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.