CommUnity Crisis Services & Food Bank brings on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outreach Specialist

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Amel Ali of Iowa City is CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outreach Specialist.

Ali has spent more than 20 years in Iowa City, after moving there from Sudan with her family in 2000. At CommUnity, she will lead grassroots outreach efforts that build relationships and create personal connections with the goals of reducing stigma and increasing access to crisis services for all.

Ali says she’s passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, and hopes her work in the newly created position at CommUnity will help lower barriers to services. “In the immigrant community, in the Black community, in the Latinx community mental health isn’t really something that’s spoken about,” says Ali.

She’s familiar with how to help people experiencing a crisis, thanks to her background in healthcare. “I worked directly with the emergency department a lot, they called us red-hands, which is just a one to one suicide watch,” says Ali.

With the new position, Ali hopes to help Mobile Crisis Outreach provide inclusive resources like offering information in multiple languages, and offer all members of the community equitable access to services.

Ali will also work with staff, to encourage behaviors, attitudes, interventions, and policies that are culturally responsive.

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