With the rising COVID numbers and with everyone’s safety in mind, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Board of Directors and staff unanimously decided to move to a virtual-only format for the event. Although a bit heartbreaking, we believe this was the right decision for all concerned. We also believe it is the responsibility of an organization like Interfaith Alliance of Iowa to lead by example how we must care for everyone in our communities and across the state, even if that means making difficult choices.
Three community leaders shared their perspective on the need to bend the arc toward justice together — and the importance of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa's voice over the last 25 years.
Rev. Brigit Stevens
Executive Conference Minister for Iowa and
Tri-Conference Ministries of the United Church of Christ
Read Rev. Stevens' bio here.
Pastor Rob Johnson
20/20 Vision Project,
Director of Voter Registration
Read Pastor Johnson's bio here.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey
Award-winning author, public speaker; Associate Provost of Campus Equity & Inclusion, Drake University
Read Dr. Harvey's bio here.
We were honored to lift up these awardees at the 2021 award celebration:
COMMUNITY LEADER AWARD
PARTNER ORGANIZATION AWARD
JOY CORNING PUBLIC LEADER AWARD
Rev. H. Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz
Lead Pastor, Trinity Las Americas, Des Moines
Des Moines Community School District
Board of Directors, Administration, and Staff
We are so honored to be part of this work with so many Iowans. Together, we have grown in influence, support, and in the scope of our work—and we are ready for the future, as we know there is much more work to do.
As we celebrate our 25th year, it’s inspiring to look back at how we evolved to who we are today. We have shared many of our stories through our website, social media, and at our anniversary celebration.
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa was established in 1996 following a contentious Des Moines School Board election the year prior. The religious right opposed and successfully ousted a school board member based solely on his sexual orientation. Following, a conversation was initiated by Alicia Claypool, who became the organization’s first executive director in 1997. Interfaith Alliance of Iowa was created to provide a progressive, organized voice of faith to balance the extremism of the religious right and to advocate for progressive values.
We are excited to celebrate this huge milestone with you, our amazing supporters, and also more about our founding, the coalitions we’ve built, and the impact of our work—bending the arc together—throughout our 25-year history.
We've created three videos, the first about the early years of the organization, another about our voice in the public square and the impact we have across Iowa, and the most recent one about friends we've made along the way. We’re thrilled for you to see them and would love if you'd share them with others on social media and by email!
The organization has grown exponentially in reach, programming, political impact, statewide presence, media attention, staffing, and resources. Whether it is our education efforts across the state, commentary in the media, collaborations with partner organizations, or our advocacy at the Capitol, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and Action Fund meet the challenges head-on and accomplish the work necessary.
While Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s initial issue work focused on religion, bigotry, and LGBTQ+ rights, it has expanded over the years, taking on the most pressing issues of our time—always with an eye on the values that drive our mission.
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa brings people and partner organizations together to make a difference in Iowa. We know we are all stronger when we work in coalition. We lead and work alongside partners every day from the sectors of faith, civil rights, human rights, education, labor, business, and more.
We believe the work of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is more important than ever and we must build upon our strengths to meet the challenges ahead. Strengthening the progressive voice in communities urban and rural is paramount. Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is ready to take on the work necessary to create an Iowa based on our shared values.