Recent Visits and Events
Moroccan Clean Energy: August 20th- August 24th
Mandela Washington Fellowship: June 18th- July 27th
Celebration of Citizen Diplomacy Dinner: April 19th, 2017
Science and Technology Education for Youth: April 1st-5th, 2017
Digital Media Freedom Turkey Delegation: January 28th- February 1st, 2017
Law Enforcement: Community Policing Regional Project: January 15th-19th, 2017
Political Activism, Community Organizing, Lobbying and Campaigns: a Project for Indonesia: November 6th-9th, 2016
Young Political Leaders: A Project for Brazil: October 25th-29th, 2016
Trends in Higher Education: A Single Country Project for Moldova: March 15th-18th
Young Political Leaders and Inclusive Electoral Processes: October 25th – 29th, 2016
Here we see the IVLP visitor’s at The Gazette to discuss ethics in political coverage, editorial processes and decision-making, media editorial endorsements and “calling” elections.
Religious Dialogue Influencing Foreign Policy: Sept 18th-21st, 2016
During their stay, these IVLP visitors visited the Kalona Amish community, met with the International Writing Program (IWP) where IWP staff described a project they are conducting and the experiences of the young writers from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Later on they met with The Consultation of Religious Communities (CRC) which is an interfaith council composed of over thirty religious communities and related agencies of Johnson County, afterwards Don and Suzanne Kirchner hosted a Home Hospitality Dinner! On the following day, the group met with the Muslim Students Association where the association leaders described how the organization works with other student organizations and non-student groups to promote advocacy and progress in enhancing human rights, peace and diversity.This was followed by a meeting with leadership of the Iowa Chapter of the Muslim Public Affairs Council to examine their work at a local level. Their final activity was with The Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids and The Mother Mosque of America.
Promoting Social Change through the Arts: June 29th- 3rd, 2016
On their first day in Iowa City, these IVLP visitors met at the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy to focus on EIAA’s arts therapy and in particular the IGNITE program’s emphasis on fine arts for the retired community. This was followed by an interactive meeting with the visitors at Iowa Youth Writing Project (IYWP). Their final stop of the day was with the Oakdale prison Community Choir, Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC) for a discussion on how the choir was designed to build community between incarcerated individuals, university students and the wider community. The following day the group had a meeting at the Iowa City Public Library to discuss the Summer of the Arts. This meeting was followed by a meeting with the Division of Continuing Education, Working Group Theater, Hancher, UI College of Public Health. Later on they visited the Iowa Disability Creative Works Gallery at Mercy Medical Plaza. They ended their day with a meeting to discuss Combined Efforts Theater’s work and feature a short interactive performance at Uptown Bill’s. The visitors were free to go downtown in Iowa City for a live Jazz performance. The last day that the visitors were in town, they spent their day having free time and ended their day with a Home Hospitality Dinner.
Mandela Washington Fellows
Ensuring Opportunities and Full Participation for People Living with Disabilities: June 8th- June 14th, 2016
On their first day, this IVLP group met with Jule Reynolds and Len Sandler to discuss the Disability Rights Activism in Iowa. After lunch, the visitors attended an ADA Celebration Committee Meeting at Uptown Bill’s. This was followed by meeting with Uptown Bill’s Executive Director, Tom Gilsenan to discuss Extend the Dream Foundation. They ended their day by meeting Keith Ruff and Mike Hoenig to discuss “Hello, It’s Us!”. They met with the Development Coordinator, Jefri Palermo, to discuss the School of Social Work’s Wild Bill’s Coffee shop. Following lunch, they met with Mark M. Harris, Director of Student Disability Services and Patricia Bahr, Director of the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and research (ICATER). Their last stop of the day will be at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD). On their third day, a cultural excursion to Kalona, Iowa. The IVLP visitors began their day with a visit to the St. Ludmila’s Kolach Festival, Czech Village, Cedar Rapids, and NewBo District. The visitors met with SEATS of Johnson County’s Paratransit Director Tom Brase. Their last meeting of the day was with The University of Iowa College of Education’s Education Emeritus Professor of Special Education, Paul Retish. For their final day in Iowa City, the Ukraine IVLP visitors began their day by meeting with city leaders and community activists in the Council Chambers at Iowa City City Hall. Afterwards, the visitors had a meeting with local educators at Lakeview Elementary School including Grant Wood AEA’s Autism Consultant Susan Askeland, Special Education Teacher Nicole Dunkel, and Solon City School District’s Director of Instruction and Technology, Matthew Townsley.
Farm to Market: May 29th- June 2nd, 2016
These visitors began their stay with a visit to Holden Monsanto Foundation Seeds company for a tour of their facility and to discuss the hybrid seed and biotech industry. After lunch the group met with the UI International business Institute to discuss the effects of the TTIP on Iowa agriculture and agribusiness. The visitors ended their day with a visit to the Friendly Farm. On their final day, the Farm to Market visitors visited Kalona SuperNatural for a tour and to discuss their food safety programs, relations with producers and general marketing. Around lunch they discussed the network of local farmers and the role that Salt Fork Kitchen plays in the local community. After lunch, the visitors met with Kirkwood Community College’s Agricultural Sciences Department to discuss their work in the Agriculture Business Program with the Dean of Agriculture Sciences, Scott Ermer. They ended their visit with a Home Hospitality dinner.
Multi-Regional Project on US Foreign Policy: The Decision-Making Process: May 11th-May 15th
During their stay in Iowa City, these IVLP visitors met with Jim Leach, Chair in Public Affairs, Visiting UI Professor of Law and Senior Scholar to discuss the role of the House in the foreign policy process. After lunch they met at ICCompassion and Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene for a round table discussion on Immigration Assistance and Services with the Friendship Community Project, ICCompassion, Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene and the Center for Worker Justice. This discussion was followed by a Community Service Activity at the Crisis Center of Johnson County where the visitors repackaged food for the Food Bank. The following day, the visitors met with Colonel Greg Hapgood, Director of Public Affairs at Iowa National Guard to discuss the effects of deployment and post-deployment assistance provided to returning National Guard personnel. This was followed by a round table discussion on ICFRC’s work to educate the public about foreign policy issues and CIVIC’s mission to build global ties locally. After lunch the group met with Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton and interim city manager Geoff Fruin to discuss Iowa City’s international connections. The visitors ended their visit to Iowa City with a Home Hospitality Dinner.
Just a few pictures from our Totally 80’s 5K Walk & Run: April 30th
Overall Male: Louis Pelsang- 20:03
Overall Female: Corrina Dittmer- 24:01
U.S. Agricultural Trade and Food Safety: March 30th- April 2nd
After the group arrived, they visited Kalona SuperNatural, Salt Fork Kitchen, and Abbe Hills Farm CSA to discuss organic farming techniques and the role that these locations play in the local community. Afterwards, the IVLP group met with Kirkwood Community College’s Department of Agricultural Sciences. During the next day, the group met with Larry Marek of Marek Farm, followed by a meeting with the Johnson County Food Policy Council which provided an overview of the county’s food system. Finally, the group visited the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Combating Gender-Based Violence: March 20th- 23rd
After arriving in Iowa City the visitors met with Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator Monique DiCarlo to discuss response coordination on the University of Iowa campus. This visit was followed by a discussion with the Men’s Anti-Violence Council’s Program Coordinator, Meagan Schorr, to discuss men’s involvement in preventing gender-based violence. The visitors also met with the Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, Domestic Violence Intervention Program, The Women’s Resource & Action Center, Monsoon united Asian Women, and finally with the Waypoint Services for Women, Children and Families.
Moldova Education: March 15th-18th
On their third day the visitors met with Mt Mercy Administrators, Dr. Robert Callahan, Dr. Terri Snyders Crumley, Catharine Cashner, Beth Rinderknecht and Dr. Tom Castle to discuss the administration of a private parochial university and tour the campus.
Human Right Advocacy: February 3rd-6th
The visit began by meeting with Mr. Dave Muller to discuss ACLU’s work and to examine challenges and best practices in public advocacy and lobbying. The next meeting was with Dr. Jo Butterfield to discuss human right. Afterwards they met with the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights affiliated with the University of Iowa’s College of Law. Their final meeting was with Mr. Kingsley Botchway, Director of Equity and Staffing at the Iowa City Community School District to discuss tolerance in education and anti-bullying programs. The second day of their visit began at the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Afterwards with a meeting at the Iowa City human Rights Commission at City Hall. Finally they met with the Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) which works to create gender equality for individuals and communities of all identities.
Celebration of Citizen Diplomacy Dinner: January 27th, 2016
2015 Citizen Diplomat Award Recipients:
- Business/Industry: The Gazette and KCRG TV9
- Non-Profit Organization: The Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids and in appreciation of the Mother Mosque of America
- Individual: Dr. Nicholas Johnson
Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Zogby (pictured below)
Dr. Matthias Bauer: November 29th-December 2nd
International Trade and Agriculture and Agribusiness visited with the Director of the Institute for International Business at the Tippie College of Business, Dimy Doresca, and also met with Cary Covington to discuss the caucus and election process. In the afternoon he met with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and had a Hospitality Dinner at Janice Weiner’s home. During the next day, Dr. Bauer met with President and CEo of Diamond V Mills, Jeff Cannon, to discuss the effects of international trade and trade agreements on their business, the President of International Traders of Iowa, Dee Freeman for lunch to discuss the impact of the TTIP on Iowa businesses, and finished the visit of by meeting the Founder and President of Dunlap International, Karen Dunlap, to discuss the effects of international trade and trade agreements on her work as an exporting adviser to Iowa businesses.
The Advocacy and Education for At-Risk Youth: October 4th-7th
They visited with the Assistant Principal Scott Jespersen to discuss the Iowa public school systems, youth development programs, and ways City High prepares students for successful academic careers, Principal Ann Browning of the Elizabeth Tate High School to discuss the school’s unique approach to education and best-practices for successful programs and education at an alternative high school. They also met with Dr. Resmiye Oral to discuss child health and protection, had a home hospitality dinner with Ambassador Ron McMullen and Jane McMullen. During their time in Iowa City they had the chance to meet with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County to discuss the importance and effects of mentors for at-risk youth and to examine best practices in mentor programs, they also met Director and Center Coordinator Stu Mullins with the United Action for Youth to discuss ways in which the UAY serves youth and families through programs and outreach and finally, the visitors met with Associate Professor Carolyn Hartley to discuss how the School of Social Work addresses issues of child welfare, and how the school prepares graduates to work with children.
The American Youth: Inspiring Leadership and Civic Participation: October 14th-18th
Visitors spent a great deal of their visit to Iowa City meeting with local organizations and people. They met with the Iowa City High School Ambassadors and Interact club to discuss promoting leadership skills and community involvement, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program to discuss preventing and addressing domestic and gender-based violence, The KCRG TV-9 to get a tour of the Gazette and facilities, and had a wonderful Home Hospitality Dinner with CIVIC members Martha Kirby and Bob Kirby. During their visit they also met with students involved in environmental advocacy: Iowa UNA, the University of Iowa chapter of Democracy Matters to discuss the engagement of college students in politics and the 2016 elections, the Iowa Youth Writing Project to discuss how empowering and encouraging youth in the community and finally the Iowa Valley habitat for Humanity to help with the construction of a home for two refugee families.
The Grassroots Democracy and Citizen Activism: October 8th-13th
Visitors from Venezuela recently made a visit to Iowa City. During their time they met with city elected officials and administrators, including the Mayor Matt Hayek, to discuss local governance, then met with the student leaders of the UI Democrats, they attended a Community Police Review Board, they met with Americans for Prosperity to discuss the organizations efforts to mobilize citizens for action at the grassroots level, the finally with the University of Iowa College Republicans.
The Young European Leaders: October 3rd-7th
visited the Ed Ulch’s farm for a discussion of bio fuels and agriculture policies, attended a round table discussion on political blogging and the coverage of the presidential caucuses in Iowa, and met with UI Students for Hillary for a discussion of mobilizing young adults to engage in the political process. During their visit they also attended the West Branch City Council meeting, met with former U.S. Representative Jim Leach, discussed the engagement of young adults policies with the UI Students for Rand, visited the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids and went to a home hospitality dinner.
Current U.S. Political Trends: October 3rd- 7th
During their visit, the International Visitors from Germany met with Larry Marek at his family farm, Cary Covington to discuss the caucus and election process, student leaders for the UI Democrats, The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, The UI College of Law, Johnson County Green Party, Joyce Berg for the Iowa Electronic Market, and finally the Coralville city mayor John Lundell.
Afghan Women’s and Rural Health: August 18th-20th
Visitors had meetings with the Emma Goldman Clinic, the VA Hospital’s Rural Health division, students and professors from the Carver College of Medicine’s Rural Scholar Program, and Mercy Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Clinic. They also participated in a yoga class with Friendship Yoga, and had a potluck dinner with CIVIC volunteers and members and the University of Iowa Fulbright FLTAs.
Multi-Regional Project: Access for All- July 23rd-28th
Visitors met with Student Disability Services, The Center for Disabilities and Development, The Arc of Southeast Iowa, Teaching Students with Disabilities, participated in the 25th Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration, and had a Home Hospitality visit.
Multi-Regional Project: Human Rights and Foreign Policy- July 19th-22nd
Visitors met with the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, IowaWatch Connection, Iowa City Human Rights Commission, had a round table with human rights law experts, attended CIVIC’s Barn Raising Supper, visited a farm, and had a Home Hospitality visit.
Australia: Indigenous Youth Leadership: June 25th-30th
Visitors met with the Latino Native American Culture Center, the Dream Center, United Action for Youth, the Meskwaki Settlement, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, participated in the 4th Fest 5K run, visited the Amana Colonies, and had a Home Hospitality visit.
India: Competition and Anti Trust Law: April 19th-21st
visitors toured a family farm, met with professors at the University of Iowa, visited Rockwell Collins, and had a Home Hospitality visit.
Brazil: Inspiring Youth Volunteerism: April 14th-17th
Visitors met with the Iowa Youth Writing Project, the Oakdale Prison Community Choir, United Action for Youth, City High Best Buddies, the Crisis Center, and United Way, along with a Home Hospitality visit and a Meet and Greet.
CIVIC representatives visited Chuck Grassley’s Office in Des Moines. Photo Credit: Grassley’s Instagram
ASEAN Youth Volunteerism: January 29th- February 3rd
Visitors toured the Jacobsen Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, the United States Court House, the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids, the Amana Colonies, United Way, United Action for Youth, the Crisis Center, Best Buddies, Citizens for Community Improvement, the Center for Worker Justice, and a Home Hospitality visit.
CIVIC Potluck with representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Cote d’Ivoire, Finland, Iraq, Israel, and Russia. This program focused on Education in the Digital age, with a round-table discussion that included faculty from the University of Iowa, met with the Iowa City Community School District, and toured facilities around the city.