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Midwest Digest November 2022

Stories of work from around the region

Light in Gaza authors and editors
From left, collaborators on the anthology Light in Gaza: Yousef M. Aljamal (author), Mike Merryman-Lotze and Jennifer Bing (editors), Asmaa Abu Mezied (author) and Jehad Abusalim (editor) Photo: / AFSC

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Light in Gaza book tour wraps up as work for rights, freedom continues

AFSC recently concluded its two-week Light in Gaza book tour, bringing to US audiences Palestinian stories about life in Gaza under Israel’s brutal blockade. Learn more from Palestinian authors Asmaa Abu Mezied and Yousef Aljamal and AFSC editors in this articleradio interview and discussion. Mark your calendars for the next No Way to Treat a Child webinar on Tuesday, November 29 at 11 am CT.

 

Freedom School builds skills, deepens connections

In the latest news from St. Louis, Jonathan Pulphus of AFSC writes that the latest Freedom School was an excellent showcasing of what's possible when community comes together. Thanks to a number of partners, “We were able to host a beautiful and inspiring training for scholars. We successfully deepened youth's skillsets around social justice, helped them establish connections among each other, and wrestled with questions around race/racism. A special thanks to all the scholars for participating - y'all did that! Check out the event photos here.”

 

Michigan website lists ways you can help end life and long sentences

“Michigan’s prisoners serve longer sentences, on average, than all other prisoners across the nation,” according to Let Me Tell You, a website that compiles people’s stories. “They are living proof that extreme punishment doesn’t work.” The AFSC-related site includes several action ideas for ending life and long sentences, including The Good Neighbor Project, joining a Freedom Team, and volunteering.

 

Chicago youth take action to stop Lincoln Detention Center

In their campaign to close the youth prisons in Illinois and end the harmful practice of locking up and incarcerating youth, organizers with AFSC and the Final Five Campaign successfully disrupted a panel featuring John Clark of Cordogan, Clark and Associates at the Chicago BUILD expo. The firm is designing and building a new youth prison in Illinois, despite the demands by youth inside and out to shut them down and instead invest those funds in young people before harm happens. Check out Debbie Southorn’s video of the action from Instagram and sign and share this petition.

 

Youth Leader Intern sought for Twin Cities work

November 8 is the deadline for applications for the Youth Leader Intern position with Youth Undoing Institutional Racism in the Twin Cities. The mission of YUIR is to empower historically disenfranchised youth to become peaceful agents of social change in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities. This is done through a deeper understanding of the systems that cause poverty, combined with an analysis of racism and the systems developed from the time of colonization through today.

 

Biking for peace

Lynn Salvo, a three-time Guinness World Record holder, is attempting a fourth record for largest GPS art by bicycle. She is spreading a message of the need for peace while raising money on behalf of AFSC. Read tales of her travels across the US and Canada at lifeislikeabike.wordpress.com.

 


From left: Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, Helen Jaccard, Kathleen McQuillen, and Gerry Conlon

Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World

Helen Jaccard and Gerry Conlon, organizers with "Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World and a Peaceful, Sustainable Future" met with activists in Des Moines recently. Their boat, the Golden Rule, is on a 15-month voyage covering 11,000 miles, calling for the need to abolish nuclear weapons. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie issued a proclamation welcoming the Golden Rule organizers to the city. Quakers have played a key role in the history of the Golden Rule. The Des Moines visit was organized by AFSC Iowa alum Kathleen McQuillen, director of Catholic Peace Ministry.

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