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UNI's New Iowans program to debut books at news conference <br>

November 12, 2002

Mark Grey, professor of anthropology and director of the New Iowans program, (319) 273-3029
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

The New Iowans program at the University of Northern Iowa will host a news conference at 1 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18, at Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, 3816 36th Ave., Des Moines.

During the event, program leaders will present two new books designed to help employers and Christian churches work effectively with immigrants and refugees. The New Iowans program was established in 1999, to help Iowa communities, employers, churches and other institutions work with increasing numbers of immigrants and refugees.

Mark Grey is director of the program. He said teaching tools are necessary to make the transition smooth, both for immigrants and established Iowans. 'The bottom line is that, for several decades, most rural Iowa communities were homogenous -- they were English-speaking and white. Now we have newcomers who often are not white and who bring new languages and new lifestyles. In many cases, the newcomers have come not in trickles, but in rather large influxes. And there you have the recipe for a number of challenges.'