Grinnell College is pleased to host Deidre DeJear for a virtual event on Jan.18 at 7 p.m. in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Many of us were ready to say goodbye to 2020 before it even ended. Recognizing that there is value in even our most challenging circumstances, Deidre will deliver a message on how to harness the power of 2020 to deliver triumphant victories as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
DeJear is a small business owner and voting rights advocate who is driven by her passion to create equitable, inclusive, and accessible opportunities for those who need it most.For more than 12 years, Deidre has dedicated her time and talents to helping grow small businesses through earn-and-learn programs, increasing the financial management skills of over 20,000 Iowans via the Financial Empowerment Center, and strengthening the financial capability and wealth attainment of the Iowa African American community through her work with One Economy.
In 2018, Deidre ran as the Democratic nominee for the Iowa Secretary of State Office, making her the first African American to be nominated by a major political party in a statewide election in Iowa. She ran to restore Iowa’s progressive voting laws and fought for fair access to the ballot box. Deidre attributes her passion for voting rights advocacy to her experience working on her grandma’s Mississippi campaign in the ‘90s and continues to use that as a foundation for her work, which includes championing voting rights in Iowa, working on presidential campaigns, and managing local school board races.
Deidre launched the 20/20 Vision PAC, which magnifies the integral roles equity and inclusion play in making local and national change and equips individuals with the necessary tools to facilitate effective, sustainable change. Most recently, Deidre served as the Iowa Campaign Chair for Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential nomination campaign.