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Remembering and marking the lives lost to COVID-19 in 2021

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

As COVID deaths in Iowa surpass 7,000, we hear from the storytellers gathering voices that might otherwise be forgotten.

The dead carry their stories with them. This makes efforts to capture stories all the more important as a pandemic continues to claim Iowans.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with three people capturing stories in hopes of making sense of this moment and marking history with their perspectives. Journalist Courtney Crowder talks about the value of storytelling amid the pandemic. Vincent Valdez talks about remembering Latino and Hispanic Iowans on film. Last, Jin Chang shares his work to collect the stories of Asians at the University of Iowa, a historically white institution.


  • Courtney Crowder, Iowa columnist for The Des Moines Register
  • Vincent Valdez, documentary filmmaker
  • Jin Chang, graduate student at the University of Iowa who runs the Asian American Oral History Project
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa