Resources – Embracing Inclusion

Tap into these local sources to find organizations that serve Greater Des Moines’ diverse communities.

Compiled by Amanda Jordan

General Services

CultureAll Connects people with resources such as schools, communities and businesses. Programs are about shifting perspective, discovering new concepts and experiencing differences.

Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families Assists those looking for education, job training and career opportunities through workforce services.

Iowa Civil Rights Commission Law enforcement agency that enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Iowa Department of Human Services Focuses on helping Iowans achieve healthy, safe, stable and self-sufficient lives.

IowaWorks Connects job seekers with employment services.

Oakridge Neighborhood Creates pathways to success for adults, children and families by providing housing and education and employment programs.

Safe Schools Certification Program Advocates for safe school laws to prevent serious safety incidents.

Serving the African American Community

Bor Women Association Illuminates the problems and hardships facing the people of South Sudan, particularly women and children.

Creative Visions Builds stronger lives, families and communities through services centered on self, family and community betterment.

Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans Promotes the interests and well-being of African Americans in Iowa.

Urban Dreams Provides human-service programs that break down barriers for underserved and underrepresented populations.

NAACP Iowa-Nebraska State Conference of Branches Works to ensure racial justice, equality and equity for all.

Serving the Asian Community

Bhutanese Community in Iowa Works for the religious, charitable and educational welfare and the cultural protection of the Nepali-speaking Bhutanese people.

Chinese Association of Iowa Represents the business, economic and community development of the Chinese American community.

Chinese Cultural Center of America Promotes closer cultural and trade relationships between America and China/Pacific-rim Asia.

Filipino-American Association of Iowa Promotes and enhances cultural and heritage awareness as well as fellowship among Filipinos.

India Cultural Association of Central Iowa (ICA) Shares India’s secular values and cultural heritage through a variety of activities and programs.

Indo-American Association of Iowa Focuses on India’s culture and heritage through programs, education and other activities that foster understanding of India’s diversity and rich traditions.

Iowa Asian Alliance Unites Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities by promoting economic growth and broader community development.

Iowa Chinese Language School

Teaches the Chinese language, promotes its culture and creates multicultural environments.

Iowa Nepalese Association Preserves, maintains and facilitates identity, heritage, culture and language.

Japan America Society of Iowa Demonstrates traditional drumming, calligraphy and tea ceremonies at schools and other organizations.

Korean Cultural Connection of Iowa Brings together Korean and American families and individuals from across Iowa for cultural exchange, education and friendship.

Maharastra Mandal of Iowa
Celebrates traditions and cultures.

Monsoon Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity Serves victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in Iowa.

Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs Serves economic, social and cultural needs of Iowans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.

St. Peters Vietnamese Community
in Des Moines
Works to minimize the differences between cultures.

Tai Studies Center Promotes the welfare and well-being of Tai people, and advocates for intercultural understanding and cooperation in the community.

Thai Association of Iowa Promotes goodwill through civic engagement and celebrates the Thai spirit and traditions.

Vietnamese American Community in Iowa Enriches Vietnamese cultural heritage through education and cross-cultural activities.

Serving Those With Disabilities

Candeo Serves individuals with autism and Asperger’s, brain injuries, and mental illness; provides home-based rehabilitation and employment opportunities.

Central Iowa Chapter for Independent Living Advances independent living through job training, advocacy, transition services and more.

ChildServe Improves the health and well-being of children through specialized clinical, home and community-based programs and services.

Community Support Advocates Helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness and substance abuse.

Crest Services Provides residential services to individuals with mental or developmental disabilities or those with traumatic brain injuries.

Easterseals Iowa Supports children and adults with disabilities to promote independence and opportunities.

Eyerly Ball Provides comprehensive mental health services, including crisis, outpatient and residential programs.

Goodwill of Central Iowa Helps individuals achieve independence through meaningful employment.

H.O.P.E. (Honoring Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Serves children and adults with special needs and their families to increase their quality of life.

Iowa Division of Mental Health and Disability Services Engages in activities that promote a statewide system of high-quality disability-related services.

Iowa Home Care Provides quality and cost-effective home health care while keeping clients out of hospitals and institutions.

Iowa Office of Persons with Disabilities Promotes employment for Iowans with disabilities by reducing barriers.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services Assists individuals in gaining, retaining and advancing in employment.

Iowa’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Partners with Iowans with disabilities, their families, providers, state and local agencies, and others to improve health and increase community participation.

Link Associates Serves individuals
with intellectual disabilities as well as their families.

Mainstream Living Provides housing, medical assistance, employment, counseling, community integration and a variety of other support services.

Mosaic Serves those with mental health needs with a means of independence.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Offers the tools needed by friends, families and people with mental illness.

On With Life Focuses on the unique and complex needs of brain injury survivors.

Optimae LifeServices Offers health care and human services for individuals with disabilities and mental illness. Programs include community-based, behavioral health, home health, rehabilitation and residential care services.

Progress Industries Helps people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing training, tools and resources.

REM Iowa Assists adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other complex challenges through a range of programs, including residential services and day and vocational programs.

Respite Connection Gives a temporary break for parents or guardians caring for a child or adult with a disability, providing both individual and group respite care.

The Homestead Serves the needs of people with autism through a variety of strategies.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Iowa Serves individuals and their support networks with tools and resources to cope with mental illness, helping Central Iowans through meetings, support groups, courses and referrals.

Serving Latinos

Iowa Office of Latino Affairs Serves as an ongoing resource for Iowans of Latino heritage, government agencies, businesses and other entities in the state.

Latinas al Éxito (LAÉ) Builds the leadership potential of Latinx youth through college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support and cultural celebration.

Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines Focuses on culturally appropriate leadership training for Latina women.

League of United Latin America Citizens of Iowa Supports Latinx civil rights.

Serving the LGBTQ Community

First Friday Breakfast Club Gathers monthly for breakfast, fellowship and a speaker.

Human Rights Campaign Advocates for LGBTQ equality and educates the public about LGBTQ issues.

Lambda Legal Achieves civil rights for LGBTQ and those living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Iowa Safe Schools Creates safe, supportive and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ and allied youths through education, outreach, advocacy and direct services.

One Iowa Focuses on improving the lives of LGBTQ Iowans by protecting and advancing equality and inclusiveness through education, improving workplace culture, and increasing access to quality health care.

Out Networking Presents year-round events focused on business, culture, community and philanthropic subjects.

Serving Native Americans

White Eagle Multicultural Pow Wow Brings the community together and celebrates differences through music, dance, food and storytelling.

Iowa Department of Human Rights: Office of Native American Affairs Works with state agencies to serve the needs of Native Americans in participating fully in the economic, social and cultural life of the state.

Serving Immigrants and Refugees

Bureau of Refugee Services Helps refugees who’ve been in the country for less than 60 months.

Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Facilitates health exams, job-placement assistance, school enrollment, language classes and bus training during the first three months of resettlement.

Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center Helps refugees through advocacy, education and community development.

Iowa International Center Provides access to educational and cultural resources to Iowans, new Iowans and international visitors.

Justice for Our Neighbors Provides free or low-cost legal services to vulnerable immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Lutheran Services in Iowa Offers a wide variety of services and programs for immigrants and refugees of all ages and ethnicities.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Protects the rights and addresses the needs of people in forced or voluntary migration situations.

Serving Veterans and Service Members

Home Base Iowa Connects Iowa businesses with qualified veterans and their spouses looking for career opportunities.

Iowa American Legion Offers a variety of programs and services for veterans and their families.

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Advocates for Iowa veterans and their families, dedicated to ensuring veterans, their dependents and survivors receive full benefits.

Iowa VFW Seeks to better the lives of all veterans.

VA Central Iowa Health Care Provides acute and specialized medical and surgical services, substance abuse treatment, and a range of mental health and long-term care services.

Veteran Employment Services Connects veterans and transitioning service members to career opportunities.

Religious Organizations

Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Feeds, assists and nurtures the needs of vulnerable populations, working with more than 125 member congregations from five faith traditions.

Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of Iowa Follows Vedic traditions and rituals practiced in India for over 2,000 years.

Islamic Center of Des Moines Serves Muslims in the metro area.

Jewish Federation of Greater
Des Moines
Enriches Jewish lives through connection, education and compassion, supporting a number of organizations and synagogues.

Muslim Community Organization/Masjid An-Noor Conducts Jumaah, daily and Taraweeh prayers.

Sikhs of Iowa Khalsa Heritage Inc. Promotes ideals of Sikhism, learning of the Punjabi language and the establishment of a community kitchen.

Wat Lao Buddhavath of Iowa Shares the Buddhist traditions of wisdom, morality and concentration. Their main study is Theravada Buddhism.

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