Team Diversity

"A newsletter for and about Community Diversity Appreciation Teams"

"Noticias sobre los Grupos Comunitarios Fomentando Diversidad Cultural"


Volume 2, Number 4 211 E. Maple St., Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1858 Sept./Oct. 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.

North Iowa Diversity Appreciation Team July 14, 1997

Call to order by Gary Schriver. Gary asked members and visitors to introduce themselves.

In attendance: Gary Schriver, Lynn Kostka, Lahoma Counts, Bruce Hubbard, Mike Servantez, Colleen Hovinga, Michelle Wimmer, Roberta Van Der Walker, and Mary Schissel.

Mary Schissel, Director of the Mason City Youth Task Force, gave information on the purpose, goals and organizational structure of the Task Force. The Task Force is interested in looking for ways to collaborate in order to reach more youth from diverse backgrounds and also to share their ideas and activities with the Diversity Appreciation Team. The Youth Task Force would like our ideas about avenues to expand involvement in their prevention and community-wide outreach activities. Schriver asked for their participation and ideas as we develop our goals and future activities.

Kostka read a draft cover letter for a questionnaire to be sent to community organizations to ask for their input and participation. She suggested the community questionnaire be mailed with a return address stamped envelope in hopes of increasing response.

Hovinga moved to ask for financial support for a one-page community questionnaire containing several potential mission statements and information questions. The questionnaire will be mailed or faxed to community organizations to invite feedback and encourage more participation in the Diversity Appreciation Team. Kostka will follow up. Counts seconded; the motion carried.

Van Der Walker shared that her goal for her involvement in the Diversity Team is to work for greater integration of people with disabilities so they become accepted for who they are as a person.

Several members expressed concern that adopting a mission statement is taking too long . . .

August 29, 1997

The North Iowa Diversity Appreciation Team met in the second floor conference room at City Hall, 10 First Street NW, Mason City, Iowa at 4:00.

In attendance: Jacque Huesman, Colleen Hovinga, Bruce Hubbard, Lois Fingalsen, Michael Servantez, Mayor Carl Miller, Lahoma Counts, and Lionel Foster.

There was a motion by Hovinga to change our team from THE MASON CITY COMMUNITY DIVERSITY APPRECIATION TEAM to: THE NORTH IOWA DIVER- SITY APPRECIATION TEAM. Hubbard seconded the motion, all favored, motion carried. Hovinga made a motion to having Lois Fingalsen chair this diversity team. Counts seconded the motion, all favored, motion carried.

This team adopted a mission statement, and it reads as follows:

MISSION STATEMENT: "Work to inspire and empower the diverse population in North Iowa to recognize, value, and respect all people."

VISION: "To be an integral partner in the success of the community."

OBJECTIVES: "Appreciate our differences, take responsibility for our prejudices, and think regional, focus locally."

Hovinga mentioned sending a thank you letter to the Youth Task Force for their presentation at our July meeting and also sending them a copy of our mission statement.

Foster also mentioned this team should also send a copy of our mission statement to the Globe Gazette, letter to the editor.

Team decided to change the monthly meetings to the 2nd Wednesday of every month.

Marshalltown Diversity Committee
September 16, 1997

The Marshalltown Diversity Committee held its monthly meeting at Woodbury School on Tuesday at 5:30 pm. Chairperson Sandy Burke announced that the committee is being awarded a Friends of Iowa Civil Rights award. The presentation will be made at a recognition ceremony at the Botanical Center in Des Moines on October 23.

Burke presented the Annual Report of the Committee, which first met March 18, 1996, with a mission statement being formulated in June of 1996. Burke cited involvement of the committee in various community efforts, and sponsorship of a visit by Swift officials to Marshalltown for communication regarding worker policies, illegal workers, worker turnover, language issues, and health issues. As a result of that meeting, Swift helped fund a visit by Lee Elliott, chair of the Grand Island, NE, Youth and Violence Committee. Various presentations by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and others have been made to the Diversity Committee. Committee members participated in the annual multicultural conference in Garden City, Kansas, in March. Other community events the committee has participated in include a get-acquainted family picnic in July, Mexican Independence Day in September, Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at St. Mary's in December,
Culture Fest in May, and painting the viaduct in July.

Officers and steering committee were elected. Burke will continue to chair the committee; Joann Miller will be vice-chairperson, and Kathy Black will be the recording secretary. Steering committee members include the officers and Steve Williams, Ken Anderson, Floyd Harthun, Bill Helgen, Ed Geick, Luisa Ortega, Janet Wills, Dagoberto Zelaya, and Meryle Smith.

Burke announced that plans are being finalized for a visit by community members to Storm Lake. This will be a day-long visit, offering opportunities to share and learn from people working on similar issues, have personal discussions, and help understand our communities better. A group of approximately forty people will leave Marshalltown at 5:50 am and return at 6:30 pm on September 29. Individuals will meet with various host persons at their work sites in Storm Lake and later have group discussions.

The Diversity Committee will be instrumental in planning a multi- cultural event on the Fourth of July, 1998. A planning committee is in place and working on the logistics of the event.

The UNI has a theater group that will be presenting an original play, written from folk tales, that they will be taking on the road this fall. The possibility of co-sponsorship was discussed, and further information will be forthcoming.

Anson Middle School contributes to an annual peace mission, in cooperation with their partner, Trinity Lutheran Church. Last year, they were able to donate school supplies to be distributed in an impoverished area. Fred Wills, principal, suggested that the continuing event be expanded into a community effort.

Tom Renze, Woodbury Principal, announced parenting classes to begin in October for Latino families. Classes will focus on such topics as school relations and functioning in the community. Information will be distributed next week.

Mary Foley told the committee about the free clinic, which began in October 1995. In a sixteen-month time span, 1100 patients have been seen by physicians and nurses who donate their time.

The next Diversity Committee meeting will be October 14 at 5:30 at Woodbury. All interested community members are urged to attend.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Black, Recording Secretary, Marshalltown Diversity Committee

Working Teams:

Ames Diversity Appreciation Team
Sheila Lundt (515-239-5101)

Cedar Rapids Diversity Appreciation Team
Louise Lorenz (319-398-5036)

Cedar Valley Diversity Appreciation Team
Walter Reed (319-291-4441)

Charles City International Fellowship
Melissa Oleson (515-228-1071)

Denison Cultural Diversity Committee
Marsha Kracht (712-263-8733) or
Coletta Weeda (712-263-4697)

Estherville Diversity Appreciation Team
Glenn Bohmer (712-362-3237)

Hampton Diversity Committee
Pat Sackville (515-456-5668)

I owa City Diversity Appreciation Team
Heather Shank (319-356-5022)

Marshalltown Diversity Committee
Sandy Burke (515-294-9307)

North Iowa Diversity Appreciation Team
Lois Fingalsen (515-421-4600)

Polk Co. Diversity Coalition
Barbara Hug (515-263-2660)

Quad Cities' Diversity/Racial Equity Round- tables/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
Clarence Lippert (515-484-4811)

Webster Co. Diversity Appreciation Team
Ed O'Leary (515-576-2201)