“The battle is and always has been a battle for the hearts and minds of White people in this country. The fight against racism is our issue. It’s not something that we’re called on to help People of Color with. We need to become involved with it as if our lives depended on it because in reality, in truth, they do.” -Anne Braden
Youth and supportive adults: CORE’s town hall events this week
What is CORE for Advancement? Core (Community of Racial Equity for Advancement) is a student-led group whose purpose is to unite and support high achieving high school students of color throughout Iowa. They are an accountability partner for Des Moines SURJ, meaning that SURJ follows their lead in setting priorities for our actions.
June 15-19 Youth Speak Week Town halls: Speaking from the CORE. Register to attend at this link. Volunteers needed – sign up to volunteer at this link.
Black youth from CORE for Advancement from Des Moines Public Schools and West Des Moines Community Schools are organizing solutions-focused town halls to ensure young black, indigenous and people of color are heard. Adults are invited to support
Events will be held at various locations:
Monday, June 15: What We Want from Our Police LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL
Monday, June 16: What We Want from Our White Peers VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Monday, June 17: What We Want from Our Black Leaders EVELYN K. DAVIS PARK
Monday, June 18: What We Want from Our Policy Makers (location TBD)
Read more details at this link.
Show up for racial justice demonstrations and fundraisers in Des Moines this week
Saturday, June 13, 10:00 am – afternoon. Malecon Event Center 6550 Bloomfield Rd, DSM. Food sale fundraiser for Latinx Knock and Drop. Proceeds benefit the immigrant community with rent, utilities, and other expenses. Menu includes chicken mole, chicken with potatoes, pork in red sauce, vegetarian zucchini in cream. Served with rice, beans, pasta,and tortillas. Desserts, too!
Saturday, June 13, 4:00 pm. Supply donations needed for Occupy Terrace Hill (see next event, below). Needed: water, gatorade, ice, sandwiches,
individually-wrapped snacks. Drop at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
Saturday, June 13, 5:00 pm Pappajohn Sculpture Park. 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Terrace Hill. Occupy Terrace Hill, an event to demand restoration of voting rights. Hosted by Des Moines Black Lives Matter. Join us Saturday for a march at the Sculpture Park. We will occupy the space at 5pm and then march to Terrace Hill around 7pm for a community block party. We are demanding Gov Reynolds sign an executive order immediately restoring voting rights to Iowans with felony convictions who have served their sentence. No poll tax. No restitution. Facebook invite here.
Sunday, June 14, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Location to be announced. BLM Unity March and Rally. Hosted by a coalition of Black Transgender, LGBQ+ Black communities, LBGTQ+ non-Black Communities, Africans, Asians, Latinx, Refugees, Immigrants, Allies and the Des Moines BLM Movement. Being planned with multiple entities across the state. More information at this Facebook link.
Thursday, June 18, 11:00 am – June 20, 5:00 pm. Iowa Juneteenth 2020. 3 Days of Music, Art, History, Health & Healing. All From The Comfort Of Your Home. Learn how to access this online event by following this link here. New to learning about Juneteenth Day? Learn more here.
Friday, June 19, 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Iowa State Fairgrounds. Ride with Us – A Driving March. Created by Black Civil Rights organizers in Des Moines, this is a driving march in solidarity of Juneteenth and policy reform. Safety in light of COVID-19 concerns. Follow this march here.
Listen and Learn from Home: Important articles and webinars
The Genius of Black Women Webinar. Friday June 12, 2020, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota hosted a webinar on Black women’s vision and leadership from the front lines of Minneapolis. Highly recommended by your humble newsletter editor. Featuring Lulete Mola (Women’s Foundation of MN), Kandace Montgomery (Black Visions Collective), Lissa Jones (‘Urban Agenda’ Radio Host), and Leslie E. Redmond (Minneapolis NAACP). Access via this Facebook Post:
June 18, 12:00. Live webinar: Migration in the shadow of a pandemic. As we mark World Refugee Day, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is hosting an urgent conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on people on the move in the Americas. More information at this link.
Re-imagining community safety. Article on how to create humane alternatives to policing that truly keep our communities safe.
GoFundMe #BlackLivesMatter Organizer in Des Moines
Donate here: SURJ DSM supports the GoFundMe campaign of local #BlackLivesMatter organizer Matthew Bruce. He writes:
“My name is Matthew Bruce, I am from the Eastside of Des Moines, and I have been organizing in the #BlackLivesMatter movement for 6 years. Watching my brothers, sisters, friends and community members struggle to fight through police violence, scattered riots, and ideological divisions was just too painful for me to bear. This inspired me to come home from Chicago, where I was protesting, to help lead organization efforts in Des Moines and offer whatever value I could as far as my experience in and understanding of this movement.”
$1500/month goes to Matthew, the remainder will go to Minneapolis organizers seeking to end police brutality after the murder of George Floyd.
Support Latinx families during the COVID crisis
Undocumented Iowans are not eligible for stimulus payment and other crisis assistance. Help your neighbors by donating to Al Exito, a Latino youth-development and leadership organization that is stepping up to help. Donate here: paypal.me/AlExitoINC or our website: https://www.alexitoiowa.org/donation
Al Éxito continues to deliver free groceries weekly to 21 families around the Des Moines metro who are food insecure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many families have lost their jobs and have limited access to support due to status. We are thankful to everyone who has donated to Al Éxito recently to help us further our mission and support marginalized communities in Iowa during this frightening time!
Al Éxito is conducting a needs assessment statewide of all our families and we are expecting to hear from more families that are in need.
Read with SURJ this summer: Book club
This June, we’ll be discussing Ibram Kendi’s part-memoir, part-instructional bestseller How to Be An Antiracist. In July, we’ll be reading Kendi’s collaboration with Jason Reynolds to remix Stamped from the Beginning into a young adult “not a history book” Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Then we’ll finish out the summer with James Baldwin’s personal, provocative, and sadly still relevant The Fire Next Time.
Currently, space in the book club is filled. We invite you to read these books on your own or with family or friends. We will send out an updated announcement when space opens up.