DSM SURJ Newsletter, 1/25/2019

Tomorrow – join us for hot coffee and racial justice reading. Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club!  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.   

Iowa and Des Moines Political Initiatives for Racial Justice.

This is a crucial month in the Iowa legislature. Committee meetings and lobby days are the space for SURJ members to speak out for racial justice. We particularly invite you to suport events organized by people of color and immigrant advocates. This week and coming soon:

Tuesday, 1/29 2:30 pm. Iowa Capitol Room 315. Iowa Senate anti-racial profiling bill, SSB1038 subcommittee hearing. Come to speak up or offer witnessing support to advocates.  Watch the SURJ Facebook page for updates.

Tuesday, 1/29 6:00-7:00 pm Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families.  NAACP Des Moines hosts City of Des Moines 1 Cent Sales Tax Vote Informational. Facebook event here. Listen and support the NAACP Political Action Committee in a discussion of a key local issue. Join the NAACP Political Action Committee for an informational about the upcoming March 5th City of Des Moines 1 Cent Sales Tax Proposal Vote. Neighbors for Growth will be presenting information for us to make our decision about this important vote on March 5th, 2019. Come and bring a friend – this is something we should all be educated on!

Monday, 2/4 9:00 am. Iowa Capitol. Immigrant Advocacy Day sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors, Latina Leadership Initiative and Cedar Valley Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Get more information here.

Upcoming Lectures on Racial Justice at Iowa State

Monday, January 28. Brittney Packnett for Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Speaker. Don’t miss the chance to hear from this new face of Black leadership. Co-founder of Campaign Zero. More information here.
Tuesday, February 26. 7:00 pm.  Great Hall Memorial Union. Robin DiAngelo is coming in February to talk about White Fragility. More information here.

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

February SURJ Meetings

Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. 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.

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.

Upcoming meetings:

  • February 3
  • February 17

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

The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring families and individuals in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. Asylum seekers 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 .   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.

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.

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