May 9, 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.
What do you think of our new format? Let us know here!
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.
Thursday, May 27th, 6-7 PM
Join the Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers for a panel discussion about the current landscape and future challenges for domestic workers. Register here.
Friday was National Day of Awareness of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and Red Dress Day to raise awareness of the high level of violence against Indigenous women. Please read and share their stories as they continue to be silenced.
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.
Sign up to receive communications directly from SURJ Boston groups around political education opportunities and ways to take action.
Thursday, May 13, 4 - 6:30 PM
Our democracy doesn’t work when overpoliced communities are prevented from participating in elections. Phonebank with Democracy Behind Bars on Thursday to support a bill to protect the voting rights of incarcerated people! You will call constituents of key legislators, educate them on the bill and patch them through to their legislators' office to voice their support and ask for their endorsement.
Call legislative committee chairs about the Moratorium Bill, which is now in committee! If you haven’t heard, directly affected women came together to write groundbreaking legislation to stop all jail and prison design and construction across Massachusetts for 5 years.
Check the Week of Action for more ways to stop the new women’s prison project by keeping up the pressure on architecture firm HDR!
Justice 4 Housing is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for justice-involved individuals.
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!)
Tweet Boston mayor Kim Janey to demand fully funded, safe schools, and more. Tweet templates from the Boston Education Justice Alliance and SURJ Boston Public Ed AP are available here.
Tweet Governor Charlie Baker and Commissioner Riley to cancel the MCAS this spring. Find a call/email script from the Boston Education Justice Alliance and SURJ Boston Public Ed AP here
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.
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.
The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has decided to reschedule the Boston Marathon to October 11, 2021 - Indigenous Peoples Day. This day 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 stealing the spotlight for the Marathon. Sign this petition today!
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.
Support the Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers 1st Annual Fundraiser to celebrate the legacy of Myriam Hernandez Jennings, their Director of Policy and Organizing! This will fund transformative training for their leaders and ten Visa T grants for their workers. Domestic workers care for the well-being of our community and are the backbone of our society. They are majority women, mostly immigrants, and women of color. MCDW empowers domestic workers and develops leaders who are able to speak up in their communities and generate positive change. Donate here.
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.
If you are able, pledge your check today! We have $94,000+ confirmed pledged, and have moved about $46,000 so far.
We are starting to get referrals in from our partners, and have reached out to most pledgers already. If you haven’t heard from us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our partners do refer undocumented people to us, but we do not receive or keep information about a particular person's documentation status
We’re racing towards our initial goals for our five partner organizations: New Beginnings Re-Entry Services (GOAL MET!), Dorchester Not for Sale (GOAL MET!), Mass Coalition of Domestic Workers (getting close!), Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, and Keep It 100% for Egleston
None of this money passes through SURJB - we connect you directly
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. This week, we received donations from our JP, Medford and West Roxbury porches - thank you to those of you who donated!
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. Reminder: Our Roslindale porch has been combined with our West Roxbury porch.
Please label all donations to VietAID if possible, but you do NOT need to label donations to other partners, thank you!
If you would like to donate funds to our partners as well/instead, please click here:
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. Thank you!
India is currently experiencing a massive COVID outbreak, exacerbated by colonizing nations constricting the vaccine supply.
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).
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 new stimulus relief, 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 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).
⭐️ Each week, we offer a number of options for discussions on Zoom. Instead of posting here our meetings for this coming week, we invite you to see our upcoming meetings here instead: Knapsack’s Meetup page; please RSVP on Meetup 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.
Wednesday, May 12, 7 PM
If you missed last month’s Parole 101 and are interested, join formerly incarcerated speakers Isaiah Dotson and Jonathan Best, Representative Liz Miranda, and other parole experts for a panel about the challenges of the parole system in Massachusetts. Register here.
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.
Join Muslim Justice League and Kavod to deepen relationships across and within their communities, learn about each other’s work, and reflect on how faith identities inform thier organizing. This event will share histories (and current realities) of Muslim-Jewish solidarity organizing and reflect on stories of finding political home within MJL and Kavod.
Read this article from School Yard News about efforts to cancel/opt out of the 2021 MCAS (be sure to check out the helpful hyperlinks in the article!)
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.