SURJ Newsletter

See you tomorrow: How to talk to white family and friends about racism

At our last meeting, we talked about how important it is to talk to white people about racism.  How to do it?  To what purpose?  Participants committed to holding FOUR conversations between meetings.  Want to try it? Here’s one article the SURJ email editor recommends. Here’s one for social media.

Join us the first Sunday in November to talk about it and grow your skills.

November/December Meeting Schedule:  Meetings the first and third Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Newcomers welcome at all meetings! Childcare provided. All meetings held at Medbury Honors Loungeat Drake University at 6:00 pm. Park in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

  • 11/5 Decision and leadership meeting. At the last October meeting, SURJ members committed to holding four meaningful conversations about racism with white people in our lives.  Come share your experiences as we grow our capacity to grow consciousness in Central Iowa.
  • 11/19 Learning and action items.  Build your effectiveness as an anti-racist voice.  Learn new skills as we workshop effective response to legislation, talking to friends/family, and continuing work with accountability groups.
  • 12/3 Decision and leadership meeting
  • 12/17 Take action and build skills

Share with teachers and youth workers:  Updated Teacher Toolkit. Use and share this toolkit with local and national resources to support undocumented, DACAmented and refugee youth: local legal resources, family emergency preparedness, mental health and classroom anti-bullying. New and re-verified sources to be more informed as an ally to the youth in your life. This resource and more are posted on the DSM SURJ Website.

Upcoming allied group events:

Sanctuary Church Potluck: Monday, November 6th 6:00 pm potluck, 7:00 pm documentary. “Who is Dayani Crystal?”  First Unitarian Church 1800 Bell Ave.

Share the Mic Community Voices Creating Change: Friday, November 10th 7:00-9:00 pm.  By Movement 515.  Temple for the Performing Arts 1011 Locust Street. Join us for an evening of spoken word poetry, featuring the poets of Movement 515 and Half-Pints Poetry! In support of our immigrant brothers and sisters, the theme for our annual Share the Mic is “I, Too, Am America,” with all proceeds benefiting Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors. These events sell out.  Buy advance tickets here.

Coming soon: November Businesses to Support

Activities and accomplishments: October

White Privilege Conference-IA.  SURJ members served as organizers, workshop leaders, keynote speakers and attendees.  Gratitude to Petra Lange, Erin Lain, and Drake University for organizing and sponsoring event in Des Moines to foster skills and awareness to dismantle racial hierarchies in Des Moines.

Supporting People of Color-owned businesses:  These initiatives are going strong.  New monthly businesses listed each month.  You can find lists in each weekly email and on our facebook page.

Dancing in the rain:  Minuet MANY was a great success, with several dozen coming together to dance, sing, play and create an art-based response to reject white supremacy and racist terror.  We raised over $225 for local Latinx youth development group Movimiento Al Exito.  Sample the joy here.

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