May 2, 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 (training every 4th Wednesday at 1pm)
SURJ Boston members will guide you through a set of actions curated from our BIPOC-led partners' priorities this week! Bring a friend :) Register here for action hours.
Thurs, 5/6 at 4:30 PM
East Main Street, Hopkington MA (Marathon Start Line)
Violence in Boston, Lawyers for Civil Rights, NAACP, and Freedom Fighters Coalition are calling for justice for Mikayla Miller, a 16 year old LGBTQ-identified Black girl murdered in Hopkington. Her family demands answers from DA Marian Ryan. #SayHer
The Lucy Parsons Center and Solidarity Against Hate - Boston are hosting a webinar with Devin Zane Shaw on his book "Philosophy of Antifascism" to explore contemporary struggles against fascism, the current political moment and the tactics which it demands, and the relationship between antifascism and other forms of political struggle against oppression and exploitation.
20 years ago, inspired by and collaborating with dozens of movement leaders, Tema Okun wrote the article, "White Supremacy Culture Characteristics." Join Tema, SURJ National and special guests from around the country to launch the new "white supremacy characteristics" website and share what we've been learning about white supremacy culture in these last two decades.
Thurs, 5/13, 7:30-9pm
This fun, free, online concert will have the theme of driving in Massachusetts with the goal of supporting our immigrant neighbors. Undocumented adults performing essential jobs in food supply and delivery and in health care need safe transportation options, including driver’s licenses. See actions below!
Sign up to receive communications directly from SURJ Boston groups around political education opportunities and ways to take action.
Building Up People Not Prisons is calling on our legislative committee chairs who have the power to advance the prison moratorium legislation, stopping new construction and rehabilitation for 5 years while directly impacted leaders strategize about ending incarceration in the Commonwealth. Scripts and more information available in the week of action.
Justice 4 Housing is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals.
Decarcerate Western Mass is demanding Hampden County Sheriff Cocchi, MA Sheriff's Association President Sheriff Tompkins, and State Sen Eric Lesser listen to the demands of incarcerated people at the Hampden County Jail. It’s been three months since 45 incarcerated people sent their petition to Sheriff Cocchi, but conditions haven’t changed. Email with an easy form here!
Watch for updates on asks from Shimmy’s legal team on Instagram @FFCof2020.
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!
Working families have been facing terrible working conditions for decades— unpredictable work schedules, fluctuating paychecks, and underemployment. Most notably, the pandemic has hurt Black and Latinx working women and mothers, who are being forced out of the workplace at alarming rates, 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.
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.
Demand that Governor Baker and Education Commissioner Riley cancel the 2021 MCAS (students are taking the exams imminently, let’s make some noise!)
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.
Show solidarity with 80+ organizations calling for a 5 year moratorium on prison and jail construction, which will give directly impacted leaders time to strategize for the fight to end incarceration.
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).
⭐️ORGANIZATIONS: END HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THOSE WITH RECORDS
Justice 4 Housing needs organizational support their new bills to end housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals.
Standardized testing has never been a measure of student learning, and in a pandemic teaching to this test will cause BIPOC, disabled, and poor students to fall even further behind. Allow parents to opt their students out of testing.
Support Indigenous People of Southeast Massachusetts and environmentalists to save the Pine Forests in Wareham, Carver and Plymouth.
Honor tribal sovereignty in Maine!
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.
In a huge victory for the community, Raymond Gaines finally was released after 47 years incarcerated! He has been wrongfully incarcerated since he was a teenager and now he needs our support for food, shelter, and medical care to address decades of untreated health conditions.
India is currently experiencing a massive COVID outbreak, exacerbated by colonizing nations constricting the vaccine supply.
If you are able, pledge your check today! We have $82,000+ confirmed pledged, and have moved about $55,000 so far.
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 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.
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).
The COVID pandemic is constantly reminding us of the invaluable work and struggles faced by working people--especially Black, Brown, immigrants, and trans folks-- and has revealed what we have known for a long time-- that workers are #AlwaysEssential. For May Day, Mass Jobs with Justice are raising $5,100 to help fund their organizing efforts to support these workers.
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.
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!
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 orgazining skills.
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.
Register for the brunch here. You’ll receive an email with the Zoom link. Contact email@example.com 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.
Moving From Talk to Action: Find classes and sign up on the WPCR website.
Fri-Sun, 5/7-5/9 - Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFFBoston)
order your tickets here
New documentary A Reckoning in Boston by award-winning director James Rutenbeck (Unnatural Causes) documents the journey of white suburban filmmaker Rutenbeck and two African American Dorchester residents, Carl Chandler and Kafi Dixon, as their lives cross at the intersection of Boston's systemic racism and the search for healing and social change. Watch the trailer.
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-19 Housing 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.
Fri, 5/7, 8pm
Lucy Parsons Center hosts a discussion of Devin Zane Shaw's book "Principles of Antifascism: Punching Nazis and Fighting White Supremacy". Learn more and RSVP here. Can't make it? Check out this podcast.
Overt white supremacists organizing in New England still benefit from the lie that it couldn’t happen here in the progressive Northeast. The more you know what to watch out for, the less likely they will be able to rally and recruit for their cause unopposed. Share on your social media, text it to your friends, and make sure you’re aware of what’s happening in your area!
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.