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Social Justice Updates

Social Justice Programming -- January 2017

January 7-13, UUFG Campus
Hosting Family Promise Guests. UUFG will host homeless families in the Family Promise program. Please sign up today during coffee hour to help by providing a dinner item, hosting a dinner, staying overnight, or other tasks.

January 15 (Monday), 11:30 am, City Hall Plaza
Martin Luther King March. Join the UUFG contingent in this annual March in memory of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will gather at 11:30am near City Hall for preparation and then attend the noon Holiday Kick-off at the Bo Diddley Plaza.  The March begins at 1pm from the Plaza to the MLK Center. Please wear your yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” tee (sold at the Book Cart) or another yellow tee shirt.

January 19 (Friday), 5:30 pm, UUFG Phillips Social Hall and Sanctuary
Angela King, Life After Hate. Angela King, a former white supremacist and co-founder of Life After Hate, will be coming to UUFG to discuss her story and the work of her organization. Her non-profit uses the experiences of its founders to educate, guide and counsel individuals who wish to leave a life of hate. The event will begin with appetizers and drinks at 5:30 pm in the Phillips Social Hall, followed by her presentation at 6 pm in the Sanctuary.

January 20 (Saturday), 10-11:30 am, Phillips Social Hall and Sanctuary
Book Discussion of UUFG Common Read. The UUFG Common Read for this winter is Waking Up White by Debby Irving. This book details the author’s struggle to understand racism and racial tensions. As she unpacks her own long held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuates ill-conceived ideas about race. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Two more discussions of this book will follow in February.

January 21 (Sunday)
Share the Plate with Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, Gainesville Health Center. Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida was founded in 1971 and offers 11 health centers through the region, including one in Gainesville. Their mission is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through clinical services, education, and advocacy. For our January Share the Plate collection, we will give all non-designated offerings to Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida.

January 21 (Sunday), 12:30pm, Sanctuary
Annual Social Justice Congregational Meeting. This meeting is being combined this year with a general congregational meeting about UUFG bylaws.  The Congregation will consider organizations with which we might Share The Plate, re-affirmation of UUFG commitment to Family Promise, affiliations with other community organizations, and priorities for social justice work in the coming year.

January 22-23, (Monday-Tuesday), Tallahassee
UU Legislative Days. UU Justice Florida, the statewide UU social justice organization, organizes this annual opportunity to bring UU values to the State legislative halls in Tallahassee. Check the Legislative Tracker (uujusticefl.org/action-network/take-action) to see bills coming up in the Florida Legislature. Learn more and register to attend at uujusticefl.org (scroll down to “Coming Events”).

Our Social Justice Action Teams facilitate ongoing direct service, such as helping with an after-school program in Pineridge, packing weekend food for hungry students weekly, and keeping UUFG environmentally friendly. Check the Social Justice display and bulletin board in the Phillips Social Hall for a listing and contacts so that you can get involved.

The Social Justice Circle meets as an informal group for sharing ideas and support for social justice work. Meetings are the third Sunday of most months, after the service, at 12:30 pm in the Common Room. The next meeting is February 18.



Meeting Sunday, February 19, 12:30 pm

On Sunday, January 22, 2017 at the annual congregational meeting that deals with social justice, we heard reports on UUFG’s activities in social justice during the past year. Social Justice work is facilitated by a Social Justice Council and Social Justice Project Teams. The Council organizes some programming for the whole congregation, collaborates with other UUFG groups, and co-sponsors social justice activities with Gainesville community organizations. Our Project Teams currently include for Economic Inequality: Family Promise, Pineridge, andFood4Kids Hunger Backpack Program; for Race/Multiculturalism, Multiculturalism, and Opposing Discrimination and Hate; and for Climate/Environment, EarthKeepers.

The social justice work is the work of the congregation, not of a committee, and is funded mostly through the pledge budget, with congregation volunteers doing the work.

The three top priority areas chosen by the congregation for the past year, and again at this meeting for the coming year, are Poverty/Economic Inequality, Race/Multiculturalism, and Climate/Environment. Some ideas offered for the issue of Poverty/Economic Inequality are homelessness, East Gainesville, public transportation, food deserts, and wage gaps. For the issue of Race/Multiculturalism, some concerns are hate crimes, police/community relations, raising children free from fear, and immigrant justice. For the issue of Climate Justice, it was suggested we include ethical eating, and local climate issues. It was also suggested that we might choose one area for our main social justice focus for the year so that we might integrate a major speaker, sermons, and activities all in this single area.

You are invited to participate in UUFG's Social Justice Circle on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 12:30pm in the Common Room. At this meeting we will consider together all this input on social justice activities for the coming year and begin planning activities. The Circle meets most months on the third Sunday of the month to support each other's work and as an advisory group, and all are welcome to join in.


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