Ila Plasencia

Honored by:The Latino Studies and Philosophy Departments
Brick location:PAVER:14  map


Widely regarded as the most prominent Latino political activist in Iowa.

Born in Earlham, Iowa, on February 18, 1927, Plasencia played a pivotal role in various community groups by her late teens. In 1957, Plasencia began a long-term career with LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), an organization devoted to the political and social advancement of Latino/as in the US. She helped to establish the first women's LULAC council in Iowa and in 1986 she became the first woman to hold the office of LULAC State Director in the State of Iowa. In 1987 she became the first woman from Iowa to hold the office of LULAC National Vice President for the Midwest (12-state region). Plasencia has also founded several Hispanic organizations and served as the first Latino in primary roles in a number of Latino organizations, including the Mexican American Bowlers League, the State of Iowa Spanish Speaking People's Commission (the precursor of the Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs), and the Midwest Educational Resources Development Fund. She has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Award, in recognition for her untiring contributions to the Hispanic Community.


Paver Inscription:

"Latino Studies
Dolores Huerta
A C Novello
Ellen Ochoa
Ila Plasencia"