Current Initiatives

DSM SURJ remains at work on a number of initiatives we have been engaged in since fall 2016. We are also working on some new and emerging projects.

Immigration Justice Organizing

Over the course of the summer and fall of 2017, we continue to deepen our connections with Latino/a-led organizations working against the attempt by the Iowa Legislature to pass an anti-sanctuary legislations that would compel local law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In partnerships with many other groups, DSM SURJ worked against this bill during the spring 2017 legislative cycle and will continue to do so, fighting this legislation during the spring 2018 cycle.

DSM SURJ has been actively supporting efforts to secure passage of “Welcoming City” Resolutions in the Des Moines-metro area. Such resolutions are important for sending the message of justice and inclusion to immigrant and Latino/a communities.


Economic Promotion of People of Color Enterprises

For the last several months DSM SURJ has highlighted several Black and Latino/a owned businesses and other creative enterprises in the Des Moines area. We are urging SURJ-affiliates to patronize these enterprises and spread the word to encourage others in our various professional, familial and friend networks to patronize these enterprises.

See the Economic Equity page (click here) for the list of businesses.

Building Community with Religious Minorities

Over the last year, DSM SURJ spent time building community, attending religious services and doing joint service projects with the Bhutan Hindi Community, the Iowa Sikh Association and the Iowa Sikh Turbanators. We look forward to continuing to grow these relationships over the coming months and support these communities in increasing their visibility and power in the Des Moines area.


Upcoming Initiatives Emerging Summer 2017 and Building through 2018:

  • Low-income and refugee housing justice in Des Moines;
  • Support for the anti-racial profiling and ban the box initiatives sponsored by the NAACP;
  • Building the SURJ connection and connections with Black Lives Matter network for local action.