Iowa African-American Hall of Fame announces 2015 inductees

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame will induct three new members in August.

Founded in 1995 in Des Moines, the IAAHF 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 will be recognized at a reception and banquet starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, 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 provide scholarships for developing youth leadership at Iowa colleges and universities, and will help establish a permanent home for the Hall of Fame.

2015 inductees

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

Dr. Julius S. Conner, Des Moines

Dr. Julius S. Conner was the first African-American director of the Polk County Public Health Department and retired from that role in 2000 after 35 years of outstanding service. He received the Henry Albert Memorial Award, recognizing distinguished leadership in public health in Iowa, in 1969. As a young resident, Conner worked at Younker Rehabilitation Center and at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines during Iowa’s last polio epidemic in 1959. He was one of the original volunteers for the Corinthian Baptist Church free clinic and remains an active volunteer.

Georgine Crowe Morris, Des Moines (posthumous)

Throughout her life (1890-1977), Georgine Crowe Morris was known for her outspoken civil rights activism, leadership and service. In 1939, she founded the NAACP Iowa State Conference of Branches and became its first president. She became the second female president of the Des Moines branch in 1940. Morris also was a founding member of the Des Moines Chapter of the Links, one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women committed to ensuring the culture and economic survival of African-Americans.

Dr. Ruth White, Cedar Rapids

Dr. Ruth White is an award-winning educator and former director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights during Gov. Tom Vilsack’s administration. Throughout her career, White has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion in Iowa, serving on the boards of directors for the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, Diversity Focus, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Des Moines Pastoral Council, I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa, and the Cedar Rapids YWCA Family Service Agency, among service to many other organizations. She is executive director and founder of the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success, a summer program that has helped more than 1,000 students of color prepare for college matriculation through culturally specific instruction in core curricular areas.