My name is Matthew Bruce, but you may refer to me simply as Maté.
I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, where I graduated from East High School. Growing up in Des Moines, I developed a deep passion for sports, nature, music and literature.
In 2014, I arrived at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in the wake of the state-sanctioned murder of Michael Brown at the hands of the Ferguson Police Department. In the span of my first two semesters, we endured the viral police murders of Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and Alton Sterling, as well as the inexplicable passing of Sandra Bland while in custody of Texas State Police. For the first time in our lives, we were free to chart our own course in life and here we found ourselves as young Black college students forced to come to grips with the realities that Black people in America had confronted for centuries. As human beings do, we all chose to respond to the adversity in different ways, and I chose my voice.
Since 2014, I have organized demonstrations against racial disparities in higher education, as well as in solidarity with students at the University of Missouri and in solidarity with justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. I have been published in the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Gazette and have been featured for my activism in publications such as NPR and NBC and Black Iowa News.
In 2020, I became a founding member of DSM BLM, a nonprofit organization focused on anti-police activism, prison abolition and broader themes of social justice.
I hope to bring to Black Iowa News a fresh look at the intersections of society, culture, sports, science, politics and more through the eyes of a young Black Iowan who is invested in our collective future.