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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Sen. Ernst talks systemic racism during Des Moines visit

Black leaders brought up inequities when it comes to education, economics, policing and health care.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Sen. Joni Ernst visited Creative Visions in Des Moines on Friday to learn what she can do in the fight against systematic racism.

"We need Republicans and white allies to call out racism when they see it," said Al Womble.

Black leaders brought up inequities when it comes to education, economics, policing and health care.

"What you heard today came from the gamechangers, older leadership, middle-age leadership, came from a number of organizations," said state representative Ako Abdul-Samad. 'That's what you heard today in our questions. And we're going to invite others. Now whether or not they come is up to them. But that's how we keep the momentum going. Because the locomotive is moving, and it's not going to stop."

Ernst agreed there needs to be changed, and committed to working in Washington to facilitate it.

"People have to be willing to come together to debate these issues, and we've had a little bit of reluctance so far," Ernst said. So we will continue and some of the issues that were given to us  today, they're issues that I feel passionate about already. And now I just have a different level of support and scrutinizing some of the legislation and the impact to minority communities."

Ernst said she will hold quarterly meetings with leaders of the Black community in Des Moines.

Local 5 Chief Political Correspondent Rachel Droze will have a one-on-one interview with Sen. Ernst Friday on Local 5 News at 6 & 10.

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