Monday, December 20, 2021

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council has received a grant from Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities to carry out a project on “Refugees and Immigrants in Iowa” from December 2021 through August 2022. The project, to be directed by UI Adjunct Professor Peter Gerlach, aims to raise the voices and share the stories of refugees and immigrants who come to Iowa. In doing so, it will give Iowans a deeper understanding of other cultures and countries and how engaging with refugees and immigrants not only increases our empathy and understanding but helps our communities to thrive as diverse people living together. These programs are cosponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights.

The project consists of six free educational programs that will be carried out online so that people across Iowa can easily participate:

  • December 16, 2021 – “Afghan Resettlement in Iowa”
  • January 19, 2022 – “Life in Iowa as a Refugee and Immigrant”
  • February 9, 2022 – “How Covid-19 Has Impacted Refugees and Immigrants in Iowa”
  • March 23, 2022 – “Iowa Refugees and Immigrants in Pursuit of Higher Education”
  • April 13, 2022 – “Writing and Reading About the Refugee and Immigrant Experience”
  • May (date TBD) – “How Raising the Voices of Refugees and Immigrants Can Lead to More Effective Public Policy” – in collaboration with the Iowa Public Policy Center

Expert speakers from across Iowa, including leaders of ethnic-based community organizations, refugee organizations, and state agencies, will share their insights and experiences. A final project report will be available online and widely disseminated to public policy leaders and others. These programs are cosponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights. For more information and to attend these free programs, visit