Civil Rights




Civil Rights

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach - Civil Rights Plan

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach ("ISU Extension and Outreach") has developed the following Civil Rights Plan to ensure compliance with federal civil rights law and to serve all Iowans. It provides a systematic process for the assessment of compliance with federal regulations as it pertains to policies, procedures, programs, and practices as well as the development and implementation of modifications and remedial steps taken to correct any instances where deficiencies are identified. Iowa counties will complete a civil rights audit every four years. ISU Extension and Outreach’s Civil Rights Plan has two components comprising (1) county civil rights audits and (2) annual program reviews by regions and program.

In order to complete the field marked Appendix A on the county audit form, county staff will need to pull demographics for their region using this tool. County staff will also need to use the Accessibility Checklist to complete question one for the accessibility section of the audit form. As counties review their audit forms, they will find the Assurance of Non-Discrimination Form referenced on the County Civil Rights audit form. The question referencing it reads, "Please list the organizations which have provided a signed letter that the organization does not discriminate in membership practices."

Federal Civil Rights laws

As a recipient of federal funds and educational institution, all ISU Extension and Outreach staff must comply with federal laws which prohibit discriminatory behavior in the various roles we serve in as educators, co-workers and providers of programs and activities. As educators, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must provide an educational environment free of barriers to participation on the basis of sex (Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972). As employers or co-workers, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must maintain a workplace free of discriminatory behavior on the protected bases of race, sex, religion, national origin, and color (Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964). The Age Discrimination in Employment Act also prohibits discrimination on the protected basis of age (40 years or older). As a recipient of federal funds, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must serve all Iowans equally regarding the same bases as listed above in Title VII (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). 

ISU Extension and Outreach also falls within the scope of two landmark pieces of disability rights legislation, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"). As employers and coworkers, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must maintain a workplace free of discrimination on the basis of disability and provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities (Sections 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and (Title I of the ADA). As providers of programs, ISU Extension and Outreach staff must serve all Iowans equally in providing programs and activities (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and (Title I of the ADA). ISU Extension and Outreach staff also must strive to ensure website accessibility (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act).

All of these federal laws prohibit ISU Extension and Outreach staff from retaliating against those who exercise these rights.

State Civil Rights law

The Iowa Civil Rights Act, among other areas such as credit and housing, applies to the same areas as the federal laws listed above that councils engage in such as public accommodation, education, employment. The Iowa Civil Rights Act also applies to similar bases as the federal legislation listed above, but adds the protected bases of creed, sexual orientation and gender identity. However, under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the protected basis of age is not limited to those who are 40 or older. It similarly prohibits ISU Extension and Outreach staff from retaliating against those who exercise rights under these acts.

The Assurance of Non-Discrimination is required by programmatic and collaborative partners of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to ensure that partners agree to and abide by our stance against discrimination and discriminatory actions.  If we are publicizing collaboration with a partner, a signed Assurance of Non-Discrimination must be obtained from that partner.

Since many of our local partners may represent chapters or offices of regional or statewide organizations, please contact the DEI Officer or appropriate Program Leader so that one Assurance of Non-Discrimination may be obtained for the entire organization.  

If you, a colleague, participant, or partner witnesses, experiences discrimination or harassment, regardless of who is alleged action is from, please be sure to report that behavior to an appropriate source including:

It is imperative that all discriminatory or harassing behavior be reported so that appropriate support is provided to the impacted party.

For more information or to discuss an experience, please contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.

Lynn Adams, Community Economic Development

Julie Baumler, Iowa Extension Council Association

Jaime Benning, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Gayle Coon, Professional Development

Rosa Gonzalez, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach

Contact us at

Regenea Hurte, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Carter Oliver (Harrison County Director), County Services

Keli Tallman, Program Development & Evaluation

Elaine Phompheng, Youth & 4-H

Anne Tedore (Region 9, Regional Director), County Services