Through December 31, donations to UUJM will be DOUBLED through a generous matching grant from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. Make your donation count double by donating online at uujmca.org/give by December 31st. Thank you.
Let’s be honest: just when we think things cannot get worse, we always seem to be more frustrated and disappointed in the direction our country takes. The past year has been a difficult year for many. There are rampant attacks on virtually every marginalized community – people of color; gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgendered individuals; immigrants (primarily of color); economically oppressed communities; indigenous peoples; and the list goes on.
Those of us who value our UU principles are coming to grips with this reality. But what can we do?
This is the struggle that we have been fighting as a people of faith – as Unitarians and Universalists – for centuries. As Unitarian Universalists – through the UU Justice Ministry and our congregations – we have a responsibility to continue this fight.
Over the past few years the UU Justice Ministry of California has focused on expanding rights and advancing justice. In 2017 alone, we advocated for:
• Senate Bill 54: California Values Act (Sanctuary State) – PASSED
• Senate Bill 29: Dignity not Detention – PASSED
• Senate Bill 31: Anti-Religious Targeting – PASSED
• Senate Bill 2: Building Homes and Jobs Act – PASSED
• Assembly Bill 1406: Homeless Youth Housing Program – In Committee
• Assembly Bill 1505: Allows Affordable Housing Requirements by Municipalities – PASSED
• Senate Bill 562: Healthy California Act – Held at Desk
• Senate Bill 10: End Cash Bail – In Committee
As the national tone continues to challenge us, we CAN make a difference. We can join with impacted communities and other voices of conscience to push back against the voices of racism, bigotry and oppression.
In California we are uniquely positioned to make such a difference. We have a tradition of leading the nation in landmark policies – such as the Clean Air Act, the Human Right to Water, Sanctuary Statehood and more.
Now we can lead again. And our leadership is needed now more than ever.
One example of this is Senate Bill 10 – a piece of legislation that would end the economically oppressive cash bail system as we know it. Another is Senate Bill 562, a bill that would create healthcare access for ALL Californian’s through a single-payer system.
This past year the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee combined forces to launch Love Resists, a four-year campaign to fight the criminalization of our marginalized communities. That campaign begins here – in California. UUJM is a partner organization in this effort. The work we are doing is not only resisting the horrible policies being advanced at the national level, but in many cases, we are paving the way for new policy shifts that advance our UU values.
We will be launching a new website in January – LoveResistsCA.org – a site dedicated to educating and empowering UUs to take action in their communities and congregations. The site will lift up work at the national level, statewide and in congregations across California.
In February we hope to welcome a new part-time staff person in the Spring to support UUs and congregations in tackling this critical work. But we need your financial support to make this happen!
UUJMCA is developing justice leaders in our congregations who are trained, effective, inspiring and connected. UUJM trained nearly 193 UUs in 2017 through our Regional Justice Trainings across the state this past year. 2017 also marked the sixth Walking the Walk Justice Leadership Summit, with special guests from UUSC and UURISE presenting amazing workshops along with 36 community-driven workshops lead by justice leaders from California and Arizona.
Our UUBorders program (uuborders.org) continues to take UUs on a justice journey around immigration issues from the other side of the border, connecting with impacted communities and learning ways to take action back home.
UUJMCA is supporting congregations in developing justice ministries that not only engage UUs, but connect beyond our walls, serving the community and building the larger movement. With your support, we are continuing our Congregational Discernment and Engagement Program (uujmca.org/cdep) which helps congregations identify their calling and build well-rounded, congregationally-based justice ministries. We have guided 14 of California’s 76 congregations through this process so far! UUJMCA has also provided congregations with religious education materials, turn-key worship services around justice topics and trainings tailored to congregations.
UUJMCA is providing UUs ways to make real differences at local, statewide and national levels, through activism and education. UU justice leaders are empowered to make real, meaningful differences in our world through our Action Teams – with all of our coalition and advocacy work being lead by these key volunteer-lead groups. Through our advocacy portal (action.uujmca.org) UUs can learn about legislation, read up-to-date news on issues they care about and act through testimonials, petitions, letters and calling campaigns. Statewide events such as Immigrant Day at the Capitol provide opportunities to have a progressive, faith voice standing up for justice while coordinated national events with our partners such as the #DignityAtDarden Day allow UUs to act in their communities as part of a larger movement. The upcoming Love Resists campaign will allow UUs to engage at all levels of justice-making through a single campaign!
Most importantly, UUJM is acting as visible and credible partners in justice – by showing up when called upon and being a voice for justice. Whether through lobby days, witness events, testimony before boards and commissions or through coordinated petition and outreach efforts, UUJM is a leading voice for justice.
Will you join us? Will you please do at least one of the following:
- Donate. At this time of year, we really need your support. This is when we determine which programs we can fund, and which must be cut. Your financial support during our Annual Fund Drive makes all the difference.
More than 70% of our budget comes from individual donations from people just like you, with much of the remainder coming from congregations. We receive zero funding from the UUA. You can make your donation at uujmca.org/give. All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE, as allowed by law.
Through December, donations to UUJM will be DOUBLED through a generous matching grant from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. Make your donation count double by donating online at uujmca.org/give by December 31st.
- Join an Action Team. If you are passionate about economic justice, environmental justice, immigrant justice or healthcare, please let us know and we will get you information on becoming a member. Visit uujmca.org/actionteams to find out more.
- Sign up for an online community. Visit connect.uujmca.org and get updates on issues and opportunities. These are online groups where people share opportunities and challenges from across California’s 76 UU congregations. Please be part of the conversation as we join to advance justice in these challenging times.
Together we CAN rise to our calling. But only if we act! Thank you for being part of the UUJMCA family and for helping to answer our call at this important time.