The Social Justice committee meets at noon after the Sunday service on the first Sunday of each month. Occasionally when a special event is held at that time, the meeting is held the following Sunday. All meetings are open to MUUF members and guests. Notifications of meetings, agendas, and minutes may be emailed upon request. Through regular participation in the meetings, in activities of the Committee or by request, any member or friend of MUUF may become a member of the committee.
a. Once a month we address the injustices in our local community by inviting leaders of local charities to tell us about their work. These speakers discuss their program, services and needs on Sunday either by presenting the main address or presenting a thumbnail description of their program. On these Sundays a special collection is taken for that local charity.
b. Frequently the social justice committee will sponsor a program for the monthly Share-A-Dish meals which are held the second Friday evening of each month. These programs educate and inform about timely topics.
c. Each quarter a member writes a thorough paper about an issue chosen in the Social Justice meeting. These Issues of the Quarter are distributed to members and friends and are on the website under ISSUES. Issues in 2016 were: Income Inequality, Move to Amend, Voting Rights, Ballot legislation. Issues in 2015 were: Water, Decreasing Carbon Use, Black Lives Matter/Mass Incarceration, Inequality.
d. The Social Justice Bulletin Board helps to inform our members about what the committee is doing, and has information about issues.
e. The monthly newsletter, UPDATE, gives commentaries about current issues.
f. During October to May once a month we co-sponsor an evening movie and discussion program with OCCUPY-Bradenton about an issue of local, national or international interest.
1. MUUF supports Move to Amend. Corporations are not People and Money is not Speech. We support House Joint Resolution 48 (HJR48) with 44 co-sponsors as of August 2017. We support Senate Joint Resolution #? with 5 co-sponsors.
2. MUUF supports the Restoration of the Right to Vote for ex-felons in Florida and collects signatures. 600,000 signatures are needed by December 31, 2017. We join other Florida UUs, LWV, ACLU and others in collecting signatures.
3. MUUF supports the Charter resolution for Manatee County.
4. ….and others, local, state and national.
Pictures are from Move to Amend demonstration at Rt 41 at Bahia Vista in Sarasota with Occupy and UUs from Manatee, Sarasota and Venice observing the 5th anniversary of “Citizens United”
MUUF PARTNERS with many organizations for improving social justice.
A. We support Unitarian Universalist Association social justice groups:
UU Ministry of the Earth – uuministryforearth.org
UU Justice Florida – uujusticefl.org
UU Service Committee – uusc.org
Standing on the Side of Love – standingonthesideoflove.org
B: The committee arranges speakers from LOCAL AND NATIONAL charitable groups which work directly with people in difficult circumstances. We take a collection to support their work. The committee feels it is important to support various groups which may be overlooked by faith-based donations. We want to support organizations that promote our liberal faith-traditions.
Coalition of The Homeless (PATH) – fchonline.org
Our Daily Bread – odb.org
Volunteers from MUUF serve lunch to Bradenton’s needy at Our Daily Bread, one of many programs at the One Stop Center at 900 17th Avenue West in Bradenton. Over 200 meals are served every day. The staff prepares meals accepting food donations from local grocery stores and monetary donations from churches, individuals and many organizations. Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has been contributing time for 16 years. Besides volunteering at lunch, we also have a special collection for Our Daily Bread each January.
PRISM – prismyouth.org
We support Prism in the Annual Gay Pride event in March.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers – ciw-online.org
We support the annual observances of the Immokalee Workers each March to earn Fair Pay and Fair Food Program for the workers at Immokalee and other areas of the United States.
Planned Parenthood – plannedparenthood.org
We support Planned Parenthood by participating in the volunteer activities and fund raising.
Turning Points – Jobs for Vets – tpmanatee.org
We support Turning Point programs by donating food, clothing; by volunteering, by applyng for grants for their support, such as the 2016 MLK Jr Day of Service grants for two job search computers and 4 dental program computers.
Church Women United by participating in the Crop walk – churchwomen.org
MUUF members pledge money to the MUUF volunteer walkers in support of world hunger.
Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice – sarasotapeacenter.org
NAACP, especially for voting rights – manateenaacp.org
Many MUUF members are also Members of NAACP and cooperate in chapter functions, with collecting petitions for restoring the right to vote for ex-felons, with support in police relationship programs on MLK Day.
League of Women Voters with issues of conservation and voting rights – lwvmanatee.org
Unidos Now in support of Immigration Reform and Latino affairs – unidosnow.org
Staff speakers and student leadership latinos present programs for our Share-A Dish events. We support efforts to register voters and securing volunteers for the High School-On to College education program.
OCCUPY – facebook.com/pages/Occupy-Manatee-County Our Social Justice Committee meets twice a month with OCCUPY on issues national an international.
We suport and participate in annual Climate Change activities sponsored by 350.org.
Social Justice October 2017
by Bernita Franzel
Indivisible Bradenton Progressives is one of 5 Indivisible groups in the Sarasota-Manatee area, one of 5,800 chapters nationally – with over 100,000 members. This local group has 140 on their email list. Indivisible began in 2017 to form a grassroots movement of local groups to resist the Trump agenda, starting with opposing nominations to the Trump cabinet, supporting ACA, supporting DACA, participating in the Women’s March. Now the focus is back on health care supporting Medicare for All. Support includes post cards and phone calls to legislators, letters to the editors and demonstrations in front of Vern Buchanan’s office every Tuesday from 8:45 to 10 am. Frequent visits are made to the staff in his office to talk about issues, his voting record and give views on present concerns before the House.
Indivisible allied with Black Lives Matter and others to demonstrate for removal of the confederate statue in front of our Courthouse- which removal took place immediately. Indivisible is part of a wide coalition of grass roots groups.
Currently plans of the Aqua by the Bay housing development have violated Manatee Codes restricting dredging, and does not show standard wetland conservation easements. Indivisible members will be at the County Commissioner hearing on Oct. 3 at 9 am for a public hearing and urges your attendance. Our recent time with Irma points to a need to consider conservative use of our shore line. You can be sure Social Justice Committee members will be attending.
Indivisible meets MOST every Monday at MUUF from 7 to 8:30 pm, sometimes in conjunction with Occupy which also meets on Monday evenings.
The Steering Committee of Indivisible consists of Pat Halperin, Liv Coleman and Mary Onna Bode (former MUUF member).
For an impressive list of Indivisible Bradenton’s first100 days: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/22094337-indivisible-bradenton-pro-gressive-first-100-days
Find them on Facebook! They have 390 followers!