Stephen Black, founder of Impact America, to keynote higher education track

Nonprofit has engaged thousands of students in service-learning projects

Stephen Black
Stephen Black

Stephen Black, president and founder of Impact America, will keynote the higher education track at Iowa Ideas 2017. Black will speak Thursday, September 21 in Cedar Rapids.

Impact America is a nonprofit that provides thousands of college students the opportunity to participate in structured service projects designed to promote learning and leadership development. Projects range from providing vision screenings to low income and rural children to helping with community tax preparation to mentoring the next generation of students. Black is also the founder of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama where he has served as director since 2004.

As grandson of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, Stephen Black was fascinated by his family’s history of public service.


Black’s keynote at Iowa Ideas will address the future of higher education and how the culture of higher education is changing. His track keynote is made possible by a partnership between Iowa Ideas, Iowa Campus Compact and the University of Northern Iowa.  

The Iowa Ideas Conference, Sept. 20-22 will include 80 sessions and more than 250 speakers across eight tracks. The statewide gathering will mix panel discussions, one-on-one conversations and thought-provoking experiences to help move complex issues forward. Iowa Ideas is for anyone who wants to be part of the conversation about the future of our state.

Other topics planned in the higher education track include funding models, interviews with Iowa’s campus leaders, the higher education mix of the future, diversity on campus and more.


The opening night keynote, Alec Ross, is an expert on the technological and economic trends that will shape the next decade. 



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