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Alicia Parrott Claypool

2017 Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice Medal Recipient: Alicia Parrott Claypool

“Alicia is a passionate, strategic, tenacious and compassionate leader who understands and is committed to equality and justice for every person. Alicia is a visionary, always with the goal of creating a better world. When Alicia sets her mind to addressing and solving an injustice in the world, the “world” would always do well to acquiesce and ask how it can be of help, too.”
--Written by Connie Ryan, Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, in a letter of support

Photo of Alicia Parrott Claypool

Originally from Jacksonville, Illinois (born on November 1, 1946), Alicia Parrott Claypool graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology and elementary education from Illinois College in 1968. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and then went on to receive her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Iowa in 1984. She served as manager of administrative services for Polk County Social Services, health planner with the Iowa Department of Substance Abuse, and housing planner for the cities of Des Moines, Iowa City and the Johnson County Regional Planning Commission.

Alicia was the founder and executive director of The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, and co-founder of Iowa Safe Schools. She was also the president and owner of Claypool and Associates, a consulting firm which provided strategic planning, board development and fundraising for nonprofit organizations and public agencies.

She served as the Iowa Civil Rights Commission Chair (2005-2011) and Vice-Chair (2001-2005), where she led the drive to win passage in 2007 of significant advancements in Iowa civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the workplace, housing, education and public accommodations, and prohibit bullying of all students in our schools.  She is a member of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ where she has served in various capacities from the board of deacons to the Cuba partnership team. She serves or has served in leadership roles with Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa, Iowa Immigration Education Coalition, Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines, Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors, United Way, Community Focus, City of Des Moines Housing Advisory Board, League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines, Education Campaign Coordinator for the Iowa Equal Rights Amendment Campaign, among other coalitions, and board member at One Iowa and the Des Moines Child and Adolescent Guidance Center.

Alicia was awarded the Matthew Shepard Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, Iowa Safe Schools Lifetime Achievement Award 2010, Women of Achievement Award in 2009, Woman of Influence Award 2007, Illinois College Distinguished Service Award 2007, Interfaith Alliance Faith & Freedom Award 2006, Governor’s Volunteer Award 2006, the 2003 Friends of Iowa Civil Rights Award in Education, and the 1998 Friends of Education Award from the Des Moines Public Schools.

She and her husband David Claypool live in West Des Moines. They have three children and seven grandchildren.