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Ross previously served as the Diversity Officer and the Associate Director of Community Economic Development at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Ames, IA. He has 35 years of experience in non-profit human services, educational, and governmental organizations locally and nationally. Also, Ross was the Director of Equity for the Iowa City Community School District, where he facilitated the district’s grievance and compliance procedures with civil rights and equity-related statutes for staff and students. In addition, he coordinated and provided cultural proficiency training to all district staff.
Ross was a visiting instructor at the University of Iowa’s School of Social Work and is a former director of the school’s Quad Cities Graduate Center. He was Executive Director at the Crisis Center of Johnson County and was recognized as the United Way Member Agency Director of the Year in 2006. Ross is a former youth worker at United Action for Youth.
Ross has an extensive history of community involvement. In 2012, he finished serving his twelfth & final year on the City Council in Iowa City, Iowa. He is a former Mayor of Iowa City and has the distinction of having been the city’s first African-American Mayor. Ross has a Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Iowa.
He served in the Iowa Army National Guard for six years, achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant E-6, and was recognized as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of his Noncommissioned Officer’s School class.
He is a certified group fitness instructor through Les Mills International and teaches classes at Wellmark YMCA and Top Shape Gym. He has two adult children and his hobbies include genealogy, cycling, softball, and playing the clarinet and guitar.
June is a vocal advocate for Iowa Democrats on the regional and national level, but she is truly passionate about grassroots organizing within neighborhoods. She supports candidates up and down the ticket by helping to lead efforts like the IDP’s Build Our Bench Program to recruit and train the next generation of Iowa leadership. June’s commitment to engagement includes faithful participation over the years to increase voter registration, voter education and voter outreach activities.
As leader of the Iowa Democrats Care Program, June has connected the state’s constituency caucuses, county parties and neighborhood groups together to complete acts of service and philanthropy to directly impact Iowa’s communities and demonstrate Democratic values. June is committed to providing party-building support at every level, and she was inducted into the IDP’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her efforts.
June is an active member of the Association for State Democratic Committees (ASDC) where she was appointed to serve on the Rules and By-laws Committee.
A Des Moines resident, June is a member of several community organizations including, but not limited to: the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute (former member of the Board of Governors) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.