DSM SURJ Newsletter, 2/2/19

AltSuperbowl Sunday SURJ Meeting Tomorrow Night

February 3: Postcards for justice. Superbowl not your thing? Join us for AltSuperbowl Sunday, a casual get together to write postcards on topics impacting racial justice in the state and country. We’ll provide the postcards and talking points. Some of the topics we’ll cover are the: death penalty, restoring voting rights to felons, racial profiling, national immigration justice. Legislators see postcards as representing the view of dozens of people, not just the writer. Help build important momentum for social justice.

Watching the Superbowl?  We’ll see you on February 17th for our next meeting!

Info on all 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.

Lobbying 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 support events organized by people of color and immigrant advocates. This week :

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.

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.
Upcoming Racial Justice Events

Tuesday, February 12. 6:30-8:00 PM.  Getting Here: Exploring Newcomer Arrival to West Des Moines.  West Des Moines Community Education. Kid Friendly. Where did you come from? How did Iowa become your family’s home? In this workshop, we will explore the many reasons why people from all over the world have moved to our Greater WDM community. Through an interactive simulation activity, we will wrestle with the many difficult choices families must make as they journey towards a better life. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss with guest speakers and learn that although each person’s journey is unique, many newcomers face similar challenges along the way.  Register now to join: http://bit.ly/pq_w19_gettinghere.

Tuesday, February 26. 7:00 pm. Robin DiAngelo is coming in February to talk about White Fragility. ISU Great Hall Memorial Union.  More information here.

Wednesday, March 6. 8:00am-11:30 am. Understanding Cultural and Racial Trauma. Science Center of Iowa. Explore the basis of historical and cultural trauma. Learn how it impacts the willingness of ethnic communities and people of color to seek help for a variety of mental health challenges. Keisha Ross, PhD, will engage participants in a session outlining coping mechanisms and cultural considerations for serving communities impacted by trauma. This session will build connections and grow alliances for mental health access and advocacy, with a focus on bridging faith and mental health circles. Tickets and details here.

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