The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) not only has a diverse pool of majors to pick from, but there are also students, faculty, and staff from very diverse backgrounds. I have an intense curiosity for basically everything, so I started out as an LAS open option student in hopes of finding my one true passion. As a result, I was able to meet people at Iowa State from various states and countries and got to listen to their stories.
Eventually, I discovered that not only do I enjoy listening to people talk about their experiences, but I also like to share those experiences and new cultural information with others. I declared myself a journalism student in my second semester as a freshman, and since then I have been covering stories on people and groups who we normally don’t hear from in the media.
Because of my great curiosity for different cultures and ideas, I applied for an opportunity to learn even more about various cultures and identities in the United States: NCORE. NCORE stands for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity.
With that said, I want to invite you to learn about one of my many adventures since becoming an LAS student at Iowa State University.
About a year ago I received news that I was accepted into the program and I was even chosen for the NCORE Scholarship! In May of 2014 I attended NCORE with about 40 other students, faculty, and staff from Iowa State. During the conference I attended different sessions on various issues regarding race in the U.S., I listened to amazing keynote speakers, danced to the music of Las Cafeteras, and met students from other universities and colleges!
Apart from attending educational sessions, I had an amazing time with the 2014 cohort and we all instantly clicked and we continued meeting during the fall semester of 2014 in the required class after attending the conference. In this class we discussed a lot about different identities and current issues in the United States regarding diversity. During that semester we also had to research a specific race to prepare a presentation for ISCORE, the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. The group I was in did research on the Native American/Indian identity and we decided to approach our presentation by educating our audience about the cultural oppression Native Americans have endured in this country.
I have learned so much not only about the Native American identity, but about all races and so much about my own identity. I am a Mexican-American, first generation college student and I consider it a blessing. I truly believe it’s important to acknowledge every part of your identity so you can invite other perspectives and identities into your life. This is one of my take-aways from being part of such a life-changing experience.
This year’s Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity will be held in the Memorial Union on March 6th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a time for students, faculty, staff, and just about anyone in Ames to learn about different races and ethnicities in the U.S. I am also excited to see students, faculty and staff from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in attendance to support the conference.
NCORE, the group I am apart of, will be presenting on the Cultural Oppression of Native Americans in the United States… I hope to see you there!
Posted by: Jazmin Murguia