Monday, April 15 • 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Equity Indicators and the People's Budget: Week 1 - Housing
Join Community Ready Corps Allies and Accomplices for this deep dive into the Equity Indicators Report for the City of Oakland. Released last year, it clearly shows the effects of white supremacy on our community. Oakland received a failing score of 33.5 out of a possible 100 across all indicators, the lowest score of all cities that participated in this national study. This week's workshop on the Housing Indicators is the first of a 6-week series to help us develop a deeper analysis and to call attention to the kinds of changes needed in the City's budget and policies. Event is free. More info about this session and upcoming sessions here.
Location: ACCE, 2501 International Blvd, Oakland
Tuesday, April 16 • 6:45 – 9:00 pm
Intro to SURJ Meeting
SURJ moves white people to act for justice, with passion and accountability, as part of a multi-racial majority. Want to get involved? Come learn about our current work and activities. You'll hear about SURJ's pathways for entering the work, including committee work, workshops, and events. Featured Speaker: Sandra Johnson, a Community Organizer for All of Us or None, an organization fighting for the rights of formerly- and currently-incarcerated people and their families, and a project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Please RSVP - space is limited.
Location: Freedom & Movement Center, 888 44th St. Oakland
April 16 • 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Racism and the Haunting of American Psychiatry
Today, 90 percent of psychiatric beds are located in U.S. jails and prisons, institutions that confine disproportionate numbers of African Americans. After more than a decade of research, celebrated scholar and activist Mab Segrest (author of Memoir of a Race Traitor, activist with Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and SURJ), locates the deep historical roots of this startling fact, turning her sights on a long-forgotten cauldron of racial ideology: the state mental asylum system in which psychiatry was born and whose influences extend into our troubled present. Come hear Mab talk about her new book, Administrations of Lunacy, at this free event.
Location: Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley
Tuesday, April 16 • 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Dixie Must Go - Rally for Racial Justice
Dixie School District, located in San Rafael, was named after the confederacy during the Civil War by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Local residents believe the current school district has a moral obligation to change the name to one that is welcoming to all. Join SURJ Marin and come out to voice your support to change the name!
Location: Dixie School District Office, 380 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael
Friday, April 19 • 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Defend & Defy: A Community Panel Discussion on Immigration
Hear key community representatives discuss urgent immigration issues that are threatening our most vulnerable communities. Panelists will share their expertise and perspectives on a range of issue-areas affected by recent anti-immigration policies and look at how we can effectively defend our communities and defy anti-immigration policies and attitudes. Panelists include Catherine Tactaquin, Executive Director, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, Human Impact Partners, and Lara Kiswani, Executive Director, Arab Resource and Organizing Center.
Location: Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Suite 290, Oakland
Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27, 2019 • 8:00 pm
9-1-1 What’s Your Emergency? The Verdict
The play, 9-1-1 What’s Your Emergency?, premiered in 2018 as an artistic response to the local 9-1-1 calls that made BBQ Becky and Permit Patty infamous on a national level. Act one examined how the 9-1-1 call is rooted in “micro-aggression,” yet can have irreparable consequences to communities of color. Now comes the groundbreaking second act, “The Verdict,” which further examines the intersection of structural racism and personal psychological narratives that propel the calls. Written and directed by Jovelyn Richards, the play uplifts the stories of the victims and the defendants against the backdrop of gentrification, stereotypes, systemic racism, and the personal narratives of humanity. Buy tickets here for April 26, or here for April 27. Cost is $25, or $20 for students and seniors.
Location: La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley
Wednesday, May 1 • 3:00 – 6:30 pm
International Workers' Day Mobilization
Rally and march this May Day under the banners “No Ban, No Wall, Human Rights and Sanctuary for All” and “No Borders, No Deportations, No Family Separation.” Organized by Oakland Sin Fronteras, the mobilization kicks off with a 3:00 pm rally at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza followed by a march at 4:00 pm to the Lake Merritt Amphitheater for a closing rally and resource fair. There will be a designated section at the front of the march for youth and people with disabilities and Spanish translation and ASL interpretation.
Location: Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza, 14th and Broadway, to Lake Merritt Amphitheater, between 12th St. and 1st Ave., Lake Merritt Blvd. Oakland
Thursday, May 2 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
FEATURED SURJ EVENT!
When We Fight We Win: Building Community Power to Dismantle the Prison System
Recent years have seen important fights and wins in the struggle to dismantle the prison system in California - from repealing sentence enhancements, to shutting down jail expansion, to working to restore voting rights to folks on parole. Come to this SURJ event, moderated by former Black Panther leader and political prisoner Ericka Huggins, to hear from four frontline leaders about victories, strategies, and the importance of campaigns and coalitions in this movement: Sandra Johnson, Senior Organizer, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC)/ All of Us or None (AOUON); Eric Henderson, Policy Director, Initiate Justice; and Ivette Alé and Amber-Rose Howard, Statewide Coordinators, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB). Their stories will highlight the many ways you can also contribute to creating a more progressive vision of justice than mass incarceration. Tickets sliding scale $5 - $25 to benefit LSPC/AOUON, Initiate Justice, and CURB. Info and tickets here.
Location: First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison Street, Oakland
Saturday, May 4 • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
SURJ Marin: Conversations from the Heart
Spring is a season for so many family celebrations like graduations, weddings, and more. Many of us experience a mixture of excitement and dread, particularly if we are anticipating having challenging conversations with family and friends about race. Whether you’d like to share your current interest in racial justice, talk with your loved ones and neighbors about changing the name of the Dixie School District, discuss what it means to ‘take a knee’ when the national anthem is played, or engage in conversation about our country’s treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, SURJ Marin is offering an opportunity to practice these conversations in a safe and supportive space.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin, 240 Channing Way, San Rafael
Wednesday, May 8 • 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Commemorating the Nakba: Movement-Building for Collective Liberation
Come out to learn about the links between Indigenous, Palestinian, and Black liberation struggles. Panelists include Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Nick Estes (Lower Brule Sioux), author and co-founder of the Red Nation, and Kristian Davis Bailey, author and co-founder of Black for Palestine. Tickets $15 - $50 to benefit MECA - the Middle East Children’s Alliance.
Location: Berkeley City College Auditorium, 2050 Center St. Berkeley
Saturday, May 11 • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Quest for Democracy Day Lobby Visit Workshop
To prepare for Quest for Democracy Day (Q4D), the SURJ Policy Working Group is holding this workshop where participants will learn how SURJ shows up to lobby in accountability with our partner organizations and the ways that policy combined with grassroots movements can be used as a tool for collective liberation. Workshop attendees will also learn the basics of lobby visits and how they fit into SURJ’s larger framework, practice speaking to a legislative staffer, and hear from our Policy partner, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC), on their 2019 policy priorities. Sliding scale $0 - $10 - all proceeds go to LSPC. More info and tickets.
Location: Seneca Family of Agencies, 6925 Chabot Road, Oakland
Saturday, May 11 • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Many Stories, Shared Liberation: An Evening with Alicia Garza
As our movements for liberation grow, how do we strengthen our connections and move in solidarity inside and across communities? How do we resist the forces that try to fracture us? How do we reach out with love and curiosity and build trust? Join Alicia Garza, a founder of Black Lives Matter and Black Futures Lab, along with the Kehilla Community to explore questions of justice in our time, including the intersections within and between dismantling white supremacy and antisemitism. Tickets $30, or $15 for low income/under 35. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Location: First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, 2407 Dana Street, Berkeley
Monday, May 20 • 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
2019 Quest for Democracy Day (Q4D)
Join hundreds of formerly incarcerated people, family members with incarcerated loved ones, and allied organizations, including SURJ, at the annual statewide lobby day in Sacramento sponsored by Legal Services for Prisoners with Children/All Of Us Or None (LSPC/AOUON). The day will include a training on sponsored bills and on effective legislative advocacy followed by a rally that lifts up the voices and leadership of those most affected by the prison industrial complex. After a bagged lunch, action teams will visit each legislator’s office to advocate in person.
Learn more, sign up, and donate to support Q4D Day here.
Location: California State Capitol, 12th and N Streets, Sacramento
Help End Criminal Legal System Fines and Fees in California
Submit a Letter of Support by Tuesday, April 16th
On March 27th, Senate Bill 144 was amended with text that will end the assessment and collection of administrative fees imposed against people in the criminal justice system. This would dramatically reduce the economic hardships caused by court-ordered debt and enhance the economic security of system-involved populations, their families, and their communities. Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) is asking for letters of support for SB 144. You can find a sample letter here. You can fax your letter to (916) 445-4688, mail it to Senate Public Safety Committee, State Capitol, Room 2031, Sacramento, CA 95814, or upload it here. Submit letters by Tuesday, April 16th!
Donate to Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief
The Oglala Lakota Nation has declared a state of emergency on the sprawling Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Severe flooding there has made many roads impassible and trapped some residents in their homes for over two weeks. In response to the devastating situation, local community members founded Pine Ridge Reservation Emergency Relief, working in tandem with Oglala Sioux Tribe Emergency Management. You can help by donating to relief efforts here.
Save the Hampton House
In 1969, Fred Hampton, the 21-year-old charismatic chairman of the Chicago Black Panther Party, was targeted and killed by the FBI in a raid on his home organized by the Cook County State Attorney. Following Fred Hampton's assassination, his son, Fred Hampton Jr., was born and raised in that house. With his mother — who survived the raid while pregnant — he has continued the work of his father. Today, the home of these freedom fighters is being targeted for foreclosure. You can help to support Chairman Fred and his mother, Mama Akua, by making a contribution today to the #SaveTheHamptonHouse fund — every dollar counts.
A SURJ Member’s Eyewitness Report from the Border
"Children separated from their parents, families traveling on foot for months to get to the U.S. border, people fleeing rape, gang violence, government brutality, torture, and murder..." Horrified by the stories they had been hearing about the situation at the southern border, SURJ Mobilization Committee member Lynn Levey traveled to the border with her daughter to volunteer and support asylum-seekers there. Read her moving eyewitness account of the experience and learn how you can support El Otro Lado, the amazing organization they volunteered with in Tijuana.
Free Masonique Saunders in Columbus OH
Columbus OH police killed 16-year-old Julius Tate Jr. in December and a week later arrested his 16-year-old girlfriend, Masonique Saunders, charging her with the murder the police committed in fear that she would testify against them. SURJ Columbus is working with a community coalition, demanding that Masonique be released from jail and that all charges be dropped. Learn more about the case here, sign the petition here calling on the Franklin County Prosecutor to drop all charges (you do not have to be an Ohio resident), and donate here to help with Masoniques' legal fees.
Boycott 24-Hour Fitness
Join Black Lives Matter Los Angeles in pursuit of justice for Albert Ramon Dorsey and Dennis Todd Rogers, killed by police who were called by 24-Hour Fitness employees. On December 23, 2018, more than 500 community members voiced their outrage at 24-Hour Fitness' practice of calling police on Black members. Join the boycott of 24-Hour Fitness until they meet demands to work in partnership with BLMLA to: issue a statement affirming the value of Black lives; conduct cultural competency training for all managers, workers, and franchises; and develop new protocols and alternatives to calling the police. For full details, read the letter here.
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.
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Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Bay Area c/o PO Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609