coffee with chrysalis

Coffee with Chrysalis provides an opportunity to learn and engage with local experts about timely issues impacting girls and women in Greater Des Moines. Future coffees will be planned to address relevant topics, and we welcome your ideas for subjects and speakers. Coffee with Chrysalis events are free to attend. We ask that you register so we may accommodate all attendees. 

2024 coffee with chrysalis dates 

 If you have suggestions for future Coffee with Chrysalis topics or speakers, please email us. Thank you. 

What school children are struggling with and how to help


RSVP here
Monday, March 18, 2024 - 8:30-9:30 am
Jessica Wear, Counselor, Westridge Elementary School
West Des Moines School District

Join us for Coffee with Chrysalis with Western Hills Elementary School counselor, Jessica Wear, as she shares inights on what is happening in the lives of school children. We'll learn about how we can help young girls work through the many challenges that boys typically don't face.

The event is free and open to the public; we ask that you register. RSVP here

Mark your calendar! 


We'll provide more details closer to the date. 

  • Friday, June 7, 8:30 to 9:30 am
  • Friday, November 8, 8:30 to 9:30 am

@The Slow Down Coffee Co.

Past Coffee with Chrysalis Events

Pelvic Health and Patient Advocacy

Friday, October 20, 2023 - 8:30-9:30 am
Dr. Kari Smith, Associate Professor, Des Moines University
Department of Physical Therapy and Manager of the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic

Join us for Coffee with Chrysalis where we will focus on understanding clinically approved pelvic floor dysfunction treatment modalities and the importance of transparency and self-advocacy in medical settings.

Stresses of Today's Teens and Young Adults

Friday, July 14, 2023 - 8:30-9:30 am
Julie Larson, LCSW, therapist and keynote speaker 

Join us as we learn about the unique stresses of today's teens and young adults, as well as, the strategies for managing, reframing, and healing our own stress to allow us to continue caring for the teens/young adults in our lives. No cost to attend; complimentary coffee/water.


More information: 
Teens and emerging adults were among the most stressed people during the COVID-19 pandemic and now, while they may appear to be doing fine, they are struggling. 

Julie Larson, therapist and keynote speaker, who specializes in working with teens and young adults will discuss the issues that are surfacing now for young people acclimating to a post-pandemic society. She will share effective and unique engagement strategies that we can all use to manage stress, re-frame challenges, and set a path to healing for ourselves and those for whom we care.  

What You Need to Know About SANEs

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 8:30-9:30 am 
Sara Hulen, Sexual Assault Forensic Response Coordinator

Join us as we learn about the importance of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, how to access Iowa’s SANE services when needed, and the positive impact this program has had on Iowa's response to sexual assault and abuse. Coffee will be provided and there is no cost to attend. 


In 2010, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported:

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will experience rape, and
  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will experience sexual violence other than rape at some time during their life

These rates are significantly higher for American Indian and Alaska Native women as well as persons with disabilities. Often, these incidents are not reported or appropriately addressed.

The 2021 Iowa Legislature created the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program to tackle this critical problem, and Sara Hulen was hired last January to head the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program across the state.

What is a SANE? it is a registered nurse who completed additional education and training to provide timely, comprehensive, and trauma-informed care to survivors of sexual assault. SANEs collect evidence (known as “rape kits”) for possible use in investigation or court, evaluate and treat patients appropriately and accordingly, and may testify in court as a fact or expert witness.


juneteenth - what it means to me

Friday, June 17, 2022 - 8:30-9:30 am 
Dwana Bradley

Learn about Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, and Iowa's observation of this important holiday. Dwana Bradley, Iowa Juneteenth General Chairperson, will provide information and lead our discussion. Coffee will be provided and there is no cost to attend. 

the experience of afghan women and other refugees in iowa

Friday, January 21, 2022 - 8:30-9:30 am 

Learn about the refugee crisis resettlement of refugees in Iowa and the particular challenges faced by the rapid resettlement of Afghan women and their families. Stephanie Moris, Executive Director, Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa, will provide information and lead discussion on this important topic. No cost to attend; masks are required.

thank you to those who were able to join us for coffee with chrysalis.

We encourage you to share what you learned with your family, friends, and colleagues. 

We will continue to hold the supply drive specifically collecting undergarments and sanitary pads for the Afghan women refugees and gently used winter gear for ALL family members (see associated links). 

Additional resource: Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa 

donation drive


1. Donate undergarments and sanitary products using the Chrysalis Support for Afghan refugees Amazon Wish List

2. Make a monetary donation to Chrysalis here

3. Gather gently used winter gear for ALL family members and email us to arrange a drop-off or pick-up.