Reminders Around Accountability

Here are some reminders about how to be a good ally, especially with our Accountability Partners. These range from things to keep in mind, to practical steps and practices to take to help us hold each other accountable.

Some further resources:

In a Meeting with Partners

  • Listen!

  • Be flexible with different communication styles.

  • Remember that relationships take time to build. Don’t expect it to happen all at once.

  • If you’re someone who talks a lot, be mindful of how much you’re talking, & give yourself a predetermined limit on how many times you’ll speak. If you’re someone who doesn’t talk a lot, make yourself speak up at least once or twice -- but still don’t be the first person to speak.

  • Leave the meeting with a clear idea of what responsibilities everyone has going forward (and actually follow through and check in).

  • If you feel like folks are deferring to you, asking “what do you think we should do?”, it’s okay to speak up and provide a few ideas -- but let them choose between those few ideas, be mindful of not taking too much space, & keep listening.

  • Set up a “silent signal” in advance with your fellow SURJer(s), so you can keep each other accountable if you notice someone else is speaking too much.

  • Check in with fellow SURJer(s) before you go into the meeting, so you know what your goals are / what you hope to get out of the meeting.

  • Debrief / check in after a meeting

At an Action

  • Make sure you know our Partner’s message and stick to it

  • Have situational awareness -- are you front and center, or off to the side? Are you near press/reporters? Who is the focus of attention?

  • Know who is the “designated speaker,” or at least a leader or organizer. At a non-SURJ event, it’s not you -- but you should know who it is. If press tries to talk to you, refer them to the appropriate spokesperson.

  • Arrive early to set up, or stay late to clean up. Volunteer for necessary but boring tasks.

  • Say hi to people!

  • If you have the impulse to say “thank you” to cops -- resist that urge, and spend some time examining that feeling (maybe with a SURJer).