• Social Justice News, March 2018

    During February’s potluck meeting, Mark Miner, lead of the Green Sanctuary Project, gave the first of three update reports on Green Sanctuary at UUCB. The main effort of the Green Sanctuary Project focused on church infrastructure and kitchen practices. Mark has joined the Building and Grounds Committee to promote environmental sustainability and has been impressed with the expertise of all its members. Given the cost of the urgent repairs, however, it will take time to bring energy efficiency and sustainability into the equation.

    Future composting for the kitchen at UUCB, except for special efforts by individuals during singular events, is dependent on the City of Kensington’s instituting a weekly composting pickup. Mark suggested that we might encourage Kensington to contract for this waste management service from El Cerrito as is done for fire protection. Mark’s next report will be about the Marin Community Energy option coming to Kensington in the coming months.

    UUCB will be hosting the monthly Immigrant Justice vigil at the West Contra Costa County Detention Center later this spring. The vigil takes place in front of the detention center on the first Saturday of the month.

    January’s Good Neighbor recipient, Berkeley Food Pantry, received $2366 from the Sunday collection. February’s recipient was Youth Emergency Advocacy Housing (YEAH) of Berkeley, which provides daily shelter and services to 30 young adults and their pets. Planting Justice is the Good Neighbor recipient for March. Planting Justice is a grassroots organization with a mission to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequalities with the skills and resources to cultivate sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing.

    On Sunday, May 6, the LFDC Annual Guest Speaker Luncheon (postponed from March 4) will feature Professor James Lance Taylor, author of Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama, which earned a 2012 “Outstanding Academic Title” rating from Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. He is a former president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, served as chair of the Department of Politics at the University of San Francisco from 2012-15, as faculty coordinator of the African American Studies Program from 2015-17, and chair of the “Committee on the Status of Blacks” in Political Science for the American Political Science Association, 2016-17.

    Continue reading →
  • Social Justice News, February 2018

    From the January Potluck/Meeting:
    SJC members with Helen Toy’s leadership organized to march as a contingent at the January 20 Women’s March in Oakland.

    Jane Eisenstark led us in looking at where we are in looking at racism. It was mentioned that white people and people of color process racism differently and so, we have two different caucuses that will first meet separately and then together, beginning on Sunday, February 25.

    From the Literature, Film and Drama Contingent:

    After reading the UUA’s 2017-18 common read Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, the Social Justice Council’s Literature, Film and Drama Contingent held a lively discussion in January. Following memories of parents taking us along as they voted, being the first to desegregate a school, running for class president, putting up posters, family civics lessons, canvassing and stepping out onto the streets, resisting order, and many other stories, a rich mosaic of democracy in action took hold. Switching to challenges facing democracy today, including the large amounts of money in politics, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and needing to rethink democracy and its relationship to freedom and community brought a more somber, realistic tone to the discussion. We ended on a hopeful note with people calling for building democracy through creating community, whether that’s knocking on doors, creating a sanctuary church, and many other ideas. The LFDC will continue the discussion of Daring Democracy and return to The Obama Inheritance on February 4 at 12:30 in the Fireside Room.

    Continue reading →
  • Social Justice News, January 2018

    The LFDC/s meeting in December included discussions of two “field trips”: one, led by Jim Acock and Lonnie Moseley, who attended a concert in Santa Cruz featuring Rhiannon Giddens: the other, led by Christina Creveling (who sings with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Community Chorus), as some of us attended the fabulous concert in Oakland that included the main gospel choir and the young peoples’ chorus. We listened to music from these events and sang along! Then, a very thoroughly prepared Cordell Sloan so titillated us that we voted to carry over the discussion of The Obama Inheritance, Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, edited by Gary Philips, ‘til February. Join us! But first, we hope you will join us on January 7 at 12:30 for a discussion of Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, the UUA Common Read for 2017-18.

    In December, a trio of us were delighted to see and hear Julie Rogers perform Hanukkah songs with her chorus—Kol Truah, at the Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley.

    The New Year will see the UUCB engaged by Social Justice Council’s project on Immigrant Sanctuary starting with an informative meeting with local immigrant justice speakers immediately following the January 21 service, and culminating in a vote to become a “Sanctuary Church” during the Congregational Meeting on February 11. For those interested in becoming part of the Sanctuary “Accompaniment Team” to support local undocumented youth or a mixed-status family, please contact Elisabeth Jay.

    The New Year is also the time for existing and new Social Justice Projects to (re)apply for the coming 2018-19 church year. Applications and guidelines can be found by downloading the Sponsored Application document, or by contacting Craig Scott. They are due by the second Sunday in March.

    Continue reading →