Living the Dream: Perspective, Privilege and Personal Power

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In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the College of Law and the UI Center for Human Rights welcomes Iowa Representative Ras Smith to speak on January 29 at 12:40 PM. 

Join the event at: All are welcome to attend; prior registration is not required.

Representative Ras Smith represents Iowa House District 62, which includes Waterloo, Elk Run Heights, Evansdale, and Raymond. Smith, a Waterloo native, is the son of L.C. and the Rev. Dr. Belinda Creighton-Smith.

Smith graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and a Master’s degree in Youth and Human Services.   Smith lives in Waterloo with his wife Amelia and their two daughters, Maria and Samara.  Locally, Smith serves on the Executive Advisory Committee for the University of Northern Iowa, Executive Board member of the Urban Agriculture Institute and Executive Board member of the YMCA of Black Hawk County.  

First elected to the Iowa House in 2017, Smith currently serves as the Ranking member for the House Education Committee as well as the Chairman of the Iowa Legislative Black Caucus.  Since his time in the legislature, Smith has been an advocate for; workers’ rights, social justice, education reform and has passed legislation to address police brutality, decreasing barriers to small business opportunities, in addition to creating alternative pathways for high school completion.

Since entering the legislature, Smith has been a recipient of the Cedar Valley 20 under 40 award (2017), a fellow of the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership (2018), the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Inductee: Rising Star Award (2019), the University of Northern Iowa- United Faculty Legislator of the Year (2019), the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame: We the People Award (2019), and Progress Iowa: Harkin Heroes Award (2020).

Out of session, Smith is the owner of Rise Advocacy Services which specializes in political consulting as well as grant writing, community engagement and resources development for organizations within the Cedar Valley area and across the state.  

Friday, January 29, 2021 12:40pm
UI Center for Human Rights
129 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52242
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Colleen Opal in advance at 13193353900 or