The Gate Museum


Drake University, Olmstead Center

February - March 2024

Drake University is recognized as one of the finest universities for experiential learning. As a midsize, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, Drake offers students the benefits and resources of a larger institution with the advantages of intimate class sizes and close personal relationships.

The Slay Fund for Social Justice at Drake University is an endowed fund that provides large and small grants to Drake students, staff, and faculty engaged in the work of social justice. The Fund exists because of the generosity of alumni Brent and Diane Slay and provides assistance to a wide range of projects that are having a significant impact on the university, the Des Moines community, the nation, and the world.

Slay Fund grants have paid for student research on topics as diverse as the BP Oil Spill, and Latina meat processing workers in Iowa; they have paid for student travel to conferences like NCORE, and the Food Recovery Summit; and for faculty and students to bring speakers to campus -- including Allison Bechdel, Jimmy Carter, Michele Norris and Imani Henry. The Slay Fund has supported the Summer of Social Justice Internship program, as well as the Social Justice Living and Learning Community.

The Slay Fund for Social Justice sponsored the Many Lives of Andrew Young traveling exhibit to spend 3 months at the Olmstead Center at Drake University. On February 26th, 2025, the Slay Fund and Drake University hosted a remarkable event: “Conversations with Ambassador Andrew Young and journalist Ernie Suggs.” As part of Drake’s commitment to fostering engaging dialogues and promoting awareness, the event corresponded with the exhibit on display in the Cowles Library Reading Room during Black History Month.

Drake University and the Slay Fund for Social Justice are dedicated to organizing thought-provoking events that contribute to meaningful conversations and community engagement around civil rights and social justice. With a focus on promoting dialogue and understanding, they strive to bring together influential voices to address pressing issues.