April 25, 2021
A ⭐ indicates new or updated content. Please feel welcome to forward this email to others! Click on any green text to follow links for more info.
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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 East Boston families in their fight against displacement this Monday, April 26 at 6-730pm at 68 Central Square in East Boston. The tenants at 168 Gove Street have been fighting attempts to redevelop their building since 2018. This week, a luxury developer is seeking approval to turn it into high-end housing. Sign the petition & join the rally Monday to speak out against the proposal!
Tuesday, April 27, 7pm
Join Mass Call2Action and over 30 Democratic Town or Ward Committees on Tuesday night for a forum about local and state opportunities to transform the justice system! We will hear about many key issues including stopping the new women’s prison, police reform, key political races, decriminalization of drugs, and getting police out of schools. Speakers include Rep Ayanna Pressley and Andrea James of the National Council and FJAH! Register for the forum here.
Join Massachusetts Jobs with Justice to celebrate their movement work, meet their team, and hear more about their campaigns. RSVP Here!
A civilian, Phet Gouvonvong, was fatally shot by Worcester Police early Wednesday. Defund Worcester Police Department is calling for transparency and accountability as there is little clear information about what happened. Read the full statement from Defund Worcester Police Department here!
Sign up to receive communications directly from SURJ Boston groups around political education opportunities and ways to take action.
⭐️ Contact your legislators and demand they fully staff the ombuds office! Community organizing made sure that Governor Baker’s veto was overridden to establish an independent ombuds office. This office should ensure the Department of Correction fulfills its legal obligation to decarcerate, as the Legislature mandated last session. This won’t happen unless there is funding!
Justice 4 Housing is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals. As part of our efforts to expand housing opportunities for justice involved residents of Massahusetts, we are advocating for two critical pieces of legislation this session. These two bills will address different barriers to housing access. We are asking Massachusetts residents to take action in support of these bills. Learn more and take action.
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. 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.
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!
⭐️ Boston residents: Fill out this survey to help create a People’s Budget, reflecting community dreams for a city that serves the people
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). Share these graphics explaining truly affordable standards on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Sign & share the petition!
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 $90,000+ pledged for this round, and have already moved about $33,000 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, JP, Medford, Roxbury, 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, Somerville, and West Roxbury.
*Please note that we have closed our Roxbury porch as of 4/25, email us if you need help finding a site!
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 email@example.com; 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!
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.
SURJ Brunch May 16th 12:30-2:30 (NEW DATE DUE TO Mothers Day -- enjoy)
Join us for our monthly brunch an opportunity to be build community, challenging our minds and build our anti-racist orgaizning skills.
This month's topic: Racism is a white problem. Explore how white supremacy blunts white people’s awareness of their own exploitation and limits multiracial solidarity in 21st century racial justice movements.
We will be led in discussion by facilitator Francesca D’Allessandro,a cultural organizer helping people decolonize their hearts and minds from white supremacy and take action to create racial justice. Francesca specializes in helping people racialized white in the US recover from whiteness, decolonize their hearts,and develop racial justice organizing skills.
Register for the brunch here. You’ll receive an email with the Zoom link. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for information.
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.
Join the Lucy Parsons Center for a study group on May 7th, discussing Devin Zane Shaw's book "Principles of Antifascism: Punching Nazis and Fighting White Supremacy". Learn more and RSVP here.
This article discusses some of the history and context behind the police response to community uprisings.
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!
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.