JEFAS Magazine Shares Features with Business Record’s Fearless Initiative

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Emily Barske Wood, Business Record special projects editor; Christina Fernández-Morrow, JEFAS Editor in Chief; and Erika Macias, Publisher of JEFAS Latinas in Business Magazine. Photo by Tar Macias / Hola Iowa
Emily Barske Wood, Business Record special projects editor; Christina Fernández-Morrow, JEFAS Editor in Chief; and Erika Macias, Publisher of JEFAS Latinas in Business Magazine. Photo by Tar Macias / Hola Iowa
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By Emily Barske Wood, Business Record special projects editor 

Earlier this year at a coffee meeting, Hola Iowa founders told me about a magazine in the works that would focus on Latina business leaders in Iowa. That project is JEFAS: Latinas in Business Magazine

Our early conversation about JEFAS Magazine sparked the idea to share some of their articles in Fearless, an initiative of the Business Record to empower Iowa women. Fearless will be sharing one JEFAS Magazine story in the first Fearless e-newsletter of the month through November. I want to share a little about how this came to be and why it matters to our team at the Business Record.

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Equitable journalism has always been important to me. In 2020 I led the launch of the Business Record newsroom’s racial equity advisory board, a group of Des Moines-area leaders of color we’ve asked to hold us accountable for being inclusive by giving us candid feedback about our news coverage and events. Tar Macias of Hola Iowa was one of our founding members and he remains one of the most active today.

I intentionally invited Macias to be a part of our board because culturally specific media organizations like Hola Iowa play a key role in providing news to underrepresented communities who are often only featured in mainstream outlets for negative reasons or ignored entirely. We see it as important to not only be representative in our journalism, but also to elevate media organizations that create content by and for minoritized people. That’s why we’ve shared a number of stories with Hola Iowa for republication and we hosted a virtual event on Latino entrepreneurship during the pandemic. 

I’m lucky to work at a company that sees inclusion as a never-ending journey. Our company’s founder Connie Wimer, the ultimate champion for women, started the Women of Influence Awards in 2000 to elevate women who, for a variety of reasons, did not receive the same recognition as male leaders. A number of those honorees have been Latinas. Under Connie’s leadership, in 2014, the Business Record launched a weekly newsletter devoted to women in business – Lift IOWA. BPC President and CEO Suzanna de Baca, a Latina leader herself, supports our equity-focused work, and spends a great deal of time involved in inclusion initiatives, like the Iowa Latinx Project. This year she was honored with the Louise Rosenfield Noun Visionary Award from the Young Women’s Resource Center. When I joined the company in 2019, I was pleased that empowering women was a top priority. Yet we knew it was necessary to do more. In November 2020 Fearless was born, and I have been proud to oversee it since. 

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Through the Fearless initiative, we create women-centered content and events through an intersectional and inclusive lens. We believe in providing a space for real, raw stories that are honest, vulnerable and nuanced. We’ve reported on many issues since the start and are always looking for story ideas and new ways to empower Iowa women. We are grateful to JEFAS Magazine Editor in Chief Christina Fernández-Morrow for working with us on this goal. The growing number of Latina entrepreneurs around the country and in Iowa are making a significant impact on the economy, and we look forward to sharing these stories with our audience. 

Learn more about Fearless and subscribe to our newsletter at fearlessbr.com. Have a question about Fearless? Reach out at [email protected].

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