SURJ DC TEAMS
Reach out to to the Welcome Team or to a team you're interested in, and we'll connect you with a team meeting or introduce you to a SURJ DC member. Our infrastructure is organized around three core work areas: Outreach and Intake to help engage and absorb new members, Partnerships to mobilize and act in support of our partner organizations; and Education & Resources to provide liberatory education to white people who want to get involved in racial justice work. This core work is supported by three internal teams: Coordinating Committee, Operations (which includes several teams and working groups), and Leadership.
outreach & intake
DEEP CANVASS: SURJ NoVA and SURJ DC hold space at white people's doors for conversations about race. Deep canvassing builds on our collective wisdom about the best ways to have authentic conversations with complete strangers, with the long-term goal of finding a method to shift the hearts and minds of white people away from racism and toward racial justice. We remain committed to calling in our communities to divest from white supremacy while providing the space for the self-work needed to better articulate, understand, and grapple with our own stake in and vision for a more beautiful and just world. No canvassing experience necessary; our deep canvass action days include a training to make sure that you're as prepared and supported as possible. email@example.com
WELCOMING TEAM: To welcome new people into SURJ DC and get them connected to their next steps in the movement. firstname.lastname@example.org
DC REINVEST: SURJ DC is a member of DC ReInvest, a diverse coalition of DC-based grassroots groups working to divest from banks funding pipelines like Dakota Access and Keystone XL, private prisons, and predatory lending, and reinvest in our communities. We are answering the call of Indigenous leaders and local organizers to follow the paper trail and ensure D.C.'s wealth is used to combat injustice, not perpetuate it. This working group coordinates with other members of the coalition to advance these goals. email@example.com
FAITH: To organize majority white churches to support racial justice movements and grow as anti-racist, multicultural intstituiton by creating coummnity, sharing resources, and working on common projects. firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPOWER DC: To support the work of Empower DC, a local city-wide, grassroots, membership-based, inter-generational community organizing project whose mission is to enhance, improve and promote the self-advocacy of low and moderate income DC residents in order to bring about sustained improvements in their quality of life. This team works to support Empower's organizing efforts by participating in advocacy in support of public housing, fundraising to support their efforts, political ed around public housing of our own SURJ DCmembership, and building direct action support of Empower's organizing within SURJ DC. email@example.com
MIGRANT JUSTICE: To organize SURJ members in support of local work to provide support and protection to our immigrant neighbors through advocacy, local organizing, and other actions. Partnering with Many Languages One Voice (MLOV), this team is currently focused on pushing the DC council to pass & implement laws that potect immigrants, like having one, uniform DC ID card. Activities include meeting with city council members, participating in rallies, conducting community outreach, and more. firstname.lastname@example.org
MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES STEERING COMMITTEE: SURJ's representation at the M4BL steering committee, which includes Black Lives Matter:DC, Stop Police Terror Project DC, Black Youth Project 100 DC, Pan-African Community Action, Law for Black Lives, and Asian/Pacific Islander Resistance. email@example.com
ONE DC: To support the work of ONE DC, a local organization building a movement of low-income, poor, and immigrant communities to create and preserve racial and economic equity in Shaw and the District. We provide logistical and administrative support, fundraising opportunities, mobilization assistance, and are building a connection with their Black Worker Center. firstname.lastname@example.org
POLICING: To support the work of Stop Police Terror Project and the Movement for Black Lives DMV to advocate against racist policing policies and practices in the district, educate our base and build wide support for alternatives to policing, and connect with other SURJ internal teams and partners around responses to racist police violence. The team's current work is focused on support the Movement for Black Lives DMV's campaign to fully fund the NEAR act, a DC law for increasing community control & oversight over the police but which the Mayor has refused to fully fund and implement. That includes organizing house parties, canvassing, participating in rallies, fundraising, and more. email@example.com
PRE-ACTION TRAINING TEAM: To work with white folks on showing up to with accountability and commitment to actions organized and led by people of color, through trainings/discussion groups before partner actions as well as through stand-alone trainings. Trainings provide information on some do's & don't's for showing up to POC-led actions as a white person, answer questions, connect participants to long-term opportunities to engage in racial justice work, and help build a community of protest and resistance. firstname.lastname@example.org
RAPID RESPONSE: To help grow and sustain a DC activist community that is thoughtful about safety and risk. We work to train people with de-escalation skills and build capacity among community members to create safer spaces without police during direct actions and in our everyday lives. email@example.com
education & resources teams
- EDUCATION & RESOURCES: To provide liberatory educational opportunities to white people in DC who want to get involved in racial justice. firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLECTIVE ACTION: To provide education and expertise to other SURJ groups and support to accountability partners on preparing for, carrying out, and recovering from campaigns of collective action with escalation up to and including non-violent direct action. email@example.com
HEALING CIRCLES: To increase access to emotional processing for SURJ DC organizers and build a healing culture into SURJ DC. We prioritize showing up at the Movement for Black Lives Coalition work and offer healing spaces to the SURJ DC base in response to major events. We view healing as learning about how oppression has harmed each of us inter-personally and developing practices that help us heal from that harm so we can be fully alive and better organizers. firstname.lastname@example.org
READING GROUPS: To educate white people about structural racism with the purpose of moving them into activism for racial justice. While reading and discussion form the basis of the group experience, the goal is for groups to work together towards increasingly more active participation in anti-racism work. Groups meet once a month for 7-8 months with strong expectations for participation, openness, and movement toward action. email@example.com
QUEER & TRANS WORKING GROUP: The Queer & Trans Working Group engages in education, community building, and action to mobilize queer and trans white folks in the struggle for collective liberation. We seek to address the specific ways that white supremacy operates in and harms queer and trans communities in the D.C. area, and to support, resource, and center organizing for collective liberation led by queer and trans people of color. firstname.lastname@example.org
ASL & ACCESS: To coordinate ASL interpreters for SURJ DC and our partners' events. email@example.com
ART: Aspirational. Let us know if you want to be involved! firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNICATIONS: To keep our members up to date on actions, events, asks; to share educational resources; to mobilize members to support our partners' and our work. This looks like: weekly emails of events/asks, managing Facebook & Twitter, advertising events, maintaining the website, and more. Ideas are welcome! email@example.com
CULTURE: To examine and break down a culture of white supremacy for individuals and SURJ DC as an organization and provide a space to dream about and craft norms for a liberated world. firstname.lastname@example.org
DATA: To get our data in a usable form for more effective organizing, and to keep our members' and our partners' information safe. email@example.com
FAMILIES/CHILDCARE: The team is just getting started. Let us know if you want to be involved! firstname.lastname@example.org
LOGISTICS: Aspirational. Let us know if you want to be involved in coordinating meeting spaces, materials, etc!
internal CORE teams
COORDINATING COMMITTEE (CoCo): To strengthen our work, our teams, and our people. We do so by building relationships between SURJ DC’s teams and sharing successful strategies, tactics, learnings, and resources, which include information, skills, organizational culture, analysis, and framework. (working description)
OPERATIONS & CRITICAL SUPPORT: To support the work of SURJ DC and its partners with not very glamorous but absolutely crucial support, including communications, finance, data, and accessibility (see teams above).
STEERING & ACCOUNTABILITY (SAT): To ensure SURJ DC’s separate teams are acting as a cohesive organization by creating a shared culture, political analysis, and framework. By “culture” we mean our shared values and practices that guide us in action and reaction. By “political analysis” we mean the long-term goals of our work and big-picture milestones towards achieving those goals (we call this “theory of change”). By “framework” we mean the organizing philosophies and accountability models that might be helpful in achieving our goals. SAT also holds responsibility for external accountability, financial practices, public messaging, and organizational pulse-checking/health-monitoring.