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Iowa Commission Of Latino Affairs Announces New Project

Eight commissioners pose for a picture in front of a blue bike sculpture.
Caleb Knutson
Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs
The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs teamed with Hola Iowa to create a project focused on influential Latinos in 2020. From left, Valerie Notle, Sonia Reyes, Jeannette Brown, Lorena Gingerich, Gilbert Nuñez, Alfonso Perez, Caleb Knutson and Marlu Abarca."

The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs has started a collaboration with Hola Iowa, a bilingual news outlet focused on Latino communities in Iowa and western Illinois. They loosely named the project “Latinos You Should Know.” The entire issue of the Hola Iowa publication will be devoted to highlighting the work of 20 Latinos of 2020.

Caleb Knutson, chair of the initiative and the commission, said the idea came to him when he was at the Latino Political Network gala last year.

“And there were all these amazing people, and half of them I’d never even heard of," Knutson said. "I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, like why have I not heard this story? Why have I not heard their stories?’”

The piece will include one section for the “pioneers” in the Latino community, which Knutson labels as the people who helped the Latino community get to where it is today. Another section will be for the “up and comers," which will focus on young Latinx leaders in the community.

Tar Macias, the publisher of Hola Iowa, said the organization has been looking for a partner to do something like this for a while.

“They’re going to be the right partner to create something like this, to identify people throughout the whole state who are making a difference in the Latino community," Macias said.

Nominations will be accepted soon. Macias said the feature will come out in either October of this year, or early next year.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines