#12DaystoShowUp Day 12: Wealth and Reparations

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

People not Police or Prisons

Contributed by Robin Wetherill

Fundraising for SURJ has fundamentally changed the way I think about wealth: about what wealth is, where it comes from, and what it can do. Before I joined SURJ’s Fundraising Committee, I — like, I suspect, many people who are interested in social justice work — had a vague sense that money was wrapped up in all the kinds of hierarchy that I wanted to work against: racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, ableism. Because of that association, in many ways, I saw money as antithetical to radical politics.

I have gradually come to see that the opposite is true. Yes, money is intimately bound up with social inequality. That is precisely why social justice movements must seriously engage with questions of wealth and the distribution of resources. This is especially true for white people who want to participate in the movement for racial justice.

In 2013, the median wealth of white families was 13 times that of Black families and 10 times that of Latino families. The racial wealth gap is partially attributable to historical practices that prevented non-white households from obtaining, retaining, and investing wealth. For example, post-World War II government programs that made homeownership affordable for working class white families explicitly excluded families of color. And in California, the Alien Land Law of 1913 made it illegal for Asian immigrants to own land or lease it for more than three years.

More recently, the financial crisis of the mid-2000s disproportionately devastated communities of color. From 2010-2013, the median wealth of white households fell by 2.4%, while the median wealth of non-Hispanic Black households fell by 33.7%, and the median wealth of Hispanic households declined by 14.3%. One reason for this difference is that Black and Hispanic households were more likely than White households to be targeted by subprime mortgages — even when they should have been eligible for prime credit.

Fundraising with SURJ has encouraged me to think more deeply about the ways in which I disproportionately receive wealth. Because of White privilege, I have access to wealth in ways that people of color often don’t. I’m referring here not just to my own personal financial resources, but also to the ways that whiteness makes it easy for me to access spaces, networks, and people who might be out of reach for non-white organizers. This sucks. It is painful to acknowledge the extent of my own privilege and how it shapes my opportunities. When I fail to acknowledge it, though, I abdicate my responsibility to use that access. A choice to ignore my own access to resources is a choice to ignore calls from our partners and allies to engage in the work of reparations.

The SURJ Bay Area Fundraising Committee — affectionately known as FunCom — brings what I have come to think of as the “reparations mindset” to our work. The belief in white folks’ affirmative duty to materially support POC-led movements for racial justice is central to this mindset. For every dollar  we raise, we commit to pass at least half of that dollar along to a POC-led partner. At least for me, this commitment reflects the principle that this money was never really ours in the first place — it was always already owed to our partners. Similarly, we never set any conditions on the funds we share with partner organizations. We have no right to control the funds because, again, they never really belonged to us.

The fight for racial justice requires many things: courage, coordination, perseverance, strength of will, love, and empathy. It also often requires resources. Those resources can bus people to a protest, turn activists out at a city council hearing, buy sign-making materials, rent space for a workshop. I am proud of what FunCom does to make all of those things happen, and committed to continuing this work today — on the biggest fundraising day of the year — in 2018, and beyond.

I hope you’ll join me in making a gift to move resources to POC-led organizations today, and moving White people to act ask part of a multiracial majority for justice.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 11: Initiate Justice Voting Restoration and Democracy Act of 2018

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Voting Restoration and Democracy Act

Stripping communities of their voting rights is a centuries-long tool used to silence and disenfranchise people of color – and it must stop now.

The passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 was a major victory of the civil rights era. But in the decades since, attacks on voting rights have been endless. In California, 162,000 citizens – mostly people of color – can’t vote today, simply because they are in state prison or on parole.

The good news is that Californians have the opportunity to change this. Our partners at Initiate Justice – a policy-driven, POC-led organization built by and for people directly impacted by incarceration – recently launched a statewide ballot initiative known as the Voting Restoration and Democracy Act of 2018 (VRDA). This initiative will ensure that all US citizens 18 years of age and older in California can vote, even if in prison or on parole, ending the unjust removal of basic civil rights when a person goes to prison.

When this ballot measure gets passed, California will join Maine and Vermont (and virtually all other countries with elected governments) and send a powerful challenge to our national system of white supremacy.

But getting the VRDA passed is an uphill battle. We need to get over 800,000 signatures from registered voters in California by April 17, 2018 to get on the ballot. To some, this may seem like a herculean task, but we believe this is something we can – and must – accomplish. SURJ is supporting this campaign by organizing a fleet of signature gatherers, but also with our financial resources, to help print and distribute petitions, and support Initiate Justice in hiring folks to collect signatures to meet this huge goal in a short time frame.

So today, we’re asking for a massive outpouring of support from you--both with your pocketbook and with your time, to help undo a great injustice and “pay back” to black and brown communities for centuries of racial injustice and massive inequality perpetuated by our system of white supremacy and a history of white silence and indifference.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 10: The Prison Industrial Complex Part 1

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

20170508_-_974C7321_-SURJBayArea_at_Quest_for_Democracy_Day_in_Sacramento_-_photographed_by_Sam_Breach_2017_-_1080_short_edge.jpg

Angela Davis once said, “There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.”

We’ve seen this illustrated vividly in documentaries like The 13th and books like Michele Alexander's "The New Jim Crow." These works document how prisons emerged after slavery, and mushroomed in the past several decades, recapturing Black people as a source of exploited labor, while painting them as inherently criminal. As a light is shining on the lives impacted by the racist prison system, a wave of transformational changes for incarcerated people are being led and enacted by the people most impacted by the prison industrial complex: incarcerated people and their loved ones.

In May, dozens of SURJ Bay Area activists went to Sacramento and joined with members of All of Us or None, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), and many other groups to lobby for a half dozen proposed bills that would help enfranchise incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. It was an eye-opening experience for many, demonstrating strong organizing by families and activists to improve the health and autonomy of communities of color and reduce the detrimental influence of prisons. At the request of POC-led organizations organizing this push, SURJ Bay Area provided transportation, lunches, and elbow grease to help make the lobbying day an enormous success.

Several of the measures have progressed through the legislature and have been enacted into law thanks to the hard work of these organizations. Some key examples:

  • The Fair Chance Act (AB 1008), which expands 'Ban the Box' to private employers, pushing back the time to ask about a prior conviction during job applications.
  • The RISE Act (SB 180) repeals the section of code that adds additional years of punishment for prior nonviolent drug offenses, a section that has failed to protect communities or reduce the availability of drugs, but that has resulted in overcrowded jails and prisons, unjustly harsh sentences for nonviolent crimes, and crippled state and local budgets.

But there’s more to be done in 2018 to support the following legislation:

  • The California Bail Reform Act (SB 10) would ensure that people are not held in dangerous, overcrowded jails after arrest simply based on income level. SB 10 is co-sponsored by the Ella Baker Center and Essie Justice Group.
  • AB 535 ends the prohibition against serving on a jury for people with felony convictions.

Throughout the legislative cycle, SURJ works with its partner organizations to build base and mobilize around these legislative processes. To continue doing so, SURJ needs the financial commitment of concerned citizens like you to continue supporting these efforts and bringing our power to bear on behalf of incarcerated individuals. We pass more than 50% of our fundraising directly to POC-led organizations that SURJ has partnerships with like All of Us or None, Initiate Justice, Essie Justice, and TGIJP. Please make a gift by December 31 to help keep up the momentum on the fight against mass incarceration in the new year.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 9: Immigrant Solidarity

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Immigrant Solidarity

California is home to more than 10 million immigrants and this year especially the immigrant community has been hit hard. In 2017, Donald Trump completed prototypes of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, estimated to cost US taxpayers 7 billion dollars. He declared the termination of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which will cause 800,000 young people to lose their status and unleash ICE on 11 million undocumented immigrants. AND he has attempted to ban travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim (even for refugees) countries THREE TIMES.  

At SURJ, one of our values is Accountability Through Collective Action. We believe change happens when we build with millions of other people to change culture, policies and practices. We need a mass movement to change the way the country talks about immigrants and creates policies and practices related to the wall, DACA, and the Muslim Ban.

One example of collective action by SURJ is the #NoHateNoWall Campaign that called out companies who hope to profit off the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Additionally, SURJ, along with partner organizations, mobilized at SFO and airports across the country to protest the Islamophobic travel ban. Our partner organization AROC is also working to build a movement that supports our immigrant community members, all of whom have been impacted by the new administration’s culture, policies, and practices.

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) is a grassroots organization working to empower and organize our community towards justice and self-determination for all. AROC members build community power in the Bay Area by participating in leadership development, political education, and campaigns. AROC envisions powerful and liberated Arab communities living with dignity from here to our homelands. AROC sees the liberation of Arab people inextricably tied to the liberation of all people of color.

SURJ and AROC are building a mass movement and now is a great time to show up in any way you can. Take a look at these movements, donate what you are able, and start taking action.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 8: Protecting our Communities from White Supremacists

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Protecting our communities from white supremacists

We’ve watched with horror this year as white supremacists have been emboldened by their peers at the top. In August, racist/fascist rallies in Charlottesville and subsequently in San Francisco and Berkeley brought some of the most vocal white supremacists into the streets of our communities.

SURJ joined a coalition of Black and immigrant, interfaith, anti-racist, anti-fascist, LBGTQ, and civil rights groups to resist this invasion in August. That weekend, Community Ready Corps(CRC) played a vital role by training the folks doing security to help maintain a safer environment for antiracist protesters. As a grassroots, Black-led organization, CRC builds Bay Area racial justice infrastructure and invests in Black self-determination, including self-defense trainings. In addition, CRC has a committee dedicated to providing microphones, sound systems, trucks, generators, food, water- the core supplies necessary to make protests happen.

With this help, we showed up in strong numbers to let white supremacists know they would not be tolerated here. Our message was clear: No racism, no hate in Berkeley. We stand strong for racial justice, and shoulder to shoulder against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, trans/homophobia, and the scapegoating of immigrants. This prompted organizers on the right to cancel their rallies in the Bay. But in Charlottesville, and towns across America, our numbers are not as overwhelming and those places need your help.

SURJ has nearly 200 chapters and affiliates across the country and the Bay Area chapter is one of the largest. This December, we are committed to not only passing along money raised to support our local POC partners, but we will also support under-resourced rural SURJ chapters working to mobilize white people in red states.

We ask for your support today to support our at home in the Bay Area, but also to resource SURJ affiliates across the country that are bringing their voices, wealth, and power to bear in solidarity with the campaigns led by Communities of Color.

We have no choice but to continue the fight in 2018 and beyond and we need your support now more than ever to facilitate a truly nationwide movement.

We won’t be silent, and we won’t be complicit. Together we’ll resist hate.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 7: Displacement, Gentrification, and Housing Part 2

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Displacement, Gentrification, Housing

On Wednesday, we discussed the housing crisis displacing Black and Brown families throughout the Bay Area. Far from inevitable, this crisis is fueled by racist housing policies and government (in)actions that prioritize development benefiting wealthy developers and white people profiting in a violent economy. In addition to sharing the powerful analysis of our partners at CJJC, SURJ Bay Area moves members to make significant contributions to other Black and POC-led organizations working to build power to resist and remain in the Bay:

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is a dynamic and grass-roots organization working statewide to fight campaigns for fair wages, affordable housing, and corporate accountability. Locally, they coordinate powerful direct actions at developers’ offices and to preserve folks’ homes during anti-eviction occupations. SURJ Bay Area has been proud to stand in solidarity with ACCE at the local level, and as part of the statewide Housing NOW! Coalition fighting for rent control and housing justice across California.

In addition to fighting for and preserving affordable housing, there is also powerful work focusing on investing in the economic opportunities and power in Communities of Color, locally. The Restore Oakland Initiative is a joint initiative between Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) to build a restaurant and community center in the Fruitvale District. The space will provide opportunities for employment and business creation among immigrants and people who have been formerly incarcerated.

All of these tactics -- analysis, basebuilding, direct action, and community investment -- are creatively and powerfully advanced by organizations we are proud to work with and learn from. Donate today to support this work and to help SURJ Bay Area mobilize more white people to end a racialized crisis which they (we) benefit from.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

*****

Today is DAY 7 of #12DaysToShowUp and we ask you to support our work by donating here. Over 50% of all donations are directed towards local POC-led organizations. The rest will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area. In addition to this donation, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations (linked above).

Share

#12DaysToShowUp Day 6: Displacement, Gentrification, and Housing Part 1

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Displacement, Gentrification, and Housing

Gentrification and displacement are forcing longtime working-class Black and Latinx Bay Area residents from their homes and communities. Between 2012 and 2017, median rents in Oakland increased by 36.2% to over $2,300 for a one-bedroom apartment, reflecting a dangerous trend that has impacted all cities in the Bay. The burden of this “affordability crisis” is not shared evenly. Black, Latinx, and other Communities of Color, which have been historically discriminated against and targeted by racist housing policies and predatory lending, are being displaced from their homes and communities. The result: between 1990 and 2011, Oakland’s Black population decreased from 43 percent to 26 percent of the population. In San Francisco, it was cut in half from about 10 percent to only 5 percent. The city’s historically Latinx Mission District lost over 1000 Latinx families in the same time.

Gentrification happens when housing and development decisions are driven by profits rather than the needs of longtime community residents. Rather than reflecting natural changes in the makeup of neighborhoods, “gentrification happens in areas where commercial and residential land is cheap and where the potential to turn a profit either through repurposing existing structures or building new ones is great” (from Causa Justa::Just Cause). Gentrification is driven by those who stand to make a profit from this process - landlords, developers, and other businesses. It is supported by government policies and processes, such as those that favor private development of market-rate housing without considering the need for affordable homes.

BUT Gentrification and displacement are NOT inevitable! SURJ Bay Area follows the leadership of organizations like Causa Justa:: Just Cause (CJJC), which organizes working-class Black and Brown communities to build political power, fight for resident decision-making regarding development, and push our government to prioritize immigrant and tenant rights. Recent victories have included the passage of Measure JJ, which significantly strengthened rent control laws in Oakland. CJJC also challenges displacement through its tenants’ rights clinic, which supports tenants in knowing their rights and fighting illegal rent increases and evictions.

White people need to fight displacement of Black & Brown communities - including by donating to the organizations leading this struggle. At SURJ Bay Area, we recognize that white people are the prime beneficiaries of racist housing policy. We also understand our obligation to invest in movements led by people of color to fight displacement and assert their rights to stay in their homes, neighborhoods and cities. In collaboration with CJJC, SURJ Bay Area’s Basebuilding Committee provides monthly Anti-Displacement and Gentrification Workshops to organize participants to take action against displacement, and to raise funds for CJJC’s transformative work. In the workshop, SURJ centers the analysis offered by CJJC’s organized and powerful base and shares their call for immediate action against displacement.

SURJ Bay Area believes it is essential for white allies and accomplices to show up against displacement--to challenge ourselves to seek education, to invest in People-of-Color-led movements, and to identify strategies to financially contribute to this work.

Today is DAY 6 of #12DaysToShowUp and we ask you to support our work by donating here. Over 50% of all donations are directed towards local POC-led organizations. The rest will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 5: Youth and Families

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

Youth and Families 

SURJ’s Youth and Families committee is comprised of active members who aim to begin the process of dismantling white supremacy at the root by mobilizing youth, parents, youth workers, and educators for racial justice. Throughout the past year, they have done this by:

  • Hosting Racial Justice Story Time, which engages the whole family with stories and activities to help start conversations around race and social justice issues.

  • Encouraging folks to Wear Out the Silence with their t-shirt campaign that urges people to wear Black Lives Matter shirts every Friday

  • Partnering with Hand in Hand for family playdates that are focused on educating families about how to be responsible employers to immigrant domestic workers

  • Providing childcare and kid-friendly activities during protests and direct actions, such as at the No Hate in the Bay rally this past summer

  • Leading workshops for youth around race, oppression, and privilege.

One of our partners in this work is Abundant Beginnings. Founded and run by Black queer women, Abundant Beginnings is a community education and empowerment initiative whose youth and family programing has a social justice praxis focus for students of color, gender queer students, and differently abled learners. Summer camps, curriculum development, community education, and school building initiatives are the focus of their work in the Bay Area. They strive to create individual, community, and environmental change by fostering intergenerational, land-based learning practices. Abundant Beginnings’ Freedom Bus transports students who are part of their Forest Freedom Preschool and Camp Programs, where they are "growing children rooted in trust, love and justice - blossoming in independence."
Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 4: Trans Liberation

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

 SURJ-12Days-Day04.jpg

This year, as part of our commitment to confronting white supremacy’s role in creating violence against trans women of color, SURJ Bay Area has deepened our work supporting the Transgender, Gender-Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). Under the leadership of Black trans women, TGIJP is led by and for formerly incarcerated trans and gender variant people. TGIJP blazes a path of prison abolition through visionary programs. TGIJP’s work includes grassroots organizing, legal advocacy, building power and relationships among their members inside and outside of incarceration, local, state, and national coalitions and campaigns, re-entry support services for formerly incarcerated TGI folks, policy work, mail nights for currently incarcerated folks, and more. TGIJP is the only group working directly with transgender, gender variant and intersex folks both within prisons and in reentry programs.

Supporting and uplifting the work of TGIJP is directly in line with SURJ Bay Area’s core values. TGIJP’s abolitionist vision inspires us in our goal to be part of ending state-sanctioned violence in the Bay Area. Their reparations framework and their focus on the needs of folks directly impacted by incarceration call on us to do the same.

SURJ Bay Area’s Queer and Trans Committee has been working with TGIJP over the past year in a number of ways. Committee members have attended weekly letter writing nights, volunteered at events, provided rides, worked on home repair projects and fundraised for TGIJP. Most recently, the Queer and Trans Committee hosted a house party, celebrating and raising money to support the critical work TGIJP does to make our communities safer for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex folks of color.

SURJ Bay Area Queer & Trans (QT) Committee calls in white queer and trans folks, move resources to QTPOC led racial justice organizations, and amplifies QTPOC movement leadership. As queer and trans people, our liberation is linked to struggles for racial justice and ending all forms of oppression. Join us today in moving resources and amplifying the work of the Transgender, Gender-Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP)!

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000.

Share

#12DaystoShowUp Day 3: Stop Urban Shield

As a part of SURJ Bay Area’s #12DaysToShowUp Fundraising Campaign — and our ongoing commitment to racial justice and reparations — 50% of all donations raised for SURJ are passed on to local POC-led organizations. The other 50% will be used to fund under-resourced rural SURJ chapters and to support our own work mobilizing white people in the Bay Area.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000

In addition to your donation to SURJ, we encourage you to match donations directly to POC-led organizations like those we’ve featured each of the 12 Days of this campaign.

 Stop Urban Shield

Each year since 2007, Urban Shield brings together law enforcement agencies from across the world to a weapons and SWAT training that militarizes police forces. Coordinated by the Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern, Urban Shield hosts “emergency preparedness scenarios” that perpetuate racist and xenophobic stereotypes through racialized imagery. In 2016, journalist and SURJ member Mary Noble witnessed police act out a “Boko Haram-style kidnapping” where the Boko Haram terrorists were brown mannequins, and the kidnapped women were local white women. The sales expo sells disturbing militarized technologies, such as a remote-controlled mini tank that can be sent to a room and shoot suspects before human police enter, as well as racist apparel such as “Black Rifles Matter” t-shirts.

Stop Urban Shield is a coalition of community and social justice organizations that aim to defund Urban Shield and invest in community-led alternatives to emergency prevention. They work to have local governmental entities in the Bay Area divest from Urban Shield and provide civilian-led alternatives for emergency preparedness. This year, hundreds of residents mobilized at Berkeley City Council and Alameda Board of Supervisors to hold public officials accountable to stop funding Urban Shield. SURJ worked with the coalition in phone banking community members to attend these critical meetings and speak during public comment to remind city and county leaders that their constituents do not want their police forces militarized.

This year during the Urban Shield conference, the coalition offered a community resource fair for disaster response. This fair provided trainings and toolkits for fire safety, earthquake preparedness, alternatives to calling 911, and mental health self care. In aiming to dismantle state-sponsored terror through the leadership of local People of Color led organizations, SURJ Bay Area stands with the vision of civilianized emergency preparedness and ending Urban Shield.

Donate to SURJ Bay Area before December 31 to help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $20,000

Share