“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” Wendell Berry
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. Voces is doing important work state-wide and now locally to train community leaders, make sure Madison Latinex community knows its rights and mobilize the Latinex vote. We are gearing up to raise money for Voces again this fall. Our goal is to coordinate 20 house parties and find partners to provide matching grants for the house parties. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about hosting an event or supporting these events or know someone that might be interested.
Support the Madison Maia Project Fundraiser
You can help provide elementary and preparatory students in Rafah, a town and refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in Palestine, with clean, healthy water to drink. From now through December of 2018, the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, First Unitarian Society, Madison Jewish Voice for Peace, and Congregation Shaarei Shamayim are joining forces to provide one of MECA's large Maia Project water filtration units to the newly-constructed UN Rafah Boys Preparatory School C, which will also serve an adjacent co-ed elementary school. Click here for the fundraising link. And see attached flyer.
Yom Kippur discussion
At 3pm at First Unitarian Society. As we reflect on our personal and communal wrongdoings on Yom Kippur, pledging to do teshuvah and seeking forgiveness from those we have harmed, community activist Rudy Bankston will address the school-to-prison pipeline, the process through which students of color are disproportionately pushed out of schools and into prisons. He will also discuss how the practices of restorative justice can contribute to ending mass incarceration. Rudy, a survivor of the school-to-prison pipeline, experienced restorative justice for the first time while in prison, serving twenty years for a crime he did not commit. Drawing upon his life experience and work with the Madison Metropolitan School District as the community liaison for the Memorial High School Peace Room, he will reflect on how restorative justice prioritizes accountability and community healing over punishment.
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.
September 12: Disrupting Biases: An Individual Commitment
From 11am to 1:30 pm at the Madison Club. “Diversity work isn’t just for the Human Resources department. Changing an organization to be inclusive and more diverse requires understanding and buy-in from all areas and levels. This workshop dives deep into the ways biases affect company culture and the importance of all individuals working to affect positive change within their organization - no matter what position they hold.” Click herefor more details.
September 16: Voter Ambassador Training and Volunteer Fair
At the First Unitarian Society from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. “With Special Guest: City Clerk, Maribeth Witzel-Behl & representatives from the Dane Co. Voter ID Coalition, Wisdom, and other groups that are working to help people vote.Learn all you need to know to help people take part in the democratic process.” Click here for more information.
September 21: Love, InshAllah: A Night of Storytelling
At the Central Library at 7:00 pm. Part of the Library Takeover program hosted by Madison Public Library. “We invite you to join us for a night of storytelling with young, Muslim American couples who will be sharing their love stories. Love is a universal phenomena but everyone has their own journey. Our storytellers will give you a glimpse into their own love stories to showcase the diversity found within the Muslim community that is often painted as a monolith community.” More details here.
September 27: DeRay Mckesson: On the Other Side of Freedom Book Tour
At the Orpheum Theater from 8pm – 9pm. “Join DeRay Mckesson – the internationally recognized civil rights leader and host of the podcast Pod Save the People – for a timely conversation on culture, social justice, and politics. Drawing from his own experiences as an organizer, educator, and public official, DeRay will explore the issues of the day and discuss the subtle structures and inherent biases that impact our communities. The conversation will also examine the core themes of DeRay’s upcoming first book, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM: The Case for Hope, a meditation on resistance, justice, and freedom, and an intimate portrait of the Black Lives Matter movement from the front lines. DeRay will be joined by special guests for a live, no-holds-barred conversation about inclusion, community, and progress designed to empower a new generation of leaders. Every ticket includes a copy of DeRay Mckesson’s book (a $25 value). More details here.
Protect Yahara Communities from Un-Natural Flooding
In light of last week’s floods and damage to Madison and still nail baiting possible flooding to come this week, consider signing this Yahara watershed flood protection petitionto be given to the Dane County Board of Supervisors.
Vote Save America
If you have people in your networks that don’t reliably vote and are lacking in info regarding how/where/etc to vote - this could be a useful resource for them. The folks at Crooked Media put together a step-by-step (sort of clearinghouse of information) to get people all the info they might need to vote.
Here is information on Indivisible’s “#DoTheWork campaign – to build the big blue wave across the country. Keep up with the actions between now and November here. From Indivisible’s website:
“Here’s how you can help build the blue wave in your community:
**Go Door-to-Door Canvassing: The best method for engaging your neighbors and friends to win elections is face-to-face, authentic conversations about our shared values. Find an event on our map! Join activists in your community and get plugged in with your local Indivisible group. Can’t find an event near you? Register your own event and invite your friends and family.
**Join our National Phonebank: Sign up right now for one of our upcoming shifts, and we’ll send you everything you need to start making calls and identifying progressive voters in key states. And plan to join our live phonebanking training webinar on Sunday, July 29 to learn how to use the platform and make the most of your calls.
Southwest Madison Storm Damage
City Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney, that serves the southwest side of Madison is looking for help. Here is her message: “Part of my district was devastated by Monday’s flooding. The loss of life added to this devastation was enormous. My ask: People in the Parkedge/Parkridge community (McKenna Blvd across from Elver Park) experienced great loss. They have flood damaged debris stacked outside their homes. Because their streets in that area makes it impossible for city trucks to get down to their property to collect the debris. The city has asked these residents to carry this debris to curbside. This is impossible for the elderly. Mattresses, carpeting, toys, clothing much much more is stacked high. Would people be willing to assist with removing these items to the curb for city pickup or a pickup truck that can be used to load and assist in hauling the debris away? Please contact me if you have any suggestions.” She can be contacted at 1-608-205-8682 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justified Anger’s Back to School Bash.
Nehemiah and F.O.S.T.E.R. are co-sponsoring the annual Back to School Bash on Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day)! We’ll be providing backpacks to community kids, full of all the supplies they’ll need for the entire school year, in an effort to ensure that they go back to school ready for success. “We are collecting backpacks filled with school supplies for each child on our list, donations of essential household items like toothpaste and soap, and volunteers in a number of different capacities leading up to and on the day of the event. If you’d like to donate or volunteer, please contact our Director of Mobilization, Marie Stolzenburg, for details and ways to get plugged in, at email@example.com. Click here for more details.
**I am not an optimistic person and I don’t feel particularly optimist about our November Governor’s race. But this New Yorker article by Dan Kaufman has me leaning toward excited for Evers candidacy and the possibility of him winning the election.
**Rudy Bankston will be leading aYom Kippur discussion. (See more details above.) He wrote a novel while he was in prison and has published two works of poetry since living in Madison. You can find more details on his website if you want to check out his books before the discussion. Here and here are some local articles about him.
**For anyone that saw the excellent 2010 documentary, Louder Than a Bomb , you will be happy to learn that Nate Marshall, one of the featured poets, is coming to Room of One’s Own on September 20th. Details here.
**Isaac Wasserman was a counselor this summer with Ultimate Peace. Details coming soon on a talk/presentation he will do about his time in Israel this summer as a counselor for Ultimate Peace. But until then, the New York Times had an Op-Ed about Ultimate Peace.
**With the local floods and the indictments connected to the Trump administration, you might have missed that prisoners in 17 states have gone on strike. The Marshall Project has a good reporting on what is happening and why. If you are on twitter you can learn more about the strike (and share information about it with your networks) from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak.
**I enjoyed learning about Clara Lemlich Shavelson in this obituary from the New York Times Overlooked.
**Shameless self-promotion: I wrote a book. It is called, “We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood. It is about the small family business my family owned for 80 years in New York City and the volatile changes to the neighborhood over those years. You can learn more about it here.
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.