State Officials Host 2022 MLK Day Online Celebration

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Current and former members of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans look to the future on this feast of Martin Luther King, Jr..

Former Negus Commission Member Sankofa Imhotep is the Workforce Coordinator and Des Moines Public Schools Coordinator for Urban Dreams, an organization that offers a range of social service programs.

“I constantly see the flow of people from all over the country migrating into the state…a lot of immigrants and refugees coming to Iowa,” he said at a hosted online event. by the committee. “I can see the whole fabric of the state changing before my eyes.”

Beyond diversity, Imhotep said the goal should be the inclusion of all people.

“Not just some, not because of your ethnic makeup or your religious affiliation, I think everyone should be considered,” he said. “…to have a role, to have a say in what needs to be done within our communities, within this state.”

Dubuque Commission member Veronica Sutton suggested it was time for grassroots activism. “Here in Iowa, as people of color, we need to come together, we need to come together with one accord to really address these issues because letting other people do what affects us doesn’t work. “Sutton said. “…We have to respect and determine our own destiny and that’s what keeps me going because I know it will happen, we just have to make it happen.”

Ahmadu Baba-Singhri, a sociology professor at Grand View University in Des Moines, is the chairman of the Iowa Commission on the Status of African Americans. Baba-Singhri said Iowa’s future is “more integrated” than it has ever been, “but I can see a bright future because of the different racial and ethnic groups coming together.”

It was the second year that the state ceremony marking Martin Luther King Day was held online due to the pandemic. In-person events are also being held across the state.

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