11-11:50 ISCORE block takeaways

Valeria Cano Camacho speaks at ISCORE about the Latinx population within the U.S.

Latinx Communities and Agriculture

Valeria Cano Camacho, senior in agronomy, alongside junior in nutritional science Gustavo Flores set out to discuss Latinx people and their relationship with agriculture.

Flores and Camacho began by speaking about their Mexican heritage and their background as well as the background of their parents.

Flores and Camacho then went on to define what it means to be a migrant worker, as well as giving figures, stating that 1.4 million migrant workers are currently present in the U.S., with most being from Mexico.

In 1942, the United States had a labor shortage due to World War II. An agreement was struck with Mexico and the United States kept this deal, known as the Bracero Program, until 1962.

The United Farm Workers were discussed, an organization founded by Larry Itliong, Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez. This organization fought and still fights for protections and reform for farm workers.

Flores and Camacho detailed the population and impact of the Latinx community in the United States as well as agriculture, with there being around 58 million people who identify as Latinx in the United States, with the amount of Latinx farmers rising even though the number of farmers overall is dropping.

Also discussed were the working conditions of Latinx farmers in America. Safety conditions and rates of injury and illness among the Latinx farming population are disproportionately high, while access to healthcare is often far lower than average. Contributing factors, such as language barriers, lack of proper training and fear of replacement or missed pay were cited and discussed.

Solutions were also discussed, detailing a need to recognize and showcase the origins and impact Latinx people have on both society and culture and within agriculture; the creation of stronger outreach was emphasized.

Education of the public about migrant workers was discussed, as well as holding the organizations and others in power accountable to actually help Latinx laborers.

Specific problems and solutions discussed included the fact that many landowners wanted Latinx workers’ labor but did not want them as neighbors, the need for more Spanish speaking doctors and emphasizing an accurate and fair representation of Latinx migrant workers.

The presentation closed with a Q&A discussing many of the previous topics including the absence of Latinx land ownership, how to best perform outreach to underprivileged labor groups and how to educate people with a more accurate perception of the Latinx community and people of color as a whole.

By Mike Brown

The History of Struggles against Anti-Black Racism in Iowa

In the History of Struggles Against Anti-black Racism in Iowa, Katy Swalwell, associate professor in the school of education, projected a black and white image of children in uniforms.

“What’s the significance of this photo?” Swalwell asked.

The photograph, taken in 1907 in Buxton, Iowa, was of a sixth grade class. The majority of the children in the image were black students and few were white students.

This photograph was taken before Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and showcased the normality of integrated schools in small Iowa towns before legal desegregation.

“They went to a racially integrated school with teachers who believed in them,” Swalwell said.

Swalwell said institutionalized racism has existed in Iowa and had negative impacts on black people and communities since statehood.

“We were anti-slavery, but that doesn’t mean we were pro-black,” Swalwell said.

Early communities in Iowa restricted certain rights to only white people, such as holding office or voting. Black people who came to Iowa were subject to fines and strenuous processes to prove their freedom.

At Iowa State, people of color were not allowed to live in the dorms because they were deemed “distracting.” One couple, the Martins, opened their home to black students to stay. The Martin dormitory was named in their honor. Student protests in the ‘30s and ‘40s led to the inclusion of black students in the dorms.

“There still isn’t an African American history course I think anywhere in the state,” Swalwell said.

The Des Moines Interracial Commission in a nod to the work of the NAACP established the “Desiderata” comprised of fourteen points of emphasis for racial equality in Iowa. One point was a call for a black history course in education.

By Ashtyn Perrin

The Portrayal of Native Americans in Modern Media: Pocahontas

Toluwani Awokoya, junior in nutritional science, began the presentation by sharing a definition of “stereotype.”

Paulina Padron, junior in animal science, then directed the crowd to break into groups and discuss “adjectives, ideas and stereotypes” people may think of when they hear the phrase “Native American.”

Members of the crowd then shared topics they discussed, like stereotypical costumes that Native Americans are often depicted as wearing, how early students are taught stereotypes in school, misconceptions about how casinos affect wealth in tribal communities.

Awokoya discussed how media stereotypes subconsciously affect thoughts, feelings and behaviors. He explained various stereotypes portrayed in media.

Stereotypes that claim they have “super citizen status,” meaning they receive large amounts of money from the government and free college. Some stereotypes attribute alcoholism to all Native Americans, as well as laziness. Some stereotypes claim Native Americans are unable to make it in society off of reservations.

None of these stereotypes are accurate.

Awokoya explained how Native Americans were portrayed in television and movies, sharing the example of 1940s “Lone Ranger.” The Native American character is portrayed as uneducated compared to the lone ranger, as well as the 1936 film, “The Last of the Mohicans.” Native Americans were portrayed as alcoholics and abusive toward white women.

The crowd was then given time to engage in an additional group discussions to talk about how these stereotypes make them feel and specific instances they’ve seen these stereotypes portrayed.

“These things are gonna keep happening in our culture, children want to know where they will fit in in the big picture,” said Jerry Young Bear, junior in nutritional science and member of the Meskwaki Tribe, when discussing stereotype and systematic oppression of Native Americans.

Faleesia Willis, senior in biology, discussed Disney’s “Pocahontas.” The presentation covered a summary of the plot and compared it to the actual life story of Pocahontas.

She was born in 1596 and was apart of the Powhatan Tribe. They showed how few similarities there are between the movie and real life. In reality, Pocahontas would have been 10 years old compared to being older in the film. Pocahontas had married Kocoum out of choice, not arranged, as the movie suggested. In 1613, Samuel Argall kidnapped her and used her as ransom.

Pocahontas was brought to Jamestown and taught English ways. She was impregnated, baptized into Christianity and renamed Rebecca, then forced to marry John Rolfe. She was buried at St.George’s Church, Gravesend in the United Kingdom. Some suggest she was poisoned.

Pocahontas was the first documented case of sex trafficking.

“She becomes the embodiment, not of native society, she becomes an embodiment of American society,” said Melinda Micco, Seminole film historian, who was quoted in the presentation

Willis discussed “Twilight” as an example, specifically Jacob Black. Producers misappropriated Quileute tribal stories about wolves. The Quileute saw no money from the film in which they used their stories. Jacob was romanticized, always willing to save someone and was wanting a white woman as Native men were usually portrayed.

They were depicted as living in poor environments and weren’t seen going to school as compared to the white vampires who were depicted as intelligent and sophisticated.

Willis discussed Trump’s use of Pocahontas as a racial slur toward Elizabeth Warren in an attempt to disavow her criticism. He used it during an event honoring Navajo code talkers.

Presenters said Native women experience the highest rate of domestic violence. Native women are two times as likely to be sexually assaulted and most of the assailants are white men.

By Kaylie Crowe and K. Rambo

U.S. Race and Ethnicity through an International Lens

Three international students Shaohua Pei, Anupma Singh and Kaiser Chen discussed the culture transitions and adjustments when they first came to America. They are from China, India and Malaysia.

People from Asian countries have to adjust their behaviors in may aspects when they arrive in the U.S., including the food, the ways of greeting and navigating the personality differences between Eastern people and Western people.

Due the the listed reasons, they tend to spend a lot of time with their fellow international students, because they share the same backgrounds and culture customs.

Then most of them quickly realize that people may have different skin colors, but they often have the same struggles, like juggling between family and school, academic difficulties and social obstacles.

So, they tried to approach local students to interact because proximity is the only way to integrate people together.

When they first came to America, some of the international students’ identities completely changed, both professional identity and social identity. They are no longer students or residents of their own home countries anymore.

Compared to American domestic students, international students have to put a lot of effort in their academic work to obtain a visa, so they have to study hard and try their best to get accustomed to the new culture. Some of them reclaimed their identity in the process.

Chen raised the point that being identified as “Asian” isn’t racist. He thinks people should slowly move on from the race conversation to respect each other because fixating on the racial topics is not going to help the progress of the diverse society, seeing one another as an individual is the key to understanding and respect.

By Mia Wang

In Order for Unicorns to Succeed: We Need Reparations!

Five women of color, Alexia Angton, Carmen Jones, Tyanez Jones, Hildah Makori and Claudia Young, presented “In Order for Unicorns to Succeed: We Need Reparations.”

Throughout the presentation, panelists highlighted the role of employment, health and social support as key factors in the success of black graduate students.

Reparations are being defined as an “acknowledgment of wrongdoing; payment for harm done in hopes of healing.”

“250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate but equal, 35 years of racist housing policy, until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America Will never be whole, Coates 2017.”

The presenters chose this title because unicorns represent the rarity of African American women in the post-graduate education space.

“We’re unicorns in this space, but also we’re unicorns to our ancestors,” Angton said.

Some of the challenges that these women face are impostor syndrome and conversations such as ‘do I fight, do I flee or do I teach,’” Angton said, and the difficulty for women of color to create community.

“We need more people to mentor us, we need more people to support us,” Carmen Jones said.

Most conversations surrounding black women come from a different stance than conversations talking about white women and men of color.

“Have you seen five black women of color in you classrooms,” Tyanez Jones said. “Imagine trying to create community in a place like this.”

On the topic of education, presenters discussed the challenges of attending historically white institutions that have not been built for women of color.

Panel members also spoke on the idea that all black faculty are expected to mentor and coach all black students. This causes faculty of color to experience racial fatigue. Racial fatigue is when a person of color is over extended in service but undervalued.

This poses a challenge for faculty of color, as they are expected to mentor an entire community while still publishing studies and getting their education.

In employment, women of color experience disparities in the employment they receive and the experience they are getting while in college.

Students of color are placed outside of their department, but most of the time students of color are given research jobs or programming.

So when talking about networking, you’re not getting that apprenticeship because you are not working in the department your degree is in, Angton discussed.

“We know that when it comes to health, black women have the highest risk for heart problem, diabetes and cancer,” Tyanez Jones said.

All of these disparities have a negative effect on students of color, according to the panel. Health for women of color is directly affected by isolation, impostor syndrome and the feeling that they can’t be who they want to be in certain spaces. Such discrepancies take both a physical and a mental toll.

There is a lack of professionals representing colored women in the health industry, the panelists state.

“I have to take in self care because I’m not going to be able to do my work well if I don’t take care of me,” Angton said.

And for social support, panelists spoke about needing advisers who identify with their varying social norms.

“Us being unicorns is a big deal,” Angton said.

Some reparations listed were a recommendation for students of color housing and staff of color and other identities.

By Caitlin Yamada


Exploring Identity through Film: A Day in the Life of an MVP Scholar

The MVP scholarship allows students from underprivileged minority backgrounds to attend the university tuition free.

MVP stands for the Multicultural Vision Program, and a panel of first-year MVP scholars fielded questions about their scholarship program to an audience of 50 people.

“I was so excited to find out I qualified for MVP,” said Richelle Castillo, freshman in pre-business. “It gave me the opportunity to study here when I thought it was financially impossible.”

To qualify for MVP, you must be a person of color with no experience at higher education institutions. It does not accommodate transfer students.

“We definitely need some kind of program for transfer student,” said Tabatha Cruz, coordinator of MVP. Cruz herself received a transfer scholarship when she left community college to attend UNI.

MVP offers their recipients classes which focus on integration into university life. Students learn about time management and study skills and have access to a tutor each semester.

“Because of MVP I am going to graduate,” said Mirella Lopez, freshman in open option LAS. “I will graduate and make my family proud and make something of myself.”

The panel was facilitated by Cruz and two ISU graduate students in education: Alejandra Flores and Jessica Mena Flores.

“It’s been rewarding to work with and assist students from a similar background as me,” Flores said. “I didn’t see myself doing this as a grad student.”

Another goal of MVP is to help students develop relationships with faculty early on in their careers. The classes explore community and cultural wealth as well as marginalized identities.

By Talon Delaney

Editor’s note: The Daily was unable to cover “ISMs Explored Through the Eyes of George Washington Carver (GWC) Scholars” in this time block.