Charlotte SURJ chapter disbanded

The decision to disband by Charlotte SURJ could be described as a drastic response to a rather obvious formation error. All white groups training “not-very-conscious” white people is a bit dangerous. No structure for accountability to folks fighting for their liberation from white supremacy/racism. Accountability is necessary if you understand self-determination of oppressed peoples.

SARN started with a collaborative approach in search of “reliable allies” in the struggle to dismantle white supremacy as a system of oppression. The leadership of people of color is central in movement building efforts to end white supremacy. Looking forward to moving this discussion forward between SARN and SURJ activists in the South. Collaboration is possible between white anti-racism activists and people of color.

Read more here.

Join us for the Moral March on Feb. 11th!

The Moral March (HKonJ) is set for February 11th.  Please join us and stand, then march with the NC-NAACP to bring awareness to the fact that African Americans and people of color are in danger of a further backslide, should the current administration’s aspirations become reality. Racial justice, environmental justice, economic justice, and the defeat of HB2 are all priorities of the Southern Anti Racism Network.

Voting injustice has led to disasters at the state and federal levels.  Be a voice and join progressive partners from across the state to demand an end to white supremacy, and to restore the basic human and civil rights we hold so dear, and that no one voted to take away!

Saturday, February 11
2 East South St.
Raleigh, NC

We will see you there!

‘White privilege’ makes some uncomfortable

‘White privilege’ makes some uncomfortable

By James A. Haught

Years ago, I visited our state’s former black mental hospital and fell into conversation with a witty, friendly, black psychiatrist.

He taunted me:  “You’re a racist, you know.”

“No, no, no,” I protested — but he continued:

“Just look at yourself.  You were born white, male and smart.  You could go out into the world and take whatever you could get — and you never stopped to think that I couldn’t do it.”

I was speechless.  Finally, I answered:  “Damn!  You nailed me precisely.”

Until that moment, I never saw clearly that society stacked the deck in my favor, giving me benefits not available to minorities.  It was sobering.  Later, I learned that sociologists call my advantage “white privilege.”

Currently, the wealthy white community of Westport, Conn. (average family income $150,000), is in an uproar because a human rights group and the public library invited high school students to write essays on the topic: “In 1,000 words or less, describe how you understand the term ‘white privilege.’”

To the surprise of sponsors, a backlash arose.  Some white parents felt insulted and claimed that the essay contest was designed to make their teens ashamed of their benefits.  National news coverage followed.

The chairman of the Westport human rights group, a retired black IBM vice president, replied:

“There’s a lot more controversy around it than many of us expected…. All of a sudden, we’re race-baiting or trying to get people to feel guilty.  That’s not what it’s all about.”

Actually, the topic isn’t simple.  There are many other sorts of privilege beyond race.  People born with high I.Q. have advantage over those born with less.  Americans with normal weight and appealing features get better acceptance than those who are heavy or homely.  People with affluent parents who sent them to good universities have a leg up over youths from blue-collar families who couldn’t afford college.  Foreign-looking people with odd names — especially Hispanics — don’t get the same breaks as standard white Americans.  Despite years of female progress, males still hold advantage.  Despite progress, gays still are less accepted than “straights.”

I was born in the 1930s in a little West Virginia farm town with no electricity or paved streets.  But even there, I was privileged.  My father was the town postmaster and my mother a teacher — which put us in the white-collar elite, compared to sweaty farmhands.  It gave me confidence and self-worth that never left me.

Last year’s “Black Lives Matter” crusade spotlighted racial privilege.  At one protest, a picket held a sign saying “They don’t shoot white women like me.”  That’s another white privilege.

Here’s the bottom line:  Whites needn’t feel ashamed of their privilege — but they should work hard to ensure that everyone in every ethnic group gets the same benefits.

( Haught, the Gazette-Mail’s editor emeritus, can be reached by phone at 304-348-5199 or e-mail at

SARN Metro Atlanta Meeting

You’re Invited!

Come out to meet with anti-racism organizers to hear about challenging white supremacy.

Southern Anti-Racism Network formed in 1999 in North Carolina to build projects and campaigns to end racial disparities in criminal justice, economic opportunities/employment, education, environment/housing and health care.

Join us to share your thoughts on conditions in Metro Atlanta that tell a tale of inequality, oppression and exploitation.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Comfort Inn and Suites, 5th Floor, Blue Sky Bar and Restaurant
5087 Clark Howell Hwy, Atlanta GA 30349

Pleas RSVP to

Chapel Hill Friends Meeting Anti-Racism Workshop

Chapel Hill Friends Meeting Anti-Racism Workshop
When: Jan. 12, 2017, 7-9:00 PM
Where: Chapel Hill Friends Meeting House

The Meeting will host an anti-racism workshop facilitated by Triangle Showing
Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). The workshop is open to all attenders and members
of Chapel Hill Friends Meeting. Everyone is welcome. The purpose of the
workshop is to encourage and support white people to show up for racial justice.
Participants will learn more about ways in which racism operates in our society
today, and how we can work against it. We’ll discuss how people in power have
historically and at the present used racism to divide and conquer us, the power
of multi-racial coalitions who have worked together in spite of these efforts,
and the role each of us can play in the current movement against racism. This
short, two-hour workshop is being developed as a pilot program, but will be led
by experienced facilitators with many years of experience leading similar
workshops. The thoughtful feedback of participants will be very helpful in
developing the newly-designed workshop. To register or for more information,
please contact Stacey Sewall, For more information on
SURJ, please visit

75 and Counting!

SARN board member and longtime activist Dick Paddock turned 75!  Friends and supporters came out to Dockside Restaurant and Crab House to help him celebrate while supporting Southern Anti-Racism Network.  Opening comments by Theresa El Amin then full-service Open Mic, catering to social awareness, and the theme of: Justice, then Peace

You can still donate online in Dick’s honor.

Coalition Statement: What’s Next for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock?

December 8, 2016

– LaDonna Allard (CSS),, (701) 426-2064
– Dallas Goldtooth (IEN),, (507) 412-7609
– Tara Houska (HTE),, (612) 226-9404
– Eryn Wise (IIYC),, (602) 769-8444

Cannon Ball, ND — We, the below stated, are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands.

Honor the Earth
Indigenous Environmental Network
Sacred Stone Camp
International Indigenous Youth Council

The following is a coalition statement on the next steps for the #NoDAPL fight and water protectors at Standing Rock:

As we reflect on the decision by the US Army Corps to suspend the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) river crossing easement and conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the resistance camps at Standing Rock are making plans for the next phase of this movement.   Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has asked people to return home once the weather clears, and many will do so.  Others will stay to hold the space, advance our reclamation of unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, and continue to build community around the protection of our sacred waters. They will also keep a close eye on the company, which has drilled right up to the last inch it can, and remains poised and ready to finish the project.

We fully understand the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s desire to transition people out of the encampments and back to their homes.  The influx of people to Standing Rock as winter arrives has been an enormous strain on local resources due to the inherent challenges and dangers of travel and camping in this climate and, in many cases, a lack of necessary knowledge, skills, and experience on the part of those who have traveled to join us.  Also, the closure of Highway 1806 and the twisted media portrayals of the camp have essentially acted as economic sanctions against the tribe, denying revenue to an already impoverished nation with a long list of urgent social problems.  And, as the violence from law enforcement has escalated and caused serious injuries, we are all concerned for the water protectors’ physical safety and want to avoid further casualties.

As such, we support the tribe’s request for a transition and are working with many different groups to design and implement that transition in a good way – one that honors our ceremonial responsibilities, the sacrifices we have made to be here, and the deep commitment we have each made to defend the land. We ask anyone that is considering traveling to join the encampments at Standing Rock to stay home for now and instead take bold action in your local communities to force investors to divest from the project.

We also support those who choose to stay, if they are able to live comfortably and self-sufficiently through a winter in the Great Plains.  We support the Sacred Stone Camp, the original encampment established in opposition to the pipeline back on April 1st, 2016.  This community space was opened on Ladonna Bravebull Allard’s private land and will continue through the winter.  Rest assured, LaDonna is not going anywhere.  “I have not changed my mind.  We stand until the black snake is dead,” she said yesterday.   But due to limited space and infrastructure, there is no longer an open call for people to come join Sacred Stone Camp unless personally invited.

We do not have sufficient words to express the gratitude and love we have for all the people who have come to Standing Rock to protect the water.  We have traveled far, given up much, and taken extraordinary risks.  We have endured serious hardships and physical violence, and shown courage, passion, and determination in the face of impossible odds.   We have come together across the lines that divide us, and gathered in solidarity to demand an end to 500 years of oppression of Indigenous peoples – to demand respect for Mother Earth and clean water for all our relatives and future generations.  We absolutely cannot let this transition break us apart.  We must stay together, we must keep building momentum.  As warriors, we must be flexible and agile.  We must adapt to shifting circumstances without pause.

We ask you to join us in an unprecedented divestment campaign to kill the black snake financially.  We will also ask you to engage in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement to the extent that the public is invited to participate, and guide you through that process.  But let us use this time to cut off funding for the project.  December is an international month of action focused on the 17 banks that are profiting off investments in the Dakota Access pipeline.  Shut these banks down with direct action.  Close your accounts and tell the world you’re doing it.  Pressure your local jurisdictions and philanthropists to divest.  Every day is a day of action.

This fight is not over, not even close.  In fact, this fight is escalating.  The incoming Trump administration promises to be a friend to the oil industry and an enemy to Indigenous people.  It is unclear what will happen with the river crossing.  Now more than ever, we ask that you stand with us as we continue to demand justice.

Theresa El-Amin “So Long For Now” Party

Come celebrate the work of SARN in the Chattahoochee Valley!

Wednesday, December 7, 6-8pm
Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road
Columbus, GA

On December 6, 2010, Southern Anti-Racism Network set down roots in Columbus GA to expand the organization from North Carolina into Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. It was a 5-year plan that moved Theresa El-Amin to Columbus GA to recruit SARN members to carry on the work of ending racial disparities in criminal justice, economic opportunities, education, environment/housing and health care.

A screening of a “working documentary” titled “The Columbus Experience” is expected. Poets and other cultural artists have been asked to share some rhymes.

Superintendent David Lewis is expected and has been asked to say a few words. Ministers, elected officials and others have been invited and will be offered opportunities to speak.

Theresa El-Amin will move to Durham NC at the end of January 2017. However, she promises to visit so often you won’t even notice she moved.

Refreshments will be served. Event is free and open to the public

Contact: Theresa El-Amin,, 919-824-0659 mobile

Conversation on Race, Crime and Punishment

Tuesday, November 1, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Mildred Terry Library, 640 Veterans Pkwy.
Columbus, GA

This forum will highlight the consequences of former prosecutors serving as judges in criminal cases. Also, instances of prosecutorial misconduct and its impact on sentencing in criminal cases.

Paul Austin, recently released after over 30 years in prison, will tell his story of prosecution and persecution under the criminal justice system in Muscogee County and the State of Georgia. Thanks to the Georgia Innocence Project, determined family members and friends, Paul is free.

Waleisah Wilson, Executive Director of New Life-Second Chance, will tell her personal story of crime and punishment as well as the work she does to find jobs for the formerly incarcerated.

Related topics to be discussed are the “Band the Box” ordinance passed by Columbus Consolidated Government (May 2015) and the school-to-prison pipeline problems so prevalent in the Muscogee County School District.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Contact: Theresa El-Amin, or 919-824-0659 mobile