For the most recent Social Justice news, see UUCB’s monthly newsletter, Beacon on the Hill.

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium

November 9, 2019 our Social Justice Council presented Pachamama Alliance’s inspiring and interactive Awakening the Dreamer Symposium. The event reached out to members of the community and brought in representatives of 20 local environmental groups, who highlighted what they’re doing to reverse climate change and address environmental injustice in an environmental fair in the atrium. A total of 100 people joined together to renew their deep appreciation for the interdependent web of life and each other. The Symposium and the actions of our local groups inspired us to make commitments to wise action on behalf of all life. The event was free, with refreshments provided, and many donations provided resources to cover our expenses.

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – Berkeley Nov. 2019 from Marilyn Flores on Vimeo.


UUCB’s 2019 Lawrence Lecturer:  Tim Wise


Noted among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the U.S., Tim Wise was the Lawrence Lecturer for 2019 on November 8th. Wise has been speaking to audiences nationally and internationally for 25 years; and he is the host of the podcast “Speak Out with Tim Wise.” The author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America, Wise’s highly-acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, was recently updated and re-released. He appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC, and was featured on 20/20 in 2007. He has been featured in several documentaries, including the 2013 Media Education Foundation release, “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America.” The film, which he co-wrote and co-produced, has been called “A phenomenal educational tool in the struggle against racism,” and “One of the best films made on the unfinished quest for racial justice,” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva of Duke University, and Robert Jensen of the University of Texas, respectively. Wise also appeared alongside legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis in the 2011 documentary, “Vocabulary of Change,” in which they discussed the connections between issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and militarism, as well as inter-generational movement building and the prospects for social change. He is a graduate of Tulane University.

  • Social Justice, October 2018

    Literature, Film and Drama Contingent: 
    The Labor Day weekend LFDC meeting found members and guests full of appreciation – for MAUBs (moments of awareness of unconscious bias) and the closer attention many of us now pay to our thought processes regarding people and situations; for the work of author Tim Wise (who was in the Bay Area for two sold-out events, alas!), especially his talent for factual details, in addition to great writing that helps us understand the state of our nation; and for the comedic-bordering-on-caricature work of Spike Lee’s movie, The BlackKKKlansman. (For true “caricature,” see The Birth of a Nation, which was originally called The Clansman).

    Julie Rogers took a vote for next month’s Fishbowl Conversation, and the winning topic is “Disability.” On October 7, we will have three schools of fish: Those whose disability is visible; those who have an invisible disability, and those who are temporarily able-bodied and able-minded. Please contact Julie ( if you are interested in participating in the Fishbowl. She will send questions ahead of time to each school, so participants will have fish food for thought.


    All members and friends of UUCB are urged to participate in this year’s Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) Harmony Walk, which gives us the opportunity to build community while raising money for GRIP, an organization that does wonderful work providing shelter and resources for homeless families, plus three meals a day for hungry and disenfranchised people in and around Richmond. The Walk, plus a 5K run for younger participants, starts around 10:45 am on Saturday, October 27, from Nicholl Park, MacDonald Ave and 31st street in Richmond.  Visit the Social Justice Table for more information.


    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 re-located 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!!!  Childcare hours have been extended to 9:30 PM.

    The doors open at 5:30 PM: Art-Making with Sylvia Parisotto; Story-sharing with our guests; and light refreshments.

    FREE — tix REQUIRED:


    Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

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

    Continue reading →
  • 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

    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:


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

    Continue reading →
  • 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:, or her Wikipedia page:

    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 ( . 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.

    Continue reading →