The Jim Harris Award is named for the founding chair of the School of Urban and Regional Planning and is awarded each year to a student who has made an outstanding contribution through community service.
This year’s recipient is Misty Rebik. Misty came to URP with substantial experience as a community organizer with the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement where she led a seven county campaign against wage theft between 2010 and 2012. Since then she was instrumental in organizing the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa for which she became executive director at the beginning of her second year in Fall 2013. Since CWJ’s inception Misty has led major campaigns against employers that practice wage theft and on behalf of workers that would benefit from a living wage. Just yesterday, she and CWJ led a 60 person rally against Outback Steakhouse in Cedar Rapids to protest the failure of Outback’s subcontractor to pay an employee for 49 days of work that are owed the employee. Misty has also played a leadership role in pushing for a Johnson County community ID to protect Johnson County residents who are unable to get a state ID or driver’s license.
Misty has been recognized by others for her community engagement and service. In 2013 she was awarded the Kenneth Cmiel Human Rights Award of the Year and she was also a 2013 University of Iowa Kenneth Cmiel Human Rights Scholarship recipient as well in the Summer of 2013. In late 2013, the Press-Citizen named her among 10 Iowa Citians as people to watch in 2014.
On behalf of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, we are very proud to recognize Misty Rebik with the 2014 Jim Harris Award for Community Service.