The 25th Anniversary Celebration
The agency's year started with the excitement and challenge of the 25th anniversary celebration, which was held July 19-22,1990, in Des Moines. A planning Committee, which was appointed by the Governor, worked for many months to put together a program that was representative of Iowa's heritage and leadership in civil rights.
"Celebration of Civil Rights: An Iowa Tradition," was the theme chosen for the celebration. The festivities began with the signing of a Civil Rights Proclamation by Governor Terry E. Branstad on July 19, 1990. This was followed by a meeting of the Commissioners in the State Capitol Building, the site of the Commission's first meeting on July 19,1965. On July 20 and 21, 1991, a civil rights conference was held, concurrent with a cultural fair and civil rights exhibits. Keynote speaker for the conference was Sharon Rodine, president of the National Women's Political Caucus, Washington, D.C. The cultural festival included arts, crafts, ethnic foods, music, dancing and drama representative of the cultural diversity in Iowa.
The celebration ended with a march from the Iowa Historical Building to the State Capitol for a rally, where the keynote speaker was Martin Luther King, Ill. Mr. King spoke of the need for a renewed commitment to the unfinished work of civil rights for all in our nation.
Prior to the celebration, a banner contest was held for Iowa students in grades six through 12. The prizewinning banners were displayed during the festival and the march. A commemorative booklet was produced containing the historical highlights of the Commission, as well as the celebration program. Persons who played a significant role in the establishment and work of the Commission were interviewed on videotape for their recollections. A 30-minute video, "The Iowa Civil Rights Commission: the First 25 Years," consisting of excerpts from these interviews and the anniversary conference, was produced. The booklet and the video have been disseminated throughout the state. Additional copies are available from the Commission.