Have you ever been to one of our BigWig Lunch Talks? Today is very exciting because we will have Stefanie Munsterman-Robinson from the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission in the house! We thought it might be nice to have a little preview with Stefanie before her talk over the lunch hour.
First of all, what brought you to Cedar Rapids from Kansas City in 2000?
My parents and younger brother moved to Cedar Rapids due to my father’s job transfer. My daughter Ali and I came up to visit and we loved it! I began searching for a job in Iowa immediately and we moved up two months later.
What is your favorite thing to do or place to go in the Creative Corridor?
My daughters and I are big fans of theater, music, and dance. We enjoy the performances at Theater Cedar Rapids, The Old Creamery Theatre, the Paramount, CSPS, and Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.
What is your job title and what are your daily responsibilities?
I am a Civil Rights Investigator and Mediator. I investigate allegations of discrimination in our community as well as attempt to resolve disputes through mediation. I also provide presentations to a variety of audiences (children and teenagers, landlords, college students, employers, social service agencies architects, etc.) on numerous topics including civil rights, Americans with Disabilities Act, poverty, homelessness, employment law, and fair housing.
How did you get to where you are today in your career?
Tenacity, taking initiative, building relationships, and being passionate about my work.
Is there an aspect of Civil Rights that you are especially passionate about? Why or what experiences have driven this?
There continues to be strong gender-based inequalities in our society. I have witnessed and been the target of these inequalities and stereotypes personally as well as professionally. This holds great significance to me as a woman, as a mom of two daughters, a Civil Rights Investigator, and as a Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Advocate. There should be no room for discrimination in our community.
How can young professionals become more active in supporting Civil Rights in our community?
What is important to you? There are many non-profit agencies in our community that continually seek volunteers and financial resources. Find your niche and commit to it!
Advocate for yourself and for others around you. Be willing to stand up for other people!
You are quite involved in the community, how do you balance your work/home life with school/social/volunteer opportunities?
It comes down to prioritization, adhering to your values, and understanding your strengths. If something does not match then you must say no. Logistically, it is about having a strong plan and very good apps! Hmm… I wonder what apps she uses?
What advice do you have for young professionals?
Do not deviate from your values or beliefs; stay true to yourself. Remember that neither significance nor success comes from your status. Secondly, learn something new every single day – be ever curious!
Thank you so much Stefanie! We can’t wait to hear more from you later today. If you are attending today’s BLT, be sure to bring your own questions for her. See you there!
Editors Note: The registration for today’s BLT is closed. For future BLTs and ImpactCR events, please see our event calendar.