Spirit Awards 2020

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!

Date, time, and location to be announced. 

The Lynn Reinicke Educator of the Year

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. Past recipients have included: Ryan Penning, Valley Southwoods, West Des Moines, IA (’19).

Queer Student Organization of the Year

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 included: the University of Northern Iowa (’18) and the University of Northern Iowa (’19).

GSA of the Year

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); Ames High School (’18); and Sioux City East High School (’19).

Advocate of the Year

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. Past recipients have included: Dwolla, Inc. (’19).

Ally of the Year

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. Past recipients have included: Congresswoman Cindy Axne (’19).

Partner in Progress

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. Past recipients have included: AFSCME Council 61 (’19).



Champion Table Host (8 Seats): $10,000
Leader Table Host (8 Seats): $5,000
Advocate Table Host (8 Seats): $2,500
Ally Table Host (8 Seats): $1,000
General Table (8 Seats): $500
Champion Host (2 Seats): $2,500
Leader Host (2 Seats): $1,000
Advocate Host (2 Seats): $500
Ally Host: $250
General Admission: $75


All registrations are nonrefundable. Registrations can be transferred to a different name for those who cannot attend.