DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa African American Hall of Fame will induct three new members on Aug. 2.
Founded in 1995 in Des Moines, the IAAHF recognizes the outstanding achievements of African Americans with respect to enhancing the quality of life for all Iowans. Since 2002, the IAAHF has been housed in the Black Cultural Center Inc. at Iowa State University. Since its inception, 56 individuals have been inducted into the hall of fame.
This year, the Iowa African American Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of:
Jane G. Burleson, retired 24-year member of the Fort Dodge City Council. She was the first woman and the first African-American to serve on the council. As a 33-year employee of Hormel & Co., Burleson was active in the labor union, becoming a steward and serving on the United Packinghouse Workers of America Local 31 executive board. She also helped to launch Fort Dodge’s MLK Committee, has worked as a special education teacher’s aide for the Fort Dodge Community School District, served as president of the Fort Dodge A. Philip Randolph Institute, and has been involved with the League of Women Voters and the Democratic Party. She has served her church, Coppin Chapel African Methodist Episcopal, for more than 50 years. She received the Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice in 2006.
Betty Jean Furgerson, retired director of the Waterloo Human Rights Commission, six-year member of the Iowa Board of Regents, and president emerita of the Iowa Public Broadcasting Board. Her contributions to higher education also include service on the Legislative Higher Education and Excellence in Education task forces, presidency of the board of directors of the Waterloo Community Schools, and membership on the Iowa Council on Vocational Education. She was one of the original members of the Iowa Department of Education’s Multicultural, Nonsexist Curriculum Committee and helped to form state policy requiring human relations training as part of teacher preparation and licensure. Furgerson was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990.
William B. Hood Jr., retired professor and vice president for student affairs at Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids. During his career, Hood also maintained a private practice specializing in individual, family and marriage counseling; served as a human relations consultant, and was director of Cedar Rapids’ Jane Boyd Harambee House, a neighborhood office providing family-centered and emergency services to high risk families. Hood currently serves as director of Christian education and is secretary of the finance committee for Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. He also is a member of the Linn County General Assistance Advisory Committee and a member of the board of directors of Abbe Mental Health Center.
In addition, Quinton McRoy of Des Moines, a May graduate of Roosevelt High School who plans to attend Iowa State; and Anndrea Joiner of Ames, an architecture student at Iowa State, will receive Iowa African American Hall of Fame Leadership Awards. The $2,000 scholarships are awarded to outstanding students who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills in school, professional and/or community organizations.
Inductees will be recognized at a reception and banquet starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, at The Meadows Event and Conference Center, Altoona. Tickets are $50 per person. To reserve a seat, contact Rose Wilbanks at 515-294-1909. In addition to supporting the IAAHF, proceeds help support scholarships for developing youth leadership at Iowa colleges and universities. Proceeds also will help establish a permanent home for the Hall of Fame.