Betty Jean "Beje" Walker Clark


"Every single day, she makes at least one telephone call with the sole purpose of improving the condition of one someone in this state." — Karon Perlowski, 2000

Betty Jean “Beje” Walker Clark of Rockwell, born in 1920, has made public service her life’s work. Long involved with social justice work in the United Methodist Church, Clark has been a leader in her local congregation, Iowa Conference and United Methodist Women. Perhaps best known as a legislator, Clark served 14 years in the House of Representatives where she worked primarily on issues of human services and criminal and juvenile justice. Clark was appointed in 1990 to the Advisory Council of the Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning where she was instrumental in the planning and development of alternatives to prison. A halfway house in Mason City named the Beje Clark Residential Center opened in 1992. In 1993 she initiated a program through the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church that broadened into a non-profit organization, Restorative Justice Advocacy, Inc. Clark travels extensively throughout Iowa to help introduce the principles of restorative justice and works on a national scale with the newly created Restorative Justice Ministries. In addition to authoring numerous articles and co-authoring a book, Nearer to Thee, Clark is a skilled editor, broadcaster, and public speaker. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.