The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA) is a vibrant organization working to unite people and organizations to promote a society free from sexual violence and to meet the diverse needs of survivors. IowaCASA is a progressive organization, and works toward goals that will improve the well-being of survivors in many aspects of their lives. We support disenfranchised groups and actively work on anti-racist initiatives. IowaCASA is a small, statewide non-profit organization that provides a friendly, fast-paced work environment.
Nicole Stepleton Hardin
Nicole works as the Deputy Director for IowaCASA. She provides guidance for IowaCASA's departments to ensure alignment with our mission and values. Before joining IowaCASA, Nicole worked in higher education often serving historically marginalized and vulnerable populations. She also lead efforts for diversity, equity and inclusion professionally and within the community. Nicole holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and master's degree in Educational leadership and Policy Studies.
Director of Training & Technical Assistance
Elizabeth started working in the anti-violence movement in 2003 at IowaCASA's member program L.U.N.A. (Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer). At the coalition, she provides resources, support, and in-depth capacity building for member programs as she assists them with organizational sustainability. She directs the flow of technical assistance to member programs.
Director of Finance & Grants
Julie oversees the financial management of all coalition operations and funding for the coalition. She also manages and monitors the agency's sub-grant program to member programs and provides consultation regarding grant, financial, and administrative issues. She is a Certified Sexual Assault Victim Counselor, and holds a degree from Iowa State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. She earned her master's degree from ISU in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies with areas of specialization in Women's Studies, Sociology and English.
Alexis (Alex) Karumuna
Prevention & Outreach Coordinator
Alex is a devoted youth activist and advocate on promoting Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights, HIV Prevention, and Gender Based Violence. He previously worked as program director at Dream Village Organization, a nonprofit organization based in Rwanda focused on motivating and empowering marginalized young people to become social change agents. As a program director he was responsible for initiating programs, overseeing implementation, and conducting evaluation. Alex brings over 8 years of experience from his work in Rwanda to IowaCASA. He joined us in January of 2022 as the Prevention and Outreach Coordinator. Alex speaks English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda, and he can provide support around primary prevention, positive youth development, program design and evaluation, and community outreach.
Sonci assists survivors with navigating the administrative process in secondary and post-secondary educational settings, as well as certain civil legal processes. Sonci graduated from Wartburg College in 2007 with majors in psychology and sociology and a minor in Woman’s Studies. She graduated from Drake University Law School in 2012. She served as IowaCASA’s Rural SART coordinator in 2015 before spending time at a private practice in West Des Moines. Her areas of practice included family law (dissolutions, establishment of paternity, child support and visitation), residential landlord/tenant, consumer rights, employment, and guardianships.
KellyMarie Z. Meek
Prevention & Public Health Initiatives Coordinator
KellyMarie started in the anti-violence movement as a volunteer in 1996. Since then, she has worked with a local rape crisis and domestic violence program, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Integrative Services Project, and the Iowa Victim Assistance Academy. She joined IowaCASA in 2008, where she focuses on prevention and training. Her many passions include sex workers' rights, LGBTQIA advocacy, and working with youth and families involved in the foster care system.
Josh graduated from William Penn University in Oskaloosa with a degree in Business Management and then obtained his Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School in 2015. He previously worked in contact center management, consulting, and human resources, and has practiced law in a variety of settings primarily in the areas of employment, family law, landlord/tenant, domestic violence, criminal law, and estate and probate. Additionally, Josh has taught classes in human resources topics, law, and information systems as an adjunct instructor at local universities and has served on a number of non-profit boards.
Assistant Director of Finance & Benefits
Kathy assists with the financial management of the coalition operations and funding for the coalition with her main emphasis on the Resource Sharing Project. She also provides technical assistance to financial personnel at state coalitions and programs regarding grants, fiscal duties, budgeting, and human resources issues. She has over 20 years’ experience in non-profit fiscal management and several years in benefits administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Simpson College and a Human Resource Management Certificate from Des Moines Area Community College.
Legal Services Coordinator
Laura works with the coalition's legal team to provide legal support and resources to survivors of sexual assault. Before joining IowaCASA, Laura started as a volunteer in 2013 with L.U.N.A. (Latinas Unidas por Un Nuevo Amanecer), a culturally specific program in Des Moines, where she later became a full-time Sexual Assault Coordinator. Laura is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Human Services with a minor in physiology. She speaks and writes Spanish fluently.
TA & Survivor Services Coordinator
Before joining IowaCASA, Ariadna served the immigrant community as a legal assistant at the U.S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a nonprofit organization with a field office in Des Moines, helping provide low cost/free immigration legal services to immigrants and refugees in Iowa. Ariadna also served at ACCESS as a domestic violence advocate, specializing in working with immigrant and Latinx survivors. She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and speaks Spanish fluently.
Membership Services and TA Coordinator
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Chicano/a-Latino/a studies from the University of Nebraska Omaha, she managed a community-based program through the office of justice focused on empowering neighborhoods by building collaborations with city, government, nonprofits and community. She has served on various boards and advisory councils concerning arts, military families, and empowering and advocating for marginalized communities. Building collaboration to make change, serving her community, and social justice has been a driving force in all her involvement.
The Resource Sharing Project is part of a national movement of sexual violence-related services and resources. Led by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Resource Sharing Project was created to help sexual assault coalitions across the country access the resources they need in order to thrive as they work to support survivors and end sexual assault.
Kris has been an active part of the anti-violence movement since 1995. Before joining IowaCASA's team in 2009, she provided medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual violence, institutional advocacy, and training through a dual domestic violence and sexual assault agency in rural Illinois. Kris holds a master's degree in Human Services from the University of Illinois, with specialization in Social Services Administration.
Assistant Director of the Resource Sharing Project
Program Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project
Valerie provides training and technical assistance to state coalitions and rural dual-service programs on enhancing and building comprehensive sexual assault services. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in domestic violence, from the University of Colorado Denver. She has been part of the anti-violence movement since 1995.
Rural Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project
Leah is originally from Eastern Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and Studio Art from Cornell College. She has been involved in the anti-violence movement since 2010 working for several centers across Iowa as an advocate and prevention educator. At the Resource Sharing Project, she provides training and technical assistance to state coalitions and rural dual-service programs across the country on issues related to creating sustainable sexual assault services.
Rural Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project
LaShae Lopez is driven by her passion to promote healing and accountability and center the needs of communities that have been pushed to the margins. She began her work as a crisis responder in Flagstaff, Arizona, and has been committed to advocating for survivors and anti-violence work since then. LaShae has experience in direct sexual and domestic violence advocacy and providing training and technical assistance for sexual violence services, responses, advocacy, and prevention. LaShae is happiest when reading a new book, dancing, playing mini-golf, and being an active member of her adopted community.
Norio Umezu Hall
for the Resource Sharing Project
Norio loves finding resilience and wisdom in the written word. As publications specialist, he gets to combine three loves: the anti-violence movement, systems change, and art. Before coming to Iowa, he worked with low-income LGBTQ survivors of color. He’s worked at the statewide coalition level in Iowa for almost three years now. When he isn’t writing or reading, he can be found learning about culturally based healing and community organizing.
Sexual Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Resource Sharing Project
Rebekah is RSP’s Sexual Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Coordinator. She is a lifelong advocate with and for survivors of gender violence – "their expertise leads and grounds my advocacy." Within intersecting issues of oppression, she approaches advocacy through the lenses of trauma, human rights, healing, and liberation. She says, "it has been an honor to work at the local, state and national levels in direct services, public policy, training, and technical assistance." Rebekah is grateful to all the survivors who’ve trusted her with their wisdom, wounds, struggles and strengths.”
Board of Directors
W. Michael Fleming, President
University of Northern Iowa
Yoshida Thomas, President-Elect
Friends of the Family
Yvette Clausen, Secretary
Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Kristin Clayton, Treasurer
University of Iowa
Mental Health Therapist
Anasia C. Sturdivant
Lindsey Rawson Van Wyk