As we start the new year, please give generously on January 10 to the Second Sunday offering for Showing Up for Racial Justice. SURJ in DC is part of the SURJ national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work 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. Here is information from their website:
“WE NEED YOU DEFECTING FROM WHITE SUPREMACY AND CHANGING THE NARRATIVE OF WHITE SUPREMACY BY BREAKING WHITE SILENCE.”
- ALICIA GARZA, CO-FOUNDER BLACK LIVES MATTER AND SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR AT THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKER ALLIANCE
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. That work cannot be done in isolation from or disconnected from the powerful leadership of communities of color. It is one part of a multi-racial, cross-class movement centering the leadership of people of color. Therefore, SURJ believes in resourcing organizing led by people of color and maintaining strong accountability relationships with organizers and communities of color as a central part of their theory of change.
SURJ believes that we must ground our organizing in a framework of “mutual interest” — white supremacy is integral to economic injustice, to maintaining patriarchy and other forms of oppression. Racism and white supremacy keep the many divided for the benefit of the few. We must have an inclusive, open-hearted approach to organizing, calling people into this work rather than creating barriers to participation while maintaining a clear political line. When those of us who are white realize that racial justice is core to our liberation as well, then masses of white people will withdraw support from white supremacy. Together, as part of a powerful multi-racial, cross-class movement for collective liberation we can force the system of white supremacy to crumble.
In order to activate this theory of change, 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
Within this framework, our network is using a number of tactics, including leading and participating in campaigns, base-building, direct action, relationship-building, communications work and more.