Team Diversity


"A newsletter for and about Community Diversity Appreciation Teams"

"Noticias sobre los Grupos Comunitarios Fomentando Diversidad Cultural"

Volume 2, Number 1 211 E. Maple St., Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1858 Mar./Apr. 1997


Purpose of Team Diversity Newsletter: To recognize the work of community diversity appreciation teams in Iowa and to share information about teams and diversity-related ideas and resources.


Working Teams:

Ames Diversity Appreciation Team

Sheila Lundt (515-239-5101)

Cedar Rapids Diversity Appreciation Team

Louise Lorenz (319-398-5036)

Charles City International Fellowship

Barb Hemann (515-228-1071)

Denison Cultural Diversity Committee

Lanetta Plambeck (712-263-2164) or

Coletta Weeda (712-263-4697)

Estherville Community Diversity Appreciation Team

Glenn Bohmer (712-362-3237)

Hampton Diversity Committee

Pat Sackville (515-456-5668)

Iowa City Diversity Appreciation Team

Heather Shank (319-356-5022)

Marshalltown Diversity Committee

Sandy Burke (515-294-9307)

Mason City Diversity Appreciation Team

Lionel Foster (515-421-3618)

Polk Co. Diversity Coalition

Barbara Hug (515-263-2660)

Quad Cities' Diversity and Racial Equity Roundtables and Bi-State Anti-Hate Response Team

Brenda Drew-Peeples (319-326-0717)

Racism/Race Relations Committee

Matt Boley and Connie Barrett (712-274-8678)

Siouxland Diversity Coalition

Matt Boley (712-258-5137)

Storm Lake Diversity Task Force

Dale Carver (712-732-6767)

Tama Co. Team for Intercultural Community

Bruce Leitz (319-266-1039) or

Clarence Lippert (515-484-4811)

Webster Co. Diversity Appreciation Team

Ed O'Leary (515-576-2201)


Polk County Diversity Coalition

March 27, 1997

Barbara Hug explained what had been done after the graffiti incident at a local church. She was contacted by two coalition members about the incident, a news release was drafted and faxed to the Des Moines Register and Narcisse Publishing. Channel 8 TV news later called Barb for an interview on the day the graffiti was removed. Needed is a plan on how to respond to these situations in a timely and meaningful manner. This is the process developed:

Notify Chair: Any coalition member who becomes aware of an instance of a hate crime needs to call Barb at (515) 263-2660. If the OA says Barb is out of town, call Liz Sullivan at (515) 245-8440, who will then follow through.

Notify Coalition: Fax a notice to coalition members telling of the incident, that a news release is on the way, and that we are investigating the incident to determine how to respond.

News Release: Barb immediately sends out a news release regarding the incident.

Investigation: Barb will immediately contact appropriate coalition members to investigate the situation by contacting the law enforcement agency, a community agency or group the victim(s) might be involved in, Civil Rights Commission, etc.

Determine Response: After the investigation (within one or two days of reported incident) that group of coalition members will talk to determine an appropriate response from the coalition, and write up a recommendation.

Notification of Coalition Members: A brief summary of the investigation and a response recommendation will be faxed to all coalition members who have the opportunity to approve or disapprove of the response.

Response: Will be carried out only with 100% agreement by the coalition members.


The ICRC is building a diversity "book" library. The books are available for check out by local human/civil rights commissions, diversity teams, and study circles sponsoring coalitions. Following is a partial list of the books now available.


Life on the Color Line/ Williams

Race and the Criminal Justice System/Reynolds

Race Matters/West

The Nature of Prejudice/Allport

Rain of Gold/Villasenor

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee/Brown

Skin Deep/Golden & Shreve


To check-out a book, contact Alison Radl, (515) 242-6132.

Tama County Team

January 9, 1997

Judy Morrison was scheduled to facilitate the meeting and Judge Brown was planning to be the recorder, but the weather was cold & snowing, and they were unable to attend. Bruce Leitz agreed to facilitate the meeting and Clarence Lippert agreed to record. The meeting was held at the Meskwaki Tribal Center...

Alan Richards indicated that he was able to obtain access at the school to speak with a Native American client. He noted that one judge had, in three cases, made some special consideration for Native Americans. He expressed continuing concern that state investigators and other officers of the court had no special training in working with Native Americans. Later in the meeting he indicated that diversity training had been ordered in Waterloo in the past. Richards said he had filed a petition with the Iowa Supreme Court seeking to have them order training for court and law enforcement officers in Tama County...

Jana Werner repeated her concern over criminalizing the Native American population by beginning prosecution at a young age. She indicated that it was easy to say that all should be treated equally and pay if they break the law, but she believed this would have a disparate impact on Native Americans. Brent Heeren (County Attorney) indicated that the disparate impact was more likely a matter of economics rather than of race, and that no one is forced to break the law. Heeren also indicated that the County Attorney's office prosecuted those who were arrested and he did not plan to dismiss cases because a racial quota may have been met. Heeren indicated that the result in court was not the work of the County Attorney's Office alone, but of law enforcement, a judge, jury, etc. He has not seen judges tolerate what they believed was discrimination taking place...

A Team pamphlet drafted by Will Lester was distributed for suggestions. Suggestions were made regarding listing "participants," a design or graphic, the location of the name & mission statement, and drafting a version in Spanish. Lester will continue to work on its design.

Leitz reported that he had met with Mike Richardson and Clarence Lippert and they decided to recommend that the history of the Tama County Team for Inter-cultural Community be contained in a series of volumes. Each volume would cover two years, and Volume I would be for 1994-1996. It was discussed that the document contain an "attendance list" and locations for printed volumes were discussed.

Lester expressed pleasure that the meeting on this date was being held despite the bad weather. He noted that much of the time during previous meetings had been used by those from outside the community, and he was pleased that the meeting wasn't canceled simply because those outside the community could not attend...

Wanatee discussed Ray Youngbear's latest book: Remnants of the Earth.

Dick Koehler reported that Iowa Valley Community College (IVCC) adult education was offering two special events this term. On February 18, 1997, from 9:00 to 4:00 at Otter Creek they will offer "Building Community Partnerships" in cooperation with the Iowa Peace Institute. Also as more of a social outing they will offer "Folk Dancing for All" to include Czech, Native American, and perhaps other folk dancing styles...

Lester indicated that he and Fred Youngbear and one or two others from the local area had attended a state meeting concerning the use of "Study Circles." This includes getting various groups talking in multiple smaller groups of 8-12 people to seek solutions to problems. The groups would then come together as a larger group. Broad problems such as "race relations" could be the topic. Fred Youngbear indicated the groups involved people as human beings rather than as persons with positions, and that it was hard work that allowed individuals to recognize their own prejudices. An objective facilitator was needed for the group. Meetings might number about four 2-hour sessions, but could go longer. Meetings could include students. The topic of Study Circles will be placed on a future agenda for more information.

Steve Burr had gathered information on Grade Point Averages for senior students each year since 1982 with 1989 & 1990 missing. This information was distributed and discussed along with the pattern for drop-outs. It was noted that all students needed encouragement to complete high school and continue on to higher education.

Leitz extended his congratulations especially to Jim Tekippe and Laura DeGroote and others who worked on the Diversity Day in December.