Meet the 2021 History Makers


Michael Allen began wrestling at the age of twelve in McKinstry Middle School in Waterloo, and continued wrestling at East High School and while enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in health and physical education, and a Master’s degree in school administration.

He obtained employment with the Waterloo Community Schools District in 1972, and started wrestling officiating. Mike Allen retired from the Waterloo school district in 2008. He became the first and only African American wrestling official in the state of Iowa to officiate at the State Wrestling Tournament. He has officiated twenty Iowa high school wrestling state tournaments and was voted the Outstanding Iowa Wrestling Official of the Year three times. He has been hired to officiate at fifteen college level NCAA Division I tournaments, ten NCAA Division II tournaments, five NCAA Division III tournaments, five NAIA NATIONAL tournaments, and three National Junior College tournaments.

Mike Allen has been inducted into the following Halls of Fame: The East High School Hall of Fame, The Ring of Honor Football Hall of Fame, The Ellsworth Football Hall of Fame, The Midlands Hall of Fame from Northwestern University, The Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame, The FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame, The Iowa Wrestling Official Hall of Fame and The Nation Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater Oklahoma.


Dedric Doolin is a dedicated advocate for social justice, civil rights, and young people. He has been involved in fighting for others since his elementary school days. Dedric Doolin is heavily involved in the Cedar Rapids community and has received many appointments to leadership positions.

He is currently President of the Cedar Rapids Branch of the NAACP, Secretary of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP State Conference, Interim President of the Iowa African American Hall of Fame, Inductee in the Iowa African American Hall of Fame in 2015, Chair of the I’LL Make Me a World in Iowa Black History Game Show and Co-Chair of the Education Day, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church Head Usher, Sunday School Teacher, Assistant Church Clerk, and Vice President Trustee Board, President Layman’s. These are just a few of the many honors that Dedric Doolin has received. Most recently, he was appointed in June 2021 to the Cedar Rapids Citizen Review Board by the Cedar Rapids City Council.


Pastor Diane Koger is the Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church In Ottumwa. She is the Owner of Amazing Panda Learning Academy LLC., In Clive and recently wrote a book entitled, “ A Clergy Woman Standing Alone in My Own Words.” After moving to Des Moines from Chicago, Pastor Koger worked for the West Des Moines Schools for over 15 years and later became a member of Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines. In 2018 Pastor Koger made history in becoming one of Iowa Trailblazers as the first African American female Baptist Pastor in the state of Iowa. She obtained an A.A. Degree in Early Childhood Education from Des Moines Area Community College. She is a Christian Councilor, Mentor, and has a heart to serve others. She has also received several certificates in ministry and educational studies and continues to advance her education at the National School of Theology.

Pastor Diane Koger is married to Deacon Joseph Koger Sr. Together they’re a blended family with 9 children and 12 grandchildren.


Negus Rudison-Imhotep is the Academic & Workforce Coordinator at Urban Dreams and the Deferred Expulsion Case Manager for Des Moines Public Schools. In these roles, he has connected several of Central Iowa’s top employers with highly skilled untapped talent, assisted hundreds of marginalized central Iowans in securing gainful employment, and successfully advocated on behalf of more than 50 students who faced expulsion from the Des Moines Public School district. Negus recently attained a new role as an Executive Board Member with the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity – Why Habitat?

Negus is also a sought-after orator and community ally, having served as an Executive Board Member for the Iowa Human Rights Board, and as a past Chair and Commissioner of the Iowa Commission on African Americans’ status. In 2015, Negus launched Rudison Consultancy Group, LLC to offer cultural community network advising and cultural competency training to agencies and organizations across the region. Negus is an autodidactic African historiographer who has conducted lectures in numerous cities throughout the United States.

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