DSM SURJ Newsletter, 1/5/2019

SURJ Sunday: Racial Justice in the Iowa Legislature.  Learn advoacy skills
State legislative advocacy is one of the most important and powerful ways to make an impact for racial justice.  Join us tomorrow night!

  • TOMORROW Sunday January 6. As we dive into the legislative session, let’s get up to speed on how a bill becomes a law and how you can get engaged the 2019 Legislative Session cycle. We’ll be standing up for racial justice at the capitol. Will you?  Then, show up for the 2019 Iowa Latino Day on the Hill.
  • Next meetings:  1/20, 2/3

DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  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.

Ready to SURJ in 2019?  Opportunities:

Friday, January 25 9-noon.  Iowa State Capitol.  2019 Latino Day on the Hill.  Stand in solidarity with DSM SURJ Accountability Partner, Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.  The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs invites you to the second Latino Day on the Hill! This is a free event and open to the public. The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is planning this event with the goal of providing a space for Latinx to learn about the legislative process so they can feel empowered to return to the Capitol when the community needs to advocate. See Facebook invite here.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club is announced!  Read the book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.  Join SURJ facilitators to discuss. a “powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” From the book’s web page, found here.   

Support Asylum Seekers in Des Moines

SURJ members, Karen and Michael Lauer, are sponsoring two asylum-seekers (Karla and Danna).  They are living in a small house near the North Side Library. Karen noticed when visiting them that their walls are bare – her first instinct, of course, is to take them shopping to buy posters, prints, etc., to decorate their walls, but it is important not to create unfair and unrealistic expectations for asylum-seekers about what they will be able to afford once they have permission to work.

This is where you, our wonderful and generous community, come in. Do you have any artwork, photos, framed art, sitting in your basement, garage, or storage that you’d like to donate? If so, please bring your piece to Medbury Hall (Drake Campus) to our next SURJ meeting January 6th at 6pm.

For those that can contribute further, check out more information here. There are multiple levels – from “officially” sponsoring someone who is released (providing housing, food, etc) as Lauer’s are doing, to writing letters to people in detention, adding $$ to commissary accounts, etc.
The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.
January Lectures on Racial Justice at Iowa State

January 28 Brittney Packnett for Martin Luther King, Jr. Events
February Robin DiAngelo is coming in February to talk about White Fragility.

The links to the full descriptions are here: https://www.lectures.iastate.edu/browse.php

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