ISCORE transitions back to in person for 2022


Courtesy of Iowa State's ISCORE webpage

While the 2022 Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity’s in-person registration might be full, anyone is welcome to watch through a livestream. 

Payne Blazevich

When live events were canceled as a result of COVID-19, the Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) had to make adjustments, resulting in a full virtual conference for the 2021 event. As live, in-person events continue to make a return, ISCORE will be facing a new set of obstacles for the upcoming event.

“…[T]his year is probably the most critical year to pay attention to what we are getting right and what we’re not getting right,” said Japannah Kellogg, the director of the NSCORE-ISCORE Office.

The upcoming ISCORE event will be a hybrid presentation, allowing for in-person participants while providing a virtual option, Kellogg said. In order to make accommodations, the in-person attendance was capped with the purpose of reducing risk, according to Kellogg.

“…Just knowing rooms will be at ‘not full’ capacity, just being mindful…but then offering a virtual option…that’s been the challenge,” Kellogg said.

The 2020 ISCORE event was a high point for the conference, with over 1,300 people in attendance, according to Kellogg. Even when ISCORE moved online, the conference saw growth, as around 1,900 people attended virtually, Kellogg said.

According to Casey Dague, the technology manager for the Memorial Union, ISCORE saw an increase in the number of people participating from outside the Iowa State Community, as the virtual conference was more accessible.

“Last year, with [ISCORE] being virtual, was the first year that we got to see significant engagement from them, and we saw them…have some great conversations,” Dague said.

ISCORE is a conference that furthers the dialogue surrounding race and ethnicity, according to Kellogg. The conference includes a variety of presentations and workshops, with the purpose of building a greater collective understanding of different backgrounds.

“I just love the idea of what these young people have done, students have done here, and how hard they work outside of just classes. They go beyond that…that’s why [ISCORE] is one of the best programs…” said Brenda Jones, a professor in the department of arts and visual culture.

Jones has been making artwork for ISCORE since its inception. She said it was her own way of giving back to the students and community. Her work can be found at the conference or spread across the walls of Kellogg’s office. Her name is also attached to the Change Agent Award, which is given to an alum that displays growth in understanding issues related to race and ethnicity, according to the Iowa State University ISCORE website.

“[ISCORE] started off at 30 or 40 people. The last time I saw it I think it was between 1,200 and 1,300 people. It was unbelievable,” Jones said. The crowd consisted mainly of Iowa State staff and faculty, trying to gain a deeper understanding of different races and ethnicities, according to Jones.

The 2022 ISCORE event is open to the Iowa State community on Friday, March 4. Although the in-person capacity was reached, the virtual experience is still available. The check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. and the “Welcome” reception begins at 8:45 a.m. Concurrent sessions run from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., followed by lunch and a keynote speaker at noon. Concurrent sessions run again from 2:10 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by the closing reception at 3:10 p.m.

More information can be found on Iowa State’s ISCORE website.