What does it mean to be Iowan to you? A project to showcase community voices

What does it mean to be Iowan to you? A project to showcase community voices

Last week, we launched our summer essay series: What does it mean to be Iowan to you? We are asking you, members of the community, to answer this question in your own words. We’ve already gotten some intriguing responses. Remember:  Submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, June 23 Short stories, personal essays, original non-fiction written work and poems can be up to 500 words, and must be submitted by the author Please send submissions, along with a photo of yourself, to engage@wecreatehere.net with the subject line “What does it mean to be an Iowan to you?” Full details here. We had a few different goals in creating this essay series. One, we wanted to create a safe space for sharing stories. We hope voices that aren’t often heard in traditional media and community narratives feel free to speak here. With diversity being one of the key focus areas for We Create Here, we wanted to showcase diverse perspectives, raw and unfiltered. Two: We have a hunch that the answer to the question might be changing rapidly. Consider: 70 of Iowa’s 99 counties are losing population Iowa is getting older: By 2020, it is estimated that one in every five Iowans will be age 65 or older. Minority populations are one area of population growth in the state. Iowa’s Hispanic population grew 153 percent from 1990 to 2000. The state’s projected Latino population in 2030 will be 330,420, according to one estimate. As our state changes, what do we need to do to change with it? And what values of the past should we hold on to? Why…