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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 27, 2005

Center For Human Rights, Women's Archives To Honor 'Women At The Grassroots'

A luncheon to recognize Eastern Iowa women who worked at the grassroots level in the 1960s and 1970s to promote political engagement and civic participation will be held from noon to 1:30 Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Green Assembly Hall, Levitt Center for University Advancement, at the University of Iowa. The event is open to the public, but tickets are required at a cost of $10 per person. Contact the UI Center for Human Rights, uichr@uiowa.edu or 319-335-3900, for further information.

The "Women at the Grassroots" luncheon, co-sponsored by the Iowa Women's Archives at UI Libraries, will recognize the achievements of three individual women from Eastern Iowa as well as the League of Women Voters of Johnson County. The activity will be the kickoff event for "Celebrate Voting" activities in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. The UI Center for Human Rights, in conjunction with the Iowa Secretary of State's Office, is sponsoring the Nov. 2-4 events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 85th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

The honorees are:

--Charlotte Mohr of Eldridge, a farmer and community activist who has chaired many campaigns and provided decades of leadership for Scott County Republican Women.

--Sister Irene Muñoz, a social justice activist, who worked with the Latino community in Muscatine in the 1960s and 1970s, encouraging migrant workers to participate in the political process.

--Doris Peick of Cedar Rapids, a labor union activist, who has worked tirelessly to get out the vote for the Democratic Party in Linn County since the 1950s.

--The League of Women Voters of Johnson County, a pioneer in voter education and mobilization programs since its founding in 1920.

"The women we are honoring have had a tremendous impact on the political scene in eastern Iowa over the past half-century," said Kären M. Mason, curator of the Iowa Women's Archives. "They have worked mostly behind the scenes -- knocking on doors, watching the polls, recruiting campaign workers, and trying to make the voting process easier to understand. The names on the ballot are only part of the story of Iowa politics; this event helps to tell the rest of the story."

The City of Iowa City has authorized guests for this event to park in Upper City Park (directly across Park Road from the Levitt Center). Cross Park Road and enter on the south side of the building (facing the river). For a map and directions to the Levitt Center, visit the Web site: http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Emaps/l/lcua1.htm.

The keynote event of the local Celebrate Voting activities will be a lecture at 4 p.m. Nov. 3 by Julian Bond, a longtime civil rights activist and current chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). For more information on this and other Iowa City and Cedar Rapids events, visit the UICHR Web site at http://www.uichr.org.

In addition to the Voting Rights Act and the 19th Amendment, Celebrate Voting also marks the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Communities across Iowa are participating to mark the legacy of voting rights in America, and to educate and engage Iowans about their right to vote. For information on events in other communities, visit the Celebrate Voting Web site, http://www.sos.state.ia.us/iowavotes.

Celebrate Voting is a joint initiative of Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver, the Iowa State Historical Foundation, the Iowa Department of Human Rights, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the NAACP State Conference, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and the League of Women Voters of Iowa. Local partners include the Iowa Women's Archives, UI Libraries and the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center in Cedar Rapids.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any UICHR event, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900.

Founded in 1999, the UICHR is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, the yearlong UI commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Dec. 10, 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the center's mission is to support the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa, and beyond.

The UICHR is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu; Program: UI Center for Human Rights, 319-335-3900; Writer: Julia LaBua

OTHER INFORMATION: http://www.uichr.org; http://www.sos.state.ia.us/iowavotes