In the days ahead, those of us who are white have the opportunity to do our part in pulling the country back from escalating authoritarianism and the brink of fascism. This is not the time that we turn away in despair, but when we root deeper in what we know is true: millions of white people across the country are ready for us to talk to them and waiting to be given a better option than white supremacy.
Today, we launch our midterms election program, Block, Build, Grow and we are inviting people from across the country to help us BLOCK white supremacist organizing, BUILD progressive power in key states, and GROW our collective “we” of anti-racist white people to show up big in 2022, 2024, and beyond.
We know elections aren’t the end goal, but another form of opportunity:
“At its worst, electoral work can be transactional, short-sighted, heartbreaking, and painful. And – elections are opportunities for our movement. They are an opportunity to bring new people into our movement, to build new leadership and skills, to shift power dynamics for the long haul, to contribute to victories that are set by folks most impacted by the systems, and to really change the conditions under which our broader movement is operating.”
- Erin Heaney, National Director, SURJ, in our 2020 webinar, “Building Anti-racist Electoral Work” in 2020
No matter where you live, you can help us organize white people in 2022 to build long-haul power. We’ll be working in states where we already have roots to make sure white people vote based on what they stand to gain from progressive platforms like the ones Stacy Abrams, Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Charles Booker represent – and not based on the racist divide-and-conquer tactics of the Far Right.
Here’s what we’ll be up to:
- GEORGIA: building off our massive program– of which many of you were a part– contacting nearly 2 million white voters in the 2020 General and 2021 Senate Run-Off elections, we’ll be joining our partners at New Georgia Project and CASA again to knock doors, text, and call voters in multiracial counties outside of Atlanta where our job is to organize enough persuadable white folks away from Trump’s Big Lie and towards justice-aligned platforms.
- KENTUCKY: Charles Booker– who narrowly lost the Democratic primary in 2020 and came back this year to win it– is a candidate who understands that working people of all races have so much to gain by working together to shift power. We’ll be building off our deep work with our chapter in Louisville and rural base building project in Eastern Kentucky to organize working class white support for Booker in 2022 across the state.
- OHIO: JD Vance, Trump’s pick and millionaire author of Hillbilly Elegy, does not represent the interest of the people of Appalachia. We know it from our rural, harm reduction-focused organizing project in Appalachian Ohio, Nelsonville Voices, and know that our members are ready to organize to block this Far Right candidate to show the country that the real values of Appalachia are multiracial solidarity and collective care.
We know these locations are strategic places where we can move key groups of white people, grow a base of voters who understand their shared stake in fighting for justice, and build the power and skills of SURJ members across the country who take action with us.