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

Who We’re Looking For

We’re looking for a young person (age 14-19) who advocates for civil liberties with passion and determination—someone who recognizes injustices and finds ways to correct them. Areas of focus might include racial justice, free speech, free expression, LGBTQ issues, immigrants' rights, gender equality, religious freedom, government and technology privacy issues, or disability rights. The ACLU of Iowa works to defend everyone's rights—even when it isn’t popular, even when no one else will—and we are interested in recognizing a young person who encapsulates that same spirit.

Who Can Make a Nomination

Anyone familiar with a young person’s accomplishments is encouraged to nominate one or multiple young people. That means parents, teachers, guardians, religious leaders, advocacy groups, community leaders, another young person, and others may make a nomination.

A young person may also submit their own nomination. 

How to Make a Nomination

The nomination form is available as both a fillable PDF (link here) and a Microsoft Word document (link to download here).

Nominators are welcome to answer application questions in writing or by recording a video. Please send the completed form and any additional material for consideration to outreach@aclu-ia.org with “Mannheimer Award” in the subject line. Alternatively, you can print and mail it to: ACLU of Iowa, c/o Mannheimer Award, 505 5th Ave, #808, Des Moines, IA 50309.

If you have technical difficulties or questions while accessing the form or submitting your nomination, please reach out to us at outreach@aclu-ia.org or 515-207-5448.

Completed nomination forms must be received by Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Eligibility

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

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

ACLU of Iowa staff, current board members, and 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 us at outreach@aclu-ia.org.

Past Winners

2021 Winners
2020 Winners
2019 Winners
2018 Winners
2017 Winners
2016 Winners
2015 Winning Entry 
2014 Winning Entry
2013 Winning Entry