Team Diversity

"A newsletter for and about Community Diversity Appreciation Teams"

"Noticias sobre Grupos Comunitarios Fomentando Diversidad Cultural"

Volume 2, Number 6 211 E. Maple St., Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1858 January/February 1998

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.

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)

Diverse-Cities Team (Iowa City/Coralville)
Heather Shank (319-356-5022)

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

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

Humboldt Co. Diversity Appreciation Team
Joe Hadar (515-332-5312)

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

MLK, Jr. Committee (Council Bluffs)
Jeanne Barzydlo (712-322-5101)

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

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

Quad Cities' Roundtables/Anti-Hate Response Team
Brenda Drew-Peeples (319-326-0717)

Racism/Race Relations Committee
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)

North Iowa Diversity Appreciation Team

January 14, 1998

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 pm. Those in attendance: Lois Fingalsen, Bruce Hubbard, Leo Warner, Marcia Stasch, Michelle Wimmer, Mike Servantez, Colleen Hovinga, Jacque Huisman, Janice Easley, Kevin Smith and Lahoma Counts.

The group discussed the survey - the Chamber of Commerce has around 50 and will test their new fax service by faxing the survey to all members. Hovinga will follow-up on this. Hubbard is working with the Police Department to have all officers fill one out. Head Start will mail 200 and Youth Task Force is willing to assist also. Hubbard will continue to follow up with these organizations, as well as the Mason City Clinic, Post Office, and the Mason City School District. Wimmer will include information in the Compeer Newsletter and will contact Jim Murphy at The Shopper. Counts will take surveys to Elderbridge and Rotary meetings. Hovinga suggested that we let organizations know that the surveys should be returned by February 28.

All members received a copy of the Self-Awareness Test. Each is to complete and review this test before the next meeting. The tests will then be reviewed before each meeting to see what progress is being made as individuals.

Hovinga reported on the October 1997 Diversity Event. The Lt. Governor's focus is on Business and Diversity for 1998. Also discussed were the facts presented at the conference, which will help the team look ahead and plan for attending the 1998 conference. A copy of David Lyons' overheads from the closing keynote address are enclosed. David is the Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

Wimmer is working on an article for the Compeer Newsletter and will be focusing on employment opportunities for individuals with mental illness. She shared some of her research and will make copies to share with the team.

Fingalsen discussed the conference to be held at Hawkeye Community College on March 13, "The Changing Face of Iowa in the 21st Century." The cost of the conference is $15, which includes lunch. If anyone is interested and able to attend, please share with the group.

Hubbard reported on discussions he has had with the Youth Task Force. Servantez recommended a picnic. Easley shared an article she has written regarding nursing homes. Fingalsen reported on her visit with Sandy Burke of the Marshalltown Di-versity Team. They will be sharing their brochures and annual report with our team.

Hubbard has been unable to determine if there are any activities taking place for Black History Month, although some churches are celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Hovinga will contact Andy Alexander at the Public Library and let Fingalsen know what is happening with this topic.

Hovinga will be sharing her diversity calendar at the February 11 meeting, which is from Creative Cultural Creations. She shared information on the Global Awareness Series which is sponsored by the Common Ground Committee.

Immigrants Living in Fear

Following are selected paragraphs from an op-ed article which recently appeared in the Des Moines Register.

"Governor Branstad, in his Condition of the State address on Jan. 13, spoke of Iowa's need for immigrants. `Our economy is crying for more hands to man the tiller of our economic growth,' he said. Are we Iowans truly ready to welcome the immigrants present in our communities?

"Many immigrants report being shunned by Iowans, feeling unwelcome in the grocery stores, malls and churches. There is a sense that Iowa police stop immigrants on the street more often than they stop other Iowans. Undocumented immigrants have a never-ending fear of the police and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who could come to their homes or places of work and take them away at any moment, often separating parents from children. The situation for immigrants has been made worse by new federal immigration laws and welfare reform that threaten to divide their families and deprive them of the benefit of a public safety net. Living under these conditions, it is no wonder that immigrants are suffering from depression and fear.

"So what can Iowans do? Welcome immigrants into the communities. Smile at the immigrant in the grocery store. Invite them to church. Encourage our children to play with their children. Talk to them even if they do not speak English. Hand signals and actions can go a long way toward communication. We do not need to be afraid of them taking jobs. There is a lot that we can learn from each other. Most important, we must work together to fight the violence and fear that are taking a grip on our communities."

-The Rev. Kevin Cameron, Visitation Church, Des Moines.

New Books

Jim Sleeper's Liberal Racism looks at the idea that the movement away from the promotion of a color blind society to that of promoting diversity is better seen as a type of racism.

Ellis Cose's Color-Blind tackles such difficult questions as whether a race neutral society is truly possible and whether the United States can surmount past racism.

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl's The Anatomy of Prejudices looks at the study of prejudice from World War II forward focusing on the different types of prejudices and the social and political settings that promote them.

K. Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutman's Color Conscious discusses such issues as the connection between race, culture and identity, as well as such difficult questions as whether public policy should be color blind.

To borrow any of these books, please call Alison at 515-242-6132, 1-800-457-4416 ext. 2-6132, or visit the ICRC website at <>.

Suggested videos for Diversity Teams:
· Not in Our Town
· Peacock in the Land of Penguins
· Tale of O

Suggested videos for Study Circles Sponsoring Coalitions:

· Changing the Odds
· Free Indeed
· Housing Discrimination: Who Should Ever Have to Get Used to That?

For both Teams and Coalitions:

· Getting Along

To borrow any of ICRC's videos, please call Carol at 515-281-8354, 1-800-457-4416 ext. 1-8354, or e-mail <>.