Director: Felicia Leon Mullin
The Iowa Civil Rights Act assigns the task and gives the power to the Commission for specific educational programs. These duties are: (1) to cooperate with other agencies in planning and conducting programs designed to eliminate racial, religious, cultural and intergroup tensions; (2) to issue publications and reports that shall tend to promote good will among the various racial, religious, and ethnic groups of the state to minimize or eliminate discrimination.
A two-day Housing Conference was held in March, 1975, sponsored jointly with the Des Moines Human Rights Commission. This conference was designed to bring together realtors, lending institutions and concerned minority and handicapped groups to discuss the problems and solutions to housing problems in the State of Iowa.
A public forum was held in April, 1975, on the question of mandatory retirement. This forum brought proposals, pro and con, from representatives of various organizations to assist the Commission in its formulation of future policy on this issue.
In December of 1974, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Des Moines Human Rights Commission jointly witnessed Governor Robert D. Ray's signing of a Resolution on Human Rights. Both agencies asked the Governor to call upon all groups in the State of Iowa to join in the serious effort toward the full implementation of Human Rights. This was in conjunction with the National Decade for Action to Combat Discrimination, 1973-1983.
Staff training is of vital importance in the Education Division. New investigators and aides go through a thorough training session before their on-the-job training.
Training sessions are conducted at the local human rights commissions. With the new deferral section of the law (Chapter 601A.5, 12) this training will be a requirement for all local commissions. Keeping updated on the law and investigative procedures will be of prime importance in coordinating work between the local and state level. In June, 1975, the Davenport Human Rights Commission was approved as a deferral agency. Other local commissions have their proposals submitted for state consideration.
The Annual Report is a requirement by law and is distributed to the Governor, General Assembly, state agencies, local and state civil rights commissions, women's organizations, industries, minority organizations and other interested citizens of Iowa.
Educational publications are prepared regarding the interpretation of the law. These publications are: Iowa Civil Rights Commission Departmental Rules, Iowa Fair Employment Practices Guide, and Complaint Procedures.
A film library has been established for the use of the public. Films on the various protected classes in the areas of discrimination are available.
"The Challenger," a quarterly newsletter, is printed and distributed to agencies and organizations. This newsletter relates the activities of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission staff and commissioners.