The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is proud to offer annual awards to Iowans who make notable contributions to civil rights and civil liberties in our state.

Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award

The Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award is a $500 cash prize given to a young Iowan aged 14 to 19 who has demonstrated a passion and advocacy for civil liberties.

This award was established by Joan Mannheimer and the family of late Des Moines attorney Robert Mannheimer who supported the ACLU of Iowa for more than 50 years as a cooperating attorney, board member, and donor.

learn more and nominate a student.

The Louise Noun Award

The Louise Noun Award is an annual award to honor people who have contributed significantly to the defense of civil liberties.

This award is named after Louise Noun, the distinguished Des Moines activist, philanthropist, and former president of the ACLU of Iowa Board of Directors. It is given to Iowans who have made significant strides or displayed uncommon courage on behalf of civil liberties in the state.

Learn more and nominate someone.

The Edward S. Allen Award

The Edward S. Allen Award was created by the ACLU of Iowa to recognize Iowans who are long-time civil liberties heroes.

This award is named after ACLU of Iowa Founder Edward S. Allen, an Iowa State University math professor and pioneer civil libertarian.

In contrast to our other awards that recognize particular contributions in the year that they are given, the Allen award is given only in years where there are one or more appropriate recipients.

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Partners in Liberty Award

This award recognizes significant civil liberties contributions and leadership by an organization or coalition. By working together, we are stronger when we partner with organizations with similar goals—sharing expertise, insights, connections, and resources.

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Dan Johnston Cooperating Attorney Award

This award is named after Dan Johnston, a civil liberties attorney whose work ended up in the history books. Dan died in 2016 but his name lives on in a body of work that started with the ACLU of Iowa case Tinker v. Des Moines Schools in the 1960s. Tinker was just one chapter in a remarkable and admirable legal career that spanned decades.

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