CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release:April 22, 2002
UI conference focuses on Latino communities in Iowa
The University of Iowa, along with a number of local and state organizations,
is hosting the fourth annual "Strengthening and Valuing Latino/a Communities
in Iowa" conference Saturday, April 27 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Iowa
Organizers say the conference is an opportunity to explore the changing
demographics and dynamics of the Latina/o community in Iowa and the responsiveness
of policy makers, business leaders and community-based organizations, to the
fastest growing population in Iowa.
According to the 2000 census, Iowa's Latino/a population has grown 153 percent
in the last decade. However, this new population is still untapped and under-served,
says John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, one of the conference organizers from the
UI School of Social Work.
"The conference will emphasize culture as a strength that can be used
to improve services to the Latino/a community," he said. "It will
also provide networking opportunities for Latino and Latina leaders who live
and work in Iowa."
The conference includes keynote addresses from Anthony D. Romero, executive
director of the American Civil Liberties Union and the first Latino to lead
the organization, and Lorraine Gutierrez, a social work and psychology professor
at the University of Michigan.
In addition, conference participants can chose from among more than 20 workshops
(many in Spanish) on topics such as economic development, racial profiling,
accessing legislators, civil rights, Latino/a identity development, culturally
and language appropriate assessment and services, immigration, reaching Latino/a
communities, gender issues and education. The conference also includes a Youth
Development Track designed for high school students with special artists and
workshops targeted towards youth.
Gutierrez's keynote lecture, "Empowering Latino Families and Communities,"
at 3:45 p.m. April 27 is free and open to the public, but all other conference
events require registration. For more information, contact Kate Kemp at the
UI School of Social Work, (319) 335-1254 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UI sponsors of this event include the School of Social Work and its National
Resource Center on Family Centered Practice, the Center for Disabilities and
Development, the College of Education Diversity Committee, the Institute for
the Support of Latino Families and Communities, the Office of Admissions,
Opportunity at Iowa, the Museum of Art, and the UI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
Staff and Faculty Association. Other sponsors include the State of Iowa Commission
on Latino Affairs, the City of Iowa City, the Diocese of Davenport, the American
Civil Liberties Union, the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, the Iowa City Press
and Coralville Convention & Visitors Bureau.