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Midwest Digest 8-30-19

Preparing for 2020 - Advocating for Rights, Justice and Freedom in Palestine and Israel
Preparing for 2020 - Advocating for Rights, Justice and Freedom in Palestine and Israel Photo: / AFSC

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Palestine advocacy summit set for Sept. 7-8
“Political divides in the U.S. on Israel are breaking open as the stark reality of Israeli apartheid becomes impossible to ignore,” write Chicagoan Jennifer Bing and Mike Merryman-Lotze. “New generations of activists are building intersectional movements for change and growing support within places where Palestine wasn’t discussed even ten years ago.” Learn more about an advocacy summit for Rights, Justice and Freedom in Palestine and Israel set for next weekend.

African students in Ohio change the narrative
AFSC’s Pan-African Youth Alliance recently conducted a “Civic Engagement for Systemic Change” workshop with African students from Ohio State and Wright State. Migwe Kimemia writes that people value this training and “promoting the quality of life in a community through political and non-political processes – and the importance of changing the narrative about who we are as Africans and our continent.” Migwe also shares that AFSC alum Yahayh Khamis spoke on behalf of the family of an Eritrean man killed in the Dayton mass shooting.


Iowans graduate from Immigrant and Refugee Organizing Academy
Erica Johnson writes on AFSC Iowa’s Facebook page that she’s “so proud of and thankful for our first graduates and trainers of the first-ever Iowa Immigrant & Refugee Organizing Academy! Love, power and solidarity to this powerful crew!” The five-week course, led by immigrant trainers, included sessions on migration stories and social movements, how to build a campaign, and coalition work. Erica was also quoted about the care of migrant children.

Twin Cities staffer honored
Shanene Herbert, director of AFSC’s Healing Justice Program in the Twin Cities, is one of four people honored recently by the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. “Shanene has worked with young people of color and their parents in educational settings across the Twin Cities,” according to the announcement, helping them “navigate pathways to success and slowly chip away at the cradle-to-prison pipeline.”


Chicago youth embrace a powerful tool for change
Does anyone bother to ask students if they want police in their schools? And what if those cops have long records of harassment and abuse? Debbie Southorn writes about AFSC’s training with young people on FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and how they can be used to expose and stop unwanted policing in their schools. Check out and share this creative zine about using FOIAs.


Call for Art - Found: Love Letters of Muslim Resistance and Community

September 14 is the deadline for submissions for an October exhibit of posters and other works challenging the state, media and some individuals’ narrative about Muslims and instead portraying Muslims as they are: full of love, creativity and resistance. Contact Zareen Kamal for more info. And check out Mary Zerkel’s timely blog about why it’s a problem to label violence as “domestic terrorism.”

It’s your move

Joshua Saleem and Jonathan Pulphus of AFSC St. Louis spent some time recently teaching chess to young people involved with the Children Defense Fund’s Freedom School. AFSC staff and youth from St. Paul and St. Louis joined 100 others in New Orleans for a Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) and People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) summit to talk about joint work.


The Art of Boycott exhibit is coming to Indy
Speakers at this November exhibit will address the theory, practice and effects of boycott across several spheres — economic, cultural, political – and assess how boycotts promote or slow political revolution and evolution, and how they affect personal evolution. On September 14, AFSC will host a Communities Against Islamophobia training specifically created for educators and allies who work with Muslim youth – but all are welcome. Immediately following will be a Train the Trainer for Bystander Intervention.


Summary from convening on punishment
This is a summary of the Ending Perpetual Punishment Convening hosted by AFSC Michigan and held in July at Wayne State University in Detroit. Around 70 people attended the invitation-only gathering, which included a public keynote address by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project. The Michigan Daily reports on the convening here. Stay tuned for an interview with Jack Williams, who recently joined the staff of the AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program.

Bits and Peaces
Check out the summer
edition of AFSC’s Alumni Newsletter….Brant Rosen blogs on white supremacy, the anti-BDS resolution in Congress, and a tale of two Judaisms; he offers this lament for detained children….Sandra Tamari writes about being banned from returning to Palestine….Here are three ways to deepen your activism this September….With a hurricane bearing down on Florida, read about the Trump’s administration’s transfer of FEMA money to expand immigrant detention….Learn more about asylum seekers and see this resource for people being deported….Iowans held a vigil (see video and photos) marking the 74th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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