WHO WE ARE
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) Toronto is a local chapter of an international organization committed to moving white people and communities into action to support racial justice movements as part of a broader multi-racial majority. As settlers on Indigenous land, we commit to working towards decolonization and Indigenous sovereignty. We work to support and collaborate with local and national racial justice and decolonization organizing led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) organizers.
Through each of our active teams, SURJ Toronto will provide a space to develop consciousness and analysis, engage in political education, and build skills to act with accountability for racial justice alongside BIPOC-led organizing. SURJ Toronto aims to carry out this mission within Toronto and beyond, with a specific focus on issues and action related to the GTA and Canada more broadly. This will be the spot to stay plugged in, keep up-to-date, and connect around events and actions.
What is the role of white people in this work?
SURJ Toronto works to move white people into action to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC)-led justice movements. We know that we are not the experts on racism by any means. We believe that white people do have a role to play in educating, mobilizing, and redistributing resources from other white people to support racial justice and decolonization efforts.
Racism and settler colonialism rob all people of humanity, are devastating to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities, and are interlocked with all systems of oppression. White people have a key responsibility to stand in opposition, to undermine white support for white supremacy and institutions that uphold white supremacy, and a responsibility to take on the challenging educational and emotional labour of moving more white people into multi-racial movements for racial justice.
While we take the lead from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-led organizers in the city, it is white people who must do the work of transforming white communities. We know that many white people feel unsure of what to do, how to do it, or where to start. We listen to BIPOC leaders that we are working with directly, but we don't wait to be told what to do. We believe that white people need to show up, be moved past past fear and guilt, and tip the balance of power to support racial justice! We hope to build a mass movement that challenges white supremacy, colonialism, and racism in all its forms.