Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

February 4, 2022

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

We are hiring! 

The State of Iowa - Department of Human Rights, Criminal & Juvenile Justice Planning (CJJP) Division has two openings for a Juvenile Reentry Navigator. To learn more about this position and how to apply, visit the State of Iowa Careers page.  

Black History Month

In 1926, author, and historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson advocated for the acknowledgement of African-American achievements. Over time, the acknowledgement grew from a week long recognition, to a federally recognized, month-long, celebration of Black History. During Black History Month, Iowans celebrate the countless contributions that African-Americans have shared through leadership, scholarship, and art. In the state of Iowa, the Office on the Status of African-Americans, and the Commission of African Americans work to advocate for, and uplift this vital community. 

Consider celebrating Black History at these events near you, or from home! 

Celebrating Black History Month at the Museum 

Toward a Universal Suffrage: African American Women in Iowa and the Vote for All 

Explore Visual Black History

Gateway Dance Theatre: Sanaa Ya Sanaa

Finding Pictures: African Americans in the Military

Iowa Gold Star Military Museum: Dr. Vince Lewis

Black History Celebrate

People You Should Know

At the Department of Human Rights, we are honored to know many Iowans who work without fanfare to make our state better.  Our new People You Should Know series will introduce you to Iowans who give freely of their skills, talents and abilities to make a real difference in Human Rights in Iowa.

This month we feature Iowa Disability Advocate, Kristen Aller, of Cedar Rapids. If you know a person we should know, tell us about them here!


Savings Plan for Persons with Disabilities 

IAble is a savings and investment plan that allows individuals with disabilities and their families the opportunity to save and invest their money for disability-related expenses on a tax-advantaged basis.  The program is sponsored by the State of Iowa and administered by the Iowa State Treasurer's Office.

According to the State Treasurer, individuals with disabilities and their families can save for disability-related expenses without losing their eligibility for certain federal assistance programs, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. IAble accounts can be used for short-term saving or long-term investing, whichever best meets the needs of the account owner."

To learn more, visit

Tax Season is here

The Iowa and federal tax season both began January 24, 2022, when the tax agencies began accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns.  Eligible individuals can get free tax prep help through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.  To find a provider, visit  

COVID-19 Language Resources

American Sign Language Videos-CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations

Congolese Health Partnership Videos

Coronavirus, State Website

Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language

EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center

Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa  

Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Test Kits 

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Are there other resources we should know about? Let us know.

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Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-5640 or 1-800-351-4659
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