Meet Amy Alice Chastain: Promoter of Diversity and Inclusion
Originally published July 7, 2022
June was Global Ties US' month emphasizing Diversity and Inclusion! With this in mind, we want to highlight our Board President and Interim Executive Director, Amy Alice Chastain, and her work in this area.
Amy is part of the Global Ties US Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) inaugural working group. They represent stakeholders in the Global Ties network with the goal of collectively pursuing best practices to make sure the workers and administrators of all International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLPs) are representative of the diversity of the US. This group works to not show just one side of the US’ story, but to expose visitors to the depth of what this country has to offer.
One project this group has been working on is revising city descriptions in IVLP program books. When working on Eastern Iowa’s description, Amy included information about the Indigenous people on the land where we operate these programs. Several still live and thrive in the area. There is a focus on the historical settlement of the area, and the origin of the people and who is historically represented here. The description includes more instrumental movements and their results in the area, such as Iowa City's LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
Amy wants to use this framework of diversity at Global Ties Iowa to broaden our network and increase inclusivity in our area. We do not want the same voices, faces, and ideas; we want to be drawing from the entirety of the community. She wants Global Ties Iowa to be intentional in our conversations around board development, professional resources, expansion and development of them. We are trying to build upon those relationships. We want more voices at the table with us in decision-making with our visitors.
Preceding and alongside her recent work, Amy teaches classes at the University of Iowa in intercultural communication and engagement, as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with the international student population. She is the outreach coordinator for ESL Programs and is becoming the faculty co-chair of the Presidential Charter committee for DEI at the University of Iowa. Her impact on Global Ties Iowa has been significant. Thank you for all your hard work, Amy!