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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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BACHMAN, Dwight. (Waterloo, IA- ). In 1970 Bachman, a twenty-three year old graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, was hired as a human rights administrator for the City of Dubuque's Human Rights Commission. The commission requested a staff administrator during the summer of 1969, but was denied. The lack of an administrator had caused the local commission to come under criticism by the Iowa Civil Rights Department for "inactivity." (1)

When Bachman, a speech major in college and vice-president of the Afro-American Society at UNI, was hired he made it clear that he was only interested in the position until September. He planned to pursue graduate study at Cornell University. (2)

Bachman served four months as Dubuque's first human rights director. He began "Project Reactions-Actions," a community education program dealing with AFRICAN AMERICANS. Bachman believed white Americans had to learn why African Americans were proud. More African Americans, he believed also, needed to know why they should show pride in their heritage. (3) In February he made highly critical remarks directed at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE for its new black cultural center. He considered the house offered by the university for a black cultural center to be shabby and suggested improvements to the interior of the building which was to be known as the "Praesidium." Bachman's statements led to an indefinite postponement of a meeting with the DUBUQUE AREA CITIZEN'S COUNCIL ON COMMUNITY RELATIONS (DACCCR) by its president Ruth NASH. Nash said the postponement was her idea saying, "Mr. Bachman's emphasis was not relevant to the aims and purposes of DAACR and did not appear to be directed toward lessening prejudice in the city." (4)

In June 1970, Bachman left Dubuque to pursue graduate work at Cornell University in New York.



1. Bulkley, John. "Dubuque Hires Human Rights Administrator," Telegraph-Herald, February 1, 1970

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Bachman Criticism of Black Center Cancels Meeting," Telegraph-Herald, March 1, 1970, p. 9