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.

What We’re Looking For

We’re looking for that remarkable young person who is willing and able to advocate for civil liberties with passion and determination—someone who recognizes injustices and finds ways to correct them.  The ACLU of Iowa defends the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so we are very interested recognizing a young person who fights for them, also. Areas might include such as free speech, free expression, LGBTQ issues, immigrants' rights, racial and gender equality, bullying, religious freedom, government and technology privacy issues, and disability rights.

To Make a Nomination

The person may be nominated by anyone familiar with that young person’s accomplishments. Parents, teachers, guardians, religious leaders, advocacy groups, community leaders, and others all are encouraged make nominations. The young person may also nominate themselves. 

The deadline for this year is July 1, 2019.

Click here for an interactive PDF version of the nomination form. (Helpful hint: To fill it out electronically, download it to your computer first.) Email to Or print and mail it to The ACLU of Iowa, 505 5th Ave, #808, Des Moines, IA 50309. 


The young person must be aged 14 to 19 at the time of nomination and live in Iowa.

The immigration status of the nominee does not matter for the purposes of this award. Special consideration will be given to young people who are transient, traveling among various states to be with family or for work, or for youth who have been homeless or have had a variety of addresses in more than one state over the past several months.

ACLU of Iowa staff or current board members, or their close relatives, are not eligible. 

More Information

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa does not stipulate that the award monies be used for any specific purpose. The prize may be used by the applicant for any legal purpose. For more information, contact Veronica Lorson Fowler at 515-207-0586 or email

2019 Winners
2018 Winners 
2017 Winners
2016 Winners
2015 Winning Entry
2014 Winning Entry
2013 Winning Entry