Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

March 17, 2023

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!

Research Coordinator--deadline March 19, 2023

In case you missed it, the State of Iowa Department of Human Rights is looking to fill a Research Coordinator position in the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning. For details, visit the State of Iowa Careers website:

Moratorium on utility disconnections to end April 1

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary home heating costs through a one-time payment made directly to the utility company.  The last day to apply for LIHEAP is April 30, 2023. 

Customers who qualify for LIHEAP are protected from disconnection of natural gas or electric service from November 1 to April 1.  Customers currently protected from service disconnection can contact their local utility company to discuss payment options and avoid disconnection that could begin as soon as April 2.   Customers who receive a disconnection notice can contact their local community action agency to apply for crisis assistance.

Learn more about eligibility and crisis assistance by contacting your local community action agency.

Other Options

All utility customers, including those who do not qualify for energy assistance, can contact their utility company to see if a reasonable payment agreement is an option. 

Iowans can also contact the Iowa Utilities Board Customer Service staff with questions about utility service disconnection or other issues that are not resolved directly with their utility company. Call 877-565-4450 or email

Legal Assistance

If you are not able to pay your bills, you have certain rights and remedies.  Visit Iowa Legal Aid's website for information and other options to avoid disconnection.  

Funding Opportunities - Juvenile Delinquency Prevention           

The Iowa Department of Human Rights has two funding opportunities:    

  • Juvenile Delinquency Prevention - Pre-Charge Diversion (#501801)
  • Juvenile Delinquency Prevention - Services for Black Girls (#501789) 

The application due date is April 28, 2023.  Additional details can be found at  Funding for awarded programs is made available by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Applications Open for Iowa Youth Congress and State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council

Applications for Iowa Youth Congress and the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council are being accepted for the 2023-2024 term.  Applications must be submitted by May 31, 2023. 

Iowa Youth Congress

DHR is recruiting youth from across the state to learn about the legislative process through its Iowa Youth Congress program.  Youth participants will learn about government, advocacy, and civic engagement, while building leadership and communication skills.  Iowa Youth Congress is modeled after the Iowa House of Representatives and accepts up to 100 high-school aged participants. Interested youth can apply here:

State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council

The State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council is made up of 21 youth between the ages of 14-20 from across the state of Iowa who advocate for youth on important issues..The Council fosters communication with the governor, general assembly, and other leaders regarding programs, policies, and practices affecting youth and families.  Interested youth can apply here:

Fore more information, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website. Youth Programs

The Iowa Women's Hall of Fame

honors women who make history for their contributions in a multitude of fields like education, arts, science, sports, and public service. If you would like to nominate someone for the 2023 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame, please fill out the applicable nomination form with supporting materials and send them to by April 1, 2023.

For more information, visit the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame.

Disabilities Awareness Month in Iowa

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, Iowa lawmakers officially designated March as Disabilities Awareness Month in Iowa. 

"The purpose of the resolution is to bring awareness to the contributions of persons with disabilities as well as disability-related issues faced by Iowans across the state. Disability rights advocates asked legislators to ensure that the opinions of individuals with disabilities are heard during discussion on policies that could directly impact their lives, emphasizing that it’s crucial to make decisions with people with disabilities—not for them."

-Iowa DD Council 

Check out this flyer by advocate Emma Bouza of Hawarden for different ways you can observe Disabilities Awareness month. 

DD Council Disability Awareness Month

Upcoming DHR Meetings

To view upcoming DHR public meetings, please visit the meetings calendar at You can view a schedule of all the meetings or filter it by boards, commissions, and councils.  

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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