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Characters Unite Award Winners

Ryan Roemerman


Ryan Roemerman co-founded Iowa Pride Network (IPN) and led the effort to establish an LGBT Center on campus while he was a student at the University of Iowa. Upon graduating from college, Ryan took the helm of IPN, building it into a nationally recognized state organization.

Under Ryan’s leadership, IPN was instrumental in the passage of Iowa’s Safe School and amended Civil Rights laws, increasing the number of students protected from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity; and has grown the number of gay-straight alliances from under 20 in 2003 to over 100 today. IPN leadership development programs have gained national attention and serve to create the most politically astute, culturally competent LGBTA youth activists in the nation.

In addition to creating highly successful student programs, Ryan has authored the Iowa School and College Climate Surveys and newly developed “Safe School Certification Program,” a program that seeks to strengthen implementation of Iowa’s Safe Schools Law. The program, supported by the Iowa Department of Education and numerous state and nonprofit agencies, is providing the standard framework for similar efforts nationwide.

Ryan was named Champion for Children in 2007 for his advocacy on behalf of Iowa’s children and youth, was named as The Advocate’s “Person to Know” and was recently featured in the University of Iowa’s “Be Remarkable” campaign that seeks to share the achievements of the people who shaped the University’s history.

Ryan Roemerman graduated in 2005 with a BA in Communication Studies. He resides in Des Moines, IA.