Rob Dillard

Correspondent

Rob Dillard is a Des Moines based correspondent for Iowa Public Radio. He joined IPR in 2001 as host of Morning Edition and moved to reporting in 2007.  He has been on special assignment for IPR since early 2011 reporting the ongoing series “Being in Iowa.” It has taken him around the state shining light on small segments of the population, including Muslims, military veterans, Latinos and the physically disabled. The series has won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and Northwest Broadcast News Association (NBNA).

Rob has extensive experience in radio, newspaper and media relations dating back more than 30 years. He has also taught news writing at Central College in Pella. Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications at the University of Iowa.

Rob’s favorite public radio program is Morning Edition.

Ways to Connect

Iowa Public Radio’s week-long look at African-Americans in the state continues today with reporter Rob Dillard considering the multiple health risks they face. Blacks have a higher propensity than whites for such chronic diseases as diabetes and heart disease. The occurrence of infant deaths among African-Americans in Iowa is at three times the rate of whites. Rob talked to a number of health professionals about why this is and what, if anything, blacks can do to lower the risks.

Today, Iowa Public Radio continues its look at African-Americans living in Iowa. So far, reporter Rob Dillard has examined some of the educational and economic challenges they face. Now he turns to the political scene. There have been very few black politicians elected to public office in Iowa – none to statewide office. Rob met with some of these African-American leaders to find out what their time in office has meant to the state.

Today, we continue with our “Being in Iowa” series. All this week, IPR reporter Rob Dillard is asking the question, what does it mean to be African-American in the state? Nearly a third of all blacks in Iowa live below the poverty line. They earn on average less than half of white households, and their unemployment rate is more than double the overall state figure. Rob introduces us to three African-Americans, who are working to improve their economic standing with some assistance along the way.

Today, Iowa Public Radio returns to its series “Being in Iowa.”  Reporter Rob Dillard has been exploring what it means to be Latino, a military veteran, and Muslim in the state. Now, he shifts his attention to African-Americans. The 2010 census pegs the number of blacks living in Iowa at nearly 90-thousand, or just below three percent of the total population. Most of them are clustered around the urban centers of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Waterloo.

This week, Rob Dillard's series, "Being Muslim in Iowa," has highlighted Iowa's rich Muslim history. It's a history that includes the establishment of the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids nearly eighty years ago. This hour we'll explore Iowa's Muslim connections. We'll talk with Lisa Killinger, an Iowa woman who was raised Episcopalian and eventually converted to Islam. Also, Professor Mahmoud Hamed of Drake University and Miriam Amer, Executive Director of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

All this week, Iowa Public Radio reporter Rob Dillard has been exploring what it means to be Muslim in Iowa. Much of his reporting for this series has taken him to metropolitan areas, where most of the state’s Muslims live. But to conclude the week, Rob travels to a berg in northeast Iowa where one Muslim man has found a home.

Iowa Public Radio continues its week-long series called “Being Muslim in Iowa.” Reporter Rob Dillard has traveled extensively around the state, meeting a few of the estimated 20,000 Iowans who follow Islam. Most of these people have practiced the faith all of their lives, growing up in families who stretch their roots to the Middle East, Africa or Eastern Europe. But a handful of Iowans have converted to Islam from other religions. Today, Rob introduces us to three of them.

We’re looking at the lives of Muslims in Iowa this week. So far, reporter Rob Dillard has traced the history of Islam in the state, which dates back to the 19th century. He’s also asked a few Muslims living here why public opinion goes against their faith. Today, he looks at how Islam determines what food Muslims eat. The diets for strict adherents of Islamic law are free of pork and alcohol.  Today, Rob visits an eastern Iowa company that’s in the business of ensuring the food consumed by Muslims in the state and around the world meets this guideline. 

Iowa Public Radio is taking a look this week at Muslims living in the state. Opinion polls indicate Americans remain conflicted over Islam a decade after the terrorist attacks of 9-11. A survey by the Pew Research Center a year ago shows the percentage of people in the U.S. with a favorable opinion of Islam has tumbled from 41 percent in 2005 to 30 percent.  Muslims have been put on the defensive in recent years, asked to defend Islam against charges it’s a violent religion.

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