April 18, 2021
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Every Wednesday 12 to 1 PM
Overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs doing? Looking for community? Want to go a little deeper in your work for racial justice? Here's what we can do at action hour:
Want to host your own Action Hours? Trainings take place on the last Weds of the month 1-1:30 PM (just stay logged in)!
Join Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project Thursday evening on Zoom for an event designed to raise awareness about the impact of parole in Massachusetts. Pre-register at bit.ly/Parole101! If you’re interested but can’t make it on Thursday, there will be a second Parole 101 event on 5/12 at 7 PM.
While we continue fighting the proposed new women’s prison in MA, we need to stand with similar efforts around the US! Alabama is trying to build THREE new prisons and local activists are trying to make sure they don’t have the financing to continue. SURJ National is supporting as a partner with Communities Not Prisons, an Alabama-led coalition which includes the National Council For Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated and Girls. You can help by sending letters to the banks financing the prisons! Then, call another of the funders to tell them to pull out. You can support Communities Not Prisons here.
Join Massachusetts Jobs with Justice to celebrate their movement work, meet their team, and hear more about their campaigns. RSVP Here!
Asian American Resource Workshop is hosting workshops on the harms of the mass detentions and deportations of Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants, as well as how grassroots organizations like AARW have continued to strategize, organize, and mobilize against the deportations of our people over the past two decades. Join them to learn more about our fight against Southeast Asian detentions and deportations, as well as what you can do to defend and protect our Southeast Asian community members. The next Political Education Workshops is on 4/21 from 6:30-8:00 PM.
April 20 and 21
Sisters Unchained is an amazing Boston group bringing together daughters of incarcerated parents, led by Ayana Auburg and Vanessa Ly. On April 20 and 21st, they will be sharing their work and their reflections on our individual and collective journeys towards prison abolition. This two-day event is open to all and will be on zoom. Learn more and sign up (for free!) here.
We need immediate legislative action to address the eviction crisis. Nearly 10,000 new eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts since the moratorium ended in October, leaving people exposed to a second deadly wave of COVID 19 and overwhelmingly affecting communities of color. No-fault evictions are still happening and the state’s current assistance programs do not protect the most vulnerable. Boston residents are calling on legislators to pass the COVID 19 Housing Equity Bill (HD3030): Call your representatives now!
From UAINE (United American Indians of New England): Send an automated email to your state rep and state senator asking them to co-sponsor five bills in the 2021-2022 MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda! and share!
Take action to support the Safe Communities Act! Call and email your legislator to urge them to cosponsor the bill. Passage of this bill remains an urgent public health and public safety priority to protect our communities and neighbors. Our state’s involvement in deportations preceded the Trump administration and is likely to continue without state action.
The Work and Family Mobility Act would allow all folks in Massachusetts to apply for a driver’s license and/or ID card, regardless of immigration status. Use this link to email your state representative and senator about co-sponsoring the Work and Family Mobility Act and use this link to find your legislators’ phone numbers to call and ask them to co-sponsor.
Written comments needed in support of the Shattuck redevelopment. Send comments by email, to email@example.com by 4pm on Tuesday, 4/20. We need all advocates for affordable housing, homeless services, and substance abuse services to send comments in support of the State moving forward on the redevelopment! Write a few sentences about why affordable housing and substance abuse services is important to you and the need to keep the Shattuck where it is.
Opponents are suggesting that the State move all existing services (for substance abuse and shelter) and supportive housing to the Arborway yard instead. This is a NON STARTER! The State does not control Arborway Yard and there is a 20 year MOU between the City and the MBTA, to give land for affordable housing, green space, and local commercial. It would be years, and maybe never the land would be available.
The Emerald Necklace Conservancy has former Gov. Dukakis supporting their cause, they spent $ to have Northeastern do a study in their favor, and they have done media outreach and are mobilizing.
Watch for updates on asks from Shimmy’s legal team on Instagram @FFCof2020.
Join the Matahari Women Worker’s Center in calling on Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders to include nannies and au pairs in vaccines access NOW! Use this Twitter tool to tweet about this campaign.Or, you can email Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (select “Department of Public Health” for the agency) about why this is so important as a worker, employer, or supporter. In your email, please consider including: Subject line: Vaccine access for nannies and au pairs A call to include nannies and au pairs in immediate Covid-19 vaccine access with other essential workers. Copy and paste the link to the Boston city resolution.
The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has decided to schedule the Boston Marathon on October 11, 2021. October 11, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day and is meant to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of this land and their contributions (past and present). The BAA has the chance to acknowledge the importance of keeping the spotlight on Indigenous Peoples Day rather than steal the spotlight for the Marathon. There are other days available for the Boston Marathon. Sign this petition today!
Since 2018, residents of the Fairlawn Apartments in Mattapan have been organizing to fight rent increases, displacement, and poor conditions. Sign the petition to lift up their demands and sign up for action alerts to stay up to date on upcoming actions.
The CDC has extended the national ban on evictions through June 30. According to a survey by the Census bureau, 20% of renters couldn’t pay rent last month. Housing justice organizations are calling for a stronger moratorium, emergency housing, and rent & mortgage cancellation as debt piles. Learn more about the demands & sign on here.
⭐️ Do you represent an organization which would support ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals? Fill out this organizational sign on form to support the new bills from Justice 4 Housing. Individuals can sign this petition from Justice 4 Housing to help people with criminal records get access to housing!
Support Massachusetts Justice Alliance’s advocacy when it comes to making sure our learners are not left behind during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Sign this petition and take addition action around fully funding schools, cancelling MCAS and much, much more.
The Coalition for a Truly Affordable Boston is calling on the city to finally address Boston’s affordability crisis by strengthening Boston’s Inclusionary Housing Policy (IDP). This includes increasing affordable housing units from 13% to 33% and redefining affordability income levels.
Honor tribal sovereignty in Maine!
For decades, Nipmuc Regional High School, located in Upton, MA, has used the "Nipmuc Warrior" as its school mascot. As the Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council said in a 2016 statement, "The use of ethnic-related sports team mascots, symbols, and nicknames has to stop." Sign this petition from Nipmuc High School students to tell administration that it is past time to change the school’s mascot.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issues working families have been facing for decades— unpredictable work schedules, fluctuating paychecks, and underemployment. Most notably, this pandemic has hurt working women and mothers, who are being forced out of the workplace at alarming rates, especially Black and Latinx women and mothers. Call on your legislators to support the Fair Work Week Bill to give restaurant, retail, and hospitality workers more control over their schedules and lives.
If you are able, pledge your check today! We have $86,000+ pledged for this round, and have already moved about $20,000 of that!
Your patience and generosity allow us to support people excluded from other COVID19 and economic relief efforts.
As the pandemic continues, our partners continue to value and NEED our donations. Please pick up extra items when doing your grocery shopping for yourself, or have them delivered from online purchases, to meet these critical needs. This week, we received donations from our Belmont, Medford, Somerville and West Roxbury porches - thank you to those of you who donated! Let’s aim for even more porch pick ups next week.
We have porches in various communities for donation drop offs
so you don’t need to go to the partner locations. We cannot publish
porch addresses here for security reasons. Please email us to get the address for one drop-off site of your choice:
Allston, Belmont, Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Medford, Roslindale, Roxbury, Somerville, and West Roxbury.
Please label all donations to VietAID if possible, but you do NOT need to label donations to other partners, thank you!
If you cannot donate essential supplies but you have extra funds, please consider donating money to our partners directly:
Let us know if you’re planning to donate goods and/or if you donated $ (and how much for our records) at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’re happy to answer questions too. Thank you!
The Black Response Cambridge works to defund the police and establish community-based solutions to harm and investment in community well-being. A generous donor is matching every contribution up to $35,000 - this will allow TBR to pay a full time, Black organizer to support and develop TBR's work for the long term!
From CAJE (Community Advocates for Justice and Equality): "Sixteen weeks ago, Moses Harris was disappeared by Lowell police. His family, friends, and community STILL do not have answers. Moses' family has been intimidated by city officials, victim blamed by the police, and all pleas for transparency have been rejected."
One of our active members, lisa thompson, 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 youth organizing and 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).
With a new stimulus relief check recently approved, undocumented immigrants, many of whom are essential workers, have once again been excluded. Cosecha MA is restarting their redistribution campaign for the Cosecha MA mutual aid fund. Support their mutual aid fund and stand in solidarity with our immigrant communities! They are very close to their final goal!
MassUndocuFund is fund to support undocumented immigrants during the COVID-19 crisis. Support our community members who will not receive stimulus checks or other forms of relief during this crisis.
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. All are welcome including you! Come join us and learn how helpful being in these discussions can be (for
yourself and society).
For THIS WEEK, join us in these upcoming Knapsack meetings (on Zoom):
See all upcoming meetings on our Meetup page, and please RSVP here if you can attend. More options are regularly added.
Join the Facebook discussions. This is an alternative to the Meetup group; it is not required to join this FB group to join/attend the Meetup group. All are welcome in both.
Strong relationships within and between groups allow anti-fascists to withstand intimidation from white supremacists and state repression. In addition to an emphasis on relationships, solidarity includes non-cooperation with repressive forces (for example, grand juries and police investigations) and an understanding of intersectionality. Fighting oppression in all forms is key to fighting the rise of fascism, and fighting fascism is an international struggle.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston’s neighborhoods of color have faced eviction rates twice as high as neighborhoods where most renters are white, a recent report by City Life Vida Urbana shows. The report also found that 70 percent of Boston’s eviction filings were in neighborhoods of color, despite rentals in this area making up only 47 percent of the city’s total rental housing. Read the full report here.
Starting in East Boston, City Life Vida Urbana has launched a city-wide series of rallies to support the COVID-19Housing Equity Bill (HD. 3030) and call for an end to all non-emergency evictions and foreclosures. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming actions in your neighborhood.
Local activists have released NewEnglandWhiteSupremacists.com to contribute to the goal of exposing, opposing, and defeating local white supremacist movements. This is a great resource to share from your personal or organization’s social media pages. Feel free to reshare this one from Solidarity Against Hate Boston!
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.
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 promoting racial justice and equity by challenging systemic racism and acting as a catalyst for anti-racist
learning and action.
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.