Radical Acts of Equality: A Midwest Story
Wednesday, November 5 at 6:30 in Olin 102
Donna Red Wing serves as Executive Director of One Iowa, a team of organizers who support full equality for LGBT individuals living in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. Formed in 2005, the organization has been an effective advocate for the community. In coalition with progressive and political allies, recent achievements include civil rights legislation to protect the LGBT community against employment and housing discrimination, safe schools legislation establishing anti-bullying policies in Iowa’s schools, and defeating anti-marriage legislation.
Before coming to Iowa, she led Grassroots Leadership, a national organization working to put an end to abuses of justice and the public trust by organizing to abolish for-profit private immigration detention and prisons. Served as Chief of Staff at Interfaith Alliance, Walter Cronkite’s organization in Washington DC. She was one of three members of the Obama’s kitchen cabinet on LGBT concerns and was Howard Dean’s outreach liaison to the LGBT communities. Red Wing has also held leadership positions at the Gill Foundation, Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
While directing the Lesbian Community Project, Red Wing was featured in a Sundance Award-winning film about the 1992 struggle against the radical right and their Ballot Measure 9. Red Wing was the first recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Faith & Freedom. In contrast, during the Dean campaign she was named by the Christian Coalition as “the most dangerous woman in America.”
Red Wing serves on the national board of the Velvet Foundation which is building the national LGBT museum in Washington, DC. In 2012 Red Wing was inducted into the LGBT Hall of Fame. Red Wing lives in Des Moines, Iowa with Sumitra, her wife of almost 6 months and her life-partner of more than twenty-six years and their dogs Dogtor Watson (a wire-haired dachshund) and Cinnamon (a golden, Chow Australian mix).