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Midwest Digest March 2022

Highlights of work from around the region

Students protest the police murder of Amir Locke
Students in the Twin Cities protest the police murder of Amir Locke. Photo: @eadyiam / AFSC
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“Rage is love and care under duress.”

These words of Fred Motem were shared on Facebook and Instagram by Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) in the Twin Cities. In February, YUIR joined with students from across Minnesota in walking out of school in solidarity with Amir Locke. “One life lost at the hands of the police is too many,” YUIR writes. “And pouring more money into a police force that continues to kill community members is NOT the answer.”

Hard at work on the journey to liberation

The latest newsletter from the Michigan Criminal Justice Program offers ways for people to get involved in building power and solidarity: “We've been hard at work on this liberation journey, assisting individuals and helping to lead campaigns that will get us closer to communities where we navigate harm and violence with different and more transformative tools, community action and care, and policy responses.”


Study-into-action group: Building community alternatives to police response

Are you interested in how communities are responding to emergencies without involving the police? Join our eight-week participatory workshop to learn more, set for every other Saturday at 12 noon CT starting March 12. See what community-based programs are working across the country. Assess the needs and assets for emergency response in your own community. Get trained in de-escalation and mental health crisis response. And develop a concrete plan to move toward community-based justice. Read more about AFSC’s peacebuilding work in Chicago.


AFSC St. Louis youth gathering

Youth in St. Louis explore the “Urgency of Now”

In this latest newsletter from St. Louis, Jonathan Pulphus describes a recent youth gathering and the “Urgency of Now” artwork created by AFSC’s Youth Advocating for Healing and Liberation (YAHL). “The work that I do [with AFSC] will reflect what’s right and have a positive impact on the community,” writes Carl (CJ) Summers of Cardinal Ritter High School. “The community is under attack coming from many areas right now. I believe using MLK’s tactics of inclusiveness would work best.”

Chicagoans protest Israel’s attacks on Gaza. Photo: Jennifer Bing

Webinar to explore the experiences of Palestinians in Gaza

In May 2021, the Israeli military launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip. On the next No Way to Treat a Child webinar on Tuesday, March 15 at 11 am CT, join us as we focus on the experiences of Palestinians in Gaza, reflecting on the Great March of Return and last year’s military offensive. Hear from staff in Gaza, learn some Gaza history, and debunk the opposition’s talking points. On the KPFA evening news (2/29/22, starting at the 7:45 mark), hear Jehad Abusalim and Jennifer Bing of AFSC discuss the Gaza blockade and recent polling data on Gaza.


Led by AFSC alum Kathleen McQuillen (right), Iowans call for peace in Ukraine.

AFSC says military aid is not the answer to the invasion of Ukraine

AFSC shared this statement, blog and poster art on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In Des Moines, AFSC alum Kathleen McQuillen led a peace vigil in advance of the war and is organizing another rally for diplomacy on Sunday, March 6.

News about alums

Here’s the winter news on AFSC alumni….From the Midwest, read Greg Coleridge’s most recent article and check out the latest from Iowa Movement for Migrant Justice, including their push for community IDs….Alums in Austin are celebrating International Women’s Day on March 6.

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