Social Justice Coalition
The mission of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is to provide a place for members, friends, and supporters of the UUCM to act on our shared UU principles, locally and globally, to implement initiatives that further work to bring an end to systemic inequalities. The SJC extends the important work of direct service for individuals, communities, and ecosystems victimized by unequal power relations to recognize and rely on social change strategies aimed at restructuring those unequal power relations themselves. Those systemic change strategies include community organizing, advocacy, and activism that galvanizes congregational energies so that individuals and families can do the work of justice.
In particular, the process by which the SJC endeavors to put our UU faith in action is by building and leveraging the UUCM’s institutional power by serving as “the team that organizes the teams” of social justice committees within the congregation. Currently, the SJC coordinating team includes representatives from the UUCM Undoing Racism Committee, Rainbow UU, Green Sanctuary, UU Senior Youth, UU FaithAction NJ, as well as members of our congregation active in the Montclair Interfaith (Sanctuary) Alliance, and Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless (MESH), among others. Together, the coordinating team works to identify 1-2 major social justice issues each year to present to the UUCM Board and congregation for ratification as our “annual social justice focus campaigns.” These congregational-level focus campaigns do not preclude members and friends from working on a wider range of issues, but rather serve to unify our energies and raise the volume on a UU voice for change.
From mid-January to mid-April 2018, the SJC will launch, “When Called to Speak: The Social Justice Coalition Listening Campaign,” with the goal of hearing from all UUCM members and friends who feel called to speak up and speak out about what troubles them in our world today, and what they feel called to do to make it right. What we hear from our members and friends will help the coordinating team select our potential slate for next year’s annual focus campaigns.
If you feel called to speak, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
Most importantly, the SJC collaborates with our interfaith and community partners to increase the political strength of all people seeking love, equity, justice and compassion, and actively affirms and invites such seekers to the UUCM as a welcoming spiritual home.
To get involved, please contact the SJC co-chairs, Teresa DeSousa, Johanna Foster, and Jerry Fried at email@example.com.