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The Iowa Summit on Justice and Disparities convenes for 3 primary goals: Information! Action! Solutions! Each workshop, presentation, break-out session and panel will address all three of these objectives. The conference will serve as a vehicle to connect stakeholders with resources in an effort to work together for significant reduction in the startling rates of minority contact in the criminal justice system in Iowa.

Summit Keynote: Nathan McCall, New York Times bestselling author of "Makes Me Wanna Holler", Atlanta, GA

Breakfast Keynote: Dr. Ashley Nellis, Senior Researcher at The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C.


  Speakers & Panelist: National speakers, various justice practitioners, organizations and community members including: NAACP, Spectrum Resources, Disproportionate Minority Confinement, CCJP, State of Iowa Department of corrections, law enforcement representatives, and Iowa Judicial Officials.



Racial disproportionality in the criminal justice System: Examining racial disparity in every phase of the justice system: initial contact, arresting, charging, sentencing, confining, releasing, and supervising.


Iowa’s High Rank: Reviewing the research and data on Iowa’s critically ranking on disproportionate minority contact in national statistics as well as the excessive prevalence in certain Iowa counties. Examining the scope and scale needed to reduce these numbers. Understanding how to uncover, collect and analyze data for advocacy.


From Cultural Competence to Cultural Accountability Advocacy Training: Arming stakeholders with tools of systematic change. What can organizations, judicial officials, governments, communities and individuals do to improve these statistics?


Addressing the Family and Social Environment Dynamics: Honing in on the fundamental roles of family, church and community support systems in guiding the lives of minority youth. Exploring the unique circumstances of communities of color.

Additional Topics:

  • Advocating with respect for victims of crime
  • Racial Profiling: What are the perceptions in Iowa?
  • The New Jim Crow: Is Iowa leading the way?
  • The school to prison pipeline: How do we intervene?
  • Re-entry: What is the community approach to barriers in the transition?
  • Restorative Justice: Is this a solution?
  • Community policing: What are best practices?
  • What rights do individuals have when interacting with law enforcement?


Strategies for Reducing the Disparity:

  • What has been accomplished so far?
  • Review of national reduction strategies
  • Building upon the plan upon monitoring results
  • Comprehensive shared goals: Involving key officials, agencies, programs, community stakeholders and resources