I implore you not to give into that anger or apathy, but instead turn to action. Because the antidote to injustice is progress. The cure for this malpractice is a fight for fairness in every election held, in every law passed, in every decision made.Stacey Abrams
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Host or Co-Host a Voces fundraiser event
CSS raised enough money last year that Voces de la Frontera could hire a Madison based organizer. We have already hosted several house parties and have a few more coming up in Dec and Jan to raise money for Voces. But we could use a few more house parties to meet our goal of raising $40,000 for Voces. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about hosting an event or supporting these events or know someone that might be interested.
Voces House Party – December 8
Join Becca Krantz, Steve Stern, Anita Simansky and their families for a house party: Welcoming and Standing Up for Immigrants. Extending the miracle of Chanukah for all. The party will be on December 8th from 4pm to 6pm (note time change) at Becca Krantz and Don Katz’s home. 2116 Jefferson St. There will be delicious food. RSVP to email@example.com you are planning to attend.
Diversity & Inclusion series at Shaarei Shamayim: Conversations on Race, Gender, and Dis/ability
Why is it important to understand and leverage the diversity within our Jewish community? Shaarei Shamayim is Madison's inclusive Jewish congregation. But what does that really mean, and what is our strategy for setting and meeting our goals in this area? In these sessions, participants will continue our community conversation on Jewish diversity in Madison and beyond, with a focus on racial and ethnic diversity, gender, and ability/disability, and will engage in action planning to develop specific goals for fostering and promoting inclusion at Shaarei Shamayim. These sessions will be co-facilitated by Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, Levi Sable, Lesley Wolf, Kris Glodoski Wolf, Sam Katz, Davey Shlasko, and others.
December 9th: Second part of the Diversity & Inclusion Series
From 9:50 – 11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave.
The morning will lead with physical, and non-physical manifestations of disability, the social model of disability, and some thoughts about how community, good listening, and trial and error can help provide inclusion to those that need it--and will also include discussion of gender, race and ethnicity, and other elements of the diversity in our families and community. This will include discussing ways that gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and other identities intersect with race and our Jewish identities.
December 16th: Second part of the Diversity & Inclusion Series
From 9:50 – 11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave.
The morning will lead with how we can be more inclusive of our transgender members and how we can take stronger positions on justice issues facing the trans community and will also include discussion of race and ethnicity, dis/ability, and other elements of the diversity in our families and community. This will include discussing ways that gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and other identities intersect with race and our Jewish identities.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
Well it is no secret that this world, our country, Wisconsin and sometimes Madison can be a depressing place to live and be part of. So, in addition to organizing events and action oriented events happening in Madison I will try to be a bit more intentional about mentioning events that I think are part of actively making Madison a better, more inclusive and equitable community
Radical Social Work Immigrant Justice Workshop
December 3 and 5 at 5pm - UW-School of Social Work (1350 University Ave)
In response to the recent series of ICE raids across Dane County, this workshop will discuss actions we can take to defend the rights and resources of undocumented people. For more info, click here.
Inside the Trauma of Family Separation
Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm - Community Immigration Law Center (944 E Gorham St)
This presentation will feature a screening of The Atlantic's documentary about reunifying families separated by immigration authorities. The film will be followed by a Skype Q&A with Jodi Goodwin, an attorney featured in the documentary. For more info, click here.
December 11th: Returning Prisoner Simulation
Interested in participating in Madison Urban Ministry’s Returning Prisoner Simulation? A simulation gives participants an “up close” view of what it’s like to come home from prison. It inserts participants into realistic scenarios and lifelike struggles that released prisoners are likely to encounter. See the Simulation brochure here. Find out more about participating in their upcoming simulations Thursday, Nov. 29, 6:00-9:00 p.m. and Tuesday, December 11, 7:30-9:30 a.m. by contacting Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there are many current and soon to be current action items to be taking – I didn’t want another week to go by without sending this email – and haven’t had a chance to do much research this past week. Also, if you are looped into various action oriented efforts please send me info/links about these efforts.
Proving that sometimes there is not bottom – Scott Walker working with his legislative allies has developed a lame-duck agenda that:
1. seeks to disempower Governor-elect Evers. 2. undermines AG-electJosh Kaul. 3. proposes sweeping voter suppression schemes.
*More details about these proposed changes here.
*One proposed change is to add an election in March 2020. The people who do the actual election work (county clerks) are strongly opposed to this – here is a list of those opposed.
*The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Indivisible Madison are saying that if 2 Republican Senators say no, the legislation will fail and are urging people to “appeal to their legislators’ oath to uphold democracy.” And that Senator Cowles and Senator Olson are the more moderate Republicans and most likely to vote no. If you have friends or family in their districts, consider talking to them about contacting their representative.
Action at the Capitol on December 3 at 5:30
Be at the Capitol State St. steps on Monday, Dec. 3rd, at 5:30 pm. (ADA access at the Wisconsin Ave. entrance.)
During this season of abundance, Shaarei Shamayim invites you to share resources with families who have limited access to financial resources
Freedom Inc Holiday Project
In alliance with Freedom, Inc, you can provide support to families experiencing violence by purchasing some gifts they’ve requested. Financial donations are also welcome. You can find info here at Freedom Inc Holiday Project. or contact Julie Anderson more information on the project and how to participate. Email her at email@example.com and put Freedom, Inc. Holiday Project in the subject line.
Donation Drive for Mentoring Positives
Mentoring Connections is a project of Madison Urban Ministry. From December 1 to 15, Mentoring Connections will be collecting Christmas toys and gifts to give to children whose parents are incarcerated. You can donate at 2115 S Park St at the Madison Urban Ministry. For more info, click here.
Good news from Jewish Social Services
“We just learned from HIAS, our national partner in resettlement that we have received the grant to continue refugee resettlement! Below is part of the email that we received from Mark Hetfield, Executive Director of HIAS.”
We are pleased to share that the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration has selected HIAS to receive the Reception and Placement grant for FY 2019! In fact, none of the nine national agencies have been cut from the program. This is cause for great celebration, as it is critical that this country maintain its capacity to welcome refugees.We know that a big part of this decision is because of your good work, so we are grateful for what it reflects on all of you, and on the mitzvah which we perform together on behalf of the American Jewish community.
More on the feel-good front
Patagonia announced it will use its $10 million windfall from the GOP’s corporate tax cuts to help the planet. Which in no way mitigates the damage of this tax cut – nice to see a socially responsible corporate leader. In a letter on LinkedIn, CEO Rose Marcario called the tax cut “irresponsible” and said the planet needed the funds more than the company does. She has committed to giving all the money the company received in tax breaks to groups that are working to remedy the current climate crisis and protect natural resources.
Public Health launches violence prevention initiative.
I was encouraged reading this article that Dane county is taking a public health approach to violence – recognizing “the effect of unaddressed childhood trauma and that, like a disease, violence breeds violence.” Statistical and anecdotal evidence (and common sense) tells us that untreated trauma plays a huge role in violence. If you are interested in learning more – here and here are some Wisconsin based articles.
Madison Memorial High School students set to publish a book about immigration experiences.
Green Card Voices has recorded the stories of more than 350 immigrants from over 120 countries. With the addition of the book (soon to be) published by Madison and Milwaukee high school students, 172 people will have been youth authors for a book in the Green Card Youth Voices series. Details here.
Sandra Parks was a student at Keefe Avenue Elementary School in Milwaukee and was a gifted writer. Two years ago, she won an award for piece she wrote in Milwaukee’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest about the impact of gun violence in her community. On November 19thshe was killed by a stray bullet. In a powerful radio moment, Dasha Kelly reads Sandra Park’s essay on Radio Milwaukee.
Jewish leadership in Baraboo
I have been feeling proud to be a member of CSS in the wake of the Baraboo high school students photo – where many students did the Nazi salute. From the Huffaker’s thoughtful reflection as a family rooted in the community and encouraging a reconciliation approach to moving forward as a community; to Rabbi Laurie’s willingness to speak at a Baraboo public event and with warmth offer necessary historical background and challenge complacency; and CSS President Jeff Spitzer Resnick taking a public leadership role in how to understand this incident and how to move forward.
Social Action email
I am the social action committee chair for Congregation Shaarei Shamayim (CSS) and send out social action updates by email most weeks.