RELAX: TALK: GROW (RTG) is a networking/policy planning event hosted by the University of Iowa African American Council and the Public Policy Center. RTG combines fellowship, local artists and policy discussions. Addressing the experiences of Iowa City’s black folks both on and off campus, this month’s program on “Building Community” runs from 5:30-7:00pm on Friday, October 26, and features a blend of relaxed socializing, creative performance and targeted conversation.
RaQuishia Harrington, of North Liberty, is the Special and Underserved Populations Recreation Supervisor for Iowa City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Her duties span a laundry list of initiatives, from a teen leadership camp and biking workshops to beginner gardener classes and the Special Olympics. RaQuishia serves on a diverse range of boards and committees, including Habitat for Humanity, Juvenile Justice Youth Development, Iowa City Area Juneteenth, The Neighborhood Centers for Johnson County and the Iowa Children’s Museum. She is a co-founder of G! World, an after-school mentor program for minority girls in seventh-12th grade, as well as the Sankofa Outreach Connection, a nonprofit that supports women of color. In 2017, RaQuishia was selected as a Corridor Woman of Influence by the Corridor Business Journal.
Ruthina Malone, of the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors, lives in Iowa City. Ruthina earned her BA in Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Iowa. She has worked for the University of Iowa since 2003 in various positions, and currently works as an Administrator within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences overseeing administrative and financial needs of the Department of Sociology and Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences.
Andre Perry lives in Iowa City, where he serves as the executive director of the Englert Theatre, a 104‐year‐old performing arts space in the heart of downtown. He also is the co‐founder and director of the Mission Creek Festival, a week‐long exploration of performance, literature, and community‐focused events that inhabits established venues as well as nontraditional performance spaces in Iowa City. In 2015, he started the Englert‐incubated project, Witching Hour. The event explores the unknown, discussed creative process, and presents new work across a range of disciplines, such as film, literature, science, and business innovation. Andre received his MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2008. He continues to write and publish in the field. He is also a vocalist and keyboardist in the band The Lonelyhearts.