Corvallis SURJ is a local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ), a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.
Through community organizing, mobilizing and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change—and envisions a society where we struggle together with love, for justice, human dignity and a sustainable world.
Founded in January 2015, Corvallis SURJ is committed to developing cross-class alliances among white people in Benton County. Our goal is to act in solidarity with people of color to dismantle white supremacy and work toward the liberation of all.
Why we organize
We live in a time of great hope and possibility, yet the potential for a just world for all of us is not possible when racism and oppression keep us divided. This can make us forget how closely connected we truly are. Racism is still present throughout all of our contemporary institutions and structures. Racism is devastating to people of color and is closely intertwined with all systems of oppression. It robs all of us—white people and people of color—of our humanity. We honor and learn from the long history of people of color and white people who have been unrelenting in their struggles for racial justice, and ending all systems of oppression. We are showing up to take our responsibility as white people to act collectively and publicly to challenge the manipulation of racist fear by the ruling class and corporate elite. We know that to transform this country we must be part of building a powerful multi-racial majority to challenge racism in all its forms.
A short history of Corvallis SURJ
Corvallis SURJ was started in 2015, led by Faith Reidenbach, an energetic and committed local activist. A book club focussed on self-education about racial justice was both a stimulus for creating Corvallis SURJ and an important early activity. Faith and other early members created our Facebook page and Website. Monthly community educational meetings were another important activity. When Faith bowed out in 2018 to focus on her involvement with NAACP, a smaller group continued the organization. Recent activities have included political action (such as promoting One Oregon’s “driver’s license for all”), sponsorship or co-sponsorship of numerous racial-justice workshops, participation in the SURJ northwest regional gathering, and promoting education and discussion about racial justice and dismantling white supremacy. As of 2021, Corvallis SURJ has 1300 Facebook members and we send a monthly newsletter to about 400 individuals.
But wait, there is more to our history.