SURJ Newsletter, 9/23/18

Next SURJ Meeting:  October 7

Support youth from our accountability partner Al Éxito: Two must-know fall events 

Evening Mentorship Opportunity: Al Éxito 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night. Thursday October 4 from 5:30-7:30pm at Central Campus, 800 Grand Ave, Des Moines Al Éxito will be hosting the 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night in October. It is a great networking opportunity for professionals that are dedicated to giving back to our youth!  This “speed mentoring” gives Al Exito’s middle and high school students the opportunity to interact with professionals from the community. Bridge the gap of segregated Des Moines. You will share and inspire the youth with your story of success and how education assisted you to become a Latino community leader and respected professional, though all are welcome!  Dinner will be provided.

2nd Annual Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon.  November 14 at noon at Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.  Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories here.  Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Hear the first person story from Des Moines Civil Rights Pioneer Mary Campos in this podcast episode from the Drake University Community Research Summer Scholar Program.   Mary Campos is a civil rights activist and 2017 inductee into the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame. CRSSP scholar Juan Carlos talks with her about three experiences of racism the civil rights activist witnessed as a young person. Her teachers at McKinley Elementary School discouraged Spanish speaking among her siblings. She graduated in 1947 from Dowling High School (then called “The Academy”). On her graduation trip to California, she felt rage at racist bus segregation. On return to Iowa, she found job discrimination by employers who told her that their staff was only used to working with white people but eventually found a job through her church. The final minutes describe the founding of the Black and Brown forum, an important event in the Iowa Caucus process, and her award for helping immigrants found businesses in Des Moines. 6:40 minutes. (Check out the full interview in a bonus episode.)

We need volunteers for childcare. Keeping our SURJ meetings accessible for all families means making sure we have volunteers who will watch and play with young ones during meetings. Can you volunteer for an evening? (You don’t have to be a parent and we’ll provide the coloring books!). Please email with an upcoming meeting that you’re willing to volunteer at or be an on-call sub.

Upcoming Racial Justice Events
Film Screening And Then They Came for Us sponsored by Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa.
Saturday October 6 from 10am-12:30pm at Varsity Theatre in Des Moines.   Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa will screen the film And Then They Came For Us and host a panel discussion afterwards.  Seventy-six years ago President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, paving the way for the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US educates audiences about the constitutional damage done in the name of national security.  FB event here.  Advanced purchase tickets here for a discount.

Planning Meeting Anti-Racial Profiling by Iowa CCI. Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm  Iowa CCI Racial Justice Committee is hosting a community planning meeting to dig-in on next steps and formulate a plan to go to the full City Council and city attorney to pressure them to implement an anti-racial profiling ordinance. The city won’t act unless they see and hear from hundreds of residents, like you, who keep the pressure on and demand the changes our communities need. Register for the event here.

T shirts. Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

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 Lounge at Drake University at 6:00 pm. Park in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue. October meeting dates: October 7 & October 21.

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