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.
BSURJ chose to protest the GOP Debate because candidates have been perpetuating racist stereotypes and calling for policies that exacerbate negative conditions for people of color. Outside the GOP debate, BSURJ supported an artistic installation that will engaged white people in conversations about how racism and white privilege impact our homes, communities, schools, and workplaces; and how we can challenge it.
This action followed the lead from an action organized in Seattle, WA by the Backbone Campaign that called on white people to highlight the reality of white privilege and the need for the people of our nation to continue to fight for racial justice. Remy - Street Artist and Creative Resistance Trainer from First Seven Design Labs - helped create this visually spectacular anti-racist project with the Backbone Campaign and has coordinated the Boulder action with BSURJ. Some of the key issues highlighted at both rallies are Racial Profiling, Stop & Frisk Practices, Zero Tolerance School Policies, and Environmental Racism.
Recently, Boulder City Council approved a budget for 2016 that includes hiring two new police officers, even though a recent report by USA Today found that the Boulder City Police Department has the second highest disparity for arrests of Blacks and non-blacks in the state.
BSURJ has been organizing white people in the Boulder area since January 2015 and is a local affiliate of Showing Up for Racial Justice. We organize because we live in a time of great hope and possibility, yet the potential for a just world for all of us is not possible when racism and oppression keep us divided. Racism permeates our contemporary institutions and structures and is closely intertwined with all systems of oppression. It robs all of us -- White people and People of Color -- of our humanity. We are showing up to take our responsibility as White people, to act collectively and publicly, to challenge the manipulation of racist fear by the ruling class and corporate elite. We know that to transform this country, we must be part of building a powerful multi-racial majority to challenge racism in all its forms.
Erica Van Steenis, a member of BSURJ said, “our work as White people is to call other White people into the work for racial justice. People of Color have been organizing against racism and there is a clear call to us as white people to stand in solidarity with them in fighting systemic oppression.”
Another BSURJ member, Julia Daniel, said, “As white people, we see our role as working in accountable relationships with our allies of color by showing up and taking action when there are racist attacks in the streets, in homes and in our communities. We are committed to moving more white people into action for racial justice."
For more information, visit www.bouldersurj.org, or contact:
Julia Daniel, Boulder Showing Up for Racial Justice, firstname.lastname@example.org,(786)253-3538
Marissa Hallo Tafura, Boulder Showing Up for Racial Justice, email@example.com, (303)478-6902