Editor’s Note: Give and Take and Give

The Cloris Award-winning actress McKenna O’Meara, left, and Julia Richer shared a role in “Disney’s High School Musical Jr.” last fall at the Des Moines Playhouse. Photo: Duane Tinkey

In a newish program at the Des Moines Playhouse that we feature in this issue, young actors get to perform with an unusual advantage. Each cast member ventures on stage with a partner in a similar costume, a trusty sidekick ready to help with a forgotten line or dance move.

It makes me wonder: What other scary stuff would the rest of us try if we could do it in tandem with someone else? Skydiving and marriage come to mind.

But what else? What would you do? Start a business? Run for office? Learn to pole vault?

In this edition of our annual Inclusion series, you’ll meet several folks who’ve stepped out of their comfort zones with a bit of help, a little tug or nudge from a friend or mentor. They received an invitation. They felt a sense of belonging. And often, they’re paying it forward.

You’ll meet a local entrepreneur, a Black woman, who created an annual business fair to benefit other businesswomen of color. You’ll meet a gay guy who had a breakthrough at an LGTBQ-friendly church; he became a pastor and now leads Capital City Pride. You’ll meet a mobility coach who teaches blind people how to get around the city; one of his former students is training to become a coach himself.

These are just a few examples, but they point to another question, a corollary to the one up top: Who can you help?

Maybe you already run a business or you’ve run for office. Or, hey, maybe you can pole vault. Chances are, you could help someone you know step out of a comfort zone — or even enlarge it. For good.

— Michael Morain

You May Also Like

Discover a Diverse Des Moines: Upcoming cultural events

Latino Heritage Festival, Sept. 21-22. Photo courtesy Iowa Latino Heritage Festival For the last ...

Friday Night Futbol

Dana Hall, left, and Marcela Hermosillo-Tarin share a laugh at the MVP Sports Center. ...

Busting Barriers: A Festival of Black Women Entrepreneurs

Writer: Mathany Ahmed Photos: Duane Tinkey Loretta Terrell envisions a world where more Black ...