Congregational members at UUCC are involved with social and racial justice as individuals, as a congregation and in association with other community groups, local and national to make our voices stronger. Below is a list of some of our groups and associations.
Dreamers have lived with uncertainty for 11 years! Tell Congress it is time to step up and pass legislation to provide lasting protection for the Dreamers!
Over the past few weeks your GA delegates have provided information on two of the Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW) passed at the June UUA General Assembly. The third AIW action is to Protect the Dreamers, the Recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) with a Pathway to Permanent Residence. This AIW calls on Congress to pass legislation giving Dreamers a pathway to permanent residence. It also calls on UUs to support the Dreamers in their communities and contact their members of Congress to advocate for their protection. Congregations and members are being encouraged to deepen our theological grounding in issues of immigration justice, collaborate with local partners to combat anti-immigrant narratives, and work with grassroots organizations centering on those most directly affected by anti-immigration policies and other failures of the U.S. immigration system. Click HERE for more information on this AIW.
Ways you can get involved:
First, sign up for the UU Social Justice (UUSJ) newsletter. This is a good source of information where you can receive action updates. These actions are literally the easiest way to contact your national legislators about issues. https://uusj.net/wp1/
Advocate for legislators to pass the Dream Act by filling out this form from UUSJ: https://uusj.salsalabs.org/dreamact2023/index.html
Learn what is happening with Dreamers locally: HOLA: https://www.holaohio.org/what-we-do
InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF): https://www.irtfcleveland.org
Thanks to Karen Zimmerman from the UU Church West in Wisconsin for much of this information.
The Green Noble Project – The Noble neighborhood of Cleveland Heights has become a prime site for UUCC’s commitment to environmental justice. Bordering East Cleveland, this northernmost section of Cleveland Heights faces the challenges of resegregation and sluggish property values. The UUCC has responded with hands-on garden building with the goals of rebuilding both community and soil. This has led to restoration of the Oxford Community Garden, partnership with the Oxford Elementary School, the creation of innovative front yard pollinator pockets and a community orchard. Church members meet regularly with residents to foster environmental community.
For more information, contact Tom Gibson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Racial Justice Leadership Team (RJLT) aims to lead the congregation in developing and living out an intentionally anti-racist identity in all aspects of church life, in line with the aspirations of the UUCC Strategic Plan and the adoption of the 8th Principle: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
The RJLT sponsors opportunities for congregants to engage in personal learning and reflection, ideally in conversation with other members of the congregation. Among these have been an in-depth exploration of White Privilege and of the 8th Principle, and both in-person and virtual sessions of the Fahs Institute curriculum, Beloved Conversations. Other opportunities include encouraging participation in ongoing intersectional justice activities that help people understand the on-the-ground racism that pervades our society and organizations. We also are continuing an intentional exploration of what needs to be done to dismantle racism within UUCC.
Discuss your interest with any member of the RJ Leadership Team: Erika Brown, Pat Dillard, Christie Manning, Roschelle Ogbuji, Rev. Randy Partain, Suzanne Zilber and Nancy King Smith, Chair
Here are some opportunities:
· Join the Racial Justice Leadership Team
· Get involved with the Good Trouble Electoral Justice 2022 effort link
· Volunteer with Urban Hope, Impact, FD Roosevelt School, Noble Road Project, Unity in Community
· Participate in Greater Cleveland Congregations activities, including Get Out the Vote and Bail Reform https://www.greaterclevelandcongregations.org
· Sign up for Class Conscious: Class and Classism in Congregational Life, ARE course starting in October
· Join the Authentic Diversity Covenant Group (meets monthly)
· Participate in monthly 8th Principle Learning Community to learn how other congregations are taking action (2nd Wednesdays on Zoom)
· Register for the virtual Beloved Conversations course (scholarships available) https://www.meadville.edu/light/fahs-collaborative/beloved-conversations/
· Watch for regularly scheduled book or movie discussions exploring anti-racist themes
· Check out the resources on the RJLT page on the UUCC website
Resources for Exploring Anti-Racism
Books and Articles
· “Caste”, Isabel Wilkerson
· “The Sum of Us”, Heather McGhee
· “How to be an Antiracist” , Ibram X. Kendi
· “So You Want to Talk about Race”, Ijeoma Oluo · White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (umbc.edu)
· “White Supremacy Culture: https://www.cwsworkshop.org/PARC_site_B/dr-culture.html
Videos and Podcasts:
· Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice | TED Talk
· Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – YouTube
Participate in an Online Course
· Beloved Conversations (UU Fahs Institute, next course in Spring): https://www.meadville.edu/light/fahs-collaborative/beloved-conversations/
· White Awake: https://whiteawake.org/online-courses/
· SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice: https://surj.org
· 8th Principle: https://www.8thprincipleuu.org
Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is a non-partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together for social justice. As a catalyst for systemic change, GCC challenges Greater Clevelanders to imagine the change we can accomplish, connect individuals and organizations to multiply our power, and mobilize our members by the thousands to make our voices heard. GCC unites people across lines of race, class, religion, and geography to promote public, private and civic sector actions which strengthen and improve the quality of life of our neighborhoods.
GCC is a Congregational membership-based organization, so individual people cannot belong (although they can certainly contribute individually!). So, by default, anyone who is a member/friend of our congregation can participate in GCC activities.
Laurie Albright is the official delegate from our congregation and Pam Gibbon is our alternate delegate. UUCC’s Core team members presently are Vern Sackman, Bev Austin, Pat Dillard, Pam Gibbon, Laurie Albright, Greg Nosan, Brandon Ruud, and Mark Weber.
The Coalition to Stop the Inhumanity at the Cuyahoga County Jail is a group of community activists organized to demand change and accountability from elected officials responsible for conditions at the jail. The group attends official meetings, organizes protests targeted at specific concerns, and promotes a list of demands. Newcomers are always welcome. The coalition meets monthly at the Khnemu Foundation Lighthouse, 966 E 105th Street, Cleveland, OH 44108.
For more information, contact Laurie Albright.