Support SURJ Bay Area’s Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund
If you are lucky enough to be financially stable during these times and still receive a stimulus check from the Cares Act, donating part or all of your check is a small step to help ensure that we all have enough to make it through this collective crisis. For many in our Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities, their stimulus checks will mean the ability to maintain critical needs like food, rent and basic utilities. Many more will never receive a check at all because of extreme poverty or lack of housing. 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. Please donate to the Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund here.
Tuesday, April 21 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm (and other dates)
Bystander Intervention Virtual Trainings
Anti-Asian and Asian American and xenophobic harassment are on the rise across the U.S. Unfortunately, anti-Asian and Asian American racism and xenophobia is not a new phenomenon. It has been part of our histories for a long time, and we have seen it manifested against different communities in many ways over the years. As the coronavirus pandemic escalates, we have seen more harassment, discrimination, and even violence directed at our communities. One way we can take action to protect our communities is to learn ways to intervene effectively as a bystander without compromising safety. The one-hour, interactive training will teach you Hollaback!'s 5 D's of bystander intervention methodology. There are several trainings being held in the coming weeks. Register and learn more today!
Tuesday, April 21 • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Webinar - Whiteness Competency: A Blueprint for Racial Justice in a Global Pandemic
The crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is especially brutal for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. This is the result of centuries of health and economic inequities, coupled with the current administration’s eugenics policies - whiteness at its core. In this SpeakOut Ed Talk webinar, racial justice educator Dr. Jacqueline Battalora and author of Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today, explains and examines Whiteness to help us better understand and strategize how we might achieve true racial justice within our daily work as well as institutional structures and practices. $5 Learn more and register to watch live or later.
Saturday, April 25 • 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Crip Camp Conversation: Disability Leaders Facing COVID-19
Join the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University for a moderated panel discussion exploring disability organizing. 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. Register here.
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.
Friday, May 1 • 1:00 – 2:30 pm
May Day Message from Angela Davis
On this International Workers Day, political activist, scholar, author, and SpeakOut speaker Angela Davis looks at how the pandemic shines light on the failures of the capitalist system, especially catastrophic for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. She reflects on possible ways forward and what it’s going to take to bring about economic and racial justice, inviting us to reimagine a society that benefits all workers - from low wage earners to workers in the gig economy; from those working remotely to those on the front lines of the pandemic; from artists to incarcerated people. Sliding scale $5 - $25. Learn more and register to watch live or later.
Friday, May 1 • 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Workers Seize Power – Virtual International Workers Day
On International Workers Day 2020 we will host a virtual forum, but are still planning to hold our annual OSF March and Rally on Labor Day, September 7. This virus has shown both the importance of workers and their power, but also the vulnerability when we are not organized to leverage our collective power and also the need for us to unite. Registration for the virtual forum is required to obtain a unique, personal link and to access the panels. The first is on resources for workers, housing, and health and the second will feature organizers leading campaigns around prisons, detention centers, housing, labor and racial equity in these times. Register here; more info here
Tuesday, May 5 • 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo with Dolores Huerta
Join us as legendary labor leader and feminist icon Dolores Huerta discusses the importance of reclaiming Cinco de Mayo. She’ll delve into the true historical and cultural significance of the holiday, lifting up themes of anti-oppression and empowerment as well as how we can honor Mexican cultural values without appropriating them. A founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union, Dolores will draw on her decades of experience as an organizer and her background as a dancer, pianist, and lover of jazz. Sliding scale $5 - $25 Learn more and register to watch live or later.
Tuesday and Thursday, May 5th, 7th, 12th, and 14th • 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Tenants Together Counselor Training Series
Tenants Together, California’s Statewide Organization (based in SF), is looking for new volunteers to support tenants across the state in rising up against real estate speculation, displacement and injustice. They are seeking volunteer hotline counselors, researchers, graphic designers, fundraisers, organizing volunteers, & anyone who wants to share their skills and time to fight for housing. Join the training series (all 4 sessions!) to learn invaluable skills to help your community and become part of the fight for housing justice, including timely information like the impacts of COVID-19 State of Emergency on our tenants and communities and how best to support. To register, fill out this volunteer form.
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.
Does your Employer Use Benevity?
If you or someone you know works for a big enterprise company like Apple, Google, Nike, Starbucks, Levi-Strauss (and many others), the company likely lists with Benevity, a platform that helps companies match the contributions of their employees. Donating here, you can help us raise thousands of dollars more for local organizations doing mutual aid work. All donations made now through Benevity to SURJ Bay Area will go into our newly established Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund and passed on, 100%, to local organizations doing vital work on the front lines to provide aid to the most vulnerable members of our community. To donate, log into your company's Benevity site, search for "SURJ via Institute for Democratic Education and Culture" (our fiscal sponsor) to request a match.
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:
#CancelRent #CancelMortgages - Guarantee Homes for All! Though many Bay Area cities have passed laws that prevent evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, tenants and homeowners will still be required to pay back rent or mortgage payments after the crisis ends. Few of those facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have the means to be able to do so. No one should have to choose between paying for food or housing. Demand that Governor Newson take steps to #CancelRent and #CancelMortgages by 1) Signing this petition; 2) Asking 3-5 friends to sign, and/or posting on social media using hashtags #CancelRent and #CancelMortgages; 3) Calling Governor Newson TODAY, April 20, to demand cancellation of rent and mortgage payments. This site will provide a script and connect you directly to his office.
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!
Petition to Protect Oakland's Essential Service Workers - All of us are depending on frontline, essential service workers, like grocery clerks, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, janitors, and security officers to provide us with what we need to survive during the shelter-in-place. Yet many have insufficient--or no--paid sick days to stay home if they get sick. Already essential service workers have tested positive for and died from coronavirus. Sign this petition to urge Oakland's City Council to take urgent action!
Free Black Mamas - The National Bail Out Collective is fundraising to bail out Black mamas in time to be with their families for Mother's Day. In the COVID-19 crisis, this work is urgent—every night in a jail cell puts Black mamas at risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. In California, where bails are 10x the national average and the highest in the country, our bail outs rely on the generosity of supporters like you. Thank you for joining us in this fight.
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.
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.
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
Click here to get our newsletter delivered right to your inbox every week!