• Social Justice News, February 2017

    Cracking the Codes: Ninety UUCB members and friends attended an amazing workshop on January 7th! Amikaeyla Gaston provided warm and wise facilitation of the film Cracking the Codes: A System of Racial Inequities that focused on understanding the language of racial inequities as they are expressed in interpersonal, institutional and structural forms. Attendees’ feedback included “presentation was breathtaking and amazing.” ..”enhanced my awareness of systemic racism,” “It brought awareness to me that I can make a difference if I see something racist and speak up.”

    Training in Nonviolent Communication, Saturday, February 18, 1-5 pm: Following up on the “Cracking the Codes” workshop, this training (again sponsored by the Confronting Racism Project’s LFDC group) will lead UUCB members and friends through a process of talking about race, class, power and privilege, as we learn to speak our truth with power and love. We will learn skills to enhance authentic connection as we, together, create a world where everyone’s needs matter. We are hoping that UUCB youth will be able to join us.

    Social Justice Council January Potluck/Meeting: We welcomed representatives of our Good Neighbor nonprofits (that receive our plate offerings), and they were guests at our potluck. They gave us summaries of their work.

    “Post Election – Are We Chaplains of the Empire or Prophets of the Resistance?” – Craig Scott and Karen Paull (and 1,000 other lawyers) attended a forum on how to be a good ally. Craig and Karen made available to us information from the forum with a summary they called “Issues for the Resistance,” to assist the Council as it aims toward a social justice priority for the congregation. They also provided a quote by Rev. William Barber III:

    “WE is the most significant word in the social justice vocabulary.

    The issue is not what we can’t do, but what we CAN do when we stand together.

    Craig and Karen posed these two questions to the Council:

    “How may we, as a faith community, be called on to resist unjust and unconstitutional measures by the new U.S. Administration?

    And, “How might we as a UU congregation prioritize our efforts to resist?

    Five groups met and came up with priorities after reflecting on the ten “Issues for the Resistance.”

    “Stand with local communities targeted because of race, religion, ethnicity, etc.” All five groups identified this issue as a priority.

    “Oppose unjust treatment of Immigrants.” Three groups identified this as a priority.

    “Stand with LGBTQ brothers and Sisters.” Three groups identified this as a priority.

    “Health Care for All.” Two groups identified this as a priority.

    “Local Housing, Food, Poverty.” One group created this new priority.

    “Oppose Efforts to limit our Free Press.” One group identified this as a priority

    “Preserve Quality Public Education.” One group identified this as a priority.

    SJC effort to identify one issue to focus on for our congregation continues.

    LFDC (Literature, Film and Drama Contingent of the Confronting Racism Project) The Literature, Film & Drama Contingent of the Confronting Racism Project has a lively roster for the next several months. On February 5th: We will add a “Social Justice Resolution for the New Year” to our Moments of Awareness of Unconscious Bias (MAUBs), and we’ll discuss J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Contact: camilleparker@comcast.net. 

    Social Justice February Potluck/Meeting will be on Sunday, February 12, 6 pm. All are welcome!

    Social Justice Sponsored Project Applications

    Each year the UUCB Social Justice Council presents proposals for “Sponsored” social justice projects to the congregation for its approval at the May annual congregational meeting. A sponsored project is one that may receive congregational support in the form of resources, such as worship time, funding, etc. Congregants are always free to pursue “affiliated projects” that are publicized by the church but lack official sponsorship.

    For the second (church) year in a row, the sponsored project has been “Confronting Racism.” It has held several very successful events, plans to hold more, has put out educational materials, formed discussion groups, etc.

    To apply for sponsorship of your project, you need to gather a group of members who commit to devoting time and energy to the project, and you must complete an application for submission to the Social Justice Council. The completed application must be submitted by March 1, 2017 to maw.jane@gmail.com.

    More Opportunities to DO Social Justice

    Ceasefire Walks 7 pm Friday nights in Richmond—contact maw.jane@gmail.com.

    Volunteers Needed: to “Read Aloud” with elementary school children in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam at jssam47@yahoo.com

    Volunteers Needed: at GRIP to prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the Souper Center in Richmond. Monthly, fourth Tuesday – raywest2@sbcglobal.net.

    Immigration Vigil: First Saturdays each month, West County Detention Facility, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond; maw.jane@gmail to carpool.

    Social Justice Table: Be sure to take a look at the Social Justice Council table each Sunday for what’s new, and encourage newcomers to check it out.

  • Social Justice News, January 2017

    Cracking the Codes Saturday, January 7th from 1 to 5 pm. The entire congregation is invited to attend this Confronting Racism conference spearheaded by the LFDC (Literature, Film and Drama Contingent of the Confronting Racism Project) with thanks to the financial support from UUCB’s World Peace Committee. UUCB members and friends attending will engage in talking about the system of racial inequity and implicit bias, prompted by stories in the film. This intensive training leaves people with new questions and the inspiration to engage in change. Hold the date and pass the word. Snacks as well as childcare will be provided.

    Social Justice Council Next Monthly Potluck/Meeting is on Wednesday, January 11, 6 pm, Fireside Room. We will make a decision to determine our meeting schedule (i.e., either second Sundays or Wednesdays, or alternating). Representatives from our Good Neighbors have been invited to (briefly) educate us on their work.

    In light of the election, our ministers are looking toward the Social Justice Council to discern, seriously consider and determine, how best we can serve the most vulnerable. Their suggestion is that we find one area to focus on so they both can help to direct the entire congregation to work on addressing this one area. Our mission for this meeting is to consider all suggestions gathered at our last meeting and come up with one area of focus.

    Training in Nonviolent Communication – February 18, 1–5 pm. This workshop will follow up on the Cracking the Codes training and is an opportunity to learn skills to communicate with people who have had life experiences that are different from yours.

    LFDC (Literature, Film and Drama Contingent of the Confronting Racism Project) At our December 4th meeting it was interesting to hear the recorded passion of Margaret Mead and James Baldwin as they rapped on race relations in the world of the ‘70s, especially for those of us who had read the book. (And we all gained a deeper appreciation for modern-day pod casts and ear buds … as we listened to them on 33-1/3 records!) Skipping January, our next meeting will on February 5th in the Fireside Room at 12:30, to discuss J.D. Vance’s book: Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Contact: camilleparker@comcast.net.

    Social Justice Sponsored Project Applications

    Each year the UUCB Social Justice Council presents to the congregation a proposal for a “Sponsored” social justice project for approval at the May annual congregational meeting. A sponsored project is one that would receive congregational support in the form of resources, such as worship time, funding, etc.

    For the second (church) year in a row, the sponsored project has been “Confronting Racism.” It has held several very successful events, plans to hold more, has put out educational materials, and formed discussion groups.

    To apply for sponsorship of your project, you need to gather a group of members who commit to devoting time and energy to the project, and you must complete an application for submission to the Social Justice Council. The completed application must be submitted by March 1, 2017 to maw.jane@gmail.com.

    More Opportunities to DO Social Justice

    Ceasefire Walks 7 pm Friday nights in Richmond contact maw.jane@gmail.com.

    Volunteers Needed: to “Read Aloud” with elementary school children in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam.

    Volunteers Needed: at GRIP to prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the Souper Center in Richmond. Monthly, fourth Tuesday – contact Ray Westergard.

    Immigration Vigil: First Saturday each month, West County Detention Facility, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond; maw.jane@gmail.com to carpool.

    Social Justice Table: Be sure to take a look at the Social Justice Council table each Sunday for what’s new, and encourage newcomers to check it out.

  • Social Justice News, December 2016

    Coming in January: “Cracking the Codes” workshop – Sat., Jan. 7, 1–5 pm. The entire congregation is invited to attend this Confronting Racism conference spearheaded by the LFDC with thanks to UUCB’s World Peace Committee for financial support. UUCB members and friends attending will engage in talking about the system of racial inequity and implicit bias, prompted by stories in the “Cracking the Codes” film. This intensive training leaves people with new questions and the inspiration to engage in change. Hold the date and pass the word. Snacks as well as childcare will be provided. In preparation for this event, you can download the Conversation Guide for Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity at www.world-trust.org. $10 donation suggested. (No one turned away). Questions? Call 510-356-3496.

    Social Justice Council (SJC) – In an effort to welcome additional people interested in attending Council meetings, we will be alternating days of the week: next dates will be Sun. Dec. 11 and Wed. Jan. 11. Then we’ll review this schedule. The potluck dinner is at 6 pm; meeting usually starts at 6:35 pm, Fireside Room. All are welcomed!

    UUCB Donating to Support Standing RockAsked to match the $500 first donated by the Social Justice Council, the ministers and the UUCB World Peace Committee, the congregation more than matched the first $500 (exact amount to be shared soon!).  Donations will continue to be collected in December at the Social Justice Table.

    Winter Warmth Clothing Drive is in December. Please go through your closets, or buy new items, to help clothe GRIP Family Shelter residents for the cold and wet winter months. Bring your items to church during the first three Sundays in December. A “mitten tree” and a basket to collect your items will be at the Social Justice Table in the Social Hall. Questions or comments? Contact Ray Westergard.

    Literature, Film & Drama Contingent (LFDC) of the Confronting Racism Project – Review of the LFDC Meeting on November 6, 2016: In Whistling Past the Graveyard, the precocious nine-year-old narrator, Starla, took us on a journey that got many of us thinking about how racism, bias and bigotry is established in the psyche, and how exposure, contact and involvement to and with the “other” is the best remedy. Our discussion of Susan Crandall’s book was intimate, moving and meaningful. We also reviewed the powerful and painful movie The Birth of A Nation and the play It Can’t Happen Here. On Dec. 4th we will listen to a recording of Margaret Mead and James Baldwin: A Rap on Race. All are welcome to attend (contact Camille Parker for more information).

    “Bring Your Weight in Food” Drive: A number of Social Justice Council members, along with several UUCB youth, helped to create this successful event benefiting the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry.

    Good Neighbor donations in December will be shared by the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.

    Good Neighbors 2017: Twenty-two nonprofits were nominated by congregation members. Social Justice Council members voted and the 2017 Good Neighbors will be: January: Berkeley Food Pantry; February: Alameda County Community Food Bank; March: WriterCoach Connection; April: YEAH!; May: Planting Justice; June: Developing Indigenous Resources (DIR); July: Bay Area Community Land Trust (BALT) and CCISCO; August: UU Justice Ministry of CA; September: Read-Aloud; October: GRIP; November: Richmond Emergency Food Pantry; December: Berkeley Food and Housing Project.

    Social Justice Sponsored Project Applications

    Each year the UUCB Social Justice Council presents proposals for “Sponsored” social justice projects to the congregation for its approval at the May annual congregational meeting. A sponsored project is one that may receive congregational support in the form of resources, such as worship time, funding, etc. Congregants are always free to pursue “affiliated projects” that are publicized by the church but lack official sponsorship. For the second (church) year in a row, the sponsored project has been “Confronting Racism.” It has held several very successful events, plans to hold more, has put out educational materials, formed discussion groups, etc.

    To apply for sponsorship of your project, you need to gather a group of members who commit to devoting time and energy to the project, and you must complete an application for submission to the Social Justice Council. Applications are available from SJC Council Co-Chair Norie Clarke. The completed application must be submitted by March 1, 2017.

    More Opportunities to DO Social Justice

    Volunteers Needed: to “Read Aloud” with elementary school children in Richmond and San Pablo. Contact Judy Sam.

    Volunteers Needed: at GRIP to prepare and serve lunch to hungry and homeless people at the Souper Center in Richmond. Monthly, fourth Tuesday – contact Ray Westergard.

    Ceasefire Walks: Friday nights in Richmond at 7 – contact Jane Eisenstark to carpool.

    Vigil for Incarcerated Immigrants: First Saturdays, 11 – 12 pm. Advocate and stand in solidarity with those at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond at 5555 Giant Highway.

    Interested in being on the Social Justice email list? Contact Jane Eisenstark.