LGBTQ+ care now, transition care soon: TPQC expands support for health care equity

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QUAD CITIES — When Tyler Mitchell went to a general health care practitioner a few years ago, just as the groundbreaking HIV preventative treatment of PrEP was introduced, he was shocked at what he was not told. “I didn’t necessarily know a lot about PrEP at the time, so I didn’t attempt to engage about it,” said Mitchell, marketing and communications director for The Project of the Quad Cities. “But my provider was aware of the fact that I was a gay male and could be at an increased risk…

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Coralville artist returns to Eldon hometown for massive “American Gothic” mural

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ELDON, IA — It doesn’t get much better than this for a budding artist — or for a humble small town with a renowned American feature. Katlynne Hummell Underhill is painting the largest outdoor mural of her career (20 feet tall by 30 feet wide), featuring an iconic art image (the farmhouse from Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting), with the support of a revered arts organization (The Grant Wood Art Colony), in her hometown (Eldon, Ia.). And, her resourceful technique will likely help preserve her work longer and better. “I…

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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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Stealth agents, special agents: A lighter look at how COVID vaccines work

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“As an ICU nurse, I’ve watched far too many die from COVID in the past year. I’m also painfully aware of the horrific atrocities historically inflicted on minority and marginalized humans in the name of ‘science.’ I understand the reluctance of some to accept the vaccine. We do have so much work to do in science and in society to repair and heal our communities. It’s my hope that this vaccine — and my fun little column below — is part of that process.” — author Heather Fudala When you got…

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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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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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