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Midwest Digest November 2020

Highlights of work from around the region

Iowa supply drive for people being deported
Iowa supply drive for people being deported Photo: Jon Krieg / AFSC

To view the full Digest as a PDF, please click here.

Providing mutual aid for people facing deportation
The AFSC Iowa Immigrant Rights program recently partnered with five other organizations to host a successful supply drive for people facing deportation. (Click for more information, photos and this guide to creating a mutual aid network.) The Iowa Immigrant Community Fund, partly administered by AFSC, has received a $750,000 donation to support immigrant meatpackers and farmworkers. AFSC is also celebrating great news regarding a recent Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling favorable to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders. Learn more in English and Spanish.


Urging that every vote count
Angie Amison, the new Mutual Aid Coordinator for the AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program, is quoted here about why it’s so important that every vote was counted in the recent election. Colleagues Demetrius Titus comments on the passage of “clean slate” laws; Jacq Williams writes about solitary confinement and prison suicide; and Natalie Holbrook talks about a new mail policy in prisons, the LGBTQ+ Community and Incarceration, and the need to invest in rehabilitation. Natalie also shares this Community Safety Toolkit from Washtenaw County.



November 29th interfaith service to offer hope, resiliency
AFSC is hosting an Interfaith Service in Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Sunday, November 29 at 5 p.m. CT. Organized by the Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy, the program will include music, prayers, and words of inspiration from the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions. Also mark your calendars for the next two No Way to Treat a Child webinars on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7 pm CT and an online fundraiser with Joyce Ajlouny of AFSC on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

 
LOVE & STRUGGLE PHOTOS

Defunding police and creating real community safety
In Truthout, Debbie Southorn of AFSC writes, “Building more jails and police academies during a national reckoning with the crisis of racist policing reveals a sad clinging to the past on the part of elected officials.” Stay tuned for an AFSC Facebook Live and webinar on November 19 with Debbie on alternatives to policing in schools. Debbie shares these resources on building community safety without policing as well as this toolkit on how to address white supremacy. This post-election article quotes Mary Zerkel’s four ways de-escalate potential conflict.


AFSC’s Summer Intensive Training in the Twin Cities

Connecting with young people in the Twin Cities
In this interview, Ebelin Morales Delgado, Social Media Coordinator with AFSC in the Twin Cities, talks about work to connect with young people as they face challenges with physical distancing, remote learning and systemic racism. Ebelin describes Youth Undoing Institutional Racism’s Summer Intensive Training, which included a session on encouraging youth to think about businesses they might be interested in starting. Learn more and stay connected on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Youth Art Showcases #RealStudentSafety in St. Louis
Following upon an invitation from AFSC, Grace, who’s 12 years old, drew the picture above. In response to the question of how would you make schools safer without policing, she wrote: “School Garden highlights the potential for science, math, and social studies to be reinforced while having fun and getting outside more.” See more entries by visiting staffer Jonathan Pulphus on Instagram, and check out the program’s October newsletter with more stories about work for #RealStudentSafety.


Former AFSC Dayton volunteers and staff, including Migwe Kimemia at right

AFSC Dayton office building donated to local NAACP
When AFSC closed its program in Dayton, AFSC staff met with community elders who had long been supporters of the program to discuss what came next. They requested the building go to a like-minded social justice organization, and AFSC approached the local branch of the NAACP.  “We are so happy we are able to pass this building on to the Dayton NAACP,” said Sharon Goens-Bradley, Interim Regional Director for AFSC’s Midwest Region. “The work they are doing with communities in Ohio and across the country is critically important, and we are grateful to contribute this building to the ongoing struggle for racial justice.” Read the full press release.

Short takes
AFSC’s dynamic Strategic Plan for the next 10 years is now online….Catch up with other AFSC alumni through the fall newsletter….Learn these do’s and don’ts of bystander intervention….Read about AFSC’s latest work in the South Region….AFSC Iowa co-sponsored Indigenous People’s Day – check out Alejandro Murguia-Ortiz’s comments, print, TV, photos and blog by Quaker Jeff Kisling….Des Moines Friend David Drake, president-elect of the national Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes about an important step forward in the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons.

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