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‘We will not be silenced’: Protesters in Cedar Rapids march to City Hall and leave messages for elected officials (Updated)

“It’s time we get into some ‘good trouble’ … and this is good trouble today,” Advocates for Social Justice (ASJ) member Jorel Robinson said at the start of Saturday’s protest in Cedar Rapids. Robinson was referencing the words of John Lewis, a civil rights leader and Georgia congressman who died on Friday. “We’ve come here […]

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Coralville City Councilmember says he has ‘zero tolerance’ for Black Lives Matter, calls it ‘a bunch of criminals’

During the public comments period of the Coralville City Council’s Tuesday Zoom meeting, multiple residents inquired about the city’s efforts to oversee and potentially reform the Coralville Police Department, as protesters have demanded. Twice, Councilmember Tom Gill interrupted responses to these questions from his fellow city councilmembers by pointing out there was a work session slated to discuss issues of racial justice following the meeting. […]

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Two students bring list of Black Lives Matter demands to Cedar Rapids Community School District

Two Kennedy High School students shared a list of Black Lives Matter demands with the Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) during Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Sisters Rahma and Raafa Elsheikh asked the district to release a statement in support of Black Lives Matter, in addition to renaming schools that commemorate slave owners, ending […]

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Cedar Rapids officials ‘do not plan’ to hold more meetings with Advocates for Social Justice to discuss police reform

Cedar Rapids officials “do not plan to be part of any additional negotiation meetings” with the Advocates for Social Justice (ASJ), Mayor Brad Hart wrote in an email sent to the group on Friday morning. ASJ members expressed concerns and disappointment over the decision, but said they are not giving up on their efforts. The […]

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Black writers at the University of Iowa describe encounters with racism in Iowa City

Content warning: This article includes stories involving racism and mental health issues, including suicidal ideation. In cities like Minneapolis, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, the myth of Midwest Nice that has allowed white people to ignore systematic racism for decades is being steadily dismantled. Despite its reputation as a liberal haven, Iowa City — like […]

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Iowa City launches website to let public track progress on police reform, racial equity and social justice goals

Iowa City has added a section to the city’s website, allowing the public to see how much progress is being made on the council’s 17-point resolution addressing the demands of the Iowa Freedom Riders regarding policing, affordable housing and other issue involving racial justice and equity. City Manager Geoff Fruin called the new section “a […]

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Cedar Rapids Community School District will host six virtual town halls to discuss anti-racism and equity

The Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) will hold six virtual townhalls next week to “discuss supportive efforts toward an anti-racist school district.” There are three town halls scheduled for students and three town halls scheduled for the community. Superintendent Noreen Bush will lead the initiative that “creates a space for conversations around equity issues […]

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Advocates for Social Justice lead a protest march to Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart’s house

Approximately 300 people marched in the heat on Friday afternoon from Monroe Park to Mayor Brad Hart’s house. The group kept up constant chants throughout the walk, including “this is what democracy looks like,” “Black lives matter” and “Black voices matter.” Friday’s march was the fourth event organized by the group Advocates for Social Justice […]

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Coping with uncertainty

We are in a coracle with no oars or rudder, heading to an unknown fate. We are in peregrination. So that’s my topic for the return of UR Here. Rarely have I just not known what to write about for this column. Even though I was ecstatic that Little Village was coming back to print, […]

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