Honoring Willie Stevenson Glantonby Former Representative Bruce L. Braley
Posted on 2014-01-14
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Mr. BRALEY of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Willie
Stevenson Glanton on her tireless efforts throughout her life to break
down race and gender barriers and pave the way for many Americans.
Willie Stevenson Glanton has been dedicated to the law, human services,
and civil rights.
Willie has been a champion for women and minorities throughout her entire life. She was only the second African American woman admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa, along with becoming the first African American woman to be appointed as a city clerk, assistant county attorney, and the first African American female to be elected to the Iowa State Legislature. In addition to her many achievements, Willie is the first woman and first African American to be elected president of the Iowa Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She ``wanted to make an impact for black and women's rights, which are historically intertwined,'' and ``felt that our black children needed more black images in politics to stir their interests.'' With all of her achievements, another great success was her 50-year marriage to the love of her life, the late Luther T. Glanton Jr. who was also a pioneer for African Americans by becoming Iowa's first district judge. A thrilling day for my family was when Judge Glanton spoke at my sister's high school graduation in 1973.
As such an important symbol of justice, the Willie Stevenson Glanton Award was established to recognize a lawyer who exemplifies Willie's spirit to help others, reach back, and help his or her community. Recipients are honored for working toward the goal of improving their community, whether through a commitment to public service, legislative initiatives, professional activities, or community activities. They must demonstrate a commitment to advocacy and activism in the spirit of Willie's devotion to ``free up people.'' Willie is an example of a leader who has worked tirelessly to make her community, her state, and her country a better place to live. She is a true example of hard work, determination and a good heart, and shows us that we can achieve so much and improve the lives of so many individuals directly and indirectly. Willie, on behalf of Iowans and Americans, you make us proud.