DSM SURJ Newsletter, 1/19/2019

Saturday morning activities. Bundle up and get out for racial justice.
***Potluck rescheduled.! Potluck meeting (originally scheduled for January 20th at 6:00 p.m.) has been postponed. We don’t want you trekking your hot dishes along the long, cold pathway to Medbury, so we are rescheduling this meeting for February. Please watch this newsletter for our updates on February meeting themes once we’ve had a chance to juggle the schedule.

In the meantime, SURJ will be showing up at a bunch of things and we need you to come! (Wear your “Racial Justice Now” T-shirt if you have one!).

CANCELED Saturday, January 19th, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., join the initiative to “End Racial Profiling by Law Enforcement in Des Moines” a workshop sponsored by Citizens for Community Improvement Racial Justice Committee (location First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Avenue, Des Moines). Find out where things stand with Des Moines citizens pressing City Council to ban racial profiling.

STILL ON – INDOORS Saturday, January 19th, 10:30 to 1:00. Women’s March has been moved to inside the Capitol! Meet us in the rotunda at 10:30!!.  “It’s Time to March” Iowa Women’s March (March starts at 11:00 a.m.). Bring your anti-white supremacy, anti-racism, anti-semitism signs and meet us at 10:30 a.m. at the Lincoln/Tad Statue. We’ll have our banner and keep each other warm by marching together as Des Moines SURJ.

Friday, January 25 9am-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.   

Friday and Saturday, January 25th ant 26th, Participate in and volunteer for the annual  “I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa” Festival. Lots of SURJ folks will be going and like last year many of us will be volunteering! Sign up to volunteer here (and indicate you’re with SURJ): http://worldiniowa.com/volunteers/?fbclid=IwAR3qaVI83Thc1RYnzMZzVcdvOwaYbbhYWTTM8t43gjKaRQ3QIVP4B0Qi2Qc.

Upcoming meetings: 

  • January 20: Canceled. Potluck postponed
  • February 3
  • February 17

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.

SURJ Supports Non-white Owned Businesses
DSM SURJ is pushing forward economic equality by using our large network to thoughtfully support non-white owned businesses in Des Moines. This strategy has been used in many cities to redirect resources to companies that have had additional burdens towards developing sustainable businesses. If you have a business you would like to nominate for the spotlight, please forward the information. Also, please make efforts to support these businesses! A SURJ member has had direct communication with each of these businesses owners and they are excited to be highlighted by the Des Moines chapter.

Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home
Owner: Donna Henderson, F.D.
3500 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines IA 50313
Phone: (515) 309-6550

The caring and experienced professionals at Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home will carefully guide you through the aspects of the funeral service, and the many decisions that must be made, with compassion, dignity and respect. They also offer special funeral services for veterans. If you wish, they’ll help you with pre-arrangements for your own service, which can ease the emotional and financial burdens of your loved ones.
Tai Chi: Yang Style 18 Fan Form
Community Education Instructor: Anthony Bates
Where: Monroe Elementary School Gym, 2250 30th Street
When: Mondays & Thursdays, January 7 to March 4, 2019, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm (No class 1/21)
Course: G065201D, Cost: $50 for 16 classes
Register: (515) 242-8521

To see details about the class: Des Moines Community Education Classes
(Sports & Games category, then the 4th listed course along the left side of the screen)

The ancient art of Tai Chi helps strengthen the body, increase flexibility, develop patience, and discipline the mind. The Fan Form incorporates movements from several styles of Tai Chi. You may purchase a fan from the instructor. Ages 12 and up. Let Anthony Bates guide you in learning this beautiful and beneficial form of Tai Chi.
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? 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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