DSM SURJ Newsletter, 3/21/2020

SURJ – Anti-racist social solidarity right now.
Join us!

SURJ will not meet in person April 5, but we invite you to join us in taking action for immigration advocacy.

ONLINE April 1st (note corrected date): Sheriffs, White Supremacy & Organizing for Collective Liberation. Online meeting. Join this conversation about the role of sheriffs in upholding white supremacy and the strategic need to run local campaigns that can hold them accountable, or kick them out of office in our work for collective liberation. Our guest speakers are from Political Research Associates and Sheriffs for Trusting Communities. Register for this online event here.

No meeting due to the need for bodily distancing. Keep social solidarity going by taking another step in your journey to better understand the immigrant detention system in the US. Then, take action!  During times of systemic shock like our current circumstances, corporate interests will use the opportunity to strengthen their power and profits. But we have an opportunity to work and advocate for systemic change in the immigration and incarceration systems.

Below is a list of things you can do. SURJ is working with the American Friends Service Committee, Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) and Iowans for Immigrant Freedom (IFIF), an organization based in eastern Iowa that has been working on visitations at the Linn and Hardin county jails. These groups organize to support people detained by ICE in the Polk County jail visitation program for persons detained by ICE. Will you support this work by educating yourself and taking action?

Education resources – choose one or more:

    1. Watch Brave New Films Immigrant Prison Series.
    2. Visit the immigrant rights page at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) website.
    3. Visit the Freedom for Immigrants website to learn about their work.  IFIF and DSM SURJ agree to their values and they provide resources to jail visitation programs and persons detained.
    4. Subscribe to IMM-Print, a publication by and for persons affected by immigrant detention.
    5. Read Detention-101 from the Detention Watch Network.
    6. Read the ACLU-Iowa letter to state agencies regarding the coronavirus crisis and it’s impact on prison populations including persons detained by ICE.
    7. Watch this segment from Democracy Now! On mutual aid to consider new ways of building resilient communities.
    8. Watch this segment from Common Dreams on how powerful interests such as corporations will use this pandemic to increase their power and how we can frame an alternative narrative.

Financial Support – local organizations need our support

    1. Support any of the organizations listed above by going to their donation link.
    2. Support local organizations provided support to persons detained and their families.

 
Advocacy: Take action

    1. Become part of ACLU-Iowa’s Rapid Response Team to get updates on state legislation related to immigrant rights that you can use to contact legislators.
    2. Freedom for Immigrants, Detention Watch Network, and AFSC all have national campaigns you can participate in.  Find these on their websites.  They provide drafts of letters and talking points.
    3. Reach out to your state legislators to advocate for immigrants in detention, particularly, as it relates to the issues outlined in the ACLU-Iowa letter.

Direct Action

    1. Join the DSM SURJ Immigrant Rights or Education working groups.  Contact dsmsurj@gmail.com for more information.
    2. Contact dsmsurj@gmail.com if you might be interested in being involved in the Jail Visitation program either as a visitor volunteer or as a member of our steering committee.
    3. Volunteer with Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a Des Moines based mutual aid group run by the Central Iowa Democratic Socialists.
    4. Volunteer with Community Support Des Moines, a bi-lingual (Spanish-English) mutual aid group.

April 19: Education and Immigration working groups (This and every third Sunday). Watch this space for updates. 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!

May 3: Details soon.

May 17Education 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.


A note from the newsletter editor…
Healing resources

(A rerun from last week…) i usually write as the omnipotent announcer of events. But i’m a person, darcie vandegrift, who this week sends you my best wishes and deepest longings for continued antiracist, anti-white supremacist connection during this challenging time. i humbly offer some ideas for inspiration. These are not public health or current events-focused thoughts, but rather are intended to send healing and healthful vibes to your precious personhood:

Speak against racism and xenophobia in corona virus discussions. Scroll down in this article to learn more. Learn about how racism often plays into public narratives of viruses here. Take a deep dive with a crowdsourced document here.

adrienne maree brown created a list of resources and thoughts during COVID-19

Generative somatics is a healing practice focused on addressing trauma and building resilience at an organizational and personal level by listening to the body. It is a growing movement with deep participation from anti-racist women of color leaders nationwide. Here’s a great introduction podcast.

Getting outdoors into parks is protective to mental health. No need to do or be anything while you’re there. Unless you want to try forest bathing.

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