5 Ways You Can Show up for Racial Justice (by not going to Cleveland)


“We all have a role in this movement. There's no better work a white person committed to justice can do than confront anti-black racism in their communities, workplaces, and within themselves. Just like it's vitally important that Black people organize our people, conscious white folks need to organize their communities."

-- Waltrina Middleton - Cleveland Action, a member of the Host Committee for the Movement for Black Lives Gathering

The Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland this July is going to be an important space for Black people to self-organize, heal, and build leadership. Supporting the gathering means recognizing that it is intended to be a Black movement building space.

White people have been asked to support this gathering and respect the importance of creating intentional, powerful, and abundant Black space. We invite you to join SURJ by not going to Cleveland, and instead, organizing white people in our own neighborhoods and communities in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.

In this amazing moment there is a clear and critical role for white people who want to be involved: challenge racism in our own actions and thoughts, and bring other white people in to do this work together- to join this broad and deep movement.

We are living in a historic moment. A new Black Liberation movement has been rising in this country and uniting under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.” Spurred by police and vigilante murders of Black people and racist responses to protest over the treatment of these deaths, this movement is led by a new generation of Black organizers, artists, activists, and media producers who are inspiring people of all races to dream of a world that realizes liberation for all people.

The good news is there are plenty of ways for white people to support the Movement for Black Lives. Here are a few ideas:

1- Give money to support this historic gathering of the Movement for Black Lives. Ask your friends to give money. Host a local fundraiser.

2- Organize a local group of white people. Join Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) this Wednesday, July 1st at 9pm et/ 6pm pt for a call to learn how to organize a local SURJ chapter. Register here.

3- Speak out publicly against racism. Write a letter to the editor. See some tips and a sample letter here.

4- Learn. Learn more about the history of Black organizing and the history of white people organizing against racism.  Check out these resources here, here, here and here

5- Engage your community in action for racial justice. Challenge racism in your own community, at church, school, and most importantly, by changing policies. Make systemic action against racism a part of your daily life. One way to start this is to go door-knocking with Black Lives Matter yard signs. Join the SURJ Door-knocking Project.