things the blueprint of YOU! ~T.Haynes 2021 The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 19

The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia By: Lauren Livingston – The Alzheimer’s Association encourages families to know the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you know the signs, you’ll be able to get treatment sooner, which can help provide some relief of symptoms and help maintain independence longer. Unfortunately, African Americans are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than older white Americans and are more likely to be diagnosed in the later stages of the disease. There is also evidence that missed diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia are more common among older African Americans than among older whites. Missed or delays in diagnosis mean that you or your loved ones are not getting treatments when they are most likely to be effective at improving quality of life. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. If you notice any of the 10 warning signs in yourself or a family member, don’t ignore them. Speak up, and encourage your loved one to schedule a visit with their doctor. These are the 10 warning signs, and you can learn more by visiting alz.org/10signs: 1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own. 2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people living with dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game. 4. Confusion with time or place. People living with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. 5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relations. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving. 6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People living with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 21

They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”). 7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses. 8. Decreased or poor judgement. Individuals may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. 9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person living with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, he or she may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity. 10. Changes in mood and personality. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their comfort zone. THE PATH TO PARADISE Judith Schaechter’s Stained-Glass Art ARTCENTER.ORG FOR INFO FEBRUARY 12 – MAY 23, 2021 ANNA K. MEREDITH GALLERY ORGANIZED BY THE MEMORIAL ART GALLERY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER VISIT DESMOINESARTCENTER.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION 4700 GRAND AVENUE DES MOINES, IOWA / 515.277.4405


IN A FLASH H What would cross your mind in a life-threatening situation? ow much life insurance is enough? Whatever that magical amount is, Christy Jeffreys and her husband, Paul, knew they didn’t have it. Sure, they had a little – enough to pay for a burial – but not enough to sustain their family if something were to happen. That concerned them. So they sat down and did some calculations. Outstanding loans. Loss of income. The cost of raising their three children without hardship. They ran the numbers with their Modern Woodmen representative, Dannielle Roberts, and came to an amount that seemed to fit. Dannielle got everything set up, and like that, the life insurance was put in place. End of story, right? Not quite. Christy shares the rest of the story here. AFTER THE CRASH by member Christy Jeffreys, Detroit, Ala. Aug. 28, 2015. My itinerary for the day: work, our daughter’s guitar lesson, a Friday night football game and, finally, rest for the weekend. But life doesn’t always follow our itinerary. Our two daughters (Carley Ann, age 11, and Anna Beth, age 9) and I were heading home after Carley Ann’s guitar practice, driving down a small gravel road. About a mile and a half from home, one of my tires hit loose gravel. I lost control of the car. There was no reaction time. The car shot across the road and hit a grove of trees. My 9-year-old daughter, who fractured her arm in the crash, pulled Carley Ann and me out of the car and tended to our injuries. I knew I was badly hurt. Disoriented and scared, for a moment I didn’t know if I would survive. And in that moment, I thought of my family. After the crash, Modern Woodmen representative Dannielle Roberts reminded the Jeffreys of their fraternal member benefits. The family qualified for the Fraternal Aid Fund, a member benefit that offers financial assistance for premium payments for Modern Woodmen members who’ve experienced financial hardship due to a natural disaster or serious health problem. What would happen to them if I didn’t make it? Could my husband raise the kids alone with his travel-heavy job? I thought of everything I would miss: school assignments, proms, college visits, weddings. “ And in that moment, I thought of my family.” – Christy Jeffreys, Detroit, Ala. 1 in 4 people feels he/she needs more life insurance protection. Source: 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, LIMRA.

My fears then turned from the sentimental to the financial. How could Paul afford it by himself? Just as quickly, my worries eased. I thought of the extra life insurance we had gotten and knew our family would suffer no financial hardship, no matter what happened. You may not think things like this come up in a moment of panic, but they do. They’ll sneak into your head whether you want them to or not. As we made sense of the situation, that flash of relief was priceless. What thoughts would cross your mind? The support Christy received didn’t stop there. Christy is an elementary school teacher. A former student of hers coordinated a T-shirt sale fundraiser to help the family with medical bills. Local Modern Woodmen chapter members showed their support by purchasing T-shirts and matching money raised through the Matching Fund Program. Christy’s daughter, Carley Ann, needed hospital care for 21 days, putting strain on their finances. Modern Woodmen covered the family’s life insurance premiums for three months through the Fraternal Aid Fund, ensuring the much-needed protection stayed in force. So how much life insurance is enough? Enough to ease the thoughts you never expect to have. Questions? Contact your local Modern Woodmen of America representative: Kelly C. King, FIC Suite 305 4150 Westown Parkway Des Moines, IA 50266 B 515-238-3208 kelly.c.king@mwarep.org Registered representative. Securities offered through MWA Financial Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Modern Woodmen of America. Member: FINRA, SIPC. Christy Jeffreys’ mind was put at ease shortly after a major car accident. If she didn’t make it, she knew her family would suffer no financial hardship. “We made sure our life insurance would pay all outstanding loans immediately, not to mention funeral expenses and money left over to help raise the kids on one income,” Christy says. “I cannot tell you the relief you feel when you realize your family is secure.” Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States. P 8953-53-C The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 25

Stop letting a sleep disorder keep you up at night… By: Rebecca Purnell, PA-C Broadlawns Sleep, Lung, and Allergy Center Each night millions of people in the U.S. struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 10% of adults in the U.S. have a chronic insomnia disorder (i.e. problems with sleep a minimum of three nights per week for three months or longer). Unfortunately, sleep disorders have worsened this year due to individuals struggling with anxiety and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep Awareness Week is March 14-20, 2021. This annual event celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve their overall health and well-being. Sleep Awareness Week begins during Daylight Saving Time and is a great opportunity to make positive changes to improve your sleep health. One way to improve your sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene. Some sleep hygiene tips include: - Make sleep a priority - Go to bed when you are sleepy - Maintain a comfortable cool bedroom temperature and minimize exposure to noise and light - Avoid computer and cellphone screens within 2 hours of bedtime (or use blue-blocker glasses) - Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, or alcohol before bedtime - Exercise regularly, but not 2 hours before bedtime - Try physical/mental relaxation techniques - Avoid late afternoon or evening naps - Establish a regular wake time schedule If you have tried to improve your sleep hygiene, but are still struggling with getting good night’s sleep, you may have a sleep disorder. Often, the symptoms and signs of a sleep disorders are misdiagnosed. A quick way to assess whether you may have a disorder is to answer the questions below. If you answer “yes” to any question, this may be an indicator that you have a sleep disorder. • • • • • • • Have you been told by a friend or family member that you snore? Do you often feel tired or have headaches upon awakening? Do you have daytime fatigue or sleepiness? Have you been told you stop breathing during sleep? Do you fall asleep sitting, reading, watching TV or driving? Do you have issues with memory or concentration? Do you have hypertension, weight gain, heart issues? Common sleep disorders include: obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, central sleep apnea, nightmare disorders, sleepwalking, teeth grinding, sleep-wake cycle disruptions. Living with a sleep disorder can negatively impact other areas of your health. If left untreated, sleep disorders can cause heart problems, obesity, hypertension, and memory issues. The good news is that sleep disorders can be treated, and often without the use of prescription medicine. Cpap and bipap machines, improved sleep hygiene, alternative medicine, and mental health counseling are often solutions for sleep disorders. Broadlawns Sleep, Lung, and Allergy Center is here to help. Our team of providers, certified in both adult and pediatric sleep medicine, are able to diagnose your sleep disorder and improve your sleep.

One common first step to securing restful sleep is participating in a sleep study. This would require you to use a home sleep study device, or to stay overnight in the sleep clinic, while data is collected to help develop a diagnosis and treatment plan. A sleep study is the best way to test for sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy. Broadlawns also offers a clinical sleep training program where a licensed therapist will help improve your sleep through exploration of thoughts and beliefs about sleep, lifestyle habits that may be working against you, and relaxation practices. To stop letting a sleep disorder keep you up at night and start getting a more restful night of sleep, contact the Broadlawns Sleep, Lung, and Allergy Center at 515-282-4015. Specialized treatment from sleep medicine professionals can improve your sleep, increase your energy, and change your life. The Broadlawns Sleep, Lung, and Allergy Center is conveniently located in the Des Moines metro on Broadlawns’ Main Campus at 1801 Hickman Road. To learn more, visit www. broadlawns.org. All insurances are accepted. The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 27

The Honorable Ross Wilburn The first Black Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party by Celeste and Gary Lawson

Rep. Ross Wilburn is a native of Davenport and graduated from Davenport Central High School. He served in the Iowa Army National Guard while attending the University of Iowa and earned a degree in social work. Wilburn is currently the State Representative in District 46, which covers part of Ames and Story County. He has also served on the city council and as Mayor of Iowa City. In addition to serving as a lawmaker, Wilburn is the diversity officer and associate director for community economic development at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He is also a member of the Iowa Legislature’s Black Caucus.——Note: As posted on the Iowa Democratic Party website on March 9. 2021. Celeste: Across the United States, metastatic breast cancer is a deadly disease. In Iowa, African American women have the highest death rates, followed by white women living in rural areas. Being someone, whose mother died from metastatic breast cancer, I have not only reported the deadly impact of this disease, but I have also advocated for legislative action to amplify the need for more public awareness and engagement to address this deadly disease. I have worked with several state legislators to initiate the process which ended with a first step move toward that end by delivering a proclamation, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, designating October 13, 2020, as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Iowa. Celeste: What action can the Iowa Democratic Party take to address this deadly disease going forward? Wilburn: Well first, I am very glad that you helped put that proclamation into play. So, I think it is important to make those types of commitments and statements, but we need to go beyond the proclamation. The Democratic Party is trying to introduce bills that are related to healthcare, especially those that disproportionately impact communities of color...Black/ African American women. It’s critical that we not just live by words in a proclamation. As the Democratic Party, we are trying to introduce those bills, but in a similar vein, Governor (Kim) Reynolds and the Iowa Congressional Delegation oppose the American Rescue Plan... which is related to coronavirus recovery...but that is another science-based pandemic response... so we need to be listening to science and we need to focus our efforts and appropriate funding towards that. Democrats are in the minority right now, so we’ve got to start organizing now to get candidates to run against House and Senate Republicans, and to take on Governor Reynolds, so that we are not only protecting Iowans...communities of color... from these devastating diseases. I have a sister who is a survivor of breast cancer. The resources that went towards supporting her, both in terms of research as well as believing the science and supporting the universities to deliver those services, is critical. There has been an outright effort during this legislative session to negatively impact the Regent institutions, particularly the University of Iowa... which has the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics...they are trying to take away tenure, which would have a devastating effect on recruiting talented faculty...not only from the state, but from the country and around the world. Celeste: Currently, Iowa’s executive branch (Governor) and legislative branch (Senate and House of Representatives) are controlled by the Republican Party. What will the Iowa Democratic Party have to do to regain political control of the executive and legislative branches, and what specific outreach is needed to gain the majority vote of women and minorities? The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 29

Wilburn: The statewide Democratic Party needs to start organizing year-round, as opposed to every couple of years when a coordinated campaign comes related to the statewide and national elections. We need to identify candidates at the local level...and support candidates at the local level... for an opportunity at leadership. To fundraise...so that they can hire staff to do that year-round organizing... to get some field organizers out and identify some of those leaders. Right now, our First Vice Chair, June Owens, has been reaching out to some of the local elected officials, who are from communities of color, to find out how we can support them...some of them will be running for reelection this fall in their local, city, municipal and county elections...as well as trying to identify other leaders in communities of color. Gary: Do you have a final thought that you wish to share with the readership? Wilburn: I think it is important that...not only the Democratic Party reaches out to communities, but for (those feeling) discouraged or disenfranchised...this is an invitation to reach out to the Democratic Party. Let us know what types of leadership efforts are going on in your community...such as any type of celebrations...so that we can try and help amplify and recognize those local successes that are going on so that...again...we are identifying local leadership...and if there are ways that we can partner to develop local leadership that will help us create candidates that can run for these state legislative positions…as well as the Governor’s office. Celeste and Gary: Thank you. READY. SET. PrEP. What if there were a pill that could help prevent HIV? THERE IS. T Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is a way to prevent people who do not have HIV from getting HIV, by taking one pill every day as prescribed. Find out if PrEP medication is right for you. Talk to your healthcare professional or find a provider at stophiviowa.org. STOPHIVIOWA.ORG 319.930.9093

Interview with Courageous Fire, LLC By Dwana Bradley

This is part 2 of my interview with Ms. Courageous Fire. A woman in our community who is making a difference. Psychological abuse increases the trauma of physical and sexual abuse and a number of studies have demonstrated psychological abuse independently causes long term damage whether he hits you or not. Long term damage includes depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, and difficulty trusting others. Subtle psychological abuse is more harmful than either overt psychological abuse or direct aggression. 7 out of 10 Psychologically abused women have symptoms of PTSD and/or depression1 . 1 Abuse” 2 Abuse” 3 Abuse” Women who experience psychological abuse are more likely to report poor physical and mental health and have more than 5 clinical visits in the last year2 Psychological abuse is an indicator of PTSD3 . . We wonder why individuals in the Black community are committing suicide? Why so many Black women diagnosed Fibromyalgia? Chronic asthma issues that are severe? We keep saying this stuff happens at birth, that doesn’t account for those who are perfectly healthy and suddenly diagnosed in their 20’s, 30’s and beyond. We forget that psychological abuse impacts us physiologically and now Black women are dealing with this evil which initially attacked their spirit but has manifested in their entire body. She didn’t dodge the bullet; she is carrying it around and it’s going all over her body. That’s the reason why many Black women are in poor health; not recognizing they have been or still are currently in psychological abuse. They end up getting worse and don’t know why because that bullet is still bouncing around completely undetected. People talk about cancer and what causes it. Why are so many Black women dealing with this diagnosis? All that I’ve read states that cancer cells are in everyone’s body. The healthy person has an immunity that can fight it and keep it in check. What happens when a person’s psychological and physical health start to become depleted? Their ability to fight off other things is compromised so now she isn’t just dealing with cancer, but other things as well. Last year we lost Connie Simmons to DV (domestic violence). I didn’t know her name before last year, but her story broke my heart. How do we not see these things? How do we not provide a safe space for a woman to learn about safety planning and get the help she needs? There are two places Black women can get help within the state of Iowa. From National Coalition Against Domestic Violence article: “Facts about Domestic Violence and Psychological From National Coalition Against Domestic Violence article: “Facts about Domestic Violence and Psychological From National Coalition Against Domestic Violence article: “Facts about Domestic Violence and Psychological

I am the place you would go if you were safe and want to learn how to end the domestic violence cycles in your future. What made you predisposed to it? What did you learn to accept as normal that they preyed on in order to entrap you? Learn that and let your therapist help you close off those cycles-that’s what I do. That is the biggest part of what Courageous Fire, LLC was meant to be. The other agency is for Black people who are in crisis still in crisis (in the abusive relationship) that is Amani Community Services. They can help anywhere in the state of Iowa remotely. They currently have offices in Waterloo, Davenport, and Cedar Rapids; now they have an active domestic violence advocate in the Des Moines area! Prior to their Des Moines advocate, I sent a client to be helped remotely and they helped her tremendously. They made sure she had clothes for her kids, food, and that she got moved. They are an amazing organization, and they understand us- the Black woman. One lady listening to me talk about the plight of Black women and DV asked me this: if this problem is so bad, what will fix it? I’m always thrilled for that question and will spend the rest of my life and the life of Courageous Fire, LLC answering it. Firstly, it’s hard to contribute to the solution if you don’t understand the problem. Some things you need to understand. That was the reason for last month’s livestream event. Birth through Ascension. It was a 2-part event- the dramatic presentation of my path from DV victim to survivor to program developer of Empowerment though Arts (add TM), and an interactive Q&A with more information. In the filmed portion of the presentation, I literally gave definitions of the lesser-known types of abuse then showed what those looked like in my specific circumstance. I also showed how chronicling my own journey allowed me to see the connection of art and therapy in my discovery and healing process and how that could help other Black women. I then put this programming together looking at what things were effective for me as a Black woman. I’m so proud and excited with this program because it was written by a Black woman for Black women. It wasn’t something written by somebody else. Secondly, our community just doesn’t get domestic violence, so a Black woman has nowhere to go within her own community to get the help she needs as a victim and the support she needs as a survivor. To help grow our DV knowledge and understanding. I’ve been doing what I call Prep Talks. I talk with people in the community who the Black woman relies on or is connected to so these parts of the community can learn her needs and become invested in helping her. The people that I’ve talked to have been appreciative of the work I’ve been doing for women and willing to understand more. I believe through these talks it is starting to become clear that this isn’t just for us women over in this corner who are survivors. Finally, she needs her community’s support. When that Black woman goes to church, she needs support of you, Pastor. When she goes to play cards with her girlfriends, she needs your non-judgmental support. She needs some safe place where he can’t listen to the phone conversation so she can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline like I did, and have them explain to her what is going on, what type of abuse she is dealing with, and where in her local community there are resources that can help her and then she needs help with safety planning. She can’t do this at home, but maybe he doesn’t go to church. Maybe there is a women’s group, and he isn’t going to be there. If she knows she will have support of her community then she finally has a safe place to start doing those things. The sad, too-old story for the Black woman is that she has no place in the community where she won’t be judged, criticized, or blamed, she doesn’t get out. The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 33

I want us to get to the point where we as a community can support women affected by domestic violence, make them aware of the work that Courageous Fire, LLC is doing, and spark them to get involved to wrap around and help crush domestic violence out end its reign of terror on the Black woman. Does anything in this article resonate with you? 1. If you’re a member of the community who is NOT a DV survivor, here’s how you can help be a part of the solution: https://cfire2019.wixsite.com/ move/community 2. If you’re a Black female DV survivor, Courageous Fire is taking participants for the 2021 cohorts for Empowerment through the Arts (add TM). Here’s how you sign up: https://cfire2019. wixsite.com/move/protect-survivors 3. If you simply want to ask a question: Reach out to Courageous Fire at cfire2019@gmail.com or 515-428-0077 Support the work Ms. Courageous Fire is doing: 1. 2. com/paypalme/akhcourageiousfire?locale. x=en_US Are you in crisis? Step 1: call the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 Step 2: Call Amani Community Services at 319991-4589 Through Cashapp: $courageousfirellc Through PayPal: https://www.paypal. See What Urban Can Do for You!

PRESS RELEASES WDM Contact: Baillee Furst baillee@wdmchamber.org (515) 222-3679 Learn More About the WDM Chamber FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 3, 2021 WDM Chamber to Host National Event for Minority Entrepreneurs WEST DES MONES, IA (WED, MARCH 3, 2021) – The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce (WDM Chamber) is set to host the first annual Black and Brown Business Summit (the Summit) presented by Principal Financial Group® on April 22 and 23. This two-day conference was created by the WDM Chamber’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI Committee) with the goal of elevating ethnic minorities and to bring BIPOC businesses together to assist with connection building, programming, promotion, training and to provide resources to help businesses grow and prosper. “The goal of the Black & Brown Business Summit is to – Learn, Grow and Thrive,” said Angela Jackson, Chair of the WDM Chamber’s DEI Committee and SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Athene. “Small businesses and businesses of color have been negatively impacted during this global pandemic. The summit aims to provide educational resources, connection to help these business owners grow their business as well as share resources for those who are new entrepreneurs and looking to start a business. We also want to highlight diverse and dynamic successful businesses to encourage others.” Programming for the Summit includes breakout sessions led by top experts, Mel Essex Award, inspirational keynote speakers and networking. Breakout sessions are divided into two tracks – New Entrepreneurs (businesses in their first two years of operation) and Established Entrepreneurs (business that have been in existence for 2+ years, are established and looking to grow in scale). Keynote speakers include George Herrera, current Independent Director of the board of Travel and Leisure Co. and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who helped raise millions to lend to minority small business owners, and Brandon Copeland. Copeland is a starting NFL Linebacker and a Financial Wellness Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, a Real Estate Developer, a Venture Investor, and a worldwide motivational speaker. The pitch competition, to be held the first day of the Summit and brought to you by exclusive pitch competition partner Hy-Vee, will serve as a chance for 25 to 30 businesses to participate in the workshop. At the end of the day, 5 to 6 individuals from the workshop will be selected to present their pitch to a panel of judges to win a cash prize. Deadline to apply is March 19. View and fill out the application here. The week prior to the Summit, from April 12 - 18, the WDM Chamber will be hosting Diversity Wk t it f Bl k & B bi th t t t h th i d t The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 35

Iowa Juneteenth Observance A Program of The Des Moines Urban Experience “Marking 31 Years of Service to the Iowa Community” 2021 Iowa Juneteenth Observance Essay Contest Sponsored by Drake University Juneteenth is an international observance marking the end to slavery on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth will celebrate 156 years of celebration during 2021. The Iowa Juneteenth Observance will mark its 31st 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 2021 is “A Family Affair.” 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: “How have the events in 2020/2021 impacted you and/or your community and how would you mend the cultural divide in this country.” CONTEST RULES 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 April 30th, 2021, to Nakia Ewing at nakiae78@gmail.com or send the original essay by regular mail (postmarked by April 30th, 2021) to: The Des Moines Urban Experience Iowa Juneteenth Essay Contest PO Box 3092, Des Moines, Iowa 50316

Let’s Support our Black Owned Businesses Bottle and Bottega James and Bridget Neely Wine & Painting https://www.bottleandbottega.com/des-moines/ This year The Urban Experience Magazine celebrates 5 years. This isn’t a list of all the Black owned businesses in our city. The businesses listed below have been either featured or supported the Urban Experience Magazine in the last five year. Put your business card in the Urban Experience Magazine for $25 a month for the first year. Reach out to us at: contactdsmurban@gmail.com for more details. Urban City Magazine Howell Dixon Magazine/Podcast https://urbancitymag.co/ Ruby B’s Catering Bradley Family Restaurant 515) 681-4028 https://www.facebook.com/ rubybskitchen/ The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 37

Hip Hope, Inc Bo James https://hiphopeinc.wixsite.com/hiphopeinc Tranzitions Salon & Beauty Bar Ty Daye & Courtney Beauty Salon https://www.facebook.com/TranZitionsBeautySalon/ Roots to Branches Ricki King https://www.rootstobranchesgenealogy.com/ Black Women 4 Healthy Living Brandi Miller Health https://www.facebook.com/groups/ bw4hl/?ref=share MAV Nu Direction Calvetta Berry https://www.facebook.com/ma.vs.73 Iowa Juneteenth Observance Dwana Bradley www.iowajuneteenth.com Van Esther Vanessa Lewis www.vanesther.com Made Easley Advertising Ash Easley ww.madeeasley.com NAACP Des Moines Branch Kameron Middlebrooks https://www.naacpdesmoines.org/ NAACP Iowa/Nebraska Branch Betty Andrews www.iowanebraskanaacp.org SoulFit Zakiya English https://www.facebook.com/DsmSo www.imagezphotostudio.com (515) 223-6122

Angela Jackson’s bio Angela Jackson, Esq. is an Entrepreneur and owner of The Great Frame Up which is an Art Gallery and Custom Framing Business located in West Des Moines. She also is Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Athene USA Corporation. Angela serves her community as Board Member of The West Des Moines Chamber, Des Moines Arts Festival, Cornerstone Family Church and an Honorary Board Member for Des Moines Performing Arts. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Des Moines Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. Angela is a Thought Leader and alumni of Washington University School of Law and Duke University. Gary Lawson’s Bio Debra Carr Bio Debra Carr serves professionally and personally as a champion for diversity, inclusion, and equity. Uplifting women and girls to become the best version of themselves is foundational. Debra is Principal Consultant and owner of Carr and Associates and works full-time for Des Moines Public Schools consulting for building level administrators, faculty, and staff to achieve school improvement goals. Debra has received numerous awards and is a champion for her community in which she has served for many years. Gary Lawson is a freelance writer who focuses on various aspects of business and government. He earned a graduate degree in Government Administration, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a duel concentration in Management and Marketing. He is a VietnamEra veteran who has served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army. In addition, he has taught business courses at Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College. Celeste Lawson’s bio 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 primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. DeMarcus Hamilton bio Marc Supreme is the program director for the urban a/c radio station, Strictly Hip Hop 90.7FM, in Peoria, IL. He is also a freelance journalist and commentator, covering politics and entertainment. Twitter & IG: @marc_supreme Clubhouse: @marcsupreme The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 39

Terence G. Haynes is a Musician, Neo Renaissance Artisan, writer, 30-year career Chef and currently running for Omaha Nebraska City Council District 2 North Omaha. Lori A. Young Bio He is a community advocate and bridge builder, a motivational strategist/coach with a passion for people development and Diversity and inclusion champion. A strong faith and belief base in Christ that furnishes a wellgrounded ethical foundation. He has a team building approach to empowering individuals to believe in and think for themselves. He is a multi-faceted communicator, dedicated to making a positive difference in every life he touches. Bert Moody is a Photographer, an IT Consultant, and Web Designer for the Urban Experience Magazine. He has been with the magazine from its inception. He has been a Freelance Photographer in the Des Moines area since 1985, first with Esquire Photo Agency and now with Imagez Photo Studio (www. imagezphotostudio.com). He also is a longtime associate at Nationwide Insurance as is a part of their National Network of Black Associates. Bert volunteers for many activities in the community and is a Board member with The Des Moines Urban Experience. Bert is married with three grown children. Lori A. Young is a native of Des Moines and a graduate of Tech High School and Grand View University. Her professional experience lies in corporate internal and marketing communications. Currently she is self-employed on assignment with the non-profit organization, Just Voices Iowa, as a Communications Director and Project Manager. In her spare time, she’s a feature writer, artist, and community organizer/social activist fighting on issues such as racial, environmental, and economic justice for over 10 years.

Calling for Submissions The Urban Experience Magazine Negus Sankofa Imhotep’s Bio Negus Sankofa Imhotep is the Academic & Workforce Coordinator at Urban Dreams and the Deferred Expulsion Case Manager for Des Moines Public Schools. In these roles, he has connected several of Central Iowa’s top employers with highly skilled untapped talent, assisted hundreds of marginalized central Iowans in securing gainful employment, and successfully advocated on behalf of more than 50 students who faced expulsion from the Des Moines Public School district. Negus is also a sought-after orator and community ally, having served as an Executive Board Member for the Iowa Human Rights Board, a past Chair and Commissioner of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans. In 2015, Negus launched Rudison Consultancy Group, LLC to offer cultural community network advising and cultural competency training to agencies and organizations across the region. His commitment to educating emerging leaders is what led him to teaching positions at Hawkeye Community College and Joshua Christian Academy in 2013. Negus holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Political Science from Excelsior College, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Norwich University, and is currently writing his dissertation for a Doctorate in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Northcentral University. What are we looking for? Poetry, Interviews, Short Stories, Comics, Photography, Music & Performance Reviews, Opinion pieces or whatever you are thinking! When do we want it? The deadline for all content is the 15th of each month. What kind of writers do we like? Experienced creative writers and those who have never written before. So what do YOU do? Checkout the website at www.theurbanexp.com Email your submissions to contactdsmurban@gmail.com, and help us make each edition of the magazine great! The URBAN EXPERIENCE | 2021 41

AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE A GREATER RISK of colon cancer than other races REDUCE YOUR RISK OF COLORECTAL CANCER GET SCREENED The American Cancer Society recommends that African Americans and people with a family history of colon cancer or polyps start screening for colon cancer at age 45. GASTROENTEROLOGY Schedule your screening today: (515) 282-2334

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