Monday, April 26, 2010

IPN Announces 2010 Honorees


Des Moines, IA – April 26 – Principal Financial ®, Representative Roger Wendt and two Iowa Gay-Straight Alliances have been announced as honorees for the annual Spring Soiree & Honors Benefit, to be held on April 29, at the Historic Kirkwood in downtown Des Moines.  Proceeds will benefit Iowa Pride Network (IPN).

Principal Financial ® has been a longtime supporter of IPN, and will receive the “Leader in Progress Award” for helping fund IPN programs that better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allied (LGBTA) students throughout Iowa.

Representative Roger Wendt will receive the inaugural award named in his honor for his role in serving as lead sponsor of Iowa’s historic 2007 Safe Schools Law.  The Wendt Award will honor those who champion efforts that better the lives of students in Iowa.

Two Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), one high school and one college will be named as Iowa’s best, the night of the event.  The “Best GSA Awards” honor student groups that have shown a committed effort to raise awareness of LGBT issues on their campus and in their communities and have pioneered programs that increase the respect of LGBT people.


Thursday, April 29th, 2010

VIP Reception – 6pm
Spring Soiree – 7-9pm
Honors Program – 8pm

The Historic Kirkwood
4th & Walnut
Downtown Des Moines

RSVP/Purchase Tickets: click HERE (click on the "Spring Soiree" logo)

About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice. For more information call Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or visit
Iowa Pride Network

Thursday, April 22, 2010

IPN Outreach Coordinator to Depart


Des Moines, IA – April 22 – Iowa Pride Network (IPN) expressed its appreciation for the work of its Outreach Coordinator, Rachel Johnson, who will be departing the organization at the end of June.  Johnson has served as Outreach Coordinator since August 1, 2007.  Johnson assisted in the development of IPN’s portfolio of programs which have become nationally recognized.

 A search for IPN’s next Outreach Coordinator will begin shortly. Johnson will assist in training the newly hired coordinator to ensure a smooth transition.

“Rachel has been involved with IPN since 2004 when she attended our first college coalition meeting.  Her work for us the past three years as Outreach Coordinator has produced amazing results in helping to better the lives of all students in Iowa,” stated Ryan Roemerman, Executive Director. While in college, Johnson was the spokesperson for IPN’s first “Student Day at the Capitol” where she implored legislators to pass a Safe Schools Law to protect all students, including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).  The law passed in 2007. 

Under Johnson’s leadership as IPN Outreach Coordinator, the number of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) increased by 40% and the sustainability of those groups nearly doubled.  Johnson also doubled the number of GSA Coalitions in the state, establishing new coalitions in rural Iowa.  An accompanying GSA Coalition curriculum was created to fill the information gap by empowering youth with knowledge about their history, community, identity and culture.  In 2007, only 16% of Iowa’s LGBT youth had ever heard about LGBT people, history or events in their schools.  The curriculum increased student’s knowledge and understanding of these issues an average of 35%.

“I’m going to miss all the amazing students I’ve had the honor to work with over the years.  Their experiences have shown me how vital is it to have an organization like IPN available to youth,” stated Johnson.  “I’m eager to see where the organization will go in the years to come and have no doubt IPN will continue to triumph in its efforts to secure and uphold the rights of LGBTA youth and work to make sure they feel represented and safe in their schools. I will always remain an advocate for the rights and equality of Iowa’s LGBTA youth and will never forget what they have taught me.”

 “I know our board of directors, supporters and students will miss Rachel, but are also excited to see what she takes on next,” described Roemerman.  “Rachel has played, and will continue to play, a key role in the LGBT movement in Iowa and beyond."


About Iowa Pride Network
Iowa Pride Network empowers students to fight homophobia and transphobia in high schools and colleges by supporting gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs and providing leadership opportunities and organizing projects centered on social justice. For more information call Iowa Pride Network at 515-471-8062 or by visiting Iowa Pride Network.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Hundreds of thousands of students at thousands of middle schools, high schools and colleges will participate in GLSEN's 15th annual Day of Silence on Friday by taking some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment.

Click HERE for more info!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NEW IPN T-SHIRT-- Debuting at the GSA Conf.

Check out the sweet new IPN t-shirts designed by Eight Seven Central. They're debuting at the GSA Conference THIS Saturday.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

International Expert to Discuss LGBT Refugee Protection April 13

Neil Grungras, founder and executive 
director of the Organization for Refuge, 
Asylum & Migration (ORAM), will give 
a talk on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and 
Transgender (LGBT) refugees from  
12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13, 
in Room 1117 of the University Capitol 
Centre (International Commons). Light 
refreshments will be served. The event 
is free and open to the public.
Grungras' talk is titled "Is the 
International Protection Regime Failing the World's Most Vulnerable 
Individuals?" Grungras is an internationally known expert in matters 
of LGBT refugee law and procedure, and ORAM is the first NGO 
devoted to protecting LGBT refugees worldwide.

The lecture will present international law and procedure against an 
analysis of ethno-cultural realities in the Global South. Grungras will 
discuss the unprecedented violence against sexual minorities that 
has occurred over the last year in several locations worldwide. These 
acts, described by some as moral cleansing, drove thousands to escape 
their home countries in search of safety.

This event is co-hosted by the University of Iowa Center for Human 
Rights, a part of International Programs, the UI LGBT Resource 
Center, the UI Department of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, 
and the Iowa City Human Rights Campaign.

(Above: Gay Iranian Teenagers who were executed for being gay in 2005)

NEW VIDEO: IPN Weekly Update for 4-5-10

Ryan and Rachel update viewers on the upcoming GSA Conference and the Spring Soiree. Ryan also discusses the protest Westboro Baptist Church is holding at Drake University on April 10th, and advises LGBTA students why they should act peacefully during this counter-protest.