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:
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
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.
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.)
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
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.
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
The Childminding Collective supports Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour organizers and their kids/families by holding down childminding spaces at meetings, events, and actions! The Collective helps expand movements to include parents, little ones, caregivers, grandparents, and more. Since starting in October 2017, the Childminding Collective has provided childminding at various events across the city, and has run 2 orientation sessions to date.
You can REQUEST CHILDMINDING or join the Collective by registering for an orientation session: surjto.childminding [@] gmail.com