Identifying Opportunities for Action
Creating Pathways for Service and Growth
The purpose of the Social Justice Ministries of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent is to engage the members and friends of our congregation in important social justice issues of our time. We will support a variety of methods of engagement including identifying opportunities for action, facilitating learning and creating pathways for service and growth. We will strive to work for justice in all of our communities: congregational, local, national, and global. If you have an idea for an organization you’d like us to consider as a beneficiary of our monthly special collections or have a question about our social justice ministries, please contact our Coordinator for Social Justice and Community Outreach, Andrew Rome.
Social Justice Task Groups
We have three task groups that are charged with engaging members and friends on particular justice issues that are timely, relevant and which reflect the principles of Unitarian Universalism. The goal of the task groups is to encourage broad congregational participation in social justice work. Each task group will endeavor to promote at least one opportunity for engagement every three months. We encourage members and friends to consider taking advantage of these opportunities as often as possible. The task groups will endeavor to offer a variety of opportunities for engagement so that people of all ages and abilities can participate. As always, if you have an idea for a project related to one of these areas you would like to pursue independently, we encourage that and would be happy to provide assistance.
Race4Justice Action Team
Coordinated by Mary Ann Stephens
The Race for Justice action team of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent will be a catalyst in dismantling racism through engaging in: education of ourselves and others, relationship building with racially diverse populations, public demonstrations of anti-racism support by standing witness and speaking out, and advocacy for institutional change, and community action. The Race for Justice action team is dedicated to justice for all races. R4J will operate as a democratic, grass-roots action team of members who challenge themselves to be honest, uncomfortable and non-judgmental. The action team will engage in activities that are multi-generational and partner with others in the wider community who are committed to racial justice. R4J will coordinate activities for UUCK and community-wide participants that range from expanding awareness and understanding of American racism to direct engagement in anti-racism activities. Offerings of R4J will be based on the racial justice educational needs and interests of the congregation. The action team will accept membership from anyone interested in serving who is willing to commit to and actively further its mission
Environmental Justice Task Group
Coordinated by Mary Lou Holly
Some of the activities of the Environmental Justice Task Group include promoting recycling, participating in the annual Cuyahoga River clean up day, organizing and educating against fracking and supporting the work of our congregation’s Green Sanctuary Team. What else would you like to see our congregation do to promote environmental justice? If you have an idea, Mary Lou would be happy to hear from you.
Hunger and Economic Justice Task Group
Coordinated by Elaine Yehle Bowen
Some of the activities of the Hunger and Economic Justice Task Group include supporting local agencies that work to reduce hunger including Kent Social Services, the Center of Hope and the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank. We have also supported organizations that work to help people struggling with the challenges of poverty including local homeless shelters Miller House and Freedom House and Empower Portage. What else would you like to see our congregation do to alleviate hunger and work against poverty? If you have an idea, Elaine would be happy to hear from you.
The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind. Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world. ~Norman Borlaug
Human Rights Social Justice Task Group
Coordinated by Vivian Sandlund.
Some of the activities of the Human Rights Social Justice Task Group include providing opportunities for people to learn about:
- Women’s Rights
- GLBTQ Rights
- Immigrant Justice
We offer a variety of adult religious exploration classes on these matters and hope to provide opportunities for people to engage directly in support of justice for all people. What else would you like to see our congregation do to affirm and promote human rights?
Social Justice Visioning Group
Have an idea that you’d like to encourage the congregation to explore that doesn’t fall under one of our task group areas? Our Social Justice Visioning Group exists to create a forum for the exploration of other social justice efforts the congregation might pursue including those which might lead to the development of a new task group as well as those which are time limited. If you are interested in participating in the Social Justice Visioning Group, please contact the chair Sally Burnell.
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