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Coalition Calls for Dialogue in IC About Race

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The coalition for racial justice doesn't say why it concludes minorities are disadvantaged and doesn't present a solution to what it says is a pattern of discrimination. All it hopes to do is to open a dialogue in Iowa City to start to address that often sensitive topic.

We do believe the report can help members of the community better understand the extent of racial disparities, said Co-Chair of the Coalition for Racial Justice Megan Schwalm.
 
I think it would be useful to at least start the conversation, said Siya Mali, a recent University of Iowa graduate.
 
A conversation  Mali says often happens on behalf of the minority community but without its input.

Children and adults in the greater Iowa City area experience different opportunities and quality of life depending on the color of their skin or ethnic background, said Co-Chair of the Coalition for Racial Justice LaTasha Massey.
 
The report collects data that suggests minorities are less likely to own a home, are arrested more often and graduate less often than their white peers
 
We wanted to raise the question of whether we are becoming a more inclusive community or whether we are becoming in fact a tale of two cities, said Massey.
 
The coalition has 4 recommendations:
 
-    The Creation of a roundtable to bring more voices to the table
 
-    Increased focus on racial outcomes rather than well-intentioned community efforts
 
-    More minority community leadership
 
-    More funding for organizations led by, for and with minorities
 
Its a checklist, you create a commission, you talk about things, and then more steps that you can do from that commission should hopefully help as well, said Iowa City Council Cadidate Kingsley Botchway.
 
This is just the early stages of what the commission hopes will be a series of actions to get the minority community more involved in decision making.
 
The coalition co-chairs say one way to tell this is working is if in 2 years, there is much more minority leadership in Iowa city, bringing new view points to the table.

 
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