The UUA and its members have long work in the economic justice arena well beyond the individual congregational traditional charity efforts. In 1965, the UUA passed the “Economic Opportunity” General Resolution and has been actively engaged ever since. In 2017, the UUA developed the “Escalating Economic Inequity Statement of Conscience” citing the rise in inequity since the adoption of the 2000 Statement of Conscience on “Economic Injustice, Poverty, and Racism.”
Economic Justice encompasses privation – the lack of the necessities of human life and well-being, food, shelter, health care. However, economic justice is about more than poverty. It’s also about America’s alarming widening of economic inequality since the 1970s. The problems go beyond 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.
Economic justice is not just about the economy. It’s about 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 and that “improving the economic system requires making changes beyond the finance and business sectors.” (2017 Escalating. . .)
UUs working on these problems look at their interdependent effects and causes. We also examine alternative ways of ordering our society and economy. And we look for specific policies we can support and specific actions we can take. We look for and ally ourselves with local organizations to impact State legislative actions. We work nationally within our denomination and ally ourselves such movements as the Poor People’s Campaign. We also work internationally through a number of organizations including The UU International Joint Working Group.