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Read any good books lately?

Winter in Iowa—a great time to burrow in some place cozy and read a good book. Nothing wrong with working in some educational books along with those romances and who-dun-its. And if you order books from the Commission's diversity library, you don't even have to brave a trip on an icy road to the library!

The Commission's library of books about diversity are available for loan to any person or organization. There is no cost except for your return postage. The complete list of books is on our Website. To order a book, call Alison Radl at 1-800-457-4416, ext. 2-6132.

Here's a sampling of some of the books in the library:

What is testing? How does it work? What are the results?


Testing is one of the ways we fight discrimination. Our purpose in testing is not to generate new complaints but to educate and reform. Last year, we conducted 582 tests. We tested housing providers, employers, lending institutions, and public accommodations. In 116 or 20% of the tests, we found possible violations of the "Iowa Civil Rights Act," Iowa's anti-discrimination law.

In 12 instances, we followed up with commissioner complaints against the persons/organizations tested. We then negotiated settlements with each of those persons in an attempt to correct the discriminatory behavior and to make sure it does not happen again. Settlement terms have included civil penalties, changes in policies/procedures, and training for managers and employees.

After six months into this fiscal year, we have conducted 211 tests, found 33 possible violations of the law (16%), and filed 4 commissioner complaints.

We conduct two kinds of tests, telephone and on-site. Telephone tests are generally used to test housing providers to see if families with children are welcome to apply for rental units. On-site tests are used to test employers, lenders, store personnel, and housing providers to see if potential applicants or buyers are treated differently because of a protected personal characteristic, like race or sex.

Testing may be one of the most effective ways to fight discrimination. Testing encourages entities covered by the law to stay current on the law and to teach their employees and staff the importance of being fair and consistent with applicants and customers . . . because you never know, the next person through that door just might be an ICRC tester.

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