⭐ = New/updated content; ☎️ = Phone calls; 📋 = Petition; 🍎 = Education;
✊ = In-person action; 💵 = Donations; 🚗 = Driving Action

Please feel welcome to forward this email to others!

Legislative Note

Thanks to public pressure for key racial justice bills and pandemic relief, the Massachusetts legislative session has been extended through the end of the year. Many of the sections below have more information about bills that SURJ Boston and our partners are supporting. Keep up the pressure, contact your state legislators, and join us for the other actions and opportunities below! Find your state legislators here.

Get Involved

⭐⭐ Call Georgia Voters with SURJ National ⭐⭐

Collect Your Cousins: Voter Outreach Work

Phonebanks on Saturdays; next phone bank 9/5, 1-4:30pm

SURJ National is organizing us to repeatedly call a set of 100,000 white voters in Georgia between now and the November election. These are voters who are not receiving calls from the Democrats or others, and we will be engaging them in deep conversation, with the goal to help them realize their common stake with people of color in making transformative change in our country.

You can sign up for any of the upcoming phone banks on SURJ National's website. You can also sign up to make calls to recruit phone bankers, or support these efforts by making a donation to both SURJ National and the New Georgia Project.

Take Action Together

☎️ 📋 ✊ ACTION HOURS

Every Wednesday 12 to 1 PM
Register here for action hours and invite friends to action hours on Facebook.

  • The link is recurring, you can choose one or more sessions, and you can register again if you don’t know your schedule yet.
  • Captions available: please try to indicate need for captions by 11:30 AM the Monday before your session.

SURJ Boston active members lead these weekly sessions to build collective power—we do a feature on a particular effort or issue, make phone calls, send emails, and sign petitions. Facilitators are on hand to answer questions!

Indigenous Solidarity

☎️ CONTACT YOUR REPS: CHANGE THE STATE FLAG AND SEAL!

The House of Representatives has not yet voted for a review of the racist Massachusetts state flag and seal. Call and email you reps TODAY during this extended legislative session and urge them to vote to change the flag and seal, and to ban Native mascots! Follow the link for an easy way to send messages to your elected officials.


🍎Webinar: Herring Pond Wampanoag Culture, History and Place-Based Knowledge

⭐The budding Indigenous Solidarity group would like to invite you to join us to reflect on the HERRING POND webinar on Friday 9/4, 7-8pm. Everyone is welcome whether you attended the webinar or not. RSVP here to get the Zoom link for this: SURJBindigenousSolidarity@googlegroups.com  

In this presentation, Tribal Chairwoman Ferretti and Dr. Den Ouden will discuss the importance of teachings of Elders and other community members about Indigenous place-based knowledge: a knowledge which reflects the spirit and power of Indigenous peoples that is rooted in an enduring connection to land, water, and wildlife. Indigenous place-based knowledge offers us the guidance required to heal the earth and to end environmental exploitation and destruction.

Housing Justice

📋 ALERT: SIGN TO PROTECT ESSENTIAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT!

One of the largest affordable and supportive housing projects in Boston is under threat. Despite broad community support for this project, which will provide affordable housing and supportive services for people who have experienced homelessness, a large landowner and landlord Monty Gold filed a lawsuit against them, using racist and classist language citing that the project would be "dangerous" to the community. DEMAND THAT MONTY GOLD DROP THE LAWSUIT: read up, sign, and share the petition. We have 650 signatures already; help us get to 1000 by Monday!


☎️ CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW FOR HOUSING STABILITY!

The legislative session has been extended and key housing justice bills have not been voted on—keep up the pressure!

  • Call your legislators with this automatic calling tool today to prevent tens of thousands of evictions come October. If they've co-sponsored the Guarantee Housing Stability Act (H.4878/S.2831), ask them to request that Speaker of the House Robert Deleo and Senate President Karen Spilka schedule an immediate vote. Please also ask your legislators to advance the Local Options for Tenant Protections bill, H.3824, which would lift the ban on rent control in Massachusetts.
  • Use this page to send a follow up email

📋 Sign and Share the Housing Guarantee

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 91% of the way to the 5,000 signature goal! Read up and sign it now!


Eviction Help

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

  • English: 617-934-5006
  • Español: 617-397-3773

Prison Abolition

✊ ☎️ SURJ National Abolition Action Zaps

  • September 2, 2:00 PM
  • September 9, 2:00 PM
  • September 16, 2:00 PM

Join us for a weekly September Action Zap where we will take action together on pressing campaigns to get feds out of cities, #FreeThemAll, #DefundThePolice, and demand justice as part of Black and people of color led campaigns for collective liberation. Join with a cell phone and computer for this one-hour Action Zap to make phone calls and send emails to campaign targets around the country. Register here and see the Facebook event for more details.


💵 DONATE TO HELP KIMYA'S HOUSE

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.


☎️ 📋 Week of Action: Building Up People Not PRison

  • Your calls and emails are having an impact! The legislative session was extended so we can continue to push for racial justice for our communities!
  • Push the Senate and House to pass No Cost Calls ASAP!
  • Contact Boston City Council to defund the Boston Regional Intelligence Center!

Sign these petitions to protect our people from police and prisons!

Support Our Organizers And Our Communities!

💵 Invest in k, Community, and Black Radical Organizing
One of SURJ Boston's active members, Lisa, is working on a reparations project for a friend and comrade, karen marshall, a Black organizer. She and Lisa first met in Boston over 10 years ago and they have stayed connected and work on several projects together, one included hosting trainings led by Rethink youth in Boston. karen is a national leader and much of her work is connected to the Movement for Black Lives which is also very much connected to SURJ National. Please consider donating to this GoFundMe (and read more about her there).


💵 BLACK MEN X TRANS WOMEN 'BRIDGING THE GAP' EVENT

Please take a minute to learn about and support this vital work. BMEN and The Transgender Emergency Fund have created a series, titled Bridging the Gap, that brings Transgender POC and straight men together in community to talk and gather more understanding, in hopes that this dialogue can be the foundation to making a difference in the trans communities lived experiences through awareness and understanding.

Immigration Justice

💵 SUPPORT MASSACHUSETTS JOBS WITH JUSTICE

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is declaring August as their month of movement-building and movement-giving. Follow them on Facebook to learn more about their ongoing work and campaigns. You can donate or become a monthly sustainer!


DIGNITY FOR DAUDA
Dauda Handan needs to get the dignity he deserves. On May 22, 2019, Dauda was shot by police while experiencing a mental health crisis and now faces unjust charges. Please take action by signing this petition asking the Hampton County’s DA office to drop charges, and share out the Dignity for Dauda Facebook event with your networks.

Worker Solidarity

📋 Sign: SOLIDARITY WITH EAST COAST SEX EDUCATORS (SECSE)

Support striking sex educators at Good Vibrations in Brookline! SECSE demands higher COVID-19 safety standards, better communication from our corporate office, a stronger human resources department, scheduled raises, and more local decision making power. For a more detailed list of demands, visit SECSE.net. Sign this petition to support!


📋 OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS DESERVE BETTER!

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.


✊ 💵 Support Whole Foods workers in Cambridge

Workers have been sent home without pay and punished for wearing BLM masks. They are connecting organizing efforts at other stores, but are going up against a behemoth of white supremacist capitalism. They are demanding:

  1. A company-wide commitment to hiring more BIPoC for leadership positions
  2. Black Lives Matter apparel normalized within the company
  3. Backpay for all protesting employees, and related disciplinary points revoked

How you can help:

  1. Donate to a GoFundMe! to compensate workers for lost wages
  2. Follow updates from the workers on Twitter and from community supporters

Mutual Aid and Supplies Collection

✊ 💵 alert: food and Critical Supplies Needed

Our mutual aid partners (Cape Verdean Association of Boston, 12th Baptist Church, and VietAID) have all informed us that critical supplies like food and sanitary products are NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER. Families in our communities are facing increasing financial stress as life in the pandemic passes six months and debt piles. PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN this week and on to help our neighbors stay afloat in a crisis that disproportionately affects those already most targeted by racism and white supremacy.

⭐This week we’re asking folks to focus on the following items for 12th Baptist and CVAB:

  • Clean travel size squeeze bottles (for distributing hand sanitizer)
  • Canned goods
  • Other nonperishable foods (especially Vietnamese, Chinese, Caribbean, Cape Verdean foods)
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper

For VietAID they are accepting the following donations:

  • Oatmeal (boxes of individual packets)
  • Mac n’ cheese
  • Tuna

To donate you can drop off goods at the Cape Verdean Association of Boston (242A Bowdoin St) 10-6 PM, Sat 10-2 PM. To donate to VietAID, please drop off the requested goods in the marked boxes by the side door in the parking lot during the following times: Wed 4-6 PM, Thurs 1-3 PM, and Sat 11-2 PM.

If dropping off directly is not an option for you, we have porches in eight different communities where you can drop off goods, this is also the best way to donate to 12th Street Church in Roxbury. Please email surjbmutualaid@gmail.com for more information.

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


🚗 DRIVING

Click here to join the driving group: Auto-mobilize! our announcements (and clarifying questions) only WhatsApp thread. We will announce

  • Regular driving opportunities with their sign up form/contact information
  • Last minute asks for drivers with contact information
  • Car caravan actions seeking more folks to come make some noise in a physically distant way as we advocate for racial justice

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.

Public Education

📋 SIGN NOW: BEJA Petition

Our partner the Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) is asking for folks to sign this petition to ask the BPS School Committee to act swiftly in adopting the recommendation of the BPS Opportunity Gap Task Force and suspend the exam based admissions policy for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Sciences, and we further call on the School Committee to direct the BPS to design an alternative selection process that does not use an exam for SY 20-21. The entrance exams are frequently a barrier for black and brown students and with the disruption to the school year due to COVID-19, they are even more problematic.
⭐This petition only needs 730 more signatures, can you help us get there? This is more important than ever, with the school year around the corner.


💵 SUPPORT Unafraid Educators

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.

Confronting White Supremacists

✊ join our announcement list

Join our Confronting White Supremacists Announcement List to hear from us about opportunities to learn more and take action against non-state white supremacists and fascists in New England.


Tomorrow, Monday, 8/31 marks the anniversary of Straight Pride, in which nearly 40 LGBTQ activists and their comrades were arrested for opposing white supremacy, transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny. Once again, thousands of people filled Boston's streets at multiple rallies led by directly impacted communities and were met with a police riot that left dozens injured. As Jacob Blake's story followed by Kyle Rittenhouse murdering protesters in Kenosha shows, police brutality and vigilante violence demonstrate the historical and current agreement between state and non-state white supremacists (police and federal agents): their goals are the same.


Multiracial Organizing in Right-Wing Circles: A Conversation with Daryle Lamont Jenkins
Monday, 8/31, 7-9pm

On the anniversary of the white supremacist Straight Pride Parade and Boston Police riot, our friends at Boston Democratic Socialists of America Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus and our Direct Action, De-Escalation, and Security Committee bring Daryle Lamont Jenkins, one of the most well known anti-fascists today, to discuss how we - especially those of us who are white anti-racists - respond to the small numbers of BIPOC involved in white supremacist movements.

Culture and Belonging in the USA: Multiracial Organizing and the Contemporary Far Right by Daryle Lamont Jenkins


For further reading:

Armed white men patrolling Kenosha protests organized on Facebook by Adam Mahoney, Lois Beckett, Julia Carrie Wong, and Victoria Bekiempas

The Thin Blue Line between Violent, Pro-Trump Militias and Police by Ryan Devereaux

Armed Vigilantes Antagonizing Protesters Have Received a Warm Reception From Police by Mara Hvistendahl and Alleen Brown

The Brennan Center for Justice - Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement by Michael German
(Note: this article advocates for certain reforms to police departments and federal agencies, however we know from our work as white anti-racists that the only solutions are to defund, disarm, disband, and completely abolish police and prisons in all forms.
Check out Critical Resistance's definitions of reformist vs abolitionist reforms in policing.)

Grab Yourself by the Bootstrap

Get Educated

🍎 SURJ Boston Brunches

SURJB Brunches—now digital!—are a great place to come together to build community. The brunches will each feature a different theme and will occur on the following Sundays from 12:30-2:30pm: 9/13, 10/4, 11/8, 12/6.

⭐⭐ September Brunch: Opportunities to Join in Electoral Work
Sunday, September 13 - 12:30-2:30

The critical November 3rd election is fast approaching and there is much we can do between now and then to effectively engage in swing states. We'll have opportunities for action and provide a variety of connections to organizations with which you can work to make a difference in the next 60-something days.

Register for the brunch by clicking here, you'll receive an email with a Zoom link.

Contact person: Amelie Ratliff amelie.ratliff@gmail.com


🍎 Boston KNAPSACK ANTI-RACISM GROUP

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.


🍎 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.

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.

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

Click on green text to follow links for more info!

Click here to go back to the newsletter index