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.  

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 and Johanna Foster at socialjustice@uumontclair.org.  


 

The Social Justice Coalition is nothing if not nimble!  We are continuing to work with Montclair leaders to improve the quality of life for its LGBTQ citizens and are also responding to the immediate needs of our community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In early February, SJC members and allies met with Bruce Morgan, Montclair’s Affirmative Action Officer, to get some insight behind Montclair’s less-than-perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI).  During this informative meeting we identified ways our congregation can assist with this year’s submission, due in June.  We will enlist the congregation’s assistance in the coming days to achieve our goal of a 100% score.  

With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, the SJC will supplement the UUCM MESH meal with a bag of ready-to-eat groceries for the MESH guests each week as best we can until the crisis seems under control.  Beginning Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, members of the congregation will be asked to shop for the groceries, bag and distribute to the people who need it the most.  Please support the work of the amazing MESH team by volunteering or making a donation.  Text UUCM Groceries $5 to 73256 to give to SJC Groceries using your text messaging. Standard text message rates do apply.  .  Email us at socialjustice@uumontclair.org if you would like to be in touch with us.