ISCORE 2021 concluded with speech by Toyia Younger on Friday


Toyia Younger encouraged students to continue meaningful conversations about race and ethnicity at the ISCORE closing ceremony Friday.

Audrey Holtkamp

The 2021 Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) concluded at its closing reception Friday.

Jowelle Mitchell, assistant director for the NCORE-ISCORE office, presented the Brenda Jones Change Agent Award to three Iowa State students: Nadine Veasley, a senior in microbiology, Paloma Mate-Kodjo, a senior in biology, and Madeline Spikes, a senior in sociology.

“This award recognizes an NCORE-ISCORE student alumni that continues to contribute to the understanding and awareness of topics related to race and ethnicity and has created change in their community,” Mitchell said.

Then Jayda Anaya-Negrete, a junior in kinesiology and health, introduced the keynote speaker, Toyia Younger, the senior vice president of Student Affairs. Younger thanked everyone who spoke at the conference and shared new ways to improve the Iowa State campus.

“You just witnessed a top-notch unique and powerful conference unlike anything across higher education… Like many of you, I am inspired, reenergized and motivated to continue the conversation on race and ethnicity here at Iowa State University,” Younger said.

Younger also spoke on why the significant work around race and ethnicity needs to continue now more than ever. She said along with witnessing numerous events of police brutality and other instances of racism and oppression on a national level, students have also had to witness bigotry on the Iowa State campus. Younger cited that 22 of the 34 recorded campus climate incidents were directed to an individual or group of people based on their race.

“These are real, hurtful situations for our friends, students and colleagues, and this cannot continue,” Younger said.

Younger then called on students to think about what they want the Iowa State campus to look like in 20 to 30 years and work on making the changes necessary to achieve their vision. She said everyone is capable of making a difference, regardless of their position and background at Iowa State.

“History is happening right now. We must be brave enough to change its course,” Younger said.

The NCORE-ISCORE project is welcoming students to become members of a cohort to experience the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity and participate in year-round discussions with faculty and staff at Iowa State. Apply on the ISCORE website by March 15.