The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 21, 2005

UICHR Joins Iowa Secretary Of State To 'Celebrate Voting'

The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, in conjunction with the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, will present "Celebrate Voting!" -- a series of events Nov. 2-4 in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 85th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

Julian Bond, a longtime civil rights activist and current chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Nov. 3. In addition, the UI Main Library will feature "American Voting Rights Milestones," a graphical timeline exhibit of key events in the history of American voting, with an emphasis on Iowa voting rights and election history. The exhibit will be open during regular library hours from Nov. 2 to 4 on the first floor main corridor, Washington and Madison streets.

"Celebrate Voting!" also marks the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Communities across Iowa are participating to mark the legacy of voting rights in America, and to educate and engage Iowans about their right to vote. For information on events in other communities, visit the Celebrate Voting Web site,

A number of events are planned in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public:


Noon to 1:30 p.m. - "Women at the Grassroots: Getting Out the Vote in Eastern Iowa," a luncheon (co-hosted by the Iowa Women's Archives) celebrating the contributions of Eastern Iowa women who have worked to promote political engagement and civic participation in their communities. The honorees are Charlotte Mohr of Eldridge, a farmer, community activist and campaigner in Scott County who has chaired many campaigns and provided decades of leadership for Scott County Republican Women; Sister Irene Muñoz, a social justice activist who worked with the Latino community in Muscatine in the 1960s and 1970s, encouraging migrant workers to participate in the political process; the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, a pioneer in voter education and mobilization programs since its founding in 1920; and Doris Peick of Cedar Rapids, a labor union activist who has worked tirelessly to get out the vote for the Democratic Party in Linn County since the 1950s. The event will be held in the Green Assembly Hall, Levitt Center for University Advancement. Cost is $10 per person. RSVPs must be received by Oct. 24; e-mail or call 319-335-3900.

4 p.m. - "Voting Around the World," a discussion led by a panel of international students at UI (and co-sponsored by the UI Department of History) discussing the history of and current challenges to voting rights in their respective societies and in the United States. The panel will be moderated by Ken Cmiel, director of the UICHR. It will be held in room 302 Schaeffer Hall (Commons Room).


10 a.m. - "Talk of Iowa" with host Ben Kieffer and local, state and national experts discussing issues relating to electronic voting. This will be a live statewide broadcast on WSUI-AM and WOI Radio Group.

4 p.m. - "Civil Rights, Voting Rights: Now and Then," keynote address by noted civil rights leader Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in the Levitt Auditorium, Boyd Law Building.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - "Meet & Greet Dinner" with Julian Bond as the featured guest at an informal dinner for the Cedar Rapids community. The event will be held at the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa in Cedar Rapids. Admission is $5. RSVP's must be received by Oct. 31; e-mail or call 319-862-2101, ext. 21.


8:30 to 9:30 a.m. - "Make Your Voice Count: A Forum for High School Students" involves Johnson and Linn County high school government students interacting with Julian Bond and discussing the right to vote. Government teachers will assist their students to prepare questions for Bond. Attendance limited to 850 students in the West High School Auditorium in Iowa City.

10 to 11 a.m. - "Live from the Java House" with host Ben Kieffer interviewing Julian Bond and music by Scott Ainslie. This program will be broadcast from Java House Coffee Shop, 210 E. Washington St., Iowa City, and will air on WSUI-AM and WOI Radio Group.

"Celebrate Voting!" is a joint initiative of the UI Center for Human Rights, Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver, the Iowa State Historical Foundation, the Iowa Department of Human Rights, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the NAACP State Conference, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and the League of Women Voters of Iowa. Local partners include the Iowa Women's Archives, UI Libraries, Iowa City Community School District and the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center in Cedar Rapids.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any UICHR event, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900.

Founded in 1999, the UICHR is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, the yearlong UI commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Dec. 10, 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the center's mission is to support the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa, and beyond.

The UICHR is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: UI Center for Human Rights, 319-335-3900; Writer: Julia LaBua