The Iowa Constitution: An Enduring Testament to Equality
Our speaker series hosted Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady (pictured left), University of Iowa College of Law Professor Todd Pettys (pictured right) and journalist, businessman and attorney Michael Gartner (pictured center). They discussed the origins and legacy of the Iowa Constitution.
Highlighted were several decisions that put Iowa ahead of its time when compared to other states. They spoke on the 1868 Clark v. Board of Directors case, which desegregated Iowa schools before any other state did so and 86 years before the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit. They also described an 1869 decision that allowed Arabella Mansfield to become the first woman lawyer in the nation here in Iowa. These decisions, as well as more recent ones, such as Varnum v. Brien, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, were also examined.
Janet Schlapkohl: Chore Boots
Our Speaker Series welcomed Janet Schlapkohl in her one-woman play, "Chore Boots," on Tuesday, October 23. The autobiographical piece examines growing up in the rural Midwest in the 1960s and 1970s and covers key moments of the period including the Vietnam War, the women's rights movement, and later the farm crisis of the 1980s. It was a wonderful event that many attendees who grew up on farms said they could relate to.