Board of Supervisors

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors seeks a professional historian with experience in research, public history and historical interpretation to consult on a planned exhibit celebrating the Johnson County eponym, Dr. Lulu Merle Johnson.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted on June 24, 2021, to recognize Dr. Lulu Merle Johnson as the official eponym of Johnson County. This decision was in response to the social justice movements of 2020 and identified an eponym that better embodies Johnson County’s values, ideals and morals.

Dr. Lulu Merle Johnson was born in 1907 in the city of Gravity, Iowa, to parents who had been born into slavery. She enrolled at the University of Iowa, in Johnson County, in 1925. At the time, she was one of only 14 African-American women enrolled at the university. Despite facing discrimination based on her race and gender, Dr. Johnson completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees by 1930. In 1941, she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors seeks a historian to consult on a planned exhibit celebrating Dr. Lulu Merle Johnson. Expertise in Black history and publicly engaged scholarship is encouraged. This exhibit will be located on Johnson County’s administrative campus, which includes the Administration Building at 913 S. Dubuque Street; the Health and Human Services Building at 855 S. Dubuque Street; and the Ambulance Medical Examiner Building at 808 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City, Iowa.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept.  2, 2022. More information can be found at For questions, contact Allison Wells, Grants Assistant, [email protected] 319-688-5808.