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Legacy Series

Cedar Rapids Public Library

Contact Name: Amber Mussman
Type of Initiative: Inclusion and Tolerance 
Initiative Partners: Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, various additional partners 


The Cedar Rapids Public Library is partnering with the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission on a series of community conversations focused around our individual legacy. The Legacy Series is a four-part series held quarterly with a specific topic of focus for each event. A legacy is defined as a thing handed down by a predecessor. In this series, we focus on the legacies we are living and what we want our legacies to be. Each session features a different topic with a few individuals sharing personal stories on that topic. The first was Legacies: Black Women. This featured four individuals from throughout the community who have a unique story to tell on being a black woman. They each get 10 minutes to present on their personal story, using slides as visuals. The second in the series was Legacies: Immigrants, and featured the story of four individual immigrants in our community. The third in the series was held on February 23 and is Legacies: Black Men. The final subject will be presented by teens from local schools.

The series is designed to encourage a community dialogue around topics which are timely and difficult and to find a new connection between people. For our first event we saw nearly 100 people who were interested in learning and discussing the topic. The second event was slightly less attended but still created a wonderful opportunity for community dialogue. Our most recent event saw nearly 200 people in attendance.

We work with new partners through each event, depending on the topic. Our partners include: the African American Museum of Iowa, FlowMedia, Rockwell Collins, United Way of East Central Iowa, the City of Cedar Rapids, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, and more.