The Commission continued its active education
and outreach program through the year. While one staff member coordinates
the educational efforts, many staff members participate in fulfilling requests
for speakers and presentors. Commission staff made presentations at 203
events, including workshops, seminars, classes, and other training sessions.
This number compares with 92 done in the previous fiscal year.
During the year, staff responded to 3,859 calls
requesting information on civil rights or related topics. These calls come
from the employees, employers, landlords, tenants, advocacy groups, attorneys,
media and advertisers, students, and the general public. (This number of
calls does not include intake calls or individual case-related calls.) If
staff cannot provide the information being sought, appropriate referrals
are made whenever possible.
Over 23,700 pieces of educational materials
were sent to the general public. This included two issues of the the newsletter,
The Communicator, the Annual Report, Case Reports, brochures
on a variety of topics, Factsheets, and EEO and housing posters.
FactSheets, concise one-page summaries of information on specific
topics, were developed to replace several brochures. 'Me FactSheets can
be produced on our computer software, can be revised as necessary, and can
be quickly and economically reproduced.
The Commission made increased use of press releases
to keep the media and the public informed of new developments. Several newspaper
feature stories were generated as a result of initial contacts through a
press release. This is a method in which the Commission can be pro-active
in spreading the "good news" of our accomplishments. Press releases
also inform the public of all Commission meetings, and of final decisions
to be considered at these meetings.
The video library continued to expand with new
titles, such as Bob's Ms. Adventure, Healing the Rainbow, Behind
the Mask, and Now Serving Every Customer. Staff members
use the videos in presentations, and the videos are available for loan.
In FY94, 128 loan requests were fulfilled.
Staff member Frank Tribble developed "Celebrafing
Diversity" programs for use in the middle schools and high schools
to increase stodents' awareness of and sensitivity to cultural diversity.
He has presented the program to many schools around the state, and continues
to be available upon request.
The Commission also assisted with "Leaming
to Live Together: The Unfinished Task," a photographic exhibit and
series of seminars in Des Moines. The exhibit was sponsored by the National
Conference of Christians and Jews, and was funded by contributions from
local corporations and advocacy groups.
Two parts of the photographic exhibit consisted
of "Europe Today: the Ugly Face of Nationalism" and "What
About Today? Nazism, Anti-Sentitism, Racism and Discrimination in Europe
and the United States." These exhibits were produced by the Anne Frank
House in Amsterdam. A companion exhibit entitled "Leaming to Live Together:
The Unfinished Task" was created by the Des Moines Register to showcase
local issues of inter-goup tension and diversity. Concurrent workshops and
lectures on this theme were developed by local agencies and advocacy groups,
including the Commission.