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University of Iowa News Release

April 25, 2005

College Of Education Diversity Committee Sponsors Talk, Picnic

The University of Iowa College of Education Diversity Committee is hosting two special events Wednesday, April 27, including a talk on Muslim American stereotypes and a spring picnic.

Both events are free and open to the public.

An Asian American Speaker Event, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Lindquist Center's Jones Commons, will feature a keynote address by Saba Ali, Ph.D., titled "Muslim American: an Oxymoron? Challenging Stereotypes." Ali, a professor in the college's Counseling Psychology Program, will examine the misperceptions of Muslim Americans and provide information that will counter stereotypes, as well as discuss discrimination issues faced by Muslims in America since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Muslims are projected to be the second largest religious group in the United States by the year 2010," Ali said. "Yet, many Americans remain largely suspicious of this group and often assume that Muslims are 'foreigners' who are inherently anti-Western and have no allegiance to the United States. Because of recent world events, various sources of media have either knowingly or unknowingly perpetuated this misunderstanding."

The talk is in anticipation of Asian American Heritage Month, which officially takes place in May.

Immediately following the talk will be the committee's annual Spring Diversity Picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lindquist Center Courtyard (or in Jones Commons if it rains). The event, which celebrates diversity initiatives within the college, will include a free lunch and complementary dessert. And the committee will award its annual Audrey Qualls Commitment to Diversity Award to one staff member and one faculty member.

For more information, contact Rossina Z. Liu, graduate assistant with the College of Education Diversity Committee, at rossina-liu@uiowa.edu

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu. Program: Rossina Z. Liu, graduate assistant with the College of Education Diversity Committee, at rossina-liu@uiowa.edu