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.
Monday, April 27 • 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Phone Banking with Community Ready Corps Allies & Accomplices
Do you want white folks to stand up against white supremacy playing out in the COVID-19 crisis? Do you want to reach out to those white folks and let them know why & how to engage in the struggle, especially in this time of social distancing? Join Community Ready Corps Allies & Accomplices by Zoom to phone bank! We will call white folks **in our own networks** to talk with them about the intersections between white supremacy, the COVID-19 public health crisis, and how they can take action now by supporting Community READY Corps' Black Solidarity People’s Relief Fund and their distribution of coronavirus readiness supplies out to disenfranchised communities. No prior phone banking experience required! We will train before we make calls. Please come prepared with a list of 20 white folks in your networks that you will call! Details here; message for Zoom link.
Monday, April 27 • 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Seeding Hope Speaker Series: Reimagine Wellness
Join us online for our new Sogorea Te Land Trust Seeding Hope Speaker Series featuring some of the organizers, cultural workers, farmers, activists, matriarchs, scholars, youth, and elders whose work gives us inspiration. We are honored to host Dr. Kalamaoka'aina Niheu, MD, a Kanaka Maoli/ Native Hawaiin physician, co-founder of the Standing Rock Medic Healer's Council, and Manua Kea Medics and Dr. Rupa Mayra, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF and co-founder of the Do No Harm Coalition in conversation about their front-line, Covid-19 pandemic work with Bay Area and Indigenous communities. These experts will talk about the importance of environmental, climate, and land justice and honoring Indigenous cultural practices for creating health and wellness and they offer directions that can help us to reimagine health and wellness through practices of Indigenous self–determination for our families and communities. Register today.
Tuesday, April 28 • 5:30 – 7:00 pm
White Men During Covid-19: Mutual Aid, Community Care & Shared Interest
During this crisis and beyond, how can white men participate in mutual aid and community care within a gender and racial justice framework? Join Organizing White Men for Collective Liberation (OWMCL) and white men around the country to share ideas and personal stories of moving forward in administrative, logistical, caretaking, and emotional labor roles while centering the leadership of women, non-binary folks, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in mutual aid and community care networks. More info; 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.
Wednesday, April 29 • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Initiate Justice Webinar: Prison Abolition
Our special guest, Patrisse Cullors, will help us breakdown what Prison Abolition means and why it is at the core of the work we do. For the last 20 years, Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, has been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform and recently she led Reform LA Jails’ “Yes on R” campaign, a ballot initiative that passed by a 71% landslide victory in March 2020. Initiate Justice's Richie Reseda will be co-presenting with Patrisse, sharing his experiences being incarcerated and now free. Richard has co-founded @initiatejustice @question.culture and @prisonfeminism to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and deconstruct toxic masculinity. More info.
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
Monday, May 4 • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Virtual CRCAA Workshop: 5 Methods to Weaponize White Privilege
Across the United States, majority-Black counties have three times the COVID-19 infection rates of majority-white counties. CRC Allies & Accomplices (CRCAA) is calling on white folks to join us to talk about how to effectively fight against the persistent re-establishment of white supremacy in this moment by incorporating the 5 methods in your life, work, and organizing. We know that white supremacy is the status quo, and that if we do not actively combat it, white supremacy will persistently re-establish itself – no matter where we are. We believe that to effectively combat white supremacy, white people must divest of our power and weaponize our privilege. We have identified 5 methods by which to do just this, and we want to share them with you! Learn more and register.
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, and 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:
Support the Audit Ahern Coalition by emailing and calling officials to stop the sheriff's money-grab to expand jail staffing. As you likely know, Alameda County Sheriff Ahern is at it again: this time exploiting the global pandemic for financial gain. In the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak at Santa Rita Jail, unprecedented unemployment rates, lack of available housing for our unhoused neighbors, and shortages of PPE for frontline health workers, he is requesting an additional $106 million/year for his already inflated jail budget. Please raise your voice with us: we need health-affirming resources, not punishment and cages! The Board is voting on the Sheriff's outrageous budget grab this Tuesday (4/28) morning, so send your emails in by the end of Monday (4/27). You can find an email template for individuals to send here, OR you can use our click-to-send platform at bit.ly/Emails4Health. If you are part of an organization who would like to speak out, feel free to use this template.
#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 signing this petition and asking 3-5 friends to sign, and/or posting on social media using hashtags #CancelRent and #CancelMortgages.
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 email@example.com.
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!