Southern Unity for Racial Justice & Equity (SURJE) Summit
October 5-7, 2023
Memphis, Tennessee
Renasant Convention Center

Join the SURJE!


Join the SURJE!

The SURJE Summit is geared towards establishing equity and racial justice for disinvested communities of color. We will convene national partners, allies, and friends for learning, dialogue, and healing.

We invite you to join the SURJE!

Set against the backdrop of a culturally rich and soulful city, we will come together as a call-to-action for the mobilization of a just equity ecosystem and unite in the spirit of restoration, exploring Memphis and its offerings.

Memphis and Atlanta will always have a psychic connection due to the history and legacy of Dr. King. The work of organizing sanitation workers in the 1960’s is emblematic of the work we are doing today at PSE. We invite you to join us to begin the process of building the future we want together and creating a movement to spark national change that is anchored in the South.

We're SURJE-ing to create actionable and sustainable solutions to promote racial equity - TOGETHER!

Session Topics

  • Just Energy - Energy & Climate
  • Just Growth - Land use and Community Development
  • Just Health - Health Equity
  • Just Opportunity - Economic Inclusion
  • YES! For Equity - Youth organizing and power building
  • IMPACT - Consulting and Data, Research, Innovation and Policy (DRIP)

Submit a Proposal

We are asking for individuals, community groups and leaders, organizations, and anyone else who is interested in presenting during the summit to submit a 500-word abstract describing a panel discussion, educational session, or workshop they would like to host at this year’s convening.

We are no longer accepting proposals.

Summit Goals

The goal of the Southern Unity for Racial Justice and Equity (SURJE) Summit is to provide a space where leaders can anchor Racial Equity and help begin the process of co-creating the future we want to see.


Foster new collaborations and networks among the community institutions, policymakers, and stakeholders.


Identify and incorporate what works in the collaborative nature of equity—informed by evidence from evaluation and research—to learn from failures.


Change how the world sees racial justice and equity while demonstrating our ability to deliver societal value and impact.

Ideas & Opportunities

Create new ideas and opportunities from the communities we serve and from outside our field while establishing relationships and partnerships with community leaders across all issue areas.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers


Keynote Speakers:

  • Taifa Smith Butler – President, Demos
  • Michael MacAfee – CEO & President, PolicyLink
  • Sheila Foster -- Professor, Urban Law and Policy, Georgetown University
  • Ruth Ann Norton – President & CEO, Green and Health Homes Initiative
  • Zoe Oli – CEO, Beautiful Curly Me

Plenary Panelists

  • Candice Simmons – Wells Fargo
  • Tamieka Mosley – Director, Grantmakers for Southern Progress
  • Flozell Daniels, Jr. - Chief Executive Officer, Mary Reynolds Babock Foundation
  • Melanie Allen - Co-Director, Hive Fund
  • Tiffany Friesen - Vice President of Programs & Partnerships, Philanthropy Southeast
  • Helen Chin – President, Communities First
  • Roshun Auston – President/CEO, The Works Inc.
  • Cheneé Joseph – President & CEO, Historic District Development Corporation
  • Ashleigh Gardere -- Executive Vice President, PolicyLink
  • Tamieka Atkins – Executive Director, ProGeorgia
  • Pat Smith


*subject to change

The SURJE Summit is 3 days of learning, collaboration, and sharing.

Download the Whova app now!

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It's free and available for iOS and Android devices!

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Get the most out of the app and have a more productive experience!


NAVIGATE the event agenda and logistics, even without Wi-Fi or data. Access useful information like ridesharing and local attractions through the Community Board


NETWORK effectively. Plan whom to meet by exploring attendee profiles and sending out messages


PARTICIPATE in event activities through session likes, comments, ratings, live polling, tweeting, and more

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Southern Unity for Racial Justice & Equity (SURJE) Summit
Celebrating a Legacy; Fulfilling a Dream

October 5-7th, 2023

Renasant Convention Center
255 North Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103


We've negotiated rates at some of Memphis's best hotels during the SURJE Summit. Book a room at one of the hotels using the following links:

Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis
33 Beale Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Book by September 6, 2023

Canopy by Hilton Memphis Downtown
164 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103

Book by September 5, 2023

Sheraton Memphis Downtown
250 North Main Street
Memphis, TN, 38103

Book by September 10, 2023

Explore Memphis

While in town for the SURJE Summit, take a few minutes to explore and enjoy Memphis. The city has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its blues music, delicious food, and fascinating history. 

Memphis Travel is your place to find Memphis's best attractions, restaurants, places to stay, upcoming events and things to do.

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the SURJE Summit.