WLC seeking nominations for Iowa Women of Achievement

Women Lead Change seeks to honor Iowa women who made lasting contributions during their lifetime with an award and a plaque on Des Moines’ Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge. CREDIT WOMEN LEAD CHANGE

Nominations are being sought for historic women who deserve to be recognized as 2023 Iowa Women of Achievement.

The Women Lead Change (WLC) awards program is designed to recognize historic women who have made “outstanding and lasting contributions to the citizens of Iowa or have advanced the well-being of others throughout the world.”

LaMetta Wynn
President Barack Obama poses with former Clinton Mayor LaMetta Wynn. The pair share a birthday. CREDIT JENNIFER GRAF

Winners of the posthumous award have come from all over Iowa, including the Quad Cities region. In 2022, for example, the name of late Clinton Mayor LaMetta Wynn, Iowa’s first Black female mayor, was added to the permanent plaque that is featured prominently on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines. She and her family and friends also were honored at an awards ceremony.

That Women of Achievement Bridge plaque also serves as a lasting and visible reminder of the winners’ contributions to their work and the state.

Other recent WLC honorees have included: Lou Hoover, wife of Herbert Hoover, a native of West Branch, Iowa; Jessie Field Shambaugh, the mother of 4-H; suffragist Mary J. Whitely Coggeshall; Christine Grant, the first director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Iowa and advocate for Title IX; and Maria “Running Moccasins” Pearson, an American Indian leader who was considered the mother of repatriation.

Nominations are due here by July 31. To nominate an outstanding historical Iowa woman, fill out the online form

While there is no limit to the amount of information to include, WLC asks that nominaters be brief and include endorsements from others as well as information about why this woman stands above others.

Nominees should be historical (deceased) women who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Born in Iowa.
  • Achieved prominence within Iowa.
  • Had been a resident of Iowa for an extended period after achieving prominence elsewhere.

Nominees will be selected on merit based on the following areas:

  • Her lasting contributions.
  • Did the nominee serve as a role model or change agent?
  • Did she impact the social, cultural, economic or political well-being of the community, state or nation?
  • Will her work inspire future generations?

All nominations will be reviewed by a committee of community judges and up to three awards are presented annually.

Any person or group may submit a nomination. Incomplete forms or a single form nominating more than one person will not be considered. No materials will be returned to the nominator, so do not submit any irreplaceable documents. If your candidate is chosen as an award recipient, a portrait photo will be requested.

Nominations remain current for three years and may then be resubmitted if not previously selected.

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