Mutual Aid During the COVID-19 Crisis

“It's true that audacity can arise from crisis, and courage can spring from fear. Emergencies can draw more from us than we ever thought possible, but that kind of boldness runs on adrenaline. It doesn't have the horsepower for the long haul. When the crisis passes, we settle back, exhausted, into our accustomed lives.

"To live a lifetime of audacity, dwelling in the place where joy meets justice, year after year, can only be sustained by being so in love with a vision of what's possible that we no longer flirt with despair.” -Aurora Levins Morales

As we settle into the stride of this intense crisis, we invite you to continue to take action, to make movement habitual and stay connected across distance. We’ve got our ship in shape and hopefully continue to make the work we’re doing together easier to follow - and don’t hesitate to reach out.

Pledge Your Stimulus Check

Redistributing our stimulus checks as an act of mutual aid is grounded in an understanding of the inequitable systems we all operate within and of the value of everyone in our community, individually and collectively. No-one is expendable; we need each other, and we must support and protect each other.

💵 If you have yet to pledge your check or a donation, you can pledge here.

Fundraising team members will be reaching out to pledgers individually to check when they receive their checks and help them direct their money to MA Redistribution Fund or to individuals referred to us by our partners such as Keep It 100 for Egleston and Mass Coalition of Domestic Workers.

For this week we are also three organizations do an excellent job reaching out to their communities and ensuring that people get the help they need.

All of these organizations help people who might otherwise not receive assistance and generate a sense of community in these troubling times. Further, all three have been consistent partners with SURJB since the COVID-19 crisis began. We are once again asking folks to give to these organizations because of their steadfast commitment to their communities. Thank you!

SURJB COVID19 Mobilization

📋TELL GOVERNOR BAKER: REOPENING PLAN MUST PROTECT WORKERS AND HARD-HIT COMMUNITIES

Call on Governor Baker to follow baseline measures to protect public health in any reopening plan and ensure that all ongoing discussions of Massachusetts' COVID-19 response and recovery include robust representation of labor, communities of color, seniors, and public health experts from across the state.

☎️ 📋 ✊ Action Hours

Wednesdays in May, 12-1 PM

Register here for action hours—this link is recurring, you can choose one or more sessions, and you can register again if you don’t know your schedule yet.

SURJB members will guide participants through an hour of making calls, sending emails, signing up for volunteering, and signing petitions. We hope this helps combat isolation while building social solidarity!

☎️ Get Resources 2 Neighbors Phonebanks

Tuesdays, 6-8 PM: register here
Saturdays, 12-2 PM: register here

You can sign up for one or more sessions, and you can register again if you don’t know your schedule yet.

In partnership with State Rep Liz Miranda and Boston City Councillor Ricardo Arroyo, we are calling our elderly neighbors in Hyde Park, Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury to see how they are doing and if possible connect them to resources. SURJB will provide a quick training and materials! We’ll let you know which list we will be focusing on for each phonebank.

🚗 Driving

Solidarity Supply Distro: South End, 549 Columbus Ave. Sunday and Monday afternoons. Sign up to drive here.

Dot Not 4 Sale Groceries and Meals: Dorchester, 42 Charles Street. Tuesday and Friday, shift 11:15am-1:15pm; Thursday and Saturday, arrival time 4-5pm. Forms released on a rolling basis; email surjbemergencyresponse@gmail.com to be referred to their driver pool.

Violence in Boston Meals: Dorchester, 651 Warren Street. Every week day, shifts stagger every half hour from 1-5pm. Time commitment varies, plan for 2-5 hours. Email dareece6@gmail.com.

✊ 💵 Critical Supplies

SURJB is helping to collect critical supplies for 12th Baptist Church in Roxbury and Cape Verdean Association of Boston. We're suggesting that folks drop off Tuesday before 8 PM and Friday before 8 PM. Please email back (surjbemergencyresponse@gmail.com) for porch drop off information in JP, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, Belmont, and Cambridge.

✊ 💵 Dorchester Grocery Distribution

DROP OFF ONLY AT THESE TIMES: Saturday, 11am-2pm; Wednesday, 4-6pm; Thursday, 1-3pm. VietAID boxes at 42 Charles Street, Dorchester.

SURJB is assessing whether or not we can include these in porch drop offs. Stay tuned. You can also support monetarily by donating here.

To get connected to more ways to help out, please fill out our community offers survey (if you haven’t yet).

Neighborhood Mutual Aid Networks

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.

Resources
Huge thanks to both the Asian American Resource Workshop and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice who 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. City Life Vida Urbana has also published housing rights and resources during COVID-19.

Get Involved

Confronting White Supremacists

WATCH: Recording of "Coronavirus, 'ReOpen' Protests, and White Supremacy"

Featuring:

Dropbox folder with the video and caption text or watch on facebook. A big heartfelt thank you to those who donated (we were able to cover honoraria and most of the cost of captioning!) and participated.

READ UP: Here is a set of articles about activist white supremacists and their operations related to the pandemic and "reopening"

Immigration Justice

✊ STOP CVE AND END TVTP

Muslim Justice League is calling for an end to the Department of Homeland Security’s recently rebranded program- Targeted Violence and Terrorism Program (TVTP), formerly Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) which profiles, surveils, and criminalizes Muslims and people of color. Follow Muslim Justice League on Facebook to stay updated on the national campaign to stop CVE and end TVTP.

💵 SUPPORT THE MASSACHUSETTS UNDOCUFUND

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to the MassUndocuFund- they’re halfway to their $1 million goal! Let’s push to get to $600,000 this month. Contributions go to undocumented families and communities affected by the pandemic to recover and rebuild. Find out more and donate here!

💵 Student Immigrant Movement DACA Renewal Fund

The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision in regards to DACA. As the days pass DACA recipients need to renew their application and need community support to make that possible. Please donate to the SIM DACA Renewal Fund here.

☎️ ✊ Solidarity with People Attacked in Bristol County ICE Unit B

On May 1st, guards at the Bristol County House of Correction, along with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson himself, attacked people being held in ICE detention. In solidarity with people at the Bristol County House of Corrections, Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network has put forth a list of demands. Please share their demands and follow BIJAN on Facebook to stay updated.

Public Education

📋 BEJA PETITION

Our partner, Boston Education Justice Alliance, (BEJA) is asking for folks to sign a petition to stop BPS from laying off one of their exemplary teachers. You can sign the petition here.

📋 #OURCITYOURSCHOOLS PETITION

In regards to the Our City Our Schools Campaign (fighting against the state partnership with BPS) if you haven’t done so yet, please sign and share the petition here: https://btu.org/ourcityourschools/. They are trying to get to 2,500 signatures!

Maine Lobster Feed

💵 SUPPORT GRASSROOTS Boston ORGANIZING THROUGH THE MAINE LOBSTER FEED!

SURJ Boston is raising money for the Maine Lobster Feed—going forward this year in a virtual format! Last year, we raised $2,000 to support incredible grassroots organizing in our communities. This year, we’re showing up by raising $2,000 again for eight organizations, many of whom SURJ works closely with: Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW), Families for Justice as Healing, Haymarket People’s Fund, Muslim Justice League, New England United for Justice (NEU4J), Resist, Inc., and Student Immigrant Movement (SIM). Can you help SURJ Boston raise $2000?

Housing Justice

📋 Sign and Share the Housing Guarantee

It's going to take thousands of people to join the housing justice movement calling to:

  1. Ban evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery period
  2. Cancel rent and mortgage payments for all those unable to pay during the crisis
  3. Guarantee that in the aftermath of the crisis renters and homeowners will not face eviction, foreclosure, or pressure to repay impossible levels of housing debt from the crisis
  4. Provide comprehensive support to people who are unhoused or living in overcrowded conditions, including safe isolation for the sick and relocation of people in crowded shelters

Sign and share the Housing Guarantee at housingguarantee.org!

Eviction Help

Are you, or someone you know, worried about getting evicted? Call City Life/ Vida Urbana's hotline.

Prison Abolition

✊ WEEK 10: NOT ANOTHER DIME!

Last week including tons of powerful testimony against excessive investment in policing in Boston & a big push to prevent the state of MA from going into DEBT to buy new cop cars. We’re keeping going this week, making sure that Governor Baker and other powerbrokers don’t use the confusion and chaos of coronavirus to push through new jail and prison construction.

The doc will be updated by Tuesday! Keep checking back. As ever our weeks will feature:

✊ COMMUNITY CARAVAN

Wednesday, 5/27, 4-6PM
Building Up People Not Prisons, in solidarity with Black and brown people calling attention to the most incarcerated corridor in MA - from Nubian Sq to Franklin Field - will be doing a car caravan this Wednesday. This car caravan is appropriate for all white allies, including suburban allies and people of color from outside Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

☎️ Keep CALLING: END REPRESSION OF INCARCERATED ORGANIZERS!

On Tuesday, 5/5, #DeeperThanWater comrades Wayland “X” Coleman and Jeremy Woodley were thrown in solitary confinement at NCCI Gardner for organizing a tray refusal as part of incarcerated people demanding proper, nutritious food, fresh air, and decarceration. They organized mutual aid to feed everyone in their unit as part of this simple protest, and have since been cut off from contact with DTW organizers and their commissary accounts. PLEASE CALL and demand they be returned to general population, in addition to providing all incarcerated people healthier, more substantial, and more varied food options.

💵 Support Julio's Coming Home fund!

#DeeperThanWater member and loved penpal of one of our organizers is coming home early on parole, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Help us raise $5000 to cover his housing and living expenses after 28 years in a cage.

📋 Sign this petition to demand a retrial for Raymond Gaines

He 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.

✊ Black & Pink Volunteer Drop In

Black and Pink’s mission is to abolish the criminal punishment system and to liberate LGBTQIA2S+ people/people living with HIV who are affected by that system, 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 just chatting. Formerly incarcerated and court involved people especially encouraged to attend. Cis, straight and/or free world allies are welcome!

Stand with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe!

📋 SIGN THE PETITION: PROTECT MASHPEE WAMPANOAG RESERVATION LANDS

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the very tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims in the 1600s, is at risk of losing what is left of their homelands due to a determination made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Sign the petition today: tell Congress to protect Mashpee Wampanoag reservation land!

Support Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute's 24th Annual (Virtual) Mother's Day Walk for Peace raised over $340,000 in online and offline donations. Let's get them closer to their $400,000 annual goal! This important organization serves families and communities in Boston and surrounding cities who have been impacted by murder, trauma, grief, and loss. Please watch this short video and donate what you can. Every little bit helps!

Grab Yourself by the Bootstrap

Get Educated

KNAPSACK ANTI-RACISM GROUP

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.

White People Challenging Racism

Moving From Talk to Action: Find classes and sign up on the WPCR website

Community Change, Inc.

SURJ Boston is a project of Community Change Inc (CCI), a Boston-based organization shining a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source.

CCI Invites You to Join our Community Building and Racial Justice

Join Community Change Inc. in a series of conversations around what we, as people committed to racial justice, can do together in these unique and challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the deep inequities that are built into American society. We are faced with an opportunity to re-envision what a society centered on racial justice would look like and build that together. We are isolated from each other physically and finding new ways to connect, build community, and take action to create racial justice. CCI hopes you will join us on Zoom soon.

Calls will be offered on Thursday at 7:00PM (June 4, June 18, and July 2) or Monday at noon (June 1, June 15, and June 29).

To RSVP, you should send an email to fran@communitychangeinc.org and include the dates you want to join the call in the subject line.

Feeling overwhelmed?
Commit to doing just one thing this week.
We can do this.

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