• Social Justice News, August 2017

    The Social Justice Council (SJC) participated in the City-wide Richmond Ceasefire Walk on July 21.

    At the July potluck meeting the SJC honored the recent UUCB high school graduates and their families in the first annual “Congrats to Grads” ceremony. Under UUCB Membership’s leadership, the congregation contributed to an award for each graduate. Lonnie Moseley and Norie Clarke presented the awards, the grads shared their future plans for education, and “Prayer for our Children” by Rev. Robert F. Kaufmann was read aloud.

    Also honored during the meeting was Susan Lankford, who was awarded the first Doctorate of Generosity. Through her own initiative, Susan sewed hundreds of pink “Pussy Hats” worn during the International Women’s March in January, on the day after the inauguration of the current President. In doing so, she energized and outfitted many in the congregation, raising $455.00 that she then donated to the Social Justice Council.

    At its July 2nd meeting, the Literature, Film & Drama Contingent (LFDC) of the SJC discussed Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving, with Anna Fisher and Julie Rogers facilitating. After sharing Moments of Awareness of Unconscious Bias (MAUBs) – those times when we’re not proud of the thoughts we experience about other races, ethnicities or genders – it was agreed that this was a very good book with which to end LFDC’s second year.

    An end-of-year check-in brought requests for a broader mix of reading material (fiction, periodical articles, short plays and podcasts); allowing more time for personal expressions, (continuing MAUBs and personal writings), and special events (such as guest speakers and the “Fishbowl Exercise” taking place during October’s meeting.)

    The Literature, Film & Drama Contingent of the Social Justice Council (the LFDC) will hold its first August Contingent Melange on Sunday, August 6, from 12:30 to 2:30 in the Fireside Room. We’ll read a one-act play, written by our own Lonnie Moseley; review plays from The Berkeley Rep, The Ubuntu Theater (Oakland), and The Contra Costa Civic Theater (El Cerrito); and discuss recent stories in the news related to issues of social justice. All are welcome to attend!

    SAVE the date:  Wednesday, August 9th at 7 pm in the Fireside Room, the Social Justice Council invites you to hear Sai Prasad speak about his work with Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan. After experiencing the plight of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan, Sai Prasad dedicated his life to alleviating the sufferings of people to the best of his abilities. His objective is to “Love All & Serve All” and to create awareness among all people of their capacity to live into this ideal. He will share his inspirational stories about the people he met, the conditions they live in, the love and compassion that he experienced … and show us ways we can touch the lives of others.

    Other Social Justice Opportunities and Information

    Ceasefire Walks: Friday nights in Richmond at 7, contact maw.jane@gmail.com.

    GRIP: UUCB volunteers prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the GRIP Souper Center in Richmond on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Want to volunteer? Contact Ray Westergard. To help with supper at GRIP on fourth Saturdays, contact Ariel Smith-Iyer.

    Read-Aloud: Volunteers needed for next school year to read aloud at local elementary schools in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam.

  • Social Justice Council News, July 2017

    Please mark your calendars for Friday, July 21st, for the City-wide RICHMOND CEASEFIRE WALK!! Join us at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church to start the walk — or at any other stop along the way! The East Bay Center for Performing Arts Band will salsa with us throughout the evening! ALL ages are welcome! See www.facebook.com/RichmondCeasefireWalks.

    Sharing Experiences: At our June meeting, Beth Jerde asked for comments from Social Justice Council (SJC) members about their experiences meeting/speaking with our Muslim neighbors at the “Dine and Dialogue with Our Muslim Neighbors Dinner.” Members said they were pleased to meet the Muslim attendees and found them interesting and interested. One loved the diversity of the people she met. Another spoke of earlier biases developed from cartoons seen as a child that denigrated people from Arab countries. The presentation about Islam was said to be informative, and hearing the sound of their call to worship was breathtaking. Other SJC members said that working with people preparing the dinner was fun and equalizing. Several participants spoke of being warmly welcomed as they visit mosques. One person liked that the Muslim Mission holds its sermons in English. Several SJC members went to an Iftar event at the Islamic Cultural Center, among people so warm and friendly Kelly smiled at meeting a young man who was both nonjudgmental and a Trump supporter! The possibility of an interfaith potluck later this year is being considered.

    UUCB members have gone to Martinez twice and once to Sacramento to stand up against the jail expansion that Contra Costa County Sheriff Livingston supports. The most recent trip, June 20th, was to demand an analysis of the budget. That day, some 15 UUCB members went to the Board of Supervisors meeting, and at least five spoke.  But all our efforts (and those of likely over 100 other people) were for naught. John Gioia was the only Supervisor to vote against the jail expansion.

    The Good Neighbor for May, Planting Justice, received $1,944.77 from the Sunday collection.

    The June 4th meeting of the Literature, Film & Drama Contingent (LFDC) of the Social Justice Council was an afternoon of insights and good vibes! Susan Lankford led the discussion of White Trash: The 400-Year History of Class in America. Julie Rogers and Ralph Nelson demonstrated the “Fishbowl Exercise” that the LFDC will create for ourselves around the issue of “class” in August. For the meeting on July 2nd, we will read Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving. Anna Fisher will facilitate the discussion. We meet from 12:30 to 2:30 in the Fireside Room. Contact: Camille Parker.

    Other Social Justice Opportunities and Information

    Ceasefire Walks: Friday nights in Richmond at 7 — contact Jane Eisenstark for carpooling.

    GRIP: UUCB volunteers prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the GRIP Souper Center in Richmond on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Want to volunteer? Contact Ray Westergard. To help with supper at GRIP on fourth Saturdays, contact Ariel Smith-Iyer.

    Read-Aloud: Volunteers needed for next school year to read aloud at local elementary schools in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam.

  • Social Justice Council News, June 2017

    The Social Justice Council has elected a new leadership team for the upcoming church year. Co-chairs are Nancy Kelly and Beth Jerde. Co-Treasurers are Lorraine Schnurr and Barbara Weisman. Secretary is Sheldon Jones. Social Justice Sunday table coordinators are Jim Acock and Susan Blair. Dorothy Herzberg will coordinate the Good Neighbor work.

    Our June potluck and meeting will be on Sunday, June 11, 6 pm. All are welcome.

    We plan to offer additional workshops in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in August and September.

    In September and October a series of workshops and caucuses are planned to address the issues of race and white supremacy brought up in the May 7 service, “Whose Faith Is It?”

    LFDC (Literature, Film and Drama Contingent of the Confronting Racism Project) was pleased to be part of the very special service on May 7: “Whose Faith Is It?,” concerning white supremacy, and how UUCB might want to ensure that all truly feel welcome on the hill. LFDC member Helen Tinsley-Jones added her very personal and moving story to those of UUCB choir members Rod Lowe and Dayana Claghorn. Following the service, we offered our meeting time for a “talk-back” session. Rev. Jay Atkinson lit the chalice and Lonnie Moseley facilitated a discussion of some of the written responses from congregants to questions posed during the service.

    Our book selection for June 4: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg. And for July 2: Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving. (FYI: If you missed it, the movie Get Out is now streaming on Amazon and iTunes.)

    Other Social Justice Opportunities and Information

    Ceasefire Walks: Friday nights in Richmond at 7, contact maw.jane@gmail.com.

    GRIP: UUCB volunteers prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the GRIP Souper Center in Richmond on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Want to volunteer? raywest2@sbcglobal.net. To help with supper at GRIP on fourth Saturdays, contact arielwest@yahoo.com.

    Read-Aloud: Volunteers needed for next school year to read aloud at local elementary schools in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam at jssam47@yahoo.com.