Support SURJ Bay Area’s Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund
SURJ Bay Area has created a Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund with 100% of donations going directly to local organizations providing critical immediate aid to our most vulnerable communities while fighting the structural inequities that turned a novel virus into a global emergency. Our partner organizations are also continuing the pressing political work of stopping evictions and shut-offs, supporting low-wage workers who are losing jobs, fighting against xenophobia, and releasing those currently incarcerated and detained. See the list of local organizations here as well as learn more about this fund drive. Do you work for a tech company or other business that uses Benevity? Your donation can be doubled or even tripled! Learn more here.
Please donate to the Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund here.
Monday April 13 • 8:00 – 9:00 pm
QT Committee Racial Justice Online Book Club Launch: When They Call You A Terrorist
Join SURJ’s Queer and Trans (QT) Committee at this kickoff of an online racial justice book club, reading and discussing When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. Written by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele, this is a powerful memoir by a visionary, queer Black woman who co-created Black Lives Matter and continues to lead racial justice and criminal justice movement work. At the event, in addition to reading an excerpt and discussing in small groups, there will be tools for participants to launch their own book clubs and organize their communities. The event is free but they will be fundraising for TGI Justice Project (TGIJP). No need to read the book ahead of time. Learn more and register here.
Monday April 13 – Tuesday April 14
Email Berkeley City Council Members Before Their Meeting this Tuesday, Stop Money Grab for Jail
In the thick of the pandemic, Alameda County Sheriff Ahern proposes to bypass other budget needs to vastly expand staffing at Santa Rita Jail - already the "most dangerous place in Alameda County" - for $85 million a year for the next three years. County supervisors will consider the proposal on April 21, and the Berkeley City Council has a chance at its meeting on Tuesday evening to weigh in against this money grab for handcuffs over healthcare. Email Berkeley City Council members at: email@example.com OR email council members individually and urge them to oppose the money grab for Santa Rita Jail.
Tuesday, April 14 • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Webinar - Combating Divisive Politics by Bridging with Radical Difference
How do we use this moment, collectively and individually, to truly unmask who we are longing to be and become? How do we become the leaders we so desperately are needing in this moment? How do we build upon the work of activists and community leaders of decades past? This SpeakOut Ed Talk features transqueer and Latinx scholar Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, founder of The Activist Theology Project and a visionary thinker who has spent two decades working in the borderlands of church, academics, and social movements. They will share how to use the philosophy of activist theology, an off-shoot of liberation theology, to foster togetherness and collective understanding, and provide the intersectional framework we need to become our best selves amid a global pandemic. Learn more and register here.
Wednesday April 15 • 12:00 pm
One Community One Mic
Join us as leaders at partner organization All of Us or None speak on how COVID-19 is affecting currently and formerly incarcerated communities. Topics will include release orders for the incarcerated, organizing to ensure safety for incarcerated loved ones, resources for the unemployed/laid off, local campaigns, and how folks can get involved. Join the Zoom meeting Here.
Thursday April 16 • 12:00 pm PT
#Right2Connect Digital Townhall
Join MediaJustice for our #Right2Connect Townhall, the kick-off event to a series of online actions demanding meaningful relief to our communities, including free prison phone and video calls, as well as expanding access to lifeline and broadband. And right now, surviving a global pandemic by limiting physical contact means that the inability to connect halts all of these things. Register NOW to join the Townhall!
Thursday April 16 • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Webinar - We Never Needed Papers to Thrive
Through a poetic lens, nationally acclaimed queer poet and speaker Yosimar Reyes weaves humor and storytelling into this SpeakOut Ed Talk webinar about what it means to be undocumented in today’s current political reality. Drawing from personal anecdotes, he takes us on a journey of self-empowerment and perseverance, giving us insight into the ways undocumented communities continue to build lives despite adversities. Born in Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Yoismar is part of a new generation of undocumented artists who are resisting narratives of fear and creating works that give people hope. Learn more and register here.
Saturdays April 18 and 25 • 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Crip Camp Conversations: Intergenerational Disability Organizing and Disability Leaders Facing COVID-19
Join the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University for moderated panel discussions exploring disability organizing. On April 18 hear about history, from the key moments explored in Crip Camp to activism today through an intergenerational discussion with disability organizers. Participants include film co-director James LeBrecht, Ramp Your Voice's Vilissa K. Thompson, and Crip Camp Impact Producer Andraea LaVant. On April 25, the panel will talk about the response to Coronavirus. We'll ask what this new environment means for people with disabilities, connected in part to what the film Crip Camp teaches us about disability community and culture. Confirmed participants so far include film co-director Nicole Newnham and Disability Justice Culture Club leader Stacey Milbern. Click to register for Intergenerational Disability Organizing or Disability Leaders Facing COVID-19.
Wednesday April 29 • 6:45 – 9:00 pm
Intro to SURJ Virtual Meeting
Want to get involved with SURJ Bay Area? Join us at our first virtual Intro to SURJ meeting and learn about our current work and activities. SURJ moves white people to act for justice, with passion and accountability, as part of a multi-racial majority. You will hear about SURJ's pathways for engaging in the work, including Study & Action, committee work, upcoming workshops, and events. We'll answer your questions and share how you can get involved in the movement for racial justice. Click here to register and here for the Facebook event page.
Stay Connected While Physical Distancing
COVID-19 is highlighting and exacerbating the vast inequities and injustices in our country and is hitting low-income, disabled, houseless, undocumented, incarcerated, and other vulnerable communities the hardest. How do we show up in the face of this? SURJ Bay Area, with the help of our community partners, has compiled a list of resources so we can stay healthy while continuing to show up for racial justice in the face of COVID-19. ACCE has a list of extensive resources for communities in Oakland, San Francisco, Contra Costa County, among others. California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance has a list of resources for undocumented Californians. Would you consider sharing your stimulus check with those who won’t be getting one? Read this powerful, thought-provoking article.
Show Up By Supporting These Calls for ActionGiven the impact that COVID-19 has on California's most vulnerable communities, please consider supporting these efforts:
Free People Detained by ICE - Not only has Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refused to release at-risk people held in crowded and filthy immigration jails with horrific medical care, they heartlessly continue to raid and arrest people to increase the risk of spreading the virus. Now is the time for us as a community to demand the release of at-risk people in ICE custody. Call and join the social media campaign to free people from ICE detention during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indigenous wisdom in trying times - Shuumi means "A Gift" - To support this urban Indigenous women-led community organization in sharing their wisdom and guidance with us, you are invited to give Shuumi, as Shuumi means “A Gift." While tax day was deferred to support our collective sheltering-in-place, it more than ever is important for non-Indigenous people to contribute towards the healing of genocides, plagues, and land thefts from Indigenous people. In the Bay Area you can do so by paying the Shuumi Land Tax. More importantly, the Sogorea Te Land Trust invites all people living in Ohlone territory to work together to re-envision the Bay Area community, to remember different ways of living, and to do the work that our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do. Pictured is a new Arbor that was going to be opened to the community this spring. For now, the site us being used to make medicine such as Fire Cider - follow their social media for recipes!
Support Domestic Workers - If you employ a domestic worker - housecleaners, childcare providers, or homecare attendants/caregivers - please continue to pay them if you can, even if they are not coming to work. Domestic workers are often the primary breadwinners in their families and are unlikely to receive any funds from the federal stimulus just passed. Please sign the voluntary pledge from Hand in Hand to commit to continuing paying the people you employ in your home, even if they are not coming to work due to shelter-in-place orders. Hand in Hand has also developed recommendations specifically for employers to stay safe and protect their employees.
Write to your Representatives to Support the 5 Principles of a #PeoplesBailout - As Congress acts swiftly to develop relief and recovery packages to address the COVID-19 crisis, we must make sure that they prioritize the health and wellbeing of all people, with no exceptions. Use this tool to send a message directly to your Member of Congress, demanding they commit to these 5 principles: 1. Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions. 2. Economic relief must be provided directly to the people. 3. Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives. 4. Make a downpayment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises. 5. Protect our democratic process while protecting each other.
Support East Bay Disabled People - Many disabled people, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, are needing extra support in this pandemic. Caregivers are not able to come to work, immunocompromised people are not able to risk exposure to get groceries, and hospitals may likely reach capacity. The Disability Justice Culture Club, a collective of disabled and/or neurodivergent queer people of color in East Oakland, is working tirelessly to meet community needs during the COVID -19 crisis. Fill out this form to donate resources (such as hand sanitizer, food, money, your time). Go here if you are a disabled person with needs right now that aren’t being met with your immediate support system.
Support Mutual Aid for Vulnerable Communities - In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, communities most affected are coming together to support each other. Senior and Disability Action, Bay Resistance, and a variety of community organizations and labor unions are working to identify and meet the needs of seniors, people with disabilities and health conditions, and workers who are at risk. Fill out this form to request support or to offer assistance, or both.
Sign this Petition by Media Justice to the FCC Chairman - 1) Request predatory prison phone companies offer free phone and video calls with no fees to incarcerated and detained individuals immediately for the next 60 days. 2) Commit the prison phone industry to sign onto the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. 3) Deny Securus’ emergency request to stop paying into the Universal Service Fund.
Support Black Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) Community Members - TGIJP is raising funds for Black transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community members coming out of California prisons and San Francisco jails. Donations help provide housing, food, money, and supplies for TGNC people upon release as well as TGNC people on the inside to buy supplies such as masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Donate here. If you can help with meal delivery or laundry pick-up and drop off to a laundromat wash & fold service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SURJ Bay Area Chapter - Join us! Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. Learn more at www.surjbayarea.org. SURJ Bay Area is one of 150 chapters and affiliates nationwide. Learn about SURJ National and our mission, vision, and values HERE.
Want to support our work? You can make a donation for SURJ's organizing and educational efforts with over half of what we raise going to Black and people of color-led partner organizations. Make a one-time donation or become a monthly sustainer HERE. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Follow SURJ Bay Area on Social Media: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Bay Area c/o PO Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609
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