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Midwest Digest 12-18-18

Brant Rosen faces Border Patrol in San Diego 12-10-18
Brant Rosen faces Border Patrol in San Diego 12-10-18 Photo: Naaz Modan/CAIR / AFSC

To view this Digest as a PDF, click here.

International Migrants Day

Did you know that today, December 18, is International Migrants Day? If you’re looking for ways to stand in solidarity, here’s a
petition to sign and a quick way to contact your members of Congress.

Here’s another idea: Donate today to support AFSC’s remarkable work for immigrant rights. Brant Rosen, Regional Director for the AFSC Midwest Region, writes movingly about his arrest last week at the Mexico/U.S. border. Brant was joined by over 400 other religious leaders in a dramatic protest in support of migrants and against border militarization.

Image projected by AFSC onto the Federal Building in Des Moines

That action was echoed by more than 70 other actions across the country over the past week, including Indianapolis and Des Moines, where allies lobbied U.S. Senate staffers and projected the image above onto the Federal Building.

What’s special about AFSC, of course, is that our concern and action for the human rights of all people reaches around the U.S. and around the globe. The monthly Midwest Digest highlights some of the work your donations make possible.

Please join us today in celebrating AFSC’s work in the Midwest by making a year-end donation or becoming a monthly donor.

AFSC Strategic Planning community consultation in St. Louis

AFSC listens to community partners as part of strategic planning

Shanene Herbert and Mary Zerkel are leading community consultations as part of AFSC’s strategic planning process. “St. Louis staff Joshua Saleem and Johnathan Pulphus gave careful attention into making sure the discussion was an intergenerational space with people from various backgrounds and connections to AFSC,” Shanene said. “I think this allowed for a wide array of perspectives—which is the true intent of the community consultation process.”

Mary added, “It was so great recently to be with St. Louis constituents and partners to hear about the issues in the community and their vision for the future! The Chicago consultation is set for January 12, and we are working to set a date in Michigan.” For more on the work of Youth Undoing Institutional Racism in St. Louis, check out their Facebook page.

Jehad Abusalim of AFSC Chicago provides a history of Gaza.

Quaker network explores justice in Palestine-Israel

This past weekend at Pendle Hill, AFSC staff from the US and the Middle East joined the Quaker Palestine Israel Network to explore what it will take for a future of lasting peace and justice. This hour-long video and Lucy Duncan’s tweets provide a wealth of helpful information. Earlier, AFSC’s Gaza Unlocked program posted these powerful winning entries in our Essay Contest: Tarneem Hammad for “Dear Blockade,” Rahaf El Hallq for “The Party,” and Nadia Siyam for “30 Minutes…A Thousand Times Over.”

Support builds for #NoCopAcademy and against CVE

Noting that the same companies that profit from war often profit from militarized policing, Iraq Veterans Against the War have issued a statement in support of #NoCopAcademy, a Chicago effort supported by AFSC. In this podcast, Debbie Southorn and Monica Trinidad share their thoughts about coalition building.

AFSC’s Communities Against Islamophobia project, directed by Mary Zerkel in Chicago, has trained more than 1500 Muslims and allies to counter stereotypes and discrimination. This article explores why we need to oppose the Countering Violence Extremism (CVE) program, which will do nothing to counteract white supremacists.

A family at the port of entry in Nogales, where migrants camp outside for days to present themselves to Customs and Border Protection to seek asylum. Photo: Jody Mashek

Bits and Peaces

Jody Mashek, who directs AFSC Iowa’s Legal Services Program in Des Moines, writes about her volunteer experiences in Nogales helping families understand their legal rights and the asylum process….Jody’s colleague, Erica Johnson, explains why Iowa needs immigrants…. AFSC in Indiana is planning an inclusive Shabbat for All dinner on January 25….Former AFSC staffer Greg Coleridge was in Des Moines recently to talk about why we need to Move to Amend….Peniel Ibe writes about how the “First Step Act” will exacerbate racial disparities, fuel mass incarceration, and encourage prison privatization.

Your support matters

Your gifts of time and money make a real difference. Please support AFSC by donating now and sharing this subscription link for the Midwest Digest. Please like AFSC Midwest on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thanks!