Social and Racial Justice
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.
UU the vote offers workshops and actions to encourage voting and voting awareness through out the country. UU the Vote in Ohio is partially supported by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Here in Ohio, through Unitarian Universalist Justice organization (UUJO), we are partnered with a collaborative called Every Vote Matters in Ohio. The focus is on Voter Advocacy (education, registration, and support). Knowing your efforts are part of a coordinated plan helps keep the momentum going. Whether you like to call, text, write, go door to door, sponsor house parties, or other options, there is something everyone can do.
Laurie Albright is the contact person who can help you get involved, or you can go directly to the UU The Vote Website
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio (UUJO) is a 501C3 organization that serves the 38 UU congregations and fellowships across Ohio. Their mission is to offer education, advocacy, and action consistent with Unitarian Universalist liberal religious principles and to witness with and on behalf of marginalized groups and individuals. Members of UUCC join this group to make our voices stronger. UUJO organizes and engages in the following:
- Engage in Voter Advocacy: education, voter registration and support to get out the vote
- Organize to amplify our voices for justice in public witness events
- Engage in ongoing Ohio Statehouse education and testimony work to bring our UU voice to the state legislature
- Support our Immigrant Transit Assistance teams in Ohio that greet asylum-seeking families with much needed food, water, diapers, and hygiene items
- Coach and advise justice teams within congregations
- Offer our Annual Assembly and Spring Justice Gatherings throughout the state
- Expand our social media outreach to engage with more people within and beyond our congregations
- Bring messages of hope, justice and liberation to congregations and our wider communities, Speaking Truth to Power in Ohio.
Laurie Albright is a contact person if you want to know more. Tadd Pinkston is currently on the UUJO Board and Rina Shere is on the Nominating Committee.
To receive the monthly “UUJO News” and timely updates on justice-related workshops, seminars, webinars and special UUJO “Calls to Action please sign up on their website.
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.
Urban Hope is an Ohio City storefront soup kitchen that area Unitarian churches support. It provides a place for needy neighbors to gather inside for a few hours to eat a meal, talk, play cards and take a shower. Volunteer opportunities include buying ingredients, communally cooking in our church kitchen, serving the meal, and donating other items. Our congregation’s turn is the 4th Sunday of each month.
See it for yourself in this video filmed by West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, one of our Urban Hope partners. https://youtu.be/IyiRGb96YPA
Volunteers are welcome. Please contact us to get involved
The Urban Hope Team:
Jean Martin, Laurie Holmes, Jean Ellsworth-Wolk
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The location is just a few blocks west of the West Side Market. Look for The Storefront sign over the front door.
The IMPACT Youth Enrichment Program is an afterschool prevention program for Shaker Heights Middle School 7th and 8th graders in collaboration with UUCC and the Shaker Heights Youth Center. The program promotes leadership, service, wellness and academics, and runs in Fellowship Hall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-5:30. The program is always looking for church volunteers to share a talent or lend a hand to the 20 or so youth who participate.
Please visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/impactyouthenrichmentprogramshakerheights
For more information, contact Program Director Sandy Troupe, email@example.com
FDR Partners – Since February of 2017, UUCC has had a partnership with Franklin D. Roosevelt Academy to bring youngsters and oldsters together in service to students’ academic achievement and social-emotional growth. Congregants have participated in a variety of efforts:
- Tutoring in the MOSTS (Mentoring One Student to Succeed) program
- Supporting parent engagement
- Supporting the annual musical production
- Fund raising for school uniforms and 8th grade trip to Washington DC are some of the many opportunities available.
For more information contact MaryEllen McNulty, UUCC FDR Tutoring Coordinator.
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.