The Social Justice committee in normal times 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.
Social Justice considerations for July, 2020
Virtual meetings during quarantine will be scheduled from time to time. All members of the committee will be notified of Zoom connections at those times.
Special Collections. These collections are on hold for now. Virtual donations may be developed using the PayPal button on the website.
Issues discussed during our meetings may be addressed by our own email connections to national and local groups, such as Manatee Clean Energy Alliance, Sierra Club, Manasota-88, Planned Parenthood. Those and others suggest calls, emails, letters to legislators.
Structuring the Social Justice Committee just begun in March, condensing our many issues into smaller groups, is still in the works.
Here is a report as of the end of June by Mary Frances Kordick on the Get Out The Vote grant we received from UUA.
MUUF via Bernita Franzel applied for a UUA grant to fund activity for Get(ting) Out The Vote in 2020. Processes, if awarded, included handing out door-to-door envelopes stamped and pre-addressed to the Supervisor of Elections in Manatee County requesting ballots by mail.
MUUF was fortunate and was awarded $500. But, as we were trying to enact our grant as written, COVID-19 took over Manatee County. After informing the UUA of our dilemma, we decided to empower our colleagues in agencies and facilities to distribute these envelopes that contain the formal request for ballots by mail, with bi-lingual instructions to the agency administrators and registered voters.
We focused distribution on those places that made it more difficult for folks to get to the polls to vote their conscience – like Assisted Living Facilities and Food Banks throughout Manatee County.
NAACP Manatee is working with Voting Rights Restoration by registering ex-felons, now affirmed the right to vote, and they too were provided with envelopes. UniDosNow and Meals on Wheels received less than requested envelopes but each were given 100.
To date, 829 envelopes were distributed to 15 agencies, most often at their requested numbers. The need is great, and no one expected the response so widely accepted. Soon we will decide if the activity could be continued through the summer.
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. Frequently a member writes a thorough paper about an issue chosen in the Social Justice meeting. These Issues are available to members and friends on the website under ISSUES and by copies on the display table.
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. Once a month we sponsor the Monday evening meeting with Manatee Clean Energy Alliance.
1. MUUF sponsors Manatee Clean Energy Alliance. MCEA meets the third Monday each month at 6:30 pm to discuss ways to support Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” program to change Manatee County government to activate clean energy programs.
2. 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.
3. MUUF supported the right to vote for ex-felons in Amendment 4 and now support efforts to enable their voting.
4. MUUF supports the Medicaid for Senior Citizens petition for constitutional amendment to the Florida constitution.
5. MUUF supports the Charter Resolution for Manatee County.
6. MUUF supports the Ban Assault Weapons movement.
7. MUUF supports Indivisible-Progressives in Bradenton.
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
- Welcoming Congregations
B: We support LOCAL groups and local chapters of NATIONAL charitable groups.
- Our Daily Bread. 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. We support Prism in the Annual Gay Pride event in March.
- Coalition of Immokalee Workers. We support the annual observances of the Immokalee Workers each March efforts to have retailers join the Fair Food Program for the workers at Immokalee and other areas.
- Planned Parenthood. We support Planned Parenthood by participating in the volunteer activities and fund raising.
- Turning Points – Jobs for Vets – We support Turning Points programs by donating food, clothing; by volunteering, by applying 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
- Southwest Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice –
- NAACP, especially for voting rights. 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.
- Unidos Now in support of Immigration Reform and Latino affairs. 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.
- We support 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
ACTION: Special Collections Organized by Bill Hayes
Each month the Fellowship has a Special Collection to benefit a social justice organization. The schedule for July 2019 to June 2020 includes:
July – Hope Family Services.
August -Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.)
September – Downtown Ministries
October 20 – Manatee Operation Troop Support (MOTS)
November – Unitarian Universalist Service Corps (UUSC)
December – Turning Points
January – Our Daily Bread
February – Healthy Start
March – Prism
April – Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) Fair Food Program
May – DART program of Manatee ministers for Social Justice
June – Planned Parenthood
ACTION: Providing 500 hygiene kits to the homeless in Manatee County. With the 2020 MLK Day of Service award to MUUF for Downtown Ministries, the kits were distributed to the needy.
ACTION: Saving a new rural hospital in SE Florida in 2019. The lawsuit preventing the building of a rural hospital was dropped. Joan Butcher and others wrote letters to the Naples Hospital to drop the lawsuit. Finally with redistribution of authority at the Naples hospital, the lawsuit was dropped! Pans for the rural hospital can go forward!
ACTION – Giving all through the year
Turning Points mission is to provide, coordinate and facilitate services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in Manatee County. It’s One Stop Service Center served over 6900 persons with 125,570 services in the past year.
Their Needs List consists of: Food and Baby Formula, Bicycles, Bungee Cords, Drop Cloths, Games, Jeans, Mosquito Repellant, Paperback Books, Reading Glasses, Shoes, Sleeping Bags, Socks, Toiletries, Tool Belts, Tools, Toothbrushes, Towels, Underwear, Washcloths, and Work Boots.
Cash is much needed for: Carpet Steam Cleaner, Folding Tables, Furnishings for the Family Waiting Area, Children’s Furniture, Industrial Vacuum, Office Supplies, Paper Shredder, Pressure Washer, Rubbermaid Bins, Security Camera, and Telephones.
Items can be put in the blue bin at MUUF, in the rear of the sanctuary. Mail checks directly to: Turning Points, 701 17th Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205
ACTION: Wish List Giving Special Action in 2018-19.
January 2019 campaign – Bishop Animal Shelter
December 2018 campaign — Turning Points
November 2018 campaign — SafePlace2B
October 2018 campaign — Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.)
September 2018 campaign — HOPE Family Services