WATCH THE VIDEO from SURJ Bay Area's May 2 Event
When We Fight We Win:
Building Community Power to Dismantle the Prison System
On Thursday, May 2, SURJ Bay Area hosted a panel discussion focused on strategies formerly incarcerated-led and -staffed organizations use to shift policy at the state and local levels. Moderated by former Black Panther leader and activist Ericka Huggins, the panel featured Legal Services for Prisoners with Children/All of Us or None Senior Organizer Sandra Johnson, Initiate Justice Policy Director Eric Henderson, and CURB Statewide Co-Cordinators Ivette Alé and Amber Rose Howard. All proceeds from this event went to LSPC/AOUON, Initiate Justice, and CURB, with specific focus on supporting this year's Quest for Democracy Day on May 20th, an annual advocacy day led by formerly incarcerated people and families with incarcerated loved ones to bring their voices to elected officials in Sacramento.
You can still donate to support the mobilization here.
Register for Quest for Democracy Day here.
Tuesday, May 14 • 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Still Fighting for #Justice4Sahleem Birthday Rally
Mothers Fight Back #Justice4Sahleem and Yolanda Banks Reed and family invite you to a rally and protest on the birthday of Sahleem Tindle who was shot and killed by BART police officer Joseph Mateau on January 3, 2019. Please wear white to commemorate the life and spirt of Sahleem and to support all families who have lost loved ones due to police violence.
Location: West Oakland BART station, 1451 7th Ave. Oakland
Tuesday, May 14 • 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Vallejo Rally To Demand Justice for Victims of Police Killings
Join Vallejo For Racial Justice, Anti Police-Terror Project, the family of Angel Ramos, the family of Ronell "Catdaddy" Foster, the family of Willie McCoy and Deyana Jenkins, Adrian Burrell, the family of Carlos Yescas, Justice Teams Network, Mothers Fight Back #Justice4Sahleem, Attorneys from the Law Office of John Burris, Families United 4 Justice - California, March For Our Lives, & Move On for a press conference and rally for families who are victims of Vallejo police violence. Demand that the Vallejo City Council meeting hold the police accountable.
Location: Vallejo City Hall, 555 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo
Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 • 8:00 – 9:00 pm
The Wait Room, East Bay performance!
In partnership with Essie Justice Group, Flyaway Productions has created an outdoor aerial dance piece: The Wait Room,that exposes the physical, psychic, and emotional burden of incarceration for women with imprisoned loved ones.. The project invokes the balancing act women have to maintain when stripped of emotional and economic support from their partners and family. Admission is free.
Location: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th Street, Richmond
Saturday, May 18 • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Garden Party for TGIJP
Join SURJ Bay Area’s Queer and Trans Committee for a backyard garden party! We’ll be selling flower and herb seedlings that we’ve been growing and are ready to send off into your gardens and windowsills. There will be food, music and a raffle! This event will be a fundraiser for the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP). We are also amplifying TGIJP’s open letter on the struggle for housing security for their Black trans members. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org; click here to RSVP.
Location: 1316 Harmon Street, Berkeley
Sunday, May 19 • 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Alternatives to Policing 3: Who Keeps Us Safe?
Patricia St. Onge from Seven Generations Consulting, who was going to lead us in deep culture work, has been called away for a family emergency, but we will gather together to look at how white supremacy culture sabotages community, honor our griefs and mothers, and build community. The only real alternative to the police we have is each other, is building genuine community together. How does living in white supremacy culture sabotage our efforts to do that? And what can we do to combat that sabotage? We will reschedule the training with Pat later in the summer.
Location: First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison St, Oakland
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
Saturday, June 1 • 1:30 - 4:00 pm
Visionary Organizing Strategies Panel
The Far Right is on the rise, and so is popular support for socialism and racial justice. What strategies will defeat the Right while concretely advancing our visions for liberation? At this Catalyst Project event, hear from three Black women movement leaders about what strategies our movements need now to build the world we long for. Panelists include Rachel Herzing, co-director of Center for Political Education and co-founder of Critical Resistance; Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, co-executive director of the Highlander Research and Education Center in TN; and Vanessa Moses, Executive Director of Causa Justa:: Just Cause. Sliding scale donation of $0 - $15 suggested.
Location: Oakstop, 1721 Broadway, Oakland
Sunday June 2 • 3:00 - 5:00 pm
SURJ Info Session: Volunteer with Al Otro Lado at 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...How can we show up in solidarity with the horrifying situation at the southern border? Hear from SURJ activists on how you can volunteer with Al Otro Lado, an organization known as the "most loving place in Tijuana." Al Otro Lado, a mostly volunteer organization, provides asylum seekers with know-your-rights training, legal consultation, document support, meals, and medical care. SURJ members who spent several days at the border will share their experiences.
Location: Oakland address provided upon registering
Sunday, June 23 • 10:00 am – 12:15 pm
Intro to SURJ, Family-Friendly Edition
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. We are excited to offer family-friendly activities during this Intro Meeting! For children and youth that are interested in participating in the meeting, there will be child- and youth-friendly discussion topics and interactive activities. We will also provide free childcare for those who do not participate. As with every SURJ Bay Area Intro Meeting, all are welcome and encouraged to join (with children or without). Pleas RSVP - space is limited.
Location: Freedom & Movement Center, 888 44th St. Oakland
Check Out SURJ Bay Area Policy Priorities for 2019
SURJ Bay Area's Policy Working Group is working in service to, and in collaboration with our people of color-led partner organizations that work on legislative advocacy. As we enter the 2nd quarter of the 2019 California legislative cycle, we’d like to share the bills, propositions, and campaigns that are our focus for 2019. Learn more about the organizations we partner with and the legislation we're working on here, and join our legislative action list here.
Ask Governor Newsom to Remove Gregory Ahern from the Lottery Commission!
Please join SURJ's Mobilization Committee and the Prison Abolition Working Group in calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to remove Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern from the California Lottery Commission. The California Lottery is supposed to embrace the values of integrity and transparency, but in 12 years as Alameda County Sheriff, Ahern has overseen massive growth in his jail budget even as the jail population declined by 45 percent. His office has perpetrated a stunning array of human rights abuses, including overseeing 33 in-custody deaths, punishment of people in need of medical care, pressure on women to get abortions, and other egregious mistreatment and neglect. Governor Newsom has the authority to remove Ahern as Lottery Commission chair and reduce the reach of his power. Please take 20 seconds today and sign this petition to the governor to remove Ahern from this statewide office.
You can Still Donate to Help Bail Out and #FreeBlackMamas
The National Bail Out is a Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers, and activists building a community-based movement to support incarcerated women and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. Learn more at www.nationalbailout.org. With your generous support, they are bailing out community members on Mother's Day and beyond, providing life-changing support services and resource groups who are organizing to transform the criminal justice system.
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.
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 she 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