Iowa African-American Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees and leadership award recipients

DES MOINES -- The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame will induct three new members and award scholarships to two Iowa students next month.

Founded in 1995 in Des Moines, the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding achievements of African-Americans who have enhanced the quality of life for all Iowans. Since 2002, the IAAHF has been housed in the Black Cultural Center Inc. at Iowa State University.  

Inductees and leadership awardees will be recognized at a reception and banquet starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, at The Meadows Event and Conference Center, Altoona. Tickets are $50 per person. To reserve a seat, contact Rose Wilbanks in ISU's Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at 515-294-1909. In addition to supporting the IAAHF, proceeds help support scholarships for developing youth leadership at Iowa colleges and universities. Proceeds will also help establish a permanent home for the Hall of Fame.

2014 Inductees

Fifty-nine individuals have been inducted into the IAAHF since its inception. This year, the Iowa African-American Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of:

Deborah L. Berry, Waterloo

Rep. Deborah Berry has been committed to serving Iowans and improving Iowa’s quality of care and laws. Berry’s landmark achievement was to sponsor and pass legislation that led to Iowa becoming one of only seven states to codify funding for Iowa’s children in 2008. As an advocate for seniors, Berry has worked to keep violent sexual predators out of long-term care facilities and keep seniors safe from abuse and neglect.

Dedric Doolin, Cedar Rapids

A member of the national NAACP board of directors, Deric Doolin has dedicated more than 40 years to civil and human rights awareness and substance abuse prevention. Doolin is the senior deputy director/clinical director for the Area Substance Abuse Council. He also is the president of the Iowa Substance Abuse Supervisors Association and chairs the Iowa Multicultural Substance Abuse Advisory Coalition. 

Phyllis Thede, Bettendorf

Rep. Phyllis Thede was the first African-American woman in Scott County to be elected to the Iowa Legislature. She is the current ranking member of the House Ethics Committee and member of the Government Oversight, Natural Resources, and Local Government committees. Thede currently serves as a member of the State of Iowa’s Human Rights Board to investigate areas of mistreatment and to provide support for any individual who has experienced discrimination. 

2014 Leadership Awardees

IAAHF leadership scholarships are awarded to an undergraduate African-American student who is an outstanding leader at an Iowa college or university, and an African-American graduating Iowa high school senior entering an Iowa college or university in the academic year 2014-2015. 

Isis Devalle, Bettendorf

A graduating senior from Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Isis Devalle was involved in school and community leadership activities such as Family, Career, Community, Leaders of America, Raising Student Voice Participation and student council. She is also a member of the Davenport NAACP Youth Branch and has been a mentor and positive role model for younger students. She will study at Iowa State beginning fall 2014.

Cimone Le Wright, Cedar Rapids

An Iowa State University senior in computer engineering from Cedar Rapids, Cimone Le Wright is a tutor for the “America Reads” program. Through this program she became inspired to create "Project Prep the Way" to assist teachers in the Ames Community School District with class preparation. She is currently working on a program that guides multicultural students from elementary school through college while developing leadership skills.