“Since it is my right, I would like to have it”

— Edna Griffin

About Us

Edna May Griffin was an American civil rights and social justice activist and trailblazer. On July 7, 1948, Edna, along with her one year-old daughter and two other African Americans, were denied service at Katz Drug Store because of their race.

Edna Griffin became a leader in a decades-long struggle to integrate the counter service through creative organizing and mobilization against the segregation policy of Katz. Edna Griffin helped to usher in a new era of social justice in the United States. This new era rejected solely upper class leadership, and embraced broad, egalitarian, youth-oriented, multiracial, and grassroots struggle for social justice.

Although Edna is remembered as a leader in the fight against segregation at Katz Drug Store, Edna Griffin was a lifelong fighter against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination wherever it occurred.

The Edna Griffin School for Social Justice is a grassroots organization dedicated to the promoting the social justice work, creativity, and legacy of Edna Griffin in Iowa. The School is a place where people come together to turn their ideas into tools to build collective power in movements against exploitation, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination.

More About Edna Griffin

More About Edna Griffin School

Edna Griffin served in the Women’s Army Corps at Fort Des Moines during WWII.

Edna May Griffin

Picket line protest organized outside Katz Drug Store. Signs read "The Bullets Weren't for Whites Only", "Katz serves Whites Only", "Is This What Daddy Fought For?", and "This is Hitler's Old Baloney", all signs end with "Don't Buy at Katz"