June 28, 2020
"Hope is rooted in men’s incompletion, from which they move out in constant search - a search which can be carried out only in communion with others. Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it. The dehumanization resulting from an unjust order is not a cause of despair but for hope, leading to the incessant pursuit of the humanity denied by injustice. Hope, however, does not consist in crossing one’s arms and waiting. As long as I fight, I am moved by hope; and if I fight with hope, then I can wait."
- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968)
Whether this is your first time getting our newsletter or your five thousandth, welcome! We hope it will be a resource for us to learn, take action, get more deeply involved, and move our world toward justice.
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Saturday, 7/4, 4pm
Black Lives Matter Boston will gather to center and uplift the lives of ALL Black womxn in a march from Nubian Square to Boston Common, followed by a celebratory rally in the Common where we will share music, food, the arts.
There will be radical joy and dancing because, as Audre Lorde wrote, "it is better to speak/remembering/we were never meant to survive." Womxn hold up half the sky all over the world and have always been essential, yet Black womxn are too often overlooked, erased, and devalued. Show up for Black womxn. Support Black womxn. Join us!
Donate to support the march and rally or PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, June 28, 6-7PM
This webinar from SURJ National will provide context for the current moment and discuss how white people can continue to strategically work for racial justice in the long term. Register for the webinar on Zoom here.
Sunday, June 28, 7-9PM
Join with Friends of Sabeel North America FOSNA, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, Adalah Justice Project, SURJ National, and hundreds of people of conscience and people of faith as we take action, digitally, to disrupt the racist ideology of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Take part in creative digital direct action that counters CUFI's hate with a message of justice for all.
Monday, June 29, 8-9PM
SURJ National is hosting a virtual community learning space to explore abolition. Open to everyone from people just learning about abolition to the first time to those organizing to abolish police & prisons. Learn more and register here.
After protestors took off his head on June 12, the Christopher Columbus statue in Boston’s “Christopher Columbus” Waterfront Park has been temporarily removed by the City. But Mayor Walsh will not commit to its permanent removal. In solidarity with Indigenous People’s Day MA, please sign this petition to Mayor Walsh and the City Council to demand the permanent removal of the Christopher Columbus statue!
Final Fundraising Update for the Maine Lobster Feed
Together, we raised $5,375 for the eight organizations supported by the annual Maine Lobster Feed -- way beyond our original goal of $2,000!! Collectively, this year's Lobster Feed has raised over $72,000 for amazing, local grassroots organizing. Learn more about the Lobster Feed and the organizations it benefits here. Thank you so, so much to everyone who donated!
There are already more than 20,000 evictions pending and landlords predict much more when the Massachusetts moratorium on evictions ends in late August. Today and yesterday our partners at City Life/Vida Urbana organized a car caravan and stand outs at tenant associations across the city to build tenant power in preparation to fight this wave of displacement. You can check out the livestream from both days on City Life’s Facebook page.
On Monday, June 29th City Life/Vida Urbana will be releasing their report on the impact of evictions on communities of color in Boston. Join them from 1-2pm ET to learn more about their findings & hear from organizers across the country about how they are seeing evictions used to displace communities of color. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Register here.
Join members of the Harvard Chapter of the Student National Medical Association, including City Life organizer Lady Lawrence on July 1 at 6-8pm EST for a panel discussion overviewing how racism manifested in police violence and other forms directly harms the health of Black people. Register here
Housing Court staff estimate 20,000 eviction cases will be filed immediately after the moratorium ends. An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability during the COVID-19 Emergency & Recovery will provide protections for renters and homeowners for a year after the state of emergency is lifted to ensure housing stability beyond the state of emergency. You can read more about the protections the bill will include here. We will provide more information next week about contacting your legislators to urge them to support this bill.
As Governor Baker rolls out his reopening plan, Massachusetts residents may soon face eviction, foreclosure, and huge amounts of housing debt when the state of emergency officially ends. It's going to take thousands of people to join the housing justice movement. We are 1200 signatures away from our goal. Read up and sign it now!
Are you, or someone you know, worried about getting evicted? Call City Life/ Vida Urbana's hotline.
Kimya's House is a re-entry home run by and for formerly incarcerated Black women -- open on time in spite of setbacks from the pandemic.
Greg Diatchenko, a #DeeperThanWater organizer, was re-incarcerated after attending a public protest calling out draconian visitation restrictions, toxic water, and other abuses inside MA prisons. This spring, he contracted COVID19 while locked inside. He has finally been granted parole and has extensive medical needs in addition to rent, food, and other necessities while he rebuilds his life! We encourage everyone to dig deep and match your donation to Greg with a donation to Kimya’s house above.
Check back on Monday for updated document with scripts and contact information. The focuses this week will be:
Calling our elected officials to support no cost phone calls and dignified visits for our incarcerated loved ones and their communities.
Write an op-ed or letter to the editor in your local paper to draw attention to COVID19 outbreaks and mistreatment of incarcerated people at MCI Norfolk
Call the Department of Public Health and demand a surprise inspection at MCI Norfolk
Families for Justice as Healing conducted a listening tour of over 150 women from the most incarcerated neighborhoods in the Commonwealth and from their testimony created the People’s Budget, which you can review at the link.
A thriving community
Is where everyone has what they need.
has abundant educational and financial opportunities.
is where everyone feels safe and connected.
is one where everyone is treated equitably, respectfully,and without judgment.
is owned and led by the people living there
Tuesday, 6/30, 6-7 PM
Register for Abolition Hour here
This is a version of our action hours designed to focus on political education and action specifically on ending prisons, policing, and parole. Sign up and bring a friend!
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!
Support Movimiento Cosecha in their fight for immigrant justice! There are two bills in Ways and Means that we need to move to a vote before the end of the legislative session this July! The two acts are The Work and Family Mobility Act and An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers. Click this link for information on the bills, petitions, and scripts to call and email your legislators!
On 6/24, Boston became the second largest city in the world to ban city government use of facial surveillance technology. Big shout out to Student Immigrant Movement, Michelle Wu, Ricardo Arroyo, Unafraid Educators, Muslim Justice League, and everyone who fought so hard for this.
The SIM DACA fund provides economic support to DACA recipients in MA to help pay the $495 in application renewal fees. Support MA DACA recipients by donating to the DACA Renewal Fund here!
Our partner Boston Education Justice Alliance is continuing to fight the state takeover of 15 schools in the Boston Public Schools. If you haven’t done so yet, please sign and share the petition in the Our City Our Schools Campaign.
Unafraid Educators has set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund for students and families in Boston Public Schools who need financial support during this time. Please share the form with those who might need it, and donate to the fund if you are able.
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 July, 12 to 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!).
We very much appreciate your help continuing to do our part when it
comes to ensuring that the hundreds of people that our partners serve
have food and essential supplies during this long-term crisis we are
facing. Please email email@example.com for porch drop off information in JP, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, Belmont, and Cambridge.
This week, our partner Cape Verdean Association of Boston is asking that we highlight a few supplies:
Drop off only at these times: Saturday, 11 AM to 2 PM; Wednesday, 4 to 6 PM; Thursday, 1 to 3 PM. VietAID boxes at 42 Charles Street, Dorchester.
These donations may also be left on SURJB porches.
We have collectively redistributed over $44,000 in contributions to individuals since the beginning of April. We’ve also distributed approximately $30,000 to the MA Redistribution Fund and other organizations supporting our communities. This mutual aid is grounded in an understanding of the inequitable systems we all operate in and the value of everyone in our community. No one is expendable; we need each other, and we must support and protect each other.
This will be the last week to make stimulus check or donation pledges through SURJ Boston, but we will continue to highlight ongoing fundraisers for organizations continuing to respond to the consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are in the middle of the donation process with a fundraising team member, we will remain in contact with you to complete the process.
If you have yet to pledge your check or a donation, you can pledge here. The donation form will be closed on Wednesday July 1. Please go ahead and pledge if you would like to donate but have not received your check.
We still have a few more recipients to match, and the more pledges we get, the more support we will be able to give.
This week, the fundraiser we are highlighting is the Material Aid and Advocacy Program. MAAP's mission is to support and empower community members experiencing homelessness or living in poverty, through material aid, access to resources, and advocacy opportunities.
We've heard mixed reports over the last week that Trader Joe's management has been asking employees not to wear any masks or clothes that say "Black Lives Matter". Before taking further action, we'd like to get clarity on what Trader Joe's policy is.
We'd like you to take the following independent actions:
2) If you already patronize Trader Joe's, please ask to speak to a manager the next time you're in a store and ask them what their policy is around staff wearing clothes and masks that say "Black Lives Matter". When you do this, please send an email with what you learn to SURJBostonTJ@gmail.com.
SURJB Brunches - now digital! - are a great place to come together to build community. Each brunch has a different theme and we'll update the dates with topics as we plan them. The brunches will be on the second Sunday of each month from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, except October and December when they will be on the first Sunday. Register for upcoming brunches here.
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.