Social Justice

Each human life is inextricably connected to all other living beings; we are interdependent upon each other.  Thus, our care for each other is a form of caring for ourselves.  For this reason, social justice is not an annual or even monthly sermon topic, but one that is mentioned in *many* services, and lived out through activities throughout the year.

 On the other hand, justice work is not about guilt, or cramming more activities into our busy lives.  It is not an externally-imposed command, but an internal yearning, born out of deep compassion for our interconnected web.  It is not about taking time away from our families or our jobs; it is about making choices that nourish our spirits, and reconnect us to our fellow humans.  Whether it is feeding the homeless or writing a letter to the editor, whether it is a bus ride to the capitol or educating our children, every step can recreate meaning and optimism in our lives and in our world.

“Ever since you’ve been preaching, our attendance [at committee meetings] has gone way up!”
–Chair of Rockford UU Social Justice Committee

Experience:

At the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse:
Revitalized congregational justice programming—the Social Justice & Action committee more than doubled in size; it gave away over $1,000 in grants in 2009-’10.
Served in, and helped plan, our week in the “Safe Harbor” rotating winter homeless shelter (we took meals to partner host church); every year 2007-2010.
Participated in and promoted Toy Project for local domestic violence shelter; 2007-2010.
Supported and occasionally helped with Community (free) Lunch program (Tuesdays).
Co-led effort to bring Mike “Frosti” Zernow (ex-congregant and star of TV’s Survivor: China) to town, as fundraiser for fledgling teen shelter.
Co-founded Area Council On Religious Diversity (ACORD); helped ACORD with events on Tax Day and Memorial Day.
Facilitated CROP Hunger Walk in 2009; doubled participation to 200 walkers.
Helped present panel discussion on gay and lesbian life in local community
Served on local Interfaith Council, which helped arrange and publicize talks by Muslim-Americans about Islam.
Participated in pro-healthcare reform demonstration
Served on public schools’ Sexuality Education Board 2007-2009
Acted as emcee for regional Planned Parenthood fundraiser 2009
Served as Checkpoint Chaplain outside Fort Lauderdale General Assembly; 2008
Served as Chaplain to UUs protesting Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB1070; 2010
Co-edited The Arc of the Universe is Long: Unitarian Universalists, Anti-Racism and the Journey from Calgary, with Rev. Takahashi-Morris and Dr. Spencer

At Countryside Church UU:
Christmas fundraisers for Matthew House (children & homeless men)
fundraisers for hurricane & earthquake survivors
interfaith work for affordable housing, with Religious Associates of Palatine

Served (with Becky) as Election Protection Poll Monitors, 02 November 2004

At the UU Society of Geneva:
presented diversity training for 40+ teens; March, 2004
represented UUism at Fox Valley Hospice Training; March, 2004
supported effort to buy church electricity from wind generators; spring, 2004
participated in Christmas trip to Boys’ Prison, with gifts and caroling; December, 2003

At Meadville Lombard:
speaker, Catalysts for Change: Undoing Racism conference; January, 2003
participant, Corner Project daily anti-war demonstration; 2002-‘03
cofounder, secretary, member: Undoing Racism student-led committee 2002-‘05
volunteer, Kenwood Soup Kitchen; autumn, 2002

At First UU Church of Columbus:
member, BREAD (Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity) Interfaith Group, 1998

Co-led Sprint Cellular effort: 25 federally-funded apartments painted in one day; 1995

so may we categorize: