As I step away from our organizing in response to the non-indictment of the officers who killed Tamir Rice, SURJ’s goal of organizing seven million white people for racial justice seems more relevant than ever. As Assata Shakur said, ‘It is our duty to win.’ Let’s make sure we do. We need a complete transformation of White America. Let’s stand for nothing less. Please join me in investing in this work and make a tax-deductible year-end donation by joining SURJ as a member today.
- Dara Silverman for SURJ
Maurice spoke these words on a SURJ call a year ago. You and SURJ groups from across the country have responded to his call to action.
We’ve grown from 12 chapters to over 140, from a list of 2,000 people to reaching hundreds of thousands each month. We've grown in ways we never could have imagined.
And we have a bigger vision. We have a plan to move seven million white people in the next seven years to take action for racial justice. Will you help us get there?
Yes, I can give monthly.
Sorry, I can’t.
Why seven million? Recent research shows that for a movement to succeed, it needs the active and sustained participation of 3.5% of the population. 3.5% of white people in the US is around 7 million. Engaging these seven million white people is our work. Already this year we have grown to 140+ chapters and thriving working groups focused on Families, communities of Faith, Queer and Trans people, poor and working class members and many more. We get five requests for new groups each week. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together and there is so much more to do.
We have seen the impact of our work. On the year anniversary of the police murder of Tamir Rice, 24 SURJ groups mobilized across the country to remember him and call for a federal investigation into the case. These groups also raised over $6,500 for the bail in Cleveland. Over the last week, SURJ organized more than 1,800 white faith leaders to call on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to begin a federal investigation.
To win real systemic change, we must engage and shift the hearts and minds of white people in bigger and bolder ways. It will take all of us and all our skills, resources, creativity and heart to build a base of seven million white people, engaged in powerful multi-racial movements for justice. I know this is the work that I am called to do, that speaks to some of the greatest hopes and dreams I have for my life and the country I want to live in. And I know this vision speaks to you too.
At a SURJ retreat this summer, we built this vision with leaders from across the country. One leader, Z Haukeness from Wisconsin, went home and shared it with organizations across the state. Groups like Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and WI Voices have come together with SURJ and plan to organize 160,000 white people in Wisconsin to action. Will you chip in to make this possible in every state?
Yes, I can give monthly.
Sorry, I can’t.
Please remember, when you donate to SURJ, we ask that you match your donation to a Black-led racial justice organization. If you need a suggestion, check out our list of Black-led racial justice organizations here. Let's make sure a well-resourced SURJ means more resources for these key organizations and the movements they represent.
You and I know that our big goals and biggest victories are only possible if we all chip in. Please join me in donating what you can and making sure we do everything possible to make our vision real.
Thanks for all you do,
PS. As of today, we have 274 members, giving $5+/month or $60/year. We are so close! We are just 26 people from our goal of 300 members by the end of the month. Will you become one of the first 300 members by donating today?
1. “My Talk at TedX Boulder: Civil Resistance and the ‘3.5% Rule’.” Rational Insurgent, 11/4/13. http://rationalinsurgent.com/2013/11/04/my-talk-at-tedxboulder-civil-resistance-and-the-3-5-rule/
2. SURJ Tamir Rice National Actions Photo Album, 11/21/15. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.987382627975005.1073741829.337935866253021&type=3
3. SURJ chapters across the country: http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/affiliated_groups_local_contacts