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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

New “TRM Behind the Scenes” blog is an homage to advocacy journalism

“There are two forms of courage in this world,” writes author Jeff Brown. “One demands that we jump into action with our armor on. The other demands that we strip ourselves bare-naked and surrender. Bravery is a curious thing.” Systemic racism, unequal health access, transgender violence, misogyny, climate change, animal welfare …. many battles remain to be fought, and we’ll be there.  But this new feature I’m sharing today is about the latter: stripping down, revealing, and surrendering. This is our new blog titled “TRM: Behind the Scenes.” It’s a…

Read More

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…

Read More

Return to COVID-shaped school year swells the “mental load” of parents, caretakers

Around the dark cloud of this pandemic has been this big silver lining: my “mental load” got a break. To moms, the phrase “mental load” is familiar: it’s the “mental work, the organizing, list-making and planning, that you do to manage your life, and that of those dependent on you,” writes Leah Ruppaner for ABC News. She also describes the mental load as “like a phantom — felt by many, but, without the language to describe it, very difficult to discuss.” For months, I didn’t have to think about my…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

Wingspan: progressive, educational, fun and beautiful

Wingspan is one of my favorite board games, for almost more reasons than I can mention. This is a game that puts you in the role of a bird enthusiast who is trying to obtain the bird food you need to attract birds to their appropriate habitats. Wingspan helped raise money to fight the Australian wildfires. That’s actually how I learned it was available, after seeing it only on back order for months. For everyone who signed up to receive notice of Wingspan’s “early release” second expansion, called Oceania, Stonemaier Games donated $1…

Read More