Iowa Community Voices

A Commmunity Development and Leadership Program for Minority Residents on Iowa

Program Philosophy

The Iowa Community Voices program is a series of educational meetings designed to enhance the civic understanding and leadership skills of minorities and newly arrived immigrants to Iowa.

Program Objectives

  1. To introduce the leadership of the established community to the new immigrant residents and open a two-way dialog.
  2. To give new minority residents the knowledge and confidence to actively participate in community, school, and government activities.
  3. To help new minority residents make their voices heard in the community, school, and local government.
  4. To help participants develop a better understanding of leadership principles.
  5. To help participants connect with other new residents and explore the feasibility of joining together in new civic and/or neighborhood organizations.
Download the publication Organizing an Iowa Community Voices Program (.pdf)
[in English]
[en Español]
Download the publication Iowa Community Voices Planning Worksheets (.pdf)
[in English]
[en Español]


The Iowa Community Voices program is locally planned and conducted. A local planning committee is formed composed of 8 to 12 people. It is highly recommended that two-thirds of the planning committee speak Spanish (or the language of the target audience).

The planning committee typically meets three or four times before the program starts to develop the agenda, find a time and location for the program, arrange for speakers, translators, etc. A major part of the planning committee's responsibility is to identify issues important to Spanish speaking residents and develop the program agenda around these issues. The planning committee is also responsible for recruiting program participants.

Sample Program Agendas:
Storm Lake - a detailed agenda (.pdf)
Columbus Junction (.pdf file)
Ottumwa (.pdf file)
Mt. Pleasant (.pdf file)
Sioux City (.pdf file)

Sample Promotional Filers

One-page Overview - (.pdf file)
Columbus Junction - English and Spanish (.pdf file)
Ottumwa - Spanish (Microsoft Publisher 98 file)
Ottumwa - English (Microsoft Publisher 98 file)
Poster (17"x22") Columbus Junction (Word file)

Teaching Materials

Icebreaker - Get Acquainted exercise (Word file)
How to Get a Drivers License (in Spanish) (.pdf file)
Planning, Organizing and Leading Effective Meetings – (bilingual .pdf file) (PowerPoint presentation – 70 slides)
Communicating and Working Effectively as a Group (in English and Spanish). This is a detailed lesson with scripts written in both English and Spanish.
Resources for Renting and Buying a Home (in Spanish)
Health Resources (bilingual)
Employment Resources (bilingual)

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