top of page
Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 9.32.47 AM.png

Time To Act.

Who We Are

One Economy, an initiative launched by The Directors Council in 2017, is a collaborative, inclusive community effort to eliminate racial, economic, and other disparities among African Americans in greater Des Moines, Iowa. One Economy crease space for businesses, policymakers, leadership organizations, and individuals to work together to make a society that truly works fairly and equitably for all. 

Why One Economy

In many ways, the Des Moines metro area is a tale of two cities. As the growth and vitality of the area as a whole continue, accolades and positive recognition also continue to roll in. Yet, racial disparities persist with little evidence of the gaps narrowing for Black Polk County. Change is needed. 

Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 8.27_edited.jpg

Collaboration, guided by 5 key principles, is key. Strategic Implementation Teams :

Center the places and the people impacted and most often left behind

Pursue systems-level change and scaling of the work

Promote inclusive action, transformation, and regional growth simultaneously

Access equity impacts at every stage of the process

Ensure meaningful community participation, voice, and leadership

Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 9.46.11 AM.png

Strategic Implementation Teams provide the framework to make meaningful, measurable change. Businesses, nonprofits, faith leaders, and others serve as team members and as a resource for individuals to acquire tools they need in their own community circles.

How One Economy Works

Through its six results-oriented Strategic Implementation Teams, One Economy is erasing racial and economic disparity Education, Employment, Financial Inclusion Health, Housing, and Leadership. 
Screen Shot 2022-04-13 at 10.02.32 AM.png

Our Strategic Implementation Teams, guided by One Economy’s 2020 Blueprint for Action, are in motion.

You can help!

You can make a difference by getting involved:


If you’re part of a business or organization in our community or an individual who wants help, identify the key area where you can make the most impact or for which you have the most passion.


Learn all you can by accessing One Economy’s reports and resources.

Strategic Implementation Teams Work by the Motto: We Can Do This!


We can work together and across traditional boundaries.


We can be insistent


We can use the tools we have to identify racial inequity and eliminate it.


We can be honest and conscious about our decisions and priorities.

Together, we can act and make change in ways that matter to everyday lives.

Screen Shot 2022-04-14 at 9.02.10 AM.png
Eduation Straegic Implementation Team

Commit to a

Statement of Action

Education Strategic Implementation Team

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.18.06 AM.png

Measurable Outcomes

  1. 10% increase in the number of Black adults in Polk County that have an associate degree or higher by 2031.

  2. 5% increase in the number of Black adult males in Polk County that have their high school diploma or equivalent by 2026.

  3. 5% decrease in the suspension rate of Black students in Polk County by 2023.

Newly created youth peer-to-peer mentorship programs welcome 7th and 8th grade students of color throughout Polk County to support them as they progress from 7th grade through their postsecondary endeavors, including connecting with the Community of Racial Equity for Advancement (CORE).

Encourage training for School Resource Offices in de-escalation techniques to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline currently a reality for many students of color.


Use the services of Let’s Talk and restorative justice techniques to allow students to avoid the repercussions of punitive response to their behavior.


Current Actions and Activities

Strategic Implementation Team forming now.


Employment Strategic Implementation Team

Measurable Outcomes

  1. 5% increase in Black labor force participation in Polk County by 2023.

  2. 3% decrease in the unemployment rate of Black people in Polk County by 2023.

  • 300 more Black people enrolled in educational opportunities such as Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE), GAP  Tuition Assistance, Last-Dollar Scholarship, Future Ready Iowa grants, High School Equivalency Degree (HSED) preparation, and YouthBuild by 2023. [do you want to link to external programs like these in this site?]

  1. 1,000 Black people connected to financial coaching services in Polk County by 2023.

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.19.18 AM.png
EmploymentStrtegic Implementato Team
  • Connect more Black people with existing professional associations, councils, and programs in Polk County to improve access to professional relationships and job opportunities.

  • Invest more intentionally in youth internships and work-based learning programs specifically for Black youth in Polk County.

  • Launch a marketing and communications campaign in the Black community to increase awareness of educational programs and scholarships, such as the Last-Dollar Scholarship and PACE.


Current Actions and Activities

Strategic Implementation Team forming now.


Financial Inclusion Strategic Implementation Team

Measurable Outcomes

  1. 5% decrease in the number of unbanked and underbanked African Americans by 2025.

  2. 0.5% increase in the Black loan approval rate by 2025.

  3. 2% increase in Black-owned small businesses by 2025.

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.20.44 AM.png
Financal Inclusion Straegic Implementation Team
  • Personal financial coaching will generate wealth creatin among vulnerable populations through financial consciousness; financial management; helping people understand the value of their money; and protecting against financial vultures, predatory lending, and payday lending.

  • Provide small-dollar loans to help individuals with  necessary financial obligations, give them an alternative to predatory lending, and help them establish or build credit.

  • Offer an array of services to help low-income individuals and provide resources for them to be successful, valuable businesses for their communities.

One Economy Financial Development Corp [link to    ] formed in 2020 to help underserved communities in Central Iowa create financial stability and wealth by providing training, coaching, and loans to individuals and small business owners


Current Actions and Activities


Health Strategic Implementation Teams

Measurable Outcomes

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.21.25 AM.png
Healt Strategic Impementaion Teams
  1. 3% increase in the number of Polk County adults in predominantly Black census tracts that have seen a doctor for a routine checkup in the past year by 2023.

  2. 20% reduction in Black fetal deaths in Polk County by 2023.

  • Create culturally specific resources to educate Black adults about the importance of mental and physical healthcare and the services that are available to them in Polk County. Specifically incorporate the culturally specific healthcare services directory in the 2-1-1 referral system.

  • Engage faith-based and community organizations to serve as educational awareness host sites for information about mental health and prenatal care.

  • Conduct focus groups or surveys at education events to better understand barriers to healthcare.


Current Actions and Activities

Strategic Implementation Team forming now.


Housing Strategic Implementation Teams

Measurable Outcomes

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.22.19 AM.png
Housing Strategic Implementation Team

  1. 2% increase in Black homeownership rates by 2023.

  2. 3% decrease in the difference of rent-burdened rates between the Black population and the total Des Moines – West Des Moines population by 2023.


  • Host homeownership panels in Black communities with local lenders, realtors, and insurance agents to provide information and advice about the home-buying process.

  • Create an association for Black real estate professionals to foster interconnection, find support, and learn about resources valuable for Black clients, such as forgivable loans and assistance programs.

  • Identify discriminatory practices in renting and work with property owners and other relevant parties to educate them on these issues and make changes.

Current Actions and Activities

Strategic Implementation Team forming now.


Leadership Strategic Implementaio Team

Leadership Strategic Implementation Team

Measurable Outcomes, Strategies, Actions and Activities are in development.

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 10.23.20 AM.png

Measurable Outcomes

bottom of page