June 7, 2020
"Hope is a discipline" -Mariame Kabe, Founder Project NIA*
credited to a nun she knew
To all the new, old, and returning friends - welcome! We have added over 3000 of you to our list this week. We are deeply moved by all the ways you are choosing to show up. In this great moment of hope and possibility proceeding naturally from grief and rage, we affirm our commitment to the revolutionary hope, the grounded dream: we can and will defeat racialized capitalism and white supremacy.
Feeling overwhelmed? 3 Things To Do Right Now.
Want to go deeper?
WE'RE HALFWAY to our goal raising $2,000 for the annual Maine Lobster Feed! The Lobster Feed supports eight incredible local grassroots organizations:
Another world is possible -- support long-term movement organizing! Can you help SURJ Boston raise $2000?
On Wednesday during their week of action, The Movement for Black Lives demanded “direct cash payments, rent cancellation, mortgage cancellation, a moratorium on utility and water shutoffs and a cancellation of student, medical and other forms of debt.” In the SURJ Boston Housing Justice action partnership, we are fighting for Black lives and all those facing eviction or saddled with debt when the MA state of emergency ends.
The Youth Justice & Power Union (YJPU) is a youth led organization for and by people of color. They are calling to defund the Boston Police Department, fund black and brown communities, and fund youth jobs, see the prison abolition section of this newsletter for even more ways to intervene in the police state.
It's going to take thousands of people to join the housing justice movement calling to:
Sign and share the Housing Guarantee!
Every Friday through June 19, Homes for All is putting on a series of webinars to learn about the movement to protect housing as a human right and win homes for all. You can register for upcoming webinars here. If you’d like to join a text thread with SURJ housing justice members to watch together an upcoming or recorded session and discuss, email Thea Patterson at email@example.com.
We have been fighting for a truly affordable and stable Boston by working to lift the statewide ban on rent control, which has been in place since 1994. We just won a huge victory! On Wednesday, May 29, the Tenant Protection Act - which would lift the ban on rent control - passed favorably out of the Housing Committee with a 13-2 vote! The Act has not passed completely yet and we need everyone now: learn more in our next teach in on 6/20 from 12-2pm.
Are you, or someone you know, worried about getting evicted? Call City Life/ Vida Urbana's hotline.
Sunday, 6/14 12:30PM
Register for the brunch here
Join the SURJ Boston Prison Abolition Action Partnership and Mallory Hanora, Executive Director of Families for Justice as Healing (FJAH), to discuss what police and prison abolition mean, and how to support black-led organizing to divest from these harmful systems and reimagine communities.
At brunch we'll share about how SURJB's prison abolition action partnership works as a group, about our partnerships, about our projects past and present, why we are in this work, and how you can plug in.
Mallory will share about the work of FJAH, a Boston-based grassroots organization led by black formerly incarcerated women and dedicated to ending incarceration for women and girls.
Together, we will discuss FJAH’s work leading the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition, which is fighting to free women from jails and prisons across Massachusetts, divest from police and prisons, and invest in Black and Brown communities and the housing, healing, and healthcare that create true community safety. Register in advance for this meeting here.
This week will continue to focus on budgets and cutting funding for police and prisons. We’re keeping going this week, making sure that the upcoming Boston City Council budget decreases funding for the BPD.
The doc will be updated by Monday! Keep checking back. As ever our weeks will feature:
Thursday, 6:30pm - register here
This is a version of our action hours designed to focus specifically on ending prisons, policing, and parole.
📋sign petitions to Support our incarcerated community
On June 3, #DeeperThanWater organizer Wayland Coleman was attacked by guards in riot gear and gassed inside his solitary confinement cell at NCCI Gardner. Read and share Wayland's testimony on the attack here.
Sign up to support Wayland this week:
💵 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.
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!
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"
The SIM DACA fund was created to provide economic support to DACA recipients in Massachusetts. In light of USCIS closure announcements and a Supreme Court decision expected between now and the end of June, DACA recipients need to renew their application and need community support to do so. Donate to the SIM DACA Renewal Fund here.
Prepare your testimony and learn more here
Since 2018, the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) and other community organizations have been connecting the dots between use of surveillance technology and criminalization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities in Boston. This is an opportunity to say no to systemic violence and separation of families.
Commit to testifying before the Committee on Government Operations!
In advance of the 6/4 Boston City Council review of external grants to the Boston Police Department, Muslim Justice League compiled a toolkit with information about the budget and ways to take action to defund BPD. Stay tuned for next steps. Check the Prison Abolition of this newsletter section for more calls from our partners!
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.
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. They are trying to get to 2,500 signatures!
Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) has scheduled two Town Hall meetings this week to engage people about re-opening Boston Public Schools. We encourage parents, students, and educators in the Boston Public Schools who are concerned about education justice to attend either one:
If you are interested in learning about the resources it will take to safely re-open Boston Public Schools, please read this article from School Yard News.
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.
Wednesdays in June, 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!
In order to simplify outreach about driving opportunities, we want to invite anyone willing to offer this service to our announcements (and clarifying questions) only WhatsApp thread. Click here to join the driving group: Auto-mobilize! We will announce
Joining this thread is a commitment to actively engage and fulfill driving asks. The announcements on this list may not be for general knowledge, do not share anything outside of it without permission.
As this crisis extends, many supply distribution centers are experiencing volunteer turnover, so this is also a great time for you to get in the game if you’ve been on the bench (and we all need to be on the bench sometimes so we can stay fresh!).
SURJB is collecting 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 firstname.lastname@example.org porch drop off information in JP, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, Belmont, and Cambridge.
Our partners are reporting they consistently run out of these items:
✊ 💵 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 also including these items in our porch drop off system (see above)! Email email@example.com for drop off near you. 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).
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.
We are highlighting three organizations who 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.
From our national, zoom based opportunities to learn and grow in racial justice work as white people.
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
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.
Join Community Change Inc. (CCI) Zoom Calls
In 1968, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as "a white problem”, CCI was birthed. CCI promotes racial justice and equity by challenging systemic racism and acting as a catalyst for anti-racist learning and action. CCI accomplishes its mission through education, advocacy and working in solidarity with others to organize for change.
Commit to doing just one thing this week.
We can do this.