The Baltimore and Howard County SURJ group had a productive meeting on March 7th. We got a helpful update from the Progressive Round Table, arrived at an initial consensus on how we'll decide whether to sign on to letters, and heard about a District 12 meeting with Senator Lam. We wrapped up by completing an action alert hosted by JUFJ to support Out for Justice by emailing our reps to request funding for the Women's Prerelease Center authorized by the Gender-Responsive Prerelease Act that OFJ worked to get passed last year.
The political education group continued their study of the "Abolish Everything" curriculum with a discussion on Criminalizing Blackness. This delved into the ways that white supremacist instutions, such as the prison-industrial complex (PIC), are race-making institutions rather than byproducts of existing racialized differences—built with the purpose of exploiting labor, punishing challenges to the racial order, and blaming negative social outcomes of inequality and oppression on the manufactured 'criminal' class. Next month, the group will be exploring the topic of Abolition Feminism, which will focus on the need for feminism movements to reject the PIC in their fight against the patriarchy. Sign up here!
Several members of SURJ attended a Time to Care rally in Annapolis on Feb 21st to support Out for Justice, one of our accountability partners who have made great efforts to promote this legislation that would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for medical or family-related circumstances. The rally, which was organized by the Time to Care coalition, had some incredible speakers who shared powerful stories about why paid sick leave and caregiving time was important to them. These speakers included a father who has a son with special needs and a mother who adopted a daughter and couldn't take time off from her job. The rally felt large and festive, with great lighting, signs, and music. Plus everyone came home with some custom face masks - sure to be a collectors item!