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. MUUF supports OCCUPY-Bradenton.
5. MUUF supports Indivisible-Progressives in Bradenton. Indivisible activities and discussion 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 February 2018
Social Justice Committee
Members are as busy as ever. The duties of the chair are on a revolving basis until a full-time chair volunteers. At the committee’s regular monthly meeting on Jan 7, Chuck Wolfe was chair. The committee discussed and decided the following:
1. Bill Hayes will write February Update report. Jo Williams will write a report on Move to Amend.
2. Bernita Franzel will organize our Sunday to be in charge of the Sunday coffee hour on Feb. 11.
3. The Social Justice budget pays for the 2018 dues of $1 per member, paid to Peace Education Center, UUSC, UUJFL. Also, we will sponsor the Gay Pride event and supply give-a-way tokens (probably rainbow bracelets with our website) $150.
4. Al Usack was thanked for his fine quarterly Social Justice Issue paper.
5. Social Justice was in charge of January’s Share A Dish and John Isham presented the movie “The Sonic Seas.”
6. MLK Day will be celebrated by participating in the Project Light mural service project.
7. Black History Month. Rev. Charles McKenzie, noteworthy actor of MLK-One Man Play will speak on Feb. 4. At this time, four members will attend the NAACP breakfast on Feb 24: Jo Williams, Carol Bearfield, Chris MacCormack, Bernita Franzel.
8. Cultural Diversity – Muslim Imam Azhar Subedar will be our Sunday speaker on January 21.
9 LGBTQ issues – We will participate in Manatee County Gay Pride activities organized by Prism. The last Welcoming workshop will be in January. DVDs will be shown through March.
10. Our Daily Bread – Carol Bearfield has resigned as coordinator. Mary Lou Thompson will be in charge.
11. Legislation – a special trip to Tallahassee is planned by UUJFL for Jan 22-23. No one from MUUF is planning to attend. A meeting to discuss Move To Amend (re: Citizens United Supreme Court case) will be held at Fogartyville in Sarasota. Jo Williams and John Isham will attend.
12. Special Collections have been organized through the end of MUUF’s fiscal year as follows:
Feb – Crop Walk,
April – Alliance for Fair Food,
May – Move to Amend,
June – Planned Parenthood