Social Action Opportunities
Connecting to the Greater World of UU Social Action
Check out Adrienne’s new website section, with an impressive list of local, national, and international UU entities with resources, events, actions, workshops, working groups, connections, associations, trips, and more! In addition to activities listed in FP Weekly, follow our “First Parish in Concord: Social Action Community” Facebook Page.
Family-Friendly Social Action Opportunities
Youth Voices in Climate Change – Join the Conversation
Thursday, September 23rd, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. via zoom
Participate in a discussion with Youth Climate Action Local Heroine Varshini Prakash, Founder of The Sunrise Movement (lives in Boston)! Sponsored by Discovery Center of Acton REGISTER and Submit your Questions.
Enjoy the Outdoor Art of “Go Out Doors – Metrowest”
Originally inspired by the En Plein Air door installation on NYC’s High Line, “Go Out Doors – Neighbors” expands on a summer 2020 installation celebrating the opening of The West Concord section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. 2021 Go Out Doors – Metrowest expands the celebration further, with additional doors on display on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail in Carlisle and Westford. Watch for many more as the Go Out Doors project calls for art and installations in other towns, cities and parks throughout Greater Boston and Metrowest. See locations of art on Rail Trail HERE.
Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM
Wednesday, September 23rd, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. via zoom
Join Discovery Museum to celebrate the women behind the Museum’s newest exhibit, Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM. Listen in as a group of local scientists and artists talk about their work, research, and interests, and be inspired as you learn why they find science and art cool and exciting. They’ll answer your questions as they share what it’s like to be a scientist and artist. These live events are for children, ages 7+ years, and their caregivers to enjoy together. REGISTER
Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM
Saturday, October 2nd, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in person event
Discovery Museum, 177 Main Street, Acton, Cost: Included with admission
Celebrate the women behind the Museum’s newest exhibit, Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM.
To attend: This event is during public hours at the Museum. Advanced reservations are required to visit the Museum and can be made 10 days in advance on the website. Visit each of 6 portraits installed around the Museum and meet the local scientists and artists who are represented in the exhibit or who created these amazing works of art. Learn about their work, research, and interests, and discover why they find science and art cool and exciting. They’ll answer your questions as they share what it’s like to be a scientist or artist. This event is for children, ages 7+ years, and their caregivers to enjoy together
Afghan Refugee Families Now Arriving — Send a Welcome
Send a note of welcome to Afghans now arriving in the U.S. online HERE. For families starting over in a new country, words of kindness and compassion from their new neighbors can mean everything. Writing a note takes just a few minutes but makes a huge impact for refugee children and families. This action by the International Rescue Committee makes writing your note easy. Sponsored by the International Rescue Committee.
Regular Social Action Opportunities
UUA Widening the Circle of Concern 5-Year Implementation Plan
“The UUA is preparing to present a five-year implementation plan to take up recommendations in Widening the Circle of Concern…The UUA is already adapting its policies and practices to embody its antiracist and anti-oppressive commitments and urges congregations and other UU organizations to do the same. ‘This is not just another initiative,’ said UUA Executive Vice President Carey McDonald. ‘It’s at the center of all our initiatives for the coming years. It’s the foundation.’”—”UUA will present five-year institutional change plan,” UU World, Spring 2021. Read about the UUA Commission on Institutional Change’s report, Widening the Circle of Concern: https://firstparish.org/wp/widening-the-circle/.
Urgent Emergency Response for Haiti
On August 14, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction and devastating communities. UUSC has been has been in contact with our long-term grassroots partners in Haiti to assess and respond to the most pressing needs. Help UUSC get resources to grassroots groups in Haiti by making a gift to our Emergency Response Fund today. HERE
Help UUSC support community-led disaster preparedness and recovery efforts in Louisiana by contributing to UUSC’s emergency relief fund and supporting our partners the Lowlander Center. This allows us to get resources to people on the front lines of the disaster working to ensure an equitable recovery. Learn more about the framework of disaster justice and how it guides UUSC’s work. See also our related work on climate justice. Take action by sending a message to your members of Congress. Urge them to respond to the emerging global challenge of climate-forced displacement in ways that uphold human rights.
UUSJ Write Here! Write Now! is online. We have a rare moment to pass legislation protecting voting rights. This year 18 states have already enacted 30 laws making it more difficult to vote. These especially impact voters of color, indigenous voters and young people – folks who voting laws are supposed to protect. We are therefore urging senators to support the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Together these establish clear voting rights for all and prevent partisan gerrymandering. Senators must not allow the filibuster to kill these popular bills. Please use this convenient online letter writing platform to send letters to your senators. They need to hear from as many of us as possible to re-enforce the importance of this legislation, and thank them for their efforts.
Send an online letter HERE to your federal Congressional representatives.
Our 5th UU Principle, “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large” compels us to advocate for a healthy inclusive democratic process.
This Action of Immediate Witness calls on us to work in partnership toward theologically-grounded understanding and meaningful action on democracy matters — eliminating voter suppression, restoring the right to vote to formerly incarcerated returning citizens, ensuring fair districts, protecting the right of protest, demanding transparency with respect to money in politics, supporting D.C. statehood, and more. Sponsored by UUSJ.
Call on the administration to restore asylum protections in full. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris committed to end Trump’s reign of terror against asylum-seekers and restore our nation’s promise as a haven for refugees. And while they have taken important steps toward this goal, asylum-seeking families are still being blocked and expelled under anti-immigrant restrictions that the new administration has failed to revoke.
As people of faith and conscience, we are obliged to hold elected officials to their word. The new administration must follow through on their promise to respect the human right to seek asylum. SIGN
UUs Endorse a Fact-Based Understanding of American Slavery
True national unity can only emerge with acknowledgment of harm. It’s one of the first steps in pursuing restorative justice. For that reason, UUSJ supports H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. The very least we can do is to “study and recommend.”
Now is the moment, the House Judiciary Committee voted H.R. 40 out of committee, and onto the floor for full consideration. This, for the first time since H.R. 40’s introduction in 1989. Learn more and send your online letter HERE.
The urgency of the climate crisis has again been brought home by horrific record heat waves, historic drought, and early-season wildfires. While the need for action has never been clearer, there is only a narrow path for getting adequate legislation enacted that will provide a realistic chance of stabilizing global warming in time to avert catastrophic changes. This is a critical time, and UUs need to urge their Representatives and Senators to stand up for real and just action on climate.
President Biden proposed sweeping climate measures in the American Jobs Plan this Spring, but the July 2021 bipartisan infrastructure compromise negotiated in the Senate contains only a small fraction of those necessary proposals. Most disappointingly, it almost entirely excludes the environmental justice priorities (such as devoting 40% of climate investments to disadvantaged communities) that were in the American Jobs Plan. earn more and send your online letter HERE.
Join UU Mass Action’s New Indigenous Rights Solidarity Team
Learn more HERE.
Tuesday, September 21st, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Are you becoming increasingly aware of the threats to our planet caused by climate change? Attend our July meeting and learn what some members are planning in the areas of Climate Education, Personal Actions Everyone Can Do, and Legislation and Advocacy. The Environmental Team is growing. Attend and decide how you want to become involved. Contact ET Chair Gail Kharidia firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
Tuesday, September 21st, 7:00 p.m.
All are welcome to join Group 15, Amnesty International. For this year’s Banned Books Week (9/26-10/2), Amnesty International and the American Library Association have joined forces to call attention to publications that have been banned and to writers who’ve been victimized for their work. The main focus of our September Zoom meeting will be to come up with action ideas to support the campaign, in addition to our current plans to have a display at the Concord Library. The individual-at-risk case our group has adopted and has been working on for months is a Philippine journalist, Maria Ressa, executive editor of news outlet Rappler, so we’re keenly aware of the dangers authors and journalists are currently facing. For the meeting link, contact Kathleen Bean at email@example.com.
UU United Nations — Mark International Day of Peace
The UUA Office in New York City at the United Nations HERE has many exciting ways for UUs to participate including youth. For September, UUUN is promoting International Day of Peace on the 21st. The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover. LEARN MORE
Thursday, September 23rd, noon – 1:00 p.m.
Do you find it challenging to make time to sign petitions, call your legislators, or send emails about issues you care about? It just takes one hour! Hear updates about UU Mass Action campaigns and take action together, such as calling your legislators, signing petitions, and more to support our frontline and coalition partners. We will focus on our key issues areas: climate justice, immigrant justice, criminal law reform, Indigenous Legislative Agenda, and economic justice. This will also be a chance to connect with other UUs from across the state!
Every month there is an optional half-hour from 11:30 – 12:00 PM for those who want to drop in if you anticipate needing extra support (i.e,, if you’ve had trouble accessing links in google docs before, etc. Most tech will just involve copy and past, and clicking through links!). Please reach out to Tali with any questions or accessibility needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UU Mass Action Regional UU Team Meeting for Metrowest North
Thursday, September 23rd, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
You’re welcome to join the North Metrowest regional team meeting!
September 26th, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Monday, October 4th, 11:00 am. – 12:00 noon
The Mass Environmental Justice Table is hosting a legislative briefing on two of its bills! Come yourself and invite your legislators HERE. All residents of Massachusetts have a right to a clean and healthy environment. Yet, too often polluting power plants, electrical substations, and gas compressor stations are concentrated in communities where people of color, low-income people, and limited English proficient speakers live and work. These environmental justice (EJ) populations experience higher rates of pollution, disease, and other public health emergencies. COVID-19 has further shown that high concentrations of pollution can lead to increased mortality from respiratory disease. Please come and invite your legislators to these this fall briefing on critical bills.
Strengthen Local Climate Commitments Monthly Call
Wednesday, October 6th, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 13th, 8:00 p.m.
The UU Climate Action Roundtable is a monthly opportunity for UUs and friends to come together, the second Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. online or by phone for conversation about spiritual resources, current events, stories, questions and struggles, and calls for action and solidarity towards climate justice. Sign up to join the Climate Action Roundtable mailing list and get dial-in information for the next call/zoom meeting. LINK
Celebrate Laura’s 7 Years at UU Mass Action
Thursday, October 14th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Executive Director, Laura Wagner, is stepping down the end of 2021. SAVE THE DATE to Celebrate! Over the past seven years, UU Mass Action has grown from a small organization with two part-time staff to an organizing force with four full-time staff, managing five campaigns and working with hundreds of congregational leaders each year. The power of UU organizing and what we can accomplish when we work together has been remarkable. Join us for a night of celebration and transition! More information coming, Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/569399357578930
UU the Vote Skill Up
October 17th, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Forum on Erosion of Our Democracy
October 17th, 2:00 p.m.
Save the Date Zoom link to be determined. Jasmine Banks will speak about democracy, voting, political power, and the erosion of our public institutions. Banks is executive director of UnKoch My Campus, which advocates for the elimination of undisclosed corporate financial influence over higher education. The event will be co-sponsored by First Parish’s own Reclaim Our Democracy and the Marblehead UU Social Action Committee. Representatives from Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ), Concord Indivisible, We The People Massachusetts, and Act On MA are the expected panelists.
November 21st, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
UU the Vote Skill Up
December 19th, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.