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Meeting at the Monument: A Celebration of Diversity within the Iowa Legal Community

On October 8, 2020 the INBA presented the Journey Award to three recipients for their demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion: The NAACP Legal Redress Committee (Betty C. Andrews accepting on its behalf); Professor Russell Lovell, Drake Law School; and Former Drake Law School Dean David Walker.

For decades, the NAACP, with substantial assistance from the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, has been at the forefront of the most important and historic civil rights battles in Iowa.  Most recently, the committee has spearheaded advocacy in support of Fair Chances in Employment legislation (“Ban the Box”), the City of Des Moines Unbiased Policing Ordinance, the University Heights Anti-racial Profiling Ordinance, policies to keep juvenile records confidential, fair representation on juries, nullification of unfair employment arbitration agreements, fair restoration of voting rights, and improved functioning of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.  Betty C. Andrews, President of the Iowa-Nebraska Conference of NAACP Branches accepted the award on behalf of the committee. 

Professor Russell Lovell, through his work at Drake University Law School, Legal Services of Indiana, the Indiana Center on Law and Poverty and as a volunteer with the NAACP, has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to furthering the fundamental rights of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.  Lovell has been active in high profile civil rights cases throughout the nation, including Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York.

Former Drake Law School Dean David Walker joined the Drake Law School faculty as an associate professor in 1975, was promoted to professor in 1978, and served as dean of the Law School from 1987 to 1996 and again from 2003 to 2008.  Walker previously served as Director of Litigation for Legal Services of Indianapolis and assistant professor at the University of Akron School of Law.  Walker, also a dedicated NAACP volunteer, has a lifelong record of promoting equal rights for all.

Lovell and Walker have instilled a passion for public service in multiple generations of law students and equipped them with the tools to successfully uphold the protections of the Constitution and the nation’s civil rights laws. 

The Monumental Journey statue was created by world-renowned artist Kerry James Marshall to honor the founders of the National Bar Association (NBA). The NBA was founded in 1925 in Des Moines by twelve brave African Americans who were excluded from the American Bar Association due to their race. NBA members went on to fight against segregation, discrimination in employment and housing, and other injustices. Today, the NBA remains the largest national network of predominantly African American attorneys, deans, professors, and judges. The INBA invites you to celebrate this heroic legacy and one of Iowa’s shining achievements. 


Iowa National Bar Association

P.O. Box 283

Ankeny, Iowa  50021


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