OUR teams

This is where the work happens on the ground! Organizing, campaigns, and action take place within each of our teams in various capacities. Each of our teams works to achieve our strategic objectives and support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-led organizing. They are:

coordinating

The Coordinating team first formed in November 2016. The CT is comprised of at least 2 representatives from each of our teams, and meets several times a month to strategize, plan, and structure the overarching direction and priorities of SURJ Toronto's organizing. The Coordinating team maintains communication and relationship with our Accountability Council. The Coordinating team makes interim funding decisions while a formal funding structure is finalized. The Coordinating team is led by femmes, queers, trans people, and Ashkenazi Jews.

Contact: surjto [@] gmail.com

BASEBUILDING

The Basebuilding team focuses on SURJ Toronto growing both deeper and wider through such work as: creating a culture of care, developing accountability and sustainability in recruitment, and focussing on retention and mentorship.  Our team supports the deepening of relationships and effectiveness in SURJ organizing by identifying what gaps exist in our work and structure, how we can learn from them, and addressing them effectively to grow stronger.  With a focus on moving more white people into action to end white supremacy and ending white silence, Basebuilding works on diverse approaches to engaging white folks in becoming committed members and supporters of SURJ Toronto.  

EDUCATION

The Education team uses education as a tool to undermine white supremacy, aiming to end white support for racist institutions, white silence, complacency, and inaction.  Education is seen as a necessary path to mobilization and action, and as an “incubator” in order to effectively support BIPOC-led activism. Our work is built upon a foundation of knowledge created by a wide array of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-identified teachers, activists, healers and leaders and is designed to amplify these voices. Our work takes a variety of forms, including:

  • Internal education to enhance the knowledge of existing and new SURJ members about white supremacy and settler colonialism

  • Creation and curation of educational resources (multimedia)

  • Role-playing anti-racist conversations to have with family/friends, community members

  • Bystander intervention training

  • Workshops with majority white audiences (Eg. institutions such as religious groups or unions, etc.)

ACTION

The Action team organizes and takes action for racial justice through direct action and resource redistribution. 

  • Direct Action & Campaigns - Responding to calls from local Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) organizers and racial justice groups for direct action support. This includes logistical support, material support, showing up with bodies or supplies, and campaigning. We have marshalled rallies against Islamophobia, rallied in support of Dafonte Miller, marched against white supremacy, given deputations at the Toronto Police Service Board, Toronto District School Board, and City Hall, canvassed the public to sign postcards demanding action on anti-Black racism at City Hall, and supported the campaign to end the School Resource Officer program within the TDSB

  • Resource Redistribution - Moving and redistributing resources from white communities to communities of colour. In partnership with the Kids & Families team, this has led to the creation of the Childminding Collective

COMMUNICATIONS

The Communications team manages SURJ Toronto's website, social media, e-newsletter, promotes events, writes calls-to-action, provides analysis and develops messaging on current events/news, and boosts the work and events of local BIPOC racial justice organizers. 

Members of our team have skills in: graphic design, web development, social media, writing, editing, photography, marketing, promotion, videography, etc. 

FUNDRAISING

Our Fundraising team has raised over $50,000 since February 2017 in order to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-led organizing in and around Toronto. Our Fundraising team does NOT make decisions about what groups get money, but has a number of other responsibilities including:

  • Creating and fostering the fundraising culture in SURJ - Talking about money is hard! It gets easier with practice, and with a supportive team

  • Supporting SURJ members in writing pitches for open meetings and other campaigns using a variety of tools, skills, and strategies

  • Providing fundraising workshops, trainings, and support to other grassroots organizing in the city

  • Tracking incoming donations, outgoing fund transfers, internal costs, and managing SURJ's overall operating budget

KIDS & FAMILIES

The Kids and Families Team centres kids, youth, families, and caregivers in the issues we focus on, the groups we partner with, and the way that we engage in our work. We have three main areas of focus:

  • Building and sharing resources and skills related to dismantling white supremacy

  • Materially supporting the work of BIPOC parents and organizers and taking action on BIPOC-led support asks and campaigns on these issues

  • Challenging racism in our schools and communities

  • Check out our resources here

CHILDMINDING COLLECTIVE

The SURJ Toronto Childminding Collective is an important part of our ongoing work to support the activism and organizing of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in Toronto! Our goal is to directly support organizers in the city by holding down childminding at regular meetings, events, and actions! By providing childminding at these events, we can help support increased accessibility for parents and caregivers, and expand the movement. You can reach us at surjto.childminding@gmail.com

FOR VOLUNTEERS: Are you excited about hanging out with kids? Do you want to put some time and energy towards directly supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-led organizing? The childminding collective could be a perfect fit for you! If you are interested, please fill out the form below — once enough people have signed up, we will get in touch with you with details about our next training session (date TBD). Participating in this 3-hour orientation will introduce you to SURJ and the collective’s structure, review the important and exciting context about why childminding is important for organizing accessible movements, and offer some basic training in childminding! SIGN UP HERE!

FOR ORGANIZERS: Are you a grassroots organizer interested in making your anti racist activism more accessible for parents and caregivers? For more information about how to request childminding for your organization or event, see details here.