Rural Action, black History tool-kit, new yard signs and more

There is a LOT happening in the SURJ network right now. Here's a round-up of resources for activists and leaders. Whether you are new to SURJ or a long time chapter leader, these resources are for you.

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SURJ Black History Month Toolkit

Black histories are important for everyone. Black History month is an opportunity for us as White families to lift up the need for all children to learn Black histories, and it’s a chance to open conversations about the ways we can make history more complex, reflective and inclusive all year long. We intentionally say “histories” in recognition that history is a collection of stories and that a part of working for liberation is moving away from the idea that there is one “History.” Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie discusses this beautifully in her talk “The danger of a single story.”

There is a role for White people in calling for more, deeper and more complex engagement in Black histories.

To download the entire kit, click here.


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Blown away

Thank you SURJ community! I am blown away by the outpouring of financial support from our community in the last month. Your generous giving, as one of over 700 SURJ donors across the country, contributed to our most successful fundraising month ever. We blew away our goals, reaching 632 dues-paying members and raising over $105,000 last month! This is in addition to moving over $200,000 in 2015 to Black-led racial justice organizing through our matching ask.

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Calling our Communities: an Organizing Action Kit from ROP and SURJ

Issue at hand:

Over the past few days, we have been inundated with articles about the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building in rural Eastern Oregon. This moment didn’t come out of nowhere; the Far Right has been organizing for years and their movement only continues to grow. It is fueled by the ongoing economic crisis: job insecurity and losses and the predictable anger of working people and veterans, the vast majority of them white.

Hardest hit areas in Oregon are those where economies formerly based on resource extraction, such as logging and mining, that have not recovered from the loss of jobs in those industries, and where today the federal government regulates the use of the majority of the land in order to provide environmental protections.

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A Year in Photos

In 2015 we have been...

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7 Million

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

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Reportback and Action Steps from Anti-Islamophobia Call

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us last week for the call of white against anti-Arab Racism and Islamophobia. You can listen to the recording from the call here. Much appreciation to Linda Sarsour from the Arab American Association of NY, Sarah Jawaid from PICO, Dove Kent from JFREJ and so many SURJ members from across the country for sharing your wisdom and knowledge during the call.

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betty.jpgIn March 1964, I quit graduate school. I sold everything I owned, and bought a one-way train ticket from California to Georgia.

I joined the staff at the Atlanta office of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. My job was to raise money for the historic Freedom Summer campaign, which brought over 1,000 white northern students to the Deep South. 

I knew that funding the effort was important, so I licked thousands of stamps, twirled rotary phones, and nearly wore out our mimeograph machine. We told people all over America: “Progress in Mississippi Depends on You,” and people all over America donated to the cause.

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On #GivingTuesday, Rebecca and her family are all in.

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.

Will you join me and become a SURJ member by donating today?

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Poor and Working Class Whites In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis

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. 

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