UNI to host conference on immigration issues

September 19, 2004

Mark Grey, director, UNI New Iowans Program, (319) 273-3029
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-6728

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's New Iowans program will present a conference, 'Welcoming Iowa's Future,' from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,Wednesday, Oct. 20, in UNI's Commons Ballroom.

Among topics will be Iowa's growing immigrant population, and policy challenges for integrating immigrants into American society.

Keynote speaker will be Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum based in Washington, D.C. The forum, founded to embrace and uphold American's tradition as a nation of immigrants, is one of the nation's premier immigration policy organizations, with a membership of more than 250 organizations. Sharry's comments have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and he has been a guest on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The MacLaughlin Group, and CNN's Crossfire.

Established at UNI in 1999, the New Iowans program is the brainchild of Mark Grey, professor of anthropology, who authored a book, 'Welcoming New Iowans,' to augment the program. He and co-author Anne Woodrick, associate professor of anthropology, recently completed a version of the book written just for Christian churches. The two have approached Jewish and Muslim leaders to discuss a version written for those populations. Another is being written, in conjunction with UNI's Global Health Corps, for health providers; and a version for businesses and employers is now available.

Conference co-sponsors are the UNI Office of the President, and Iowans for a Better Future. Support is provided by Iowa Workforce Development and the UNI Public Policy program. Cost to attend is $25. Deadline to register is Oct. 8. For more information or to register, call (319) 273-2075, or visit www.uni.edu/contined/ces/iafuture.