“The vote is the most valuable nonviolent tool we have”, John Lewis
April 22: Presentation and discussion with Rachel Ida Buff about her sanctuary and immigration work. From 9:50-11:30 at 2120 Fordem Ave. Rachel is a Professor in Comparative Ethnic Studies and the Author of Against the Deportation Terror: Organizing for Immigrant Rights in the Twentieth Century, Temple University Press. More details to come.
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.
April 14: Race to Justice Spring Training
From 9 -1 at 1702 S Parks St. hosted by MOSES Madison and Wisdom for Justice. A chance to learn more about Wisconsin's Criminal Justice system, and how we can safely reduce the prison population by thousands of people and restore hope, fairness, and sanity to the system. A chance to meet with other people who share your passion and concern. Share your story and hear the stories of others. Strategize: Make plans to be sure these issues are heard by all who are running for office, to make criminal justice reform a top priority in the 2018 election campaigns, and work to get the vote out this fall. More details here.
April 17: Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Educational Series: Temple Beth El presents a 3-part education al series. Part 1 is from 7pm – 8:30pm. Facilitated discussion of the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. Attend 1, 2 or all three sessions. Click here for more information and to register. Temple Beth El is at 2702 Arbor Dr.
April 17: Is Sustainability Color Blind? Race & Class in Environmentalism
From 5:30-6:30 in the Multicultural Student Center Lounge in the Red Gym Sustainability means different things to different people, and it's not accessible to everyone. How can we make sustainability more accessible for people across the spectrum of race and class? Join the Office of Sustainability and the Multicultural Student Center in exploring how race and class affect the way we think about sustainability, as well as the campus resources that can help sustainability to become available for all. More details here.
April 22: Active Bystander Training
From 3 -5 pm at James Unitarian Congregating on 2146 E. Johnson Street. Join Groundwork for a Bystander Intervention Training. Learn to intervene in public acts of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Trans, and other forms of interpersonal violence and harassment while considering the safety of all parties. The embodiment of this vocal and physical practice of various strategies will develop your skills to interrupt acts of hate when you see it in your neighborhood, place of work, sporting events or your school.
April 24: MUM Partners for Change Luncheon
MUM’s many programs inspire hope for individuals returning to the Dane County community after incarceration by breaking down the barriers that prevent them from fully participating in our community and the lives of their families. From 11 – 1:30 at the Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton Street. Details here.
April 29: Freedom Seder
From 4:00-6:00 p.m. join Jewish Museum Milwaukee to break bread (or in this case matzah) with members of Milwaukee's African American and Jewish communities. Explore common ground and the universal pursuit of freedom at a ritual meal that has become a bridging tradition in cities across the nation at this special post-Passover event. Freedom Seders bring together African Americans and Jews to eat, discuss, and celebrate the shared values of justice and liberation both cultures find in the Exodus story. The Haggadah was written by CSS member Shahanna McKinney Baldon. More details in what is included with the program is here.
RSVP ONLY EVENT - NO WALK-INS
Adults $10 | Students (18 and under) $5. RSVP Deadline: Thursday, April 19. Located at the All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N 25th St.
May 3: Reading Between The Wines
The Literacy Network is celebrating the success of the hundreds of adult learners they serve every semester. Reading Between the Wines will feature students sharing their stories on stage and an exclusive collection of learner writing you can take home with you. From 5:30 – 7:30 at HotelRED, 1501 Monroe St. More information here.
Tell the Wisconsin Elections Commission: Implement robust post-election audits
Congress just passed an Omnibus bill that allocated money for state election agencies to audit and protect their elections. Wisconsin has been earmarked $7 million. The commission has only 45 days to put together a proposal for how these funds will be spent. "We must apply pressure to the committee to ensure that they include pre-certification election auditing in their request for federal funds. With the growing threat of international cyberattacks, states need to take urgent measures to secure their election infrastructures in time for voting in 2018 and 2020." Cybersecurity experts agree a key measure is to implement robust post-election audits to verify that the reported electronic results are accurate. The Brennan Center for Justice has information about federal funds for election security. Info on Wisconsin’s Election Commission here. You can contact the Wisconsin Elections Commission Chair Mark Thomsen or the Administrator Meagan Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact your Senators to reject Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State
Indivisible has a lot of information about what we should know about Mike Pompeo and why he is dangerous for the United States. Indivisible also had this to say, “In 2017, the Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo to serve as head of the CIA under Trump, by a vote of 66-32. That means 14 Democrats and one Independent (King-ME) joined the Republicans to help make Mike Pompeo CIA Director. Democrats who supported Pompeo last time faced wide opposition from their constituents. This is their second chance to vote the right way and oppose an Islamophobic war hawk from becoming Trump’s Secretary of State. If Democrats vote together, we can win this.” We might as well contact Baldwin and Johnson’s offices before the confirmation hearing tomorrow. Click here for Indivisible’s talking points.
--For the pet lovers. JSS has a call out to people in the community to help a woman who is staying at the domestic abuse shelter. She needs someone to foster her cat and dog while she is in the shelter – there time is almost up at the humane society. The pets also suffered abuse and have some behavioral issues – but there might be some dog and/or cat whisperers among us. You can find details here.
**6.1 million people are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. 1 of every 40 adults and 1of every 13-voting age African Americans can’t vote in the United States. Which shouldn’t be a true statement a healthy democracy can make about itself. If you are curious about the history of our current laws, this is an interesting report. And this interactive map shows how the disenfranchisement laws play out in each state. Public opinion research shows that a significant majority of Americans favor voting rights for people who have completed their sentences. If this happened, voting rights would be restored to 77 percent of the 6.1 million people currently disenfranchised. Florida has a constitutional amendment on the ballot to change these laws in 2018. Check out this interview with Rev. Demetrius Jifunza of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition at the 47 minutes and 45 seconds mark.
** In case you like a deep dive into how specifically the current Republicans used the tax bill to enrich themselves. You can read the sordid details here.
**This town just banned Assault Weapons. In Deerfield, Illinois anyone who reuses to give theirs up will be fined $1000 a day.**For science fans, Pod Save the People had a live show at National Geographic headquarters in D.C., where they discussed race and science, MLK, women in STEM, and more with two National Geographic explorers.