SURJ PDX Organizational Structure

 

The Action Groups and Caucuses currently accepting new members are 

  • Accountable Men
  • Bayan PDX
  • Book Club
  • Interfaith

list of our current action groups:

SURJ Bayan PDX

SURJ Bayan PDX works in solidarity with organizations in the National Democratic (ND) movement for the liberation of the Filipino people. The ND movement recognizes that the crises facing Indigenous and Migrant Filipinos are perpetuated by US militarization and economic exploitation. As white folks we understand that white supremacy is a manifestation of US imperialism. Through political education and political action we unite with the struggles of oppressed people globally, recognizing our mutual interest in fighting for a world in which all people have the right to self determination. We meet once monthly.

Black Lives Matter

Following the lead of, and staying accountable to, Black-led organizers and racial justice groups, the SURJ PDX Black Lives Matter Action Group works to end white supremacy and dismantle oppression through educating ourselves and our communities, building and mobilizing leaders, and leveraging resources for Black-led organizations. We have done this through workshops, doorknocking and tabling campaigns, and hope to expand our scope in the coming year. We meet once monthly.

Immigration

The Immigration Action Group seeks to establish and nurture durable relationships of trust with and amplify the efforts of POC-led grassroots organizations working at the intersection of immigration, human rights and racial justice. In our first year, we have collaborated with Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC), Causa (and One Oregon) and the Portland May Day Coalition, among others. A key focus in 2016 was the ultimately successful fight to keep three anti-immigrant, racist measures off the ballot in Oregon.

We meet once per month. We ask that action group members miss as few of the main meetings as possible (committing to 10/12 meetings). Every month, there are typically many events, actions and opportunities to provide assistance to POC-led organizations with a immigrant justice focus. We each try to participate in at least one of these per month — more as time and energy allow.

Interfaith

Our group has been meeting since September 2015. We currently meet once monthly. Email us at surjpdxinterfaith@googlegroups.com with questions or to be added to our email list.Our purpose is to mobilize faith communities to show up for racial justice by:

  • responding to requests from faith communities who contact SURJ PDX
  • having a “finger on the pulse” of what is happening in spiritual communities around racial justice
  • equipping leaders in faith/spiritual communities to engage/mobilize their constituents
  • building relationships with People of Color-led faith communities

 

LIST OF OUR CURRENT caucuSes:

Accountable Men

The goal of this action group is to educate, organize and mobilize white men (trans-inclusive) to work for racial, LGBTQ and gender justice. We pursue these goals via reading discussions; group processing and support sessions; and external actions, such as providing childcare for SURJ and other racial justice events.  We meet twice monthly.

Book Club

We are committed to primarily reading books from authors of color (open to great books by white allies) and encourage a selection of novels, other fiction, historical non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels, poetry, etc. We meet monthly. You do not need to commit to reading and attending all meetings.

Families

We are a group of mostly parents/caregivers of young children and our goals are:

  • Build awareness and skills to engage in anti-racism activism within our families
  • Share opportunities and engage in activism with our families (e.g. Host a Youth Zone at the May Day rally)
  • Build community

We plan to continue offering quarterly open community workshops for white parents/caregivers focused on talking with young children about racism. Based on the interests of people who join the families group, we may also engage in other activities or projects. Our group will meets monthly. We have potluck snacks and spend part of each meeting with adults and kids together, with childcare during the rest of the meeting. We have one or two open meetings at the start of the year then close the group and ask members to make a yearly commitment to attend meetings and help with quarterly workshops.

SURJ Jews

Convened three larger meet-ups for Jews involved in SURJ. We held a Shabbat picnic in Laurelhurst Park during the summer and read and discussed a number of articles about intersections of anti-Jewish oppression and racism.  In 2017, we hope to continue providing spaces for anti-racist Jews to gather, build relationships, and educate ourselves and others about how to combat anti-Jewish oppression and classism as we work to end racism. We are also considering collaborating with other Jewish groups in Portland who are working for racial justice.

Multnomah County SURJ at Work

We will focus on educating, organizing and mobilizing white people to support the work for racial justice. SURJ CoP seeks to provide a space to build relationships and skills to work more effectively within a multiracial movement for justice. We work to connect county employees around diversity values and efforts of the county while promoting personal and professional growth for county employees with common interests and improving retention by providing a stronger sense of community within the county.

LIST OF OUR CURRENT work teams:

Admin

We respond to emails, update the Google calendar, update group rosters in google sheets, manage the SURJ google groups, and create and maintain documentation in Google Drive. A subgroup plans on coordinating the surjpdx.org website. We meet monthly.

Base Building

The mission of the Basebuilding Team is to meaningfully engage new SURJ members and base supporters in racial justice work that is aligned with our organizational values, especially our emphasis on relationship building and accountability through action. The roles of the Basebuilding Team are to:

  • welcome new members and send periodic email updates with opportunities to engage in SURJ-sponsored and accountability partner-affiliated events and actions.
  • upkeep the SURJ racial justice event calendar on surjpdx.org
  • communicate with SURJ action group liaisons about upcoming opportunities for base supporter engagement.
  • seek out and/or create additional relationship building and action opportunities for base supporters through action, volunteering, training and other events.
  • collect and archive evidence of how we are achieving the above.
  • ensure SURJ members not in cohort are familiarized with SURJ values and trained on the role of white people in the racial justice movement.
  • ensure monitoring/moderation of the SURJ Pdx facebook page.

Facilitation

We help organize and facilitate cohort meetings and trainings, which includes designing curriculum and coordinating the logistics such as locating a space, organizing volunteers to assist with childcare, food preparation, set-up and clean-up.  We are all members of SURJ who have been involved for 1 or more years. We support each other in the selection of topics and the creation of non-dominant culture facilitation methods to enhance participants understanding of privilege and oppression.  Our aim is to create positive, equitable and inclusive learning experiences while also building communication and leadership skills.

Mentorship/Sustainability

This is a newly formed team (2016) that is focused on deepening and sustaining racial justice work through creating structures and follow up for peer support and networking across experience level. We help maintain and grow already existing SURJ support structures (like the Racial Justice Check In groups and mid-year check-ins). We are currently looking at additional ways to support past and present cohort members and current leadership. Our core committee is currently closed, but we are always looking for past cohort members and other mentors to serve in mentoring roles this year.