SURJ PDX was founded in 2012 by a small group of white people who, having heard from many people of color in our lives, identified a need for consistent ongoing racial justice organizing by white folks, in contrast to short-lived issue specific campaigns.
In 2013, through the White Privilege Conference, we connected with national SURJ and elected to align ourselves with their work. In 2014, SURJ PDX organized its first cohort, in which over 20 people joined our monthly organizing and a dozen local racial justice leaders emerged. 2015 marks significant growth, with over 30 people in our annual cohort, and over 100 people on a base supporters list.
Through consistently showing up, we are building relationships with POC-led organizations and are honored by the opportunities we have had to support such organizations as Justice for Keaton Otis, Portland Parents Union, Voz Worker’s Center, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, Black Lives Matter Portland, Don’t Shoot Portland, and many others.
In our development, we have learned so much from — and wish to credit — other groups such as Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (Seattle), LA AWARE (Los Angeles), Race Talks (Portland), Portland Office of Equity, and many others.
What We Do
Allyship: SURJ PDX builds and deepens accountable ally relationships in order to achieve victories for racial justice and contribute to local movement‐building efforts.
Education: SURJ PDX works to develop or identify transformative education opportunities that sharpen the analysis, organizing skills and leadership of white anti‐racist organizers. Leadership
Development: SURJ PDX works to develop a core base of strong, consistent, active, long‐term organizers with formalized accountability to the movement.
SURJ PDX works to maintain strong ally relationships with partner organizations while focusing on the internal work on developing a strong cohort of leaders, rooted in anti‐ racist analysis in order to grow our capacity to do broader work in our communities.