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.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 11/17/18

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

November 18, TOMORROW SUNDAY:  The courage to talk to family about racism.  Learn tools on how to have a conversation about racism. We know conversations during Thanksgiving (and all year) can be difficult. Let’s build a supportive community willing to engage others on racism. There will be time to explore why we may avoid these difficult conversations, how to start the conversation and pointers for staying focused and getting your beliefs shared in a respectful manner.

Event by Accountability Partners

Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. 10 am – 4 pm.  Global Arab Holiday Bazaar. Support for Arab Families (SAFI), a project under Monsoon, invites you to the first Global Arab Holiday Bazaar! Location: 2214 Forest Ave. Purchase authentic Middle-Eastern goods created by Arab women living in Des Moines.
For more information about the event and about SAFI, contact ebtehal@monsooniowa.org

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.

Attend 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.

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.

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, 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.