• Social Justice News, November 2017

    In October, the first Social Justice Council’s Literature, Film and Drama Contingent (LFDC) Fishbowl Exercise went swimmingly! Many thanks to Julie Rogers for facilitating and to our volunteer fish for their stories about class. It was an afternoon of warmth and camaraderie.

    On Sunday, November 5, LFDC will have Claude M. Steele present for a discussion of his 2010 book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us. Join us from 12:30 to 2:30 pm in the Fireside Room. Claude Steele is an American social psychologist and a professor of psychology at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on “stereotype threat” and its application to minority student academic performance.

    The October potluck & meeting of the Social Justice Council (SJC) reviewed the sixteen organizations nominated for the 2018 UUCB Good Neighbor program. At the November meeting, SJC will vote on which of the nominations become the eleven finalists to receive UUCB donations next year. The next SJC potluck meeting will take place on Sunday, November 12, at 6 pm in the Fireside Room.

    Sunday, November 5 at 3 pm at UUCB, The Social Justice Council invites you to a free screening of From a Silk Cocoon, followed by Q&A with filmmaker Satsuki Ina, immigration lawyer Laura Craig, and Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. The film tells the story of Ina’s parents, a Japanese American couple who struggled being incarcerated in Tule Lake internment camp, a maximum security facility which housed those deemed “disloyal” during WW II, and the consequences of resistance. Their story connects US history of the past to US history of the present, DACA youth and the undocumented, and into the future with the possibility of a Muslim registry. FREE but tickets required for head counthttps://silkcocoonuucb.eventbrite.com

    Tuesday, November 7 at 7 pm, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley. The Social Justice Council has facilitated the UUCB co-sponsorship of the showing of Disrupting the Peace, an award-winning documentary by Combatants for Peace. Combatants for Peace was formed in 2006 by Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots movement was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Combatants for Peace is the only organization, worldwide, in which former fighters on both sides of an active conflict have laid down their weapons, choosing to work together for peace and justice. They were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, 2017. The Combatants are for Peace are bringing two speakers: one Israeli and one Palestinian. Each speaker will tell their personal story of transformation from violence to nonviolence, and share the work that they are doing to end the occupation and bring peace to their homeland.

    Sunday, November 12, Annual Food Drive. Before and after the service, the SJC will, in partnership with the Youth Adult Team, sponsor Food Drive Sunday at UUCB. (See above.)

    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.

  • Social Justice News, October 2017

    At the September meeting, the Literature, Film, and Drama Contingent (LFDC) discussed Kindred by Octavia Butler. The time-warp-based fantasy written by the famous, but now deceased, African-American author explores the lives of the enslaved and their white oppressors in the antebellum South. The lively discussion examined the author’s method of writing, which revealed a horrible period of American history in a very human manner. During next month’s LFDC meeting, we will hold a fishbowl discussion about class.

    The Social Justice Council (SJC) potluck dinner meeting had a number of informative discussions, including:

    • On the UUCB’s Immigrant Sanctuary project as it relates to DACA. Those wanting to support DACA enrollees can come to the Heritage Potluck on October 29 to write postcards or go to this web site to connect with a crowd funding campaign to help prospective DACA enrollees afford the $500 fee to the federal government.
    • The People of Color Caucus, a part of the “Taking Stock” project, held a dinner on August 26. Those attending shared their experiences as people of color in a majority white UU congregation and what the congregation might do to make UUCB a more welcoming place for people of color.
    • Good Neighbor Nominations for the next church fiscal year are due by September 30. Application forms are online and at the church. Eligible organizations must be either UU affiliated or be a 501c3 nonprofit serving either Alameda or Contra Costa county.

    After marching in the kickoff parade, SJC members staffed a table at our UUCB booth during the very warm Solano Stroll. We met many interested people and got the contact information of five people who wanted to learn more about social justice at UUCB.

    With Combatants for Peace and other local organizations, the SJC will be co-sponsoring Disturbing the Peace, a documentary film about former Israeli Palestinian combatants now working for peace. The showing will include a panel and takes place on Tues. November 7, 7 pm, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave, in Berkeley.

    JOIN TEAM UUCB FOR THE GRIP HARMONY WALK

    Come walk with us in this year’s Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) Harmony Walk, followed by a community festival. The Harmony Walk is a chance to build community with our interfaith neighbors while raising money for GRIP, which provides shelter and resources for homeless families.

    WHENSat. October 28

    9 am Registration begins

    10 am Warm-ups and Walk/Run

    11 am Festival with music and food trucks

    WHERE: Nicholl Park, at MacDonald Ave and 31st Street in Richmond.

    If you want to make a financial contribution (tax deductible), please make your check payable to UUCB with “GRIP Harmony Walk” on the memo line, and simply put your check in the Sunday collection basket. If you are raising money from people outside UUCB, you can have them make the checks out to GRIP Harmony Walk and bring them to the Walk with you. Turn in $100 or more on the day of the Walk and get a free 31st Harmony Walk commemorative T-shirt. (Under 18 raise $25 or more for a free T-shirt!)

    For more information, visit the GRIP website at gripcommunity.org or contact Ladie Malek at ladie.malek@gmail.com or Ariel Smith at arielwest@yahoo.com

    From a Silk Cocoon, a documentary film about the Japanese internment during WWII, will be shown at UUCB on Sun. November 5 at 3 pm. The film’s producer and former internee, Satsuki Ina, will be on hand to answer questions along with immigration lawyer Laura Craig and Council of American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Zahra Billoo. The film tells the story of a Japanese-American couple who struggled with their incarceration in an internment camp during WWII, and the consequences of resistance. Their story connects US history of the past to US history of the present, and into the future. Tickets requiredhttps://silkcocoonuucb.eventbrite.com

    The Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Common Read” for 2017-18 is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen. The Literature, Film & Drama Contingent of the Social Justice Council (the LFDC) will discuss the book in January.

    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.

  • 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.