New Announcements

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 1/12/2019

Next week: SURJ Planning Potluck!

  • January 20. Ready to jump back in?  Wanting to go to SURJ for the first time?  Already active in SURJ?  It’s your night to eat, greet, and plan for racial justice work. Newcomer and “already-comer” potluck. Join us to connect for the first time or deepen your connection to DSM SURJ 2019 initiatives. We’ll share food, introduce the working principles of SURJ and together decide on larger initiatives that will shape our work as SURJ in 2019. Don’t miss this chance to fellowship together and shape SURJ’s focus for this new year. Bring a dish to share and a friend (or three)!! Childcare will be available.

Upcoming meetings: 

  • February 3: Resisting Discrimination in Education 2
  • February 17: Skills-Building Session (more details soon).

DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third 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.

SURJ Supports Non-white Owned Businesses
DSM SURJ is pushing forward economic equality by using our large network to thoughtfully support non-white owned businesses in Des Moines. This strategy has been used in many cities to redirect resources to companies that have had additional burdens towards developing sustainable businesses. If you have a business you would like to nominate for the spotlight, please forward the information. Also, please make efforts to support these businesses! A SURJ member has had direct communication with each of these businesses owners and they are excited to be highlighted by the Des Moines chapter.

Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home
Owner: Donna Henderson, F.D.
3500 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines IA 50313
Phone: (515) 309-6550
hendersonshp.com

The caring and experienced professionals at Henderson’s Highland Park Funeral Home will carefully guide you through the aspects of the funeral service, and the many decisions that must be made, with compassion, dignity and respect. They also offer special funeral services for veterans. If you wish, they’ll help you with pre-arrangements for your own service, which can ease the emotional and financial burdens of your loved ones.
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Tai Chi: Yang Style 18 Fan Form
Community Education Instructor: Anthony Bates
Where: Monroe Elementary School Gym, 2250 30th Street
When: Mondays & Thursdays, January 7 to March 4, 2019, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm (No class 1/21)
Course: G065201D, Cost: $50 for 16 classes
Register: (515) 242-8521

To see details about the class: Des Moines Community Education Classes
(Sports & Games category, then the 4th listed course along the left side of the screen)

The ancient art of Tai Chi helps strengthen the body, increase flexibility, develop patience, and discipline the mind. The Fan Form incorporates movements from several styles of Tai Chi. You may purchase a fan from the instructor. Ages 12 and up. Let Anthony Bates guide you in learning this beautiful and beneficial form of Tai Chi.

Ready to SURJ in 2019?  Opportunities:

Friday, January 25 9am-noon.  Iowa State Capitol.  2019 Latino Day on the Hill.  Stand in solidarity with DSM SURJ Accountability Partner, Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.  The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs invites you to the second Latino Day on the Hill! This is a free event and open to the public. The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is planning this event with the goal of providing a space for Latinx to learn about the legislative process so they can feel empowered to return to the Capitol when the community needs to advocate. See Facebook invite here.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club is announced!  Read the book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.  Join SURJ facilitators to discuss. a “powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” From the book’s web page, found here.   

April date TBD:  Watch this space.  Zubathon to support Iowa Latinx youth with accountability partner Al Éxito.  Get ready to dance.

Support Asylum Seekers in Des Moines
SURJ members, Karen and Michael Lauer, are sponsoring two asylum-seekers (Karla and Danna).  They are living in a small house near the North Side Library. Karen noticed when visiting them that their walls are bare – her first instinct, of course, is to take them shopping to buy posters, prints, etc., to decorate their walls, but it is important not to create unfair and unrealistic expectations for asylum-seekers about what they will be able to afford once they have permission to work.

This is where you, our wonderful and generous community, come in. Do you have any artwork, photos, framed art, sitting in your basement, garage, or storage that you’d like to donate? For those that can contribute further, check out more information here. There are multiple levels – from “officially” sponsoring someone who is released (providing housing, food, etc) as Lauer’s are doing, to writing letters to people in detention, adding $$ to commissary accounts, etc.
The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.
January Lectures on Racial Justice at Iowa State

January 28 Brittney Packnett for Martin Luther King, Jr. Events
February Robin DiAngelo is coming in February to talk about White Fragility.

The links to the full descriptions are here: https://www.lectures.iastate.edu/browse.php

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 1/5/2019

SURJ Sunday: Racial Justice in the Iowa Legislature.  Learn advoacy skills
State legislative advocacy is one of the most important and powerful ways to make an impact for racial justice.  Join us tomorrow night!

  • TOMORROW Sunday January 6. As we dive into the legislative session, let’s get up to speed on how a bill becomes a law and how you can get engaged the 2019 Legislative Session cycle. We’ll be standing up for racial justice at the capitol. Will you?  Then, show up for the 2019 Iowa Latino Day on the Hill.
  • Next meetings:  1/20, 2/3

DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third 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.

Ready to SURJ in 2019?  Opportunities:

Friday, January 25 9-noon.  Iowa State Capitol.  2019 Latino Day on the Hill.  Stand in solidarity with DSM SURJ Accountability Partner, Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.  The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs invites you to the second Latino Day on the Hill! This is a free event and open to the public. The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is planning this event with the goal of providing a space for Latinx to learn about the legislative process so they can feel empowered to return to the Capitol when the community needs to advocate. See Facebook invite here.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club is announced!  Read the book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.  Join SURJ facilitators to discuss. a “powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” From the book’s web page, found here.   

Support Asylum Seekers in Des Moines

SURJ members, Karen and Michael Lauer, are sponsoring two asylum-seekers (Karla and Danna).  They are living in a small house near the North Side Library. Karen noticed when visiting them that their walls are bare – her first instinct, of course, is to take them shopping to buy posters, prints, etc., to decorate their walls, but it is important not to create unfair and unrealistic expectations for asylum-seekers about what they will be able to afford once they have permission to work.

This is where you, our wonderful and generous community, come in. Do you have any artwork, photos, framed art, sitting in your basement, garage, or storage that you’d like to donate? If so, please bring your piece to Medbury Hall (Drake Campus) to our next SURJ meeting January 6th at 6pm.

For those that can contribute further, check out more information here. There are multiple levels – from “officially” sponsoring someone who is released (providing housing, food, etc) as Lauer’s are doing, to writing letters to people in detention, adding $$ to commissary accounts, etc.
The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.
January Lectures on Racial Justice at Iowa State

January 28 Brittney Packnett for Martin Luther King, Jr. Events
February Robin DiAngelo is coming in February to talk about White Fragility.

The links to the full descriptions are here: https://www.lectures.iastate.edu/browse.php

DSM SURJ Newsletter 12/16/18

SURJ TONIGHT: Resisting Discrimination in Education
Whether you’re a long-time member or this is your first meeting, you’re welcome and needed tonight at DSM SURJ.  DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third 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 meetings:

  • December 16th:  RESISTING DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION: Join us in learning more about resisting discrimination in our local schools and supporting students of color to succeed in their educational journeys.  FB event here.
  • January meetings 1/6, 1/20

Childcare builds a movement.  Keeping our SURJ meetings accessible for all families means making sure we have volunteers who will watch and play with young ones during meetings. Can you volunteer for an evening? (You don’t have to be a parent and we’ll provide the coloring books!). Please email dsmsurj@gmail.com with an upcoming meeting that you’re willing to volunteer at or be an on-call sub.
Support students of color in Des Moines metro schools.   Community of Racial Equity for Advancement is elevating student voices and educating the community. This is a grassroots organization started here in Des Moines.  Learn more about CORE and how to support at this link here. 

Ready to SURJ in 2019?  Important stuff ahead:

Friday January 25 9-noon.  Iowa State Capitol.  2019 Latino Day on the Hill.  Stand in solidarity with DSM SURJ Accountability Partner, Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.  The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs invites you to the second Latino Day on the Hill! This is a free event and open to the public. The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is planning this event with the goal of providing a space for Latinx to learn about the legislative process so they can feel empowered to return to the Capitol when the community needs to advocate. See Facebook invite here.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club is announced!  Read the book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.  Join SURJ facilitators to discuss. a “powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” From the book’s web page, found here.   

SURJ Emails will resume on January 5.  

Local Racial Justice Work Makes a Difference

Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team presented at the November 19th Des Moines City Council meeting about the anti-racial profiling ordinance.  SURJ supports them in this effort and their presentation to the council was very well done.  More than 150 people showed up to fill the City Council chambers and the hallway outside.  It sent a clear message to the City Council that there is broad support for this measure.  Council members Josh Mandelbaum and Connie Boesen made strong statements that action must be taken and to ensure this they made a motion to instruct the City Manager Scott Sanders to come back to the Council with a detailed report by late January or early February at the latest about each of the six proposals presented. The motion passed unanimously.

Read the Des Moines Register article here.

The six components of the anti-racial profiling ordinance presented were:

  1. Banning racial profiling
  2. Banning pretextual stops – which is when a police officer stops a driver for a minor traffic violation to allow the officer to then investigate a separate and unrelated suspected criminal offense
  3. Mandating annual data collection on arrests and a data collection release to the public
  4. Creating a citizen review board
  5. Mandating annual implicit bias and de-escalation training; as well as training on the racial profiling ordinance
  6. Making marijuana possession the lowest level of enforcement

The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team will be reconvening in January to discuss their next steps. In the meantime two action steps you can take right now are:

  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed piece in support of the ordinance.  The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team has created a set of talking points to use for calls/emails and letters to the editor for your convenience.  Also, the notes from our October 7th meeting on writing LTEs and Op-ed’s with Craig Owens are available.
  • If you are a Des Moines resident, email or call the Mayor, your City Council member and both At-Large members to voice your support directly to them.  Thank them for supporting this initial step but let them know you support the proposed ordinance. Commit to showing up to Iowa CCI Racial Justice team community meetings on this work. Iowa CCI organizers on the Racial Justice team are Bridget Fagan-Reidburn (bridget@iowacci.org) and Sharon Zanders-Ackiss (sharon@iowacci.org). The SURJ will post these events on our Facebook page as they become available.

Opportunities to support Iowa Sanctuary Movement

The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.

Love Knows No Borders: Migrant Exodus Solidarity Action 12/13/18

This special mid-week announcement for Thursday’s action is from Erica Johnson, American Friends Service Committee:

Thursday, December 13th at 4:00pm at the Federal Building, 7th floor in DSM.   An event to stand with border communities and all people who seek refuge. Please join AFSC. (More detailed info follows below.)

We’ll have one event in Des Moines and are hoping you can coordinate visits to Congressional offices in your part of the state on that day too. Info for the event can be found here.

We ask that you join us in solidarity with those seeking refuge in our country by coming to the event on

Let us know if you can host an event in your area at this email link! AFSC will update the Facebook event to reflect additional opportunities to plug in around the state!

Our event is part of a national week of action coordinated by the American Friends Service Committee. Together, we are calling on the U.S. to end the detention and deportation of immigrants, respect the human right to migrate, and end the militarization of the border.

Thousands of migrants from around the world have traversed Central America and through Mexico, fleeing untold violence and state-sponsored repression, hunger, and economic instability caused in part by U.S. foreign policy. As a safety precaution, many have traveled in large groups for mutual aid and support along dangerous migration routes.

Instead of responding with compassion, the Trump administration has deployed thousands of military troops to border communities, augmenting the presence of National Guard soldiers and paramilitary border enforcement agencies. In addition, President Trump signed an executive order limiting how a migrant can petition for asylum (now halted by the courts), demonstrating another example of this administration’s policy violence toward migrants.

Join us, AFSC, and people of faith and action, as we embrace the call for prophetic witness and stand for the dignity and respect of border communities and those seeking refuge.

Please help us spread the word by sharing the facebook event and hanging flyers!

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 12/9/18

Act from home today or tomorrow: Join Local Activists Sonia Reyes-Snider and  Erica Johnson to speak out against phony proposed “public charge” screen of immigrants.  Learn more about this anti-immigrant policy and take anti-racist action by submitting your public comment.  Learn more at this link here  and this link here.

Miss last week’s SURJ meeting but want to support students of color in Des Moines metro schools?   Community of Racial Equity for Advancement is elevating student voices and educating the community. This is a grassroots organization started here in Des Moines.  Learn more about CORE and how to support at this link here. 

Ready to SURJ in 2019?  Important stuff ahead:

Friday January 25 9-noon.  Iowa State Capitol.  2019 Latino Day on the Hill.  Stand in solidarity with DSM SURJ Accountability Partner, Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs.  The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs invites you to the second Latino Day on the Hill! This is a free event and open to the public. The Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is planning this event with the goal of providing a space for Latinx to learn about the legislative process so they can feel empowered to return to the Capitol when the community needs to advocate. See Facebook invite here.

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am.  Ritual Cafe. SURJ Winter Book Club is announced!  Read the book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.  Join SURJ facilitators to discuss. a “powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.” From the book’s web page, found here.   

Accountability Partners Make a Difference

Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team presented at the November 19th Des Moines City Council meeting about the anti-racial profiling ordinance.  SURJ supports them in this effort and their presentation to the council was very well done.  More than 150 people showed up to fill the City Council chambers and the hallway outside.  It sent a clear message to the City Council that there is broad support for this measure.  Council members Josh Mandelbaum and Connie Boesen made strong statements that action must be taken and to ensure this they made a motion to instruct the City Manager Scott Sanders to come back to the Council with a detailed report by late January or early February at the latest about each of the six proposals presented. The motion passed unanimously.

Read the Des Moines Register article here.

The six components of the anti-racial profiling ordinance presented were:

  1. Banning racial profiling
  2. Banning pretextual stops – which is when a police officer stops a driver for a minor traffic violation to allow the officer to then investigate a separate and unrelated suspected criminal offense
  3. Mandating annual data collection on arrests and a data collection release to the public
  4. Creating a citizen review board
  5. Mandating annual implicit bias and de-escalation training; as well as training on the racial profiling ordinance
  6. Making marijuana possession the lowest level of enforcement

The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team will be reconvening in January to discuss their next steps. In the meantime two action steps you can take right now are:

  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed piece in support of the ordinance.  The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team has created a set of talking points to use for calls/emails and letters to the editor for your convenience.  Also, the notes from our October 7th meeting on writing LTEs and Op-ed’s with Craig Owens are available.
  • If you are a Des Moines resident, email or call the Mayor, your City Council member and both At-Large members to voice your support directly to them.  Thank them for supporting this initial step but let them know you support the proposed ordinance. Commit to showing up to Iowa CCI Racial Justice team community meetings on this work. Iowa CCI organizers on the Racial Justice team are Bridget Fagan-Reidburn (bridget@iowacci.org) and Sharon Zanders-Ackiss (sharon@iowacci.org). The SURJ will post these events on our Facebook page as they become available.

Opportunities to support Iowa Sanctuary Movement

The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.

DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Newcomers welcome at all meetings! 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 meetings:

  • December 16th:  RESISTING DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION: Join us in learning more about resisting discrimination in our local schools and supporting students of color to succeed in their educational journeys.  FB event here.
  • January meetings 1/6, 1/20

Keeping our SURJ meetings accessible for all families means making sure we have volunteers who will watch and play with young ones during meetings. Can you volunteer for an evening? (You don’t have to be a parent and we’ll provide the coloring books!). Please email dsmsurj@gmail.com with an upcoming meeting that you’re willing to volunteer at or be an on-call sub.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 12/1/18

DSM SURJ meetings are at our regular location.  Meetings the first and third Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Newcomers welcome at all meetings! 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 meetings:

  • TOMORROW:  SURJ + CORE: An amazing movement is happening in Des Moines area schools. Learn more about how the Community of Racial Equity for Advancement is elevating student voices and educating the community and how you can help support amazing students.  FB event here.
  • December 16th:  RESISTING DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION: Join us in learning more about resisting discrimination in our local schools and supporting students of color to succeed in their educational journeys.  FB event here.

Keeping our SURJ meetings accessible for all families means making sure we have volunteers who will watch and play with young ones during meetings. Can you volunteer for an evening? (You don’t have to be a parent and we’ll provide the coloring books!). Please email dsmsurj@gmail.com with an upcoming meeting that you’re willing to volunteer at or be an on-call sub.

Accountability Partners Make a Difference

Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team presented at the November 19th Des Moines City Council meeting about the anti-racial profiling ordinance.  SURJ supports them in this effort and their presentation to the council was very well done.  More than 150 people showed up to fill the City Council chambers and the hallway outside.  It sent a clear message to the City Council that there is broad support for this measure.  Council members Josh Mandelbaum and Connie Boesen made strong statements that action must be taken and to ensure this they made a motion to instruct the City Manager Scott Sanders to come back to the Council with a detailed report by late January or early February at the latest about each of the six proposals presented. The motion passed unanimously.

Read the Des Moines Register article here.

The six components of the anti-racial profiling ordinance presented were:

  1. Banning racial profiling
  2. Banning pretextual stops – which is when a police officer stops a driver for a minor traffic violation to allow the officer to then investigate a separate and unrelated suspected criminal offense
  3. Mandating annual data collection on arrests and a data collection release to the public
  4. Creating a citizen review board
  5. Mandating annual implicit bias and de-escalation training; as well as training on the racial profiling ordinance
  6. Making marijuana possession the lowest level of enforcement

The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team will be reconvening in January to discuss their next steps. In the meantime two action steps you can take right now are:

  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed piece in support of the ordinance.  The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team has created a set of talking points to use for calls/emails and letters to the editor for your convenience.  Also, the notes from our October 7th meeting on writing LTEs and Op-ed’s with Craig Owens are available.
  • If you are a Des Moines resident, email or call the Mayor, your City Council member and both At-Large members to voice your support directly to them.  Thank them for supporting this initial step but let them know you support the proposed ordinance. Commit to showing up to Iowa CCI Racial Justice team community meetings on this work. Iowa CCI organizers on the Racial Justice team are Bridget Fagan-Reidburn (bridget@iowacci.org) and Sharon Zanders-Ackiss (sharon@iowacci.org). The SURJ will post these events on our Facebook page as they become available.

Opportunities to support Iowa Sanctuary Movement

The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 11/25/18

DSM SURJ meetings are at our regular location.  Meetings the first and third Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Newcomers welcome at all meetings! 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 meetings:  December 2nd, December 16

Event by Accountability Partners

November 27th from 6-7:30pm.  The November meeting of Iowa Sanctuary Movement will feature AFSC Iowa’s Legal Services Director, Jody Mashek.  She’ll discuss her experience volunteering with organizations serving immigrant families seeking asylum at the U.S./Mexico border.  FB event here.

November featured non-white owned businesses.
DSM SURJ has an ongoing project to feature metro area businesses owned by people of color. We use our large network (that’s YOU) to thoughtfully support non-white owned businesses in Des Moines. This strategy has been used in many cities to redirect resources to build economic equity and combat the barriers businesses face due to racism. The Local Racial Justice group of DSM SURJ highlights 4 businesses each month. If you have a business you would like to nominate for the spotlight, please forward the information.

Please make efforts to support these businesses! A SURJ member has had direct communication with each of these businesses owners and they are excited to be highlighted by the Des Moines chapter.

Ankeny Cleaners
Owners: Keith McKay and Bill Kearby
Location: 122 South Ankeny Boulevard, Ankeny, IA 50023
Phone: Call (515) 963-9522
Ankeny Dry Cleaners

Ankeny Dry Cleaners has been in business for more than 20 years and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Ankeny Cleaners provides not only regular laundry and dry cleaning services, but also tailoring and leather cleaning. This full-service dry cleaner offers free pickup and delivery.

Ark-Vayo
Original modern African fashion
Owners: Claire and Webster Kranto
Location: Southridge Mall (1111 East Army Post Road, inside the mall on the northwest side next to H&R Block)
Phone: Call (515) 360-7840
Email address: arkvayo@gmail.com
Website: arkvayo.com
FB page:  Ark-Vayo
Open by appointment (Call or text 515-360-7840)

Ark-Vayo aims to be the face of modern African fashion. Co-owner Claire Kranto, who studied fashion design at Iowa State University, designs the shop’s bold and colorful suit jackets, dresses, pants, shirts and other items for women, men and children. Everyone can wear this trendy, fashion-forward clothing that is very modern. Many of the items are handmade in Ghana and Malawi from 100 percent cotton. The tailors are paid wages that help them send their children to school and grow their businesses. At its core, the company is focused on sustainability, buying ethically and locally, and giving special attention to the impact of each purchase. Three percent of all sales are donated to Liberia and U.S. charities.

Opportunities to support Iowa Sanctuary Movement

The Iowa Sanctuary Movement (ISM), is sponsoring two families in Des Moines currently seeking asylum. The two mothers and their children will need assistance with rent, utilities, food, clothing, and all living expenses. They are not yet allowed to apply for a work permit. There will be many ways to help these families, but financial support is paramount. For more information, contact Lynne Howard, billlynne5@gmail.com .

Donations for the families by check should be made out to: First Unitarian Church, with ISM asylum support in the memo line. (Send to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315). Donations can also be made electronically on the church website. Link here.

Defend DACA.  American Friends Service Committee Iowa now has a fund to support DACA recipients who need to renew their status and work permit. You can donate via check made out to First Unitarian with “DACA support” in the memo line, or online link here.

DACA recipients must pay $495 to renew their DACA status and work permits every two years. AFSC often gets calls from DACA clients who need to renew, but don’t have the money to do so. Many other states have scholarship programs to help cover this cost, but until now, Iowa has not had any such program or fund available. Contact Jody Mashek, AFSC Iowa Legal Services Director, with any questions: 515-274-4851.

Keeping our SURJ meetings accessible for all families means making sure we have volunteers who will watch and play with young ones during meetings. Can you volunteer for an evening? (You don’t have to be a parent and we’ll provide the coloring books!). Please email dsmsurj@gmail.com with an upcoming meeting that you’re willing to volunteer at or be an on-call sub.