Who We Are

Local Mission

CU Showing Up for Racial Justice (CU-SURJ) is the Champaign-Urbana, IL chapter of SURJ, a national, multi-racial network that works to undermine white supremacy and to work for racial justice. Locally, CU-SURJ acts to connect and amplify organizations and people engaged in work to end white supremacy, with an emphasis on mobilizing white people.

We do this through:
• Gathering and sharing resources to oppose white supremacy and support racial justice in our community
• Cultivating a community of committed individuals who will mobilize as needed
• Making clear commitments to act and being accountable for those actions
• Collective self-education, including addressing the emotional and psychological barriers to effective engagement

CU- SURJ recognizes accountability to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)  as a core principle central to the work for racial justice and transformative change.

National and Local Values

  • Calling People In, Not Out
  • Accountability Through Collective Action
  • Take Risks, Make Mistakes, Learn, and Keep Going
  • There is Enough for All
  • Growing is Good
  • Center Class

SURJ has committed to centering disability justice and poor/working-class organizers in our work. Click here to read more about disability justice, and click here to read more about our commitment to poor/working-class organizing.

Read more about our values here.

Please note: This is a multi-racial group, including white people called in from wherever they are in their learning process. Therefore, we welcome multiple strategies of engagement, relying on mutual support to guide us all to ever deeper levels of analysis, commitment, and action. Unlearning white supremacy is a complex, multi-layered, life-long task. For some white people raised with a “colorblind” ideology, engaging with CU-SURJ  may present a first opportunity to have frank conversations about race. In this context, reactions that are potentially toxic or re-traumatizing to those who have suffered race-based violence could surface. These include microaggressions, defensiveness, unskilled wording, confusion, and blatantly racist beliefs. We see it as part of our work to call in white people in so that they can be more effective accomplices.

This is a collective project, and we welcome feedback so that we can keep learning together. Please email: info@cusurj.org

We also know the importance of POC-only spaces and so, whenever possible, at meetings we will make a “no white people” area available for anyone who wants to use it.