Skip to content Skip to navigation

Midwest Digest April 2022

Highlights of work from around the region

Photo: AFSC
(To view the Digest as a PDF, please click here.)


National study shows many Americans oppose Gaza blockade

Last November, AFSC conducted a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults. We wanted to know what people thought about the Gaza blockade, and whether having more information would influence their thinking. Jennifer Bing and Beth Hallowell of AFSC write that about half of U.S. adults oppose the Gaza blockade. Jennifer also took part in a recent webinar on Land Day and the Gaza Great March of Return. Join her and others for the next No Way to Treat a Child webinar on the Israeli military detention system set for Tuesday, April 12, 11 am CT. (Shown above: Chicagoans call for an end to the blockade of Gaza.)


Youth in St. Louis build toward healing, liberation

In the latest newsletter from AFSC in St. Louis, Jonathan Pulphus writes that Youth Advocating for Healing and Liberation (YAHL) are working on their 1) Advocacy Project: Researching of Social Justice; 2) Campaign Basics 101: The Desegregation of Busing; and 3) their Relationship Building Activity Calendar for 2022. Stay tuned!


From left: Natalie Holbrook, Annie Somerville, and Lawanda Hollister speak during a panel discussion on the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility. Photo by Anna Gustafson

Building power with incarcerated women in Michigan

Natalie Holbrook recently moderated a panel discussion on the deteriorating and hostile conditions at Women’s Huron Valley prison in Michigan. There, 194 women are serving life sentences and another 600 have very long sentences. “There’s less education inside,” Natalie says. “The food is as processed as it’s ever been. They’re feeding people on $2 a day…. We know it’s awful, we know it’s deplorable, and together, we can do this differently than we’ve been doing it.”


Gun violence and community safety

Many communities across the country have experienced an increase in gun violence over the last two years. At the same time, we are having a robust debate around the role of policing in our society. How has or should the movement to divest from policing and invest in community be responding? Join us on Thursday, April 21 at 7 pm CT as part of our webinar series “Community Safety Beyond Policing.” Keep up with Chicago Peacebuilding work on Instagram.

Youth Board cohort announced in the Twin Cities

From Facebook and Instagram: AFSC Twin Cities is pleased to introduce our amazing Youth Board Cohort of 2022-23! We had many worthy applicants and were faced with a hard decision of choosing 12 amazing future leaders to help us impact change in community. Check us out on social media to learn more about some of our YB members and what they are looking forward to in this new year.

At the statehouse in Des Moines, African refugees rally for the people of Ukraine.

AFSC Iowa alums celebrate and organize

Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice recently celebrated its first birthday as an independent organization….Alum Kathleen McQuillen organized two peace vigils for Ukraine on March 6 and March 31….Other rallies for Ukraine included this candlelight vigil and this spirited call for support from African refugees.

Short takes

Events connected with AFSC’s Corporation meeting run through April 9….Check out our North Star, AFSC’s Healing Justice vision statement….Applications for AFSC’s Economic Activism Investigative Research Intern are due May 1….Learn how to demilitarize the US budget on May 3….RIP Bill Barrett, Neil Mesner, and John Griffith.

Grateful for your support

Please renew your support of AFSC by donating now; please consider becoming a Partner for Peace by donating monthly. Thanks for sharing this subscription link for the Midwest Digest, and check out AFSC Midwest on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thank you!