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Lisa Nakashima papers

Identifier: IWA1321

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Scope and Contents

The Lisa Nakashima papers date from 1903 to 2004 and measure 1.5 linear feet in 3 boxes. The papers are arranged in two series: YWCA of Greater Des Moines and YWCA of the USA. The papers contain organizational records from both the local Des Moines and national board as well as material from local and national events and conventions. The papers also include three posters that convey the YWCA’s mission to “thrust [their] collective power toward the elimination of racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary.”


  • Creation: 1903 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Lisa Nakashima was born in Lihue, Kauai in the state of Hawaii. She moved to Des Moines in 1975 where she attended Drake University, majoring in Criminology-Criminal Justice. She served as the Field Director of the Moingona Girl Scout Council. Nakashima also served as a board member of the YWCA of Greater Des Moines and became involved as a leader in the YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee. The Committee steered the organization to create a board that was composed of more than half women of color. Nakashima spoke of the diversity of the YWCA board in the 1986 Women of Achievement calendar: “It is unique. It is made up of all women and 51% of them are women of color. That kind of group can speak to the issue of racism. That kind of group can have a significant, positive impact on the Des Moines community.” Nakashima was also a writer and poet. She co-authored the 1995 “History of YWCA of Greater Des Moines” to mark the centennial of the organization.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 oversized items shelved in Map Case)

Language of Materials



YWCA of Greater Des Moines and Racial Justice Committee board member.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1672) were donated by Lisa Nakashima in 2022.

Related Materials

YWCA of Greater Des Moines records IWA0167

Lisa Nakashima papers
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)