Showing Up for Racial Justice

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Showing Up for Racial Justice is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change [1]

For the past six years, (circa 2009) white anti-racists from around the country have been building up a national network to engage and move white people towards racial justice action. Rooted in longstanding white anti-racist efforts and leadership, along with strong relationships with organizers and leaders of color, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) has been building infrastructure, relationships, shared values, and membership to respond to the call from Black leaders and leaders of color to move white people into action. From the Arizona anti-immigration struggle in 2010, to the murder of Trayvon Martin, SURJ has been bringing national leadership to help give focus, energy, and effective to white anti-racist efforts. Since, Ferguson, SURJ has literally been surging with new members, new chapters, and a growing role of convening national calls to help inform, equip, and mobilize a massively expanding base of white people into racial justice action.

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared”

Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared” was released May 12 2020.

":Our demands: The country’s greatest priority at this moment is to beat the COVID-19 crisis, and this requires embracing principles of antiracist solidarity and international cooperation. The Biden campaign can and should beat Trump and the GOP with a message centered on our real public health needs and the progressive values that are required to meet those needs. The “Unprepared” ad must be taken down, and all campaign messaging that fuels anti-Asian racism and China-bashing must end. We refuse to allow the Biden campaign to sacrifice our dignity in the name of political expediency."

Signatories included Showing Up for Racial Justice

SURJ electoral work


In 2020, SURJ has big plans to expand it's electoral work in majority-white communities. Join the national director of the Working Families Party, Maurice Moe Mitchell for a discussion on the need for us to build a multi-racial working class populist movement, how elections fit into our broader fight for collective liberation, and how organizing poor and working white voters is an important piece of this work.

Maurice will be joined by SURJ's national director Erin Heaney who will unveil SURJ's plans to expand it's electoral work in 2020 alongside the Working Families Party. [2]

Shutting Down John Guandolo

Showing Up for Racial Justice was cited at FightBack! News[3] as one of the groups who successfully intimidated venues to cancel events called "Threat of Islam to America".

"Earlier this week, anti-fascist groups from the Fox Valley and Green Bay led a phone blast campaign to the hotel where one of Guandolo's events was scheduled to take place. The announcement of confrontational protest in addition to phone calls pressured the venue to cancel the event, which was called, "Threat of Islam to America."


"Building on the Green Bay victory, activists in the Milwaukee area organized a call-in to a hotel in the Milwaukee suburb of Pewaukee. Area Islamic groups and individuals called the hotel, which is a popular wedding venue for Muslim families. Organizations such as the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump, SDS, and Wisconsin Antifa networks spread the word online.
"In under 24 hours the Pewaukee venue announced that the event was no longer taking place. Worldview Weekend once again tweeted their response, saying "We have over $15,000 into conferences not counting mailing."
"In La Crosse, Wisconsin activists from the Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) were busy planning a mass rally and call-in for the last of three planned stops in Wisconsin. The venue, Onalaska Omni-Center, refused to cancel the event, citing the First Amendment. But activists in La Crosse and throughout the state continued to prepare for a demonstration.

SURJ - Bay Area Monthly Meeting (February 2016)

1714 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA Wednesday 10 February 2016, Organized by : SURJ - Oakland/SF Bay Area

This is the coordinating page for SURJ - Bay Area. Come here for info regarding our meetings and the mobilizations that we participate in.

Those indicating attendance on Wherevent included Josh Kalla, Rho Chazin Seidelman, David Broockman, Melanie Letendre, Honah Thompson, Jason Wallach, Peter Cerutti, Elena Gustafson, Colleen Klus, Hannah Desmond Warren, Luba Yusim, Tess Young, Nell Scott, Susan Hagstrom, Lyla Denburg, Whitney Walker.[4]

SURJ Founders

The first National leaders of Showing Up for Racial Justice, were Sam Hamlin, Dara Silverman, Pam McMichael and Carla Wallace.[5]


Showing Up for Racial Justice staff, as of 2015;[6]

Leadership team

The Leadership Team (LT) is the programmatic and decision-making body of SURJ. This team is responsible for making decisions about the ongoing development, broad programmatic vision and fiscal oversight of SURJ.

Showing Up for Racial Justice leadership team, as of 2015;[7]

Accountability Council

The Accountability Council is designed to engage leaders of color who offer feedback and counsel on SURJ's strategy, organizing and political direction.

Showing Up for Racial Justice Accountability Council as of 2015;[8]


Our team of connectors are all people who use their platform - whether that is as an artist, speaker, author, organizer, etc - to help further the mission of SURJ, engaging more white people in our shared work for racial justice.

As of 2015;[9]

Shutting down Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has cancelled a campaign rally in Chicago after the event turned into a chaotic scene with clashes between thousands of supporters and protesters, March 11, 2016.

CNN estimated there were between 8,500 to 10,000 people in the Chicago arena when tensions erupted into chaos.

Chicago activists had spent the week leading up to the rally planning how to disrupt it.

One group, Showing Up for Racial Justice, coordinated with minority student groups on local campuses, using group email chains and messaging so that protesters could stay in constant communication.

One of the organizers, Nathaniel Lewis, 25, a master's degree student in public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he was shocked they succeeded in shutting the rally down.

"I'm happy, I'm at peace, because we came together as a collective," Mr Lewis said.

"This is the last thing we expected to happen. It shows the power of unity."

A Trump campaign staffer took the stage about half an hour after the rally was slated to begin and said it would be postponed for safety reasons.[10]

DSA affiliation

Oklahoma DSA Facebook, July 13, 2016

Showing Up for Racial Justice became affiliated with Democratic Socialists of America in July 2016;

Please join us in celebrating DSA’s new affiliation with Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ). SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Though DSA has many active members and leaders of color, the reality is the majority of our membership is white. Being honest with ourselves about this reality means we need resources that can help our primarily white chapters to learn to do more effective anti-racist coalition work. To that end we think affiliating with SURJ, with its wealth of activist trainings, educational materials and networking resources, is an important first step in helping DSA to become an even stronger multi-racial organization in the long run.

Affliated groups/local contacts

As of 2015;[11]


SURJ BirminghamBirmingham, AL - Lily Andrews


Anchorage, AK - David Weiland


Little Rock Collective Liberation - Acadia Roher


Phoenix SURJ-Phoenix, AZ - Ben Laughlin

Tucson SURJTucson, AZ - Brook Bernini, Leah Jo Carnine

Payson Amnesty International- Payson, AZ - Penny Navis-Schmidt


SURJ Bay AreaBay Area, CA - Felicia Gustin

White People for Racial JusticeLos Angeles, CA - Dahlia Ferlito

Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere-Los Angeles (AWARE-LA)- Los Angeles, CA

SURJ San Diego, San Diego CA - Aaryn Belfer

SURJ LBC- Long Beach, CA - Jeb Middlebrook

SURJ Santa Cruz- Soquel, CA - Jessica Nifield

Catalyst Project- Bay Area, CA

Racial Justice Allies of Sonoma County- Sonoma County, CA

SURJ Ventura- Ventura, CA - Sarah Flam

SURJ Sacramento, Sacramento, CA - Jacke Humphrey-Straub, Jen Higley-Chapman


SURJ BoulderBoulder, CO

SURJ Denver – Denver, CO


SURJ Connecticut- Hartford and New Haven, CT

Cathy Rion Starr, Hartford

Jennifer Griffiths, New Haven


SURJ Miami- Miami, FL

SURJ Gainsville- San Mateo, FL - Rebekah Cordova

SURJ SW FL- Fort Myers, FL - Clara Alevy


Atlanta SURJ- Atlanta, GA - Becky Rafter


SURJ Boise- Boise, ID - Julie Stevens


SURJ Chicago- Chicago, IL

Urbana SURJ- Champaign-Urbana, IL - ElizaBeth Simpson


Bloomington SURJ - Miriam Woods


Sioux City, IA - Rev. Ryan Dowell Baum


Louisville SURJLouisville, KY - Carla Wallace

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth – Statewide - Meta Mendel-Reyes

Berea United for Racial Justice - Berea, KY - Meta Mendel-Reyes

Central Kentucky SURJ, KY - Jesus Gonzales

Eastern Kentucky SURJ, Knoxville, TN - Carol Nichols


European DissentNew Orleans, LA - Pam Nath, Ada McMahon


SURJ Central Maine-Lewiston/Auburn, ME



Community Change Inc. - Boston, MA - Shay Stewart-Bouley

Western Mass SURJ- Western MA

Progressive MA- Newton, MA - Susan Davidoff


White Anti-Racism Network (WARN)- Baltimore, MD - Cynthia Newcomer

SURJ Baltimore- Baltimore, MD - Betty Robinson


Southwestern Michigan SURJ - Chris Kindy


SURJ MNMinneapolis/ St Paul, MD


Anti-Racism CollectiveSaint Louis, MO - Elyse Vesser

SURJ-KC- Kansas City, MO - Pan Haywood

New Jersey

Center for the Study of White American Culture- Roselle, NJ

New Mexico

SURJ New Mexico- Santa Fe and Albuquerque

Wise Fool New Mexico- Santa Fe, NM - Amy Christian

New York

Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration- Albany, NY - Melissa Fleck


Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) – NY, NY - Rachel McCullough

European Dissent- NY, NY - Anna Lemler

Lake Placid, NY - Stefanie Valovic

White Noise Collective-NYC Chapter- NY, NY - Kate McNeely

SURJ Buffalo- Buffalo, NY - Whitney Yax

SURJ Ithaca- Ithaca, NY - Kate Cardona

Stony Brook, NY - Janelle Gagnon

Hudson SURJ- Hudson NY - Kaya Weidman


SURJ Las VegasLas Vegas, NV - Jenny Fox Ishihara

North Carolina

SURJ AshevilleAsheville, NC - Desaray Smith

Charlotte SURJ - Charlotte, NC

Durham SURJ- Durham, NC


SURJ Greater Dayton- Dayton, OH - Ri Molnar

SURJ Cleveland - Cleveland, OH - Bridget Walland

Columbus SURJ- Columbus, OH - Laura Tompkins, Lane Campbell


Rural Organizing Project – Statewide - Jessica Campbell

Central Oregon Social Justice Center- Bend, OR - Bruce Morris

Corvallis SURJ- Corvallis, OR - Faith Reidenbach

SURJ PDXPortland, OR

ForWARD (For White Accountability in Racial Dialogue)- Portland, OR - Sara Rudolph

SURJ Eugene- Eugene, OR - Nadia Telsey, Heather Gardner-Madras


WWHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh, PA

Philly SURJ- Philadelphia, PA

Central PA SURJ- Central Pennsylvania, PA - Susan Prill

Rhode Island

Providence, RI - Ash Trull

South Carolina

SURJ Charleston- Charleston, SC

South Dakota

South Dakotans Against Racism-Sioux Falls, SD - Julia Tibbets


Highlander Research and Education Center- New Market, TN - Pam McMichael

SURJ Nashville- Nashville, TN - Marie Campbell


Dallas SURJ- Dallas, TX - Julianna Bradley

Racial Unity- Dallas, TX - Linda Cavness

Undoing Racism Austin White Caucus- Austin, TX - Jaynna Sims, Keslie Box


Salt Lake City, UT, Maria Duffin


SURJ Central VTPlainfield, VT - Bruin Runyan, Madeline Sharrow, Jade Walker

SURJ SE VT- Guilford, VT - Alex Fisher

SURJ UV VT NH- Upper Valley, VT and NH - Sharon Racusin


SURJ Northern Virginia- Northern Virginia - Cayce Utley

SURJ Richmond- Richmond, VA - Alexandra Reckendorf


Bellingham Racial Justice Coalition- Bellingham, WA - Jim Ace, Erin Uloth

European DissentSeattle, WA- Megan

Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) – Seattle, WA - Becca Meredith

Tools for Change- Seattle, WA - Bill Aal

SURJ Olympia- Olympia, WA

Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), Spokane, WA -Liz Moore

Washington, D.C.

SURJ D.C. - Abbey Marr & Julia Clemons


Groundwork – Madison, WI = Z. Lula Haukeness

SURJ Milwaukee- Milwaukee, WI - Michael Grochowski



Brampton, ON - Patti Ann Trainor