Forum discusses race, ethnicity

William Dyke

The Iowa State Conference of Race and Ethnicity spoke to the Government of the Student Body Senate March 5 to present information on their March 7 event.

ISCORE is a comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State and beyond. The local conference models the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.

Program Coordinator Denise Williams discussed the functions and purpose of NCORE.

“When you’re there, you are engaging with other students, staff and faculty, learning a lot and what might be interesting to bring back to our campus,” Williams said.

When a student returns from the all-expenses paid trip to NCORE, they take a three-credit course. The course addresses issues of race and ethnicity and meets the US diversity requirement for ISU students. The students then give a presentation on their research at the next ISCORE event.

Sen. Peter Benzoni provided a plug for the event, noting his attendance at last year’s NCORE in New Orleans and that he will be presenting at ISCORE March 7.

“I just wanted to attest to how awesome ISCORE and NCORE are,” Benzoni said. “You should all take the opportunity to attend both ISCORE and NCORE.”

Benzoni will present on the experiences of African-Americans on ISU campus. Benzoni brought up the university’s graduation rate for African-American male athletes, 30 percent, during ISU President Leath’s address to the GSB earlier this semester.

Sen. Evelyn Ward asked if the conferences addressed other areas of diversity, such as gender identity and sexual identity. Williams explained that it does and doesn’t, respectively.

She said that there are many ways that social identities intercept with race and therefore, by exploring issues of race and ethnicity, other societal issues are included.

“The students are what’s really at the heart of this program,” Williams said. “Their skills have evolved every year. The questions they’re asking are deeper, the research is more thorough. And I think if you’re attending those sessions, you’ll be impressed with the level of conversation you’ll have.”

The Conference on Race and Ethnicity will take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 7 at the Memorial Union. For more information, as well as a listing of all the sessions at the March 7 conference, go to