On the first anniversary of the violent, white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, we want to recommit and reaffirm the work SURJ Chicago is doing, both internally and in support of our accountability partners. It’s a time to reflect, strengthen our community and continue showing up.
Take a couple minutes to fill out this 7 Question Survey so we can better connect you with the SURJ Chicago community and our accountability partners.
The survey covers your current involvement with partner organizations and your interest in small group discussions among SURJ members.
If you’re looking for a way to show up right now, we invite you to join an existing small group. While each small group may be in the process of developing its own unique goals, one general purpose is to look inward to understand our own biases and build self-awareness in the context of racial justice.
We ask questions like:
– What does it mean to be white?
– How can I be more aware of the white power structures around us?
– How can I shift my participation away from the dominant white supremacist culture?
These groups meet semi-regularly around Chicagoland. Come once, come more than once, everyone is welcome!
There are existing small groups regularly meeting in the Near North/Northside, North/Northwest, Near South/Near West, and Southside/Hyde Park areas. If you are interested in joining one or if your area isn’t represented, fill out the survey!
Through the survey SURJ seeks to understand the balance between reflective work and action-oriented work that will serve our members best. We also want to know which partner organizations you are most involved with so we can grow our network. Another goal of the survey is to identify people from nearby geographic locations so they can connect to form groups in which they can work towards shared goals and local issues.
Some people may have had reservations about completing the survey given that we framed local groups as being centered on discussions of whiteness. SURJ didn’t mean to exclude anyone. The SURJ-Chicago Chapter remains committed to operating as a multiracial coalition seeking to provide opportunities and connections to people with all racial backgrounds and identities who have a variety of ways of showing up and being accountable to the movement.
The small groups are one way SURJ offers members a chance to explore white identity and white privilege as it relates to anti-racism work. Many of our accountability partners stress the importance of white people doing this inner work as a lever for social transformation. The small groups available on the list at the end of the survey welcome anyone who would like to discuss white supremacy and white identity as a piece of the work for racial justice.