Friday, August 18, 2017

Feel Good Friday - Showing Up for Racial Justice

The reason I started writing these Feel Good Friday posts in 2012 was to focus on good work being done as a counter to all the negative events that dominate the news. Some weeks are harder than others to find the good, but I always do.

Given last weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA and the murder of Heather Heyer, I'm going encourage you to read my November post on the Southern Poverty Law Center to see what they're doing to combat hate groups. Next, let's talk about today's organization, Showing Up for Racial Justice.

As explained on their Facebook page, Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) "is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. 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."

Why the focus on whites? SURJ "believes in collective liberation -- and that none of us can be free until we end white supremacy. SURJ's role as part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially just society."

In order to realize this goal, SURJ employs three core strategies:

  • Delegitimize racist institutions
  • Fight for a fair economy that refuses to pit communities against each other
  • Shift culture (meaning the underlying beliefs folks have about people and the world) in a way that undermines support for white supremacy
These strategies are used when organizing community events and providing resources on topics such as direct action, fundraising, working with the media and facilitating meetings. There are chapters throughout the United States, including one in the San Francisco Bay Area, and if there isn't one near you - you can start a new chapter.

If you've been looking for a way to turn your anger into action, I recommend you attend a local eventvolunteer your time or donate your money. You can also show your support on social media by liking the SURJ Facebook page and the SURJ Bay Area Facebook page. If you want to make a difference on Twitter, you can follow @ShowUp4RJ and @surjbayarea. It's time to show up.

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