CANCELED: Civil and Human Rights Symposium to Focus on 2019 Bridging the Gap Outcomes

UPDATE 3/11/2020: Drake University announced today it will cancel classes and events on campus until early April because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. This decision includes the cancellation of the 34th Annual Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Symposium scheduled for March 18.

We understand and respect this difficult decision. The health and safety of people should always come first. We are notifying our symposium speakers and attendees of the cancellation and will determine over the next week if the event can be rescheduled.

The Civil and Human Rights Commission would like to thank our sponsors for their strong support, all those who registered for the symposium, our lineup of speakers and the many volunteers and staff who worked so hard to make it happen.

We encourage all persons to continue to follow public health professional instructions on preventing the spread of this virus.

2019 Civil and Human Rights SymposiumDES MOINES, IOWA — Thursday, March 4, 2020 — The 34th Annual Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Symposium takes place Wednesday, March 18 at Drake University and will address issues that were identified last year by the Civil and Human Rights Commission’s Bridging the Gap initiative.

The theme for the 34th Annual Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Symposium is Strategizing for the Harvest. This theme represents the Commission’s goal of helping people focus on the real work and planning that needs to happen in order to reap the harvest of socio-economic advancement for all who call Greater Des Moines home.

The symposium will focus on four areas of “harvest”:
  • Stable Housing for Stronger Communities
  • Economic Inclusion and Prosperity
  • Reflective Representation in Workforce and Leadership
  • Culturally Responsive and Anti-Racist Community

These goals were identified by the community during last year’s Bridging the Gap outreach events as issues that need to be addressed as Des Moines works toward becoming a more equitable and sustainable city. More than 700 residents and community leaders participated in the Bridging the Gap dialogue aimed at creating collaborative solutions in the areas of community and government relations, refugee and immigrant rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Attendance of the long-established symposium has been on the rise in recent years. At last year’s Civil and Human Rights Symposium, 700 people from across Iowa and neighboring states were in attendance, making it one of the largest audiences in the event’s 33-year history.

Learn more and register by visiting

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.