Looking for the best way to stay updated and get involved in LSURJ's work? Sign up for our monthly email newsletter and join us for our monthly meeting. Visit the Take Action page to learn more.
There are lanes for everyone to join in this work, and we need your help online! You can see from this blog page that we are choosing not to regularly update our site. Most of our updates are shared in our monthly email newsletter to our base, but we would love to keep this blog updated with key information for folks looking for an entry point into LSURJ's work. If you can regularly volunteer your time (with other LSURJ members) to spread the word about our organizing efforts and to mobilize the base, please consider joining the LSURJ Comms team. There are various ways to participate depending on your time and interests. Some of our top needs right now: posting on LSURJ's Twitter / Instagram / Facebook and updating our blog section of our site.
Ready to dive in? Have more questions? Contact us at LouisvilleSURJ@gmail.com.
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and the local LSURJ chapter are proud to endorse the candidates below for the November 8, 2022, election.
Coming to these endorsement decisions has been years in the making. For us, Ending Cash Bail is the “low hanging fruit” when it comes to changing the criminal justice system in a meaningful way for everyone- especially poor and working class folks. In our field work, we’ve determined that 76% of voters are with us on the issue regardless of their political party or race. Cash bail is a classist system that needs to go- and every day in arraignment court, judges are asked to use their discretion about when, if, and how high to set bail. By putting pressure on sitting judges and backing progressive candidates, we aim curb and ultimately eliminate this classist practice one courtroom at a time. In doing so, we have an opportunity significantly lessen the population of our overcrowded and deadly city jail.
Learn more: you can learn more about how SURJ and LSURJ came to these endorsements here.
Take action: Do you want to help spread the word about these endorsements before the Nov. 8th election? Visit this page and scroll down to the "Join Us" section!
You do not need us to tell you that systemic racism is entrenched in all our institutions including the Kentucky State Legislature.
But those of us who are white anti-racists in particular, have a responsibility not to play into or reenforce that systemic racism.
In a move that shines a spotlight on racism in politics, Senator Robert Stivers (a legislator who stands for an agenda that is anti Black, anti poor, anti immigrant) bill on no knocks warrants, a weaker law that is supported overwhelmingly by white Republicans, (some white Democrats and a couple of largely white progressive organizations) passed in the Senate and is on its way to the House.
But wait! What about the legislation that Representative Attica Scott introduced, HB21? Why has that not even gotten a reading? Wait! In fact no legislation introduced by Kentucky’s only Black women legislator has gotten a reading . . .
HB21 was pre-filed in AUGUST with 16 (D) co-sponsors (16% of House) introduced on January 5th, the first day of the session and has languished without even being assigned to a committee until late February. Whereas SB2 with nine co-sponsors (23% of Senate) was introduced on February 22nd and got all the way to a vote in ONE WEEK. One was introduced by a Republican white man, the other by a Democratic Black woman.
While some will argue, “well, at least we got something”, this short sighted thinking is a slap in the face of communities most impacted by the murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police. It undermines the leadership of Black women in particular, bypassing Breonna’s Law, which was introduced by Representative Attica Scott.
AND... in a really important development, HB21, Representative Scott’s bill, just got assigned to a committee—which is needed to get it heard. And the Kentucky Council of Churches, Hood to the Holler and other statewide organizations are going strong for HB21.
To play into erasing all the work that so many have done to move legislation that could actually have an impact forward——this undermines us all.
If we are to build a progressive Kentucky, we MUST look at HOW we win what we need, as well as WHAT we win. Short sighted political maneuvers are not the road to racial, economic and gender justice that we need.
Here is a view from one of our LSURJ leaders, and faith community friends,
Phil Lloyd- Sidle: "Kentuckians would benefit from Breonna's Law, so why isn't legislature acting?"
Ways to take action for Breonna’s Law
tJoin Hood to the Holler for a Conversation and Action with Representative Attica Scott
WHO: Moderated by Hood to the Holler with featured guest Rep. Attica Scott
WHAT: Twitter Chat discussing Breonna's Law
WHERE: Twitter! Follow Hood to the Holler to see all posted questions, and during the chat follow #JusticeforBreonna to see all of the tweets from participants. Rep. Scott will be participating and interacting with folks.
WHEN: 5:00pm ET on Monday, March 1
SIGN UP LINK (you don't have to sign up to participate, but if you sign up you will receive info about how to participate in a Twitter chat and you will receive a reminder on the day of to join so you don't forget).
Commemorate the Anniversary of Breonna Taylor's Death
Join the Caravan to Frankfort on March 2nd
No human being is free until every single one of us is free is from all forms of oppression. It is the responsibility of white people to find what our own stake is in dismantling white supremacy so that we are acting from a place of shared interest, not from a place of charity or guilt.
Redistributing a portion of the wealth that is owed to communities of color and poor and working-class communities is one way to start. Mutual aid can be a form of reparations with funds being directed to meeting material needs like access to healthcare, shelter, food, or land.
If you have the income or ability and have been less impacted by COVID-19, Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice (LSURJ) asks you to pledge to donate some or all of your stimulus check to organizations providing mutual aid or emergency funds to people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Make your pledge here.
By Rev. Cindy Geisen, LSURJ Faith
As the child and niece of union laborers, I was raised with a heart for justice. Yet, I am a relative newcomer to the organized, public work for justice. I am learning so much - and still have so much to learn. At the end of a tumultuous, life-sapping and life-giving year, I’d like to share what I have gleaned about the multi-faceted work of justice.
Justice nudges us outward. It challenges us to pay heed to the experiences of people whose experiences differ from our own; to ferret out the histories we were never taught and the stories we never have been told; to open our eyes to the interlocking systems of injustice in which we are each complicit.
Justice moves us to action. Writing letters to legislators and editors; wielding our purchasing power wisely by patronizing businesses who fairly compensate their employees and boycotting those who do not; participating in marches and kitchen-table conversations are but a few ways to do justice in the public square.
Justice is spiritual work aimed at our own liberation as well as the liberation of all creation. Systemic racism diminishes all of us. Without for one moment equating the suffering of white people with the deep, ongoing suffering of our siblings of color, this work calls us to acknowledge that racism leaves no one unscathed. The work of justice therefore, requires us to sit with the consequences of racism…to examine the generational costs of averting our eyes from the suffering of others…to wonder how racist systems have shaped our relationships and our way of being in the world. The work of justice is, as Rev. angel Kyodo williams writes, “about allowing people the space and opportunity for discomfort so that they can touch their own suffering”…lest when people feel threatened…”they go back to the places of unaddressed suffering and… racialized behavior, like micro-aggressions, and so on, continue…”*
One of the many things I appreciate about working with LSURJ is that there are so many ways to participate in the work for justice - all of them necessary and valuable. If, like me, you are a relative newcomer to this work; if you’re wondering where you might begin; if you’d like to broach the topic of racism with your friends, members of your family, your neighborhood, or your faith community - we are here to lend a hand. Members of LSURJ - Faith will be happy to talk with you, to share ideas, resources and offer our support on your journey. Contact us at: email@example.com
* From Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, with Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D,