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Iowan LGBTQ rights activist Donna Red Wing dies after battle with cancer

Written by gaytourism

Donna Red Wing | Photo: One Iowa

Donna Red Wing, a woman who dedicated her life to LGBTQ activism, died on Monday (16 April) after a battle with lung cancer. She was 67 years old.

She was first hospitalized in August for cancer treatment. Her wife, Sumitra, grandson Jasper, and twin brother David survive her.

Wing served as the executive director of One Iowa from 2012 to 2016. The organization works on achieving LGBTQ equality in Iowa through grassroots efforts and education.

Before then, she worked with several other groups on the fight for equality.

In Washington D.C., she served as executive director ofr Grassroots Leadership and the chief of staff at Interfaith Alliance. She also helped out at the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Wing also became the first recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Faith and Freedom.

Most recently, she was the director of the Eychaner Foundation. This Des Moines organization worked on promoting tolerance and non-discrimination.

A legacy woven into the LGBTQ movement

JoDee Winterhof said Wing’s ‘legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of the LGBTQ equality movement’. Winterhof is the SVP for Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign.

‘Many in the HRC family had the honor of working alongside Donna during her time as HRC’s National Field Director and across many states and campaigns in more recent years,’ she continued.

‘For more than three decades, generations of advocates bore witness to Donna’s tenacity, deep commitment to equality and justice, and her many accomplishments, which inspired all those around her. Our hearts go out to Donna’s family and many friends who are grieving her loss.’

‘Donna was a force to be reckoned with and will be greatly missed by individuals across the country,’ said One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel.

‘She called herself an activist and an agitator and prided herself in being called the most dangerous woman by the Christian Coalition at one point.’

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