Iowa Ideas is a nonpartisan, statewide learning experience designed to explore the key questions and big ideas that will shape the future of Iowa.

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Diversity, inclusion and free speech on Iowa's college campuses

Conference replay: "lean in to that discomfort"

    Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel (center) Executive Director, One Iowa speaks as he discusses diversity and inclusion on campus with fellow panelists Melissa Shivers (left) Vice President for Student Life at the University of Iowa and Kate Gregory Senior Vice President for University Services at Iowa State University during the inaugural Iowa Ideas Conference at the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex in northeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
    Higher Education
    Oct 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Colleges and universities have frequently found themselves at the center of heated political discussions about race, immigration, diversity and free speech -- and Iowa is no different.

    At Iowa Ideas 2017, September 20-22 in Cedar Rapids, panelists said communities need to get used to having uncomfortable conversations in order to increase inclusion and acceptance of diversity. 

    “I think many times folks have that “Iowa Nice” mentality, and we’d like to just kind of diffuse the tension and not have to think about it,” said Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, executive director of LGBT advocacy organization One Iowa. “I think it’s time for us, as people of privilege, whatever that privilege might be, to lean in to that discomfort and really start engaging in those proactive conversations.” 

    Panelists included: 

    • Melissa Shivers, vice president for student life at the University of Iowa

    • Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, Executive Director of One Iowa

    • Kate Gregory, senior vice president of university services at Iowa State University

    • Moderator: Emily Barske, Iowa Ideas 2017 intern and Editor in Chief of the Iowa State Daily

    Enter your email address to access the full audio and subscribe to our higher education newsletter:

    Listen to the full replay to hear: 

    • How higher education institutions are working with community partners to respond to charged incidents, both on and off campus

    • How community members can be allies with marginalized communities

    • How building personal relationships can shape our perceptions and rhetoric

    • How campuses are creating space for difficult conversations to take place

    Read more: One Iowa recently hosted the first Eastern Iowa LGBTQ Workplace Culture Summit

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    Health Care
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    Terms: I am over 13 years old and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy