• Social Justice Council News, September 2018

    Literature, Film and Drama Contingent:

    Some of us thought a lot was “lost in translation,” even with translators in the room, on August 5th. Shahrnush Parsipur, the LFDC’s guest novelist, memoirist and writer of children’s books, did not understand our awe of her courage, stamina and will to live during four incarcerations in prison, wherein she withstood – and watched others suffer worse – ill-treatment and abuse. We surmised that her writing was her salvation. Many thanks to Fereshte and Frank Mofidi, Mac Lingo, and especially to Susan Singh, who introduced us to Shahrnush. For September, we’re reading the works of Tim Wise: Dear White People: Letter to a New Minority, and White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. All are welcome to join us!

    Immigrant Justice:

    In the campaign to raise money for bond for those immigrant adults detained at the West County Detention Facility by the Sheriff’s department under contract from ICE, UUCB has raised over $6500 and efforts throughout the area have raised over $100,000. There are no longer any federal ICE detainees being held at WCDF. Unfortunately for those who have been transferred, this has created negative consequences to their immigration court cases and access to legal counsel and family visitation. We will continue to support them and their families as they fight to come back home. There will be one last interfaith vigil at the WCDF on September 1, 11 am–noon.

    The Social Justice Council is soliciting nominations for next year’s Good Neighbor program.  Proposed organizations must be 501(c)3 nonprofits that promote social, economic, racial and/or environmental justice or peace. The organization needs to be based in Alameda or Contra Costa County. We will be reviewing all of the proposed nonprofits at our next Social Justice Council meeting on the evening of Sunday, September 9. Nomination forms can be picked up at the Social Justice Council table before or after the service. Please turn in your completed form to the social justice council mailbox in the office. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Campbell at nataliehcampbell@yahoo.com.

    Upcoming Event:

    The Social Justice Council invites you to join us on Saturday, October 13, at 7 pm for a FREE screening of the film HUMAN FLOW by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. After years of house arrest, he was given back his passport two years ago and relocated to Berlin. He then visited 23 countries within a year, filming refugees in camps around the globe.  FYI: This event coincides with Parents Night Out, when the church offers free childcare.

    The doors open at 5:30 pm for art-making with Sylvia Parisotto; story-telling with our guests; and light refreshments.   FREE — tix REQUIRED:  humanflowuucb.eventbrite.com

    TRAILER:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVZGyTdk_BY

    Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity?

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  • Social Justice, August 2018

    Literature, Film & Drama Contingent:

    Andrea Brown artfully facilitated the LFDC’s discussion of the powerfully poetic prose of Claudia Rankine in Citizen: An American Lyric. Next month, Shahrnush Parsipur will be our guest. She’s a prolific Iranian writer with stories to tell! Check out her website: https://www.shahrnushparsipur.com/, or her Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahrnush_Parsipur.

    Social Justice Potluck Dinner and Meeting:

    Our July monthly meeting started out with the second annual “Congrats to Grads” as we celebrated the three 18-year-old church members who graduated from high school this year.  Lonnie Moseley led the celebration to honor Lindsey Lam, Sidney Camara-Hurtado, Malcolm Dawkins and their families. Those attending took turns reading a line from “Prayer for Our Children,” written by the Rev. Robert F. Kaufmann.

    Enough funds were donated from church members over the last month to give each graduate a $350 check, as well as an additional $100 to last year’s graduates. Lonnie emphasized UUCB community past support for those honored and in the future to continue to expect support as adults.  Lindsey and Sidney were present and thanked Lonnie and the meeting for the moral and financial support.

    Cordell Sloan and Helen Toy gave a report on the conference, “The Kerner Commission Report at Fifty.”  The original investigation and report on the condition of African Americans in U.S. society was commissioned by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson after the devastating riots of 1967.  The final report was so candid in its assessments that Johnson attempted to suppress it. Commission members saw that it was released before the president could order its shelving. The original report is famous for concluding, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”

    Five SJC members volunteered to engage with Youth Spirit Artworks, a Good Neighbor recipient, in their campaign to build a “Tiny House Village” for the homeless youth of Berkeley.

    The Social Justice Council agreed to be fully involved in the campaign to bail out detained immigrants housed at the sheriff’s West County Detention Facility under the soon-to-be-terminated ICE contract, before they are transferred to much more distant facilities, away from family, lawyers and other supports.

    Cami Fuller asked that the SJC support the Africa Library Project with donations, books and help in packaging and shipping them to Sierra Leone.  The effort is in coordination with the non-profit, Africa Library Project (https://www.africanlibraryproject.org/book-drives/book-drive-guidelines/plan-your-book-drive) . There will be a GoFundMe page for the UUCB project and the council agreed to consider donating $250 at a later meeting if other fundraising efforts fall short.

    Social Justice Announcements:

    August 4, 8 pm – Roy Zimmerman in Concert at UUCB – Funny songs about peace and justice. Help us publicize this to the wider community. $25 general,  $15 students and seniors, no one turned away.

    The next Social Justice Council Potluck Meeting will take place Sunday, August 12, at 6 pm in the UUCB Fireside Room.

    We can help our immigrant neighbors! And they need this help urgently.   and bring it to church tomorrow — or mail it Monday. You’ve probably heard that immigrants at the West County Detention Center will very soon be transferred to other centers around the country.  Currently, twenty of the 200 are eligible for bail.  If they can’t post $10,000 allowing them to return home in the next few weeks, they will be sent far from their families, support groups and attorneys.  EBIIC (East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition) and IM4HI (Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity) — both represented by Rev. Deborah Lee —have asked local congregations to dig deep, contributing anything we can to help our neighbors out as quickly as possible.  Please write a generous check (memo “Immigrant Fundraiser”) and put it in the collection plate, payable to UUCB,  or – better yet – at the Social Justice Council table in the Atrium, where you can sign up for the festive barbecue on August 11, hosted by our new members, Bill and Andrea Brown.  They can host up to 60 people.   Details to follow.

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  • Social Justice Council News, July 2018


    The Literature, Film & Drama Contingent of the Social Justice Council had a very energetic discussion of The Color of Water, a memoir by James McBride about being one of twelve African-American children living with and learning from their white, Jewish-turned-Pentecostal-Christian mother. We also recapped our afternoon with USF Professor James Taylor, who captivated us in a different way. On July 1, Andrea Brown will facilitate our discussion of Citizen: An American Lyric, a book of dynamic political poetry and prose by Claudia Rankine. All are welcome to bring a snack and join us!

    Social Justice Council:

    The Social Justice Council took a leading role in the hosting by UUCB of the monthly vigil at West County Detention Center where over a hundred people observed the daughter of a detained man dance her quinceañera dance in a beautiful dress with her cousin in lieu of her dad. To see the vigil and dance: https://twitter.com/cbsnews/status/1006204468625625088?s=21

    The monthly potluck dinner meeting of the Social Justice Council heard reports about our current activities. Social Justice at UUCB in the last month has:

    * Presented a facilitated showing of “Healing Justice,” a documentary about the racial injustice inherent in the criminal justice system and alternatives to that system.

    * Supported “Report Back From the Border,” a potluck featuring seminarians from Starr King School for the Ministry who spent time at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to understand conditions impacting social justice.

    * Heard a report from the Accompaniment Team, created as part of the SJC Sanctuary Church project, on their efforts in support of a family whose father was detained by ICE while dropping off his daughter at kindergarten and now is on bail release.

    * Attended the Pastors for Peace potluck sendoff at UUCB for the annual Peace Caravan to Cuba.

    Save the Date:

    August 4, 8 pm – Roy Zimmerman in Concert at UUCB – Funny songs about peace and justice. Help us publicize this to the wider community. $25 general,  $15 students and seniors, no one turned away for lack of funds.

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