MASON CITY, Iowa - It's an organization that's working to promote unity and diversity in North Iowa.
The North Iowa Diversity Appreciation Team was formed in 1997 as part of an initiative by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. The goal: to develop teams to discourage discrimination statewide.
While some of these teams have disbanded over the year, North Iowa's is still active 21 years later, and leader Merle Brockshus says the team has had an overall positive response from the community.
"Most of the people we talk to at our events about diversity are supportive 100%. They really do understand that america was based on a diverse background of people coming in from other countries because of the American dream."
He also notes the importance of including all of North Iowa and not just Mason City in the council.
"All these little towns are all affected by diversity, it's not just Mason City that has a diverse population. We see it in towns like Hampton, you see it in Northwood, you see it in Clear Lake, Garner, Britt and Forest City. Where the jobs are available, that's where people are coming in to work."
The council is also the organizer of the annual Ethnic Lunch at Central Park, which will be held this Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Downtown Mason City.
For those who are interested in joining the council, they meet every second Wednesday of the month at the Mason City Library.
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