CANCELLED: Cup o' Justice Presents "Adapting to Change in the Fast Approaching Future; Technology Changing our Life at Light-Speed" with Karl Cassell

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
347 Old Capitol Room Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)
125 North Madison Street
Iowa City, IA 52245
This event is Advantage Iowa approved.


Join us at the last Cup O' Justice event of the semester as Karl Cassell leads a discussion on the convergence of politics, religion and finance and how we will have to adjust our skills as students and adults to lead differently. 

Karl is the CEO and Founder of Perhaps Today!, an informational consulting company that primarily addresses topics in the areas of religion, finance, and politics through written, audio, and video platforms.

Honoring the rich tradition of activism at the University of Iowa and in the surrounding community, Cup o’ Justice is a year-long series of discussions designed to bring change leaders together in shared learning.

The goal of this series is to promote intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue about social justice, civil rights, and civic engagement.  At each hosted discussion, invited Change Leaders will share their stories of activism, lessons learned along the way, and the personal impacts of their work in an informal and intimate setting. Interested activists and change agents are encourage to grab a cup of coffee, listen to the rich stories, ask questions, and share their own journeys.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Chief Diversity Office in advance at 353-2388 or by email at

Advantage Iowa Approved


Karl A. Cassell Biography

With over 20 years experience across many industry sectors, Karl has broad expertise in executive management, strategy development, and new business initiatives. His primary career focus has been in developing winning teams, while growing leaders for internal or external promotion.

Most recently, from June 2013-October 2017, Karl Cassell had been President/CEO of Horizons, A Family Service Alliance. Horizons runs the largest local Meals on Wheels program (second largest in the state), and also provided services in the areas of Mental Health & Wellness, Financial Health & Wellness, Neighborhood Transportation Service (NTS), Community Health & Nutrition, and Family Support Programs.

The agency has experienced major transformation in these areas.

·         Healthy Horizons service delivery

·         Fresh food growth and delivery

·         NTS organizational merger complete

·         Increased community visibility

·         Revamped staff to better utilize existing skill sets


In 2013, Karl was chosen as one of five local community leaders to participate in the Georgetown Project: Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice certificate program, to minimize disproportionality in Iowa’s juvenile justice program. Other participants are a law enforcement officer, a juvenile court judge, the student equity officer at the Cedar Rapids school district, and a juvenile court officer. As part of this project, the group met with students tagged by the school district as being at risk for involvement in the juvenile court system. The goal is to increase academic performance, lower out of school instances (expulsions, suspensions, detentions, etc.), and expose the students to future career options. The capstone project, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, consists of pairing at risk youth with mentors. This is an ongoing project that will follow these students throughout their high school career. The belief is that if we engage these young people today, they will be productive and successful citizens of our community tomorrow and contribute to the economic vitality of our community.

Prior to Horizons, Karl served as Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission for four years. Its mission is to assure the rights of all people under the law. In a short period of time, Karl demonstrated leadership in areas of crime prevention, economic and neighborhood development, and public discourse on related public policy issues. Under Karl’s leadership, the Commission held two housing conferences, completed the annual “Analysis of Impediments”, and established the “Friends of the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission,” a non-profit foundation developed to advocate and give young people a voice. Karl served as the President for the state-wide organization, “League of Iowa Human/Civil Rights Agencies” from 2009-2011. In February 2012, Senator Harkin announced the approval of the largest state grant from HUD to the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

Karl returned to Cedar Rapids in 2004 when he became Executive Director of the Jane Boyd Community House; where he remained for almost five years. Karl managed a $1M budget and participated in a $4M capital campaign. With his guidance, Jane Boyd’s more than 20 staff and 50 volunteers, developed innovative programming for all age groups; from pre-school to seniors.

Recognizing the importance of active community involvement and his role as a stakeholder, Karl serves on several boards, including Elmcrest Country Club, Collins Community Credit Union Board, City Planning Commission of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary (he was President of the 33rd largest club in the world from 2016-2017); St. Luke’s Hospital Board, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

Karl was inducted into Jefferson High School’s 2011 Alumni Hall of Fame. He was awarded 1st place in an essay contest by the St. Louis Federal Reserve on Economic Development in 2009, and is a member of Leadership for Five Season’s (LFS) Class of 2007. In 2006, Karl was selected for recognition as a young and emerging leader for “40 Under 40” by the Corridor Business Journal (CBJ). While living in Baltimore, Maryland, Karl served as an active member of the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. From April 9-20, 2012, Karl traveled to Indiana University as a fellow and short-term visiting scholar for the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

Karl has served in the role of political commentator, community advocate, and a voice for social justice on panels, community dialogues and delivered keynote addresses, teaching seminars and speaking engagements. The most notable to date is his introduction of then Senator Barack Obama, in route to being the nation’s 44th President of the United States.

After graduating from Iowa State University in 1999, Karl moved to the East Coast, where he met his wife, LaNisha. Mrs. Cassell is the Executive Director of the African American Museum of Iowa and is a Rotarian with the Marion East-Cedar Rapids Rotary Club. LaNisha shares the distinction with Karl as a CBJ’s “40 Under 40” recipient and is also a member of the LFS Class of 2007. LaNisha serves on the boards of Marion Cares and Aging Services. She also volunteers as a Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School coordinator at their church, Cedar Valley Bible Church and as a room parent and library aide at their children’s school, Cedar Valley Christian School. Karl and LaNisha have two children, Lydia Grace and Solomon Joseph. They are proud to call Cedar Rapids their home.