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Louise Noun Visionary Woman Award


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The YWRC’s Louise Noun Visionary Woman Award honors advocates, activists, innovators and philanthropists whose contributions and/or body of work have made significant contributions toward empowering girls and young women. One Visionary Woman Awardee is honored at  our annual YWRC Gala, where they receive  the award and have the opportunity to speak during the program.

Nominations for the 2020 Louise Noun Visionary Woman award have closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s honoree.


In 1978, a group of visionary women, led by feminist and philanthropist Louise Noun, founded the Young Women’s Resource Center. The 70-year-old Louise had already been the president of the League of Women Voters and the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, had founded the Iowa Women’s Political Caucus and the Des Moines chapter of the National Organization for Women, and had financed the landmark Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines, but she looked at the city and saw an inequality that she was determined to combat.

It was with that sentiment in mind that the YWRC was founded as a place where girls and young women could find resources that would support them in achieving their own goals. It was Louise’s vision that the YWRC be a positive place for all girls and young women to become strong, self-confident and successful.

The legacy of Louise Noun is honored when the work of a nominee supports/informs the empowerment of girls and women. This work is exemplified by the nominee’s passionate belief in the purpose of empowerment, imagination toward what the result of their work will look like, strong sense of values guiding their work, ability to inspire others and activism toward achieving it.


  •  Evaluation of nominees will include consideration of the following criteria/factors:
  •  If the nominee has made significant contributions toward empowering girls and young women.
  •  How the nominee’s contributions advance the status and welfare of girls and women and impact our community.
  •  The nominee is a community member of the Greater Des Moines area.
  •  How the nominee’s characteristics, attitude and skills relate to the mission of the YWRC.
  •  If the nominee would serve as a positive role model for the YWRC’s participants.


Utilizing the structure provided below, submit your nomination for the 2020 Louise Noun Visionary Woman Awardee.

 1.  A brief summary statement describing why the nominee should be considered to receive the Louise Noun Visionary Woman Award and how the nominee has made significant contributions toward empowering girls and young women of our community.

2.  Expand upon the summary statement by describing specific endeavors and achievements that demonstrate the nominee’s contribution and how they went about achieving the results.

This could include:

  • How they advanced/ensured rights, opportunities and choice for girls and young women,
  • How they equipped women and girls with the skills and strengths to pursue opportunities and goals
  • How they established or increased representation of the needs and best interests of girls and young women
  • Elaboration on the nominee’s personal characteristics, attitude and skills which have been vital to their success
  • A description of any challenges/obstacles the nominee may have overcame
  • Inclusion of honors/awards/recognition received by the nominee (not required)
  • The impact of the nominee’s accomplishments, and how that impact will endure.

3.  Describe how the nominee’s work has inspired others to become leaders and role models.

4.  Any additional information you would like to provide for consideration. (optional)



Please include the following information with your nomination:

  • Nominator’s first and last name
  • Nominator’s email and phone number
  • Nominator’s relationship to nominee

By submitting a nomination for the Louise Noun Visionary Woman Award, you are affirming that the information provided is true and factual to the best of your knowledge.

2020 nominations should be submitted via word document or PDF file to [email protected] with ‘Louise Noun Visionary Woman nomination’ in the subject line by Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

The selection committee will notify the nominator of the nomination results when the process is completed at the contact information provided.

Questions? Contact Erin via email or at 515.244.4901.