Justice News, Events and Action Alerts Update
We emerged out of nature, and when we die, we return to nature.
We need to know there are forces impinging on us that we will never understand or control.
We need to have sacred places where we go with respect, not just looking for resources or opportunity. ~David Suzuki
JUUstice Washington Organizational News
Just a quick note to remind you to read through each of the sections below as many issues, events and activities are intersectional, covering more than one issue area. Environmental Justice issues intersect with Indigenous and migrant issues. Racial issues intersect with environmental justice and legislative issues and many other combinations. Rarely will you come to know an issue that has only one aspect to it, and to address them we need to be aware of their relationship and impact on each other.
- Staff! Our administrative assistant position is open. Position is part time at $18.00/hour. If you’re interested or know of someone who might be interested and a good fit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Board Members! We are in need of some additional board members. JUUstWA operates with a volunteer, working Board. If you’re interested in supporting Justice on a state and regional-wide basis, then we have a place at the table for you! If you’re interested or know of someone who would be great addition to the leadership of JUUstWA, please contact email@example.com.
April 15, 2021, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM. Third Thursday: JUUstWA’s Emergent Strategy & Intersectional Networking Sessions. Join us monthly for Zoom-based Intersectional Justice Networking Sessions and emergent strategy meetings. Take time to Network & Collaborate with other community partners and justice-oriented congregations. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwoduuorTwuHddlHyY-YGb-83pZM1t02lIa
Steering Team Meetings – April 29th @ 10:00 am. We invite you to join us for a strategic planning and resourcing meeting in order to facilitate efficient and collaborative systems and action plans. Your input on how best to continue the work towards social and environmental justice is invaluable. Check us out, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
TAKE ACTION-Matching Grant Opportunity! Thank you for those of you who have responded so far, but we still have halfway to go! There’s still time to double your impact with a matching grant from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility. We’ll need this to hang onto Sahar and Larkin who have been blessed to bring the power of transformation not only to our justice work but in our elements of sustainable activism through nourishing somatic practice, presence, and awareness. We find this work to be so important in this time of great change when many are numbed by and struggle with the isolation of the pandemic. For JUUstWA, times are hard. Like many others during this time, we struggle to sustain. Our work is largely supported by members like you! Please donate today and help us achieve the matching grant! Only you can make this happen. Become a regular recurring Donor or give a one time donation: Contribute online or Contribute by check
The UUA Decries Anti-Asian Violence
March 17, 2021. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) joins leaders across the country in decrying the recent surge of hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans. In this last year, violence and verbal harassment targeting this community have been exacerbated by anti-Asian rhetoric and blame.
We call on federal, state, and local governments at every level to send the clear message that such actions will not be tolerated. We are in solidarity with victims, survivors, and families who have suffered loss and pain.
This country has a shameful history of racist acts towards the Asian community. It includes the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the U.S. incarceration of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Long-standing racist tropes about Asians as “other” are deeply embedded in the national consciousness. These stereotypes fuel current discrimination and we all need to reflect on how they can subtly shape unconscious bias or even outright hatred and violence. Read more here.
There’s still Time: Virtual General Assembly 2021!
Sneak peak at what’s coming up at GA! These offerings are just a handful of the fabulous 100+ live webinars and on-demand programs that GA registrants will have access to. One of the best parts about virtual GA – if you miss a live webinar or have trouble choosing between options, you’ll be able to catch up later on-demand! GA Registrants now have an exclusive preview of the full listing of workshops (both live and on-demand) on the new GA app powered by Whova.
- Community in a Post-Isolation Age (UUA) Post Pandemic
- Harvesting Lessons, Planting Seeds: Reflections on Organizing, 2016-2021 (UUA’s Organizing Strategy Team)
- Resourcing UU Theologies of Death and Dying (Meadville Lombard Theological School and Starr King School for the Ministry)
- REWIRE: Rewiring Your Racial Consciousness (All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa OK)
- Rights of Nature: Who Speaks for the Earth? (UU Ministry for Earth, DRUUMM, UUA Green Sanctuary Program)
- Starr King School for the Ministry President’s Lecture: Art in Search of Justice
- The Power of Story in Worship (The First Religious Society in Carlisle)
Circle ‘Round for Justice ● Healing ● Courage is the theme for General Assembly 2021. General Assembly is a time to circle ‘round for community. We circle ‘round in care and healing; for liberation and justice; and for love and courage. UUA GA 2021 will incorporate recommendations from the Commission on Institution Change report, “Widening the Circle of Concern” and dialogue with the Article II Commission about our Principles and Purposes.
Registration is open! Registration for virtual GA 2021 is $200 per person. Learn about registration details.
Volunteer Applications are open for those who want to volunteer to lower their costs to attend. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
On March 25, 2021, Deb Cruz and John Hilke will be meeting with Pacific Western Region State Action Networks (SANs) leaders Janine Gelsinger (UUJAZ-Arizona), Rev. Ranwa Hammamy (UUMJCA-California) and Chris Vogel (OUUVfJ- Oregon) to discuss what opportunities there might be to collaborate, network and share ideas. Often times, especially in environmental justice, indigenous and immigration, issues often tranverse State borders. Then, of course, that are ever-present across the nation. Also up for discussion is how to support UU congregational justice work in those States that do not have a SAN (which there are many in the region). This will be an opportunity for the four SANs to see what each is doing and find ways to raise up justice efforts within the region.
News from Our Action Teams
Environmental Justice Action Team.
UUMFE Spring for Change: a Season of Sacred Activism — March 22nd (World Water Day) through May 22nd (International Day for Biodiversity) — is an invitation to the Unitarian Universalist faith community to embody the transformational, regenerative power of Spring through sacred activism for Earth and all our relations. Spring is a time for new life to emerge from the soil and barren branches, and a time for new collaborations and chapters to begin. Check here for upcoming events.
TAKE ACTION! 2021 WA Legislation. Watch carefully for the following pieces of legislation that are moving forward to passage of the opposite chamber. While there are others, these are some of the priorities.
- E2SSB 5141: HEAL Act-last leg of the committee journey. Hopefully will be going to the floor on 23 March.
- E2SHB 1099: GMA and Climate mitigation-last leg of the committee journey. Hopefully will be going to the floor on 24 March.
- E3SHB 1091: Clean Fuels is in the Ways and Means Committee.
Upcoming event: April 14, 2021, 5:30 pm PST. An event around the Puyallup Tribe, Northwest Detention Center and the Tacoma LNG plant. UU Ministry for the Earth (UUMFE), Earth Ministry and JUUstWA are hosting a film screening of Ancestral Waters, produced by the Native Daily Network, and a discussion of the project and as part of “Spring for Change” and in time for the upcoming appeal hearings of the plant beginning April 12th.
April 8, 5:00pm Webinar: The End of Ice with Dahr Jamail. The Earth is now experiencing human-caused climate disruption at an ever-accelerating pace. At present, even the best case mitigation strategies will not stave off catastrophic changes that are already heated into the biosphere. How, then, shall we Live? The talk will give a brief overview of how far along we are with climate disruption, then shift into spending the majority of time addressing how we find meaning, and purpose, during such a time. Click here to join the webinar on Facebook or join us on Zoom Questions? Email email@example.com.
April 14th, 10:00 am. JUUstWA’s Environmental Justice Issue Action Team will be meeting. Come with your thoughts and ideas, even if you’re participating in one of the other groups (like FAIN) that is working on environmental justice issues.
Refugee, Immigrant and Migrant Solidarity (RIMS) Action Team
- HB 1072 is now in the Rules Committee for its second reading. Please contact your Senator and ask them to support this bill that would open up civil legal aid funds to the undocumented.
- HB 1090 is now also in the Rules Committee for its second reading. Please contact your Senator and ask them to support this bill that would end for-profit prisons, including the Northwest Detention Center.
- HB 5172 is coming up on its Executive session on 26 March that will move it out of committee or will be rejected. Please contact your Representative and ask them to support this bill that allow retroactive overtime pay for farmworkers.
- Upcoming Event. JUUstWA is working with UUSC in setting up a Community Action Circle session to help identify, evaluate and implement an action program around immigration issues. Be on the lookout, more details to come!
Upcoming Meeting. JUUstWA’s RIMS group will have its next meeting on April 8th @ 1:30 pm. Join us as we discuss the rapid changes taking place on a local, national and international level. Join Us
First/American Indian Nations Solidarity (FAIN) Action Team
TAKE ACTION: HB 1372 is has passed the Senate Committee on State Government & Elections Committee. Contact your Senator and ask them to support placing Billy Frank, Jr.’s stature in the National Statuary Hall Collection. In 1864, Congress invited each state to contribute statues of prominent citizens for permanent display National Statuary Hall. Currently the statue of Marcus Whitman represents the State of Washington.
TAKE ACTION: Lummi elders: “Free our Relative!” Save endangered orca held captive at Miami Seaquarium. Join us by calling on the Miami Seaquarium to free the orca Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut and release her back to her family in the Salish Sea after 50 years of captivity! The Miami Seaquarium and its owners must recognize the Indigenous rights of her Lummi relatives and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut’s inherent rights to be with her family in her native ecosystem. The Lummi people are the original inhabitants of Washington state’s northern coastal region and view the Southern Resident Orcas as family members whose history, experiences, and fate are beautifully interconnected with their own. Sign here!
Rights of Nature. Currently, one of our FAIN groups is working with Tribal members on advancing a movement concerning the Rights of Nature. While we are currently working with Tribes to raise these efforts up, we will be looking to the future of engaging support by the non-Indian community. More information on the movement can be found in a variety of sources, but the ones we’re using are Earth Law Center who has been working with Tribal communities on developing resolutions for different Rights of Nature efforts and the United Nations Harmony with Nature webpage to see the work that is being done on an international effort (see #26 for the U.S.).
Local Indigenous speakers at GA! UUMFE is sponsoring a workshop during GA on the Rights of Nature with both Fred Lane of Lummi Nation and Elliot Moffett of Nimiipuu (panelists from our Summit!) as guest speakers along with Winona LaDuke and Casey Camp-Horinek. Get registered and ready to sign up for this workshop!
Snake River Dams. A breakout group will also be forming to support Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) and other Pacific Northwest Tribes/Nations in breaching the lower Snake River dams. Anyone interested in working specifically on the Snake River, contact Deb Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAKE ACTION: April 11th is the cutoff date for passing any legislation out of the opposite chamber! If we cannot get them out of off the floor, they will be dead the rest of this year as the last day of session is April 25th. Check to see if your bill is still in committee, Appropriations (House) or Ways and Means (Senate) or the Rules Committee and contact committee members or your legislators and request they move your bill forward. Go to leg.wa.gov and follow what’s happening on these bills, particularly if they are scheduled for possible passage to the floor for a final vote and then onto the Governor!
Upcoming Event. Widening the Circle of Concern with Paula Cole Jones and UUSJ. Join us Friday, April 2nd, 12pmNoonET/9amPT… following on suggestions from your peers, and flowing from content provided by the UUA, you are invited to join the first of two sessions with Paula Cole Jones on Widening the Circle of Concern (WTC) with a focus on UUSJ .
Paula will facilitate this two-hour dialogue/consultation with UUSJ leadership and volunteers. She brings perspectives to her work with UU organizations having career experience inside of a state, local, federal partnership that advocated annually for federal policies that impacted local communities and landowners. Her work with the 8th Principle has been a successful experience in building a new national grassroots movement within Unitarian Universalism.
She has years of experience in group facilitation, building teams, designing programs and problem-solving, which was the foundation for more than twenty years of work on institutional change within Unitarian Universalism. Register here.
Economic Justice Action Team
- 2SSB 5214 is scheduled for an Executive Session Ian the House Committee on Housing, Human Services and Veterans Committee. Please contact your Representative and ask them to support this bill that would prevent cuts to TANF and other essential services.
- E3SHB 1297, the Working Families Tax Credit is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Contact your Senator and ask them to support this bill.
- E2SSB 5160 is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Contact your Senator and ask them to support this bill that addresses landlord-tenant relations during and after public health emergencies.
Racial Justice Action Team
Especially for and about Youth
April 16-25 – PowerShift Network Youth Climate Convergence – UUMFE is promoting this event. Power Shift Network is a collaborative network mobilizing the collective power of young people to create a just future. This year’s convergence will take place all online April 16-18, centering the communities of New Orleans, LA (the original site of the convergence if it could be in-person). The convergence will bring together climate, environmental and social justice communities for trainings, strategizing, panel discussions and more. REGISTER – Full cost is $35, Scholarships are available! SIGN UP HERE to join the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice cohort at the convergence!
Film: The Homestretch. Sunday, April 18⋅4:00 – 5:00pm. The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. Through haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives, these teens take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph. As their stories unfold, the film connects us deeply with larger issues of poverty, race, juvenile justice, immigration, foster care, and LGBTQ rights. Click here to register.