Establishing an issue action team is not that much different than using the UUA guidelines for establishing a justice ministry team in your congregation.
Establish your group. To establish an effective action team, you will need to engage at least two members each from at least three different congregations. As JUUstice Washington is ultimately a UU state action network, we encourage the collaboration of multiple congregations within the State. Identify the individuals, their organizational affiliation and contact info. Identify the leadership structure of your group – who is the lead/chair? Don’t know where to start? Contact our office. We may be able to help you connect with others across the state who are working on your issue.
Identify the issue and its components. Select a name that best describes the issue on which you want to take action with other UUs. Provide a list of the different aspects that make up the issue, with descriptions of each. For example, “Reproductive Rights Justice:abortion rights, access to reproductive health care, access to birth control, supporting Planned Parenthood, access to prenatal and obstetric care, sex education, religious exemptions, etc.” The idea is to demonstrate some knowledge of the issue and to provide a focus for what you will be wanting to address. Also, identify some areas where your issue intersects with other issues like climate, racism, or economic issues.
Draft vision and mission statements. You will need to develop a vision of the future that you want your action team to help create—what you hope your team will be and will achieve in the long term. Develop an actionable mission statement to clarify what you will do today to help fulfill your future aspirations. Discuss how your vision and mission support UU Principles.
Demonstrate programming ability. Provide a description of events and activities that your group has engaged in so far and provide an initial plan of theactivities and events your group would like to do. Also include some ideas of how you will promote your work in the UU and broader communities. List potential partnerships with other justice groups engaged in doing similar work.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion. Discuss how you will manifest your group’s valuing of equity, diversity and inclusion in itswork. Include any EDI training or a request for EDI training for your group. JUUstice Washington defines:
Equity as a state in which each of us has access to the resources—such as opportunities, connections, and power—we need to thrive and reach our full potential. Equity inherently includes an effective response to the past and present impact of systems of privilege and oppression. And, equity is a state in which outcomes cannot be predicted from social characteristics.
Diversity as a state of variety in a group of people across social characteristics, including sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, language, race, color, culture, ethnicity, nationality, national origin, marital status, geography, immigration status, generation, religion, ability, age, and physical appearance. Diversity in an organization—for example, among its leadership, staff, and membership—is a marker for the degree to which the community it seeks to serve is represented within the organization.
Inclusion as the equitable welcoming, valuing, and application of the skills, experience, perspectives, ideas, contributions, and needs of everyone within a diverse group across all areas of the internal and external functioning of that group, such as leadership, service provision, and service receipt.
Once you have drafted this information, send it to us so our Issue and Advocacy Team can review it. If the base knowledge and commitment to the issue is determined to indicate readiness to become a action team sufficient, we will make an appointment to speak with you and your group to provide feedback and help you identify resources that you will need to move forward in your justice work. We will offer groups that are not yet ready to become action teams guidance on how to increase their readiness.