UU Justice Action (JustAct) News
December 2011: Standing with the Unemployed, Oakland UU & Occupy!
Dear Congregational Leaders:
As we enter the holiday season, let’s remember to advocate with those who are facing very difficult economic conditions. There is an upcoming vote in Congress on extending unemployment benefits that will affect millions of people who need our support. To learn more about how you can help, join the Faith Advocates for Jobs webinar on Dec. 15th, 4 pm EST with UU minister Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, nationally renowned Rev. James A. Forbes, and others. (See details below.)
From supporting the Occupy movement to joining with the Faith Advocates for Jobs coalition, UUs are making a difference. We’re grateful for all that you do and excited to be sharing your best practices.
The exceptional justice ministries of First UU Church of Rochester MN and Valley UU Congregation in Chandler AZ will be examined in our webinar Deepen Congregational Involvement with Standing on the Side of Love on this Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30pm EST, along with information about our 30 Days of Love Campaign! To learn more and register, see our webpage.
We’re also very excited to feature First Unitarian of Oakland, their congregational community partnership with the Ella Baker Center, and their work with Occupy Oakland as this month’s Just Act Best Practice!
Just Act Best Practice: First Unitarian Church of Oakland Partners with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
The First Unitarian Church of Oakland has begun exploring a new and dynamic model of social justice ministry by partnering with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Working together with members of the community, their partnership seeks to address pressing local concerns, including high rates of teen incarceration, increasing urban violence and the need for green jobs that support low income families and people of color. The growing success of this partnership results from strong congregational leadership at First Unitarian, which sought support from the whole congregation, not simply a few members. By gaining a church-wide commitment to the Ella Baker Center and its work, First Unitarian has emerged as a leading voice for justice in Oakland.
Most recently, First Unitarian Church of Oakland and the Ella Baker Center have been deeply engaged in the Occupy Oakland movement, which has drawn national attention for successfully closing the Port of Oakland and became a model for other Occupy efforts.
Read the complete story and see the Action Steps for Forming a Congregational Community Partnership here. Thanks to Schuyler Vogel, UU seminarian at Harvard Divinity School, who is doing his field education with Witness Ministries and documenting our congregations' exemplary justice ministries.
New Resources & Campaigns
Faith Advocates for Jobs National Webinar/Call on Jobs - Thurs, Dec. 15, 2011 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern (3:00 p.m. CST/ 2:00 p.m. MST/ 1:00 p.m. PST)
Pre-registration is required.
Join us to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commitment to economic justice, and about the planning for the "National Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. - Champion of Worker Justice" scheduled for Jan. 16. We'll also talk about the upcoming Congressional vote to extend Unemployment Benefits for millions of Americans – and what you can do to make sure they get the support they need.
Congregational Toolkit for Immigration Advocacy in Our Communities: UUA Witness Ministries Director Rev. Craig C. Roshaven has announced a new resource to help interfaith teams advocate for changes in local policy on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests. This toolkit provides information on how to organize advocacy meetings with local officials, partner with immigrant rights groups, and bring a faith-based message.
Also in this issue:
December Congregational Justice Bulletin features information and resources for congregations that may want to participate in:
- Thirty Days of Love: National Standing on the Side of Love Month - The Story of Us, the Story of Now – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday--January 16, 2012—Valentine’s Day--February 14, 2012
- Economic Justice: Bringing Love to the Occupy Movement
- Unemployment and the Economic Crisis Toolkit
- Classism Study Guide
- New Congregational Study Action Issue Poll
As always, please let us know what your congregation is doing. We can help you with your programs and we would love to feature your best practices!
Audra, Craig, Dan, Kat, Meredith, Schuyler, Susan, and Taquiena
See www.uua.org/justice for resources, campaign stories, and more!