Education Justice Virtual Art Build and Rep. Calling Party!

This past Sunday, a group of dedicated DJJniks got together over zoom in solidarity with educators, school workers, students, and families who's futures are uncertain at this time. With the leadership of MI CORE, we made signs demanding that all school workers be paid in light of school closings, that the instructional days be forgiven, and that everyone be kept home until the COVID-19 pandemic is definitively under control. After some therapeutic art-making, we made calls to some members of our state senate to demand that they get this done and pass SB373 with the necessary amendments to serve Michigan students. We all made sure to make a call to Senate Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey, to lay the pressure on. Want to join in the at-home advocacy? Use our signs as inspiration and put it in your window! Want to contact the Michigan Legislature?  Scroll to the bottom of this post for a call script!

 

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Purim Extravaganza 2020 Recap!!!

Purim Extravaganza 2020 was only two weeks ago! It seems like a distant dream in these times of community care and intense social distancing. We are very grateful we got the chance to celebrate in community with you at Purim Extravaganza 2020 and hope that you are taking the time to be safe and healthy.

It was my first DJJ Purim and boy, did it NOT disappoint!!! I mean, WOW!!! Did you make it to that Family Carnival?! There was a bounce house! I think the equation: bounce house + children = success, holds true. So many great activities planned by Dor Hadash, IADS and Repair the World Detroit were appreciated by families and loved ones that came to share in our silly Purim joy.

Oh and the costume contest! It's so wonderful to see community turn up in all their creative magic. I mean, there was a butterfly princess who emerged from her chrysalis LIVE on stage! The contest was hosted by the lovely Mr. Rogers or was it the impassioned Mr. Sanders? Any who, it was great and everyone got a prize! A DJJ water bottle. I had quite the adventure passing them out to the children who swarmed the stage to get one. Note for next year: pass out free stuff to children off stage and not near stairs.

And what is there to say about our wonderful Purim Spiel this year?! It was hilarious, it was on point, it was wonderful. It takes such ingenious work and creativity to write a satirical play and make it current to our campaign partner's work, but they did it! Shushan for all!!! We got to hear from our campaign partners Cosecha and their Drive without Fear campaign. We were able to raise money for a campaign action as well as distribute commitment cards amongst DJJ-niks. So wonderful to see celebration and community work come together.

But what am I talking for? You can re-live the whole experience with all the Purim joy and laughter! We got the photos ready to click through. Check out the Purim Extravaganza 2020 album here!

Thank you for turning up for your community! We hope to see your faces soon!

 

 

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How to Resist DTE Energy: Valeriya writes on the recent Climate Strike Coalition action

On Wednesday, February 12th, the Climate Strike Coalition held a performative direct action in front of DTE Energy’s headquarters. Click here to watch a 15-minute video of the short play, which cast a satirical, Valentine’s Day-themed light on DTE’s terrible business practices and disastrous 15-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The video does not have subtitles, but you can email epshteynv@gmail.com to access a large-font copy of the script.

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Valeriya's Reflections on the 2020 UM Environmental Justice Summit

On February 13th, I attended The Michigan Environmental Justice (EJ) Summit commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the 1990 “Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards." The conference back in 1990 catalyzed significant momentum towards EJ policies at high levels of government during the Clinton administration. Building off this legacy, the 2020 EJ Summit convened Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability students, activists, and national and local leaders in policy-making, community organizing, and academia to reflect on and celebrate all that has been accomplished over the past 30 years, and to rededicate ourselves to the fight ahead. The Summit speakers represented the north star of the EJ movement. Listening to their wisdom was an incredible gift.

Read ahead for a summary of highlights of the community leaders panel and the national panel, with photographs of the speakers. Click here to see the schedule for the day, complete with the full speaker lineup and video recordings (sans captions) of both panels, as well as of the student “flash talks.” 

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Welcoming DJJ's New Organizer for Culture and Resources, Blythe Kim!

Hi! I’m Blythe and I’m the newly hired DJJ Organizer for Culture and Resources.  

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Ben's Thoughts on Facilitating the First Listening Party (and Listening Rager)

Two listening parties down, eight to go! I believe that the best way to organize any sort of organization or project is to do so by listening to learn from the people involved so that you can build an organization that works with and for those people. So, when Allie reached out to me about being a facilitator for a series of listening parties, I was excited to be a part of the process. I got to have a sneak peak at DJJ's goal of reshaping it's process and structure to resource and empower leaders and learn more about how to facilitate this sort of listening party. 

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Gabe's Reflection on Hosting the First Listening Party

Hosting the first DJJ listening party was a fun and thoughtful experience. Co-hosts Barry, Allie, and I filled the house with snacks and then DJJ leaders started arriving one by one. This gave us a chance to catch up with friends and also to meet new leaders showing up to their first DJJ event. As we settled in and got to talking, Ben, the facilitator, did a nice job of offering  a mix of facilitated group conversation as well as the opportunity to interact with other leaders one on one.

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Listening Party? What's a Listening Party?

DJJ has launched a series of Listening Parties to solicit feedback and reflections from our community leaders about the way we have done our campaign work and to envision what this work could look like for us moving forward. There will be ten parties held on different dates and at different locations all around Metro-Detroit. This way we can include as many people as possible in this process!

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Shine a light on the right to water

Photo Credit: Antonio Rafael

In celebration of International Human Rights Day, our partners at the People’s Water Board braved the freezing cold. They shouted to Detroit and to the world: “Water is a Human Right”. In lights!

When I saw the coverage in the Detroit News I could see the faces of our beloved allies and DJJ leaders poking out from underneath their winter hats. That’s Barry! And Reb Moshe! I felt so proud to see DJJniks standing among this group of incredible activists.

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Winning Immigration Justice in Michigan: A message from Bobbi Spiegler

I’ve been organizing for justice for decades. 

I’m so grateful that at this moment in my life, and at this moment in our country, to be doing this work Detroit Jews for Justice. DJJ provides an outlet for me to take meaningful action on the issue I feel most passionate about today: immigration.

As a part of the national movement to commemorate Tisha B’av (the Jewish holiday of mourning) with a “Close the Camps” action, DJJ spearheaded a demonstration at the Dearborn Police Headquarters. We partnered with Muslim and immigrant communities to challenge the policy of collaboration between the Dearborn Police and ICE. We turned out nearly 200 people, along with a dozen faith and political leaders. Guess what - we won! Within the week, the Dearborn City Council ended the police contract with ICE. You can hear Rabbi Alana’s reflections on the win by following this link. 

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