It was 3 am, August 2014. My two young sons were sound asleep beside me. But I couldn't sleep. Instead, I was glued to Twitter, watching as young black men and women in Ferguson were tear-gassed and beaten by police.
That summer night I realized I couldn't let Black families stand alone in their fight for liberation. I decided that if people of color are going to be forced to put their bodies on the line for survival, then I am too. As a white person in this country, I have a special responsibility to undo racism and white supremacy.Read more
The poor and working class working group of SURJ declares our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter activists in Minneapolis. We know that racist vigilantes and the police force have a long, collaborative history with one another. The painful irony of Black Lives Matter demonstrators who are demanding answers to Jamar Clark’s death being attacked by white supremacists does not escape us. We wish for quick recovery to those injured and continue to push for the release of the video footage of Jamar Clark’s shooting.
For far too long, poor and working class white people and people of color have been pitted against each other to further the interests of the wealthy. We, as white poor, welfare, and working class people acknowledge a legacy of aligning ourselves with ruling whites and whiteness in the misguided hope for better opportunities and economic security. The lie of white superiority, and the bait of greater security and meager rewards in exchange for our complicity and silence has brought the wealthy much success and us greater isolation.Read more
As many of us prepare to be with family and Black Friday looms, we’re looking back at this past year, and specifically this last week in awe.
-- The nationwide mobilizations and bold direct action on the one-year anniversary of the murder of 12-year old Tamir Rice.
-- The determined occupation at a Minneapolis police precinct to get justice for Jamar Clark, even after white supremacists shot five Black activists.
-- The long-term organizing in Chicago that led to the recommendation to fire police officer Dante Servin for murdering Rekia Boyd.
None of these actions would be possible without Black organizing, Black organizations, and Black leadership.Read more
A placemat guide for holiday discussions on race and justice with loved ones.
Tips for talking to families:
-- Listen mindfully before formulating a thoughtful response
-- Ask questions when people express strong opinions
-- Affirm. Clarify the difference between good intentions and the impact
-- Speak from a place of mutual interest, sharing personal experiences, vulnerability & emotionsRead more
Last night, a group of white supremacists shot five Black people at a Black Lives Matter action in Minneapolis.
Black Lives Matter protesters have been holding rallies outside of a police precinct to call for police accountability after two of the city's police officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, Jamar Clark.1Read more
Just one month ago, Cleveland SURJ was getting ready to hold their very first chapter meeting. In the weeks since then, they’ve been showing up big. Right now, Cleveland SURJ is on overdrive working to support this weekend’s #YearWithoutTamir action.Read more
Charlotte SURJ traveled to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC on November 6th to lift up #BlackLivesMatter demands outside the nationally televised Democratic presidential forum.
"Please move away from the sidelines and unite together -- regardless of your faith or religious practice -- to seek an end to hatred and violence . . . What happened to our family is part of a larger attack on Black and Brown bodies . . . We call on all people, public officials, faith leaders and Americans from all walks of life to help address the festering sores of racism as it spurs an unforgiving culture of violence."
- Rev. Waltrina Middleton, longtime organizer, whose cousin Rev. Depayne Middleton, was killed in the massacre at Emanuel AME Church.
Is your faith community discerning what the next brave step is to show up for racial justice? Is your congregation considering hanging a #BlackLivesMatter banner? Has your banner or yard sign at your church been defaced, and you’re wondering how to respond or needing support? In this historic moment, now is the time for collective action. We offer this toolkit as support and inspiration for you efforts.
Building Accountability Relationships, Part Two--What does accountability look like in predominately white areas?
October, 27th, 2015
Download a recording of the call here. (Call starts at 30:15 minutes)
Carla Wallace, SURJ Basebuilding
- Many people have been stirred to consciousness in the past year and SURJ has responded to the call for white people to organize other white people and break white silence
- Basebuilding team organizes calls like this, issues brought to them from the work on the ground; opportunities and challenges to be more effective in our work; you’re invited to participate in Basebuilding planning, idea generation, call facilitation, etc.
Outside the GOP debate in Boulder, Colorado, local organizers from SURJ - Boulder (BSURJ) and allies took action today, calling other white folks into conversations about how to end white supremacy for collective liberation of all peoples. BSURJ believes that white people must educate and challenge one another; we must disrupt the racist ideologies that permeate our culture; and we must take action with people of color organizing for racial justice.Read more