One Iowa to Launch New LGBTQ Leadership Program at 9th Annual Gala Celebration

One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ organization, will launch a new LGBTQ leadership program at its 9th Annual Gala Celebration on Friday, April 13 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. The event will start off with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., and the program will begin at 7 p.m.

Details about the new leadership program will be revealed during the Gala program. Sen. Matt McCoy, Iowa’s first out LGBTQ legislator, will speak to the program’s importance.

“Trailblazers like Sen. Matt McCoy and One Iowa founder Sharon Malheiro paved the way for future LGBTQ Iowans, and their leadership is why our community enjoys many of the rights and freedom we do today,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “We still have work to do, and we’ll need other LGBTQ Iowans to step up and lead in the broader community to continue moving the needle closer to full equality. This program will help equip future leaders with the tools to succeed, and I’m excited to share more details at the Gala.”

One Iowa started its annual Gala Celebration tradition in 2010 to commemorate Varnum v. Brien, the momentous Iowa Supreme Court case that made Iowa the third state in the nation to embrace marriage equality. Since then, LGBTQ Iowans and allies have come together each year to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ advocates working to preserve and advance equality for LGBTQ Iowans. Approximately 800 people will attend this year’s celebration, making it the largest in the organization’s history.

One Iowa’s 9th Gala Celebration will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, live music by the Freddy Gazzo Band, and an awards ceremony honoring the work Iowa’s LGBTQ activists have accomplished this year. Award-winning journalist Sonya Heitsusen of WHO-TV Channel 13 News will emcee the program. This year’s awardees include:

  • Veridian Credit Union, one of Iowa’s largest credit unions
  • Sophia Stone, president of Transformations Iowa, a support group for transgender and non-binary Iowans.
  • Jane Meyer and Tracey Griesbaum, plaintiffs in landmark 2017 discrimination lawsuits against the University of Iowa, resulting in external review of the university’s employment practices.

The event’s proceeds will support One Iowa’s mission to preserve and advance LGBTQ equality in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education. Sponsors of One Iowa’s 9th Annual Gala Celebration include Principal, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Human Rights Campaign, Meredith Corporation, Rockwell Collins, and Veridian Credit Union among others.

Press are welcome to attend.