Gainesville: UU Fellowship of Gainesville

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville    Social Justice Council   www.uufg.org/

2014-2015  Gainesville is continuing all efforts listed in 2013-4. The following are new or different in some way from the previous year:

Education: 

Social Justice Forum presentations this year included: COWSPIRACY film discussion; Move To Amend; Immigration; Water Issues, Medical Marijuana, ACTION Network, Habitat for Humanity, GRACE Marketplace; Sierra Club; Environment; Family Promise; Escalating Inequality; Living Wage; Planned Parenthood; Coalition for Utilities; Citizens Climate Lobby; Earth Charter

Presentations at UUFG Retreat: Earth Charter by guest Sue Blythe; Race and Privilege by Alice Primack

Classes: 5-session class purchased from UU Ministry for Earth “Our Place in the Web of Life” led by Alice Primack; 3-session class “LGBTQ Equality” led by Tara Lee; hosted 4-hour Pachamama Symposium

On UUFG website: Advocacy Circle started by Sidney Ellis provides roster of suggested organizations to encourage and facilitate advocacy by UUFG members.

PARTNERING TO SERVE and PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING:

UU Justice Florida Legislative Day: Nancy Parkinson participated in 2015 and talked with legislators

Citizens’ Climate Lobby: Promote participation by UUFG members

Gainesville Office of Equal Opportunity: UUFG members facilitate or participate in Study Circles on Prejudice and Bias; Alice Primack serves on Dismantling Racism Team

Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice: Social Justice Council is a member

PROJECT TEAM ACTIONS:

Interweave: Support group for LGBT community met at UUFG three times in the fall, but meetings were cancelled after that due to lack of interest; The chair of the committee gave two talks on Transgender History and represented UUFG at the National Day of Trans Remembrance at UCG on Nov. 20.

Anti-Racism: Facilitate and Participate in Study Circles on Race Relations or Prejudice and Bias

2013-2014

Description and Accomplishments

The Social Justice Council educates the congregation and facilitates direct action social justice projects and outreach to the community. We partner with community groups to serve and promote social justice understanding.  The Council is made up of representatives from Project Teams.

Social Justice Circle meets monthly as an advisory group and for support for our work.

EDUCATION:

Guest Speakers at the church on Sundays: Marriage Equality, Gun Control, Move to Amend, Wage Recovery, In-State College Tuition for Foreign-born Florida students, Natural Gas Pipeline, Understanding Climate Change, Climate Solutions, Center for Peacebuilding, Water Issues, Medical Marijuana, ACTION Network, Habitat for Humanity, GRACE Marketplace

Films with Discussion: “Standing Your Sacred Ground” 2013 Ware Lecture; “The Harvest” on immigration

Sunday services: On Peace, with ceremony around Peace Pole; Social Justice Work Sunday Service topic followed by potluck and discussion.

Social Justice In View: Monthly column and other articles in Gazette newsletter given out with Order of Service each Sunday; posts on e-mail lists; Table Display and Bulletin Board, poster about projects; “information exchange” basket; brochures on display.

Advocacy Circle: Provides roster of suggested organizations; meets as needed to encourage and facilitate advocacy by UUFG members

Multigenerational: Making signs to carry in Pride Parade and MLK March; Chalices made at church to use at home to “keep the fires of justice burning;” annually create holiday gift stockings for homeless

ACTION FOR JUSTICE:

Pineridge Community Center: Provide tutoring and enrichment for 12 elementary children in poverty 2 afternoons per week during school year (3 UU volunteers plus students and professionals who we recruit)

Food4Kids Hunger Backpack Program: Pack non-perishable food weekly for weekend take-home at a local middle school- organized by Food4Kids and funded by grants UUFG gets from the City plus donations. Also provide holiday gifts for the children.

Migrant Worker Support: Collect clothing, shoes and toiletries for migrant workers

In-state Tuition for Foreign-born Florida students: Sent pre-printed postcards to State legislators about In-State Tuition for Foreign-born Florida students; visited Santa Fe College president to discuss; visited State legislators at their local offices and during Legislative Day in Tallahassee

OUTREACH:

Pride Parade: Church marches annually with a banner and float, and has a booth at the event where we asked passersby to write affirmations on brightly colored paper, which we posted around the booth. Standing on the Side of Love tees encouraged. Approx. 20 members turn out.

MLK March: Church attends MLK Celebration and marches annually with a banner, wearing our Standing on the Side of Love tees. Approx. 20 members participate.

Interweave: Support group for LGBT community meets at UUFG monthly

Habitat for Humanity: 10+ members volunteer 3 times a year for a Build Day; congregation provides lunch for volunteers at build site 2 times per year; attend monthly interfaith meetings

PARTNERING TO SERVE and PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING:

Interfaith Hospitality Network: hosted and fed homeless families at the church for one week at a time four times during year, as part of a group of 12 churches

GRACE Marketplace for the homeless: donated clothing, tents, etc; at a special holiday breakfast, gave out 50 holiday stockings stuffed with toiletries and gifts, and a stocking cap for each knitted by one of our members

UU Justice Florida Legislative Day: Six members participated in 2014 and talked with legislators

Vets for Peace: Host Winter Solstice Concert and Peace Poetry Contest reading and awards ceremony

United Nations Association: Co-sponsor annual program and table at that program

Move to Amend: Voted in a congregational meeting to support; active in County-wide campaign which won county-wide support for Move to Amend on Nov. 4 ballot; hosted celebration potluck

UUSC: Pay annual congregational dues; annual Guest At Your Table collection; received award for up to 40% members

Dismantling Racism Change Team affiliated with Gainesville Office of Equal Opportunity: Several church members are on this Team or are facilitators for Study Circles on Prejudice and Bias; many Gainesville members have already participated in Study Circles which are diverse groups meeting one evening each week for 6 weeks followed by doing an action project of the group’s choice. Groups are continuously forming. For more information and to register go to “Dismantling Racism Initiative” at http://www.gainesvilleequalopportunity.org/

Neighborhood Resource Center, part of Library Partnership: Donate funds annually and do clothing drives

Susan B. Anthony Luncheon: Co-sponsor annually with donation and advertising in support of women’s rights.

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