Polk County and Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa are starting the New Year by creating opportunities for people across Iowa to network and to share data around violence in different communities. Monsoon serves victims / survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in Iowa. Monsoon’s mission is to end all forms of gender-based violence and build healthy communities through transformative justice and social change. The purpose of their new project is to write comparative research briefs in which they demonstrate the effects and existence of violence in seven culturally-specific communities: Latinx, LGBTQ+, Deaf/Hard-of-hearing, Asian&Paicific Islanders, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Immigrants/Refugees.

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Monsoon 3“The goal is to build capacity within the field to be sustainable,” says Norio Umezu, one of the project directors from Monsoon. “[We want to] expand [the] advisory committee to build a structure that includes organizations that have been historically funded, as well as the organizations that don’t but do good work.” Umezu refers to many organizations across the state, and nationally that work with victims/survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who may not have the supporting research about their community when applying for grants. The focus for now is creating community profiles in Des Moines, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City.


By creating these research briefs about these communities, organizations would have data and information to present when applying for funding nationwide. The project focuses on the experiences of the seven specific communities in the areas of healthcare, violence, housing/jobs, and immigration/criminal justice. “By hosting focus groups and community forums, we can explore how to build stronger networks and build a leadership development pipeline in these communities,” Itzel Padrón Zuñiga, Monsoon Youth Program Coordinator tells Hola Iowa.

For more information on this project or for ways to get you or your organization involved, call Itzel at 515.288.0881 or email [email protected]

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