Polk County

Women Attorneys

The Polk County Women Attorneys Willie Stevenson Glanton Award

Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Willie Stevenson Glanton was a woman of firsts. By age 11, she knew that she wanted to be a lawyer and “free up people.”  Only the second African American woman admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa, she also became the first African American woman to be appointed a city clerk (1953), assistant county attorney (1955), to serve in the state legislature (1964) and to serve on the Des Moines city council (1980).  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.”  She practiced law with her husband in the 1960s, when women attorneys were rare.  She worked in private practice, followed by 22 years of service in the Des Moines office of the Small Business Administration. She was an advocate and an activist.   Speaking of her youth, Willie said, “We learned that no matter how much education we had, we must help others, reach back and help our community. If we don’t do that, we have accomplished nothing. The goal is always to improve our community, wherever we happen to be."

2020 Award Recipient
Chief Justice Mark Cady

In 2020, PCWA honored the memory of Chief Justice Mark Cady with the 10th Annual Willie Stevenson Glanton Aware.  The State of Iowa was saddened in November 2019 to learn of the passing of our beloved Chief Justice.  Chief Justice Cady's passing was a shock to our legal community and a tremendous loss for our state and the countless individuals he served and championed over the years.

Chief Justice Cady was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1998, and the justices on the Court selected him as their Chief Justice in 2011.  He had a decorated career in the judiciary, and he was known throughout our state and the country for his service to his community, his unfailing kindness, and his compassion for all.

Now Accepting Nominations for the

2022 Willie Stevenson Glanton Award

The  PCWA Willie Stevenson Glanton Award is presented annually to recognize a lawyer who exemplifies Willie’s spirit to help others, reach back and help his or her community, working toward the goal of improving that community, whether through a commitment to public service, legislative initiatives, professional activities, or community activities.  Award recipients demonstrate a commitment to advocacy and activism in the spirit of Willie’s devotion to “free up people.”  All nominations are encouraged, welcome, and necessary for the continuing success of this award!

Past recipients of the award include the following individuals:

2011—The Honorable Romonda D. Belcher

2012—Roxanne Conlin

2013—The Honorable Ruth Klotz

2014—The Honorable Celeste Bremer

2015—Lori Chesser

2016—Representative Helen Miller

2017—Judge Donna Paulsen

2018—Anjela Shutts

2019—Eliza Ovrom

2020—The Honorable Mark Cady

Polk County Women Attorneys, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization.

Questions? Contact a board member: PCWA Board

P.O. Box 93011, Des Moines, IA 50393

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software