News from the Office on the Status of Women - July 2017

iowa department of human rights

July 2017

News from the
Office on the Status of Women

Coffee with a Commissioner


Join us every month for an interview with one of the commissioners of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) to learn more about how and why they got involved in women's advocacy. Each month we will focus on a different commissioner. 

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing commissioner Rachelle Hunt Russian to talk about herself, her work, and the motivation behind the work that she does with the Commission.

Rachelle Hunt Russian

Commissioner, Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

Rachelle Hunt Russian

How long have you served on the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women?

I have served on the commission since May 2014.

What was one of the things that called you to serve on this specific Commission?

I was called to serve on the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and then asked to serve as the chair of the committee for two years.

What is one accomplishment you've been proud of since your start on the Commission?

I am humbled to have served on the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and also as a member of the Friends Board of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. These roles highlight the impact the work of a woman’s work in elevating the status of, and supporting women and girls, and reminding us that there’s more work to do.

What is an issue that affects women and girls that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about economic security for women. It is important to share the message to women and girls that they have an opportunity to have independent economic security. It is critical to share the resources available to achieve economic security, serve as a mentor, and support individuals and organizations leading and guiding women to financial freedom and economic security. 

What do you do in your spare time (if you have any)?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, and serving in cultural, educational, and service organizations in the city, including, but not limited to:

  • Des Moines Chapter of The Links, Incorporated
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
  • Corinthian Gardens Board
  • Corinthian Baptist Church

2017 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame announcement

Ceremony location change


The 2017 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame ceremony has been relocated to the following location:

Staplin Performing Arts Center (auditorium)
Valley High School
3650 Woodland Ave
West Des Moines, IA 50266

The ceremony will still begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 26th. A reception (free and open to the public) will follow the ceremony in the lobby of the Staplin Performing Arts Center, hosted by the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

2017 honorees are:

  • Jane Boyd (Formerly of Cedar Rapids; deceased)
  • Senator Joni K. Ernst (Red Oak)
  • Christine Hensley (Des Moines)
  • Governor Kim Reynolds (Truro)

2017 Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice Recipient:

  • Alicia Parrott Claypool (West Des Moines)

If interested in helping to sponsor the reception for the 2017 ceremony, please contact the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women at

Remembering those we have lost

The Iowa Department of Human Rights' Office on the Status of Women and the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women would like to take this time to recognize and honor those we have lost over the last several months. We would like to pay tribute to the legacy these women have left behind, including the work done by those that they have influenced that will continue to benefit Iowans for years to come.

Iowa Women's Hall of Fame members

Willie Stevenson Glanton, passed away on July 6, 2017

Joy Corning, passed away on May 20, 2017

Past Commissioners

Scharron Ann Clayton, passed away on June 11, 2017

Patricia "Patsy" Boesen, passed away on July 1, 2017

Note: If you know of a member of the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame or a past commissioner we inadvertently missed, please let us know at Thank you for your help.

In the News: Women and girls in Iowa, the nation & the world

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Upcoming Events/Seminars

Note: If you have an event taking place for women in Iowa that you would like to see added, please send it to