Iowa Community

Though our policy work takes us around the globe, we remain committed to our community by promoting local opportunities that emphasize human rights and social justice.

Our commitment to Global Education for the Iowa community

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security was founded in 1956 by C. Maxwell “Max” and Elizabeth M. “Betty” Stanley. The Stanley family intentionally based the center in Muscatine, Iowa—home to Max Stanley’s two global companies, which still exist today.

Our location provides a valuable vantage point from which to conduct our pursuit of global policy progress and enables us to continue the Stanley family’s commitment to our hometown through our Global Education program.

The goals of the Global Education program at the Stanley Center are to foster inclusive dialogue, celebrate diverse perspectives, and promote equity to build a more peaceful and just world. Our unique emphasis continues to be on partnering with the Muscatine community–specifically local educators and organizations–to grow global awareness and understanding.

Featured Activities

Susie Clark

This picture book beautifully simplifies for young readers a decades-long struggle for civil rights in a period before, during, and after the Civil War. It offers an imagined glimpse into the true story of Susan Clark and her family, in Muscatine, Iowa, who overcame barriers to equal access to education. Susan Clark was just 13 when she became the first Black student in the United States to integrate a public school through a court order, in 1868.

Learn more about Susie Clark: The Bravest Girl You’ve Ever Seen.

The Catherine Miller Explorer Awards

The opportunity to learn abroad can expand the horizons of any traveler, no matter his or her vocation. But when teachers have the opportunity, the experience has ripple effects throughout a community. It enhances their ability to support students from diverse backgrounds, adds new perspective to their classrooms, and helps them become stronger educators. Each spring, the Stanley Center invites local teachers to apply for a summer study tour outside of the United States. The awards are named after Catherine Miller, a longtime Muscatine educator who was an avid traveler and always sought to expand her students’ understanding of the world. Winners are announced in the fall.

See past winners and map of travel destinations.

International Day

This annual event, organized in partnership with several entities at the University of Iowa, brings together students from nearly a dozen Iowa middle schools to learn how to take meaningful action in their communities and across the world. Each year, one of the articles under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is chosen to guide the curriculum.

Learn more about International Day.

Global Education Institute for Teachers

How can teachers develop globally minded students in the 21st century? This annual seminar helps Iowa teachers answer this question through lectures, activities, and conversations. Teachers learn new strategies and skills for helping their students become active global citizens.

Learn more about the Global Education Institute for Teachers.

Inclusive Dialogue

How do we approach life’s complexity? As part of the Global Education Program at the Stanley Center, we co-organized a conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of the collection of short stories, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, on Thursday, April 6, 2023.

Learn more about Inclusive Dialogue.

Community Partners

Contact Us

Are you a student, teacher, or member of our community with a question about our programs in Iowa? Contact us to learn more.