A note from our national director, Erin Heaney:
Dear SURJ family,
This year, we have experienced unprecedented growth. As Black leadership across the world led people into the streets and into action in support of Black lives, we welcomed thousands of white people new to the movement and put them to work. And as the Right doubled down on their racist organizing in white communities, we set out door knocking and phone banking to recruit more white communities into our movement and away from the Republicans and the white supremacists.
To be responsive to SURJ’s growth, I’m excited to share that we are launching a new website surj.org and a new logo that’s easier to use and reproduce.
This website is simpler to navigate and has clear pathways for new people to get involved. It features an updated chapter directory, a page just for brand new people, and a brief history of SURJ. And it contains many of the widely used resources and from our old website too, like the SURJ values and Tema Okun’s article “White supremacy culture characteristics.”
Our new website more clearly reflects our expanded organizing and shows how to get more involved with SURJ and our organizing programs:
- The SURJ Chapter Network: Our 175+ chapters across the US and Canada are working on local campaigns around abolition, elections, and political education
- SURJ National Membership: We’ve launched a national membership program, where you can plug into SURJ’s National work no matter where you live in the country
- SURJ Disability is organizing white disabled people into SURJ’s national abolition work and supporting the SURJ network in its commitment to disability justice
- SURJ Faith is growing a national network of faith-rooted folks taking action in local, regional, and national SURJ campaigns especially around abolition
- Organizing with poor and working people in the South and in priority states: As a part of our commitment to building our base in poor and working class white communities, especially in rural places and the South, we are building multiple layers of organizing using electoral, chapter, base building and media work in Ohio and, through SURJ’s Southern Crossroads project, in Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia, and Kentucky
- Raising funds for solidarity partners: Following the leadership and vision of the Black liberation movement is essential in order for any of us to get free. The transformation we’ve seen in 2020 is because of their labor and leadership. Moving resources to support their work is an important part of aligning with their organizing.
We’re also launching a new logo.
Our new logo (at left) is more streamlined and easier to reproduce on banners and signs. It’s a bold look that recognizes our history while looking towards the future, and the design draws on the typography from early abolitionist literature. The shape of the letters still harkens to the original surging wave shape of our first logo, but also the shape of a raised fist:
We have immense gratitude for the beautiful logo (at right) created by Puerto Rican artist and organizer, Ricardo Levins Morales, which has carried us through the first decade of SURJ:
The new website and logo reflect our organizational strategy — honed and affirmed through the hard-fought organizing over this pivotal year — of working to bring millions more white people to take action and support struggles for:
- Abolition: We’re working to decrease the number of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers, support campaigns that invest resources in communities and not in policing and prisons, and make sure white communities understand how we will all be better off in a world without cages.
- Economic justice: We know fights for racial justice and economic justice are inseparable because the current system maintains wealth for the few by recruiting poor and working white people to see themselves as more aligned with those at the top than with working class communities of color. We are organizing for the long haul in strategic priority states with poor and working class white people to build bases of progressive power committed to racial and economic justice.
- Progressive electoral power: In this moment of growing neofascist and white supremacist expression in the Republican Party, it is critical that we ensure Republicans do not take hold of the federal government again. Helping to build the base of progressive white voters in strategic districts and states is an essential role SURJ will play in 2022 midterm elections.
We’ve more than doubled in size since last year — I am proud of the foundation we have built and so excited about where we are going. Can you make a gift to support this work for the long haul and to ensure that we out-organize the right and win over our people?
SURJ National Director
PS Sign up today to take action through SURJ’s monthly action phone zaps – our next one is June 10 – where we call, text, or email the agencies or officials we are pressuring that day to support the work of our solidarity partner organizations and win racial and economic justice. You’ll join the welcoming community of SURJ members and receive training and support throughout the session.