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CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: melvin-shaw@uiowa.edu

Release: Oct. 4, 2000

Public forum on immigration is set for Oct. 9

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) on Monday, Oct. 9 will co-sponsor a public forum giving a group of 30 recently relocated Sudanese families and Iowa City area residents an occasion to discuss the challenges and opportunities of immigration.

The free and public discussion will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pheasant Ridge Community Center, 2626 Bartelt Road, Iowa City.

Asma Taha, a former Sudanese lawyer and a spokesperson for the group of families, will offer comments about some of the problems that the new immigrants are facing as they establish themselves in the Iowa City area.

Many of the families, most of whom have been granted political asylum in the United States, came to Iowa City because they heard the city is a hospital community and a safe harbor for political dissidents, says Taha, who is a UICHR Fellow. She says some of the families left their native country to avoid persecution brought on by the Sudanese government following pro-democracy activities.

The UICHR was founded in 1999 and is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, a year-long university commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UICHR reflects the university's commitment to a permanent presence for human rights issues and action on the university's Iowa City campus, its surrounding community, and beyond.

For more information, contact Asma Taha at (319) 341-0803 or the UICHR at (319) 335-3900 or visit the UICHR Web site at http://www.uichr.org