Final drive in Iowa City for school supplies and masks Sunday

IOWA CITY — Looking for a way to support Iowa’s school kids during these trying times? Check out the outdoor Cars 4 Community Meet & Eat Sunday (Sept. 20), which is hosting a school supplies drive in collaboration with the Corridor Community Action Network (CCAN). From 3 to 6 p.m., you can swing by Mexico Lindo Grill & Cantina 2 and check out supercars, euro-cars, muscle cars, and tuner cars from members of the Iowa Auto Club West, while also bringing wide-ruled notebooks, glue sticks, water bottles and other school…

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Iowa emerges as national leader in Black Voter Day Sept. 18

The first-ever National Black Voter Day of Action takes place Friday, and Iowa is emerging as a national leader in the movement, which is focused on empowering Blacks to overcome voting barriers they are documented to have experienced throughout history. At least nine Black Voter Day events are happening Friday throughout Iowa. That’s as much or more than larger states such as California, New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia, based on a thorough search of events listed online and in public media. Black Voter Day events are happening in Cedar Rapids,…

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Coralville mom captures the emotion of her teen’s gender transition with “He”

“Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so many highs and lows, and it’s a massive learning curve. But I wouldn’t trade my guy for anyone.  “A lot of people have questions about parenting a trans kid and have a hard time imagining what they…

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Deer Friends press to end mass killings

Amid all the huge issues facing society, a tradition of mass killing has become par for the course. For the second year in a row, Iowa City will be the site of a mass deer killing starting Oct. 1 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2021. Last year, the en masse massacre took place with sharp-shooting guns. This year, it will happen with hunting bows. Truth is, both measures of deer control are ineffective in the mid- to long-term, reek of casual animal cruelty, and present challenges of safety. Read in…

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Thrift Bandit is eastern Iowa’s socially responsible outlaws of recycled fashion

When they realized they were both wearing “polyester grandpa pants” and cardigan sweaters, Michael and Stef Duncan knew they were destined for each other.  They didn’t realize those grandpa pants would also inspire a business they would co-run. Thrift Bandit is the online vintage venture of Michael (from Burlington in southeast Iowa) and Stef (from Jerico in northeast Iowa), who describe themselves as “nerds running this out of our basement.” Launched in the summer of 2019, Thrift Bandit seeks to provide an alternative to first-hand, mass-produced disposable clothing — and…

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Racial justice events throughout Illinois, Iowa planned in solidarity with Jacob Blake

At least 19 communities throughout Iowa and Illinois are stepping forth with protests, vigils, rallies or marches in solidarity with Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wis., man paralyzed by at least seven police bullets to his back. The gatherings are from Des Moines to Chicago, along the Wisconsin/Illinois line, the Iowa/Illinois line, and the Missouri/Illinois line. Communities hosting events range from larger cities like Chicago and St. Louis, to tiny West Branch, Ia., and Effingham, Ill. Most of the rallies, protests and vigils are hosted by racial justice groups that formed…

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Davenport attorney leads second protest against police brutality Saturday

QUAD CITIES — Eric Puryear is not your typical Black Lives Matter activist. He’s a gun rights enthusiast. He’s a libertarian. He disagrees vehemently with socialism. Yet he’s also a pioneer of standing up against inappropriate policing in the Quad Cities and the Chicago area. He’s one of the most active attorneys in the Iowa-Illinois area representing victims of police brutality or helping to share about their cases in writings. Puryear, founder of Puryear Law, is also leading a series of rallies against police brutality in the Quad Cities. The…

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For non-Black people: how to stop perpetuating whiteness and its damage

Well-meaning, humbled, “ready to serve” white people. They are so newly visible since the May 26 murder of George Floyd, says Goddess Carroll, a specialist in massage and energy healing. And that visibility is imperative, says Carroll. But for Black people like Carroll, well-meaning whites asking “how can I help?” can be exhausting, trigger trauma repeatedly, and perpetuate a generations-old cycle of expecting Black people to do the hard labor. For illustration, Carroll offers the analogy of an abused child. “Say, you were abused from age 1 to age 18,…

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Next stop, Washington: Kesho Scott brings anti-racism memorials to small Iowa towns

WASHINGTON — Dr. Kesho Scott started bringing George Floyd memorials to her central Iowa hometown of Grinnell, with a small service that ended up attracting about 150 of the town’s 10,000 residents. A woman from Belle Plaine, a town of 2,500 just west of Cedar Rapids, attended the Grinnell event and asked Scott to come to her town, too. Mingo, a town of 300 near Newton, asked next and ended up drawing about 50 people to a gathering in a resident’s backyard. Then Marengo, about a half-hour south of Belle…

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