Theory of Change

SURJ-TC organizes white people to build the political will needed to end white supremacy.

How does white supremacy hurt white people? 

White supremacy breeds violence, fear, and disconnection. It teaches white people to cling to control of other people, and, for those who have access, to hoard money, property, and resources. It teaches us to conquer, exploit, and extract, but little about connection, balance, or how to leave alone what is not ours.

What needs to change?

We cannot go on this way. White supremacy will only end when white people:

  1. Realize, collectively, that we have more to gain from a future of justice, human dignity, and balance with the earth than we have to lose in giving up our domination of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
  2. Take bold, collective action, guided by BIPOC communities, to dismantle white supremacy and build new ways of living together on this earth.
  3. Get more white people engaged

What does SURJ-TC do? 

SURJ-TC aims to move white people from A to B to C, around the circle. We work to help white people find ways to take meaningful action toward ending white supremacy, and to give white people tools to be effective and accountable in multi-racial movements. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t know what the exact recipe is to get us there, but we believe—thanks to many other movement groups and strategies of the past and present—that the ingredients must include:

  • Political education and skills training, to help white people organize other white people around anti-racist work
  • Support and encouragement of one another to take bold, creative direct action guided by BIPOC communities, and to take risks when needed
  • Guiding white people in ongoing self-reflection and healing of the inner wounds of white supremacy, so we can be an effective part of multi-racial movements 
  • Creating spaces where white people can connect and build community with other anti-racist white people, to build support and resilience when shame and fear inevitably surface 

When will we succeed? 

We are here to help white people stretch our imaginations about what we think the world is, and what it can be. We want to discover the tools white people need to find our own own path and commitments in this work. We will know we are succeeding when we see fundamental changes in the actions and values of white people and the culture of whiteness:

  • We will see white people who take ever-bolder action in the streets, in governmental bodies, in schools, and in our workplaces, to dismantle white supremacy.
  • We will see white people who work with humility and without ego, because we know the binary of "good" and "bad," "racist" and "not racist" is a lie of white supremacy that lets white people center our own comfort and internalized superiority
  • We will see white people who actively and willingly give up power, redistribute resources, and share wealth, because we understand that there is enough for everyone in this world. 
  • We will see white people who are resilient when we are called out or make mistakes, instead of getting stuck in shame or guilt.
  • We will see white people who understand that white supremacy is a poison to all of us, and that we come to this work not out of pity or guilt, but because we must be in integrity with our communities and our own humanity. 

We want to live in a society defined by connection, community, and justice, where people and the earth are treated with dignity and inherent value. The paths we take to reach this future must also reflect our values. Another world is possible, if we build it. We want to make ourselves worthy of the world we imagine. 

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