Since before the 1850's when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that slaves by virtue of their residence in Iowa were free people, the ideals behind the civil rights movement have had a voice in Iowa politics. The purpose of the Civil Rights Commission is to amplify that voice and bring Iowa living into harmony with it. The Commission has four areas of jurisdiction: employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The Iowa Civil Rights Act empowers the Commission as a law enforcement agency to work toward the elimination of discrimination for reasons of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, physical disability, mental disability (except in credit), age (except in housing and public accommodations) and marital status (in
credit only).

To further this end, the Commission's staff are organized into three divisions: the Compliance Division, the Education Division and Affirmative Action Division. (Refer to table of organization on inside of front cover.) The Compliance Division handles the actual complaint intake and processing. The Education Division trains staff and commissioners of both the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and local civil rights agencies throughout the state and provides films, speakers and literature on civil rights. The Affirmative Action Division enforces the Governor's Order #15 dealing with affirmative action in departments of state government and state supported institutions. Pursuant to this responsibility, the Affirmative Action Division provides training and technical assistance to Equal Opportunity Officers in those departments and institutions. All three divisions working together comprise the total services of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

1976 Annual Report Main Page