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UUJEC Issues & Actions Blog

A-Mazing!! The UUA passes “Reversing Economic Inequity” Statement of Conscience, by Lucy Hitchcock

Aug 03 2017
We (the UUA) have come a long way.  In 1979, President Paul Carnes created the UU Task Force on Economic Justice.  Soon, Rev. Dr. Richard Gilbert published, “How Much Do We Deserve?” and with Dr. Loretta Williams, Director of the UUA Office of Social Responsibility, published the first economic justice curriculum, “A Call to Do Justice.”  In 1989, the Rev. Paul Sawyer called a group of colleagues together with lecturers from the Center for Popular Economics and, out of the dialogue, UUJEC, an affiliate UUA organization, was born. Years of study, curricula, workshops, GA resolutions, marches followed. 

The Benefits of UUJEC Membership, by Jim Black

Jul 27 2017

The benefits of membership in the Unitarian Universalist Just Economic Community (UUJEC) are many.  The benefits which I have taken advantage of several times are the resources available on the UUJEC website.  Go to the UUJEC website and click on the menu “escalating inequality” and a drop down menu will appear with several workshops and videos which can be presented at your congregation or community setting. I have had personal success with TED Talk presentations.

I chose TED Talks to present at our Fellowship in Door County Wisconsin. My timing was not the greatest. I made the first presentation of TED Talks during the non-tourist season.  There are just a handful of communities in northern Door County. These communities all have populations less than a thousand.  During the tourist season there are tens of thousands of folks in Door County. During the non-tourist season it is common to see neither a car nor person on the main streets. These same streets during tourist season are so crowded open parking spaces can not be found and walking is difficult due to the crowds.  My expectations were low.

Working for Healthcare Justice in Pennsylvania, by Mardys Leeper

Jul 06 2017

I have worked as a parent of a disabled woman, and as the co-leader of the UUPLAN Economic Justice Team. As a parent, I tried to get to get an appointment with someone in Senator Toomey's office. Despite phone calls and emails, it didn't happen. He seems to be locked away from us. I wanted to tell my story as an example of reasons the Republican bill is so bad. When that failed, I went to Lancaster to hear Senator Casey. Although I didn't get to read my letter, I did get to share my thoughts to Fox 43 Harrisburg after the superb town hall. 

Spotlight On Congregations, by Jane Bannor

Jun 26 2017
Throughout the year, the UUJEC web-site has been presenting profiles of the social justice work done by different UU congregations across the country.  While some activities are popular in many of the churches in our denomination, others fill special needs or are carried out in unusual ways. Since adoption of the Study / Action issue on Income Inequality, many congregations have held workshops on the issue.  There are six different curricula on the subject available under the “Escalating Inequality” tab of the UUJEC web-site at  

Reclaim Our Democracy, Guest Post by Fred Van Deusen

May 22 2017

The Denominational Affairs Committee at First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts embraced the 2014 UUA Congregational Study Action Issue of Escalating Inequality and sponsored activities in 2014 and 2015 that led to the formation of our group in May of 2015. We created a name and mission statement for ourselves and encouraged others to join our efforts. Our goals were to find ways to increase economic fairness in elections, taxes, wages, education and healthcare.  As we have learned, the issues surrounding escalating inequality are complex, intertwined, systemic and deeply rooted in our culture. The most compelling issue that the group identified was the impact of escalating inequality on our democracy. 

Economic Justice Spotlight: BuxMont UU Fellowship, Warrington, PA

Apr 25 2017

BuxMont UU Fellowship’s Peace and Justice Committee drives a thriving social justice ministry.  Their Peace and Justice Committee is a composite of the Peace Initiative, Diversity Task Force, Green Sanctuary, Reproductive Justice, Immigration Liaison, Friday Movies, Oxfam Hunger Banquet and their Split Plate Program.

Located in Warrington, PA, BuxMont UUF has donated over $100,000 to non-profit organizations since 2004.  Their guidelines are that the organization is non-profit and non-partisan (following 501 C3 rules).  The charity must address social justice issues, promote fair and equal treatment while empowering marginalized communities to reduce poverty, racism, homophobia and ageism while reducing violence and preserving the environment.

Economic Justice Spotlight: First Universalist Church of Norway. Norway, Maine

Mar 25 2017
"Divesting from fossil fuels and investing its endowment in socially and environmentally responsible companies despite the reality of lower returns has been an important and conscious action of the voting body of the congregation.  The saying, "putting your money where your mouth is" certainly is true of First Universalist Church of Norway.  Through a generous donation from the son of a now deceased member, First Universalist Church also switched from oil heat to propane to be more environmentally responsible.    Communication, outreach, awareness, empathy, and compassion are foundations of First Universalist Church of Norway's economic and social justice sustainability practices." 

Economic Justice Spotlight: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice. Venice, Florida

Mar 11 2017
"Our Common Good Committee works to help disenfranchised voters, and for the Move to Amend.  They circulate petitions, go to demonstrations and public meetings, and write letters when needed.  This committee has worked hard to educate the congregation and inspire them to work toward justice for the poor, and minorities, who disproportionately represented in our prisons in the USA. Members visit people who are incarcerated..." 

Healthcare Justice is a UU Value

Feb 27 2017

Repeal of the ACA and affordable access to healthcare will put many low income Americans at risk and make healthcare for middle income Americans much less affordable. Our Reversing Inequality Conference will focus on access to healthcare as an economic justice issue. We regard the Trump administration attack on affordable health care as a contradiction to our core UU values that we must defend.

Declaration 17, by Rich Florentino

Feb 25 2017

Norman Siegel, lifelong civil rights activist gave an inspiring talk last Monday telling us we don't need to be disheartened by Trump - but to organize to defend our Constitution - in our Courts - and by all other legal non-violent means still available to us as American citizens.  He has drafted a Declaration 17, modelled after the US Declaration of Independence. It closes as follows: "We are proud of America’s values. They lay the foundation of our collective pursuit of happiness. We cannot and will not give them up. The People have prevailed in the past, and will prevail once again, in upholding core American values." See the entire document here; and coverage from the NY Daily News Please read it and sign it as I have. If you don't know much about Norman Siegel, just google him - he is the 'real deal' and has been at it his entire life.  Having much success in important and worthy legal battles for decades. ...

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