UUA Immigration News
February 2012: New UUA Children’s Immigration Curriculum & More!
Dear Immigrant Justice Leaders,
This month's issue includes a best practice featuring New Orleans congregations engaging with their local Interfaith Worker Justice Center who work with low wage and often undocumented workers, as well as a video of our recent webinar on Grassroots Immigration Advocacy, a new children’s curriculum on Immigration, and an invitation to share feedback on the Immigration as a Moral Issue CSAI and study guide.
Best Practice: New Orleans Congregations Take Lead with Local Interfaith Worker Justice
The idea of partnering with Interfaith Worker Justice emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The three Unitarian Universalist congregations in the area, Community Church of New Orleans, First Unitarian Church of New Orleans and North Shore Unitarian Universalist were all adversely affected by the storm and joined together for support to create the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists (GNOUU). Soon after, they realized that while their congregations were hurting, there were many in their community who were struggling even more. In response, the ministers of the local congregations began new efforts to reach out to local organizations, including the local branch of Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). Read the story including the action steps and resources these congregations used to strengthen their justice ministries. Story by Schuyler Vogel, Congregational Adovcacy & Witness Intern.
Resources for Taking Action: Webinar on Resources for Grassroots Immigration Advocacy & Stopping Deportations in Our Communities – Video Now Online!
If you missed our February 2nd webinar on Grassroots Immigration Advocacy, the video is now available online!
The UUA and our coalition partners Interfaith Immigration Coalition, National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network (NDLON), and the New Sanctuary movement are launching a national campaign of immigration advocacy in our communities. Our goal is to have interfaith teams meeting with officials in their communities to:
- change the way communities respond to detainment requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and
- stop the unlimited access of ICE agents to jails.
Policies resisting such requests by ICE have already been implemented in Cook County, IL and Santa Clara County, CA, and more counties are sure to follow suit. Several states and localities are also refusing to cooperate with ICE. Since the movement to resist the ICE program known as Secure Communities began, the Department of Homeland Security felt compelled to hold hearings on the program and announce a review. UUs have shown up with our partners at these hearings across the country. Local policy change is possible and momentum is building around the country! See our guide, Congregational Toolkit for Immigration Advocacy in Our Communities, for more information.
Children's Curriculum: With Justice and Compassion: Immigration Sessions for Children’s Religious Education (PDF, 63 pages), by Mandy Neff, includes four sessions each for children in grades 1-3 and children in grades 4-6, as well as plans for a Family Night, where children share what they have learned and take part in a service project. Grounded in our second Unitarian Universalist principle and in the Buddhist lovingkindness meditation, the curriculum invites children to explore their own family stories while learning about immigration in the United States. It lifts up justice and compassion as guiding values as we consider immigration justice issues in our own time.
Feedback/Survey: Immigration as a Moral Issue: Submit Comments by March 1st and Feedback Needed on Curriculum
Congregations can still submit comments on Immigration as a Moral Issue, until March 1. See the See Guide for Collecting Congregational Comments, view a sample comment form, and submit comments online.
Has your congregation used the six-week curriculum for our congregational study/action issue (CSAI), Immigration as a Moral Issue? Starting Feb. 1st, UUs who have used the six-week curriculum are invited to share their experiences through our survey. It will be available for three months (closing April 30th). So even if you haven’t used the curriculum yet, it’s not too late to organize a study group or adult RE class.
Justice GA: Are You Coming to Justice GA?
Things are heating up in Arizona -- between the Department of Justice investigation of Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County and the expected Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of SB1070 sometime in June, the Arizona Immigration Ministry and our partners expect there to be many opportunities to make a difference in Phoenix. Let us know if you're coming and how we can help your congregation get organized! See Rev. Morales’ personal invitation.
As always, let us know what is happening in your congregation and community, what you need, and how we can help.
Audra, Craig, Dan, Kat, Meredith, Schuyler, Susan, and Taquiena
UUA Witness Ministries staff
Join the conversation on Cooking Together: Recipes for Immigration Justice Work blog.
See www.uua.org/immigration for resources, congregational stories, policy information and more!