Merrill Middle School

Big picture

Anti-Racism Resources

Greetings, Mustangs,

We have gathered a number of resources from experts near and far to help us keep anti-racism conversations at the forefront of our work. What we are providing is not at all intended to be an exhaustive list, just an attempt to support you with some of the questions that we are receiving from our Merrill community.

Below you will find information regarding:

1. Community Forums hosted by DMPS and DMPS Students

2. Suggestions for summer reading that will empower young adult readers

3. Resources for talking with your child about race

4. Podcasts, Websites, TED-Ed Talks to support learning on the go

At Merrill we regularly talk about how learning is social. As you read, listen, study, and think, we encourage you to talk with your friends and neighbors, pass along resources, ask questions, and engage with the community around you. We promise to do the same.

Yours in keeping the conversation going,


Kathryn Panek

Merrill Middle School, Principal

Register now for Anti-Racist Town Halls

As our community and the nation debates, rallies and protests around issues of racial injustice, we are creating a space for conversations with our community around equity issues for students of Des Moines Public Schools. Please join us for an action-oriented conversation with staff and administration about barriers to equitable student outcomes and opportunities in Des Moines.

Be prepared to talk. We are prepared to listen.

Please note that registration in advance is required. Through the registration process, participants will either receive a link to a virtual Zoom meeting or instructions for attending an in-person, student-only session (student-only sessions will be limited in order to maintain physical distancing and other health guidelines).

Register at

Big picture

Roosevelt Youth Voice Forums

Students of all ages are welcome to participate in Roosevelt's Student Council series of Youth Voice Forums. The sessions will serve as Q&A sessions between students and Iowa elected officials and political figures.

  • Senator Charles Grassley (June 8 at 2:30pm)
  • Former Iowa Governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack & former First Lady of Iowa Christie Vilsack (June 10 at 2:30pm)
  • Eric Branstad, Iowa Director of President Trump’s 2016 Campaign (June 12 at 2:30pm)
  • Hooff Cooksey, 2018 Campaign Manager for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (June 17 at 12pm)

  • Misty Rebik, Iowa Caucus Director of the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign (Date TBD)
  • Janice Rottenberg, Iowa Caucus Director of the Elizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaign (Date TBD)

DMPS students are strongly encouraged to submit questions, and can register for free through the following link:

Brought to you by Fez Zafar and the Roosevelt Student Council.

Empowering Young Adult Readers - Male Protagonists

Empowering Young Adult Readers - Female Protagonists

Where can I find these books?

Talking About Race

Podcast? Netflix? Magazine? Newspaper? TED Talk?

Kidlit4BlackLives Rally