Support SURJ Bay Area’s Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund
If you are financially stable and receiving a stimulus check, please consider donating part or all of it to help ensure that we all have enough to make it through this collective crisis. For many in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, 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, lack of housing, or citizenship status. 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, 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. Learn more and register.
Tuesday, May 5 • 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Webinar - 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.
Wednesday, May 6 • 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
Nationwide Phone Zap to Support the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act
Renters and homeowners know cancelling rent and mortgage payments is the only way to prevent the housing crisis from reaching catastrophic levels. Our Governor has been silent on housing relief. But there’s a new opportunity to win rent/mortgage cancellation nationwide: the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020, introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar. Today, join thousands of people nationwide calling our representatives in the House, asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 6515, and ensure it’s in the next stimulus package. More info and sample talking points here.
Wednesday, May 6 • 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Anti-Asian Racism: Bystander Intervention Training via Zoom
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we're seeing an alarming increase in bias incidents and hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the U.S. and across the world. In response, allies to Asian Americans are called on to speak out against bigotry and racism to challenge learned prejudices. In this interactive workshop, come learn and practice ways to use your voice – don’t just be a passive bystander! Interrupting oppressive statements is one important way of intervening against racism to make sure our communities work for everyone. More info and register here.
Saturday, May 9 • 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Unistoten Camp/Wet'suwet'en Film and Discussion
Join SURJ San Francisco in a remote viewing and zoom discussion of "Invasion,” a short film about the struggle of the Wet'suwet'en people to block a fracking pipeline across their lands in British Columbia. There will be an introduction on the Wet’suwet’en Nation presented by Annie Banks, co-founder of Solidarity Front Bay Area. A film screening and discussion on Zoom will follow. More info and register here.
Tuesday, May 19 • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Webinar on Black-Palestinian Transnational Solidarity
In this powerful SpeakOut-hosted conversation, activist-scholars and authors Noura Erakat and Marc Lamont Hill reflect on the historical legacies of the Black-Palestinian solidarity movements, highlighting lessons learned as well as challenges. In the face of the current health crisis, this solidarity is all the more significant given how Black and Palestinian communities are more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to structural racism. Sliding scale $5 - $25. Learn more and register to watch live or later.
Monday, May 31 & Tuesday, June 1 • 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Statewide Tenants’ Rights Counselor Training
Sign up for this 2-day training with Tenants Together, California's statewide organization for renters' rights (based in San Francisco). Volunteers work alongside over ten thousand California renters as they learn and fight for their rights. Learn invaluable skills to help your community and become part of the fight for housing justice, including timely information like the impacts of the COVID-19 State of Emergency on tenants and our communities and how best to support. Counselors help tenants fight against evictions, rent increases, uninhabitable living conditions, and the wholesale displacement. Learn more and sign up here.
Stay Connected While Physical Distancing
COVID-19 is highlighting and exacerbating the vast inequities 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 during the pandemic.
Does your Employer Use Benevity?
If you or someone you know works for a company like Apple, Google, Nike, Starbucks, Levi-Strauss (and many others), your donation can be matched through the platform Benevity. Donating here, you can help us raise thousands of dollars more for local organizations doing mutual aid work. 100% of donations made now through Benevity to SURJ Bay Area will go into our Racial Justice Emergency Relief Fund and passed on to local organizations doing vital work to provide aid to the most vulnerable members of our community. To donate, log onto 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:
Demand Oakland Provide Hotel Rooms for Black Unhoused People
There are thousands of unsheltered people in Oakland, over 70% of whom are Black. The few hundred hotel rooms currently provided by Alameda County are vastly insufficient to protect the lives of our most vulnerable residents from Covid-19. Call Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to express your outrage at her inaction and demand that she use her power to commandeer empty hotel rooms for the protection of lives during this pandemic.
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 action! The Paid Sick Days ordinance is on the Oakland City Council agenda Tuesday, May 5th at 5:30 pm! Please submit an e-comment before the meeting.
Free Black Mamas By Mother's Day Campaign
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.
Help Provide Hotel Rooms for Our Unhoused Neighbors
Since the City of Oakland is still struggling with the simple task of moving people into at least 1500 empty hotel rooms, The Village and East Oakland Collective are showing them how it's done: with community funding they’ve already moved Black elders, veterans, and other vulnerable people into hotel rooms across Oakland. This grassroots effort provides new hotel guests with hot meals, groceries, and personal hygiene supplies along with access to volunteer medical professionals, life coaches, and onsite coordinators. To support this program, please consider making a donation. Learn more and donate here.
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 Black Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming 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.
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Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Bay Area c/o PO Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609
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