Who we are
White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL) is a white anti-racist collective and activist project. We operate within a national network of white anti-racists called Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Our work is rooted in showing up for racial justice and acting in alliance with Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles, the Movement 4 Black Lives, and other partners.
With full recognition of the privilege we as white people have that allows us to ignore or minimize issues of race and racism, we make a conscious decision to notice, call out, and challenge institutional and cultural racism. Standing on the shoulders of those who came before us, such as white abolitionists like John Brown and the Grimke sisters, and white organizers fighting segregation like Anne Braden, we approach our work with an intersectional lens and a commitment to act accountably in our relationships and alliances with people of color and people-of-color-led organizations.
Our work includes fundraising, internal and external education, mobilization, recruitment and networking, action planning, and cultural transformation. We believe strongly that white folks can play a progressive and supportive role in amplifying the voices and demands of Black people, moving the white community to take a more active and participatory stance for racial justice, and apply strategic pressure on institutions to change racist policies.
Interested in learning more or joining us? Fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Our Shared Values
From Showing Up for Racial Justice
Calling people in, not calling out
Our focus is on working with white people who are already in motion. While in many activist circles, there can be a culture of shame and blame, we want to bring as many white people into taking action for racial justice as possible.
taking risks, learning and keep going
We know that we will have to take risks. Everyday, People of Color take risks in living their lives with full dignity and right now we are in a moment where young Black people are taking risks everyday. We challenge ourselves and other white people to take risks as well, to stand up against a racist system, actions and structures everyday. We know that in that process, we will make mistakes. Our goal is to learn from those mistakes and keep showing up again and again for what is right and for racial justice.
tap into mutual interest
We use the term mutual interest to help us move from the idea of helping others, or just thinking about what is good for us, to understanding that our own liberation as white people, our own humanity, is inextricably linked to racial justice. Mutual interest means we cannot overcome the challenges we face unless we work for racial justice. It means our own freedom is bound up in the freedom of people of color. For Anne & Carl Braden, it was mutual interest that caused them to de-segregate an all-white neighborhood in Louisville Kentucky in 1954. It was a belief in what was right and the idea of showing up again and again for justice.
accountability through collective action
There can be an impulse for white people to try to get it right- to have the right analysis, language, friends, etc. What SURJ was called upon to do at our founding in 2009 was to take action- to show up when there are racist attacks, when the police attack and murder People of Color in the street, their homes, our communities, in challenging structural racism, immigrant oppression and indigenous struggles. We maintain ongoing relationships, individually and organizationally with leaders and organizations led by People of Color. We also know it is our work to organize other White people and we are committed to moving more white people for collective action. We can't re-build the world we want alone- we must build powerful, loving movements of millions taking action for racial justice.
enough for everyone
One of the things that dominant white culture teaches us is to feel isolation and scarcity in everything we do. SURJ believes that there is enough for all of us, but it is unequally distributed and structurally contained to keep resources scarce. We can fight the idea and the structures that limit and control global capital by creating a different world together. We believe that part of our role as white people is to raise resources to support people of color-led efforts AND to engage more white people in racial justice. Together we can make the world we want and need.
Growing is good
Sometimes we get afraid that if we bring in new people who do not talk our talk or “do it right” it will mess up what we are building. However, if we do not bring in new people, our work cannot grow. And if our work does not grow, we cannot bring the numbers of white people needed to undermine white supremacy and join People of Color led efforts for fundamental change. Longtime white southern civil rights activist Anne Braden once said that we have to stop believing that we are the only special ones who can be part of the work for racial justice. We must grow our groups and our movement, understanding that welcoming people in, even at the risk of it being messy, is deeply part of what we are being called to do.
Contact us to get involved or learn more
There's lots of ways to get involved in WP4Bl, including outreach, direct actions, political education, canvassing, court support, and much more. All are welcome-no prior organizing experience is necessary!
We meet at least monthly, typically on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 10am-1pm in Los Angeles.
Fill in the form below and we will be in touch! Or, you can email us at "whitepeople4racialjustice at gmail.com"
You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.