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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 23, 2007

Public invited to meet European visitors to discuss diversity at Oct. 25 open forum

The Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) invites the public to meet visitors from Europe during an open forum from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in the second floor boardroom of University of Iowa Capitol Centre.

The boardroom is located near the Gazette offices, on the north end of University Capitol Centre, 201 S. Clinton St. in downtown Iowa City.

The forum offers the public an opportunity to learn more about diversity. Visitors are from several countries and include Deyan Dimitrov Kolev of Bulgaria; Pavla Fridrichova of the Czech Republic; Wael Mohamed Salah El-Din Moha El-Gayar of Germany; and Cristina Giudici of Italy. The visitors are part of a European regional project and have come to gain insight into managing diversity in a multi-ethnic society. All are fluent in English.

"We in CIVIC believe that this diverse group from Europe will find a rather unexpected diversity in 'the heartland,'" Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director said. "Often international visitors have very sparse information about the U.S. We have arranged a program to introduce them to Iowa's ethnic and religious diversity. This is also a great opportunity for members of the public to meet some really interesting visitors, and we think you will enjoy discussing their impressions of America."

Those who would like to donate snacks can contact Doris Houser at or 319-351-4982.

CIVIC is sponsoring the visit as part of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program. CIVIC is one of two organizations in Iowa that support the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, and is a community organization of volunteers serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis.

CIVIC is part of University of Iowa International Programs, which enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Thomas Baldridge, Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, 319-335-0351,; Lois Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer, Stacie Carpenter