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MLK Celebration & Keynote Speaker


Martin Luther King Jr. day is Monday, January 20, 2014.  To help us reflect on this holiday, Mr. Rudy Simms, Director of the Des Moines Human Rights Commission, will be our keynote speaker in the Viking Theatre at 10:30 a.m. 

Rudy Simms has been with the Des Moines Human Rights Commission since 2006.  His primary duties include administering the agency to enforce anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment, public accommodations and municipal services.  Rudy also educates the public and private sectors on civil and human rights issues, by holding training workshops, conferences, and symposiums that are addressing the concerns and conflicting positions of the citizens of Des Moines.

Prior to 2006, Mr. Simms was the Executive Director for the Iowa Region of the National Conference for Community and Justice, Coordinator of Honest Conversation Study Circles on race, ethnicity and culture in the greater Des Moines/Polk County area, Director for Anytown, an Iowa youth human relations leadership institute, a Civil Rights Specialist  for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, a mediator for the Iowa Farmers/Creditors Mediation Service, Conflict Manager for Polk County Attorney's Mediation Center, an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Director, and Student Personnel Coordinator at Kirkwood Community College.

Rudy Simms is a dedicated advocate for the civil and human rights of all. He brings a deep commitment to the collaborative work that is necessary to confront all forms of oppression and build inclusion community. He is a strategic organizer and an enthusiastic leader who has a long and successful history of being on the front lines for justice.

Service project opportunity:  Come help make blankets with Viking Volunteers right after the MLK Speaker in the multipurpose room.  All the blankets will go to Blank Children’s Hospital and the Central Iowa Shelter Services.  Contact Heidi Pries at hpries@grandview.edu if you have any questions.  The goal is to make 50 blankets, so bring a friend!