Voices in Color seeks to collect, preserve, and share the history of racial and ethnic diversity at Iowa State University through the lens of communities of color, inserting these stories in to Iowa State's historical narrative and archiveal record.

Stories of communities of color have traditionally been relegated to the margins of America's historical narrative and artifacts of communities of color have not been acquired and preserved by America's cultural heritage institutions. When stories about these communities are told, they are typically told from the perspective of Whiteness, continuing to deny these communities the agency to speak for themselves. This pattern holds true at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) like Iowa State University, where discussions of racial and ethnic diversity in Iowa State's history are typically limited to Jack Trice and George Washington Carver.

Individuals of color at PWIs face a multitude of obstacles. These obtacles include feelings of isoluation, a lack of mentorship, devaluing research centered on marginalized racial and ethnic communities, among others. Communities fo color (such as student organizations and cultural centers) provide spaces for students, faculty, and staff of color to build relationships, network, gain mentors, and provide an outlet for race-based frustrations. These communities are central to improving the quality of life for many members of marginalized racial and ethnic groups at PWIs.

Voices in Color is a collaborative project of the Iowa State University Library and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.

Using this site

Click on the "View Collections" tab to view photographs, documents, and oral histories documenting history of different (multi)cultural spaces.

Click on the "View Exhibits" tab to read the histories of (multi)cultural spaces and view curated photographs, documents, and oral histories about those spaces.