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Iowa International Center’s Passport to Prosperity honorees announced


The Iowa International Center recently announced its 2021 Passport to Prosperity honorees. The award recognizes immigrants and refugees for their significant economic, cultural or social contributions to our communities and the state of Iowa.

The awardees are:
– Shaimaa Aly, who came to the United States in 2001 as an immigrant from Egypt. An advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, she is a commissioner on the West Des Moines Human Rights Commission and is the Social Capital chair for Capital Crossroads.   
– Harka Biswa, who is originally from Bhutan and arrived in Iowa in 2011 from a refugee camp
in Nepal. He founded the Bhutanese Community in Iowa.
– Ivania Gabriella “Gabby” Guerra Ceron, who is from El Salvador. She helped to create the Iowa Queer Communities of Color Coalition.
– Maria Corona, a native of Ecuador who is an advocate for the rights of Latino, immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence. She was recently named executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
– Luisita Thompson, who is originally from the Philippines. She came to the United States in 2002 as a mail-order bride. She has shared her story with others and has dedicated her time to her community. She is the founder of the Filipino American Society of Iowa.

Passport to Prosperity has honored more than 80 global Iowans for their significant contributions to their communities and the state of Iowa. Proceeds from the event support the work of the Iowa International Center to remove language barriers.

The 2021 Passport to Prosperity honorees will be recognized during the Iowa International Center’s Passport to Prosperity weeklong celebration Sept. 6-11. The week reflects the cultures of each recipient and includes an awards presentation as well as special video stories highlighting the inspiring lives of these global Iowans. For more information, visit www.iowainternationalcenter.org or email Kassi Bailey at kbailey@iowainternationalcenter.org.

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