Action Alert from the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy
Global HIV Prevention and a Correction
January 24th, 2008
In This Issue:
- PATHWAY to Effective HIV Prevention
- Native American Health Care, Native American Justice
- Nominations for the Bennett, Holmes-Weatherly, and CSW Social Justice Sermon Awards
- CSAI Deadlines & Important Information!!
- 40 Days of Non-Violence - CORRECTION
- Upcoming Dates and Deadlines
Time is on our minds. We are aware of dates and deadlines, both those past and coming up soon, and some we got wrong. This past Monday as much of the nation was taking a day off in honor of Dr. King, both Lisa and Grace were furiously typing blog posts. Lisa was working because the Senate was supposed to vote on the Indian Health Care Act on Tuesday and we knew we didn't have much time to get the word out. As it turned out, the bill is stalled, so it was hurry up and wait.... Grace was working because the day after Dr. King's birthday is Roe v Wade Day, and she was participating in NARAL's Blog for Choice. Check out the action at uuasocialjustice.blogspot.com
We are also very much aware that several deadlines are coming up fast. Congregational polling for the proposed Study/Action Issues (CSAI) are due by February 1st. Comments on the current Peacemaking CSAI are due by March 1st. And nominations for three annual awards - Bennett, Holmes-Weatherly, and CSW Social Justice Sermon - are all due on March 1st as well. Please keep these deadlines in mind if you plan to participate, which we highly encourage.
In faith and for justice.
Adam, Lisa, Alex, Grace, Kat, and Rob
(2) PATHWAY to Effective HIV Prevention
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is due for reauthorization this year. This provides an excellent opportunity to remove the harmful abstinence-until-marriage earmark on PEPFAR's prevention funding. We have been working for two years to pass the PATHWAY Act (H.R. 1713), which would remove that earmark and clear a path for prevention programs that address the real life needs of women and youth.
Our advocacy has created a "buzz" on the House side of Capitol Hill. Representatives know the issue and they know what we want them to do. But the PATHWAY Act was just introduced in the Senate for the first time in December, 2007 (S. 2415)! So we now have a huge opportunity, but a short time frame, to use that bill to educate Senators about the ineffective abstinence-until-marriage earmark.
Along with a broad coalition of organizations, we have hosted an e-postcard campaign to ask our Representatives and Senators to provide a PATHWAY to effective HIV prevention. Please take this action and send it around to as many people as possible.
Now is the time to take action!
(3) Native American Health Care, Native American Justice
For two days, Senators have been debating the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Act (IHCIA), S. 1200. Now debate bill has stalled as some Senators describe Native American health as a low priority—"American lives will not depend on the passage of Indian health care by the end of this month," Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said Tuesday. But Sen. McConnell could not be more wrong; reauthorizing the IHCIA is crucial to address the burgeoning health crisis that Native Americans are experiencing as a result of under-funded health care: the infant mortality rate is 150% greater for Indians than it is for Caucasians. Indian life expectancy is six years less than that of the rest of the US population. And the suicide rate for Indians is two and a half times higher than the national average. Please call your Senators and tell them that they must support this important bill! For talking points, check out the National Indian Health Board's IHCIA fact sheet, take a look at our blog post, and check Indianz.com to keep up-dated on the progress of the bill.
(4) Nominations for the Bennett, Holmes-Weatherly, and CSW Social Justice Sermon Awards
1) Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action
|2007 Bennett Award Winner: Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
The Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action, instituted in 1999 by James Bennett to honor the congregation that has done exemplary work in social justice, is accompanied by a $500 cash award that is presented at General Assembly. More information can be found here.
Nominations are due March 1st and should include:
- 1-4 page report on the social justice action or program,
- a testimonial from partner organizations or community members where applicable, and
- any relevant documentation and media generated about the effort.
Send entries to: Unitarian Universalist Association
Office for Congregational Advocacy & Witness
25 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02108
Fax: (617) 742-0321 Email: email@example.com
2) Holmes-Weatherly Award
The Holmes-Weatherly Award is given to an individual or organization, not necessarily a UU, whose life-long commitment to faith-based social justice is reflected in societal transformation. The Unitarian Society for Social Justice established the award in 1951 to honor its founders, the Revs. John Haynes Holmes and Arthur Weatherly. Awarded each year at the General Assembly Awards Breakfast, the recognition is accompanied by a $500 cash award. Past recipients include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Richard Gilbert, Planned Parenthood, and the Rev. Marie Fortune.
Nominations should include a) a one-page introduction to the nominee, b) no more than three letters of personal testimony or reference, and c) any relevant media that has been generated about the nominee. Questions may be directed to the UUA Washington Office Manager, at (202) 296-4672, ext.10.
Nominations due: March 1
Send entries to: UUA Washington Office
1320 18th Street NW, Suite 300B, Washington, DC 20036
fax: (202) 296-4673
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
(5) CSAI Deadlines & Important Information
Don't Forget! February 1st is the poll deadline for the new Congregational Study Action Issues (CSAI) topics. The proposed topics are nuclear disarmament and ethical eating. Make sure your congregation is participating in the poll.
Remember, you are voting to approve the topics that will appear on the ballot at General Assembly! That means you can vote for one topic, the other, both or neither! All responses need to be in by Midnight the night of January 29th. Please visit www.uua.org/csai for more information.
March first is also the deadline for the comment form for the current CSAI on peacemaking. We need your thoughts on the topic. Please go to www.uua.org/peacemaking to fill out the form. All comments are due by midnight the night of February 29.
(6) 40 Days of Non-Violence - CORRECTION
Last week we encouraged you to participate in 40 Days of Non-violence, starting on Martin Luther King's birthday. We erroneously stated that the 40 days mark the time between the birthdays of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi. That is incorrect. (Gandhi's birthday is October 2nd.) The 40 days represent the soon to be 40 years since Dr. King's death.
Spend these weeks exploring how violence affects our every day lives and how we can better work for peace and justice and end the three perils facing America. For more information, please visit www.mlkday.gov/about/beloved_community/index.asp.
Our thanks go to an astute reader for pointing this out to us. (Good to know that someone is paying attention!) She also let us know that the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers observes the "Season for Nonviolence": January 30 through April 4, marking the days between the assassinations of Gandhi and King respectively. Whichever days you choose, let this be a time to reflect on the cost of violence in our lives and how we can work to make the Beloved Community a reality.
(7) Upcoming Dates and Deadlines
Jan 28: State of the Union Address
Jan 31: Focus the Nation's Teach-in on Global Warming Solutions for America
Feb 1: Deadline for Congregational Polling on the new CSAI
Feb 5: Super Tuesday
Feb 1-3: Allies for Racial Equity (ARE) Annual Conference in Memphis, TN
Feb 22-24: Leading Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future: now is the time!
March 1: Deadline for Congregational Comments on the current CSAI, "Peacemaking"
March 1: Deadline for nominations for the Bennett, Holmes-Weatherly, and CSW's Social Justice Sermon Awards
March 7: Interfaith Witness for Peace
March 7-12: Ecumenical Advocacy Days
March 8: International Women's Day
March 15-18: Sexuality Education Advocacy Training (SEAT)
March 30: UUSC's Justice Sunday
April 3-5: UU-UNO's Intergenerational Spring Seminar
April 22: Earth Day
Legislative Assistant for Women's Issues
UU Women's Federation Clara Barton Intern
Legislative Assistant for International Issues
Legislative Assistant for Economic & Racial Justice
Program Associate for Peacemaking
Mary Bonner Memorial Intern