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Four empowering Fourth of July events in Des Moines


Hundreds gathered at the Pentacrest on May 30, 2020, to protest racism and the killing of George Floyd. — Jason Smith/Little Village

The United States traditionally celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, parades and outdoor cooking — but this year, millions of Americans fearing for the preservation of democracy may find it hard to celebrate. Here are four things you can do this Fourth weekend while nurturing yourself and your community.

Stars, Stripes, & Reproductive Rights

Monday, July 4 at 1 p.m.
State Capitol, 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, leaving Americans’ bodily autonomy up to the states. Although abortions are still legal in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled legislature are exploring ways to severely limit abortion access.

Abortion rights advocates Megan Collins and Abby Blaine have organized a rally at the State Capitol on July 4 to condemn the end of Roe and call for safe, accessible reproductive healthcare and the right to personal privacy.

Fourth of He Lies Community Potluck

Sunday, July 3, 4-7 p.m.
Cheatom Park, Des Moines

Join Des Moines social organizations (including Iowa CCI, OneIowa, Iowa Abortion Access Fund and Great Plains Action Society) to reflect on issues facing our corner of the country while enjoying food, music and speeches from local leaders. Make sure to bring your own blankets, lawn chairs and sunglasses for an informative, family friendly potluck.

Cookies for Choice

Saturday, July 2 from 8 a.m. to noon
4132 Lay St, Des Moines

Originally founding her home baking business to support the Des Moines Black Lives Matter movement, Alise of Joy and Justice by Alise “is channeling her rage at the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade to raise money for abortion rights,” according to the baker. She is holding a bake sale of chocolate chip and raspberry lemon cookies Saturday, with 50 percent of the proceeds set to be donated.

Sunday Stretch

Sunday, July 3 from 2-3 p.m.
1600 6th Avenue, Des Moines

Take some time to find peace and escape the stress of modern America this Sunday. The Good Vibes Movement, a local yoga, arts and community organization led by Ben Sparrow, will lead restorative stretching designed to help participants of all abilities relax and rest. Free-will donations will be accepted for the hourlong session.

Ben “Good Vibes” Spellman leads a session at the 2017 Fields of Yogis festival. — Jav Ducker/Little Village

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