“Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.” (https://womenshistorymonth.gov/about/)
Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was a singer, dancer, actress, composer, Hollywood’s first female black director and Pulitzer prize-nominated poet and civil rights activist. Her first autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings received critical acclaim for its depiction of racism and sexual assault. A leader in black feminism, Angelou worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. She received the President Medal of Freedom in 2011 and the National Medal of Arts in 2000, among her many other awards and honors.
Wilma Mankiller. Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee Nation and she fought for the rights of women and Native Americans. She led Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton in 1998. “She understood that great leadership begins with the women — that’s our long, cultural tradition,” said Chad Smith, who was chief when she died in 2010. “If I had one word to frame her, it would be patriot. A patriot is one who gives her all for her people.” Gloria Steinem spoke at her memorial service.
Dolores Huerta. Dolores Huerta is a labor activist and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, now the United Farm Workers. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law of its kind in the United States, granting farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. She has advocated for immigrant and Latino rights in the United States. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2012.
Patsy Mink. Patsy Mink became the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in her home state of Hawaii and the first woman of color elected to the United States Congress in 1962. Representative Patsy Mink realized early on that she had a “dual role” representing not only her home state of Hawaii, but also representing the voice of all women in the country. She was one of only eight women in Congress at the time and as a Japanese American, the first Asian American woman ever elected. Mink also was the first Asian-American to run for U.S. President.
Grace Hopper. U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, with a PhD in mathematics from Yale, worked on the Mark I project, one of the original functioning computers, and its future iterations. She led the team that invented COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language). She is also credited with coining the term “debug,” after removing a live moth from her computer. She holds a National Medal of Technology, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and, ironically, the Data Processing Management Association’s Computer Sciences Man Of The Year Award.
The focal point for the strength and interconnection of our justice work at JUUstice Washington are these six action teams. These action teams will offer a variety of information on what work has been and is being done, and resources for education and activism, event notices and calendars and direct one-on-one contact with an action team leader.
Participants in the action teams come from a broad spectrum of faith communities, social justice organizations, environmental organizations, other NGOs, governmental bodies and Tribes and Nations.
We recognise intersectionality and that these issues interweave and are inextricably linked. The current action teams are identified below.
First/American Indian Nations Solidarity Seeks to provide culturally appropriate and current information on the background of various Nations and the myriad issues faced by indigenous communities. We work diligently to assist in establishing meaningful relationships with First and American Indian communities. Engagement is predominantly centred in the Pacific Northwest. However, we have also become engaged with Nations and issues throughout the United States and Canada. We have an extensive network of Indian and non-Indian individuals, groups and organizations engaged in social, political, environmental and cultural activities.
Climate Justice Action Team We envision a world that approaches energy use in a sustainable manner for generations to come. We cannot continue our current patterns of consumption and production with reliance on fossil fuels for energy. We have a duty to raise our voices for the moral commitment to human survival.
Communities of color and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change. Recognition of our common humanity is a necessary premise to all of our actions.
Criminal Justice Reform Action Team is based upon our Unitarian Universalist principles where we are called to work to make “Equal Justice for All” a reality in our country, our state, and our communities. We work with Northwest Unitarian Universalists and others in our communities to provide humane, science driven solutions to the criminal justice system. Criminal Justice Reform issues include abolishing the death penalty, eliminating cash bail, establishing restorative justice, challenging private prisons and more.
Racial Justice Action Team asks the hard questions and seeks the expose the truth of white privilege and its role in institutional and interpersonal racism. Asking critical questions, seeking answers, and taking action. What do we do in the face of systemic racism? What do we do as people of color oppressed by these systems? What do we do as white folk who are privileged by these same systems? Join us if this is your calling. We aspire to be people of all colors, all faiths and all non-faiths.
Economic Justice Action Team This area focus on economic inequality. It encompasses privation – some people’s lack of necessities for human life & well-being — food, shelter, health care. Examining alternative ways of ordering our society and economy, and looking for specific policies to support and actions to take.
This goes beyond poverty and the obvious grinding problems of the poor — to the struggles, insecurities and frustrations of the middle class — and the alienation and false consciousness of the rich. Beyond economy to the corrosive effects of extreme income and wealth disparities on the health of our entire society, our country’s political life, and our individual interpersonal relations.
Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Action Team From the opening words of the Declaration of Conscience, joint statement of the UUA and the UUSC “We affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil. As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.”
Don’t see your action area of interest? We honor and acknowledge the other issues of oppression not listed in the action teams above.
Do you have a passion in an issue that is not listed? There are many justice issues out there that need action and we have the resources to help guide you. Let us know and we can connect you with other individuals who may have the same or a similar justice passion. If we can get you connected to enough people, you could ask us about creating an action team for your issue area of interest.
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Woodinville, WA 98072