New Announcements

DSM SURJ ACTION NEEDED, 3/30/2020

Online, on-phone, donation action needed: Racial Justice & COVID 19

Phone bank for HJR 14 (restore voting rights for persons with felony convictions)  during Legislative Session Suspension

Tuesday 3/31 and Wednesday 4/1 5-7 pm. Saturday 2-4 pm. Phone banking. Sign up with Mike Hall at mhall@aclu.orgThe legislative session has been suspended until April 15th.  Senate Judiciary Committee will have a short window when the legislature reconvenes to pass HJR 14, the constitutional amendment to end lifetime disenfranchisement.  It is a multi-year process to get an amendment passed and it is imperative that this amendment is passed during this General Assembly to avoid delaying potentially another two years.

ACLU-Iowa is sponsoring virtual phone banks to constituents of key senators and asking those constituents to communicate their support of the constitutional amendment to their senator.  They have scheduled these phone banks for Tuesdays and Wednesdays 5-7pm and Saturdays 2-4pm.  At the beginning of each phone bank, there will be a quick Zoom-based training session detailing how to use the call tool, run through the script, and answer any questions. If you’re interested in attending one of these phone banks, or would like to make calls on your own at a different time, please e-mail Mike Hall at mhall@aclu.org.  You don’t have to live in the state of Iowa to help with this project.

If you don’t want to phone bank, please reach personally to the members of the Senate Judiciary committee to urge them to support HJR 14.  Also, reach out to your own senator to ask them to support this bill if it comes to a floor vote and before that to reach out to their colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to support the bill.  You can find some talking points in this document.


COVID-19 Advocacy for Incarcerated Persons

Sign up to join the ACLU-Iowa Rapid Response team for urgent information about legislation and policy. You can sign up here: https://secure.everyaction.com/MEhmUJE23E2IU0srBiq7_w2.

DSM SURJ is supporting the work of ACLU-Iowa in their work of holding public officials to account and ensuring that they follow public health guidelines related to COVID-19. Incarcerated persons are some of the most marginalized persons in our society at very high risk of getting sick from the virus.  On March 20th, ACLU-Iowa sent a letter to state officials (link to letter) recommending steps they can take to minimize the harm inflicted on people involved in the criminal justice system, including the release of people who are in jail because they can’t afford to post bail. 87 percent of people in Iowa county jails are there because they don’t have enough money to post bail.

You can help by contacting state and local officials to urge them to take action to protect those who are incarcerated. It’s important that government officials know that the communities they serve will hold them accountable. Instructions for doing this can be found here.


Donate now: Provide COVID-19 resources to Central Iowa refugee communities

Please consider a donation to the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa (RACI).  Their mission is “To assure a welcoming community for refugees in which they have an equal opportunity to achieve individual growth and prosperity and to fully participate in civic and cultural life and to increase awareness of and access to services, resources and programs so that refugees receive the maximum benefit as they resettle and become participatory citizens in central Iowa.”

They need funds to make videos of updated public health COVID-19 information for non-English speaking and non-literate folks.  The cost is about $50 per video and there are many languages spoken by refugees in central Iowa.  There are no public health funds to support this work.

They do not have a way to donate online, so you will need to mail a check or contact them directly to ask how to donate:
Stephanie Moris, Director
1401 Center Street
Des Moines, IA 50314
Stephanie@RefugeeAllianceOfCentralIowa.org
515.344.1209


April 1: National webinar in solidarity with local immigration justice work

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.

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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter 3/14/2020

Sunday 3/15: SURJ online with local immigration justice expert 

To support efforts to slow the spread of the covid-19 virus in Central Iowa, the next two SURJ meetings will be held via zoom, an online video conferencing service. The March 15 and April 5 meetings each have different instructions for connecting. The details are below.

ONLINE March 15: Immigration 101 course to train for jail visitation to immigrants in Central Iowa. Education and Immigration working groups. Join SURJ as we welcome Jody Mashek with American Friends Service Committee to an online zoom meeting! In this 2 hour course, Jody will cover how the immigration system works (or doesn’t as the case may be) and ICE detention. This is required training for volunteers interested in doing jail visitation with people being detained by ICE at Polk County or Hardin County Jail. People with prior training or experience may omit this training, but will be required to attend two other trainings before visitations begin.

Join Zoom Meeting – Click this link at 5:50pm.
https://zoom.us/j/209292897…

Meeting ID: 209 292 897
Password: 002821

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,209292897# US (New York)
+13126266799,,209292897# US (Chicago)

ONLINE April 5: 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.

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!

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.


Cancelled local events: Will announce rescheduling

**CANCELLED, to be rescheduled in late July.** Sunday March 15. 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.

**CANCELLED ** 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.

**CANCELLED ** 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.


A note from the newsletter editor…Healing resources

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. 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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 3/7/2020

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:

    1. Connie Boesen: 515-240-7929, connie@connieboesen.com
    2. Carl Voss: 515-210-0237 or email carlvoss@dmgov.org
    3. Find your ward Council Member here: https://showmemyhouse.dsm.city/ (scroll down to see your Council Member and contact information)

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 dsmsurj@gmail.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 dsmsurj@gmail.com.

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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 2/29/2020

House Party Sunday Night – SURJ with us the first day of March

March 1: Pulling white folks in off the sidelines, a SURJ house party. Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. We’re going to learn about the basics of SURJ, grow our relationships with one another, and learn about the larger strategies behind focusing on antiracism with white folks. This is a great first meeting for anyone interested in better understanding DSM SURJ! Come out and bring a friend.

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.


Upcoming local racial justice events:
Screen print party, comic talks race, human rights symposium

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 dsmsurj@gmail.com.

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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 2/22/2020

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.


Upcoming Local Racial Justice Events

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.


Legislative Updates

Want to have maximum influence on speaking out for racial justice? Think Local! This year, the anti-immigrant SF579 appears to have failed, demonstrating how local organizing matters.. SURJ members on Facebook post updates. No additional updates at this time.


Congratulations to SURJ Leadership Core Member Petra Lange, who was honored by the Des Moines NAACP Youth Council for her advocacy work!


March/April SURJ Meetings

March 1: Pulling white folks in off the sidelines, a SURJ house party. Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. We’re going to learn about the basics of SURJ, grow our relationships with one another, and learn about the larger strategies behind focusing on antiracism with white folks. This is a great first meeting for anyone interested in better understanding DSM SURJ! Come out and bring a friend.

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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 2/15/2020

SURJ Meeting Sunday: Immigration Working Group

February 16: Immigration working groups (This and every third Sunday). Education group is NOT meeting tomorrow (see “special opportunity,” below). 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!

Special opportunity: Education working group: The education group is meeting during the week at a home as we build capacity for a large initiative on antiracist accountability in Iowa public schools. Plug in with us! Email us at dsmsurj@gmail.com for the address and next meeting time.

March 1: Pulling white folks in off the sidelines, a SURJ house party. Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. We’re going to learn about the basics of SURJ, grow our relationships with one another, and learn about the larger strategies behind focusing on antiracism with white folks. This is a great first meeting for anyone interested in better understanding DSM SURJ! Come out and bring a friend.

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!

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.


Make a big impact: Anti-racist advocacy in the Iowa Legislature needs action now

Want to have maximum influence on speaking out for racial justice? Think Local! This year, the Iowa Legislature is considering legislation related to many issues you care about in creating a more anti-racist Iowa. Please note that meeting times can change. SURJ members on Facebook post updates.

Lobby Days for Racial Justice Issues

Monday, February 17. 2:30 pm. Iowa State Capitol. Restore the Vote Rally. Join friends at the ACLU, Iowa Poor People’s Campaign, and other local organizations committed to voting rights to show your support for HJR 14 (which would amend the Iowa Constitution to restore voting rights of Iowans with felony convictions). Gather in the Iowa Capitol Rotunda to rally at 2:30 PM. We will stand FOR voting rights restoration as we also stand AGAINST the proposed exclusions bill requiring full payment of restitution (creating a more onerous situation than the standards the governor currently employs). Respond to and share the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/135030301021008/

Tuesday, February 18. 8:45 am – 12:30 pm. Iowa State Capitol. ACLU Iowa Lobby Day. You’ll join with like-minded individuals to get educated on key issues and how the Iowa Legislature works, learn how to talk about them effectively, and then meet with your legislators and others to show your support.
A few of the issues we’ll be focusing on for Lobby Day include:

      • Reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees (Pregnant Workers Fairness Act)
      • Restoring voting rights for people with felony convictions who’s completed their sentences
      • Banning racial profiling by law enforcement

Find more information about Lobby Day linked here. Questions? Contact Erica Barz, ACLU Community Engagement Associate


Upcoming Local Racial Justice Events

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.