Upcoming events

    • 22 Jan 2021
    • (CST)
    • 31 Mar 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 7 sessions
    • Virtual Experience

    Presented by:

    Registration for this program is now closed. If you would like to participate in the January 22nd kick-off, please email 

    Leaders will transform their practice to one that embraces racial equity as they seek to understand their role in creating a different future. The seven-session Then. Now. When. Educational Experience will give leaders a foundation in history, an understanding of local issues, encourage brave conversations, and result in meaningful action.

    • Then. We will use The New York Times’ 1619 Project and other resources to provide a look at our history through the critical lens of chattel slavery – the practice of enslaving people to be bought and sold. Lean into your discomfort to gain an understanding of how this practice created systems of oppression.
    • Now. Experts from Iowa and across the country will provide perspective on the beliefs and systems of oppression that continue to exist in Greater Des Moines today. Prepare for the picture of our community’s issues to become clearer.    
    • When. You will be challenged to identify how you can use your personal and professional influence to intentionally help our community close the racial equity gap. Make a commitment to turning when into our new now.  

    The 1619 Project was created by Iowa-native and New York Times journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones. The Then. Now. When. Educational Experience will culminate on April 8th when Hannah-Jones will speak with the community during the spring virtual Sussman Lecture offered by The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and a collaboration of Greater Des Moines organizations. 



    Jan. 22, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

    Setting the Stage

    Jan. 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


    Feb. 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


    Feb. 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Wealth Gap

    Mar. 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Undemocratic Democracy

    Mar. 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Mass Incarceration

    Mar. 31, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

    Taking Action

    Apr. 8, time TBD

    Virtual lecture by Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the 1619 Project, offered by The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University and in collaboration with community partners.

    To reduce barriers to participation, this program (valued at $500) is being

    made available at no cost. You can help!


    Donate to the Leadership Institute, an independent 501c3, to help reduce barriers and support leaders on their equity and inclusion journeys.


    Support with a sponsorship! Email for more information.

    Then. Now. When. and the Nikole Hannah-Jones lectures have been organized in collaboration with and support from multiple Greater Des Moines organizations, including:



    African American Leadership Academy

    Bankers Trust

    Capital Crossroads

    City of Des Moines

    Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

    Delta Dental

    Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

    Des Moines Business Record

    Des Moines University

    The Directors Council

    EMC Insurance Companies

    Evelyn K Davis Center for Working Families

    Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute

    Greater Des Moines Partnership

    The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University

    Hola Iowa & Hola America

    Kum & Go

    Mid-Iowa Health Foundation


    Polk County Housing Trust Fund

    State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

    Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series

    UnityPoint Health – Des Moines

    United Way of Central Iowa

    Urban Experience Magazine

    Then. Now. When. Thought Leadership Provided by:

    Eugenia Kutsch-Stanton (CLP '14), Corteva Agriscience

    Tracy Duran (CLP '16), Des Moines Art Center

    Dr. Anindita Das (CLP '19), Iowa 4-H

    Bridget Cravens-Neely (CLP '11), Nationwide

    Dylan Mullenix (CLP '17), Des Moines MPO

    Mee Yang-Lee, Inspired Action, LLC
    And a team of Leadership Institute racial equity champions.

    • 18 Feb 2021
    • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (CST)
    • Virtual Experience

    Community Leadership Program Informational Event

    Do you see unlimited leadership potential in someone you know or are you personally interested in being part of the transformational Community Leadership Program?

    Potential class members and Leadership Institute alumni are invited to learn about the Community Leadership Program, hear stories from graduates, and meet current class members. 

    Read more about the Community Leadership Program and access the nomination form.


    Thank you to our generous sponsor of the Community Leadership Program:


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