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Midwest Digest 11-30-18

Debbie Southorn and Jehad Abusalim at AFSC Chicago fundraiser November 2018
Debbie Southorn and Jehad Abusalim at AFSC Chicago fundraiser November 2018 Photo: Jon Krieg / AFSC

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Chicagoans celebrate solidarity and resistance

AFSC Chicago's supporters, volunteers and staff gathered on November 15, 2018 for "A Celebration of Solidarity and Resistance" at Al Hambra Palace Restaurant. Debbie Southorn and Jehad Abusalim served as emcees for the event, which included this video and this collection of photos highlighting work from the past year. AFSC was pleased to honor the 8th Day Center for Justice with our "Inspiration for Hope" Award. Check out AFSC Chicago's Facebook page and this AFSC site for photos from the evening.

From left: Gaza Essay Contest winners Tarneem Hammad, Rahaf El Hallq and Nadia Siyam with Dr. Refaat Alareer and Ali Abdalbari of AFSC.

At this event, AFSC was very pleased to announce the winners of our recent Gaza Unlocked Essay Contest: Tarneem Hammad for “Dear Blockade,” Rahaf El Hallq for “The Party,” and Nadia Siyam for “30 Minutes…A Thousand Times Over.” Forty-one people entered.

Young people involved with #NoCopAcademy

Interview tells the story behind #NoCopAcademy in Chicago

In a recent interview (parts one and two), Debbie Southorn of AFSC explains the historical context and current reality that’s driving young Black people and others to oppose a proposed $95 million cop academy on the city’s west side. Debbie says, “What communities need is access to mental health resources, access to quality public schools, access to the resources that not only keep young Black people alive in this city but resources that will allow them to thrive.”

Migwe Kimemia, left, and Yahayh Khamis in Dayton

Dayton program mentors new leaders

Migwe Kimemia, who directs AFSC's work in Dayton, talks here about the program's leadership training and civic engagement work with young people from Africa. Migwe shares the story of Yahayh Khamis, who describes his own journey toward becoming president of the Sudanese Community of Dayton. Yahayh was honored by Welcome Dayton for his work in support of others.

Jody Mashek provides an “Immigration 202” presentation in Hampton, Iowa hosted by La Luz Hispana.

Iowans educate and organize for immigrant rights

“People are forced to move from the theoretical, ideological talk-radio conversations about immigration laws to the reality of what enforcement looks like, because it’s happening in our backyards,” says AFSC Iowa program director Erica Johnson in this piece. Erica co-signed this op-ed calling for an end to hate and share her thoughts in this radio interview. Along with directing the Iowa legal services program, Jody Mashek is also educating and mobilizing a number of groups across Iowa. She speaks in this video on “Bearing Witness: Resilience and Courage at the Border, and she’ll be speaking again on December 3.

People in Indiana rally against Islamophobia and oppression.

AFSC Indiana supports Muslim Youth Collective Fellowship

The Muslim Youth Collective is offering stipends for Muslim youth in Indianapolis who are interested in organizing to resist Islamophobia, racism, and all systems of oppression. The fellowship program's aim is to train Muslim youth to be effective mobilizers, to provide Muslims with language and resources to confront and understand anti-Muslim racism, and to create a culture of solidarity with other marginalized communities among Muslims.

AFSC co-hosted a solidarity vigil for the Jewish community following the synagogue shootings in Pittsburg. A discussion on Hanukkah and the Politics of Food is set for December 3.

Midwest staff huddle during a Sacred Sites Tour in the Twin Cities as part of their recent staff retreat.

Moving forward in Michigan

Demetrius Titus reports that the AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program now has over 140 people participating in its Good Neighbor Project, connecting co-mentors inside and outside of prison. Contact him for more information. (Just for fun, Demetrius created this short video about the recent AFSC Midwest staff retreat in the Twin Cities.) We’re pleased to share this good news about a victory for people living with HIV in Michigan’s prisons.

Bits and Pieces

AFSC honors the memory of Bassem Masri, a Palestinian who was active in support of the protests in Ferguson following the murder of Mike Brown….The No Way to Treat a Child campaign celebrated the first anniversary of historic legislation, H.R. 4391, protecting the rights of Palestinian children. Jennifer Bing shares more in this webinar….Mary Zerkel co-hosted this Facebook Live discussion about an AFSC Changemaker and her work with Communities Against Islamophobia….Check out these pieces of good news about Airbnb and Quakers in Britain standing up for Palestinian rights….Join with other AFSC alumni today!....And be sure to visit AFSC’s new website, Love Knows No Borders, to support justice for migrants at the border during a week of action December 10-18. Register for our December 3 Facebook Live to learn more.

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