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UUJEC Issues & Actions Blog

UUJEC Economic Justice Spotlight: Mountain Vista UU Congregation. Tucson, Arizona

Dec 24 2016
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The Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation (MVUU) has a vision. Since its founding in 1989 with fifty-five charter members, MVUU has dedicated its energies to outreach in northwest Tucson. The members then and now provide pantry supplies, meals-on-wheels, rides to doctors’ appointment, home handymen for the elderly, and financial support to those in need. When the congregation’s minister, the Reverend Ron Phares, arrived in 2013, action and advocacy around economic justice exploded. Rev. Ron came up with an idea: a Justice Coordinating Committee (JCC), made up of a few members and himself that would focus on justice work through a “lens.” The first several years, that lens was “Economic Disparity” in Tucson and the United States.

The Solstice, by Rich Florentino

Dec 19 2016
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The sun move further south and sets earlier each day. What if it doesn't come back? You say it does every year - well this year there is a darkness in our hearts like no other.

An Anthem of Resistance, by Terry Lowman

Dec 06 2016
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In Norway after Anders Breivik slaughtered 69 children and injured 110 on July 22, 2011, American and Norwegian conservatives encouraged revenge. This attack was against liberals who embraced immigrants, people of color and Muslims. Instead of revenge, Pete Seeger's song, Rainbow Race was adapted as Children of the Rainbow--supporting diversity and diversity won and hate lost. It's time that we UUs adopted Pete Seeger's (a UU) song before anyone is deported or killed as hate and intolerance continue to rise in our country.

Sanctuary Resource from Terry Lowman

Dec 05 2016
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Many UUs are concerned about our fellow immigrants.  One choice is creating sanctuary.  I thought this Sanctuary Movement Toolkit resource would be useful to share with our members. It was developed by the Methodist group "Justice for Our Neighbors" and refers to the First Unitarian Church of Denver as an example of a congregation that provided sanctuary. The tool kit is made to be customized for different people's use.

Economic Justice Spotlight: Shoreline Social Action Ministry. Shoreline, WA

This year we embarked on a journey of discovery, to understand the tireless and comprehensive work UU activists were doing to make our world more just. Our call for submissions drew interest from active social justice committees and congregations from every corner of the country. We are pleased to collaborate with them in sharing best practice approaches to justice work for our readers to learn from and to bring inspiration. Enjoy the stories, share in the efforts and use the ideas you see here as a model for your continued work in economic justice. 

More Workers Should Get Overtime Pay by Carol Allen

Nov 28 2016
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An example of economic injustice is the blow dealt to lower income working people by a Texas judge's decision to reverse President Obama's order on increasing the wage level at which time and a half pay for overtime is required by federal regulation. A multi-state case blocked that increase and kept the old requirement that just people with wages under $23,660 get time and a half for overtime work.  Obama was attempting to raise it to a more realistic level of overtime for wages up to $47,476 but it failed a court ruling.  It would be a much-needed major reform for low-wage workers, many of whom are not in unions (where contracts could define overtime pay.) State rules may vary. 

A Time to Engage, by Your Board of Trustees

Nov 15 2016
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The Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC) has fought for over 25 years against the dominant root causes of inequality. Our core work is centered on the intersection of economic inequality and our 7 UU Principles.  We observe that the escalation of economic inequality over the last 30 years has created widespread insecurity and a fertile breeding ground for racism, sexism and religious/ethnic intolerance.

Economic Justice Spotlight: Escalating Inequality Task Force of Metropolitan Detroit

Nov 06 2016
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This year we embarked on a journey of discovery, to understand the tireless and comprehensive work UU activists were doing to make our world more just. Our call for submissions drew interest from active social justice committees and congregations from every corner of the country. We are pleased to collaborate with them in sharing best practice approaches to justice work for our readers to learn from and to bring inspiration. Enjoy the stories, share in the efforts and use the ideas you see here as a model for your continued work in economic justice. 

Task Force Chair Pat Hammer, shares their recent work with Terry Lowman UUJEC Co-Chair in our report featured on our Spotlight page and also in a printable version here. Please share this information with your congregations and feel free to participate in the comment section below.

"The Task Force itself is composed of social justice leaders in their individual congregations. Among the leadership are congregational board members and chairs of social justice programs, as well as the activists who bring their experience to the discussion and organize the outreach and advocacy activities within each congregation." 

Chuck Collins Visits Iowa UUs by Terry Lowman

Nov 01 2016
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I want to thank Chuck in a public way--his generosity with his time and his life experiences were a profound gift to Iowa UUs.  Chuck did a review of his book, Born on Third Base at Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City.  He did a workshop at the Coralville Public Library for Iowa UU Witness/Advocacy Network and Iowa City UU Society.  One meaningful exercise was for pairs of us to share our story of how our government, community and family contributed to our survival and success.  It was a meaningful tool in debunking people's "I did it myself" story so I shouldn't have to share or pay back anyone.

"Conversation with a Brooklyn Conservative" by Rich Florentino

Oct 19 2016
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Last week I went to a candidates’ forum in Brooklyn.  Because of my questions [about public financing of campaigns, single-payer health care, etc.] one gentlemen came over to me at the coffee table, stood nose to nose, pointing at my chest and said, “Are you a socialist?”  As usual in a situation like that, I answer a question with a question, saying, “What do you mean by socialism?”  He just proceeded to recite, “Venezuela, Russia, Greece... they were all socialist – they all collapsed.”  People were beginning to shush him at that point and he went back to his seat.



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