Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) is an organization that works to mobilize a critical mass of white people to fight for racial justice. It recognizes the responsibility white people bear for fighting against racism and white supremacy, and provides tools and organizing opportunities for white people to support efforts led by people of color.
I attended a webinar soon after the election where SURJ was training people to phone bank to raise money for them and a migrants’ rights organization. It was an encouraging experience to be with hundreds of white people, many of whom had never phone banked before, who were stepping up to do more. Work like this is going to be even more important in the next four years. You can find out more here, find a local chapter here and donate here.
As we come to terms with the devastation that a Trump administration could bring, many organizations are going to need our time, energy and dollars. With reports of hate crimes on the rise perpetrated by people emboldened by Trump’s racist, xenophobic, misogynist rhetoric, the Southern Poverty Law Center will play an important role.
SPLC monitors the activities of hate groups around the country like the Ku Klux Klan (which, remarkably, has endorsed the president-elect). They also have a team of lawyers and advocates fighting for economic and racial justice and working to combat mass incarceration. Their work will be crucial as we stand up to the hatred Trump incites and will try to codify with his team of bigots. You can find out more here and donate here.
While the Supreme Court has affirmed that Americans have a constitutional right to abortion, it doesn’t mean getting one is easy. While the ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt finally struck a blow against some of the nation’s most draconian anti-abortion laws, there are still hundreds of laws on the books that make a getting an abortion more difficult, and anti-choice groups are finding new and creative ways to block access. Low income women and women of color suffer the most in the fact of these restrictions.
Whether it’s a law that requires you to go to a faraway clinic twice because there’s a mandatory waiting period, or the Hyde amendment that blocks funding for abortions for low-income women, these restrictions can make accessing reproductive healthcare prohibitively expensive. The National Network of Abortion Funds works to make sure that abortion isn’t just a right on paper. You can donate to them directly, and/or choose from their list of local abortion funds who need support in the ongoing effort to make universal abortion access a reality.
I first became aware of Equal Justice Initiative when I read Just Mercy. I had heard other activists speak reverently about this book by Bryan Stevenson. The book chronicles his move to Alabama to start an organization to defend poor people battling a racist justice system and free those who have been wrongfully convicted. It’s a searing indictment of our criminal justice system and a beautiful meditation on the concept of mercy and how it should infuse our culture and our approach to criminal justice. Continue reading “Organization of the month: Equal Justice Initiative”
This blog and the wider work that I do are not just about discussing politics and social justice but thinking about how we make lasting change. To emphasize that, I’m adding a new feature to the blog where I highlight an organization I support that is doing effective and important work. Continue reading “Organization of the month: Movement for Black Lives”