DSM SURJ Newsletter, 8/3/19

SURJ Sunday:
Understanding our stories about race

August 4: Your Own Personal Rabbit Hole. Understanding our own stories about race, and talking about them to one another, is absolutely essential if we are to defeat racism in America. That cannot happen when our own families’ histories are unknown or rest on collective stories that ignore, deny, suppress or minimize the racial history and journey of our immigrant ancestors. By sharing what she continues to discover as she dives deeper into her own family history, Rhonda Chittenden will invite you to peer down your own personal rabbit hole of family history. This is an opportunity to grow in profound self-understanding as you connect your very life story to the visible and invisible dynamics of white supremacy alive in our communities, state and nation today Facilitated by Rhonda Calderon. Facebook invite here.

August 18Immigration Justice and Equity in Education working groups. This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connection and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

September 1: No Meeting, Happy Labor Day Weekend

September 15:  Immigration Justice and Equity in Education working groups. This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connection and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third (working group) Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Childcare provided. All meetings held at Medbury Honors Lounge at Drake University at 6:00 pm. Park in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.
Disrupting as an Accomplice: August 9

We are raising funds to support local immigrants with a goal of raising $1,000 at each film screening ($10 suggested donation at door, cash or check)! Help us reach this goal and support immigrants in Iowa – mark your calendar for all three dates. Free childcare available on site. Films begin at 7:00pm at Plymouth UCC Waveland Hall (4126 Ingersoll Ave, DM IA 50312). Discussion will follow the films with representatives from the fundraising organization on site.

SURJ has made a commitment to dig in deeper to our third pillar – Disrupting as an Accomplice. To this end, we are hosting a series of events this summer to raise awareness and funds for various partners: Iowa Sanctuary Movement, Al Exito, American Friends Service Committee and Justice for Our Neighbors. We need your help! Mark your calendar to attend one or all of these, commit to bringing a friend (or two) and share the events on Facebook.

Film Series: Changing the Immigration Narrative. A three-part series exploring immigration in the present and past. All three of these will be hosted at Plymouth (42nd and Ingersoll) the second Friday of the month at 7pm. Suggested donation $10 (cash or check, please).

Harvest of Empire – August 9 – Funds going to American Friends Service Committee https://www.facebook.com/events/349113415707684/

America First – The Legacy of an Immigration Raid – September 13 – Funds going to Justice for Our Neighbors. https://www.facebook.com/events/2753445354729643/

Newsletter on August hiatus except for urgent action updates. Next SURJ newsletter will be sent on September 7.

 

DSM SURJ Newsletter 6/29/19

How can I resond to the humanitarian immigrant crisis and anti-immigrant terror campaign? 

Whoever you are and whatever talents you have, your voice is needed. We are being called to action. This week’s events continued a campaign of state-sponsored terror against our immigrant neighbors and unthinkable tragedy at the border. We cannot turn away, but how to respond can be a challenge.

Click this link for a detailed list of immediate actions sent to us from the American Friends Service Committee (note: links in the file need to be copied and pasted – they are not live).

Donate this week to Al Exito in support of Latinx families who suffer right now from the terror campaign against immigrants and are responding with positivity and love. 

Respond by supporting national people of color-centered organizations recommended at this link

What does a response look like?
  1. Volunteer to help with a writing project. Capabilities: write (in English) well. Can work from wherever you are- not necessary to come into our office. Time frame: pretty urgent/ASAP.
  2. Fluent, bi-lingual (English/Spanish) volunteers to help with the hotline. Must be able to function well under pressure, must be sensitive to cultural needs, must be committed to confidentiality and tracking, must have access to a smart phone and relatively comfortable with technology. Can work from wherever you are. We’ll train you and bring you up to speed.
  3. Sponsors to provide food during our upcoming Organizing Academy. We need food for around 20 people for 5 sessions. Could you or your community help out? Starting July 30-Aug 27 (every Tuesday evening) in Des Moines.
  4. Volunteers to help with public education forming a speakers bureau with us. There is such a need (and desire) for information about the U.S. Immigration system we could use some help presenting to groups. We’ll prep you to present and point you in the right direction! Location: anywhere in Iowa.
  5. Volunteer to help put pressure on statewide and local news agencies. Communications professionals needed! Iowa’s media outlets have been reporting on the crisis at the border and Trumps threats but don’t seem to understand that there are local implications. Can you help us reach out?
SURJ July 7: DSM anti-racial profiling efforts 

July 7: Learn more about anti-racial profiling efforts in Des Moines. Harvey Harrison guest speaker.  Harvey will be providing a status report on the initial draft of the ordinance and any city council action; current racial profiling litigation and complaints, development of an anti-racial profiling website.  This is a great opportunity for you to get involved in SURJ direct action in support of a black-led effort against racial injustice in our community.   Learn the background at this link here.

July 21: Immigration Justice and Equity in Education working groups. This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connection and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

August 4: Your Own Personal Rabbit Hole. It takes vulnerability and daring to face how white supremacy has constructed the very reality of one’s own life. Dare to dive down your own personal rabbit hole with other white folks. What will you find and what might it mean for your growth as a white person committed to racial justice? Facilitated by Rhonda Calderon.

August 18Immigration Justice and Equity in Education working groups. This and ALL third Sundays of the month. Join us to build connection and deepen our commitment to equity in education and immigration justice in Des Moines. Why working groups? Two reasons: 1) We hear from the educational and immigration groups with which we are in relationships of accountability. 2) We set the stage for successful, long-term action as a group. This is your opportunity to plug in deeper with SURJ. Whether you’ve been to many SURJ meetings or this is your first one, you’re invited!

Join us! Newcomers, returnees and longtime participants always welcome. DSM SURJ meetings are the first and third (working group) Sundays of each month, 6-8 pm at Drake University.  Childcare provided. All meetings held at Medbury Honors Lounge at Drake University at 6:00 pm. Park in the Olmsted Center Parking Lot located at 2875 University Avenue.

June 2019 Featured People of Color-Owned Businesses

Cortney Ewing Estates
Owner: Cortney Ewing
Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group Realtors, 2425 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA
Phone: (515) 224-8609
Cell: (312) 718-4611
Email: cortney.ewing@cbdsm.com
Website: https://www.coldwellbanker.com/Coldwell-Banker-Mid_America-Group,-Realtors-7661c/Cortney-Ewing-7399141a?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=agent&utm_term=a7399141&referredByAgent=a7399141   (Enter Cortney Ewing Estates and you’ll find it!)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CortneyEwingEstates/

Cortney Ewing is a realtor specializing in first-time homebuyers. She’ll help you find grants to help with closing costs and down payments, and she works with trusted lenders to help ensure you can purchase the home of your dreams. Cortney serves both sellers and buyers, and she’ll be happy to put her skills to work to meet your needs.

Pyramid Theatre Company
Formed under the leadership of Ken-Matt Martin and Jiréh Breon Holder
Stoner Theater, Civic Center, 221 Walnut, Des Moines, IA
Website: http://pyramidtheatre.org/

Season continues through June. Productions this year include Too Heavy for Your Pocket, about the courageous journey of the Freedom Riders into the Deep South during the summer of 1961, and How I Learned What I Learned, a one-man show about playwright August Wilson. Pyramid Theatre Company’s mission is to provide a gateway to the arts for the Des Moines community by illuminating the presence of Black artists in the theatre canon and providing a means of artistic expression to emerging Black voices. We’ve highlighted this business in the past, but wanted to remind you that the new season is here.

Global Summer Soccer Program and Youth Connection Fair Volunteers Needed

Looking for a volunteer opportunity to build interracial and interethnic social capital? Here are two.

1. Genesis Youth Foundation is organizing the Global Summer Soccer Program (July 12 – August 3). Soccer brings cultures together! Sign up for a slot from 6-8 on Thursdays and Fridays and/or the final Saturday Future Fest. Invite friends to help out too! Organized by SURJ member Heather Brady.

Here is the link to the program: https://www.genesisyouthfoundation.org/summer-soccer
Sign up to volunteer here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4ca5a82ca5fa7-central

2. Genesis Future Fest. Saturday, August 3, 9:00 AM TO 12:00 PM. East High School, 815 E. 13TH ST, Des Moines.

Genesis Youth Foundation, in partnership with The Iowa Department of Human Rights, DMPS Community Education, and Kick It Forward, is proud to present Future Fest on August 3rd, 2019. Youth in grades 6 – 12 and recent high school grads are invited to connect with future employers, colleges, and community organizations and open their minds to the world of opportunities that are possible for their futures.

Sign up to volunteer: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4ca5a82ca5fa7-future

Webinar and Workbook: Angela Davis July 9 Online

July 9, 7:00 pm. We’re thrilled to invite you to SURJ’s conversation with Angela Davis on the fight for collective liberation. Across the country, SURJ members are working hard to bring new people into fights for justice – and we’re sure this conversation will provide inspiration and wisdom for the struggles we are engaged in across the country.

Register here to join the call July 9th at 8:00 EST. Then share the invitation on Facebook with family, friends and comrades.

White Supremacy and Me Workbook Layla F. Saad
https://www.meandwhitesupremacybook.com/
Part education, part activation, the Me And White Supremacy Workbook is a first-of-its-kind personal anti-racism tool for people holding white privilege to begin to examine and dismantle their complicity in the oppressive system of white supremacy.

 

Latinx Music Festival: Get Your Tickets Now for July

July 20, 2019 all day. Warren Morrow Music Festival.

The only festival that brings you a day of nothing but música Latina en Des Moines is back! Rock en español, bilingual hip hop, Spanish rap, salsa, y más.

Bring your chairs, cámaras, blankets and tacones para bailar and let’s rock downtown Latino style!

 More information on the Des Moines Warren Morrow Music Festival and Tickets here.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 4/27/19

Upcoming SURJ Meetings 

Sunday, May 5th. Dialogue on cultural appropriation facilitated by ISU Sloss Center’s Equity and Social Justice Coordinator Janae Due. Please join us in dialogue as we explore this important topic.

Sunday, May 19Education working group. Come help us begin to plan our event Fun to Fund Equitable Schools (FunFES). If you hate the name, you better come on the 19th to help us change it ; ). We have made traction on CORE community liaison piece of things and have other projects to continue building. See you there.

Join us! 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.

 

Next stops on anti-racial profiling ordinance 

May 14 5:30 p.m. Planning meeting at CCI Office 2001 Forrest Ave– All are welcome – The Racial Justice Team will have a dual planning meeting to prepare for the City Council meeting on May 20th and to reach out to black clergy for their support.

May 20, 4:30 pm.   Des Moines City Council Meeting. 400 Robert Ray Drive. Support Des Moines youth and bring your kids! Three Hubbell Elementary School students did a project on racial profiling which includes drafting a petition and getting signatures from their fellow students, families and friends.  They will be presenting at the May 20th meeting.  Let’s pack the chambers – bring your kids!

June 17, 5:30 pm. CCI Racial Justice Team meeting. All are welcome.  Discussion will include debriefing on meeting with Black clergy; the November City Council elections and identifying potential challengers; meetings with individual city council members; next steps on the ordinance.

Please send the attached flyer to your networks.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hWcRCdYBkUBMlG3SE0-wgsMUVjU9O1PB/view

Read more about the March meeting in this Des Moines Register article.
https://iowacci.ourpowerbase.net/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=33243&qid=4526559

 

April 2019 Economic Equity Business

SURJ connects with businesses owned by people of color and indigenous people to create awareness of these enterprises in our larger membership. Know a business we should support? Please email Kathy.

Fat Tuesday Cajun Restaurant / Catering
Owner: Steven James
6112 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: (515) 285-3552
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FatTuesdayRestaurant/
Menu: places.singleplatform.com
Order: grubhub.comseamless.com

Fat Tuesday has the best Cajun food around! For the last ten years, Des Moines has enjoyed this unassuming, Mardi Gras-themed spot, featuring Creole and Cajun cuisine & homey soul food, plus beer and wine and the best catfish in town. Catering services are also available. Check it out!

 

Support Artistic Expression of Racial Justice

May 6, 7:00 pm. Des Moines Diversity Chorus. Free concert. West Des Moines United Methodist Church, 8th and Grand in West Des Moines. The theme of the concert is Choose Love. Much of the music speaks to the work we’re doing around immigration and justice.

July 20, 2019 all day. Save the Date: Warren Morrow Music Festival. Artists announced! More information on the Des Moines Latinx Music Festival and Tickets here.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 4/13/19

April 2019 Economic Equity Business

SURJ connects with businesses owned by people of color and indigenous people to create awareness of these enterprises in our larger membership. Know a business we should support? Please email Kathy.

Fat Tuesday Cajun Restaurant / Catering
Owner: Steven James
6112 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: (515) 285-3552
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FatTuesdayRestaurant/
Menu: places.singleplatform.com
Order: grubhub.comseamless.com

Fat Tuesday has the best Cajun food around! For the last ten years, Des Moines has enjoyed this unassuming, Mardi Gras-themed spot, featuring Creole and Cajun cuisine & homey soul food, plus beer and wine and the best catfish in town. Catering services are also available. Check it out!


Activities announced by accountability partner Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs

Wednesday, April 17 6:00 pm -8:00 pm. Latinx Forum. The Basement of the Social Club. 900 Mulberry St, Des Moines.

The Latinx Forum will consist of a moderated panel of 4 local Des Moines Latinx leaders who represent high school, college, young professionals, and working professionals.

The panel will be moderated by Sonia Reyes-Snyder, the Executive Officer of the Iowa Office of Latino Affairs and will consist of the following community leaders:

This forum will focus on telling the story of the Latinx community Des Moines through their own words, specifically the barriers, challenges, and opportunities facing this population, and to connect a local face to national issues facing the Latinx community. Facebook invite here.

Save the Date: Warren Morrow Music Festival on July 20, 2019. Artists announced just last week! More information on the Des Moines Latinx Music Festival and Tickets here.


Next stops on anti-racial profiling ordinance 

April 15, 5:30 pm.   Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team. Iowa CCI Office 2001 Forrest Ave.  Plan next steps for keeping this issue hot.  They need our support!  If you’d like to attend please RSVP to sharon@iowacci.org.

On March 25th more than 100 people attended the Des Moines City Council meeting to press the City Council on why there had been no report (as promised) in March in response to the anti-racial profiling ordinance proposed by the Iowa CCI Racial Justice team back in November 2018.  Speakers from CCI  spent an hour at the end of the meeting challenging the city to take their experiences of racial profiling seriously and to affirm that policy isn’t enough – laws are needed.  As a result of this pressure, the Mayor asked the city manager to revisit the proposals and to consider making them law.

Read more about the meeting in this Des Moines Register article.
https://iowacci.ourpowerbase.net/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=33243&qid=4526559


Upcoming SURJ Meetings 

Sunday, April 21st:  NEW EDUCATION ACTION & Immigration Action Group will meet. Newcomers welcome.

Education Action 4/21: Move the needle on racial justice in Des Moines Public Schools

The Racial Justice in Education Group met on March 17 and we began plotting several initiatives relative to Des Moines Public schools. Our mission: To work on issues identified by students of color as urgent within school building. Over the next few months, we build an advocacy network to grow community partnerships with CORE students in DMPS. You are needed – support this youth-led vision for equity and justice. If you want to join the group but can’t make the next meeting please reach out to dsmsurj@gmail.com.

Immigration Action Group: Support asylum seekers with DSM SURJ Immigration Action Group

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.

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, May 5th. Dialogue on cultural appropriation facilitated by ISU Sloss Center’s Equity and Social Justice Coordinator Janae Due. Please join us in dialogue as we explore this important topic.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 4/6/19

SURJ Tomorrow:
Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece – we’ll teach you how.
New information on April 21 EDUCATION and IMMIGRATION working groups.
Update on anti-racial profiling activism in the DSM Metro. Accountability group Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs events.
Save the date for summer Warren Morrow Music Festival.

Upcoming SURJ Meetings 
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 (see idea at the end of this newsletter);
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); NEW EDUCATION ACTION & Immigration Action Group meet.

Education Action 4/21: Move the needle on racial justice in Des Moines Public Schools

The Racial Justice in Education Group met on March 17 and we began plotting several initiatives relative to Des Moines Public schools. Our mission: To work on issues identified by students of color as urgent within school building. Over the next few months, we build an advocacy network to grow community partnerships with CORE students in DMPS. You are needed – support this youth-led vision for equity and justice. If you want to join the group but can’t make the next meeting please reach out to dsmsurj@gmail.com.

Immigration Action Group: Support asylum seekers with DSM SURJ Immigration Action Group

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.

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.  Activities announced by accountability partner Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs

Corrected date! April 15th at 5:30 pm. CCI Offices, 2001 Forest Ave. Iowa CCI Racial Justice Team. Plan next steps for keeping this issue hot. They need our support! If you’d like to attend please RSVP to sharon@iowacci.org.

On March 25th more than 100 people attended the Des Moines City Council meeting to press the City Council on why there had been no report (as promised) in March in response to the anti-racial profiling ordinance proposed by the Iowa CCI Racial Justice team back in November 2018. Speakers from CCI spent an hour at the end of the meeting challenging the city to take their experiences of racial profiling seriously and to affirm that policy isn’t enough – laws are needed. As a result of this pressure, the Mayor asked the city manager to revisit the proposals and to consider making them law.

Read more about the meeting in this Des Moines Register article.
https://iowacci.ourpowerbase.net/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=33243&qid=4526559

You can give support by writing a letter to the editor.

Wednesday April 17 6:00 pm -8:00 pm. Latinx Forum. The Basement of the Social Club.

The Latinx Forum will consist of a moderated panel of 4 local Des Moines Latinx leaders who represent high school, college, young professionals, and working professionals.

The panel will be moderated by Sonia Reyes-Snyder, the Executive Officer of the Iowa Office of Latino Affairs and will consist of the following community leaders:

This forum will focus on telling the story of the Latinx community Des Moines through their own words, specifically the barriers, challenges, and opportunities facing this population, and to connect a local face to national issues facing the Latinx community.

Save the Date: Warren Morrow Music Festival on July 20, 2019. More information on the Des Moines Latinx Music Festival and Tickets here.

DSM SURJ Newsletter, 3/9/19

This week: 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.

Related post – 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.

Anti-Racial Profiling–City of Des Moines

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.


Upcoming SURJ Meetings

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 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.


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 2/23/19

CCI Racial Profiling Report & Action this Week
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.

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.

SURJ Bookclub is back!
Saturday, March 2, 2019. 10:00 am. Join us in reading “White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism” by Robin DiAngelo. Here’s the most awesome part: DiAngelo will be speaking at ISU on Feb 26th at 7pm. If you’re interested in carpooling, check in in the discussion to the Facebook event, linked here. Ritual Cafe.  Join Erin & Petra for a great facilitated discussion of the book and lecture. You are welcome to join for the discussion whether or not you’ve read the book. We hope to see you there.

 

Future SURJ Meetings:

Sunday, March 3rd: Op-Ed Workshop/Writing. Talking about legislative action against bill to dismantle voluntary diversity plan.

Sunday, March 17th: 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: What’s White Identity Got to Do With It? (Join us as we explore the ways that people are socialized and racialized as “white” impact the ways we show up to racial justice work. Whatever your racial/ethnic identity, all are welcome to dig deeper into how understanding the racial identity of white people can help us design strategies and practices for anti-racist growth.)

Sunday, April 21st: Taking Action Together (We continue to build our 2019 action plan on discrimination in education. We’ll also pick up the working group focus for a second major SURJ initiative for 2019. We’re engaging and responding to demands and needs identified by our accountability partners and need all of us to pitch in!)

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.

 

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.