UU Justice Action (JustAct) News
May 2012: People’s Church Wins UUA SJ Award—Learn How; Sign Up for Pre-GA Training & More!
Dear Congregational Leaders:
Please join our congratulations to People’s Church of Kalamazoo, MI—this year’s recipient of the UUA Bennett Award for Congregational Social Justice! Utilizing a variety of UUA resources and connecting with community partners, the congregation transformed their social justice program into a dynamic and diverse justice ministry. Read their story below.
We hope to see you at the pre-Justice GA Training on Wed., June 20th. Details below, RSVP by June 1st. We also have information in this issue on cluster and congregational social justice workshops, a handbook, and highlights of this Justice GA--Dr. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow is coming and more! See UUA Bookstore Justice GA promotion to support immigrant partners. Lastly, be sure to check out the May Congregational Bulletin below for a handy printable flyer about GA and training opportunities.
Audra, Craig, Dan, Jessica, Kat, Meredith, Schuyler, Susan, and Taquiena
UUA Witness Ministries Team - See www.uua.org/justice for resources, campaign stories, and more!
Best Practice: People’s Church of Kalamazoo MI -- Winner of 2012 Bennett Award for Congregational Social Justice! Ten years ago, after a Sunday Service, a newcomer asked about the People’s Church social action program and a long-time member answered, “Oh, we don’t do that.” Today, the congregation supports a vibrant social justice ministry, from community organizing and community service, to advocacy at the local, state and national level, and an international partnership. A Standing on the Side of Love banner hangs in the sanctuary and the congregation received a Leadership Award from their interfaith community organization (ISAAC) for their role in securing funding from the city and state for early childhood education, as well as bringing a multi-million dollar grant for the Nurse Family Partnership to Kalamazoo. They also lifted up People’s for bringing an anti-racism focus to ISAAC’s ministry and applauded their LGBT advocacy in the community. Fifty people–adults, youth, and children—regularly help prepare and serve meals at an interfaith weekly program for homeless people. What has changed to make the congregation this year’s recipient of the UUA’s social justice award? Read the full story including the action steps and resources the congregation used to strengthen their justice ministries.
Click here for information on the Bennett Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action.
Action: Register for Pre-Justice GA Event: Building Beloved Community & Powerful Networks for Justice! Wednesday, June 20th, 1-4 pm Join leaders from the UU State Advocacy Networks (SAN), Congregation-Based Community Organizations, and UUA staff. We’ll share best practices and strategies for creating partnerships in our communities that are making change at the local, state, and federal level. We’ll also share tools and resources for engaging congregations. An agenda is available. Let us know what you would like to see included at this event. Please RSVP by June 1st to Nancy Banks, SAN Coordinator, at email@example.com. She will send a detailed agenda and room location.
Save the Date: May 10th at 4pm Eastern: The monthly Faith Advocates for Jobs Conference Call on May 10 will feature Senator Tom Harkin who will talk about his jobs bill, the Rebuild America Act. The bill includes provisions for raising the minimum wage over three years and tying it to the cost of living index, as well as specific job creation proposals. All are encouraged to promote the 4 PM conference call with their constituents. A special alert will be sent out when the call-in information is available. The UUA is a member of Faith Advocates for Jobs -- see UUA Economic Justice pages.
Resource: Schedule your Fall 2012 or Spring 2013 Social Justice Empowerment Workshop!: The Social Justice Empowerment Workshop helps congregations develop and strengthen their justice ministries, providing an opportunity for congregants to consider what they are doing as a faith community to create a more just and caring world. Cluster workshops are also now available! Cluster workshops focus on skill building for leaders and offer best practices that teams can take back to their congregations and implement. Check our website for more information, including rates, and to request a workshop. Or use our 'do-it-yourself' handbook Inspired Faith, Effective Action.
Justice GA: Highlights: Our Arizona Immigration Ministry is planning some powerful witness events in partnership with Puente, the local barrio committees, National Day Labor Organizing Network, SOMOS, and others to support their campaign to remove Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office, overturn SB1070 and its spread to other states, stop the mass detention and deportation of immigrants, and human rights abuses at the border. We need to fix our broken immigration system that is breaking families apart. The UUA is part of an interfaith immigrant rights campaign, Restoring Trust: Breaking ICE’s Hold on our Communities.
An interfaith candlelight vigil at Sheriff Arpaio's infamous 'Tent City' will be held on Saturday night.
Confronting Arizonification In Our Own Backyard Thurs., 6/21 3:15-4:30 pm Convention Center 122
According to local organizers, “The best way to support Arizona is by challenging Arizona‐style policies where you live.” While SB 1070 made the state a symbol of intolerance, similar immigration policies have spread to every corner of the country. Learn how your town may face Arizonification and how you can work to stop it. This workshop will explain the new interfaith and immigrant rights the UUA is a part of, Restoring Trust: Breaking ICE’s Hold on Our Communities Campaign. Speakers include NDLON staff Sarahi Uribe and Marisa Franco, UUA Witness Ministries Director Rev. Craig Roshaven, and immigration attorney Angie Junck.
Dr. Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow—Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Thurs. 6/21 -- 10:30 am-11:45 pm -- Convention Center 120A
Racial profiling, criminalization, and mass incarceration of African-Americans constitute today's legal system for institutionalized racism, discrimination, and exclusion. Dr. Michelle Alexander--civil rights advocate, litigator, and scholar—author of The New Jim Crow—exposes today’s racial caste system and how to resist it.
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, an association of African American congregations, and a partner of the UUA’s in the Interreligous Organizing Initiative, has a study guide available for download. While explicitly Christian, the guide includes sections such as ‘Connecting to African American History and Culture’, questions for discussion, and statements for reflection. A UU guide is coming!
Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, delivered a sermon inspired by ‘The New Jim Crow’. View it online.
UUA Bookstore Funds for AZ Partners: The UUA Bookstore is offering a special promotion for Justice GA: For every purchase (either online or at the UUA Bookstore at GA) that makes use of the code "PhoenixGA" , we'll make a contribution equal to 5% of your purchase equally divided between Comités de Defensa del Barrio and Puente AZ. If our sales using the code exceed $100,000, we'll double our donation on sales from that date until the end of GA - up to a total donation of $15,000! Note – The Bookstore has copies of The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
May Congregational Justice Bulletin features information and resources for congregations on:
- 2012 Congregational Social Justice Award Winner
- Pre-Justice GA Training/Gathering
- MGW Highlights at Justice GA
- Catalyst Resource
- Social Justice Empowerment Cluster & Congregational Workshops