The Iowa Safe Schools Spirit Awards, introduced in 2009 and held annually in Des Moines, showcases the work of students, educators, individuals, organizations, and corporations who have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The Spirit Awards raises funds to support life-saving work that empowers LGBTQ youth across the state. We invite you to join us for a night of celebrating the incredible work being done across the state to support LGBTQ youth as they live their truth!
The 2019 Spirit Awards will be held on October 4th at the Iowa Events Center. Join us for a drink reception beginning at 6:00PM complete with silent auction baskets, and Spirit Awards program and dinner beginning promptly at 7:00PM.
From Interstate 35 from the North:
Follow I-235 West into downtown Des Moines and take the 3rd Street exit to the Iowa Events Center. Parking is available on-site, with additional street and ramp parking within walking distance of our complex.
Merge onto the I-235 East exit and travel east towards downtown Des Moines. Take the downtown exit and proceed to the 3rd Street exit. Parking is available on-site, with additional street and ramp parking within walking distance of our complex.
Headed west on I-80, take the I-235 West exit and continue towards downtown Des Moines. Take the 3rd Street exit (Downtown Des Moines) and go south to the Iowa Events Center complex. Parking is available on-site, with additional street and ramp parking within walking distance of our complex.
Headed east on I-80, take the I-235 East exit and continue towards downtown Des Moines. Take the Iowa Events Center exit (3rd Street) and turn right. Parking is available on-site, with additional street and ramp parking within walking distance of our complex.
STREET PARKING DOWNTOWN
Iowa Safe Schools is proud to recognize the achievements of LGBTQ student groups, educators, partners in progress, and community members throughout the year. The awards that are given out each year are:
GSA of the Year – Sioux City East High School. This award is given to one Gay/Straight Alliance each year in Iowa. To qualify, groups must be: elementary, middle school or high school groups in Iowa and be a part of a primary or secondary education program or institution (i.e. a public or private school or home-school program). Past recipients have included: Des Moines’ East High School (’15); Humboldt High School (’16); Linn-Mar High School (’17); and Ames High School (’18).
Queer Student Organization of the Year – St. Ambrose University PRISM. This award is given to one college or post-secondary group each year in Iowa. To qualify, groups must be: part of any post-secondary educational program or institution. Examples may include: 2-year and 4-year public or private colleges or universities, trade schools, work readiness programs, etc. Past recipients have include the University of Northern Iowa (’18).
The Lynn Reinicke Educator of the Year – Ryan Penning, Valley Southwoods 9th Grade School, West Des Moines, IA. This award is given to an education professional (teacher, school counselor, administrator, para-educator, education support profession) in a k-12 setting who has contributed to creating a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for LGBTQ youth.
Advocate of the Year – Dwolla, Inc. This award is given to a leader in Iowa who has advocated for policy change to create safer communities and schools for LGBTQ youth in the state.
Ally of the Year – Congresswoman Cindy Axne. This award is given to a leader or community member in Iowa who has shown outstanding allyship to LGBTQ youth, and is passionate about creating safer and more inclusive learning environments for all students
Partner in Progress – AFSCME Council 61. This award is given to an organization or corporation who has shown a commitment to promoting inclusion in the workplace or community through active involvement in the LGBTQ community.