Equity Ministry is a spiritually based engagement of social justice as it specifically intersects with issues of race, class and culture. By encouraging congregations to nurture connections with diverse populations, creating opportunities for learning and cultural competency, engaging in meaningful social action and cultivating spiritual development, Equity Ministry will help spiritual communities live out the promise of the second Unitarian Universalist principle: “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.”
Criminalization: Mass Incarceration, Deportation, and Surveillance TodayTuesday, November 14, 2017, 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the entire world - and who ends up detained has a lot more to do with race, sexual orientation and gender identity, mental illness, immigration status, and poverty than what they are detained for. We see criminalization in action when undocumented immigrants receive felony criminal convictions for re-entering the country after deportation, when police officers have quotas to meet for a number of arrests and fines and go into communities of color to meet those quotas, and when Muslims nationally live under enhanced surveillance in the name of "counter-terrorism." Speakers Include: • Jacinta Gonzalez, Field Director, Mijente (Phoenix, AZ) • Fatema Ahmad, Deputy Director, Muslim Justice League (Boston, MA) • Jamila Hammami, Executive Director, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (NYC, NY) • Ruth Idakula, Co-Director of Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal / Dignity in Schools Coordinating Committee Member (New Orleans, LA)
It has turned into a busy year. Not only do we have a slightly new brand (Equity Ministry Network) but we have continued to grow and strategize including hosting our first webinar (See link below). As we continue to grow the network we meet more and more people who are committed to seeing equity in race, class and culture in our society. We’ve begun putting our feet behind our words in support of important legislation and efforts happening in our communities. Join us and please share with your congregations and communities.
Now that everyone is settling back into the church year, its time for an update on California Equity Ministry. It was a full summer with over 5000 miles logged, 6 different gatherings in three different regions of the state, countless conversations with clergy and colleagues and an unmeasurable amount learned! A big thank you to the congregations who welcomed and participated in this exploratory phase of understanding how we can move forward with Equity Ministry:
Over the next few weeks, we will be doing workshops with several eager congregations where we hope to share the message of equity but most importantly, we hope to learn directly from the people on the ground where they are at in terms of understanding race, class and culture as part of our spiritually based social justice efforts. It is from these important gatherings and other meetings with church leaders through the coming months that we will build our network and craft an agenda to move forward.
We’re back from UUA General Assembly and ready to get to work on the
California Equity Ministry. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Faithify campaign! Your financial support took us over the top and we raised $4248 online to do this important work! We can still use your help to reach our full phase 1 budget of $6000 so if you are interested in contributing to our efforts, you are welcome to send that support directly to UUJMCA, attn. ‘Equity Ministry'.
We are also excited because of how much “buzz” there was about Equity Ministry in Portland. There were great questions from folks all over the country about what we are trying to accomplish and how to connect with this work. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who shared information so that the word got out! Thank you and please keep sharing!
This is an important time for Unitarian Universalists. With the preliminary results from the Racial Justice Vision Survey from the UUA indicating a desire among 90% of respondents to be involved in Racial Justice, the work of the California Equity Ministry seems more on point than ever. Just last month, the Commission on Appraisal also released a Preliminary Report on Class in Unitarian Universalism with important findings that speak directly to how important it is for us to really understand more deeply how class affects us all. Other efforts such as the Class Conversations coming out of Framingham, Massachusetts and the Totem Pole Journey and other rich collaboration between the Lummi Nation and Bellingham, Washington (Check out their Faithify Campaigns here: Class Conversations, Totem Pole Journey) indicate that race, class and culture are essential parts of who we are as spiritual people.