Social Justice Council meets monthly

BLM sign replacement day

Please join us at our monthly Social Justice Council meeting every second Wednesday currently on ZOOM (see sidebar on the right under Justice Events for the links to the next Social Justice Council meeting date and time).  All are welcome!  

From support of immigrant families to forums and speakers on anti-racism, climate justice, housing and more, we coordinate with local groups so we act to place our UU values in public spaces around issues of racism, immigrant rights, housing and the environment.

Social Justice is front and center at UUCB

  • We run a Social Justice Table every Sunday in the Atrium and during special events to inform people about what’s happening and opportunities for participation.
  • We bring social justice consciousness into all UUCB programs and services within our church life.  We involve the parents and youth from our Family Ministry, in food and clothing drives, the tiny houses for youth, and other projects.
  • We represent social justice at congregational events as well as organize the congregation to participate in rallies, marches, conferences, political meetings, and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in El Cerrito.

Discover how together we can support your passion for Social Justice!  Since the start of Covid, when we meet online via Zoom, we’ve found the discussions to be as rich and powerful as ever. Also, we have the ability to show images and review websites of other organizations doing powerful social justice work.

To engage in social justice at UUCB, see the organizational chart below and the descriptions of programs.  Then send an email to and let us know if you wish to be on our email list to receive announcements of social justice actions and our Zoom meeting links.

Social Justice Org Chart Graphic as of March 24 2024
Social Justice Org Chart as of March 24 2024.  Click to enlarge.

Climate Justice

  • Climate Justice Committee (CJC) meets the 4th Monday of each month on Zoom from 5-6:30 p.m. to provide accurate information and inspiration for action to address related environmental and social justice issues as well as climate. Contact Sheila Tarbet at

Blessings Bags

  • Blessings Bags are donated toiletries from folks who traveled: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, etc. These Bags are donated to organizations that take care of the unhoused.  They can also be given to unhoused people you see on the street.  If you have any toiletries to spare, please put them in the BLESSINGS box in the UUCB Atrium. (If you’re in a neighborhood group, get the word out!) Warm sox are also greatly appreciated. Snacks are also tucked into the bags as a treat. Contact Beth Jerde at

Confronting Racism & Oppression Project

  • The Literature, Film, Drama and Music Contingent (LFDMC) meets quarterly on Zoom to read and discuss books, attend or create relevant plays, watch films, and share personal moments of awareness of unconscious bias. This is a courageous group that talks openly about race, culture, genderism and oppression and its solutions. Contact Christina Creveling at
  • The People of Color Caucus (POCC) meets monthly on Zoom to provide a safe space for racial and ethnic minority members to name, heal and reconcile past and current personal and group racial wounds. Members, who come from and reflect the richness of the cultural, racial and ethnic traditions of people of color, act to build partnerships with the congregation and wider community. Contact Helen Tinsley-Jones at
  • Working to Overcome White Supremacy (WOWS) meets the fourth Sunday of each month on Zoom from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and is a group at UUCB whose open dialogues increase awareness of the “preference for whiteness” and the systemic nature of racism in society.  Everyone is welcome. Contact Julia Rogers or Julie Winkelstein at
  • The Honoring Indigenous Peoples Group (HIP)  meets monthly to engage in deep learning of Indigenous peoples’ history, acknowledging the harms, including genocide and land theft, done by settler colonialism and to take action. We plan and offer educational and cultural experiences to the congregation and wider community, provide consultation to the minister and congregation, and partner with Indigenous communities and local groups supporting those communities.  Contact Helen Tinsley-Jones at
  • Building community with Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church and Richmond Muslim Mission Center.  Listen to the sermon given at UUCB by Rev. Dr. Alvin Bernstine, pastor emeritus of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church.  Move the play head to 40:11 for the beginning of his beautiful SERMON on Climate Change.  Contact Smiley Nelson or Beth Jerde at

Good Neighbor (Sharing Our Collection Plate)

  • Each month we share our offerings from the Sunday worship services with local non-profit organizations serving communities in need in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The Social Justice Council nominates (from suggestions given by the congregation) and votes annually which organizations will receive these much-needed funds. Every year, approximately $20,000 has been donated by the church through the Good Neighbor program to more than 30 organizations. Contact Natalie Campbell at

Voting Justice Project

  • Currently, there is an intensive “Get Out The Vote” volunteer campaign going on.  Please contact Norie Clarke at to find out how to get involved in this important effort ahead of the 2024 election Get Out The Vote sends mailers to various parts of the United States encouraging people to vote — regardless of political party.

Accompaniment Team – Sanctuary Church

  • As a Sanctuary Church and in our work aiding immigrant families, this congregation supports the Accompaniment Team that provides legal, financial, housing and educational support to families. Contact Anita Mermel at

Friends of Developing Indigenous Resources (DIR)

  • A UUCB group, UUCB Friends of DIR (FoDIR) supports the work of an NGO working in two bustees (slums) near Chandigarh, Punjab State, India. Contact Roberta Shaw or Frederick Shaw at

Fall Food Drive

Supporting the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP)

  • Join other UUCBers to prepare and serve lunch to 200 people at the GRIP Souper Center on the second Tuesday of the month or dinner to residents of the GRIP Family Shelter on the fourth Saturday. Contact Ray Westergard or Ladie Malek at

Supporting the Read Aloud Program

  • Read to two kindergarteners, 1st or 2nd graders once a week for the school year. The more readers, the more students participate. Readers and students love this time together!  Contact Judy Sam at

Transylvanian Partner Church Committee

  • UUCB is one of many UU congregations with a long-established relationship with a Transylvanian church. We make pilgrimages to our partner church village every few years, and help support their students.  Contact Anne Greenwood or Stephanie Ann Blythe at

The World Peace Committee

  • The members of the World Peace Committee, stand for peace by promoting human rights for all people, rejecting violence as a solution for conflict, and demanding justice as a necessary condition for peace among peoples and nations. Contact Don Klose or Roberta Shaw or Dean Flint at

What We Believe 

At this extraordinary time in our nation’s history, we are called to affirm our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion, to truth and core values of American society.

In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Americans of the Islamic faith, African Americans, Americans of the Jewish faith, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, all peoples of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

In opposition to any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote or to turn back advances in access to health care and reproductive rights, we affirm our commitment to justice and compassion in human relations.

We are against actions to weaken or eliminate initiatives to address the threat of climate change – actions that would threaten not only our country but the entire planet. We affirm our unyielding commitment to protect the interdependent web of all existence.

We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil. As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.

We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice.

The time is now.