July 5, 2020
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.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are three things you can do right now.
Want to go deeper?
Wednesday July 8th. 3:00 PM Fanueil Hall Square
Join SURJ Boston members on Wednesday, 7/8 to support Dismantle Now! BIPOC Solidarity Against White Supremacy, organized by the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), United American Indians of New England (UAINE), and the New Democracy Coalition. This will be a march and art action linking community demands for the removal of white supremacist symbols (such as the Columbus statue that was beheaded last month, and Faneuil Hall) to defunding the police and investing in Black and Indigenous communities.
Fill out this form, and we'll keep you in the loop about a SURJ contingent.
Can't go but want to support local Indigenous organizing in other ways?
Housing Court staff estimate 20,000 eviction cases will be filed immediately after the moratorium ends. Speak out for guaranteed, stable housing during the "An Act to guarantee housing stability during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery". Find your legislator here.pandemic & while we recover! Contact your MA legislators and ask them to co-sponsor bill HD.5166,
Sign up for our action alerts for updates.
Our partners at City Life/Vida Urbana released a report on Monday uncovering the structural racism in patterns of eviction in Boston. The report is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. You can download and read it here.
Want to learn more about the new legislation and evictions report mentioned above and learn how you can get involved? Join City Life/Vida Urbana this Tuesday, 7/7 at 4pm for a community update. Register here.
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 900 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.
Thursday, 7/9, 12-1 PM
Register for Abolition Hour here
This week, we will be partnering with BIJAN and Kavod to host this 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!
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
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!
Demand that Stop and Shop executives extend hazard pay for essential workers past the original July 4th cut-off and until the pandemic is over. Sign this petition to show Stop and Shop it needs to stop putting profits before its workers.
Tuesday, 7/7, 6PM-7:30PM
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is hosting a training on how to use grassroots fundraising to redistribute wealth. All are welcome!
If you are a Boston Public Schools parent please fill out this survey about re-opening and remote learning to share your concerns and needs around school this fall. Please share this survey with people you know who have students in the system as well.
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!).
Hi SURJ Boston family!
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we are still looking for folks to donate essential supplies to our partners so they can be distributed to those who need it most. We so appreciate everyone’s efforts to donate and drive donations. Even picking up a few extra things at the store when you’re there makes a difference! Please email email@example.com for porch drop off information in JP, Roxbury, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Allston/Brighton, Belmont, and Cambridge.
This week we will still be highlighting the asks of our partner Cape Verdean Association of Boston from last week:
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.
SURJB Brunches - now digital! - are a great place to come together to build community. Each brunch will occur on from 12:30 - 2:30pm on a Sunday with a different theme, and we'll update the dates with topics as we plan them. The brunches will be July 12, August 9th, September 13th, October 4th, November 8th, and December 6th. Register for upcoming brunches here.
On July 12th, the SURJ Housing Justice Action Partnership will discuss how we plan to support City Life/Vida Urbana and our other partners in fighting the wave of mass evictions and foreclosures that we are expecting after the eviction and foreclosure moratorium expires in mid-August. We share an update on the COVID-19 Housing Stability Act that was recently filed that would cancel evictions, freeze rents, and provide relief to renters and homeowners, as well as updates on other legislation we are fighting for including rent control.
Knapsack is a multiracial/cross-class group of folks dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation. We engage in a variety of group discussions to build community and awareness, and take action to disrupt the systems of racism in the U.S. and beyond. We support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations.
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.
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.