LAS represented at NCORE

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently participated in the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), held in San Francisco, Calif., in early June.

Amy Slagell, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Der Vang, multicultural liaison officer and BOLD learning community coordinator; and Jason Wiegand, academic adviser from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, were among those who helped lead a group of students from Iowa State. In all, 73 faculty, administrators, staff and students attended from across the university.

Iowa State University’s delegation to the 2016 NCORE conference

"The entire conference was a life-changing experience," Griselda Murguia, a senior sociology major, said. "One thing I learned from participating in the conference is that we all have different struggles and we have to stand in solidarity with one another to help each other out. Our struggles and pain help us understand each other but our love and support help us reach our goals of equity and justice for one another."

Murguia said she was especially inspired by a keynote address delivered by Matika Wilbur, a Native American artist and social documentarian.

"She is a photographer that is traveling the United States taking photographs of the 562 recognized tribes," Murguia said. "The project is a documentary style project dedicated to photographing contemporary Native America. She gave an amazing speech of the importance of her journey and the damage that was done to the Native people of North America, and that is still happening."

Left to right: Aygul Nurbanu Parpucu, Jeane Robles, Sarah Eikenberry, Jackie Garcia, Griselda Murguia, Der Vang, Allie Polk, Simren Ballagan and Ngoc Doan were among the students, staff and faculty who represented Iowa State at June’s NCORE conference.

Breakout sessions also allowed students to explore their social identities through spoken word poetry and by listening to narratives of communities of color.

Vang also presented a session titled "Whose ‘Side’ Are You On? Why We Need Solidarity from Asian American/Pacific Islanders in the Fight for Racial Justice," which explored how Asian American/Pacific Islanders internalize overt and covert acts of racism and the resulting lack of political consciousness, specifically as it relates to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The session also discussed current student activism, how to support students and how to challenge racist ideologies and assumptions that prevent individuals from engaging in racial justice.

While there, students were divided into five research groups tasked with learning more about an assigned racial or ethnic identity group. Research groups included Native American, African American/Black, Multiracial, Latinx and Asian American/Pacific Islander.

Each night following the conference, students, team leaders and administrators met for two hours to reflect on the day’s learning.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, along with the College of Design, was a co-champion of the 2016 Thomas Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE).