Ms. Mary Campos

January 21, 2020
Iowan of the Week

Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Ms. Mary Campos, a longtime Iowan civil rights activist.

Campos was the first Latina inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2017, she received the American Civil Liberties Union Edward S. Allen Award for her time helping non-English speaking families learn English and helping them through the steps to become a U.S. Citizen. She has also earned the Ohtli Award, the highest honor given from the Mexican government to a Mexican descendent for her work assisting Mexican immigrants. She has served on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the League for United Latin American Citizens and was one of the founders of the National Black and Brown Forum. Campos, who turned 90 in November, is still serving her community in various capacities.

Ms. Campos received an honorary nursing degree from the Des Moines Area Community College. Al Exito, a catalyst for the empowerment of Latino youth in Iowa, conducted the third annual Mary E. Campos Luncheon where DMACC President, Rob Denson, presented the honorary degree. Al Exito started the Mary E. Campos Scholarship to help honor Campos' dream of seeing young people, especially students of color, earn higher education degrees and fill positions of leadership within their communities.

It is an honor to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Ms. Campos and celebrate the determination and hard work that she and other activists like her have put into Iowa. I have great respect and admiration for folks who stand up for people who can’t always stand up for themselves, and I am humbled by Ms. Campos’ decades and decades of bravery and compassion.

I applaud Ms. Mary Campos for her unwavering dedication. Let us be of service this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and remember the important work of Dr. King that lives on people like Mary Campos.