Social Justice Committee shows scales with Support, Assistance, Respect, Education & Empathy

The Social Justice Committee of UUFCC affirms the UUA’s commitment to the worth and dignity of all people and to uphold the human rights of every person.

It creates forums and responses principally but not exclusively to assist in the needs of local individuals and community organizations, and other causes promoting social justice.

Social Justice. It is in short supply in so many venues. Once a month we (everyone is always welcome!) come together to talk about the different ways we can spread and support social justice within our community and others nearby. We have made sandwiches for homeless kids, collected toiletries and foodstuffs for those in need, learned about the situations in other communities, such as the Immokalee Farm Workers, and brought in speakers to broaden our understanding of social issues, and raised money to help alleviate problems. Our Fellowship’s generosity is an ongoing object of pride. All newbies and long-timers are invited to participate in our activities. Zoom hasn’t stopped us and perhaps made it easier to have these most worthwhile conversations. Our meetings are on the Second Sunday of each month, at noon, after our congregational conversation. 

In no particular order of importance, some of the activities of the SJC include:
  ● The Second Helping—a monthly solicitation of monetary support from the congregation for diverse causes, which have included Special Olympics, Homeless Schoolchildren, C.A.R.E., Immigration Agencies, Needy Families, Homeless Coalition, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Virginia B. Andes Free clinic, individuals in need within our congregation, and others

  ● Protests at local Wendy’s franchises in support of the Fair Food Program, which assists the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in securing decent wages and working conditions

  ● Organization of the Peace Initiative Speaker Series, an annual three-speaker series that offers timely information on a variety of topics

  ● Links with UU Justice Florida, as well as promotion of Social Justice issues at local and state-level government

  ● Participation in marches such as the Martin Luther King Day Parade and Unity in the Community

The SJC is an open committee, welcoming all members and friends to its meetings. It currently meets at noon on the second Sunday of each month, on the porch.

“Presented to Fellowship 12/30/18 “Once upon a time there was a family. They had lived in a nice home, ate good food, and had decent medical care. And then, the breadwinner died, the money flow stopped, the mother and kids lost the house and car, ate sparingly, never saw a doctor or a dentist, bought clothes only from thrift shops, and after several downgrades, wound up in a shelter. But don’t worry, that could never happen to you or yours. Until it does. And then your whole life falls to pieces. You wind up in a shelter, one step away from the woods. In a shelter. Really? Is it fair? Is it justice? Ah, justice. Social justice. Why does someone else have no problems, and you are suddenly drowning in them. And what can you do about it?  You appeal to many organizations, after you figure out who they are. You had never asked for any help in your whole life. Always fended for yourself and your kids. But now, you are ashamed, beaten down, humbled, and reaching out. The Social Justice Committee of UUFCC tries hard to help those in difficult, seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Our Second Helpings are a significant part of our activity. We regularly ask for your support to strengthen the food chain, by supporting the Harry Chapin Food Bank. We ask you to help people find adequate housing, by supporting Habitat for Humanity. We ask you to help provide decent medical care, by supporting the Virginia B. Andes Free Clinic, and CHAPS. We ask you to support safe family environments, by supporting C.A.R.E. And we ask you to support that family that lost its home, by supporting the Homeless Coalition. This is far from the whole list. It importantly also includes people in this room who are in need. People like us.But money isn’t everything. How easily those words slipped off my tongue.  We need to stay educated and alert to best provide Social Justice. We encourage speakers to come forth, via our Peace Initiative Speaker Series, and to present here at the podium at selected services. We need to know and appreciate the problems of our society to then work to remedy them. This aligns so correctly with our UU principles. We must bring awareness, to then educate, and then work to improve all aspects of our society. Of course, the SJC invites anyone who would like, to attend our meetings on the porch at noon on the second Sunday of each month. Our committee is open to all. We welcome support for current undertakings as well as new ideas, and new ways to help solve old problems. Look around. Of course in this room, but also out in the community. If you have an idea of how any aspect of our community might be made better, it’s worth talking about. No, the SJC can’t do it all. But to not try would be the greatest failing of all. Would current members of the Social Justice Committee please stand? Not for applause, but so you notice, look around, they are people just like you. Maybe you want to talk to them or come to a meeting with them. A Social Justice Committee can never be too big. Because, unfortunately, there is always more to do. Thank you.

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