(Iowa Civil Rights Commission; 12/10/97; 0800)


"Without volunteers, we wouldn't be nearly as effective in fighting discrimination. Without volunteers, our backlog would still be out of control and a number of our programs would either be cut way back or may not even exist," says Don Grove, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC).

According to Dawn Peterson, the manager of ICRC's Volunteer Mediation Program, "Our volunteer mediators alone have facilitated more than 100 settlements, which has saved thousands of hours in investigators' time and has worked to reduce our average case processing time by nearly seven months."

"We began using volunteers about five years ago. Volunteers are incredible. At any one time, between 80 and 100 people, from all over the State, from all walks of life, are donating their time and experience to help us fight discrimination," says Grove.

Volunteer opportunities at the ICRC include case mediation and investigation, legal research, testing, and administrative support. In the five months since July 1, 1997, the beginning of the State's fiscal year, 94 volunteers have worked nearly 1,500 hours, resolved 45 discrimination complaints, conducted 86 fair housing tests, and photocopied more than two hundred case files.

For more information regarding ICRC's volunteer opportunities, contact
Don Grove at 515-281-8084, 1-800-457-4416, ext, 1-8084, or E-Mail at <don.grove.@state.ia.us>.

(Contact: Don Grove 515-281-8084)