Call to action:
Call Des Moines City Council Members now. All steps listed below.
Go to City Hall on Monday, March 9
Call your City Council Members before Monday at 4:30 and ask them to work with the community to strengthen the Anti-Racial Profiling ordinance. It’s too weak given the racially-biased policing in Des Moines.
What you can say: “Please listen to the NAACP and community members. Black Des Moines residents are three times more likely to be issued a ticket and four times more likely to be arrested if stopped by our police. We need stronger efforts to stop racially-biased policing. We need an anti-racial profiling ordinance and we need it to be strong. Thank you for your service to our city and for hearing our concerns.” (Learn more with this fantastic graphic here). Email the graphic to your Council Member.
Who to call:
Monday, March 9 at 4:30 pm. Answer the call of organizers of color to attend City Council and support their voices against this ordinance. 400 Robert Ray Dr on the east side of the river between Grand and Locust. The ordinance is item #40. There is no way to predict when this will come up for a vote. Bring a snack and/or a portable chair. You do not need to be a resident of Des Moines or a member of CCI to participate. Signs are welcome. Please wear your SURJ Racial Justice Now t-shirt if you have one. Read all the information here. Questions? email email@example.com.
Upcoming local racial justice events: Al Exito leader event, Women’s storytelling, a comic talks race, human rights symposium
***CANCELED – City Council Instead*** Monday, March 9. 5:30-7:30. DIY Screen Print t-shirt event against racial profiling. Iowa CCI Headquarters (2001 Forest Ave, 50311). Continue the push to stop racial profiling by law enforcement in our region. Bring a black t-shirt to screen print at no charge. Get updated on where this movement is going next. Organizing to pass an anti-racial profiling ordinance continues. Elected officials in Des Moines and at the Iowa legislature continue to push back. The black-led organizations leading the work (Iowa CCI Racial Justice team and NAACP) are determined to continue the fight. This movement is now entering the next phase. RSVP here. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 11. 12:15-12:45. Spark Stories: Dawn Martinez Oropeza. 1000 Grand Ave (Central Library). Head to the library over the lunch hour to meet the Executive Director of SURJ accountability partner Al Exito, an Iowa non-profit which provides Iowa Latinx students with programs which provide opportunities to develop leadership skills and college/career readiness. You’ll hear the “spark story” that motivates Oropeza to make Iowa a better place to live and get a list of books and other material that have kindled her community involvement.
Sunday, March 15. 4:00 PM. Storytelling Event: Stories to Tell My Daughter. 2811 E. 14. (Grandview University Viking Theater). Support and enjoy this storytelling event where wit, grit, and wisdom rule the evening. These are personal narratives told by empowered women whose stories explore the full range of the feminine experience. Stories of love, loss, adversity, and everything in between. Speaking the truth is a beautiful thing. More information and ticket purchase at this link here.
Please purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stories-to-tell-my-daughter-tickets-91562498899
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.
Upcoming National Racial Justice Webinars
Wanting to connect to national conversations about the liberatory potential of a black queer feminist lens? Indigenous rights movements? The relevance of anti-imperialist internationalism? Biblical responses to antisemitism? Check out the offerings listed on the national SURJ website. All the details are at this link.
Future SURJ meetings: You’re invited
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!
April 19: 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!
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.