Zach Wahls and IWF audienceZach Wahls, author, entrepreneur, and advocate, addressed a full house at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center on Wednesday, October 22, as the keynote speaker at IWF’s 18th Annual Awards Luncheon.  Sharing his personal story of growing up with two mothers at a time in which the legal landscape was changing for same-sex couples, Wahls spoke of triumph, heartache, and endurance, and noted how the struggle for LGBT rights has many parallels with the struggle for women’s rights.

The luncheon marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of IWF.  Many of the founders were present, including Stephanie Clohessy and Jean Jew, who shared their stories about the founding of IWF, and their pride in seeing it grow in the past two decades.

The Luncheon was also an opportunity to acknowledge the grants awarded to those Iowa agencies working to improve the lives of women and girls.  This year, IWF provided a record amount of grant funding, nearly $62,000, to 13 agencies across the state.  A list of grant recipients follows below.

List of Luncheon Sponsors


Luncheon table 1 IWF with Zach Wahls IWF Luncheon Chicks for Change table Zach Wahls speech


Grant recipients

Enrichment for Women after Trauma
Grantee Partner: Crossroads of Iowa,
Des Moines


Housing Stability & Financial
Grantee Partner: Cedar Valley Friends of the
Family, Waverly


Life Skills for Young Moms
Grantee Partner: Young Women’s Resource
Center, Des Moines


L.U.N.A. Promotora Program
Grantee Partner: Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo
Amanecer (L.U.N.A.), Des Moines


Next Step – Women’s Job Readiness
Grantee partner: Assault Care Center Extending
Shelter and Support (ACCESS), Ames


Refugee Child Care Microenterprise
Grantee partner: Lutheran Services in Iowa
(LSI), Des Moines


SciGirls Summer Camp Scholarships
Grantee Partner: Science Center of Iowa,
Des Moines


Shining Stars: Girls Looking Ahead
Grantee partner: University of Northern Iowa,
Cedar Falls


Strong Girls Read Strong Books
Grantee partner: University of Iowa College of
Education, Iowa City


Women Caring for the Land:
Nurturing New Careers in Ecological
Grantee partner: Women, Food and Agriculture
Network, Story City


The Women’s Business Center
Grantee partner: ISED Ventures, Des Moines


Writing for Change
Grantee partner: Iowa Youth Writing Project,
Iowa City


Young Women in Business Conference
Grantee partner: Waverly Area Small Business
lncubator and Consultation Center (WASBICC),