Iowa Equity Challenge Day 20

Day 20 of 21



Iowa is fortunate to welcome an increasingly diverse population, which in turn strengthens our state. 


Introducing new cultures, languages, and beliefs into our communities benefits everyone — broadening our understanding of the world, teaching us about who we are as individuals, and helping us relate to others with different experiences. This enhances our empathy and deepens our connections with other human beings. Additionally, introductions to art, food, innovations, and traditions that have not historically been represented in Iowa strengthens our economy and workforce.


It’s not only racial and cultural diversity that makes Iowa strong. We also have to recognize the diversity of religious beliefs, gender and sexuality, and immigration status. 


This 21-Day Equity Challenge has covered many equity topics, but there is still so much more to explore. Use this day to learn more about minoritized communities that we haven’t yet discussed in the challenge.


Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between minoritized and minority.
  • Identify issues unique to specific minoritized communities.
  • Determine what steps you can take to make your workplace or community more equitable, welcoming, or accessible to a minoritized community.


Today's Activities


Choose one or more of these daily activities to learn about today’s topic. Plan to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to complete the activities and journal about your thoughts and feelings.


Listen to “Marginalized to Whom? A Conversation with Shamari Reid” (36:59), an episode of the Leading Equity podcast, about the power of words and the importance of accuracy, as well as guidelines for using words like “minority,” marginalized,” and “minoritized.” 

Note: If you prefer, you can read the transcript rather than listening to the entire episode.



Watch “The History of American Diversity” (2:15) from FUSION for a breakdown and projection of the U.S. population in 2016, as well as the racial makeup of Congress and voting power by race.



Read “Minority vs. Minoritized” from Odyssey and then reflect on the loaded language we use when talking about BIPOC individuals and those typically called “minorities.” Is there better and more accurate language out there?



Explore “What I Hear When You Say, a video series from PBS that explores the impact of our words and how they can unite and divide us. Hear from a diverse group of people about their reactions to these words and the effect on their lived experiences.


Capture what you learned by writing down your thoughts and feelings about today's content.

  • What was your “aha moment” (moment of surprise or new information)?
  • Does this information change your perspective?
  • How will you use what you learned today to create more equitable spaces? 
  • Is there a marginalized community you want to learn more about? Why?

Download a free journal page for today.


Additional Resources & Activities


If you would like to dig deeper into this issue, check out these additional resources. We encourage you to revisit this material when you have more time. Feel free to come back to this topic as often as you’d like!



  • Watch the TEDx Talk “The Muslim on the Airplane” (15:58) to hear poet Amal Kassir talk about how our deep ethnic divides can slowly start to close by asking one another: “What’s your name?”
    Note: This video contains racial slurs, including slurs for Muslims, people of Middle Eastern descent, and Black Americans.
  • Watch Muslim Americans Bust Myths About Their Faith” (12:14) from SoulPancake to hear Americans who happen to be Muslim humorously dispel common misconceptions about Islam and explian how our community members practice Islam today.
  • Explore the Pew Research Center’s report “Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics” to dive into the religious demographics of Iowa. Learn how many adults in Iowa practice some form of religion, how many do not, and what religions are represented.
  • Read Compare Beliefs of 7 Major Christian Denominations” (18 min) from Learn Religions, a comprehensive review of the differences, and similarities, of the major Christian denominations practiced in the United States.
  • Read “Religion: How to talk about it properly” (6 min) from the Chicago Tribune for practical tips on talking about religion with others. Using these tips, alongside thoughtful personal reflection on our own beliefs, we can better communicate with other community members and learn and grow together. 
  • Watch A Jewish Comedian on Respecting Others' Religious Beliefs” (3:01) to hear comedian and Orthodox Jew Ashley Baker reflect on the impact of others’ assumptions in this PBS NewsHour segment.



  • Explore this LGBTQ+ Glossary of Terms from the Human Rights Campaign to learn more about the words used to describe the identities and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning individuals, as well as  those who do not identify as straight or as the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Read GLAAD's “Tips for Allies of Transgender People” (9 min) to learn what allies can do to ensure our transgender community members feel safe, understood, and appreciated. Transgender individuals face violence at higher rates than most populations. This is especially true for transwomen of color. We have the power to decrease that violence, and it starts with being a better ally.
  • Read What Are Personal Pronouns and Why Do They Matter?”  (2 min) for a quick and easy explanation of pronouns and why people are starting to include them in introductions and email signatures.
  • Read “Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement” (10 min) from PBS for a timeline of LGBTQ+ advocacy in the United States, starting in 1924.




Non-White Communities

  • Watch the TEDx Talk “What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States” to hear Fernanda Ponce talk about her experience as a Latina and Hispanic woman, the political and economic power and cultural impact of the Latino community, and the importance of understanding the labels we place on one another.
  • Watch A Quick Breakdown Of The Difference Between Hispanic, Latino And Spanish” (4:29) from HuffPost for a brief explanation of “Hispanic,” “Latino,” and “Spanish” — three terms we sometimes use interchangeably but that are distinctly different.
  • Explore PBS’s Black Culture Connection, a resource and guide to the films, stories and voices across public television centered around Black history and culture.  
  • Watch The Twisted Truth Behind the ‘Model Minority’ Stereotype” (5:27) from “Adam Ruins Everything” for a humorous explanation of the origin of our “minority” stereotypes.
  • Listen to episodes from the All My Relations podcast with Makita Wilbur and Adrienne Keene, two indigenous women who explore how their indigenous identities affect their relationships. Their first season covers topics such as Native mascots, fashion, identity, and politics.



Share your reflections on today’s topic on social media using the hashtag #IowaEquityChallenge.



Next Topic: Next Steps