African American Museum of Iowa History Makers Gala
Hotel at Kirkwood Center — Thursday, Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m.
The African American Museum of Iowa holds their annual History Makers Gala at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center on Sept. 7. — photo by Alan Light
Each year, the African American Museum of Iowa uses its one and only annual fundraiser as an opportunity to honor African Americans from across the state who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.
This year’s History Makers Gala will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. This year’s honorees are Deborah Berry of Waterloo, Leon Mosley of Waterloo, Dr. Jerome Pierson of Sioux City and Dale Todd of Cedar Rapids.
Todd, who was the first African American city council member in Cedar Rapids and recently announced his campaign to return to the council, said he’s humbled by the recognition.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “I’m honored. I’m looking forward to it.”
A Chicago native, Todd has been working to make Cedar Rapids a better place for a long time.
“When I think about it, I’ve been here for 40 plus years,” he said.
Todd has used that time well. While on the City Council, he served as Commissioner of Parks and Public Property and led efforts to upgrade parks and recreational areas throughout the community. He continues to be a leader in development efforts in the New Bohemia neighborhood and has been at the forefront of efforts to clean Cedar Lake so that it may become a viable recreation area. Affordable housing and accessibility for members of our community with disabilities have been high priorities for Todd.
And he isn’t finished. He describes himself as “a young 60,” and says he’s eager to continue his work — including, if voters select him, a return to the City Council representing the third district.
“I’m looking forward to the next fight,” he said. “These are serious times, and if I was going to get off the sidelines and back in this game, this was the time.”
Todd is pleased to be sharing the History Maker honor with Mosley, a fierce community activist in Waterloo and a man he says has long been a mentor to him.
“I really feel honored to be in the same boat with him,” Todd said.
This History Makers Gala is a semi-formal event featuring dinner, a cash bar, live music and a raffle. Each of the honorees will take the stage and make brief remarks.
Tickets to event are $50 and can be purchased online or by calling 319-862-2101.