Tag Archives: events

Generations of Strength

A few weeks ago, I was invited to share my thoughts on womanhood for a video promoting “Generations of Strength,” an event that Sonia Ashe and a group connected to the Young Women’s Resource Center are putting together as part of the Juice Charity Challenge.

The mission of YWRC is close to my heart, so I was excited to help. (The organization supports, educates and advocates for young women ages 10-21. YWRC hosts small groups and individual support focused on self-esteem, healthy relationships and reproductive health.) Plus, I met Sonia through YNPN Des Moines and am pumped to have her leadership in the Des Moines nonprofit community.

The first video session we recorded was accidentally erased, so I got to record again, this time at the YWRC headquarters, paired with an awesome young lady. It was so much fun to hear her speak with confidence. Although I’m twice her age, we had a great conversation. It kind of cuts off in the video, but I was talking about how this was my biggest lesson as a 28-year-old woman:


I’m not at all involved in planning this event, but plan to attend and would love to hang out with you there!

Generations of Strength 

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24

Where: Thoreau Center, at 35th and Kingman Blvd.

Details and RSVP here.

Generations of Strength will bring local women and community leaders of all ages to discuss the challenges women have faced over the past century, share knowledge, and identify opportunities to better support each other as a community!

This reception-style event will encourage open conversation over snacks and drinks, with live music and optional activities. We will also welcome speakers from each generation to share their perspective and offer advice, and raise funds to sponsor 50 teen girls to attend a six-week Problem Solving course with the Young Women’s Resource Center.

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Filed under I love Des Moines

Be there: YNPN Des Moines 1st birthday

I’m incredibly proud to be part of the leadership team that’s worked to get the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Des Moines off the ground over the past year and a half. Yes, that’s me, ginormously preggers, standing on a chair trying to get everyone’s attention for announcements at our Super Swag Social in late May. I got everyone’s attention. Ha.


Building this organization has been one of the more intense exercises in collaboration/delegation and such a lesson in what awesomeness can happen when you trust a group of enthusiastic people to run with their ideas. I’ve learned so much from the team of volunteers who’ve all put in crazy hours to plan events and get our organizational documents in order.


We celebrate the one-year anniversary of our official launch this month! If you work in nonprofits, want to work in nonprofits or feel like meeting idealist-type people and having a good time, please join us at our 1st Birthday Bash on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Jasper Winery.

Learn more:

ynpnDesMoines website 
ynpnDesMoines on Facebook
ynpnDesMoines on Twitter

YNPN National 

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Filed under I love Des Moines, Side projects

Two things!

Back to reality after a wonderful, friends-and-family filled Thanksgiving in Chicago. We also survived my 10-year reunion, despite leaving my purse/ID in my diaper bag in the suburbs. (I was able to sweet talk the bouncer, or my gray hairs are finally giving me a more mature look.) My brother hooked us up with a hotel room right on State Street and my mom and aunt watched Emmett overnight, so Joe and I enjoyed an evening out and got to sleep in. Blissful.

Now it’s go time for two events I’ve been helping put together: 

TEDxDesMoinesWomen is this Thursday, Dec. 5, and you can still snag tickets here!


I’m always super inspired by the people I meet and hang out with at TEDx events. I hope you can make it. If the ticket cost has you opting out, let me know and I can make sure you can go!

The other event I’ve been working on are free screenings of the documentary “American Promise” on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Fleur. (Facebook event details here.) It was one of those things where three different organizations were interested in bringing this movie to Des Moines and we connected, collaborated and are making it happen.


American Promise is a documentary journey following two African-American boys from kindergarten through high school graduation at one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. The film puts human faces to the unique social and emotional needs of black boys and calls into question commonly held assumptions about education access and what really influences achievement.

Movie Times: 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Dec. 9, with panel discussion between the showings

Where: Fleur Cinema & Cafe, 4545 Fleur Dr.

Panel Discussion: A panels discussion featuring education administrators and local youth will take place from 6:30-7 p.m. between screenings.

Cost: No admission fee, thanks to support from the United Way of Central Iowa and donated theater space from Fleur Cinema & Cafe.

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Filed under I love Des Moines, Side projects

Grand Blue Mile: I am not an elite runner

Thankfully, it stopped raining in time for me to break in my new shoes at The Grand Blue Mile — a (you guessed it!) mile long race along Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines. I haven’t trained at all, but I figured it would be a good way to get into the Drake Relays spirit and kick off a spring of running. Thankfully, I achieved my goal of running sub-9, with an 8:39 finish.

Cool: You wear a chip timer and when you finish, you go to a kiosk where they print out a receipt with your time on it. I’ve never seen that before!

It’s too bad the weather wasn’t sunnier, but I think that meant even more delicious giveaways from the snack tents were left over for me. While I was stuffing my face, I watched some real talent cross the finish line.

Oh wait, wrong picture.

I’m excited to watch this tradition grow! Hopefully someday soon spectators will line the whole mile-long course.

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