DSM SURJ News & Action, 9/21/2020

Happy Monday, SURJers. We hope you are enjoying these last days of summer. If you are feeling anxious about the state of our society, remember: Taking action can be a great remedy!


We have known for a while now that ICE is out of control. Now comes an investigation into ICE doctors, who according to a whistle-blower have been performing unwanted or unnecessary hysterectomies on women in detention. This is completely unacceptable and a violation of basic human rights, and is one more reason, as Jamelle Bouie put it in 2018, why we need “a fundamental rethinking of immigration enforcement and a move away from the authoritarianism of ICE as it exists.”

JOIN US in Des Moines Tuesday (tomorrow) at 6:30PM for a rally and vigil. Location will be announced the day of the event. Masks are required.


Native Iowan Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter and the driving force behind The 1619 Project. Also, Hannah-Jones is simply one of the most interesting, incisive and engaging thinkers today on matters of racial justice and U.S. history. Get acquainted if you aren’t already!  

If you are not comfortable going to the in-person anti-ICE rally above, join the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication as it hosts NHJ for a discussion of the 1619 Project and racial justice issues. (These events occur at the same time tomorrow.)

TUES 9/22 7PM –> Join Here


On a related note:

This past week, the White House claimed that anti-racism trainings were “divisive, anti-American propaganda,” and that “any training on ‘critical race theory,’ [or] ‘white privilege,'” shouldn’t be supported by the U.S. government. 

Why is the White House suddenly interested in condemning scholarship such as the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory? Wait–what even is Critical Race Theory?

Fortunately, DSM SURJ is here to unpack these questions with you! As it turns out, we had already planned a 10/4 Zoom meeting with the topic of “resisting racism in institutions,” and the racist rhetoric from the White House only underscores the importance of this discussion.

RSVP here!


You may know Jay Ellis as Lawrence from HBO’s outrageously funny Insecure. (If you have thoughts about whether or not Lawrence and Issa should be together, please let us know.) Well, now Jay has taken the helm of an important new podcast that delves into the mystifying world of policing. From Lemonada Media:

When it comes to policing in America, a seemingly impenetrable system stands in the way of ending police violence. Join host and actor Jay Ellis (Insecure, Top Gun: Maverick, Mrs. America) as he seeks to explore the untold story of policing. Jay’s mission: demystify police union contracts, separate truth from fiction, and deliver some concrete steps that can end violent police misconduct across the United States. In this four-part series, Jay seeks the guidance of academics, data scientists, organizers and city officials to learn more about the egregious systems currently in place and the pressure that the public can apply to strengthen justice and accountability. Presented by Campaign Zero.

Start listening today!


Join DSM SURJ in taking the 21-day Equity Challenge to encourage learning, growth and action right here in central Iowa. Each weekday Oct 5 – Nov 2 you’ll receive an email with great knowledge and strong calls to action. It’s easy and it matters. Let’s do this.


DSM SURJ joined folks from TogetherWeCanMakeAChange and Iowa Total Care this past Saturday to distribute school supplies to local kids. Hundreds of backpacks and thousands of masks were distributed in a true community effort.

Brand-new backpacks for kids filled an entire U-Haul.

Thank you to all those who donated, made masks or worked a shift, including:

Drinda Williams
Heather, Erin & Karrie
Janee Harvey
Karrie Schachtner
Katherine Bouska
Kinsey Coppock
Maggie Moller
Mary Caponi
Abbey Paxton
Cassie Smith
Tiff Taylor
Courtney Ihnen
Eden Nitza
Claire Miller Olsem
Claire Yocum
Rachel Lunsford
Sachiko Murphy
Pat Stalter (donated over 500 masks!)
Lynn Kellner
Lisa Wylam
Laynee Rietz
Chris Noth
Delta Kappa Gamma


Please stay in touch with us and reach out at any time to dsmsurj@gmail.com

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