Summer may be a time of sun and fun, but the work continues in the journey toward racially-equitable policing in Des Moines. But at Just Voices, we DO have fun because we love this work and we thank First Unitarian for your ongoing support that allows us to advocate for real police reform.
Conversations with city leadership and progressive city council members continue as we watch carefully for a plan to implement the 20+ recommendations made by Public Works LLC in their report to Des Moines leadership and government. Just Voices is delighted that many recommendations made by the experts at Public Works are steps we have been demanding for years.
We are still demanding a 3rd party independent investigation, going back at least 5 years, into the practices, data, and culture of the Des Moines Police Department. We are still demanding they establish an ordinance to set up a true Community Review Board (CRB). These are still community priorities that will increase trust, reduce racial disparities, and improve accountability. All ingredients needed for better public safety for all.
In other news, Just Voices Iowa is honored to be the recipient of a $150,000 grant (payable over 3 years) from the ‘Communities Transforming Policing Fund’ of Borealis Philanthropy. Borealis is a social justice philanthropic intermediary working to resource grassroots movements for transformative change. They build bridges between funders and organizers to support movements working to make a future that serves all of us.
“While we begin to seek financial support from those in the corporate and business community who are serious about creating a more just Iowa, we will use this grant to help sustain our work, strengthen our infrastructure, and grow our impact throughout Iowa by creating a framework that other communities can replicate”, says Just Voices Founder and Director, Harvey Harrison.
And finally, another piece of good news. Just Voices Iowa was just awarded the Jesse Taylor Community Advocacy Award from the Iowa Juneteenth Observance Board at their banquet on Thursday, June 16 at Drake University. We were humbled and honored to be recognized by the community and thanked the Board, our volunteers, team members, and donors.