One Iowa

LGBTQ Leadership Institute 2020: Mila Kaut

Mila is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with a BA in History, Music, and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. A Lead for America Hometown Fellow with Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact and the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission, Mila’s work is grounded in a commitment to exploring and actualizing the links between education and enfranchisement. A lifelong musician, Mila’s first introduction to building the reciprocal relationships and sense of trust and solidarity that now guide her work came through chamber music.

As a researcher and historian with the Iowa Colored Conventions Project, Mila uses public history and education to bring light to histories that have gone unheard in dominant narratives about Iowa and the Midwest. She aims to decipher how we might approach and inhabit our histories to better care for one another and enact justice in our communities today. When she is not nose deep in the archives or a book, Mila can be found blasting Brandi Carlile while wandering the neighborhoods of Des Moines or undertaking a baking marathon.