DSM SURJ News & Action, 5/29/21

One year ago this past Tuesday, the story of a single man, a father, a brother, a son, stopped the world in its tracks and made us all take a deep look at who we truly are, the racism embedded in our society, and the path to justice that maybe now feels within our reach.

Change is overdue – it’s time to take action. Learn how at justiceforgeorge-takeaction.carrd.co.

Join Dwana Bradley, the General Chairperson of Iowa Juneteenth Observance organization, in a presentation and discussion of Iowa’s Observance of Juneteeth, hosted by DSM SURJ.

According to the African American Museum of Iowa:

“Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America. After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, owners in many isolated areas kept word from the people they had enslaved so that they would not flee. On June 19, 1865, some of the last enslaved people in America were freed when the news, at last, reached Confederate Galveston, Texas. Since that day, Juneteenth has been celebrated to honor the African Americans who built this nation.”

REGISTER HERE: https://forms.gle/txD3Y45LBX27PcfW8
Registration closes on Sunday, June 6 at 3pm CT.

Building off of our April event, Calling All the (White) Men, we invite white men in our audience to engage withOrganizing White Men for Collective Liberation. This SURJ affiliate is a national network organizing white men against patriarchy and white supremacy.

>From the group:

“Our work is to explore how our white and male conditioning impacts our human bodies and hearts. We are not responsible for our conditioning, but we are able to respond – and therefore responsible – for breaking free of the parts which cause harm to others and to ourselves. Please join us!”

Attend the virtual gathering 6/28 7:30PM to learn more and get involved!

Featured Business Alert! 

Gateway Dance Theatre

Owner: Penny Furgerson
Address: 315 East 5th. St. Suite 12 Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (515) 283-8383
Email: info@gatewaydance.org  
We’re very pleased to recommend to you the Gateway Dance Theatre (GDT), where the arts are used to engage, communicate, educate, and collaborate with diverse communities to enrich lives.

Founded in 1972 by Penny and the late Lee Furgerson, this multigenerational and multicultural nonprofit organization offers a wide array of creative activities, including drumming, drama, music, visual arts, creative writing, and poetry, in addition to many kinds of dance. Samba, African dance, Indian dance, merengue, hip hop, and Native American are some of the rhythms of the world that have been offered.

There are so many exciting activities coming up that we can’t describe them all here, but for starters, if you know of a child who would benefit by combining STEM with dance, visual art, creative writing, and theatre, the SASI (Summer Arts and Science Intensive) Camp is a great opportunity! This year, the faculty for SASI includes Jimmy Payne, Jr., a renowned tap dancer; and Claudine Cheatem, a local playwright, author, and poet who will introduce the participants to acting. Earth Science instructors include Ann Stoud, a biosystems engineer at Iowa State University; Seth Watkins, from Pinhook Farm; Kathy Byrnes and Ed Fallon, from Birds & Bees Urban farm; and Sydney Furgerson, sharing visual arts with recycled projects. SASI Earth Camp 2021 runs from Monday, June 14, to Friday, June 18, and meets at GDT. Grades 1 through 4 meet from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and grades 5 through 10 meet from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. The week will end with a Showcase of Talents at the Ding Darling Shelter, Birdland Park, on June 18th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. You can find more information here: https://www.gatewaydance.org/sasi-camp-2021. Limited scholarship opportunities are available.

But wait, there’s more! GDT is celebrating Juneteenth with in-person dance classes! Tap, Samba, and Bhangra will be offered on Monday, June 14, through Thursday, June 18, starting at 6:00 PM. These classes are intended for ages 11 and up, as far above 11 as you need to go! Acting, drumming, and music classes for children and adults are planned as well. Call (515) 283-8383 for details.

In collaboration with the Des Moines Public School’s Racial Equity and Justice Team, GDT offers ARTivism Through a Creative Lens, a student-led arts education program. The series is excited to premiere its Freedom Movements video at the Iowa Historical Building on Tuesday, June 22, at 6:00 PM. The program will also include a dazzling performance by tap dancer Jimmy Payne, Jr., along with a history of tap dancing in the African American community.

There are many ways we can help support this award-winning organization. Attending classes and other events is a fun way, and there are multiple ways to support the work through donating funds, whether to sponsor the ARTivism programsend a child to SASI Camp, or simply make a tax deductible contribution that can be used to provide camp scholarships or otherwise support GDT’s work. The Des Moines area is lucky to have this rich resource that helps participants build self-esteem, discipline, awareness, and confidence through the arts.

A directory of Black-owned businesses in the Des Moines metro is available on the SURJ website

Thank you for reading!

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

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