Social Justice in Action @ UUC
The Social Justice Council is composed of representatives of committees that concentrate on specific areas of UUC’s social justice work like racial, environmental and worker justice. The Council works together to coordinate the efforts of various committees. We also staff the Social Justice table on Sundays, provide reports at Sunday services, manage the Community Outreach offerings and other philanthropic funds, encourage social justice organizations to use UUC facilities, and make decisions about new initiatives brought to the Council. The Social Justice Council meets at 9:30 am most third Saturdays (be sure to check out the calendar to make sure we're meeting!). The committees are where most of the real work gets done. If you would like to be part of a team that works on a certain issue, please reach out to the Campus Administrator, and you will be connected to the contact for that area.
This dedicated team has sought to highlight some historic examples of social and racial injustice and inequity here in the United States. Represented in a series of articles entitled: "Racism, What You Didn't Learn in School", they can be accessed here:
Social Justice Articles
Unconscious Racism (03.19.21)
The Tulsa Massacre (10.16.20)
Bracero Program (09.30.20)
Food Injustices (09.17.20)
Tainted Science (09.04.20)
Racially Offensive Mural in St. Petersburg (08.05.20)
Anti-Literacy Laws (07.22.20)
Social Justice Reports/Minutes
If you are looking for older Minutes, please reach out to the Campus Administrator.
Black Lives Matter
The mission of the UUC Black Lives Matter Committee is to work to end racism and white supremacy. Our work is both a personal faith journey and a call for social action. We face how racism privileges the white majority and we take risks to support people of color in their work for justice. As a mostly white congregation, we focus on the role of white people in becoming aware of white supremacy and privilege, ending white silence, and uniting with others for community action to end the injustices faced by Black people in our communities. Many of us have read and discussed Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving. In 2018 and 2020, 35 of us completed the Beloved Conversations curriculum for exploring race in individual and congregational life. We support Clearwater’s African-American community in seeking Justice for Markeis McGlockton. We participate in many Pinellas County NAACP events.
The Social Justice Council sells Equal Exchange products at various social gatherings during the year. We also provide Equal Exhange coffee during our Social Hour on Sundays after service.
For about a decade, members of the congregation have conducted a preschool program for Spanish-speaking parents and their young children at the Hispanic Outreach Center (HOC). Four to five faithful volunteers spend Thursday mornings every week during the school year implementing this program. It introduces preschool routines and activities to children and parents who might not know norms of a typical U.S. English-language school program. Another HOC program to support parents is jewelry-making classes. This year HOC parents attended the holiday fair at UUC to sell their jewelry and holiday crafts.
The Migrant Justice Team seeks to implement our faith by identifying the needs of Florida farm workers and assist them in achieving their goals. We join in the actions initiated by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and seek to make life better for those who pick strawberries in Plant City. In this way, we are honoring the inherent worth and dignity of all human beings as well as placing value on the interdependent web. Our major initiatives are collecting and distributing blankets to the Plant City workers as well as rice and beans to supplement their pre-harvest dietary needs. We have frequently answered the call from the CIW to assist them with their actions and boycotts.
Puerto Rico Connect, now a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, originated from Social Justice’s Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Committee, which sought to address the many issues that new arrivals to Pinellas County were experiencing. Now mainly comprised of volunteers from the surrounding community, the group has several major activities, among them: A Thanksgiving Food Giveaway, backpacks for students, and the largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve party in the county. Hundreds of individuals & families are reached through this organization. Puerto Rico Connect is not a membership organization; calls go out for volunteers when needed.
Contact Eliseo Santana, email@example.com, to get involved.
The Refugee Committee has conducted its 9 to 11 am Saturday morning ESL program for Arabic speaking adults since 2016. Countries of origin include Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt. Our church membership has responded enthusiastically to the need for more tutors. Lessons focus on the students’ lives and cover topics such as a closer look at Florida and Pinellas county, driving, health, jobs, and hurricanes. Each week, tutors receive an email detailing the lesson for Saturday. Tutors meet thirty minutes before the lesson begins to go over the material and activities and share ideas. All tutors are involved with making the lessons interesting and active. Our classes began in early November and end in May, before Ramadan begins. Childcare for children ages five and older is part of our Saturday morning program.