THE EDUCATION DIVISION
The Education Division tries to be a pro-active arm of the commission. Because of the nature of the commission, much of its work is re-active in nature. A complainant comes in, we react with the complaint. A crisis flares up somewhere in the state and we react in whatever way we can. A company appeals a decision, takes legal action and we react with an answer to the appeal. Reaction is built into the nature of the agency. And that's not necessarily bad. After all, we want to help people, yet we are not mind readers. People need to come to us before we can respond to them. Not all work of the commission is reactive. For example, the extensive rulemaking the commission has engaged in the last year is a fine example of forward-looking civil rights leadership in Iowa. The Education Division is also different.
While complaints coming into the agency obviously affect the training component of the agency, the division does not react to complaints on a day-to-day basis. This gives the division a certain amount of freedom to reach out to the staff and to the public to help prepare the staff for their mission as well as identify problems outside the agency. The work of the division is outlined in four categories: training and development for the state commission, training for local commissions, public education and legislative work.
Terry Dolphin, the Education Director, is a graduate of the University of Iowa (1972) with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He did legal research in civil rights for attorneys in Iowa City prior to graduation and thereafter became an investigator for the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights. He started with the state commission in 1974 as Director of Pattern and Practice Investigations. He has had experience with individual investigations as well and supervisory experience. His position of Education and Staff Development Director he has held since 1976. Mr. Dolphin is Vice-president for Training for the Nebraska-Iowa Association of Human Rights Workers and a member of the Des Moines Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT STATE COMMISSION
The training program at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has two major components: classroom training followed by on-the-job training (OJT). Mr. Dolphin conducts the classroom component and the Compliance Supervisors handle OJT for the investigators assigned to them.
We teach the two-week classroom session in two parts. In the first part we begin by orienting the new employees to the commission's structure and internal procedures, as well as, introducing them to the rest of the staff. The main thrust of part one is to present the law, theory and dynamics of discrimination. Then in part two, we require the new trainee to take less of a passive role in his or her training by applying the principles from part one in training exercises designed to simulate the actual work. They begin by writing investigative plans and finish by analyzing a case, drawing their own conclusions and writing the summary of the investigation.
The field training or OJT has the same general progression from passive to active involvement on the part of the trainee, although the setting is much different. The Compliance Supervisors expect trainees to take responsibility for scheduling appointments and preparing the case. Trainees accompany the supervisor to the respondent's place of business. At first they mostly observe the supervisor conducting the investigation. With later on-site visits to other respondents, however, the trainee takes on more and more of the responsibility for directing the investigation.
There were a total of four classes that went through the training in FY-79. Those in attendance numbered 22 altogether. As in previous years, the content of the training has evolved and, we hope, improved in the last year. We needed to update the training to be able to tell the trainees how the agency functions after the legislative changes that took place in FY-78. The General Assembly passed House File 2390 during the previous fiscal year which included a number of procedural and substantive changes in the way our agency operates. In addition, we added a section on inspecting a respondent's records which we feel has been helpful. Evolvement is a constant process in the training at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. In the future, we will be changing the format again so as to alternate classroom and field experience in consecutive but shorter sessions. We are hoping that the actual on-site experience will enrich the classroom training and provide a better balance between experience and theory at a critical point in the learning process. Further plans on the drawing board include the implementation of a formal clerical orientation. Hopefully next year we'll be able o report on successes in this area!
Now, more than ever, conciliators for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, need to be skillful in the art of negotiation. 1978 amendments to our law allow for the possibility for a broader range of remedies and damages including damages for pain and humiliation. Therefore, in FY-79 we started a course in negotiating for both conciliators and for people working with the early settlement project. Those people working on the Preintake/Rapid Charge Project have other specific training needs as well. So, we also provided training for the Project personnel, too. Other staff development seminars included a presentation on interpersonal conflict resolution, conducted by Mr. Dolphin, and a full day time management workshop conducted by Dr. Michael Cavitt, of the Institute for Public Affairs, University of Iowa. Mr. Dolphin, himself, attended a week-long seminar on statistics conducted by the U.S. Civil Service Commission.
TRAINING - LOCAL COMMISSION
There are 22 local civil rights commissions in the state of Iowa. Twelve of these have at least one staff person employed. Although for the sake of efficiency, we prefer to train local commissioners and staff in our office, this is not always possible. So, our Education Director did travel to one local commission, Cedar Falls. In the future we would like to see local training done more on a regional basis with several commissions at a time. We see an increasingly more viable network forming among the state civil rights commission and the twenty-two locals. We would like to share our talent and resources with them as much as possible. A recent Iowa Supreme Court decision, Westinghouse Learning Corporation vs. City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission, requires that the local commissions "track the Iowa Civil Rights Commission" in their procedures. Unfortunately, the Court did not accompany that statement with guidelines as to just how the "tracking" is to be accomplished. In the absence of such guidelines, the question is open for the courts, perhaps even the Iowa Supreme Court, to interpret. No one knows if the Court intended the local commissions to roughly approximate the procedures of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission or to, in fact, be a mirror image. In any event many of the local commissions have begun revising their ordinances as a result. Being a mirror image may be very costly for some of the local commissions, so we await to see just how strict the courts will be.
PUBLIC EDUCATION - RESEARCH
Although the main responsibility for public education lies with the Education Director, there are a number of other staff people who have the opportunity to inform people of their rights and responsibilities pertaining to the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Mr. Thomas Mann, Jr., our Executive Director and Ms. Shirley Steele and Mr. Ray Perry, and Ms. Victoria Herring, three assistant attorneys general, assigned to our agency, all had a number of speaking engagements. Likewise, Deanne Poore, the Affirmative Action Director and Deborah Gunnison, the Developmental Disabilities Director, took advantage of the opportunity to educate people.
Code of Iowa, Chapter 601A.5 Powers and Duties
(3) To investigate and study the existence, character, causes and extent of discrimination in public accommodations, employment, apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training programs, vocational schools, and housing in this state and to attempt the elimination of such discrimination by education and conciliation.
There was a time prior to the passage of the Iowa Civil Rights Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act on the federal level when the only "power" victims of discrimination and proponents of civil rights had was education. In those days education began with a cadre of neighbors, whose anger had finally bubbled over the crucible of fear inside of them. A makeshift human relations council if you will. Led by a reverend or rabbi, they were headed for a local employer/landlord/business owner, whom they considered a bigot, to inform him of the injustice and immorality of his actions, to appeal to his sense of fair play, in short, to educate him. When 1964 and administrative law enforcement arrived, we neighbors rejected education as if it were a weapon of the weak, something we had outgrown. But ironically in the words of that very law it appears not only as a duty, but a power.
Code of Iowa, Chapter 601A.5 Powers and Duties
(6) To issue such publications and reports of investigation and research as in the judgment of the commission shall tend to promote good will among the various racial, religious, and ethnic groups of the state and which shall tend to minimize or eliminate discrimination ...
The Division took part in three research projects throughout FY-79. Have you ever been in a "sprinkled area of town?" That's how one real estate agent described an integrated neighborhood in Council Bluffs. The purpose of the Council Bluffs Housing Study was to do a comparative analysis of treatment by race in both the housing rental and sales markets of Council Bluffs. The primary thrust of the study was to determine the availability of housing for black people in that city. In sales, this translated into, first whether blacks are given an opportunity to buy and, second, where and in what manner they are given that opportunity.
The basic design of the study entailed a series of two-pronged tests or audits in which a white person and a black person, posing as prospective renter or buyer, inquired about the availability of houses or apartments with the same landlord or real estate firm. Testers were paired by sex, age, employment status (professional, technical, clerical and so forth), marital status, number of children, age of children, present living arrangements (renting or owning), nature and amount of indebtedness, down payment capability and income. The only difference in the matching was that concerning income and in some cases, down payment capability; the black half of the team appeared just a little more favorable. All testers asked for the same specifications for a home or apartment. Thirty-two (32) testers participated.
Every tester participated in a training session prior to their encounters with a firm or landlord. Training included simulations of encounters. In each session, staff cautioned them to be observant but objective.
Staff assigned testers to either sales or rentals. In rentals they were paid $5 for each encounter plus mileage to and from their destination. In sales they were paid $10 for each encounter plus mileage to and from the real estate office. The difference in payment was due to the fact that renters were able to see more landlords in the same amount of time. So payments balanced out between renters and buyers. Staff assigned destinations for each group.
After each encounter the tester would complete a standard written report. All reports were signed and dated. Report forms were different for renters than for buyers. Staff required the tester to complete the report before being assigned to the next stop so as not to confuse their experiences. Each half of the team completed their reports independently of the other half. The study was blind in that the left hand did not know how the right hand was treated. Counterparts were forbidden to discuss their experiences so that they could not be influenced on their next encounter.
The study covered nine (9) real estate firms and eight (8) landlords and one (1) rental referral service. Brokers were selected by a simple random sample and landlords were selected from the newspaper and referral service. Both brokers and landlords included large and small businesses. The design of the study entailed three series of tests. The pilot study was merely a dry run to work out any logistical and mechanical problems. Substantive results were not important. A month later we ran the initial test and a month after that we ran the second test.
Our conclusions indicate that there is no question that some real estate companies in Council Bluffs engaged openly in racial steering. Our study further proposes that these practices in their various forms are pervasive in that city. Also, the number and nature of the racial remarks reported by testers is cause for alarm. These comments went so far as to flaunt openly violations of the law in the presence of citizens. There were a number of related patterns that emerged including: outright refusal to serve, a reduced level of service, a general pattern of discouragement towards blacks on the part of agents and assumptions about the financial capability of blacks. Another pattern was that agents had a tendency to avoid being seen introducing blacks into a neighborhood. The practice seems to go on a scale that runs in the following order:.
1 . No effort to give any listing or gives very few in the office.
2. Makes suggestions in the office, but makes no effort to take people into neighborhoods.
3. Feigns an effort to inspect homes, but has lots of excuses: can't get the key, would have to make appointment, not while people are at home, not much for your money.
4. Tells Blacks to drive past property by themselves.
5. Agent drives them through the neighborhoods but does not get out of the car.
6. Inspects a house with them, but it is in a new, fairly vacant subdivision or even out in the country, when homes are available closer in.
Comments made by the Countryside Real Estate agent lead us to believe that this avoidance pattern is part of an unwritten ethic among sales people about such matters. Apparently, the payoff is that this is a way the salesperson can appease the buyers without upsetting the neighbors nor blemishing their own reputation among their peers.
The bottom line assessment based on our sample is that eight out of nine brokers in Council Bluffs discriminate to one degree or another. That means that one's chances of encountering discrimination in the Council Bluffs sales market is approximately 88%.
On the rental side, discrimination seemed to lodge itself most often into eight different areas. They were as follows: outright denial of the availability of the dwelling, higher rent for blacks, higher security deposits, a later date of availability for blacks, credit checks, applications, additional units suggested for whites and racial comments.
Judging from comments intimated to 'white testers and the consistencies we discovered in the behavior of agents and landlords we conclude overall that there seemed to be two assumptions operating. The first was that this is the way things are supposed to be and, second, that others - even total strangers - share that view. In cooperation with the Council Bluffs Human Rights Commission, we are in the process of negotiating an agreement, which will remedy these problems, with the greater Council Bluffs Board of Realtors.
BUS INCIDENT EXPOSES HOSTILITY BETWEEN TOWNSPEOPLE AND
The Mesquakie Indians have a settlement on land which they own outside of Tama, Iowa. The school district provides bus service for Mesquakie students attending the local high school. In November of 1978, there was disruption on one of these bus trips. In the course of the disruption, the bus driver physically got rough with one of the Mesquakie students and allegedly verbally abused the student. Some of the Indians sought help from the commission. There were also several lawsuits filed in the course of events that followed the incident. The commission held meetings both on the settlement and in the town of Tama and afterwards decided to do a study of the problem. We requested and received the generous support and cooperative of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to help us with this study. This particular project was still in progress at the close of the fiscal year.
These two research projects call to mind the word accountability - a word that keeps popping up. Between the covers of this report there are numerous statistical measures of the services we provide: number of cases processed, number of cases closed, etc. As productive as we may be, is that really the ultimate measure of a civil rights commission and the state government of which it is a part? Is anyone concerned about measuring and studying the root problem -prejudice? We see a pressing need for measuring the root problem and measuring how our work along with that of others in Iowa has affected the root problem. The housing study in Council Bluffs, for example, bears implications for some much needed research on other problems in Iowa. We seem to pre-judge prejudice itself. How more precisely does it rear its head in Iowa? How have companies, whom we have cited for violations of the law and who have remedied complaints, changed as a result? What about the private sector as a whole? Have one and a half decades of enforcement effort in any way calmed the tidal wave of black unemployment? Or has that unemployment rate surged on the heaving, high seas of the economy without enforcement making any real difference? Will the billowing masses of unemployed come crashing down on us like during the summer of 1968?
Code of Iowa, Chapter 601 A. 5 Powers and Duties
(6) To issue such publications and reports of investigations and research as in the judgment of the commission shall tend to promote good will among the various racial, religious, and ethnic groups of the state and which shall tend to minimize or eliminate discrimination ...
The Education Division issued two publications on behalf of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in FY-79. The first was the Commission's Biennial Report covering FY-77 and FY-78. We would like to extend our special thanks to artist Allan Murray, for his heartwarming portrait of the children who brightened the cover of the report. Also, our special thanks to Mr. Steve Williams, the artist's agent, (Dawn Enterprises, Irvine, California) through whom we obtained the rights to the picture. Finally, our special thanks to Mr. Vern Lahart and Developmental Learning Materials (Niles, Illinois) for all the technical assistance with the color printing. The second publication was the report of the Council Bluffs housing study entitled, Don't Tell the Civil Rights People. Both publications are still available through the Education Division of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Issuing these publications entailed large mailings which could not have been done without the cooperation and patience of the clerical staff of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Thank you to all of those who were involved in those mailings. We extend our special thanks to Ms. Virginia McDermott, a secretary on the Commission staff, who not only helped with mailings but also organized our mailing list so as to make it a more efficient tool.
Code of Iowa, Chapter 601A.5 Powers and Duties
(9) to cooperate, within the limits of any appropriations made for its operation, with other agencies or organizations, both public and private, whose purposes are consistent with those of this chapter, and in the planning and conducting of programs designed to eliminate racial, religious, cultural, and intergroup tension.
There were three categories for the programs and presentations done through the Education Division in FY-79. The categories are, first, training programs done in cooperation with other state civil rights enforcement agencies, second, presentations done by the Education Director, and third, programs done through a professional association for civil rights workers.
REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR INVESTIGATORS
In cooperation with trainers and supervisors from the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights, and the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission hosted a regional conference for investigators from all four states. Both state commissions and local commissions within each state sent representatives. We held the two-day conference at the Hotel Savery on May 24 and 25, 1979. The conference was team taught, using the resources and talents of all the trainers in attendance. And it featured case simulations and individualized learning with the help of trainers from the respective states. Thirty-two (32) attended and all concerned felt that the conference effectively attained the goals we had set for them.