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 May Report 2018
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE APRIL 1, 2018 MINUTES
Gary Chanco called the meeting to order at 12 noon.
Members present were: Gary Chanco, Randy Coleman, Bill Hayes, Linda Marshall, Walter Pascal, John Isham, Jo Williams, Ellie Syverud, Carol Bartz, Bernita Franzel, Lois Stilley, Sally Isham and Chris MacCormack.
Minutes of Feb 4, 2018 meeting were approved as presented on a motion by Walter Pascal and seconded by Gary Chanco.
Bernita Franzel read the Opening Words by Steven Hawking.
1. Gary Chanco agreed to be Chair of the next meeting, originally June 3, but amended to May 6.
2. Bill Hayes agreed to take the minutes and use them as an Update article.
3. Special Collections – Bill Hayes reported that we raised the following: $365. for Crop Walk in Feb, and $483 for Prism in March. Beneficiaries will be Coalition of Immokalee Workers in April, Move to Amend in May and Planned Parenthood in June.
4. Welcoming/LGBTQ – Manatee Gay Pride Festival in March was a huge success and well supported by MUUF. The Welcoming Congregation program has now been completed. Movies will continue to be shown in the future.
5. Issue of the Quarter is Gay Rights and Recent Attacks on Them. Al Usack has submitted a well researched and written article for the April Update.
6. Reports from Members on Issues: a. Bernita Franzel handed out a questionnaire on Gun Knowledge. b. Walter Pascal reported that PATH is looking for new meeting space and is sponsoring a Walk A Mile In My Shoes fundraiser. c. John Isham told us about a new Netflix film about plastic in the oceans.
7. New Business a. Sally Isham reported on a new movie series being developed which would emphasize social justice films like “The Gender Revolution.” b. Bernita Franzel reminded us that Earth Day is April 22 and we should have a bulletin insert on April 22 about it. Perhaps the insert could be about our excessive use of plastics. c. Ellie Syverud said that we should continue our interest in climate change and federal legislation on this issue. d. Bill Hayes brought up that meeting bi-monthly does not enable us to address all of our concerns. The committee unanimously voted to return to monthly meetings. The next meeting will be Sunday, May 6 at noon.
8. The meeting adjourned at 12:55.
Added note: The OCCUPY group that meets at MUUF on Monday nights is taking a break for the summer months, May – August. Meetings will resume in September.