DSM SURJ Newsletter, 3/30/19

Write an op-ed piece – we’ll teach you how at the next SURJ meeting

Sunday, April 7th: Get ready for the April 7th meeting starting now. Op-Ed writing workshop with Craig Owens. You have an important voice to build an anti-racist city and nation.  Please brainstorm before April 7:

1) some ideas about topics you might want to see an op-ed about;
2) the large point you want the op-ed to make (the “takeaway”);
3) a couple of specific actions you want readers to take action on about the takeaway large point

At the meeting, Drake University English Professor Craig Owens will lead us through a group process of talking about what we’ll write about.  Then, we will draft our letters together. Change the public narrative around racial justice. Don’t miss this special event.

If you have access to a laptop computer please bring it! As always, parking is available in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

Sunday, April 21st: No formal meeting (Easter); Immigration Action Group meets (see announcement below)

Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. 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.

Help support asylum seekers with DSM SURJ Immigration Action Group

Sunday April 21st 6:00 pm. Medbury Hall Drake Campus. SURJ Immigration Action Group. The Immigration Action Group met on March 17 where we heard from Mike and Karen Lauer about their experience sponsoring two young women from Central America seeking asylum in the US.  The focus of our work over the next few months will be raising money for legal fees and work permits for asylum seekers Danna and Karla. If you want to join the group but can’t make the next meeting please reach out to dsmsurj@gmail.com using this link.

DSM SURJ Newsletter 3/23/19

Direct Action Monday Night: SURJ to Stop Racial Profiling in the Metro Area

Monday, March 25 4:30 pm and 7:30 am. Build the wave of support for racial profiling ordinance. Des Moines City Hall, 2nd Floor Council Chambers, 400 Robert Ray Drive. Whether or not you’re from Des Moines, your presence is needed. Des Moines City Council has yet to fulfill their February promise to consider a Racial Profiling Ordinance. The ordinance would ban racial profiling and pretextual stops; collect and disseminate data on stops; create a citizen’s review board; require implicit bias and de-escalation training, and make marijuana possession a low priority.  The council unanimously agreed to review the recommendations and report back in late February. The next step is to bring friends and make a large showing to push for the promised action. The flyer to send to your networks can be downloaded here. Learn about the background, including data and the history of organizing around this movement at this link. Questions: contact Sharon Zander-Ackiss at sharon@iowacci.org or 515-2550-0800 or Jean O’Donnell at odjean1@msn.com or 515-240-2218.

Can’t make it Monday?: Send email or call now to City Council Officials

Email addresses and phone numbers can be found here.  You must email or call this weekend.  The council will begin voting on these at the March 25th City Council meeting.
Write an op-ed piece – we’ll teach you how at the next SURJ meeting

Sunday, April 7th: Get ready for the April 7th meeting starting now. Op-Ed writing workshop with Craig Owens. You have an important voice to build an anti-racist city and nation.  Please brainstorm before April 7:

1) some ideas about topics you might want to see an op-ed about;
2) the large point you want the op-ed to make (the “takeaway”);
3) a couple of specific actions you want readers to take action on about the takeaway large point

At the meeting, Drake University English Professor Craig Owens will lead us through a group process of talking about what we’ll write about.  Then, we will draft our letters together. Change the public narrative around racial justice. Don’t miss this special event.

If you have access to a laptop computer please bring it! As always, parking is available in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

Sunday, April 21st: No formal meeting (Easter); Immigration Action Group meets (see announcement below)

Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. 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.


Help support asylum seekers with DSM SURJ Immigration Action Group

Sunday April 21st 6:00 pm. Medbury Hall Drake Campus. SURJ Immigration Action Group. The Immigration Action Group met on March 17 where we heard from Mike and Karen Lauer about their experience sponsoring two young women from Central America seeking asylum in the US.  The focus of our work over the next few months will be raising money for legal fees and work permits for asylum seekers Danna and Karla. If you want to join the group but can’t make the next meeting please reach out to dsmsurj@gmail.com using this link.

DSM SURJ Newsletter 3/16/19

SURJ Sunday Night:
Working groups to take action on education

Sunday, March 17th: Working Groups night. Come help map the upcoming campaign to challenge discrimination in education and support asylum seekers in Des Moines. Taking Action Together on Education (We continue to build our 2019 action plan to resist discrimination in education in Des Moines. We’re engaging and responding to demands and needs identified by C.O.R.E. and Al Exito and we need all of us to pitch and help!)

Sunday, April 7th: Get ready for the April 7th meeting starting now. Op-Ed writing workshop with Craig Owens. You have an important voice to build an anti-racist city and nation.  Please brainstorm before April 7:

1) some ideas about topics you might want to see an op-ed about;
2) the large point you want the op-ed to make (the “takeaway”);
3) a couple of specific actions you want readers to take action on about the takeaway large point

At the meeting, Drake University English Professor Craig Owens will lead us through a group process of talking about what we’ll write about.  Then, we will draft our letters together. Change the public narrative around racial justice. Don’t miss this special event.

If you have access to a laptop computer please bring it! As always, parking is available in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

Sunday, April 21st: No formal meeting (Easter); working groups may decide to meet informally with those who can still attend.

Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. 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.

Keep writing!!! : Write letters and postcards to City Council Officials

At our last meeting Joshua Barr, Director of the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission, joined us to request that our membership write the Des Moines Mayor, City Manager, and City Council in support of the Bridging the Gap recommendations.  You don’t have to be a resident to support these recommendations.  Mr. Barr encouraged letters and postcards but emails will also suffice.  The mailing address for all letter is Name, City Hall, 400 Robert Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA, 50309.  Email addresses and phone numbers can be found here.  Please get your letters sent by March 22nd.  The council will begin voting on these at the March 25th City Council meeting.

The campaign to build momentum to address racial disparity in Des Moines needs you!  Identified priorities include “Stable Housing – Stable Communities”; “Ladder Up – Create Economic Opportunities”; and “Mandatory Training for First Responders”.  The Des Moines Civic & Human Rights Commission drafted specific recommendations which the Mayor and City Council supported. The City Manager was directed to report back at the March 25, 2019 city council meeting. Learn details at this link. (Thanks to Jean ODonnell for providing these important details and course of action!)

 

Human rights symposium this week

If you are a resident of Des Moines we encourage you to attend these City Council meetings to hold our elected officials accountable. Attend the Commission’s annual Human Rights Symposium on March 20th.  The amazing high school students from C.O.R.E. for Advancement are leading the Future Progress track, for-youth-by-youth sessions that explore the current ways our youth are leading the charge to a better future.  Click on the link for all the details.

 

Local Racial Justice Events

Tuesday, March 19. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Documentary Showing: The Feminist on Cellblock Y. At the State Historical Society of Iowa.  In the documentary, a convicted felon builds a feminist movement from behind bars at an all-male prison in Soledad, California. The star of the film, Richard Edmond Vargas–the keynote speaker of the 2019 Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Symposium on March 20–will answer questions after the showing. Hosted by OpportUNITY DSM, Central Iowa Works, and Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission. Details at this facebook event.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 3/2/19

Take urgent action against racial profiling, eat dinner provided by SURJ Leadership tomorrow night, attend NAACP Day on the Hill, give your feedback with the SURJ survey.

Urgent action to bring forward anti-racial profiling bill in Iowa

Support our accountability partner, the Iowa NAACP. Join the push to ask the Iowa Senate to move forward on the SSB1038 anti-racial profiling bill. Please take this urgent action to call on Monday. It’s easy – the script is below.

SSB1038  made it through sub-committee, but as of now isn’t on the Judiciary Committee agenda. Itneeds get on that agenda soon if it is to be voted on in time to make it through the first funnel (March 8th) and onto the legislative agenda for this season. PLEASE take the time to call and show our reps that Iowans beyond the NAACP also care about this important bill.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOMENTS where your five minutes can make a real difference. This bill made it through subcommittee, so we know there is support (including among some Republicans) these are phone calls WORTH making.

Who to call:

Dan Dawson (Vice Chair of Judiciary Committee)
515.281.3371

Brad Zaun (Chair of the Judiciary Committee)
515.777.2939

Sample Script:

“Chairman Zaun/Vice Chairman Dawson: I’m calling to urge you to put SSB 1038 on the agenda for a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I am part of Des Moines SURJ and we support this bill the NAACP has worked hard to move forward.

This legislation is important for our state. Protecting Iowans against racial profiling and providing police officers the training they need is consistent with Iowa values. We want a state in which all are treated with equity and fairness and where relationships can be built between police departments and the communities they serve. It’s good for everyone, including police, when we can all trust that there safeguards against racial profiling.

This bill has broad support and deserves a vote.”

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/publications/search/document?fq=id:1034831&q=profiling

Attendees from a broad coalition met on February 16 to prepare for upcoming dialogues with city officials to advocate for passing the anti-racial profiling ordinance presented to City Council in November 2018. If you have questions about the ordinance or want to be actively engaged in this work please contact Harvey Harrison by email:  harvey@dwx.com or submit this Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team Volunteer Form. Learn more here.

This week’s action: Anti-Racial Profiling bill, SSB1038, has passed out of subcommittee and will be voted on in the Judiciary Committee probably next week.  Please contact the leadership of the committee and your Senator to urge them to move the bill on.


Join us for dinner (NOT a potluck) TOMORROW at SURJ Meeting

Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. 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.

Sunday, March 3rd: This is SURJ! The SURJ Leadership Core wants to see you and we will even feed you!!  If you don’t want to cook – GREAT! You’re welcomed.  If you want to bring a dish to share, THANKS!   Join us to connect for the first time or deepen your connection to DSM SURJ’s 2019 initiatives. We’ll share food, introduce the working principles of SURJ and determine together the larger initiatives that will shape our local SURJ work in 2019. Don’t miss this chance to fellowship together and shape SURJ’s focus for this new year. Childcare will be available.

Sunday, March 17th: Working Groups night, come help map the upcoming campaign to challenge discrimination in education and support asylum seekers in Des Moines. Taking Action Together on Education (We continue to build our 2019 action plan to resist discrimination in education in Des Moines. We’re engaging and responding to demands and needs identified by C.O.R.E. and Al Exito and we need all of us to pitch and help!)

Sunday, April 7th: Op-Ed writing workshop with Craig Owens.You have an important voice to build an anti-racist city and nation.  We ask for a bit of prep before Sunday night.  Brainstorm for Sunday:

1) some ideas about topics you might want to see an op-ed about;
2) the large point you want the op-ed to make (the “takeaway”);
3) a couple of specific actions you want readers to take action on about the takeaway large point

At the meeting, Drake University English Professor Craig Owens will lead us through a group process of talking about what we’ll write about.  Then, we will draft our letters together. Change the public narrative around racial justice. Don’t miss this special event.

If you have access to a laptop computer please bring it! As always, parking is available in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

Sunday, April 21st: No formal meeting (Easter); working groups may decide to meet informally with those who can still attend.


NAACP Accountability Partner Event Tuesday
Tuesday, March 5. 12:30pm-4:00pm. Iowa NAACP Day on the Hill. Iowa State Capitol. Event details on Facebook at this link.

Schedule:
12:30 PM GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS – Welcome & Legislative Issue Support
1:15 PM PRESS CONFERENCE: Iowa at the Cross Roads. Is Hope on the Horizon? – NAACP Legislative Agenda
1:40 PM LOBBY PROCESS TRAINING – Learn how do advocate for change.
2:00 PM IOWA NAACP & ADVOCACY LEGISLATIVE ISSUE PANEL – Hear about pending legislation and how you can support.
2:30 PM ADVOCATE FOR REAL ACTION: LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS – Visit your legislators and attend legislative meetings.
3:15 PM ICE CREAM SOCIAL – LEGISLATIVE ROUND TABLE – Enjoy ice cream while engaging lawmakers around bills that matter
4:00 PM CONCLUSION


DSMSURJ Leadership Core Wants to Hear from You!  

Whether you’ve been active with our group recently or never before participated, we want to hear from you. As we move forward into 2019, we want to deepen our commitment to the community and engage more folks in this critical work.  Please take a few moments to complete and turn in this survey.  We appreciate your time and honest feedback.  Survey responses will be collected until March 10, 2019. 

http://b.link/DSMSURJ_Survey


Local Racial Justice Events

Wednesday, March 6. 8:00am-11:30 am. Understanding Cultural and Racial Trauma. Science Center of Iowa. Explore the basis of historical and cultural trauma. Learn how it impacts the willingness of ethnic communities and people of color to seek help for a variety of mental health challenges. Keisha Ross, PhD, will engage participants in a session outlining coping mechanisms and cultural considerations for serving communities impacted by trauma. This session will build connections and grow alliances for mental health access and advocacy, with a focus on bridging faith and mental health circles. Tickets and details here.

Tuesday, March 19. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Documentary Showing: The Feminist on Cellblock Y. At the State Historical Society of Iowa.  In the documentary, a convicted felon builds a feminist movement from behind bars at an all-male prison in Soledad, California. The star of the film, Richard Edmond Vargas–the keynote speaker of the 2019 Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Symposium on March 20–will answer questions after the showing. Hosted by OpportUNITY DSM, Central Iowa Works, and Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission. Details at this facebook event.


Get Informed and Take Action: A Deep Dive into Des Moines’ Bridging the Gap Campaign

The campaign to build momentum to address racial disparity in Des Moines needs you!  Identified priorities include “Stable Housing – Stable Communities”; “Ladder Up – Create Economic Opportunities”; and “Mandatory Training for First Responders”.  The Des Moines Civic & Human Rights Commission drafted specific recommendations which the Mayor and City Council supported. The City Manager was directed to report back at the March 25, 2019 city council meeting. Learn details at this link. (Thanks to Jean ODonnell for providing these important details and course of action!)

If you are a resident of Des Moines we encourage you to attend these City Council meetings to hold our elected officials accountable. Attend the Commission’s annual Human Rights Symposium on March 20th.  The amazing high school students from C.O.R.E. for Advancement are leading the Future Progress track, for-youth-by-youth sessions that explore the current ways our youth are leading the charge to a better future.  Click on the link for all the details.

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.