Mission and Vision
The Midwest Telegraph Media Co-op is dedicated to increasing access to independent media and promoting collaborative approaches to social justice activism. We develop leadership, capacity building and community journalism skills by providing Urban Retreats, Freedom Schools and recurring opportunities for community-based dialogues, forums, conferences, and podcasts. Using processes grounded in contemplative and creative practices, we develop life affirming, non-violent, liberation practices which can sustain cultural and personal transformation.
Hello Social Justice Lovers
2018 is getting off to a colorful start and the Midwest Telegraph Media Co-op will continue to contribute avenues for community discussion, expand access to independent media and community based education focused on anti-racism and social justice work. Below you can read about Midwest Telegraph accomplishments and highlights from 2017, goals for 2018 and on-going projects.
This section offers updates and event sharing for Iowa City and other Midwest social justice work…
Our Rev Johnson County Candidate Q&A and Endorsements. February 6, 6 pm to 8pm at Iowa City Public Library (123 S. Linn Street.)
Join OR Johnson County as we hear from legislative candidates and others and begin the endorsement process. We are in Room D in the IC Public Library (first floor at end of hall past Room A).
CWJ’s Bi-Monthly Allies’ Meeting, February 9 at 12 PM – 1 PM at Center for Worker Justice. 940 South Gilbert Court, Iowa City, IA
Iowa City Federation of Labor Annual Chili Supper February 15, 6 to 8 pm at 940 S. Gilbert Court.
Join us Thursday, February 15th, from 6-8 pm for our annual chili supper! Enjoy great food, music, the company of like minded individuals, and celebrate all that is good about labor! Family and friends are welcome. Bring a dish if you like! Look forward to seeing you all there!
RECOMMENDED SITES AND READS
The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville, Va., is deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people through its extensive legal and educational programs. The Institute provides its legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.
The Strange New Pathologies of the World’s First Rich Failed State
When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline — shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on —we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.
Continue reading here.
Why Rural America Isn’t a Lost Cause for Progressive Ideas
Excerpt from Yes Magazine…
Rural politicians across the country are buying into a new way of campaigning, with platforms that might sound more aligned with those of college students living in Berkeley, California, than former miners from the central Appalachian coalfields. They’re talking about raising the minimum wage, universal health care, debt-free college and investing in local assets, like natural landscapes and small business development, instead of industrial recruitment.
Read the whole story here.
FOCUS ON THE ISSUES
Ohio and Iowa Are the Latest of Eight States to Consider Anti-Protest Bills Aimed at Pipeline Opponents
by Alleen Brown, excerpt re-posted from The Intercept by Midwest Telegraph
Lawmakers in Ohio and Iowa are considering bills that would create new penalties for people who attempt to disrupt the operations of “critical infrastructure” such as pipelines. The bills make the states the latest of at least eight to propose legislation aimed at oil and gas industry protesters since Donald Trump’s election.
The bills were proposed less than a week after the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, which has close ties to the fossil fuel industry, finalized a model policy titled the “Critical Infrastructure Protection Act,” which calls for more severe punishment for those who trespass on facilities including oil pipelines, petroleum refineries, liquid natural gas terminals, and railroads used to transport oil and gas. Read full Intercept story here.
Thanks to Community Rights Organizer Paul Cienfuegos and 100 Grannies for sharing this. More on Paul and 100 Grannies work here.
This section features writing from the Midwest Media Co-op Director’s Press Citizen column, New Day and Op-Ed pieces contributed to Little Village Magazine. It offers analysis and opinion with a focus on current events and Midwest News. If there is a topic you would like to suggest for her consideration please let us know: email@example.com.
Damita Brown, Decolonizing Western Minds, Press-Citizen, December 21, 2017.
Damita Brown, Tarana Burke and the Me Too Movement, A Case for Intersectionality. Press-Citizen, November 16, 2017.
Damita Brown, FCC Rules threaten Access to Independent and Local Media. Press-Citizen, October 26, 2017.
Damita Brown, A Community Ethic of Care Stop Violence: For Donte and Lamar. Press-Citizen, August 29, 2017.
Damita Brown, Going Beyond Racism: The Politics of Blamelessness. Press-Citizen, July 27, 2017.
Damita Brown, Participatory Democracy and Listening. Press-Citizen, July 17, 2017.
Damita Brown, Overcoming Fear: The Case of Net Neutrality. Press-Citizen, June 22, 2017.
Damita Brown, The Manifesto Challenge, Press-Citizen, June 6, 2017.
Damita Brown, Building the Infrastructure of Kind and Just Society, Press-Citizen, May 25, 2017
Damita Brown, Vision, Human Rights and Our Children, Press-Citizen, May 5, 2017.
Damita Brown, Paradigm Shifts and Intersectional Awareness, Press-Citizen, April 28, 2017.
Damita Brown, Pathways to True Democracy: Restoring the Voting Rights Act, Press-Citizen, April 18, 2017.
Damita Brown, Changing the Culture of Change. Little Village Magazine, January 31, 2017.
Damita Brown, Building local progressive networks in the wake of Election Day 2016. Little Village Magazine, November 15, 2016.
1st Mondays February Brown Bag Lunch:
The brown bag lunch community networking event offers space for sharing about social justice and advocacy projects in the Iowa City area. We offer a pleasant space to share ideas and get support for the projects that matter to you! All participants are given an opportunity to share.
The February 5th Brown Bag featured presenter is Dorothy Whiston of Inside Out Reentry Community. She helped found the Inside Out Reentry Community (IO). IO serves individuals in Johnson County who are returning from incarceration. Nobody knows how hard it is to reenter society after prison better than those who has been there. IO has both former incarcerated individuals and long-time prison volunteers to help. They believe that every returning citizen should have access to the services and resources necessary to maintain a productive life.
Midweek with Midwest Podcast Series will begin the 2018 season this month. The podcast offers a range of perspectives and projects happening in the Midwest. Last year we focused on Iowa City projects with the goal of promoting inter-organization solidarity and support through open communication and networking.This year we will expand our focus to include other progressive Midwest initiatives. We are inviting ideas about themes, issues and projects you would like to see featured. Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your input!
Here are the links to podcasts we did last year:
An important part of the Midwest Telegraph Media Co-op work is promoting shared vision and collaborative projects that conserves time, energy and resources so that we can be more effective and sustainable as activists, advocates, organizers and concerned community members! To that end we have offered several community based initiatives that bring diverse voices together. We are inviting ideas and suggestions for collaborations among community groups. If you have a great idea for a collaborative project that will bring people together to work on a community based project, please let us know. Here are some we offered last year:
March 16, 2017 Community Speak Out on Fighting State Preemption:
June 26, 2017 Collaborative Fundraising Workshop: This experiential workshop provided techniques and practice in using proven techniques to raise money for an operating or programmatic budget. This empowering fundraising model will allow you to raise your budget for a program that is fully designed.
The most common fundraising strategy is for groups to ask for money for a general project idea and then figure out how to live out that idea with the money they have raised. You end up cutting items out of the budget, doing less of everything, and the final project does not have the intended results. It is easier to raise money from a fully developed budget than from a generalized idea
Summer Manifesto Challenge: The goal of the Manifesto Challenge was to encourage residents of the Iowa City area to share their vision of a better world and any action points they identify as steps towards attaining that world. Further, we wanted to encourage people to see the work they are doing in their respective communities in relationship with those engaged in different agendas. We had 8 Manifestos offered which we included in a display at the Iowa City Public Library.
October 29, 2017 Half Day Conference: Is this what democracy looks like?: This half-day forum explored ways to create more critical, inclusive and transformative working relationships among leaders in social justice and media communities. How do we build or strengthen alliances that will help protect democratic rights that are actively and openly being attacked under the current administration? Panelists included editors from all of the local media outlets as well as Lisa Covington (BlackOut), Simeon Talley (Political Party Live, Christine Nobiss (Indigenous Iowa), Latisha McDaniels (Coalition Against Trump), and Damita Brwon (Midwest Telegraph).
December 2, 2017 Urban Retreat: Anti-racism and Allyship: