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Midwest Digest 4-26-18

Midwest Digest 4-26-18

Published: April 26, 2018
To Gaza with Love young people at photobooth in Indy

Three young people show their support for Gaza at an April 21, 2018 AFSC dinner in Indianapolis celebrating Palestinian culture. More photos from that event here.

Photo: AFSC / Jon Krieg

(To view this Digest as a PDF, please click here.)

Hundreds support Gaza at hearing, celebration in Indy

AFSC hosted a remarkable “Hearing in the Heartland” last Saturday in Indianapolis. Check out this video and these photos of community panelists and expert speakers, including Jehad Abusalim, who wrote this post recently about the Great Return March. (Click here for Jennifer Bing’s related speech at a Chicago rally.) Following the hearing, people celebrated Palestinian culture, food and music — and also posed for #HeartlandToGaza photos.

Twin Cities program welcomes new director

AFSC is very pleased to welcome Shanene Herbert as the new Twin Cities Healing Justice Program Director. Shanene is a mother, a community member and educator who for more than 20 years has partnered with youth, parents, community organizations and educational system stakeholders to bridge the communication gap that hinders the success of students in the Twin Cities.

Shanene has worked in several educational settings in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Most recently she was the Director of Project SPIRIT, an after-school program that blends academic and cultural enrichment activities, drawing on African-American traditions to instill key characteristics in the children: Strength, Perseverance, Imagination, Responsibility, Integrity and Talent. A native New Yorker, she enjoys riding her bike on the many bike trails across the Twin Cities.

Dayton walks for peace, reflects on racism, supports African students

Migwe Kimemia, above, shares these reports on this year’s ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Peace and Justice, community college reflections on Dr. King’s legacy, and a forum on White Privilege. Sarah Michieka has been busy connecting with African student organizations across Ohio as part of AFSC’s “We Dream a World Project,” focusing in part on offering opportunities for civic engagement. Sarah also coordinated a Q and A session for students with the chairwoman of the New African Immigrants Commission.

“Pipe Dreams” set for screening at St. Louis Friends Meeting

Joshua Saleem encourages people in the St. Louis area to join AFSC this Sunday, April 29 for a screening of Pipe Dreams at the St. Louis Friends Meeting, presented by AFSC’s Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR).

From Facebook: “This screening of Pipe Dreams continues to offer not only a better understanding of how implicit bias contributes to the school-to-prison pipeline, but will also provide a way forward. Following the screening, there will be a panel featuring youth and youth advocates who have experience around the issue. They will highlight the work that is already being done and provide solutions and opportunities to support that work moving forward.”

Iowans vow to push for repeal of new anti-immigrant law

Iowa’s governor quietly signed SF481, the anti-immigrant bill which AFSC and partners have been working against for over a year. The new law, which takes effect July 1, will punish local entities that restrict cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We made our opposition loud and clear and, at an impromptu rally (above) at the Capitol, vowed to defend each other and repeal this attack on our friends and neighbors. Check out this video about our witness in the Iowa House and this interview with an Iowa intern who says that organizing is actually harder than engineering.

No stopping young people in Chicago

Fifty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., young people in Chicago, supported by AFSC, are building on his legacy by resisting a proposed $95 million cop academy. Visit NoCopAcademy for updates, including stories about actions such as the die-in (above) at City Hall and a lawsuit against the mayor.

Michigan program wrapping up commutation reviews

Staff in the Michigan Criminal Justice Program are nearing the end of their work reviewing commutation requests for the governor. Work continues with parole readiness workshops inside prisons, and AFSC’s Good Neighbor Project has a goal of doubling the 100 people currently involved.

Resources for resisting Islamophobia and CVE

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday regarding the Muslim Ban. AFSC is pleased to offer this Social Media Toolkit full of great graphics and resources to help you stay active and visible in working against Islamophobia. We’re also glad to share this collection of resources for resisting Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). You can catch this interview with Dominique Diaddigo-Cash of the Twin Cities Office (starting at the 35:21 mark) as he talks about resisting CVE and other profiling of people of color and Muslims.

Mary Zerkel reports from Chicago that she’s been doing a number of trainings. “We’re trying to stop surveillance programs from being used in public schools, and we help teachers be a bulwark against that. We’ve been helping teachers who interact with Muslim students — how to use a lens of detecting anti-Muslim racism within training materials teachers are given, rejecting the bias of CNN Kids, Time for Kids, etc. We led trainings at the recent AFSC Corporation meeting and will do so at Friends General Conference (FGC) this summer in Ohio.”

Bits and pieces

Brant Rosen, Regional Director of AFSC’s Midwest Region, shares this photo collection of regional work and his own blog posts on Jewish liberation theology and solidarity….Sign up today for AFSC’s four-session interactive e-course on Changing Systems, Changing Ourselves….Check out AFSC’s statement in response to the U.S. bombing of Syria and consider joining the Poor People’s Campaign, endorsed by AFSC….This video tells how one Friend is dreaming of and working toward racial justice.

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