As part of our 2021 issue of Inclusion magazine, we hosted a virtual event, Discover Diverse Des Moines, presenting some of the top picks from city and civic leaders. Here are a few of our favorite selects from last year’s event (watch the videos here). Plus, look for the recurring Discover Diverse Des Moines column in each issue of dsm magazine; you’ll find more hidden gems in all pockets of Greater Des Moines from those in the know.
1. Harmony Park
6900 School St., Windsor Heights
Joseph Jones, director at Drake University’s Harkin Institute and a City Council member in Windsor Heights, says the park is “an inclusive environment. We wanted our city to have something where we could meet the developmental, emotional and social needs of children, regardless of physical ability.” Explore other inclusive parks, including two currently under development, here.
2. Lucky Lotus
2721 Ingersoll Ave.
Courtney Reyes, executive director of One Iowa, loves the restaurant for carryout. “They have the best egg rolls I’ve ever had,” Reyes says. Learn the story behind Kevin and Souriyno Chen’s roots here.
3. Busy Bee Tailor
3625 Beaver Ave.
“Tailoring is an art. It’s a skill learned over decades,” says China Wong, owner of Salon Spa W in the East Village. “There’s been a move away from fast fashion because of the environmental impacts, and there’s a lot more information about reusing and repurposing. That’s where tailors come into play.” Owner Hong Nguyen “has great ideas and is incredibly skilled,” Wong says.
4. Chellie’s Sugar Shack
For something on the sweet side, order cookies for curbside pickup. “They specialize in making the best cakes, cookies and cobblers,” says Renee Hardman, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and West Des Moines City Council member. Learn more about Hardman’s new initiative pairing female leaders and Little Sisters here.
5. State Historical Building
600 E. Locust St.
“As an indigenous woman, I find a sense of grounding and history and culture [there],” says Christina Blackcloud, co-founder of Fox Alliance Nonprofit.
Discover Diverse Des Moines Live Event!
Looking for new dining spots, places to shop for global groceries or maybe a beauty salon offering creative services?
Plan to attend our live Discover Diverse Des Moines event May 17 at the Des Moines Heritage Center. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the program is from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. The expert panel includes Abena Imhotep, Jen Carruthers, Michael Egel, Tej Dhawan, Tiffany Johnson, Kate Hightshoe and Tar Macias. They’ll share their favorite diverse establishments in our community; you’ll leave the event with a list of places to explore. Click here for tickets and registration information.