New CED specialist works with African and African-American small businesses and nonprofits

May 21, 2018

On May 2, Kameron Middlebrooks joined Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development (CED) unit as a community development specialist. Middlebrooks comes to ISU from the Evelyn K. Davis Center in Des Moines, where he was an asset development associate working on economic and community development for small businesses and nonprofits.

Middlebrooks became involved with the NAACP during high school, serving as a youth representative to NAACP National Board of Directors for four years. In 2012, at the age of 24, he became the Midwestern regional field director of the NAACP, the youngest to ever serve in that position. As regional director, he organized a voter registration campaign that registered more than 15,000 people of color across the Midwest. He actively engaged the Iowa-Nebraska state conference in talks with the Governor Terry Branstad to streamline the process for felons to regain their right to vote.

Middlebrooks left the NAACP in 2014 to start his own business venture. From 2014–2016 he operated a marketing and managerial firm, Equalizer Management Inc, which focused on integrated communication solutions for residential and business clients.

As a CED community development specialist, Middlebrooks will focus primarily on African and African-American small businesses and nonprofits, working to build strategic partnerships to help identify areas of collaboration that can help businesses and organizations thrive in Iowa’s urban communities.

“Initially, I will be continuing some of the work I started at Evelyn K. Davis Center,” said Middlebrooks. “This work will include recruitment and facilitation of the Master Business Boot Camp. This boot camp is designed for small business owners who have been in operation for at least six months.”

The boot camp focuses on branding or rebranding the business as well as understanding accounting principles.

Middlebrooks is also working on the One Economy project, which addresses the results of the One Economy report on the disparities of the African and African American communities in Polk County in the areas of housing, employment, education, health, small business, and financial inclusion. He is coordinating six working groups of representatives from community organizations, business leaders, and affected community members to devise strategies that could affect some of the data provided in the report.

Middlebrooks is officed at the Evelyn K. Davis Center in Des Moines and can be reached at 515-231-5055 or kameronm@iastate.edu.

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