Minutes for MPJC Meeting of November 30, 2020

Present: Peter, Glenda Rae, Reynaldo, Wanda, Ellyn, Lois (Zoom meeting).

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for October 26: The minutes were approved.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: Public vs Private Education. After a vigorous discussion, we decided that this topic was too complex for us to do justice with it. We decided to stop the discussion and not put this topic up on the website. Ellyn mentioned that she had learned a lot about the issue during our deliberations over the last few months.

        b. Book of the Month report: Reynaldo had finished reading "The Warmth of Other Suns," by Isabel Wilkerson. It was about the great migration in the wake of the reconstruction period after the Civil War. It was a very vivid portrayal of life under Jim Crow in the 19th and 20th centuries. Glenda Rae mentioned that black folks are still dealing with the fallout from these times. The laws enacted after reconstruction were designed to put black men in prison so their free labor could be used in the same way that it was under slavery. Reynaldo had also read "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them," by Jason Stanley. He felt that this book was on a par with Madeleine Albright's work. Lois mentioned that she was at a rally where Albright spoke and was booed.

Lois also mentioned a story from the Children's Defense Fund from her email. It was a synopsis of children and education. She told about a program for teachers to go into homes to train mothers to help their children learn. Many children do not have books or even magazines, like Highlights for Children, that they can read at home. She related her attempts to resign from her head start job, which she finally accomplished in 1996. Since then she has been active in resisting injustice. She also mentioned her disappointment that she had not stopped to read the plaque on Route 4 between old Route 31 and North Liberty. Wanda said that the plaque describes the community of black folks which started after reconstruction and no longer exists. Many of its members are buried in Potato Creek cemetery. They were Methodist church members. John Charles Bryant's family were members of that community.

       c. Armistice Day: We forgot to bring the "Reclaim Armistice Day" signs to the Monday, November 16, vigil.

3. Treasurer's Report: $97.14 with $20 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to take a break before choosing another topic.

    3. MLK table: We have heard nothing about the MLK festivities. No doubt they will be cancelled this year. The Little Taste of Peace and Study Circles are already cancelled.

    4. MAARPR endorsement: The Michiana Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression has been active over the last few months. Peter has been attending their meetings by Zoom and recommended that we endorse this group so our name is listed as a cosponsor of their events. MAARPR sponsored several rallies before the elections at Jon Hunt Plaza and Howard Park as well as the two protests outside of Dollar Tree because of their treatment of a black shopper in August. They also organized a Native American program to give a different view of Thanksgiving. They are endorsed by the local Potawatami tribe and by Black Lives Matter among others. After some discussion, we decided not to endorse the group as an allied organization, but to decide whether to cosponsor their events on a case by case basis. We can make this decision quickly by email. Their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/michiananaarpr/.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: None were mentioned.

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    5. Next meeting: Monday, January 25, 2021, at 2:30pm by Zoom. Ellyn will initiate the meeting.