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SURJ National

☎️ Swing Georgia Left: Voter Outreach Work

September 19th, 1:00 - 4:30 PM and every other following Saturday

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!

Housing Justice

⭐️☎️CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY: DEMAND HOUSING RELIEF FOR MA RESIDENTS

According to housing advocates and agencies, more than 100,000 Massachusetts households can't pay their rent or mortgage and we are headed for a housing "catastrophe". A MA bill stops evictions until October 17, and a new national one till December 31, but those only buy us a few months. The Guaranteed Housing Stability Act (H.4878/S.2831) would:

  • prevent evictions for at least another year
  • prevent rent hikes
  • establish a Housing Stability & Recovery Fund to relieve small owners

Call and email your legislators using this easy tool. Ask them to support the Housing Stability Act H.4878/S.2831. If they’re a co-sponsor, ask them to request that Speaker of the House Robert Deleo and Senate President Karen Spilka schedule an immediate vote.

📋 ALERT: SIGN TO PROTECT ESSENTIAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT!

Monty Gold is feeling the heat. Let's keep up the pressure!! Boston residents-- sign the petition and send an email to demand Monty Gold to drop the lawsuit against the Pine Street Inn's project - one of the largest affordable and supportive housing projects in Boston. Help us reach 1500 signatures by Monday!

⭐️✊VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: FLYER TENANT ASSOCIATION BUILDINGS

Help City Life/Vida Urbana and SURJ flyer (socially distant) tenant association buildings the last Saturday of the month to provide residents with important information. If you're interested, send Lisa T from the SURJ Housing Justice an email at dentilisa@gmail.com to join us.

⭐️🍎STAY TUNED: SEPTEMBER RENT CONTROL TEACH IN

Rent control is a longer term solution long overdue to address the housing crisis in Boston since before the pandemic. The option to instate rent control, and the many flexible tenant and homeowner protections that come with it, has been revoked at the state level in Massachusetts since 1994. We are closer than ever on lifting the ban - learn more at our September teach in (details to come) and call your state rep and senator today and ask them to advance the local options for tenant protections bill (H.3924) before the legislative session ends.


Prison Abolition

⭐️☎️📋✊ ACTION CIRCLE FOR NO COST CALLS

Monday, September 14, 12-1 PM (Zoom)

A new collaboration of five Boston-based racial justice organizations (Kavod, SURJB, AARW, BIJAN, Resource Generation) is hosting a remote action circle around the urgent need to pass No Cost Calls legislation, allowing families across the Commonwealth to stay in touch with their loved ones in prison and jail. FAMILIES ARE NOT A VALID SOURCE OF INCOME FOR PRISONS AND JAILS! Through several remote actions, we will demand a response from MA legislatures to support bill S.2846, granting no cost phone calls to incarcerated people in MA prisons. Register for the Zoom here and share the Facebook event!

⭐️🍎 SAVE THE DATE: CLEMENCY SYMPOSIUM

Sunday, September 20

The Building Up People Not Prisons coalition will be hosting a symposium focused on their Clemency Works campaign. More info with registration to follow soon!

📋 Week of Action: Building Up People Not Prisons

  • SURJ Boston joined around 100 other organizations and individuals in supporting No Cost Calls for incarcerated people in MA. Read the text of the open letter to the MA Senate here!
  • Families for Justice as Healing has released demands for the new Boston Police Department contract with the city! Read more here, and add your support by offering testimony, either spoken or written, supporting those demands at the Boston City Council hearing on Tuesday September 8 at 3:00 pm.

✊ ☎️ SURJ National Abolition Action Zaps

  • September 16, 2:00 PM
  • September 23, 2:00 PM
  • September 30, 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.

📋 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).

Immigration Justice

⭐️💵 SEND BENJAMIN HOME: SUPPORT FUNERAL EXPENSES FOR BIJAN ORGANIZER

[Content notice: discussion of suicide]

The immigration justice community is devastated by the loss of Benjamin Padilla Rosas, an activist with BIJAN, an inventor, and an asylum seeker. Please support this fundraiser to send Benjamin back to his family in his home country and cover funeral expenses.

💵 SUPPORT STUDENT IMMIGRANT MOVEMENT

On November 6, Student Immigrant Movement will be virtually celebrating their Quinceañera of Rebellion. Join them to honor the stories of resistance and persistence of undocumented youth. Every week leading up to the gala they will be highlighting a SIMmer! Get your tickets here.

In honor of their 15th anniversary, a donor has stepped forward to match all donations made in September, up to $4,000. Help them reach this donation goal by becoming a Dream Sustainer here.

💵 SUPPORT MASSACHUSETTS JOBS WITH JUSTICE

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is continuing to celebrate 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 here!

✊ Let our Families Drive: March & Rally

Saturday, September 26th, 2:00 PM at 136 Blackstone St, Boston (the Boston RMV, near the Haymarket T station)

After months of organizing district meetings, actions, and demanding for the passage of the Work & Family Mobility Act - thousands of Black and Brown immigrant families continue to live in fear of ICE detention for being stopped for a traffic violation and many are being deported - even during a pandemic. Join MA JWJ and their partners in demanding that all families deserve the right to move freely in our state and live in dignity. Together, we will imagine and fight for another world where all people are safe and protected.

Worker Solidarity

🍎✊ #MILKWITHDIGNITY WEBINAR HOSTED BY MIGRANT JUSTICE, MASSACHUSETTS COALITION OF DOMESTIC WORKERS & SURJB

Wednesday, September 16, 7:30 - 9 PM (Zoom)

Farmworkers Call on Hannaford Supermarkets Across the Northeast! Throughout the Corona Crisis, migrant farmworkers continue to work day in and day out to produce the milk and dairy products that line supermarket shelves. Join Migrant Justice, Boston SURJ Boston & MA Coalition of Domestic Workers on Wednesday, Sept 16th at 7:30-9 pm for a 1.5 hour webinar to learn more about farmworkers’ groundbreaking Milk with Dignity program and continued struggle for justice. We know that the cows don't milk themselves: Learn more about how you can get involved and help expand this powerful solution to the Hannaford supermarket’s supply chain.  

The webinar will be through the Zoom video platform. Closed captioning (English) provided, webinar will be simultaneously interpreted from Spanish to English. Register here to receive the zoom information.

📋 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.

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 your 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.

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.

In the wake of white supremacist violence, both from police, vigilantes, and militias, we encourage white folks to study up on the growing militia movement:

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.)

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 informed us that critical supplies like food and sanitary products are needed now more than ever. Families in our community 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.

We now have a drop off location in Arlington. Please email surjbmutualaid@gmail.com for more details.

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

  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • 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

⭐️✊ BEJA Rally RECAP

Thank you to everyone who showed up or helped prep for the Boston Education Justice Alliance’s Safe Spaces for Special Education rally this past Thursday. Over 100 people showed up even though it was raining for part of it! Check out the links below for some news coverage of the rally:

📋 BEJA Petition

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. If everyone who subscribes to this newsletter and has not yet signed it signs, we should have all the signatures we need! Sign today!

💵 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.

Grab Yourself by the Bootstrap

Get Educated

⭐️🍎 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.

Knapsack meetings planned for this week:

  • Tues., Sept. 15: Overwhelmed as an Antiracist and Activist?
  • Wed., Sept. 16: The Water Dancer (book discussion)
  • Sat., Sept. 19: Act 4 Change: Support Group

Please RSVP on Knapsack's Meetup page: Racial justice dialogues, activism, history activities, "attend" events, and more! Our next book discussion: Are Prisons Obselete? See all upcoming events at meetup.com/Antiracists

🍎 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!

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