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VOICES OF DIVERSITY: Black Voices Project

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX) A group in Iowa City came together on Thursday to help strengthen African American Voices in the Corridor. The goal of the Black Voices Project is to advocate for African American issues in the community.
The meeting started out with a dinner at 1030 Cross Park Avenue in Iowa City around 6:00 p.m. The dinner was followed by a meeting where African Americans in the community were able to discuss key issues affecting them. Alecia Brooks, a member of the leadership team for Black Voices said that since their formation last December they have already had a major victory. The group formed after the Iowa City Public School District decided to have classes on MLK Day. The group felt it should be a day off for students. While the District went ahead and held classes on MLK Day in 2014, Brooks said thanks to Black Voices efforts, classes will not be held on MLK day next year.
She said the group hopes to gain more members following Thursdays meeting .  In the future, they hope to encourage the Iowa City School District to recruit more African American teachers. Brooks said the districts goal is to have about five percent of their staff African American. The group would like to see that number higher than five percent.
Other issues  important in Thursdays meeting included housing, policing, employment and education for African Americans in the community. Those topics where addressed with an emphasis on how activists can help out to make the Corridor a better place for African Americans.  Journalists were asked to leave during the meeting so that community members would feel comfortable expressing their concerns.

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