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.  


Thank you all for your continued support of our efforts to partner with the amazing folks at MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) in providing a weekly meal to our friends and neighbors in need.  

The SJC volunteer crew is carrying on in our coordination of ready-to-eat bags to supplement the weekly MESH dinner service. 

Here is how you can help in the weeks ahead!

Sign up to be a shopper or a bagger of groceries using this required Google link: tinyurl.com/ybmufnea or email socialjustice@uumontclair.org for a volunteer slot.  It is very important to remember that only folks who sign-up with us and are confirmed by our coordinating team may shop, deliver, or bag for groceries!  We can NOT receive any unconfirmed grocery donations!

Please be advised:  We can NOT accept any non-scheduled grocery donations or deliveries anywhere on the UUCM property under any circumstances!  To clarify, this means any grocery donations or other packages that are left at the UUCM for this project, no matter how clearly labeled, carefully prepared, or well-meaning in the delivery, will be rejected/discarded for health and safety reasons!  The unscheduled delivery of such items to the UUCM endangers our staff and community members. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the termination of the project. 

If you wish to donate groceries, we will happily provide you with a pre-approved list of items, and also schedule your drop-off during our once-a-week only drop-off time and location, which is Wednesday at 3:30pm in Fletcher Hall.  Again, please see the required sign-up sheet and one of our coordinators will contact you. All shoppers will be reimbursed (please send receipts to SJC Co-Chair, Teresa DeSousa at socialjustice@uumontclair.org). 

Also, so that all are safe, a reminder that all SJC volunteers who sign-up to shop, deliver or bag, must comply with State, Federal and Congregational guidelines by wearing a mask, gloves, and practicing social distancing. 

As always, thanks again to the MESH team for their on-going front line work, and for allowing the SJC to help contribute whatever additional support we can in these dire times. 

We are your Social Justice Coalition members:

Kathryn Counsell, Teresa DeSousa, Johanna Foster, Roz Gohagan, Georgiana Hart, Peggy Hayden, 
Nick Lewis, Mike Mernin, Anne Sailer, David Sailer, Anneliese Scherfen, Peg Seip, Maria Towe

To be in touch with us, please send an email to socialjustice@uumontclair.org.