Even though February is a short month, SURJ-NYC had a lot going on. See the descriptions below for some highlights. If you are interested in hearing about future events, sign up for our mailing list!
You Can’t Deport a Movement. Emergency Rally for Ravi Ragbir Immigrant rights activist, Ravi Ragbir, was scheduled to report to the immigration building to be deported on February 10th. New Sanctuary Coalition and their allies called for an emergency rally to show solidarity with Ravi and immigrant communities across America. Thankfully, Ragbir was granted a temporary stay of deportation.
The Long Arc of Justice: Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement. SURJ members attended this talk and had a structured debrief at the the Brooklyn Historical Society. Historian Jeanne Theoharis discussed her new book, "A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History," which challenges the contemporary memory of the civil rights movement as peaceful, widely supported, and non-confrontational.
February Chapter Meeting SURJ-NYC’s monthly chapter meeting took a look back at the first year of the Trump presidency to think about how to build sustainable activism rooted in motivation rather than urgency (purpose, not panic!). We discussed how to avoid the habits of white supremacy, white saviorism, and apathy/overwhelm in this political moment, and then work to identify long-term solutions that foster purposeful engagement.
VOCAL-NY Ally Teach In. VOCAL-NY had their second educational teach-in focused on Overdose and the War on Drugs. From the beginnings of the racist and failed drug war decades ago, to 2017 where over 64,000 people died from overdose, VOCAL-NY discussed how we got here, where we are now, and what we need from our Mayor and Governor to save lives and strengthen our communities. There was also a naloxone training, so participants could learn how to save a life!
Screening of Rikers: an American Jail. Folks attended this screening of this riveting new documentary from Bill Moyers, which brings you face to face with women and men who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. More than 7,500 people are detained at Rikers Island on any given day; almost 80% have not been tried for anything. The film was followed by a powerful panel discussion, including activists from Just Leadership USA.