Listen to this article

DAVENPORT — One Human Family in the Quad Cities is on a roll, with three events coming up to encourage individuality, happiness and visibility.

The nonprofit focused on fighting hate is holding a self-expression event April 30, a symposium May 6, and a “NoH8” photo shoot June 1.

Find details and some background on each event below.


sample of painting from a Sheila Boyd Originals paint party

Here’s a sample of a painting created by an attendee at one of Sheila Boyd’s paint parties. Boyd will lead Sip & Paint at MCC of the Quad Cities this Sunday afternoon. (photo courtesy Sheila Boyd)

Individuality Workshop and Sip & Paint Party Sunday

One Human Family will combine painting with discussion and refreshments in an event from 3 to 5:30 p.m. this Sunday. The “Individuality Workshop and Sip & Paint Party” will equip attendees with a 16″ by 20″ canvas and painting supplies, plus refreshments.


Throughout the event, hosted by Sheila Boyd Originals, you’ll have a chance to talk about words and phrases and their impact.

“The hope is that we can look inside ourselves, express our thoughts, and feel seen and heard by other participants,” wrote organizer Connie Lannan. All ages are welcome, and you can also paint with a teammate. Register here.

‘Happiness In a Difficult World’ May 6

A University of Iowa expert on ethics and religion will lead a free symposium Sat., May 6, that focuses on people making a positive difference, and how we can all find happiness during dark times.

“Happiness In a Difficult World” features Diana Fritz Cates, who is also editor of the international Journal of Religious Ethics. She’ll discuss how a person’s “sense of empowerment” is related to how they envision “God.” Cates is also known for exploring “human understanding, respect for religious diversity, and the recognition of equal human dignity” in classrooms, event organizers wrote.

For a peek at her approach to “Finding Happiness,” see this video


The symposium is intended to help attendees recognize the “lifelines” around them that can help make a positive difference, says organizer Joanie Demmer. ““Every day we are bombarded with darkness, but somehow we need to find a way to take on another day,” she says. “We can find solace and camaraderie with our neighbors and others who are raising awareness and helping families and individuals in our area.”


In addition to Cates’ main session, attendees will also be able to choose from among eight breakout sessions, covering topics ranging from gun policy, to abortion, to LGBTQ issues, to teen diversity. The event is 9 a.m. to noon May 6 at Scott Community College Urban Campus, 101 W. 3rd St., Davenport.

NoH8 Photo Shoot Kicks Off Pride Month June 1

Thirteen years ago, theNoH8 campaign triggered worldwide headlines when the wife and daughter of Republican stalwart John McCain, Cindy and Megan, posed for photos that spoke out in support of gay marriage.

Back then, the purpose pf NoH8 was to speak out against Proposition 8, a proposed California law that would have outlawed gay marriage. This was before the U.S. Supreme Court declared marriage equality a constitutional right in 2015.

This year, after proposals to ban gay marriage once again were proposed in Iowa and other states, NoH8 remains relevant. And it’s coming to the Quad Cities June 1, with a photo shoot at MCC of the Quad Cities in Davenport.

To be part of the shoot, you just need to show up sometime between 6 and 8 p.m. June 1, “camera-ready” and wearing a white T-shirt. You can also bring a sign you created yourself, with your own message. Each shoot costs $25 to $40 depending on whether it’s a single shot or features a duo or group, and includes 5 to 10 shots — one of which will be chosen by you and the NoH8 team.

Since its founding in 2008, NoH8 has featured 56,000 people — including thousands of celebrities — in photos with duct tape covering their mouths and NoH8 written on one cheek. All photos are taken by founder Adam Bouska.

Adam Boushka and Jeff Parshley who co-founded NOH8 in photo taken by Joe Bielawa/Flickr

Adam Bouska, left, and Jeff Parshley co-founded NOH8 in 2008 and have taken over 56,000 photos since. NOH8 will be in Davenport June 1 for its only scheduled stop in Iowa. (photo courtesy Joe Bielawa, Flickr)

“It’s very important to have people looking into the camera, to connect and look in their eyes,” Bouska said in a 2010 interview with Autostraddle about NoH8. “The white t-shirts help the skin tones and the eyes stand out a bit more. I think the difference in skin tones says a lot because it applies in any respect where the majority votes on the rights of a minority.”


This event is the only one scheduled throughout Iowa. A NoH8 photo shoot is also scheduled in Chicago May 28, and in Minneapolis June 3.

Proceeds from the NoH8 campaign help fund the campaign’s ongoing efforts to advocate for “marriage and human equality as well as anti-discrimination and anti-bullying,” the group says. Volunteers are also needed for the event; if you’d like to help, email MCC is located at 2930 W. Locust St., Davenport.

One Human Family QCA started in 2017 and has been educating Quad Citians ever since on how to identify and document hate crimes and incidents. For more information on the events, go to or contact Demmer at 563-343-8936.