Justice Journal is a blog dedicated to justice-makers, faith-rooted social justice efforts and justice-related happenings around California. It is managed by UUJMCA’s Executive Director, Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, with contributions from invited guest writers. Interested in being a guest columnist? Send us a note.
Our work is rooted in Beloved Community. Dr. King popularized the concept which is based on the work of theologian-philosopher Josiah Royce. For Royce, the formation of beloved community was founded on loyalty, what he saw as the most universal interpretation of the Christian ideal of agapic love. As we mature and become more able to form loyalties, he proposed, we become more able to find devotion to things larger than ourselves, ultimately able to form what he called the Kingdom of Ends on Earth in the formation of “beloved community.”
Greetings from the UUJM Board of Trustees! It has been a long summer, my friends. The immigrant families and children held in detention, the injustice on the streets in Ferguson, the escalating global conflicts, the unfolding climate crisis. Watching the news becomes a spiritual challenge in such times. But the best antidote that I have ever found for despair is action. The best way to restore hope is by finding others who are passionate about building a more just and beautiful world and join with them, refusing to accept the status quo as the final word on our future. This is why I have stepped up and said “Yes” to being your President of the Board of the Unitarian Unviersalist Justice Ministry of California. Because I need this organization – I need to know that I am part of something that moves the ball forward, that doesn’t just talk a good game, but steps into the gap between where we are and where we want to be, and asks “what can we do?” And then we get to work. I challenge all of you to get connected, to find your own way to say “yes” to the call of justice this year. I promise, it will help chase away some of the “news blues”. UUJM is committed to fostering opportunities for engagement, so here is a preview of what’s coming up:
- Walking the Walk, November 14-16 with amazing leaders such as Joanna Macy, Rev. Deb Holder and more;
- Minimum wage campaigning with the UUJM Economic Justice Action Team;
- The continuing campaign to implement the Human Right to Water;
- Working for immigrant justice through detention center visitations, advocacy and the New Sanctuary Movement;
- Eliminating more barriers to LGBTQI equality;
- Working to tackle the climate crisis facing us; and
- Building capacity within our congregations and ourselves.
We enter the coming year with a new mission, clear goals and a NEW name! Following the yearlong appreciative inquiry process, during which we held 17 input sessions across the state, held a young adult input session at the PSWD Young Adult Camp and gathered ideas online through a survey, UULMCA is ready to move forward. The Board of Trustees, with support from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, engaged Unity Consulting to help guide us through our strategic planning process. Laura Park helped us sort through the volumes of feedback and ideas generated by so many engaged activists and partners. Her guidance, along with that of Rob Eller-Isaacs, helped us generate a framework for the next five years, building on our successes and growing into some exciting areas. Our revised mission statement reads, “The Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry of California advances justice in our state by cultivating and connecting leaders and communities, and by empowering the public voice of those who share UU values and Principles.” In identifying the communities and groups we wish to serve as we bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice, we defined core objectives, or “ends”, that we aim to create by 2018:
- California Unitarian Universalists have access to and participate in statewide justice education, advocacy, and witness that deepens their faith and changes life for the better in California.
- California Unitarian Universalist justice leaders are trained, effective, inspiring and connected.
- California Unitarian Universalist congregations utilize UULMCA to strengthen their justice ministries.
- California policymakers and justice leaders value UULMCA as a visible and credible partner in advancing justice in California.
What a year! Your support has enabled us to do so much!
Together, we got the TRUST Act passed and signed into law. We saw the expansion of Detention Center Visitations, with Unitarian Universalists now either running or constituting the majority of participants in more than half the programs in the state. We launched high-quality, affordable immigrant justice trips to the border in October, with three more planned for 2014. And more than 75 UUs turned out for Immigrant Day at the Capitol, more than twice the number as last year!
Following on the heels of the historic passage of the Human Right to Water, we
began working on its implementation. As a leader in the Safe Water Alliance,
UULMCA has worked to ensure our UU values are heard as we ensure the dream
of safe, affordable, sufficient water for daily human needs is met. We are helping
others see that water is a basic human right.