Since 2015, SURJ Ohio has been organizing in poor and working class white communities and through abolition campaigns in partnership with Black and Brown leaders. The Right now holds power in both state houses and the governorship. Without organizing in majority white communities, it will be nearly impossible to advance a progressive agenda in the state.
After a major victory in 2021 – a first-of-its-kind ballot initiative for police accountability in Cleveland – SURJ Ohio continues to move a statewide strategy led by poor white communities around issues of criminalization, incarceration, and the need for support for drug users — issues that are entry-points to justice work for these communities. Meanwhile in rural Southeast Ohio, organizers recently launched a new project to bring more poor and working class white people into campaigns for racial and economic justice.