March 22, 2020
We hope you, your loved ones, and your beloved communities are staying well and finding ways to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these times, it is more important than ever to support each other. We know that this acute crisis--like the many ongoing and interrelated crises in our economic, healthcare, and other systems--stands to disproportionately impact communities of color, immigrant communities, incarcerated communities, and low-income communities. Please check out the below resources that grassroots groups have created to provide aid across Greater Boston. As the crisis unfolds, we encourage you to ask for what you need, give what you can, and take precautions while taking care of those around you. Together, we can get through this.
💵 SURJ Boston members and supporters are pooling resources to increase impact during the coronavirus crisis. Our main goal in pooling our resources is to ensure that we are shifting resources to Roxbury, Dorchester, and working class communities of color in Boston who will face much higher unemployment and financial hardship + increased risk of being effected by COVID19. The SURJB Fundraising COVID19 Team will be responsible for distributing funds to partner organizations throughout the crisis, with input from SURJB members and working groups. We have already raised over $5,000! Donate here!
novel coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic continues to reveal the layers of
suffering endemic to capitalism and white supremacy in the US. Many of
the white people in SURJB's networks are both awash and overwhelmed by
the multitude of asks and newly transitioned to working digitally. We
invite you two action hours where we will take 1 hour to sign
petitions, contact elected officials, volunteer our time,
donate/publicize fundraisers, and connect with each other
✊ 💵 Violence in Boston Inc and Food for the Soul Grove Hall are providing lunch and dinner for Boston Public Schools students (lunch 12-2pm, dinner 5-8pm). They are also accepting donations of funds and needed items (toiletries, paper towels, tissues, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper). For more information, call 617-652-0151.
💵 Free groceries will be provided Mondays at 5:30 pm at Make Shift Boston (549 Columbus Avenue, Boston, 02118) for the duration of the crisis. Donate through the Lucy Parsons Center.
✊ Neighborhoods are starting their own mutual aid systems where people can offer resources and request support. There are opportunities to volunteer, donate, and offer/request support at the links below.
Both the Asian American Resource Workshop and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice have compiled Boston and MA specific resources in response to COVID-19. This includes everything from grassroots demands around COVID-19, how to teach an accessible online class, and local resources for supplies and support. Many thanks to these organizations for compiling information, resources, and links about local mutual aid networks, community care, remote work plans, workers rights, etc.
The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) is asking that folks sign a petition supporting teachers, families, and students due to a new partnership with the state which feels like a form of receivership. Learn more and sign the petition here: https://btu.org/ourcityourschools/. Other ways to get involved:
The Boston Teachers Union (BTU) is giving regular updates related to how COVID-19 is impacting Boston Public Schools (BPS). For updates and to learn about their Volunteer Corps, go to https://btu.org/coronavirus/
Please sign and share the Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) pledge demanding that all Boston Public Schools have a baseline budget to assure funding for essentials such as clean water, libraries, teachers, counselors, nurses, etc. if you haven’t yet.
Friday, 3/27, 12 PM
Join Housing Justice Action Partnership and the Allston/Brighton Base Group (remotely) for an afternoon of political education, virtual community building, and phone banking for a final push before the 3/31 committee vote! If interested, please RSVP. More details to come!
The Chief Justice of Housing Court in Massachusetts just ordered the postponement of most eviction hearings to 4/21. Thanks for signing our petition w/ nearly 6k signatures! Next step: @CharlieBakerMA, pass the FULL MORATORIUM, HB. 4935!" Please continue to sign the petition to let MA hear the resounding call to put a moratorium on evictions in MA during COVID-19 and to receive updates from CLVU.
Please join the Building Up People Not Prisons coalition, led by Families for Justice as Healing, for a Week of Action. Every day this week we will be asking folks to call, email and Tweet at different decision makers DEMANDING RELEASE for people incarcerated in Mass. https://tinyurl.com/maweekofaction
Monday, March 23 7:30-9PM EST⠀
Zoom call at https://buff.ly/3aeMqBY⠀
During this time of social distancing and health risks, it's more important than ever to connect with our fam behind bars. Learn about penpaling as abolitionist praxis, get practical guidance on how to be good penpals, have your questions answered, and be matched with an inside member to start writing with. No registration necessary. All are welcome, regardless of location or experience. The prison-industrial complex IS the public health crisis.
out to your State Rep and State Senator and ask them to co-sponsor this
critical Emergency Decarceration Legislation that would allow people to
be released: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/HD4963
Sign this petition to demand a retrial for Raymond Gaines who was wrongfully convicted of 1st degree murder and armed robbery in 1975. He has been wrongfully imprisoned for 44 years, stolen from his family, loved ones, and community.
Our friend Jude Glaubman is collecting retired cell phones for women leaving incarceration. If you have phones in usable condition to donate, get in touch with Jude at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black and Pink’s mission is to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQ+/HIV+ people through advocacy, support, and organizing.
These drop ins welcome any kind of abolitionist energy, whether reading and entering mail into the database, writing letters, playing cards, or chatting. Formerly incarcerated and court involved people especially encouraged to attend. Cis, straight and/or free world allies are welcome!
UPLOAD A PHOTO to join the virtual candlelight vigil in solidarity with those detained in Bristol County and all people in immigration detention! On March 18, 51 immigrants detained by ICE inside Unit B of the Bristol County Jail sent a public letter calling for the immediate release of all detainees with serious medical conditions, detainees considered low-risk (to the public), bond hearings for all detainees whose court date was rescheduled, and the quick departure of detainees already ordered deported. Find out how to show solidarity here.
In response to COVID-19, the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network calls for the following demands. Please amplify, share, and make calls to your elected officials as possible! #ReleaseThemAll
With support from his family and community, Thy Chea returned home on 2/26 after an 18-month fight against the Department of Homeland Security for a wrongful deportation. Support AARW in raising money for his resettlement back to the US! Learn more about his story and contribute here.
💵 SIM DACA Renewal Fund
The SIM DACA fund is being created to provide economic support to DACA recipients in MA. Applicants have to pay $495 in fees for their renewal application. Many members of our community, including DACA folks, live paycheck to paycheck and often are not able to pay for the application fees. We are asking our community to help the DACA recipients here in MA who are part of our community with any monetary support for their DACA renewal application.
GBCC supports local racial justice and intersectional organizing by providing free childcare during meetings, events, and actions so that caregivers and children can fully participate. We provide care for groups being led by folks most impacted by oppression and who are on the front lines of their movements. Find out more information about GBCC here and on Facebook.
The GBCC Planning Team is looking for people who want to volunteer as a carer and for those interested in volunteering as a member of the GBCC Planning Team. The Planning Team does all the behind-the-scenes work of partner relationship building, care coordinating, and future planning. As we enter our fourth year of existence, we want to grow our network, Planning Team, and sustainability. Join us if you are invested in racial justice and enjoy caring for kids!
Fill out our Volunteer Interest Form if you'd like to become a volunteer carer.
Contact Morgan at email@example.com if you'd like to learn more about joining the GBCC Planning Team or with any questions.
SURJ National has a great slate of webinars coming up, if you choose to attend any let us know! We'd love to be in touch, you can just reply to this email. Registration is required for all webinars.
Wednesday, April 1, 8-9:30pm EST
Join this conversation about the role of sheriffs in upholding white supremacy and the strategic need to run local campaigns that can hold them accountable, or kick them out of office in our work for collective liberation. Our guest speakers are from Political Research Associates and Sheriffs for Trusting Communities.
Tuesday, March 24, 6-7:30pm
This is a time to be in community with others who are fiercely committed to anti-racism work and the dismantling of white supremacy. We can talk about current events, the work within the community, or just how we are taking care of ourselves during these turbulent times. This month we are connecting virtually, using Zoom. You'll receive more details when you RSVP.
May 8th and 9th
Looking to build your anti-racist organizing skills?
Committed to working with white people on racial justice?
Want to take action towards racial justice but not sure how?
Want to learn how to talk with other white folks about racism?
This 2.5 day training program is designed to help you become a better organizer for racial and social justice in your community. For more information and to register, contact Fran at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesdays, March 18 - April 15 (4 sessions, no class April 8), 7:00-9:00 PM
Understanding Islam: A Muslim Woman’s Perspective on the Essence of Islam, the Diversity of the Muslim World, and its Relationship with the West. This course is designed to bring an alternative voice, and a glimpse of the wider, sweeping, story of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world.
Hayat will answer questions such as: Who are we? What do Muslims find so appealing in Islam? What do we believe? What underlies Islamic culture and community? What is our experience with non-Muslims?
Lecture and discussion based. Each session will include a presentation, interspersed with time for questions and answers. Find out more and register here.
Sunday, May 3, 12:30 PM
Save the date! Community Change Inc. trainer Donna Bivens has been leading educational sessions on the history of racism in Boston for decades. She's looked particularly at the Busing Crisis and she'll engage with us in unpacking the history of that era and what it means for us today.
Contact Amelie Ratliff to RSVP and for location info at email@example.com.
Knapsack is a multiracial group hosted by Community Change Inc that is committed to challenging the system of racism in the United States and the world. We engage in dialogue, build community, and support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations. We are dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation.
Moving From Talk to Action: Find classes and sign up on the WPCR website
Commit to doing just one thing this week.
We can do this.