News from the Office on the Status of Women - July 2018

iowa department of human rights

July 2018

News from the
Office on the Status of Women

Our thoughts go out to the many Iowans impacted by flooding and storm damage

Disaster counties

Need help?

When a Governor's Disaster Proclamation is made in an Iowa County, the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program can be activated at the request of local officials to help those Iowans adversely affected. The IA Grant Program provides grants up to $5,000 for household incomes up to 200 percent of the Federal poverty level. Claims must be submitted within 45 days of the proclamation.

To file a claim and learn more, visit:

Applications can be turned into your local Community Action Agency. To find yours, visit:

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 18th!


The Iowa Women's Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women will honor the following women: 

  • Dr. Dianne Bystrom (Ames)
  • Ruth Harkin (Cumming)
  • Dr. Jean Jew (Iowa City)
  • Dr. Peggy Whitson (Houston, TX; originally from Beaconsfield, IA)
  • Janice Edmunds-Wells (Des Moines) - receiving the Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice

The Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women will host a reception immediately following the ceremony. Both are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Kristen Corey at or 515-281-4470.


Celebrating the life and service of Ellen Failor

Today, we celebrate the life of Ellen Failor, who served as administrative assistant for the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women for 17 years. Ellen passed away in her home in Marshalltown in June 2018. Her legacy is a remarkable record of service to others - serving several years with Vocational Rehabilitation and 17 with the ICSW, plus playing a vital role in many volunteer  programs.​ DHR staff and the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women are saddened, and share a deep sense of loss. We all celebrate her memory.

Former co-workers of Ellen share their thoughts on the joys of working with and knowing Ellen:

"Bringing her delightful dry wit to her work, she was able to make her case for equity relative to the critical issues addressed by the ICSW. The women - and men - of Iowa are indebted to Ellen Failor, whose advocacy for equality and justice indeed made this world a better place."

- Charlotte Nelson, long-time Executive Director of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

"Ellen was a reliable, hard-worker who had a thorough understanding of the issues Iowa women were facing and put her heart and soul into making a difference. That being said, those were not the things that made her unique. My two favorite things about Ellen were her no nonsense, tell it like it is, way of communicating that occasionally knocked you back a step and the fact that when she gave you a hug, you KNEW you were getting a hug. She didn't do anything halfway!" 

- Kathy Nesteby, Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning, Iowa Department of Human Rights

"Ellen was a generous woman, with her time, wisdom, and resources. She was a remarkable person whom will be missed."

- Lori SchraderBachar, formerly of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

"While we kidded each other about our differing political philosophies, we were able to maintain a mutual respect for each other that is not often seen today. Iowa not only lost an extraordinary public servant, they lost one of its fiercest protectors of women’s rights. Her Christmas letters will be missed, and she, even more so."

- John Burnquist, Division of Community Action Agencies, Iowa Department of Human Rights

Women Aware (Sioux City) Hiring for
Executive Director

Women Aware, a non-profit organization based out of Sioux City, is seeking to hire an Executive Director. The ideal candidate will provide leadership, overall administration, strategic planning, financial management, fundraising development and community outreach for an organization that is mission driven and values based. A Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or related field; or equivalent work experience is required. You must possess 5 years management experience within a non-profit or business management role and it is vital to have experience in fundraising, budgeting and financial management.

The Executive Director will have access to the following benefits:

  • A 4-day work week (which may eventually turn into more)
  • Parking
  • Vacation, Holiday pay and Sick leave

To see a full job description, go to and go to the “More” tab. Application deadline is July 15, 2018. Please send a resume and cover letter via mail to Women Aware, Attn: Katie, 505 5th Street, Suite 422, Sioux City, IA 51101 or via e-mail to

Iowa Women's Foundation: Child Care Solutions Fund Now Accepting Letters of Interest


The Iowa Women’s Foundation has established the Child Care Solutions fund to enhance its investments in organizations and institutions that are focused on those strategies that will increase women’s economic security by decreasing the workforce gap through access to quality, affordable child care. The process operates on a different timeline and structure than IWF’s Core Grants Program. Various stakeholders, partners, and experts in child care in and around Iowa will make decisions regarding awards.  

Letters of Interest (LOI) will be accepted from June 15, 2018 – August 1, 2018. Click here for instructions.

Questions? Contact

"Count the Kicks" program is seeking participants

Count the Kicks logo

Nationally, 1 out of 167 pregnancies end in stillbirth. Women of color are at higher risk for stillbirth. Black women, for example, experience stillbirth at a rate of 1:94 pregnancies. Count the Kicks is committed to preventing stillbirth and eliminating racial disparities. 

Count the Kicks is seeking pregnant African American, Asian, and Hispanic women to participate in a video encouraging women of color to track fetal movement in their third trimester and to contact their provider if they have a concern about their baby’s well-being. 

Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention public health program of the nonprofit Healthy Birth Day, Inc. Since its inception in 2013, Iowa’s stillbirth rate has decreased 26% and went from the 33rd worst to the 3rd best stillbirth rate in the country. 

Learn more at

To inquire about participating in the video, contact Lina Reinders at or 515-608-9643.

Crossroads of Iowa to host 2nd
Annual Women's Walk on July 21st

Crossroads of Iowa is hosting their Second Annual Women's Walk on Saturday, July 21st, at Gray's Lake in Des Moines. Check-in begins 8:00am, the Walk starts at 8:30am. Children (10 and under are free) and dogs are invited to participate in the Walk.    

Registration can be made through or mail $30 to Crossroads of Iowa, 8350 Hickman Road, Suite 2, Clive, 50325. Crossroads works to reduce recidivism in the Polk County Jail and proceeds will be utilized to begin a special program, The Three Principals, for this purpose. 

For questions, please contact or 515-633-7968.

Women's Suffrage Primary Source Set is now available through the State Historical Society of Iowa

To align with Iowa's updated social studies standards and to provide resources for educators, the State Historical Society of Iowa has developed a number of Primary Source Sets about state, national and international history, along with handy tips for integrating those resources into the classroom. One of these is a primary source set on Women's Suffrage, along with others on School DesegregationImmigrationCivil Rights, and much more.

If interested in learning more about these primary source sets for educators, please contact: Jennifer Cooley at 

National votes for women image

Iowa Restaurant Association to offer free training on preventing harassment

The Iowa Restaurant Association, which represents more than 10,000 eateries and other hospitality-related workplaces, reported recently it plans to offer this summer online training for preventing harassment for free to any interested Iowa outlet. To learn more, visit:

Nominate someone for the
Lifelong Learner Hall of Fame

The Wallace Winkie Foundation is now accepting nominations for the Iowa Lifelong Learner Hall of Fame through August 24, 2018. The Iowa Lifelong Learner Hall of Fame was established to recognize those who have impacted lifelong learning by example, trailblazing, and giving back.

To find nomination forms and for more information, visit:

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

Upcoming Events/Seminars/Conferences

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