Social Action and Outreach
The Social Action and Outreach Committee coordinates our congregation’s efforts for social justice and community involvement. The committee informs the congregation on justice issues and community needs, and facilitates congregational participation in service and advocacy work. Our ongoing projects include:
- lobbying legislators in conjunction with UU Mass Action to end Mass Incarceration
- cooking once a month at the Women’s Lunch Place in Boston
- organizing Thanksgiving food boxes, and on-going food donations, to the Woburn Council of social Concern
- collecting Christmas gifts and clothes for marginalized people
- ordering fair trade coffee and chocolate
- exploring immigration and refugee issues in Massachusetts and coordinating attendance at the Mothers’ Day March for Peace in Dorchester
- On our bulletin board we provide short and longer opportunities for volunteering.
We have just completed an 8 week workshop on “Being White in a Racist World”
As white people we considered the racial component of our identity, and how to live with authenticity and integrity in a society grounded in white supremacy.
The Racial Justice Team has formed four action groups
- Deciding on a Black Lives Matter banner
- Continuing the workshop
- Monthly book discussions
- Showing movies to the community.
Would you like to become active in Social Justice issues in our state? We support UU Mass Action, whose weekly newsletter educates us on timely issues and what we can do, ex.: Immigrant rights and granting asylum status; Reforming the Incarceration system; Climate action and renewable energy; Economic inequality. See http://www.uumassaction.org for excellent information every week.
Twice a year members may order Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate. By purchasing from Equal Exchange at cost we support the cooperatives of small farmers in Central and South America and Africa. Since most mainstream chocolate comes from cacao plantations in West Africa, we can reduce harmful child labor there. Equal Exchange coffee and chocolates, are sourced fairly from small-scale farmer co-ops. Check-out http://equalexchange.coop/
Annually, we review the grant applications recommended by our members and staff to allocate 5% of the congregation’s budget to justice and charitable groups, whose programs align with our Mission and Vision and with our members’ priorities. The Committee invites members to recommend non-profit organizations for these Grants, via completion of the Grant Application Form. The deadline is April 1; grants are announced in the annual report in May.
Share the Plate
Members of the congregation, our staff and Minister may recommend charities for the Share the Plate program. The Social Action and Outreach Committee decides which charities to approve for the list, which the Minister uses as her source to select a recipient to receive half of the Sunday offering.