Understanding Social (In)Justice Through the Power of Place

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Program Details


Virtual Event Series

Understanding Social (In)Justice Through the Power of Place: The Center Street Story: An Urban Renewal Retrospective

Speakers: Madison DeShay-Duncan, Ph.D., and Richard Duncan


This online series of four connected, interactive workshops will explore the history of Des Moines’ Center Street neighborhood and spark conversations about racialized inequity, its relationship to 1950s urban renewal, and other policies and practices that disproportionately impact Iowa’s Black citizens. 

The workshops will be led by Madison DeShay-Duncan, Ph.D. and Richard Duncan. Dr. DeShay-Duncan is writer and filmmaker of the upcoming documentary, The Center Street Story: An Urban Renewal Retrospective, as well as an Assistant Teaching Professor at Iowa State University where she received her Ph.D. in Education and currently teaches Social Justice in Education and related courses. Dr. DeShay-Duncan also has a MA of Community and Regional Planning and BA of Sociology. In 2007 she founded Community Legacy Matters Inc.

Richard Duncan is filmmaker and a narrator of The Center Street Story: An Urban Renewal Retrospective. A former resident of the historic Center Street community, Richard is knowledgeable on both the social and physical aspects of the historic Center Street neighborhood. Richard’s Center Street heritage, participation in the historic 1963 March on Washington, and residency in Los Angeles during the 1960s Black Freedom and Civil Rights Movements resulted in a valuable and unique angle of vision of the implications of urban renewal on both local and national scales.


Registration is required. A Zoom link will be e-mailed to all registrants.

Supported by the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, the Iowa State University Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Ames Collegiate United Methodist Church/Wesley Foundation, and Ames Iowa Branch of the NAACP.


Ames Public Library connects you to the world of ideas through diverse and inclusive resources and programs. We welcome proposals via our website for programs at www.amespubliclibrary.org/programproposal and exhibits at https://www.amespubliclibrary.org/exhibit-proposal.