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 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.
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 September 2017
HOW’S YOUR TICKLER FILE?
I’m not sure this is the way it is still described, but for a while time management folks used to say a good way to remind yourself of something you mean to do in the near future was to put it in your “tickler file.” It was actually just a tool to help us cue ourselves to do what we intend to do soon.
Personally, I believe this concept along with decluttering tips helped me get clearer on what really matters to me. I also acknowledge that as long as I live I will be a work in progress! Maybe you feel the same way. Welcome to the club!
Here’s why I am sharing this with MUUF members in 2017: I believe we care about so many matters of justice and equality that we can get lost in the weeds. How much can each of us do?
So, if like me, you have no concerns about going to bed hungry or wondering how your children will have fun over the weekend without their free school breakfast and lunch, these are issues that can get lost in the weeds. That’s not the case for many of our neighbors. Supposing while grocery shopping your tickler file said: Buy something for others? What if every time you saw a tag on a shelf that said Buy One Get One, it reminded you that one or two boxes of cereal, cans of vegetables, bottles of juice would be a way to help end hunger in Manatee County? All you have to do is buy those BOGO (buy one, get one) items and put them in the blue bin at the back of the MUUF sanctuary when you attend a service.
Either Walter Pascal or I will make sure your generous donations get to the local food pantry. Responding to your “tickler file” should make you feel good. We all know going to bed hungry or dirty does not tickle. It can impact a person now and long into the future. So can generosity.
Please remember to donate some non-perishable food or individual health care items like tooth paste, tooth brushes, soap, shampoo and socks on a regular basis. A “tickler file” is one tool. Perhaps you can suggest another. Whatever it takes, we need to fill those bins. Thanks!