New Announcements

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 11/3/18

This week: Meeting tomorrow and support November featured non-white owned businessesHelp get out the vote with the NAACP.

This month: speak up against racial profiling and support Iowa DACA and asylum seekers.

DSM SURJ November 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. November meeting dates: November 4 & November 18.

November 4, TOMORROW SUNDAY:  Navigating white fragility.  Conversations around race often lead to discomfort for white folks that manifest in a variety of ways: tears, anger, defensiveness, and leaving the conversation. Join us to discuss ways to navigate white fragility in order to keep our commitments to racial justice growing.

Next meeting November 18.

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 Africanfashionn
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: http://www.arkvayo.com
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.

Call to action: City council resolution against racial profiling.

Join the campaign this month to ask Des Moines City Council to pass an Anti-Racial Profiling Ordinance.  This ordinance is being drafted by CCI and will be submitted for discussion at their November 19th meeting.  Can you commit to one of the following?

Phone call or email:  Contact the Mayor, your City Council member and both At-Large members to ask for their support for the ordinance and/or your concerns about racial profiling by the DMPD. The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team has created a set of talking points to use for calls/emails and for your convenience.

Invite your network to do the same.  Share this call to action on social media. In order for this ordinance to pass the council needs to know this has broad support within the community, especially white folks.  If you know any “influencers” in the Des Moines community, please ask them to reach out to the Des Moines City Council.

Write a letter to the editor in support of the ordinance or about the problem of racial profiling in our communities.  Here’s where to send it.  Here are talking points from CCI for letters to the editor.  Also, the notes from our October 7th meeting on writing LTEs and Op-ed’s are available. These are a great resource and would also provide helpful tips if you plan to write an email to the city council.

Atend the November 19th city council meeting to show your support.  Please let DSMSURJ@gmail.com  know before November 15 if you are committed to attending the Nov 19th city council meeting or if you have questions about emails or letters to the editor.

While the final draft of the ordinance is not complete, it would include provisions such as: banning racial profiling and pretextual stops; mandating annual and publicly available data on stops; creating a citizen review board of the DMPD; mandating implicit bias and de-escalation training; removing the felony charge from possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Stay tuned for updates regarding this ongoing work.  

Accountability partner events:

November 3 & 4: SURJ is assisting the NAACP of Des Moines in helping people of color exercise their right to vote. Here’s info from the DM Register article posted on this page 10.14.18: “Volunteers can sign up for shifts on Oct. 13, Nov. 3 and Nov. 4. More information and sign-ups can be found here: https://form.jotform.com/82685382179167.”

SUNDAY, November 4 12:30 pm.  SPECIAL FILM SHOWING on Peace and Justice Summit by Rev. Dr. William Barber.   Sponsored by Des Moines ARC.  Location: First Unitarian Church Des Moines.  This is a video and discussion of Reverend Dr. William Barber’s talk at the Peace and Justice Summit in Montgomery, AL in April. Rev. Barber identifies our current moral crises as policy violence against black, brown, and white Americans. He ties our current crises to the past and to each other as interlocking injustices. This is the voice, wisdom, and insight we do not hear from either political party. Come hear Rev. Barber name the issues and lead us into “a movement of people coming together to change the narrative of the nation.” Discussion follows the film. *ARC is the Anti-Racism Collaborative of Des Moines.

WEDNESDAY, November 14, 11am-1pm2nd Annual Al Éxito Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon. Location: Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Prepare to be inspired with amazing stories. Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.   Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories herePurchase ticket here or by mail  ($50; checks can be written to Al Éxito MEC Scholarship. PO Box 93531, Des Moines, IA 50393). Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly 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.

SURJ Newsletter, 10/27/18

If you were planning to prioritize one week for action for racial justice, this is it!  Help get out the vote with the NAACP, speak up against racial profiling, vote for DSM Civil Rights priorities, and buy tickets for Latinx youth scholarships this week!

Call to action: City council resolution against racial profiling.

Join the campaign this month to ask Des Moines City Council to pass an Anti-Racial Profiling Ordinance.  This ordinance is being drafted by CCI and will be submitted for discussion at their November 19th meeting.  Can you commit to one of the following?

Phone call or email:  Contact the Mayor, your City Council member and both At-Large members to ask for their support for the ordinance and/or your concerns about racial profiling by the DMPD. The Iowa CCI Racial Justice team has created a set of talking points to use for calls/emails and for your convenience.

Invite your network to do the same.  Share this call to action on social media. In order for this ordinance to pass the council needs to know this has broad support within the community, especially white folks.  If you know any “influencers” in the Des Moines community, please ask them to reach out to the Des Moines City Council.

Write a letter to the editor in support of the ordinance or about the problem of racial profiling in our communities.  Here’s where to send it.  Here are talking points from CCI for letters to the editor.  Also, the notes from our October 7th meeting on writing LTEs and Op-ed’s are available. These are a great resource and would also provide helpful tips if you plan to write an email to the city council.

Atend the November 19th city council meeting to show your support.  Please let DSMSURJ@gmail.com  know before November 15 if you are committed to attending the Nov 19th city council meeting or if you have questions about emails or letters to the editor.

While the final draft of the ordinance is not complete, it would include provisions such as: banning racial profiling and pretextual stops; mandating annual and publicly available data on stops; creating a citizen review board of the DMPD; mandating implicit bias and de-escalation training; removing the felony charge from possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Stay tuned for updates regarding this ongoing work.  

Accountability partner events:

November 3 & 4: SURJ is assisting the NAACP of Des Moines in helping people of color exercise their right to vote. Here’s info from the DM Register article posted on this page 10.14.18: “Volunteers can sign up for shifts on Oct. 13, Nov. 3 and Nov. 4. More information and sign-ups can be found here: https://form.jotform.com/82685382179167.”

WEDNESDAY, November 14, 11am-1pm2nd Annual Al Éxito Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon. Location: Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Prepare to be inspired with amazing stories. Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.   Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories herePurchase ticket here or by mail  ($50; checks can be written to Al Éxito MEC Scholarship. PO Box 93531, Des Moines, IA 50393). Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Meeting Schedule:  November 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. November meeting dates: November 4 & November 18.

Des Moines Racial Justice Events:

FRIDAY, November 2, drop in any time between 6PM-8PM.  Set priorities for Des Moines Human Rights with DSM Civil & Human Rights Department.  Location: John R. Grubb YMCA.  Vote for top priorities for Civil & Human rights department and enjoy appetizers.  Join Civil & Human Rights Department & DSM Police Department in this second free gallery-style event, where we will display the options created by the community along with potential avenues to move forward. Come learn more about what your ideas could look like, share your thoughts, and most importantly, VOTE for your favorites. Facebook event details here.

FRIDAY, November 2, 10:15 am and 1:30 pmAngie Thomas, author of summer SURJ reading selection The Hate U Give will be speaking. Location: HyVee Hall (Iowa Events Center).  Sponsored by DMACC.  All session are free and open to the public. Groups, please contact rsfunke@dmacc.edu

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.

T-shirts 
Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at dsmsurj@gmail.com. We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

SURJ Newsletter, 10/20/18

SURJ with us tomorrow night – arrive at 5:45 pm at Trinity Las Americas for 6:00 pm start time.

Sunday, October 21.  Candidate forum. 5:45-8:00 pm at Trinity Las Americas (map here).  Sponsored by Des Moines Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (CCI Action), and Trinity Las Americas United Methodist Church.  Learn more about candidates’ positions and commitments about racial equality and social justice. The following candidates have agreed to attend: Claire Celsi, Michael Boal, Marti Anderson and Bruce Hunter.   Facilitated by Sonia Reyes-Snyder and Marlu Abarca. We would like to have a strong SURJ presence at the event to hold our political candidates accountable. Facebook event here.

Two important accountability partners ask for our support:

Thursday, November 14, noon. 2nd Annual Al Éxito Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon. Purchase ticket here. Location: Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.   Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories here.  Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Saturday, October 27 5:30 PM – 8:30 PMDream Iowa Fundrasier Location: 6550 Bloomfield Road. Buy your ticket here. Event info here. The Annual DREAM Iowa Celebration is to celebrate all of the past year’s accomplishments and share our vision of what’s next. They invite DREAM Iowa supporters and also share the event to the general public. This event is a fundraiser to finance their pro-immigrant family programs and projects for the upcoming year. Dream Iowa celebrates immigrant Iowans through awards, food, music, scholarships and speakers. Email Dream Iowa at contactdreamiowa@gmail.com or call at 641-229-1419 to purchase your table of 8 today.

Meeting Schedule:  November 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. November meeting dates: November 4 & November 18.

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.

T-shirts 
Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at dsmsurj@gmail.com. We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

SURJ Newsletter, 10/13/18

We won’t be meeting at Drake next Sunday.  Instead, join us at the candidate’s forum.

Sunday, October 21.  Candidate forum. 6:00-8:00 pm at Trinity Las Americas (map here).  Sponsored by Des Moines Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (CCI Action), and Trinity Las Americas United Methodist Church.  Learn more about candidates’ positions and commitments about racial equality and social justice. The following candidates have agreed to attend: Claire Celsi, Michael Boal, and Bruce Hunter.   We would like to have a strong SURJ presence at the event to hold our political candidates accountable. Facebook event here.

Support youth from our accountability partner Al Éxito:  2nd Annual Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon.  November 14 at noon at Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.  Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories here.  Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Hear the first person story from Des Moines Civil Rights Pioneer Mary Campos in this podcast episode from the Drake University Community Research Summer Scholar Program.   Mary Campos is a civil rights activist and 2017 inductee into the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame. CRSSP scholar Juan Carlos talks with her about three experiences of racism the civil rights activist witnessed as a young person. Her teachers at McKinley Elementary School discouraged Spanish speaking among her siblings. She graduated in 1947 from Dowling High School (then called “The Academy”). On her graduation trip to California, she felt rage at racist bus segregation. On return to Iowa, she found job discrimination by employers who told her that their staff was only used to working with white people but eventually found a job through her church. The final minutes describe the founding of the Black and Brown forum, an important event in the Iowa Caucus process, and her award for helping immigrants found businesses in Des Moines. 6:40 minutes. (Check out the full interview in a bonus episode.)  We need volunteers for childcare. 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.

Upcoming Racial Justice Events

Learning session on voting rights by Interfaith Alliance Iowa.  Friday, October 19 11:45 am – 1:00 pm Plymouth Congregational Church Waveland Hall (4126 Ingersoll Ave). Daniel Zeno, Policy Director, ACLU of Iowa will speak. Voting matters. Ensuring that every vote counts matters. Over the past two years, a lot has changed about voting rights in Iowa. Attendees will learn about the new Iowa Voter ID law, including updates on ongoing Voter ID lawsuit and voting rights for people with felony convictions. Attendees will also learn about efforts to protect voting rights in Iowa.  RSVP by October 16: info@interfaithallianceiowa.org or 515.279.8715. The $10 fee is payable at the door and includes lunch.

T-shirts 
Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at dsmsurj@gmail.com. We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

SURJ Newsletter 9/30/18

NAACP Get Out the Vote
Des Moines NAACP invites you to sign up to volunteer for their GOTV effort.  Sign up can be found here.

Meeting Schedule:  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. October meeting dates: October 7 & October 21.

October 7th SURJ meeting will focus on how to write successful op-ed pieces.  Jeff Inman, Professor of journalism at Drake University, will lead a workshop on writing op-eds that can help sway public discourse and bring attention to racial justice issues.  Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

We need volunteers for childcare. 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 youth from our accountability partner Al Éxito: Two must-know fall events 

Evening Mentorship Opportunity: Al Éxito 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night. Thursday October 4 from 5:30-7:30pm at Central Campus, 800 Grand Ave, Des Moines Al Éxito will be hosting the 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night in October. It is a great networking opportunity for professionals that are dedicated to giving back to our youth!  This “speed mentoring” gives Al Exito’s middle and high school students the opportunity to interact with professionals from the community. Bridge the gap of segregated Des Moines. You will share and inspire the youth with your story of success and how education assisted you to become a Latino community leader and respected professional, though all are welcome!  Dinner will be provided.

2nd Annual Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon.  November 14 at noon at Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.  Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories here.  Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Hear the first person story from Des Moines Civil Rights Pioneer Mary Campos in this podcast episode from the Drake University Community Research Summer Scholar Program.   Mary Campos is a civil rights activist and 2017 inductee into the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame. CRSSP scholar Juan Carlos talks with her about three experiences of racism the civil rights activist witnessed as a young person. Her teachers at McKinley Elementary School discouraged Spanish speaking among her siblings. She graduated in 1947 from Dowling High School (then called “The Academy”). On her graduation trip to California, she felt rage at racist bus segregation. On return to Iowa, she found job discrimination by employers who told her that their staff was only used to working with white people but eventually found a job through her church. The final minutes describe the founding of the Black and Brown forum, an important event in the Iowa Caucus process, and her award for helping immigrants found businesses in Des Moines. 6:40 minutes. (Check out the full interview in a bonus episode.)

Upcoming Racial Justice Events
Film Screening And Then They Came for Us sponsored by Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa. 
Saturday October 6 from 10am-12:30pm at Varsity Theatre in Des Moines.   Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa will screen the film And Then They Came For Us and host a panel discussion afterwards.  Seventy-six years ago President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, paving the way for the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US educates audiences about the constitutional damage done in the name of national security.  FB event here.  Advanced purchase tickets here for a discount.

Planning Meeting Anti-Racial Profiling by Iowa CCI. Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm  Iowa CCI Racial Justice Committee is hosting a community planning meeting to dig-in on next steps and formulate a plan to go to the full City Council and city attorney to pressure them to implement an anti-racial profiling ordinance. The city won’t act unless they see and hear from hundreds of residents, like you, who keep the pressure on and demand the changes our communities need. Register for the event here.

T shirts. Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at dsmsurj@gmail.com. We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

SURJ Newsletter, 9/23/18

Next SURJ Meeting:  October 7

Support youth from our accountability partner Al Éxito: Two must-know fall events 

Evening Mentorship Opportunity: Al Éxito 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night. Thursday October 4 from 5:30-7:30pm at Central Campus, 800 Grand Ave, Des Moines Al Éxito will be hosting the 4th Annual Meet the Leaders’ Night in October. It is a great networking opportunity for professionals that are dedicated to giving back to our youth!  This “speed mentoring” gives Al Exito’s middle and high school students the opportunity to interact with professionals from the community. Bridge the gap of segregated Des Moines. You will share and inspire the youth with your story of success and how education assisted you to become a Latino community leader and respected professional, though all are welcome!  Dinner will be provided.

2nd Annual Mary Campos Scholarship Luncheon.  November 14 at noon at Christ the King Catholic Church (location map). Join Al Éxito at this fundraiser for scholarships for Latinx youth.  Undocumented youth are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.  This scholarship fills the gap and supports the next generation of Iowa leaders.  Learn more about their stories here.  Can’t make the banquet?  Donate directly here.

Hear the first person story from Des Moines Civil Rights Pioneer Mary Campos in this podcast episode from the Drake University Community Research Summer Scholar Program.   Mary Campos is a civil rights activist and 2017 inductee into the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame. CRSSP scholar Juan Carlos talks with her about three experiences of racism the civil rights activist witnessed as a young person. Her teachers at McKinley Elementary School discouraged Spanish speaking among her siblings. She graduated in 1947 from Dowling High School (then called “The Academy”). On her graduation trip to California, she felt rage at racist bus segregation. On return to Iowa, she found job discrimination by employers who told her that their staff was only used to working with white people but eventually found a job through her church. The final minutes describe the founding of the Black and Brown forum, an important event in the Iowa Caucus process, and her award for helping immigrants found businesses in Des Moines. 6:40 minutes. (Check out the full interview in a bonus episode.)

We need volunteers for childcare. 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.

Upcoming Racial Justice Events
Film Screening And Then They Came for Us sponsored by Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa.
Saturday October 6 from 10am-12:30pm at Varsity Theatre in Des Moines.   Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa will screen the film And Then They Came For Us and host a panel discussion afterwards.  Seventy-six years ago President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, paving the way for the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US educates audiences about the constitutional damage done in the name of national security.  FB event here.  Advanced purchase tickets here for a discount.

Planning Meeting Anti-Racial Profiling by Iowa CCI. Thursday, October 11 at 6:30pm  Iowa CCI Racial Justice Committee is hosting a community planning meeting to dig-in on next steps and formulate a plan to go to the full City Council and city attorney to pressure them to implement an anti-racial profiling ordinance. The city won’t act unless they see and hear from hundreds of residents, like you, who keep the pressure on and demand the changes our communities need. Register for the event here.

T shirts. Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Racial Justice Now t-shirt this summer! We’ve raised over $500 for one of our accountability partners which will be donated later this fall. If you ordered a shirt and haven’t picked it up, please reach out to us at dsmsurj@gmail.com. We will have the t-shirts for pick up at our regular meetings. If you haven’t grabbed a shirt yet, there’s still time. Please fill out this form and we will be in touch. Each shirt cost $18 and we are able to donate $10 of each sale to our accountability partners.

Meeting Schedule:  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. October meeting dates: October 7 & October 21.

SURJ Newsletter

See you tomorrow: How to talk to white family and friends about racism

At our last meeting, we talked about how important it is to talk to white people about racism.  How to do it?  To what purpose?  Participants committed to holding FOUR conversations between meetings.  Want to try it? Here’s one article the SURJ email editor recommends. Here’s one for social media.

Join us the first Sunday in November to talk about it and grow your skills.

November/December Meeting Schedule:  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 Loungeat Drake University at 6:00 pm. Park in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

  • 11/5 Decision and leadership meeting. At the last October meeting, SURJ members committed to holding four meaningful conversations about racism with white people in our lives.  Come share your experiences as we grow our capacity to grow consciousness in Central Iowa.
  • 11/19 Learning and action items.  Build your effectiveness as an anti-racist voice.  Learn new skills as we workshop effective response to legislation, talking to friends/family, and continuing work with accountability groups.
  • 12/3 Decision and leadership meeting
  • 12/17 Take action and build skills

Share with teachers and youth workers:  Updated Teacher Toolkit. Use and share this toolkit with local and national resources to support undocumented, DACAmented and refugee youth: local legal resources, family emergency preparedness, mental health and classroom anti-bullying. New and re-verified sources to be more informed as an ally to the youth in your life. This resource and more are posted on the DSM SURJ Website.

Upcoming allied group events:

Sanctuary Church Potluck: Monday, November 6th 6:00 pm potluck, 7:00 pm documentary. “Who is Dayani Crystal?”  First Unitarian Church 1800 Bell Ave.

Share the Mic Community Voices Creating Change: Friday, November 10th 7:00-9:00 pm.  By Movement 515.  Temple for the Performing Arts 1011 Locust Street. Join us for an evening of spoken word poetry, featuring the poets of Movement 515 and Half-Pints Poetry! In support of our immigrant brothers and sisters, the theme for our annual Share the Mic is “I, Too, Am America,” with all proceeds benefiting Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors. These events sell out.  Buy advance tickets here.

Coming soon: November Businesses to Support

Activities and accomplishments: October

White Privilege Conference-IA.  SURJ members served as organizers, workshop leaders, keynote speakers and attendees.  Gratitude to Petra Lange, Erin Lain, and Drake University for organizing and sponsoring event in Des Moines to foster skills and awareness to dismantle racial hierarchies in Des Moines.

Supporting People of Color-owned businesses:  These initiatives are going strong.  New monthly businesses listed each month.  You can find lists in each weekly email and on our facebook page.

Dancing in the rain:  Minuet MANY was a great success, with several dozen coming together to dance, sing, play and create an art-based response to reject white supremacy and racist terror.  We raised over $225 for local Latinx youth development group Movimiento Al Exito.  Sample the joy here.