Nearly every time the subject of immigrants and refugees in Iowa comes up, former Governor Robert D. Ray’s name is also mentioned. Ray rises above politics as a leader who endeared himself to Iowans through many years of public service. His association with the resettlement of refugees from Southeast Asia was part of a healing process from a war that internally divided two nations – theirs and ours. Governor Ray is Iowa’s senior statesman. This is the time to honor him and Billie for their commitment to creating a richly diverse population in the heartland of America. Our state recently celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the initiative to welcome refugees from Southeast Asia to our state under his leadership and guidance. By agreeing to be the focal point of this fundraising effort Governor and Mrs. Ray represent everything the Iowa International Center is trying to accomplish with today’s and tomorrow’s immigrants and refugees.
The Ray Initiative supports the following Multilingual Services for refugees and immigrants:
1) Interpretation and Translation Services – In-person oral interpretation, available in 60 different languages, help New Iowans access services and navigate life through critical appointments: doctor’s visits, parent-teacher conferences, housing support, and more. We also provide document translation. These services provide jobs for immigrants and refugees who are then able to support their communities.
2) 24/7 Emergency Interpretation Hotline – IIC helps field emergency calls where accurate communication is crucial to the well-being of people with limited English proficiency. This hotline is available in 120 languages and is an invaluable resource for first responders and those serving in crisis situations.
3) Accessible ELL classes – Our classes integrate cultural competence and practical skills to help those with limited English or literacy background become proficient and more comfortable using English in everyday life.
4) WelcomeToIowa website – A resource for New Iowans to help locate services directed towards immigrants and refugees.
Contact Executive Director, Patricia Grote, to learn more about how you can make an investment in the Ray Initiative at 515-282-8269 x13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.