October 2014 Newsletter!

October 3, 2014 News Newsletter newsletter Press 0

Monsoon Open House for DVAM

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and in honor of the month, Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa invites members of the public to a reception at its extended office at 4950 Franklin Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310. Join Monsoon staff and interns on Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 1 until 4 p.m. Through theatrical presentations, Monsoon will present its philosophy and practices to end gender-based violence.


Tell all in API youth ‘zine

The API Youth Council of Monsoon is seeking ’zine submissions on social justice issues, such as feminism, gender identity, racism, ableism, body image and violence. Send your submissions to Carolyn Luong

The Youth Council reserves the right to reject any material deemed inappropriate or oppressive.

Across the nation …

Domestic violence affects every American, the Presidential Proclamation for 2014 says. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our nation, and hurts those we love most. It is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, and recognize that more work remains until every individual is able to live free from fear. To read more, go to


Domestic violence prosecutors across the country breathed a collective sigh of relief following the March 26, 2014, decision of the United States Supreme Court in United States vs. Castleman. The decision ensures that individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, including those convicted under state or tribal statutes incorporating the common-law definition of battery (which includes physical force resulting in only slight injury, as well as offensive touching), will be subject to the federal prohibition on possession of firearms. To read more, go to

… and around the world

Investing in women and girls as “smart economics” has become a favored strategy in development and philanthropy over the past several years, resulting in a host of campaigns and initiatives – including from actors in the private sector that had not previously been seen as “development” players – dedicated to supporting girls and women. With its long history in research, analysis and advocacy around resources for women’s rights organizing, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) sought to understand how this trend was impacting women’s organizations, given the important role they play in advancing sustainable, long-term change for women around the world. To read more, go to:


The international community, including governments, U.N. agencies, and NGOs, have been strong on rhetoric but weak on follow through when it comes to the protection of Syrian women and girls, with devastating consequences. That is feedback provided by Syrian women and girls in a new International Rescue Committee report that demands a major rethink in service delivery and prioritization. The report calls for the interests of women and girls to finally move from the margins of service provision to the mainstream of humanitarian programming. To read more, go to


Threatened with arrest in 2009, Lamin Bojang fled Gambia after publicly contradicting its president’s claims that he could cure AIDS. Now 31, Mr. Bojang lives in Concourse Village in the Bronx with his wife and 2-year-old son and works as a receptionist at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, while working toward a bachelor’s degree in political science at City College. With educational and professional opportunities in Gambia scarce for his generation, “the rest will have to find ways of leaving,” he said, “and African migrants here, just as previous migrants, are likely not going to return to their countries of origin.” To read more, go to

Webinars, trainings, conferences

The National Latin@ Network offers monthly webinars on a range of topics including domestic violence; public policy, advocacy, and immigration; culturally-specific practices; and research. For more information, go to The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities is a project of Casa de Esperanza that builds bridges and connections among research, practice and policy to advance effective responses to eliminate domestic violence and to promote healthy relationships within Latin@ families and communities.


In partnership with Ms. Foundation for Women, PreventConnect announces the third year of the #PowerInPrevention: Ending Child Sexual Abuse Web Conference Series. With the continuation of an online community to support this movement to end child sexual abuse, #PowerInPrevention transcends from a hashtag statement to the possibility of cultural change. To learn more, go to


Co-advocacy is a collaborative process of improving how organizations work together to ensure that they are providing appropriate resources and services to all participants they served. Co-advocacy services require on-going communication and sharing information, resources and tools between the organizations, as well as working together with the participants to ensure their needs are met. This webinar discusses strategies, tools and approaches for effective co-advocacy services. For more information on this webinar and other webinars presented by the Battered Women’s Justice Project, go to

Diversity in activism

“Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project” is a graphic novel written by young South Asian women who are survivors of violence. Their stories are painful to read; the pressure to conform to multiple ideals and the resulting family conflict and inner struggle are unpleasant to witness. They show us graphically what they want us to see – their lives in plain lines, but utterly complicated. To read more, go to


The weekend of October 10-13, CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) will be joining communities from all over the country in Ferguson, Missouri, for “A Weekend of Resistance” to build up the momentum of the nationwide movement against police violence. CAAAV seeks to connect, dialogue and strategize with Asian communities, organizations and activists who plan to attend the convening in Ferguson. Contact Cathy CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, founded in 1986 as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, is a pan-Asian community-based organization that works to build the power of low-income Asian immigrants and refugees in New York City. To read more, go to


Russell Wilson has generally shied away from commenting on social issues during his professional career. That changed this week when the Seattle Seahawks quarterback spoke out about domestic violence and candidly about being a bully as a child in a column for Derek Jeter’s new website. To read more, go to


Actress Kerry Washington talks about a handbag she designed for the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse campaign, which raises awareness for domestic violence, and, specifically, financial abuse. To read about it, go to


The parents of Emma Sulkowicz — the Columbia University student who has been carrying her mattress around until her alleged rapist is brought to justice — this week published an open letter to the school, its president and its board of trustees. To learn more, go to


As another young boy commits suicide in an adult prison, we must rethink the prosecution of children as adults. Zachary Proper, age 15, committed suicide recently in an adult prison in Pennsylvania. There was little media coverage of his death, suggesting a disturbing complacency about suicide by youths who would rather take their own lives than endure decades in jail. To read more, go to

Monsoon trainings

Are you interested in raising awareness about gender-based violence? Monsoon is offering Community Engagement/Outreach Training and Multilingual Advocate Training for 2014. For more information, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or at

You’re the one!

Nisaa is seeking people interested in social justice to serve on its Board of Directors. If you are interested, contact Hibo Jama at

Monsoon job opportunities

On-Call Multilingual Advocates

Function: In order to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services to Asian, Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iowa, Monsoon relies on Multilingual Advocates, a pool of on-call bilingual or multilingual consultants. These consultants assist survivors by providing information, referrals, peer support, advocacy and interpretation services.

Hours and availability: Applicants must have schedules that allow flexibility in order to work some daytime hours during the week and weekend on an on-call basis. Training will be provided.

Requirements: Fluency in English and at least one Asian or Pacific Islander language.

For more information, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or at

Call for action

If you are interested in volunteering at Monsoon’s Bayanihan Community Resource Center, contact Mira Yusef at 515.288.0881 or at Training will be provided.

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