12th Annual Strengthening and Valuing Latin@ Communities in Iowa
Latino Institute for Professional Development
Friday, October 15, 2010
9:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
Undocumented Students and Access to Higher Education: The Challenges Faced by Institutions and
the Choices Ahead
It is estimated that nearly 70,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools
each year, or the equivalent of about 2% of each year’s graduating class. (NCLR, 2009) While the U.S.
Supreme Court decision, Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), stated that undocumented children have
the right to a free public K-12 education, it was silent on the issue of access to public higher
education. This workshop will explore the challenges and choices faced by U.S. colleges and
universities in recruiting, admitting, supporting, and advising undocumented students. It will include
a showing of the new film, Papers – The Movie, and a discussion of the choices ahead regarding how
our institutions and nation addresses the post K-12 education of undocumented students.
Diane Finnerty currently serves as Adjunct Faculty in the UI School of Social Work, and Director of
Faculty HR/Development in the UI Office of the Provost. She has worked at the UI in varying
capacities since 1994, including serving as Director of Cultural Competence Initiatives and Director of
Training at the UI School of Social Work’s National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice, and
Diversity Resources Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Diane teaches
subjects that include: discrimination, oppression and diversity, U.S./Latin American human migration,
race/class/gender in the U.S., international business, cultural competence, and study seminars on
immigration and global economics in London and Mexico. Prior to coming to the University, Diane
worked in several community-based organizations, including the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women,
the YWCA Rape Crisis Center, Family Violence Services, and the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic
Violence. Diane has over twenty-five years experience working with individuals and communities on
issues of organizational development, cultural competence, social privilege and alliance-building.
What It's Like - Interactive Journey in Sexual Assault
What it’s Like: Interactive Journey into Sexual Assault Advocacy is an exercise designed to allow
participants to experience the complex emotions and issues that victim/survivors of sexual violence
on campus and in our Latino community face during their healing process. Sexual assault is an attack
on body, mind, and spirit. Often your spirit is wounded even more profoundly than your body. When
those wounds are not visible, it can be hard to understand why they are still painful. Participants will
follow a character through different stations and stages of the healing process. Each participant will
make choices for his or her character.
Sexual Assault is a topic that is not often discuss in our community. When it happens to one of us or
someone we know we normally do not know what to do. Victims of Sexual Assault in the state of Iowa
have rights including limited medical care after an assault without immigration status requirement.
Katryn Duarte, B.S., Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator
Katryn began at RVAP in the fall of 2006. Katryn is responsible for managing and promoting the Iowa
Sexual Abuse Hotline across the state. Katryn also provides sexual assault victim/survivor services and
supervises RVAP volunteers. She is a certified Sexual Abuse Counselor.
Kristin Van De Griend, M.P.H., Rural Youth Education Coordinator
Kristin began at RVAP in the summer of 2008. She is responsible for coordinating educational
programs in Cedar, Iowa, and Washington Counties, as well as coordinating a mandatory sexual
misconduct prevention program to incoming undergraduate students at The University of Iowa.
Kristin provides sexual assault victim/survivor services, and is a certified Sexual Abuse Counselor.
Immigration Visas and Career Options
Attorneys Kari Ann Fonte and Sandra Morrow will provide information regarding each of their
backgrounds as Cuban-American and Dominican-American, respectively, and how they came to
choose the profession of law in the immigration field. Each will delve into her immigration experience
and explore issues facing Latinos, including immigrant rights, ways to obtain working and other visas
in the US, and ways to obtain permanent residency. (Bilingual)
Ms. Kari Ann Fonte (formerly Kari Ann Woodward), graduated from Florida State University College of
Law, cum laude. Ms. Fonte has practiced exclusively immigration law since 1995, and is a partner in
the firm Montiel Davis & Fonte, P.A. in Miami, Florida. She is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a
Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, and has served on the Florida Bar’s Board Certification
Committee for 5 years. She has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
since she was a law student, and presently serves as First Vice President of the South Florida Chapter.
She has spoken at national and local seminars on various immigration topics, and has authored and
co-authored numerous published articles.
Ms. Sandra Morrow graduated from The University of Iowa College of Law with her Doctor of
Jurisprudence in the Spring of 2005, and was awarded the Erich D. Mathias Award for International
Social Justice. During law school, she join and later served as the president of the Hispanic Law
Students Association (Alianza) and the vice president of the Organization for Women Law Students
and Staff. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2006, and began practicing law in Miami with the
law firm of Kurzban Kurzban Weinger and Tetzeli, P.A., as part of the litigation team of the firm. In
2009 Ms Morrow returned to Iowa and began practicing immigration law with Motiel Davis and Fonte,
P.A., She has been an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 2009.
10:45 A.M.-12:30 P.M.
Morning workshops continued
Miguel Sabido and Entertainment Education through Soap Operas: Bringing His Ideas to Iowa
Miguel Sabido developed the “Sabido Methodology” for Entertainment Education when he
was VP for Research at Televisa in Mexico in the 1970’s. Since then, his methodology has been applied
worldwide in developing radio and television soap operas (novelas) to promote social change. The
Sabido Methodology has been applied in the Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies
through its radio drama project, La Noche Te Da Sorpresas. The purpose of this presentation is to
illustrate the theory and methods behind the program with the goal of facilitating the use of La Noche
by professionals working with the Iowa Latino communities and encouraging them to consider
developing similar entertainment education programs for other social issues. We will use an
interactive lecture/discussion through which we demonstrate principles with clips from the radio
drama, and discuss their intended effects on radio listeners’ health choices. For more information about
La Noche Te Da Sorpresas, go to www.lanochetedasorpresas.com
Juan Manuel Galvez Ibarra is the project coordinator for La Noche Te Da Sorpresas Manuel earned
his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Regional Studies while in Mexico.
His area of study was the influence of space on social phenomena and social behavior. After moving to
Iowa, he worked as the Community Resources Coordinator in the Raíce’s Project at the University of
Iowa. Currently, he is the coordinator of the Iowa Radio Project which is being conducted by the UI
School of Public Health and aims to reduce unintended pregnancies among Latinas in Iowa.
Connie L. Kohler is project co-director. She is a member of the faculty of the School of Public Health
at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Kohler has been involved in the production of four
radio dramas for health promotion and is currently working on her second Spanish language
Shelly Campo, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health and
Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa, Director, Center for Health
Communication and Social Marketing. Dr. Campo’s areas of expertise include health campaigns, risk
communication, and persuasion. She has worked on a range of health topics focusing on how to adopt
new, or reinforce existing health attitudes and behaviors using innovative, theory- and data-driven
communication research. She has developed and/or evaluated numerous health campaigns for
different audiences including, college students, young adults, rural populations, and minority
populations on a range of topics, such as binge drinking prevention, occasional smoking prevention,
colorectal cancer screening, smoking cessation, and hazing.
1:30 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
Nurturing Undocumented Student Talent in Public Schools -Room 2520D
This workshop will provide tips and strategies for public school educators on how to nurture
and support the academic achievement and college going of undocumented students. It will provide
participants with information about undocumented students, examples of successful interventions,
and will help each participant develop a concrete action plan to support students in their
William Perez, Author and Associate Professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University. Dr.
Perez’ research focuses on the social and psychological development of immigrant youth. He also
studies the academic achievement and higher education access of Latino students. His most recent
work examines the achievement motivation and civic engagement of undocumented students. Before
joining CGU, professor Perez worked at various research institutes including the RAND Corporation,
the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and the
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.
Cultural Competency: Integrating the Immigration Story Into our Work with Latino Clients-Room
Understanding the immigration story of Latinos integrating into our communities is crucial for
mental health professionals and community members alike. In order to facilitate the successful
transition of all newcomers it is essential to study the immigration stories and prepare mental health
professionals for the job of dealing with the emotional trauma that may be associated with
immigration. This workshop will demonstrate ways to integrate the immigration story of Latinos living
in the Midwest into the repertoire of service providers. Mental health care practitioners and
community members alike will learn new ways to integrate cultural competency into daily practice by
utilizing the stories of families crossing the border as well as narrative therapy techniques to enhance
the practitioner patient relationship. Understanding the immigration story is useful for anyone
wanting to understand the greater needs of the immigrant community.
The presenter will utilize many real life case examples that she has collected in her years as a bilingual
social worker providing services to Latino immigrants in rural Iowa. This approach is also useful with
students who have reported that they feel a true sense of empathy and a stronger connection to the
undocumented immigrants living in their communities. As well, an understanding of the immigration
story is essential for mental health practitioners working with Latino immigrants in a clinical setting.
These stories can greatly increase the cultural competence of practitioners and community members
wanting to facilitate a successful transition for the newcomers immigrating to the Midwest.
Dr. April Dirks-Bihun joined Mount Mercy University’s Social Work Department in 2008 and received
her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Iowa. She has extensive clinical experience in the
mental health field and in private practice. As a therapist, she specialized in narrative therapy, crisis
intervention, depression, child abuse, and other emotional issues. Special topics of interest in
teaching and research are child welfare, cultural competency, suicide, at-risk youth, Latino families,
trauma, and human sexuality. Her research has been on strain theory and suicidal ideation among
maltreated adolescents as well as child welfare and immigration among Latino families.
Domestic Violence in Iowa: Latina's Experiences with Organizational Response-Room 2520C
This research , a feminist narrative study, was designed to explore Latina victims’ experiences
and perceptions of current organizational and advocacy responses to domestic violence interventions.
Understanding how cultural and social factors influence Latina victims’ experiences with partner
abuse is essential for the development of interventions and policies culturally appropriate to meet
their particular needs. The primary data-collection method for this study was in-depth interviews,
with a focus group used as a supportive method. The purposefully selected sample was composed of
10 Latina victims of partner abuse who had previously contacted an anti-violence organization in Iowa
and had used its services. The data were coded and organized according to the research questions.
Analysis and interpretation of results were organized by way of three categories based on the study’s
literature review and theoretical framework: (a) barriers influencing immigrant Latina victims’ help-
seeking behaviors, (b) immigrant Latina victims’ perceptions about and experiences with advocacy
services, (c) perceptions of immigrant Latina victims about how advocacy services need to change so
victims of domestic violence can satisfy their full range of needs. Findings demonstrate immigration
status, fear of partner and the inability to understand domestic violence given cultural norms, as
major barriers keeping them from seeking help from formal advocacy agencies. Other impediments
included the lack of knowledge of resources, lack of language proficiency in mainstream institutions,
isolation and feelings of shame. In addition, results indicate that anti-violence services for Latina
victims meet their full range of needs, yet there is a need for the development of more programs and
services focusing on providing education/job-skill training to victims so they can achieve work and
education-based self-sufficiency. Dr. Brenda Lohman and Dr. Marta Maldonado, both professors at Iowa
State University, were the supervisors for this thesis research.
Angelica Reina is originally from Colombia, where she earned a B.A. in psychology from Pontificia
Universidad Javeriana. She completed the M.S. in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at Iowa State
University and is now completing the PhD in Human Development and Family Studies program at ISU.
She has a professional and personal interest in conducting research that generates new knowledge
from Latinos’ lived experiences in the Midwest. As there is little research, at this point, regarding
Latina victims of domestic violence, her research area is very important.
Employment Discrimination and Immigration Law-Room 2520B
The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) recently received a grant from the
U.S. Department of Justice for the purpose of undertaking a popular education campaign on the non-
discrimination rights of foreign-born workers. The campaign’s primary goal is to reach a large,
diverse, and underserved population of immigrants in the Iowa and Nebraska meatpacking and
construction industries. A secondary goal is to reach employers and the public in Iowa meatpacking
communities acutely affected by immigration law enforcement activities and/or recent dramatic
increases in immigrant populations.
The primary goal of this presentation is to introduce the UICHR as a potential partner and ally in
efforts to strengthen Latino/a communities in Iowa. Our presentation will outline the goals and vision
of the UICHR and provide an overview of the programs. The UICHR would like to have the opportunity
to address the attendees of the conference to inform them about our work and our desire to partner
with community members and organizations in efforts to reach and serve a large and diverse
population of immigrants in Iowa’s workforce. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with
individuals and organizations.
Amy Weismann, UI Center for Human Rights
Amy is a licensed attorney and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has
served on the Steering Committee for the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and is currently
Steering Committee member for the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition (IIEC). She has worked
with statewide organizations, including Justice for our Neighbors and the IIEC, to educate the public
and immigrant communities about immigration law and policy, international refugee law, and human
rights. She also teaches on human rights law, policy, and advocacy.
Kelsey Kramer, UI Center for Human Rights
Kelsey serves full time at the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights in Iowa City. She works with
the staff and interns at the center to build capacity, organize community events, and partner with
other local organizations to promote human rights education and awareness.
Kelsey graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in creative writing and music. She has
experience working as a staff member for the 10,000 Hours Show of Eastern Iowa, the Ronald
McDonald House, and as a clerk at the law firm of Grefe and Sidney in Des Moines. Last summer, she
spent time teaching English to university students in the Middle East. During her time at the UICHR,
she hopes to help launch educational campaigns in Iowa City and partner with other organizations to
creatively, effectively reach the community.
3:15 P.M.-4:45 P.M.
Nurturing Undocumented Student Talent in Public Schools - (continued) Room 2520D
Serving Latino Communities in Iowa: A Provider Panel- Room 2390
A panel of three Latino professionals would present their experience serving the Latino
population in the areas of education, community organizing, and mental health. A summary by each
panelist of the work they do and the types of strengths and needs they observe in the community will
be presented by each member of the panel, followed by questions from participants and discussion.
The main focus of the panel will be on cultural competence to better serve the Latino population.
Maria L. Buendia Lobato was born and raised in Mexico City until the age of twenty. She and her
family moved to Iowa in 1980, she attended the University of Iowa obtaining her degrees of a BS in
Psychology in 1988 and a MA in Mental Health Counseling in 1993. She obtained her License of
Mental Health Counselor and has served the Latino community in Muscatine, Iowa in the area of
clinical counseling for thirteen years. She has now her private practice in Muscatine four days a week
and in Iowa City one day. She works with all age populations providing individual, couple, and family
therapy services in both languages, Spanish and English. She enjoys having her own practice and
predominantly works with children.
Georgina Buendia-Cruz was born in Mexico City. She was enrolled at the Universidad Autonoma de
Mexico before immigrating to the USA. She came to the state of Iowa and attended The University of
Iowa obtaining a BA degree in Anthropology and Spanish with a Certificate in Latin American Studies.
Her work experience includes working with migrant and immigrant populations. She has been
employed by the Columbus Community School District in Columbus Junction, IA for the last ten years
as a Family Contact person. Her main goal is to see more and more immigrant students attending and
graduating from college. She strongly believes that education is the key to success.
Carlos Rich joined the Center for New Community in 2007 to lead the grassroots and congregation-
based organizing efforts to address immigrant worker health issues in meat packing and poultry
processing communities in Iowa. The first phase of this work began in 2007 and continues through
He has organized Health Action Councils in Columbus Junction, Washington, and West Liberty, Iowa.
In the summers of 2008 and 2009 he also organized H2-A farm workers in Conesville, Iowa, around
health care issues. H2-A is a special temporary visa linked to employment for seasonal agricultural
workers. Carlos has trained response teams to help families who fear sudden attacks by ICE (U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents in Columbus Junction, Muscatine, Washington, and
West Liberty. On May 1, 2009, he addressed the students at University of Iowa’s march for
immigration reform in Iowa City. Carlos is a part of the Health Steering Committee for Louisa County
Low Income Clinics. He is a consultant to FACES – Families and Children Emergency Service group in
Muscatine, IA. He is on the board of the Young Professionals group in Washington, Iowa. As a
volunteer he is tutoring a young man in the literacy for adults program and he assists with English as a
Second Language (ESL) classes in Columbus Junction.Carlos previously worked as a Community Living
Program Coordinator in Wichita, Kansas and also for the Wichita Children's Home. He earned a
Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Kansas State University in 2003. He also volunteered for Big
Brother/Big Sister in Wichita.
Immigrant Rights and Employee Safety on the Job-Room 2520B
Protecting workers’ health and safety is a complex enterprise that must take into account cultural
differences and educational levels. This session will present information on occupational safety and
health challenges Latino workers face in the workplace to expand knowledge of their workplace rights
and improve their ability to exercise those rights. This session will provide participants with an
overview of the rights of workers granted in the OSHA Act and an overview of the jurisdictional
differences between Federal OSHA and the State of Iowa OSHA plan. The session will provide
participants with an overview of specific health and safety requirements in industry and the resources
available to workers. Various handout materials will be available.
Mary McLaughlin is a certified industrial hygienist with OSHA’s Des Moines Area Office. She conducts
safety and health inspections of various workplaces. She graduated from Purdue University with a
degree in Environmental Health and a major in Industrial Hygiene. She has worked with the State of
Iowa as a 21(d) Industrial Hygiene Consultant and as an industrial hygiene compliance officer helping
employers develop and implement Safety and Health programs and conducting inspections of
workplaces to identify hazards. She worked 6 years managing safety and health programs, conducting
safety and health training and evaluations for Texas Instruments in Massachusetts. She also worked
for General Electric in their Transportation Systems division (GETS) where she co-chaired union labor
management committees and provided assistance in achieving OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program
(VPP) STAR certification. Following GE she worked as a Safety and Health Professional contractor with
Advancia Corporation in St. Louis, MO and provided environmental, safety and health expertise to the
Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA's) facilities. She also worked for USDOL MSHA and provided
safety and health expertise to the small mine operations in Iowa and Minnesota.