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Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission highlighting local Black leaders

The reason for the "Black History is Living History" series is to show others that Black history is more than showcasing events and leaders from the past.

DES MOINES, Iowa — To honor local Black leaders, the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission is hosting a series on their Facebook page titled "Black History is Living History."

The series consists of posts with text highlighting different community leaders who are making a change and discussing what each person advocates for.  

"So history is still being made every day, and here are some of the people that are making history right here in our community," Commission Director Joshua V. Barr said. "So don't just think about MLK [Jr.] and Rosa Parks. "

One of the people being highlighted in the series is Dwana Bradley, a mother of two, business owner and Board Chair for the Des Moines Public Schools.

"For me, this fight looks like I get to sit at the table," Bradley said. "This fight looks like you need to talk to someone I can say 'Oh, I know that person, let me connect you two so you all can have a conversation.'"

Lyric Sellers, a DMPS student who said she has been fighting to remove School Resource Officers from campuses, is also honored in the series.

"Basically about the beginning of quarantine we developed a plan as far as, you know, holding our district accountable to anti-racism," Sellers said.

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Sellers also said her fight does not end there. Along with some other students, she has worked to update curriculum in the district.

"Not only African American studies, but global Black history and Chicano studies and Latinx history," Sellers said. "LGBTQ plus history."

And Barr noted, when people read about Bradley, Sellers and the other leaders featured in the series, they will get to find out about the significant changes each is helping to make. 

"We don't want people to look at history as the past but we also want to honor everyday heroes right here in our community, in the present," Barr said.

Click here to read about those featured in the series.

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