TRM Blog: Race, gender and religion? Or ego, pride and control? Real-life intersectionality in Grinnell

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GRINNELL, IA — The straight white male history teacher could not have been more repentant. “I drew incorrect conclusions …. I misinterpreted … I did not paint an accurate picture,” he said of an attack letter he wrote about efforts to make Grinnell-Newburg’s public school curriculum more diverse and welcoming. “I failed to reach out… failed to take the time …. misinterpreted… had preconceived notions,” said Kent Kastendick. On he went, in at least 17 different ways, trying to pull back the wave of anger, suspicion and fear he inspired…

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Front-lines teacher raised in Iowa remembers few childhood chances to meet, know People of Color

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At a time when straight white men are leading so many fights against diversity, some straight white men are fighting the good fight. They include Kent Mick, a Grinnell High School history teacher who grew up in Humboldt, Ia., and has taught public schools in Iowa for most of his life. Mick knows from personal experience that being a native Iowan can mean little to no experience interacting with People of Color, even today. He recalls “barely being exposed to People of Color” as a child and teen, and said…

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Health care access tops this week’s Community Briefs // Plus new things to do, groups to join, people to celebrate

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Read progressive, LGBTQ-affirming and intersectional news tidbits throughout Iowa and Illinois. HEALTH • The Project of the Quad Cities, which serves Iowa and Illinois residents in a nine-county area, is now offering primary care for LGBTQ+ people. The 40-year-old nonprofit, based in Moline but serving both Iowa and Illinois counties, already has been providing no-charge testing and treatment of sexually-transmitted infections. In addition, The Project is working hard to spread word about its big annual Red Ribbon Gala coming in June, an outdoor affair focused on drawing out people who…

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30 Days of Capital City Pride // PrEP from Friends of Central Illinois // IC’s Freedom Riders reach out // Central Illinois LGBTQ+ Outreach: Community Briefs 3-20-21

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DES MOINES, IA — Look forward to “30 Days of Pride” from Capital City Pride this June. Its traditional three-day in-person event, typically Iowa’s largest Pride celebration, will convert to a full month of combined virtual and in-person events. The plan gives Capital City Pride room to adapt if social distancing and other guidelines need to change depending on vaccination rates and whether new COVID variants trigger social distancing restrictions anew, the gropu wrote. “People can expect to see almost all of our major Pride Fest Weekend events like Silent…

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Misguided anti-meth bill has regressive, anti-art, anti-business impacts

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Add yet another Republican-driven, over-reaching, and misinformed piece of legislation to the Iowa Legislature’s list of bad ideas this year: a 40 percent tax on glass pipes, plus several more increased costs and licensures. Proposed under the guise of slowing the damage of highly addictive methamphetamine, the bill if passed would instead hurt hundreds of small businesses across the state, opponents say. They predict it would drive out the glass art industry altogether, and further marginalize Iowa in the budding cannabis industry as states around Iowa move toward embracing the…

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Top 3 themes through March: intersectional women’s history, spoken word, and support

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Three timely themes define the newly-updated TRM Events Calendar: Women’s History with an intersectional eye, spoken word, and events focused on providing support — which are fast becoming more relevant as we gradually emerge from the COVID pandemic’s extreme isolation. WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH • Short films by four young female playwrights are the treat tonight at “Urban Exposure: Young Women in Film, courtesy of Figge Museum’s Urban Exposure Independent Film Project and Azubuike Arts. You can see “Coming Out Straight,” a short film by Paris Davis that depicts a world…

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Memories of One Iowa’s “You Be You”

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When U of I grad James Year first took these photos in April 2019, TRM was running thousands of printed copies all around Iowa. We never got around to posting this stunning collection online. I knew we would return to celebrate them one day. And here we are, at a time in history when finally it feels like something other than torture to remind ourselves of the joy of gathering. One Iowa’s “You Be You” show was groundbreaking in so many ways. It symbolized the potential of a connected eastern…

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Iowa City Pride’s 50th anniversary rescheduled to October

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IOWA CITY — Iowa City Pride will hold its belated 50th anniversary event in October 2021 instead of June, the group announced Wednesday. “Pride will look a little different in 2021, maybe more like a lame Middle school dance, with social distancing rather than the packed, sweaty, 15,000-person festival we celebrated in 2019,” the group announced in a media advisory posted on its Facebook page. “But you can be sure that we will be very colorful and full of Pride.” IC Pride decided to cancel last year’s festival, held in…

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COVID vaccine more accessible in Illinois, parts of Iowa; still unattainable for many

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New mass vaccination clinics for the Quad Cities, Springfield area, and the Siouxland, Iowa, area are among the steps the two states are taking as demand for COVID vaccinations continues to outpace supply. Meanwhile, demand in areas including Dubuque, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids remains so high that those who qualify under expanded eligiblity this week may still be waiting weeks for available appointments. Iowa and Illinois were already among the slowest states to vaccinate even before this week. Now that both states have expanded vaccine eligibility to adults under…

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Virtual ‘dog eat dog’ world of vaccine access calls for new tone, greater sensitivities (TRM Blog)

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We are now deep in the throes of pervasive vaccine inequity. No clearer illustration exists than a new suggestion floated to help boost the economy. “Restaurants and nightspots, hold an open night for the vaccinated!” suggested one heretofore trusted voice. “Entry allowed for anyone who can present proof of vaccination! Come on in, help restart the economy, show the world the benefits of getting vaccinated!” The rest of you? You are not invited. If you’re eligible to get an appointment and just can’t …. If your work schedule doesn’t allow…

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