»PAPERS, 1946-[1996]

(bulk 1961-1966)

1 linear inchDATES:»




The »papers (donor no. 379) were donated by Arlene Morris» in 1996.


The »papers are open for research.


»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


Kristen Rassbach, 1997Your name, year».



Arlene J. Roberts Morris was born on April 7, 1926 and grew up in Moline, Illinois.  While a college student, Morris appeared on the cover of the first issue of Eyes magazine, an early publication relating to African-American life and culture, in 1946.  She also served on its staff.  Morris graduated from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1946.


Arlene Roberts married attorney James B. Morris, Jr., in 1948.  James Morris was the son of James Morris, Sr., a long-time publisher of the Iowa State Bystander, an African-American newspaper.  Arlene Morris and her husband settled in Des Moines and had three sons, James III (Brad), William, and Robert.


From 1960 to 1967 Morris participated on the Know Your Neighbor Panel.  The panel traveled around Iowa, as well as to several other states and Washington D.C., speaking about tolerance among races and religions.  It consisted of women from different racial backgrounds--African-American, Japanese-American, and Caucasian--and women of different religious backgrounds--Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish.


In 1967, Arlene Morris earned an M.A. in psychology from Drake University in Des Moines.  She worked as a clinical psychologist at Broadlawns Medical Center from 1967 to 1991.  She was the first African-American woman psychologist to be licensed by the Iowa State Board of Psychology.


During the 1980s, Morris served on the Iowa Advisory Committee of the United States Civil Rights Commission for more than three years.

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Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The Arlene Morris papers date from »1946 to [1996] and measure »1 linear inch.  The »collection consists primarily of materials related to the Know Your Neighbor panel, including a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and two magazine articles.  A handwritten list of biographical information and a copy of the first issue of Eyes magazine are also included in the collection.


Related Collections


A small volume of subsequent issues of Eyes, 1946-1947, may be found in the University Archives, University of Iowa.


June Goldman papers

            Goldman was also a member of the Know Your Neighbor panel.


Lillian Moore Scales papers

            Scales was Morris’s cousin.


Box no.           Description

Box 1

Biographical information, [1996]

Eyes, April 1946

Know Your Neighbor Foundation and panel

Bylaws, undated

First meeting, 1961

“Captivating Panel Combats Prejudice,” The Iowan (Winter 1969)

“A Plea for Tolerance,” Bethlehem Review (June 1966)

Scrapbook [photocopied], 1961-1966