South Dakota Voices For Peace The Monthly: January 2023
Mission: South Dakota Voices for Peace builds power and enables healing in immigrant refugee, and Muslim communities by amplifying their voices in solidarity with all who dismantle bigotry and racism.
Vision: We imagine a South Dakota that is diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist.
SDVFP has four programming areas: Education/Training, Outreach/Civic Engagement, Legal Services, and Rapid Response. Here are some of our exciting areas of impact:
LEGAL ADVOCACY IN THE COMMUNITY On Saturday January 29th, our legal team organized a community meeting with Ukrainian new arrivals and invited Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota Center for New Americans to help answer questions. Many Ukrainians will lose lawful status at the end of March/early April 2023. Without lawful status they will also lose their ability to lawfully work. We are asking you to call South Dakota's Members of Congress to urge them to "extend parolee status" for Ukrainians so they can continue to lawfully live and work here.
1. Representative Dusty Johnson - Sioux Falls # 605.275.2868; Rapid City # 605.646.6454; and Aberdeen # 605.622.1060
2. Senator Mike Rounds - Sioux Falls # 605.336.0486; Rapid City# 605.343.5035; Aberdeen # 605.225.0366 Pierre # 605.224.1450
3. Senator John Thune - Sioux Falls # 605.334.9596; Rapid City # 605.348.7551 and Aberdeen # 605.225.8823
INTRODUCING ERICA AGUILAR,
Our New Community Health Worker
South Dakota Voice for Peace is proud to announce our second Community Health Worker has officially joined the Voices team. Erica Aguilar is based in Yankton and has previous experience in Outreach work by doing a community assessment to gauge the needs of the Yankton immigrant community. She will join our other Community Health Worker, Eden Liebenthal. You might have heard the term Community Health Worker around the State more within the past year, and that is mainly because South Dakota has received Federal funding to create and grow the Community Health Worker profession. Hospitals and community organizations are hiring and investing in Community Health Workers to serve as a bridge between community members and larger hard to navigate systems such as Healthcare or Social Services. If you want to learn more about what being a Community Health Worker means and how to possibly incorporate it into your organization go to https://chwsd.org
On January 17th, Taneeza and Eden, one of our Community Health Workers, had the opportunity to speak with the staff at the Department of Labor. They explained the history of South Dakota Voices for Peace, nitty gritty details of immigration, and opportunities for assisted enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The staff at the Department of Labor were able to ask questions about the nuances of the immigration system such as the difference between asylum and the refugee resettlement process. This interaction was due to a connection that the Community Health Worker has made with an employee at the Department of Labor and a simple request for the staff to learn more about what South Dakota Voices for Peace does in the community of Sioux Falls and across the state. If you or your organization are curious at all to learn more or think your staff could benefit from a presentation please reach out! email@example.com
AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PLAN
Affordable Connectivity Program, commonly referred to as ACP, is a federal benefit that offers a $30 discount ($75 if a household lives on tribal land) on a household's monthly internet bill.
A household is eligible to receive this benefit if their income is at 200% or below the FPL or if they (or their dependents) are current recipients of: Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, Free and Reduced Lunch, and more! Check out affordableconnectivity.gov for more information about eligibility.
South Dakota Voices for Peace staff is a direct reflection of the communities we serve and advocate for. We have staff representing Islam, Judaism, Protestantism and Catholicism on our team. At Interfaith Day at the Capital in Pierre on January 20th, our Executive Director, Taneeza Islam, provided the Muslim Prayer and our Deputy Director, Jen Dreiske, provided the Jewish Prayer, alongside our Christian and Bahai friends from across the State of South Dakota.
bystander to UPSTANDER Training
Our bystander to UPSTANDER Intervention training is a 60-minute introduction to responding in safe and impactful ways to acts of discrimination, hate, and bigotry, whether in the workplace, a public space, or at home. Participants learn how to safely disrupt these situations and bring the target of the incident back into belonging.
We provide these training sessions to educators, community organizations, business professionals and concerned citizens.