From their most recent newsletter:
We wanted to provide some updates after cancelling last week’s meeting. The core team (Sarah T, Kessa A, Clara H, Gus L, Cathy O, and Linne J) has been meeting regularly to try to figure out exactly what role SURJ-Northfield can fulfill in the community without duplicating the efforts of other groups or taking up unproductive space in racial justice organizing. (We’ve also been thinking a lot about the critiques put forth in this article, which we definitely recommend reading: https://theestablishment.co/whites-only-the-caucasian-invasion-of-racial-justice-spaces-7e2529ec8314.) What seems clearest to us right now is that SURJ has a unique capacity to help fundraise for POC-led organizing as needed, while focusing on education around race and racism in predominantly-white spaces. What this looks like going forward:
We’re going to restructure our open meetings so that they’re more of an opportunity for us to educate ourselves more about race and whiteness/practice strategies for having conversations on these topics. We’re going to start this new structure at this Sunday’s meeting - April 23rd at 3:15 PM at the Cannon Valley Friends Meetinghouse, 512 Washington St S - an agenda is attached if you want to look at it (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L_p9OwkC1HAQxKcvQ3rGE1WjOFpN0q-1COy8DFfu5eM/edit?usp=sharing)!
Rice County Vecinos Unidos, El Super Barrio Latino, and a number of other groups have been holding coalition meetings to organize support for our Northfield immigrant community. They would love a large showing from SURJ members - the next meeting is Monday, April 24th at 6 PM at Emmaus Church, and feel free to contact one of us if you need help with transportation. In addition, they need funding for consistent, reliable childcare, lawyer's fees for lawyers speaking at the meetings, and snacks and other side costs. A few organizers have been paying this out of pocket, but could use our support. We’ll be collecting cash and checks at the next meeting or in person/Carleton mailboxes (if you can make them out to Sarah Trachtenberg, I promise to get the funds directly to Mar Valdecantos, who is organizing this - we’d just rather not have to make her deal with depositing a number of separate checks. You can also Venmo @Sarah-Trachtenberg-1) Any excess funds will be used to support future organizing and/or costs associated with legal fees, etc. Please, please bring a few dollars to the next meeting or send them our way beforehand - this is an easy way to redistribute resources and support local organizing in Northfield.
If you’d like to be more involved in helping with this restructuring and visioning process or planning the trainings we’ll be doing at Sunday open meetings, please reach out - we’re always happy to have more voices!
SURJ-Northfield Core Team