Good Human Doing Great Things

LaSheila Yates MA, SHRM-CP, CPM

LaSheila Yates has years of experience in senior executive leadership in public administration. She is the first Black woman to serve as Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission and was the City of Cedar Rapids’ first chief diversity officer between 2014 - 2018. 

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in 2004 and Master of Arts in Social Science from Southern University A&M College in 2005, while also serving as a heavy construction engineer in the Louisiana Army National Guard.  She then received a Master of Arts in Sociology degree from Southern Illinois University in 2007. She is also a graduate of Drake University’s Certified Public Administrator program.

In 2013, Yates entered the world of pageantry and was the first African American to serve a Mrs. Iowa International. Her platform focused on providing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities for underrepresented populations. This platform was dear to her heart because she served as one of the First Tech Challenge (FTC) coaches for a team by the name of Black Engineers of Tomorrow (B.E.T.). It was an all-African and African American FTC team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that her husband Christopher served as the head coach for. 

Prior to moving to Allen in 2022, Yates was acknowledged by the Iowa community for her leadership. In 2018, she was inducted into the Iowa African American Hall of Fame. She was acknowledged as a 2017 Woman of Influence by the Corridor Business Journal and one of its 2010 Forty Under 40 Emerging Leaders recipients. She is one of the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success’ 2016 I AM the BRIDGE Honorees.

In her leisure time, Yates enjoys giving back to her community through volunteerism. She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board, Commission of Persons with Disabilities, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Advisory Committee, United Way of East Central Iowa, Linn County Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, and Wakeup for Your Rights.

Yates currently owns Cultural Perspectives, LLC, a human resources business that was established in 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her company’s focus is to provide high-quality diversity, equity, and inclusion education and consulting. Her company is currently offering free training and community workshops related to DEI. She enjoys working in the field of DEI and feels like the work she engaged now is a gift and act of service for my new community. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of Allen and the Kiwanis Club of Allen.

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