2016 Dialogue Series Program Information

The Iowa International Center is proud to welcome
Meredith Corporation as the new partner and host of the
Dialogue Series programs.

All Dialogue programs will take place from Noon to 1:00 p.m. on scheduled dates, in the Meredith Corporation Conference Core at 1716 Locust Street in downtown Des Moines.

Free parking is available for the public in the on-site parking garage.

Please call 515-282-8269, ext. 15 


 Mark Your Calendar for These Upcoming Programs!

Out of Harm’s Way: The Plight of Undocumented Child Immigrants Fleeing Danger in Central America

Tuesday, September 13 – Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Kenia Calderon, an advocate for undocumented immigrants and those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status; and April Palma, an immigration attorney; will shed light on the circumstances affecting children who illegally cross the U.S. border at Mexico to escape violence, crime, poverty and governmental corruption in their native countries. A 2016 Passport to Prosperity Honoree and one of The Des Moines Register’s 15 People to Watch in 2015, Kenia and her family fled brutal violence in El Salvador in 2005. Now, a senior at Drake University, Kenia has garnered local and national attention for her advocacy during her college years. April joined Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors as the Unaccompanied Minors Staff Attorney last year, and has since provided legal representation at hearings before immigration judges for more than 60 children.

China’s Rise: Questions of Peace and Power Struggle as the Country Ascends 

Tuesday, October 11 – Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Dr. David Skidmore, Ph.D., will address one of the most significant questions in international politics today: will China’s growing power disrupt or maintain the current political order? Through a discussion of both perspectives, Dr. Skidmore will introduce the differing factions of this defining political debate. He’ll present a historical viewpoint, which suggests the risk of a great power war has increased during periods when a rising power challenges the dominant one, and China’s growth in an American-dominated international system will be the same. He’ll also present the idea that the current liberal international order is easy to join and hard to overturn, giving China incentive to preserve rather than challenge the status quo. Dr. Skidmore is the Director the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, both at Drake University. He previously taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China, and served as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.

When One is the ‘Other’: An Introspective on You and Me  

Tuesday, November 8 – Noon to 1:00 p.m.

In 2015, Lorenzo Sandoval became the first minority member of the 125-year-old Prairie Club, an exclusive group of thoughtful leaders that gathers monthly for intellectual discussion and debate on a carefully researched paper by one of its members. In September, as the newly elected president, he presented a powerful paper, Tomorrow Will Not Be an Other Day. Lorenzo will share insights from his paper, which focuses on ‘otherizing’—assigning the opposite characteristics of one’s self onto others—and includes remarks on his youth in the Quad Cities and being treated differently than his friends. Today, Lorenzo is the artistic director and executive producer of the Iowa Shakespeare Experience. Lorenzo has held numerous leadership positions at the local, state and regional level, as well as in the non-profit and Latino communities. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa’s prestigious Playwrights Workshop.

Celebratory Season: Winter Holidays in Different Countries, Cultures and Religions

Tuesday, December 13 – Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Ambassadors from CultureALL, a nonprofit organization that creates cultural experiences to provide understanding and appreciation of world cultures, will showcase the different winter holidays they celebrate. Olena Gryn will explore the ways Christmas traditions in her native Ukraine, which are based on pre-Christian pagan customs, differ from the more common Christian practices. Ana Rodriguez, who moved to Des Moines from her native Guadalajara, Mexico, five years ago, will outline the distinctions of Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a wintertime Christian holiday celebrated in Mexico. Orthodox Jew Abe Goldstien will explain the practices involved in the celebration of Hanukkah. Mohammed Ghenm, who was born and raised in Jordan before immigrating to the U.S. in 2011, will describe the Islamic holiday of Mawlid an-Nabi. Sherry Gupta, CultureALL Founder and Executive Director, will moderate the panel discussion.


Yoga and Your Resolutions: Bringing Its Physical and Mental Benefits into the New Year

Tuesday, January 10 – Noon to 1:00 p.m.

The New Year is a great time to discover the physical and mental health benefits of yoga, just as certified instructor Lily Hou did. After realizing the transformative effects of yoga, Lily developed a passion for exploring its ancient heritage. Over the past 15 years, she has trained with renowned yoga instructors around the world. Now, as the owner of Green Yoga House, Lily blends her extensive knowledge of body alignments and exercise safety to design yoga sequences that accommodate her clients’ needs, including arthritis, injury, anxiety and depression. In this program, Lily will introduce the historical background of various yoga practices and engage the audience in several yoga poses. For those wanting to participate, comfortable and non-restrictive clothing is strongly encouraged.



 Please email jconlin@iowainternationalcenter.org or call 515-282-8269, ext. 13.


About the Iowa International Center Dialogue Series

The Iowa International Center Dialogue Series is a monthly forum highlighting current international issues, offering perspective on current events and providing audience members the opportunity to ask questions and learn from local and global experts.

All Iowa International Center Dialogue Series events are free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring lunch to the event. 

Watch previous Dialogue Series programs on YouTube.