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Midwest Digest November 2021

Highlights of work from around the region

People at a protest
#GazaIsPalestine action in downtown Chicago. Pictured: Rabbi Brant Rosen, activist Paula Roderick, and the author daughter, Mia. Photo: Mohammad Khier

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

Remembering Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza

It’s been nearly seven months since Israeli airstrikes claimed the lives of 258 people in Gaza. In Chicago, Palestinian activist Rosana Thompson joined AFSC and partners to reflect on how memory and grief is a form of resistance. Watch the premiere of Caging Childhood: Palestinian Children in Israel’s Military Detention System on Saturday, Nov. 20 at noon CT. Take action to oppose Israel’s criminalization of six Palestinian human rights organizations. On Monday, Nov. 29 at noon CT, join AFSC’s special Facebook Live event to #StandWithThe6.

 


From left: Michigan State Sen. Stephanie Chang, Ashley Scott, Sen. Erika Geiss and Siwatu-Salama Ra

Michigan expands maternal and post-partum health care for people in prison

After years of advocacy by AFSC and partners (some shown above), Michigan announced it will limit its use of restraints on pregnant people. It will also allow parents more time with newborns, expand access to birth plans, and more. Prison “conditions are harsh, and they’re not meant for anyone and especially someone who is pregnant,” says Natalie Holbrook of AFSC. Read more news from AFSC Michigan.

 


Students and AFSC staff in St. Louis. Photo: Joshua Saleem

Students in St. Louis continue push for reimagining school safety

“Because budgets and school infrastructure prioritize the punishment and security model, the holistic restorative practices that can better address the root cause of what is going on with our youth are underfunded or absent,” writes Joshua Saleem of AFSC. “We are committed to support youth who are working to change that. It’s long past time for us to divest from the punishment paradigm—and finally invest in resources that bring genuine hope for a safe, healthier future for all our youth.”

 


Sullivan High School Social Justice Club students with AFSC & Dissenters

Students push for peace in Chicago

The latest newsletter from the Chicago Peacebuilding Program includes updates on fundraising for the Michael McConnell Peace with Justice Youth Organizing Fellowship (now over 75% of our goal!), teach-ins and canvassing with Sullivan High School students, and our latest Community Safety Beyond Policing webinar. AFSC is supportive of a new student-led anti-war movement, Dissenters, which has launched a campaign to demand that the City of Chicago cancel its contract that pays Boeing to have their headquarters in Chicago; please sign and share this petition.

 

Twin Cities Youth offer “Tips While Protesting”

Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) in the Twin Cities offers a number of helpful tips for protesting, including the acronym SAID to remember when interacting with law enforcement: Stay focused, Ask if you’re free to leave, Invoke your right to the Fifth Amendment, and Do not consent to a search.

Short takes

Visit AFSC’s Get Involved page to support a robust reconciliation packageabolish the death penalty, end the Selective Service system, and push for reopening the border to asylum seekers. Check out the fall issue of AFSC’s alumni newsletter and updates from our alums at Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice.

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