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We Can’t Breathe – A Conversation About How We Come Back Together in a Time Like This

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Shelby Pierce
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Credit Siouxland Public Media
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Police Chief Rex Mueller, Shelby Pierce, Sioux City NAACP President Ike Rayford, and Unity in the Community founder Monique Scarlett

Local NAACP President Ike Rayford and Shelby Pierce interview Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller and community activist Monique Scarlett in an open and honest conversation about the death of George Floyd, the state of policing, the use of excessive force in our community, and how we can find unity in the midst of anger and grief.  

At a young age Rayford’s entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured through involvement in family businesses., where learned the arts of relationship building, time management and the value of self-determination. He has been involved in leadership positions of The NAACP, Three Rivers Independent Living Centers, Toastmasters International, Leadership Siouxland, Habitat For Humanity, Freedom Festival, Youth For Christ, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Decatur Lodge, and Juneteenth. Additionally, Rayford strives to bring people together by valuing the individuality of everyone he encounters and withholding judgment. These skills were particularly valuable when investigating allegations of discrimination while serving as an AmeriCorp VISTA with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at the Siouxland Human Rights Commission and advocate at Three Rivers Independent Living Center. He achieved the highest honor awarded in Toastmasters International, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), in 2012 and continues his education both formally and informally. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Business Administration and Mass Communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa in 2003 while balancing the demands of school, single-parenthood and full-time employment.
Shelby is a native Sioux Cityan. She graduated from East High. After completing her undergraduate in Social Science in Denver, she lived and worked briefly in Phoenix, AZ. Eight years ago, she returned to Sioux City for what she thought would be a brief stint. She remains a en-Sioux-siast to this day.
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