Kesho Scott Inducted into Iowa African-American Hall of Fame

The Iowa African-American Hall of Fame (IAAHF) inducted four new members, including Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology, in November.

Founded in 1995 in Des Moines, the IAAHF recognizes the outstanding achievements of African-Americans who have enhanced the quality of life for all Iowans. Since its inception in 2002, the organization has inducted 65 Iowans as members.

Scott invited 20 of her students to the banquet. “They had the opportunity to interact with many of Iowa’s most distinguished leaders and scholars in the realm of race and social justice, and I was excited to give them this opportunity,” she says.

Scott was the first African-American woman to receive tenure at Grinnell. She is an award-winning author and frequent speaker on issues of race relations, diversity, women’s issues, inclusion, and cultural competency. She has 30 years of experience conducting workshops about unlearning racism and all “-isms.” 

Born in Detroit, Scott received her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University, her master’s in political sociology from the University of Detroit, and her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where she was Woman of the Year in 1986. She has held several distinguished faculty positions, including visiting professor at Nanjing University in China and Fulbright visiting professor at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. The recipient of numerous honors, Scott is especially proud to have been awarded the Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice by the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women in 2008. In addition, Scott has appeared on CNN, Iowa Public Radio, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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