Learn about the beginnings of the African American Museum of Iowa, our mission that carries us forward, and our vision for the future.

Our History

A small group of members of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church founded the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids in 1993. The church provided meeting space and money to launch the organization.

We built the current facility in 2003. During the flood of 2008, we took on 5.5 feet of water and closed for several months to repair and rebuild.

The museum reopened in in 2009 with our current permanent exhibit, Endless Possibilities.

In 2023, we began exterior and interior renovations to the building, prompted by the City of Cedar Rapids’s flood control system. Learn more about our renovation and Voices Inspiring Progress capital campaign.

Our Mission

To preserve, exhibit, and teach the African American heritage of Iowa.

Our Vision

We envision building a community that comes together to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of Iowa’s African American history and culture through conversation, engagement, and reflection.