DSM SURJ Newsletter, 2/15/2020

SURJ Meeting Sunday: Immigration Working Group

February 16: Immigration working groups (This and every third Sunday). Education group is NOT meeting tomorrow (see “special opportunity,” below). This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connections and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

Special opportunity: Education working group: The education group is meeting during the week at a home as we build capacity for a large initiative on antiracist accountability in Iowa public schools. Plug in with us! Email us at dsmsurj@gmail.com for the address and next meeting time.

March 1: Pulling white folks in off the sidelines, a SURJ house party. Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. We’re going to learn about the basics of SURJ, grow our relationships with one another, and learn about the larger strategies behind focusing on antiracism with white folks. This is a great first meeting for anyone interested in better understanding DSM SURJ! Come out and bring a friend.

March 15: Education and Immigration working groups (This and every third Sunday). This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connections and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

Coming in April: We are working right now to reschedule the February “Become a Family Mentor for new Iowans” for April. Watch this space for more details soon!

Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third (working group) 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.


Make a big impact: Anti-racist advocacy in the Iowa Legislature needs action now

Want to have maximum influence on speaking out for racial justice? Think Local! This year, the Iowa Legislature is considering legislation related to many issues you care about in creating a more anti-racist Iowa. Please note that meeting times can change. SURJ members on Facebook post updates.

Lobby Days for Racial Justice Issues

Monday, February 17. 2:30 pm. Iowa State Capitol. Restore the Vote Rally. Join friends at the ACLU, Iowa Poor People’s Campaign, and other local organizations committed to voting rights to show your support for HJR 14 (which would amend the Iowa Constitution to restore voting rights of Iowans with felony convictions). Gather in the Iowa Capitol Rotunda to rally at 2:30 PM. We will stand FOR voting rights restoration as we also stand AGAINST the proposed exclusions bill requiring full payment of restitution (creating a more onerous situation than the standards the governor currently employs). Respond to and share the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/135030301021008/

Tuesday, February 18. 8:45 am – 12:30 pm. Iowa State Capitol. ACLU Iowa Lobby Day. You’ll join with like-minded individuals to get educated on key issues and how the Iowa Legislature works, learn how to talk about them effectively, and then meet with your legislators and others to show your support.
A few of the issues we’ll be focusing on for Lobby Day include:

      • Reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees (Pregnant Workers Fairness Act)
      • Restoring voting rights for people with felony convictions who’s completed their sentences
      • Banning racial profiling by law enforcement

Find more information about Lobby Day linked here. Questions? Contact Erica Barz, ACLU Community Engagement Associate


Upcoming Local Racial Justice Events

Tuesday, March 17. 6:00-8:00 pm. Vanessa Roberts, “AfroPuff Lederhosen: A Critically Comical Investigation of Race.” Drake University Olmsted Center, Sussman Theater. Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Symposium Kick-off Event. Free! Join us for our 2020 Civil & Human Rights Symposium Kick-off Event: a performance play & workshop that serves as a refreshingly humorous exploration of the interplay between race, ethnicity, culture, stereotypes and social expectation. Register for this event and learn more details at the Eventbrite link.

Wednesday, March 18. 7:30 am – 4:45 PM. 2020 DSM Civil & Human Rights Symposium: Strategizing for the Harvest. Drake University’s Olmsted Center. This theme highlights the symposium goal of helping people focus on the real work and planning that needs to happen in order to reap the prize, i.e. harvest of socio-economic advancement for all persons in the Greater Des Moines Region. $20 Registration fee, hardship assistance available. Register for this event and learn more details at the Eventbrite link.

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