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Midwest Digest August 2021

Highlights of work from around the region

Youth activists take part in an action to remove police from Chicago schools. Photo: #CopsOutCPS

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Creating real safety for youth in Chicago
To address gun violence, the city must remove police officers from schools—and invest in mental health services for students, writes Karla DeJesus, an intern with AFSC’s Peacebuilding Program in Chicago. Colleague Mary Zerkel shares about safer alternatives to calling 911, including community-based solutions to reduce reliance on police and ensure community safety for all.


The Revolution Will Be Televised (#TRWBT)
Youth Undoing Institutional Racism in the Twin Cities invites you to join the latest in its #TRWBT series on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 5:30 pm CT. Lovecraft Country: Episode 3 Holy Spirit covers America's shameful and disturbing legacy of experimenting on Black people as well as its lasting medical consequences on the generations that followed. Discussion with special guests to follow on themes of systemic racism.


Working to free our incarcerated brothers and sisters
In a video that preceded an AFSC webinar on Breaking Open Cages from the Ground Up, Demetrius Titus of the Michigan Criminal Justice Program states: “With 2.3 million men and women in currently in prisons, detention centers and jails in this country, AFSC’s #FreeThemAll campaign was forged to confront the need to facilitate a move toward freeing our incarcerated brothers and sisters, especially during this pandemic.” Follow the Michigan program on Twitter for updates.


Webinar examines policing and white supremacy
On a recent AFSC Community Safety Beyond Policing (CSBP) webinar focusing on white supremacy, Jamala Rogers said, “Since the Ferguson uprising, we’ve been telling white people to stop saying they wonder why the policing is different in different communities. When we say we’re getting our butts kicked on our side of town, and that we’re stopped three or four times a day for no reason, trust and believe that’s happening.” Jamala directs Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), a long-time partner of AFSC in St. Louis. The next CSBP webinar on policing poverty is Thursday, Aug. 12. Register here.


Palestinians in Gaza call for the right of return. Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images

Why we must keep our attention on Gaza
The violence against Palestinians in Gaza doesn’t stop when the bombs stop falling, says Jehad Abusalim of the AFSC Chicago Palestine Activism Program. “We can’t give Gaza only seasonal attention. The violence continues. Ending the political isolation of Gaza and trying to make Gaza a place we can imagine living in is our mandate.” His colleague, Jennifer Bing, invites you to save the date for the next No Way to Treat a Child webinar featuring a new AFSC video on US military assistance to Israel and updates from Palestine. The webinar will be Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7 pm CT.


Short takes
Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, a spin-off from AFSC Iowa, is beginning a First Fridays Lunch and Learn virtual series at noon Central. On August 6, the topic will be DACA and a pathway to Citizenship for All….Read AFSC’s statement on the recent Israeli raid on our partner Defense for Children International-Palestine….Register here for Dissenters’ first “DisOrientation,” a virtual convening of hundreds of students set for Sept. 3-5….Check out the summer issue of AFSC’s engaging alumni newsletter….Read more about accelerating racial justice work among Friends.

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