Nine LAS students will help bring awareness and education about race and ethnicity to ISU at ISCORE

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This Friday (March 1), 21 pre-selected Iowa State students – including nine from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – will participate in the 14th annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE), a comprehensive forum held in the Memorial Union.

Katrina Granberry, Guillermo Elizade, Keenan Nelson, Nyajuok Deng, Hassan Elahi, Mellanie Perez, Victoria Stafford, Kyra Smith-Stevenson and Mireya Alvarez, all from LAS, will help lead sessions at ISCORE.

The forum, modeled after the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), spotlights ISU students, faculty and staff who attended NCORE in 2012. At ISCORE, they will lead presentations to share what they learned at the national conference, bringing the experience full-circle.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to meet other students and professionals,” Luiza Dreasher, multicultural liaison officer for LAS, said. “It’s a chance for them to have in-depth discussions about race, ethnicity and social justice. There is no better forum than this.”

Bringing the experience home

Granberry, a junior in psychology, will help lead a session titled “The Asian F: They Told Me I Could Go Anywhere with this Education” (10 a.m. in the Cardinal Room). Granberry said NCORE, held in New York City last year, was an eye-opening experience that she’ll never forget. At the end of the event, she and her group of fellow ISU students were given the topic of Asian Americans as their focus for their ISCORE session.

“This is something we were all really passionate about,” she said. The group was inspired by a lecture on discrepancies in admissions for Asian American and Asian students at NCORE. Presented by Robert T. Teranishi’s, author of “Asians in the Ivory Tower: Dilemmas of Racial Inequality in American Higher Education,” it shed light on the hurdles some Asian Americans must cross to become successful students.

Alvarez, a sophomore in sociology and international studies, will help lead a session titled “What Are You?,” which will focus on some of the common misconceptions that the multiracial population faces.

“We’ll be dissecting the more salient issue of being asked ‘what are you,’ and the impact it has on the individual,” she said. “We will discussing how you cannot categorize someone based solely on their physical appearance.”

Victoria Stafford, a senior in performing arts and business, will help lead a session titled “Stop Actin’ So Black!” (2:10 p.m. in the Gallery Room.) The presentation will focus on the ideas of “acting black” and “acting white,” why these stereotypes are formed, and what it means in our society.

“We live in a country that was formed around the idea of equality, and yet this is not the reality,” she said. “many people – even today – are still discriminated against because of their race and ethnicity, so it is important that we continue to discuss and raise awareness, for it is only with awareness that we can hope for change.”

Dreasher, who has attended several NCORE events, will present “Dumb Things We Need to Stop Saying, and Other Practical Steps to Increase Our Effectiveness Around Diversity” at ISCORE (2:10 p.m. in the Campanile Room). She will also attend NCORE 2013, held in New Orleans May 28-June 1, to present a 3-hour training workshop during the event, which she has titled “The Foundations of Intercultural Communications: A Tool Kit for Culturally Competent Professionals.” She said the workshop will be an interactive approach to intercultural communications and concepts.

About 15 students from Iowa State will also attend NCORE 2013. The students were selected after submitting an application to attend, and will be accompanied by classroom leaders and other faculty and staff. After the national conference, they’ll take a race and ethnicity course and lead presentations at next year’s ISCORE event.

“It’s a wonderful and invaluable experience,” Dreasher said. “It’s something that is very important to me and I enjoy seeing the students get so much out of it.”

A day of awareness and learning

President Steven Leath and Mary Jo Gonzales, associate dean of students, will kick off the day’s events with opening remarks at 9 a.m. in the Sun Room. Between the morning and afternoon sessions, Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo, president of Northern New Mexico College, Espanola, will deliver a luncheon keynote address.

Below is Friday’s full schedule. A reception will follow the event. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the free conference. Registration is required.

ISCORE registration:

9 a.m.

Opening remarks from President Steven Leath and Mary Jo Gonzales, associate dean of students, in Memorial Union Sun Room

10-10:50 a.m.

The Changing Faces of Iowa (Campanile Room)
The Asian F: They Told Me I Could Go Anywhere … (Cardinal Room)
Open Discussion on How a Central, Well-funded Diversity-focused Office Might Help at ISU (Gallery)
Graduating Underrepresented Students in STEM: The IINSPIRE LSAMP Project (Oak Room)
Queer People of Color: A Home for Intersecting Identities (Gold Room)

11-11:50 a.m.

Sustaining Diversity: Appreciating the Needs of International Students (Campanile Room)
Increasing African-American Leadership Development: A Peer-Mentorship Model (Cardinal Room)
Former Student-Athletes of Color Experiences at Iowa State (Gallery)
Nine Digits of Freedom: Analyzing Inherent Privileges that Come from Being a U.S. Citizen (Oak Room)
"-isms" Explored Through the Eyes of Carver Students (Great Hall)

2:10-3 p.m.

Dumb Things We Need to Stop Saying and Other Practical Steps to Increase Our Effectiveness Around Diversity (Campanile Room)
Thanksgiving … What Are We Really Thankful For? The Misconstrued History of Native Americans (Cardinal Room)
Stop Actin' So Black! (Gallery)
Race and Ethnicity … as Deaf Identity? (Oak Room)
Where Are All Our Men of Color? Personal Experiences of Men of Color at ISU (Gold Room)
"-isms" Explored Through the Eyes of Carver Students (Great Hall)

3:10-4 p.m.

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Showcase (Campanile Room)
What Are You? (Cardinal Room)
From Cultivating Ambassadors to Serving as Mentors: A Three-year Review of the Graduate Student of Color Experience at Iowa State (Gallery)
Latino Cultural Centers at PWIs (predominately white institutions): What Can We Learn? (Oak Room)
Experiencing NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity) as Faculty/Staff: A Roundtable Discussion (Gold Room)