Sammie Lee Dell constructed an impressive civic career as an activist, humanitarian, and volunteer in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. From childhood until his death, he performed charitable acts with both his time and money. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, his nascent public career took form as he employed fairly radical tactics in his crusade against the Vietnam War and for racial equality. With time, this initial militancy softened considerably, although his underlying credo remained largely unaltered. As an educator, both in and out of the classroom, he offered students knowledge, perspective, and experience from a lifetime of activism and community service. As a Waterloo City Councilman, Dell strove to ensure that the council acquiesced to the people's wishes, without steamrolling important rights of the minority. Dell, a committed local leader for his entire adult life, ultimately gave Waterloo and Black Hawk County the one thing he did not have enough of in life-time. Amidst his lifelong mission to make Waterloo a more equal and pleasant place to live, Sammie neglected to look after his own health to the same degree he took care of others' needs and, as a result, he died much too young.
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©2003 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Humes, Adam Philip
"Sammie Dell and Community Activism in Waterloo, Iowa,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 7:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol7/iss1/13