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. MUUF was the first UU congregation to put a resolution on the Move to Amend website..
2. MUUF supports the Restoration of the Right to Vote for ex-felons in Florida. We collected signatures for the successful placement on the ballot of November 2018. We join other Florida UUs, LWV, ACLU and others in advocating passage of Amendment 4.
3. MUUF supports the Charter resolution for Manatee County.
4. MUUF supports OCCUPY-Bradenton.
5. MUUF supports Indivisible-Progressives in Bradenton. Indivisible activities can be found in the MUUF Newsletter of October 2017.
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 mentor 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.
ManaSota-88 has spent over 30 years fighting to protect our environment. It is a 501.c3 non-profit organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. We are dedicated to protecting the public’s health and preservation of the environment. Created in 1968, ManaSota-88 evolved from a major environmental health study sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, Florida State University, the University of Florida and the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions. Our commitment to safeguard the air, land and water quality is aggressive and uncompromising. Speakers from Manasota-88 are frequent presenters on Sunday morning and Share A Dish programs. Their spokespeople are dependable presenters at County Commissioner hearings where we applaud their efforts. .http://www.manasota 88.org
Social Justice July 2018
Special Collection in July will be for NAACP with talk by Tarnisha Cliatt, VP of Manatee NAACP and President of Manatee Black Chamber of Commerce
The mission of NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
1. The Legal Defense Fund addresses Voting Rights, Educational Equity, and Criminal Justice Reform. The Manatee County NAACP has participated in a case with Manatee Mosquito Control agency, followed the case against Bradenton police killing a Black student, called for investigation of racial profiling on traffic tickets given to black drivers. The School Board was asked to investigate racial slurs to a student at Bradenton Christian School. Currently there is legal redress sought for a MeToo complaint by a person in law enforcement. Actions are underway against the proposed Flyover of the Rt301/DeSoto Bridge and First Street because it will disrupt minority communities.
2. Live Your Dream awards are given to women with families who have overcome some adversity. The women are in college or technical training usually in helping professions like nursing, and legal and social work.
3. Pell Grants and Smart Grants are promoted. Students are encouraged and helped to prepare for these grants.
4. Political Action, in non-violent demonstrations, promotes awareness of political practices that are deemed unjust or oppressive. Support is given to end unjust voting restrictions, such as support to restore voting rights to ex-felons. In 2018 the Freedom Fund Banquet will be held August 11, 2018 at the IMG Academy on Conquistador Parkway. The speaker will be Florida State Senator Darryl Rouson. Tickets available from Bernita Franzel.
NAACP membership applications are available in the Social Justice Display area. Monthly meetings are held every third Tuesday at 6:30 pm at the Dream Center at 1024 24th St. E. All are welcome.
The Social Justice Committee at MUUF applied for two UUA grants through the Social Responsibility Program to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) as we have done in several previous election years.
One grant will be to develop two brochures for NAACP neighborhoods: the first brochure will feature Primary Election registration and voting, the second will feature General Election registration and voting with information on the 13 Constitutional Amendments. Members of the Social Justice Committee with representatives of Black organizations met to develop the brochures and distribution plan to voters.
The second grant will be directed to Hispanic citizens by giving registration and voting information through the Manatee Technical College radio station in English and Spanish. MUUF members will develop the announcements and MUUF members will record the announcements. UnidosNow, a Hispanic advocacy organization will manage the broadcasts.