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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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.

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SURJ Holiday Placemat for Racial Justice

A placemat guide for holiday discussions on race and justice with loved ones.


Tips for talking to families:

-- Breathe.

-- 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 & emotions

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End White Terror

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.1

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This Weekend

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.

You can see pictures of the SURJ actions from across the country here.

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Photo Gallery: SURJ Protests at Rock Hill, SC Democratic Presidential Forum

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.



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Bringing Racial Justice into Congregations & Faith Communities

"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.



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