DES MOINES, Iowa — If walls could talk, Corinthian Baptist Church would have countless stories to share about Jacquie Easley. She and her husband Odell McGhee have been members for decades. “There’s a phrase,” Jacquie explains, “to whom much is given, much is required.”

Jacquie’s taken that to heart. She started volunteering as a girl and has never stopped. She’s served on the Des Moines school board, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association, the YWCA, United Way, Wilkie House, and countless other organizations.

“My parents instilled in my brothers and myself that you are the beneficiaries of so many people who have nurtured you and so you need to pay it forward and give back to your community.”

Jacquie’s husband of 37 years nominated her as a remarkable woman. “I think it’s that kind of zeal and zest to get out there and do something and impact the lives of people,” says Odell, “to see the need, and not only to see the need, but then to do out and do something about it.”

A lot of the doing has happened inside these walls. “I’ve had some wonderful events here,” says Jacquie, “from school board forums to professional events.”

There’s been a lot of grieving, too. “I’ve also had a son who was eulogized here.”

Ty took his life in 2014. He was eighteen years old. “At the time he was experiencing some serious mental health challenges,” says Jacquie. Odell adds, “The thing that one asks oneself all the time is, why? Why my son?”

In the midst of that struggle, Jacquie and Odell didn’t share it with others. Ty’s death changed that. “You find out in your circle of friends how many have also been impacted,” Jacquie explains, “that really inspired me. Let’s talk about this and put this on the table.”

It’s one of the reasons Jacquie is part of a new committee called “Back the Black.” Its purpose is to address the stigma that exists in the Black community around mental health.