This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.
The IAF Book Discussion Group is an ongoing effort to provide interesting intellectual conversations for members of IAF and other interested parties on texts and topics relevant to the Secular perspective.
For this session the group will begin a three-part exploration of the text “The New Jim Crow” by renowned author and social justice advocate Michelle Alexander.
The reading schedule for these three sessions is as follows –
February – Introduction & Chapter 1 (to page 58)
March – Chapters 2 & 3 (to page 139)
April – Chapters 4, 5 & 6 (to page 261)
After this series on social justice, we will spend the next three sessions focusing on fiction again after which we will tackle a text on philosophy/psychology.
For session 1, please be prepared, if possible, to present things from the reading assignment that stood out for you so that we can gain a good cross-section of individual perspectives where the reading is concerned. Consider questions of content, such as passages that stood out for you or particular facts you found interesting that you might want to explore further. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions about concepts and ideas that are new to you.
The conference room that has been reserved at Kirkendall Public Library has a maximum capacity of 20 so RSVP early to get a seat. Social time will be available from 6:30 to 7 PM if you want to come and just chat before the discussion begins. We’ll see you there. 🙂
You can read about the book by going to the primary website for the title HERE.
If you prefer, though, here is a brief synopsis of the title from the same –
“The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights—including the right to vote; the right to serve on juries; and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet as civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander demonstrates, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once labeled a felon, even for a minor drug crime, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal again. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.
The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.“
The day after the Presidential Inauguration let us join together and make a stand for EQUALITY FOR ALL!
On January 21, 2017 we will unite REMOTELY at the Iowa state Capitol during the Women’s March on Washington @ Washington, DC . We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
Agenda: MARCH START @ 11:00 am – West stage on Finkbine Drive * We highly recommend comfortable shoes and warm clothing!
Rally Start @ ~12:30 pm – A program involving Iowan speakers and entertainment in the rotunda on the second floor, Video Feed will be available in various locations throughout the building. Participants are encouraged to check out our organization tables to see how you can be of service to groups across Iowa. It may take a while to get through security.
EVENT ENDS @ 3 pm
Participants are asked to register so attendance can be anticipated:
Women’s March on Washington- January 21, 2017
REMOTE SITE FOR THOSE THAT CANNOT MAKE TO DC, WILL BE IN DES MOINES @ STATE CAPITAL.
On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–Women, Immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQI, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will work until women have parity and equality in all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equality. HEAR OUR VOICE.
This is an INCLUSIVE march and EVERYONE who supports civil and human rights
– People of all ages and genders
– People of Color
– LGBTQ Community
– Individuals with Disabilities
– Climate Change Advocates
– Individuals from all faiths
– Anyone else who wants to come out in support!
Women’s March Iowa tee shirts are also available from Raygun:
For additional information see:
Join local Freedom From Religion Foundation members as they install a Solstice display in response to the nativity display by the Thomas More Society. Many thanks to the FFRF for their quick response and generosity! There may or may not be media present so let’s be prepared with reasoned & well thought out talking points and sound bytes. Take lots of pictures for our own social media! .
Update: Press release went out today (12/15) and announces the display will be ready for the media at 11am.
Here is the news release we sent out today: