Tina Shaw - Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs

iowa department of human rights

November 30, 2018

Commission of Asian & Pacific Islander (CAPI) Affairs


Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs


  • Guest Commentary: Curses of the Caste System

  • Winter Home-Heating Assistance Program: LIHEAP

  • Pop. Data: 'Post-Millennials'    Gen Z

  • Naturalization - Citizenship Test Preparation

  • Persons with Disabilities:

    Financial Planning - ABLE Accounts

  • Sr. Volunteerism - Senior Companion Program

  • Eldercare - Caregiver Statistics


GUEST COMMENTARY: Curses of the Caste System

The Caste System has found its inroads into Iowa from the countries of origin which mainly include India, Bhutan and Nepal – all in South Asia.

Although, progressive-minded Hindus claim they are free of this social evil, it is still practiced covertly or overtly. Discrimination on the basis of caste, or “untouchability,” would include the practice of banishing entry of Sudras into the so-called higher-caste homes and an obsession with supremacy of birth - which still continues unabated.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that some changes are taking place particularly among the educated mass who do realize that Casteism is an inhuman practice. There is a tendency to break the barriers. For instance, there have been cases of inter-caste marriages, dining together in public places, visiting temples and some limited entry into the houses of the so-called upper caste Hindus.

Read the full article...

Guest Commentary: Curses of the Caste System

POP. DATA: ‘Post-Millennial’ Generation Z Study

A new report from the Pew Research Center concludes "Early Benchmarks Show ‘Post-Millennials’ on Track to Be Most Diverse, Best-Educated Generation Yet - A demographic portrait of today’s 6- to 21-year-olds". Full report and analysis available.

Source: Pew Research Center

Related Article: "Generation Z Is The Most Racially And Ethnically Diverse Yet"

Iowa Public Radio

Post Millennial_Pew 2018


Financial Planning - ABLE Accounts

ABLE accounts are tax-deferred savings accounts that are closely modeled on 529 education savings plans. While ABLE is a federal program, much like 529 education plans, each state is responsible for crafting and administering its own program. In Iowa, the program is call IAble...

ABLE Accounts button

ELDERCARE - Caregiver Statistics

From the Pew Research Center, "about one-in-seven U.S. adults (15%) provide unpaid care of some kind to another adult, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And caregiving is often seen as a very meaningful activity for those providing care."

"...On average, adult caregivers in the United States spend almost an hour and 20 minutes a day providing unpaid assistance, but there is wide variation. About one-in-five caregivers (22%) spend less than 20 minutes a day on caregiving, while at the other end of the spectrum, 11% spend three hours or more a day providing care."

Source: Pew Research Center

Caregiver avg day_Pew

Winter Home-Heating Assistance Program: LIHEAP

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally-funded program designed to assist low-income families meet the cost of home heating by providing a one-time payment to the heating utility. Visit the Iowa Dept. of Human Rights Community Action Agencies official website to learn more... 

LIHEAP 18-19

NATURALIZATION - Test Preparation

Based in Des Moines, Lutheran Services of Iowa - Refugee Community Services, in a partnership with Justice for Our Neighbors, offers eligible students the opportunity to study for the naturalization exam in a structured, leveled class AND allows them priority access to legal services through LSI's legal partner - Iowa JFON.

Please see the below flyer for upcoming informational meetings...

Details: Classes are 10-weeks long. The next session will run from January 22, 2019 to March 28, 2019. High Beginning class (CASAS 190-200) meets on Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday from 10am-12pm. Intermediate class (CASAS 201-210) meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm. Each student receives their own textbook(s). (CASAS = Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems)

Eligibility: Students need to be a legal permanent resident who has lived in the US for at least 4 years and 9 months and has not left the country for more than 6 months at a time. Students DO NOT have to have come through the refugee resettlement process--LSI is offering these services to all legal permanent residents. LSI also requires a CASAS Reading score between 190-200 (High Beginning class) or 201-210 (Intermediate class)--testing takes place at registration. Students must also pay a $20 enrollment fee.

Source: LSI - Refugee Community Services

Related website: USCIS Citizenship Hub

LSI Citizenship Test Prep

SR. VOLUNTEERISM - Senior Companion Program

The Senior Companion Program (SCP) continuously recruits both Senior Companion volunteers and clients. 

What are they looking for most in potential volunteers? SCP is looking for people who want to feel needed and do not feel a sense of purpose. People who want to help and fit the Federal guidelines for serving. People who want to make more connections and friends in their community.

ERRANDS: Senior Companions help the client prep for errands by assisting with: list-making, dressing for the weather, walking to the car safely, dropping client off at front of the store, shopping with client while reading prices/labels, ensuring proper payment and ensuring groceries/items are put-away once back to client home. *Senior Companions can also run errands for client if client unable to leave home.

APPOINTMENTS: Senior Companions can also help clients prepare for medical appointments by helping client set appointments, remember medical cards/payment, wait for client in waiting area or if client chooses, join them in appointment room. After the appointment, the Senior Companion can drive the client to other errands if needed.

COMPANIONSHIP: One of the most requested services is companionship for seniors who have depression, anxiety, and dementia symptoms and need another social support person to stay well. Survey indicates that 93% of Senior Companion clients feel more satisfied with life because of their Senior Companion, while 91% report they are able to maintain in their own homes because of their Senior Companion. The bond between client and Senior Companion is built on the client knowing he/she has a same-aged peer they can count on to come to see them each week and focus on what is important to the client whether it be sitting and talking, doing hobbies and games, or sorting mail.

RESPITE: Companions are able to provide respite for family caregivers

(Visiting Nurses of Iowa is now EveryStep. Please contact Julia Tiedeman for more information: juliat@everystep.org - 515-558-9957)

Sr. Comp. Program