Social Justice

Social Justice meetings are on the second Sunday of the month at 11:30 a.m. after coffee hour following Sunday service.  The committee sponsors several ongoing events.

Social Justice Sundays – The 3nd Sunday of the month is Social Justice Sunday at UUCD. We donate the collection plate (not including pledges) selected charity.   All organizations which receive our donations are local to Kent County and are in alignment with UUA’s suggestions to make our social justice action proximate to those most in need.  Our primary focus for 2018 and 2019 has been to assist with the re-entry process for those incarcerated for many years.

The Dover Interfaith Men’s Shelter (DIMH) – UUCD prepares dinner one night a month for the residents of the DIMH. UUCD has been active in helping the shelter since prior to UUCD and DIMH being official!

Legislative Advocacy – At times, the Social Justice committee will organize legislative advocacy actions at the State capital to support bills that align with UU values, such as reform of the criminal justice system.

Highway Cleanup – Once a quarter the Social Justice committee leads a group of UUCD members to pick up litter along a road in Dover.

Link of Love – The UUCD Social Justice Committee has been tasked with developing a Study/Action plan in response to the UUA’s direction to address Escalating Income Inequality. The Social Justice Committee has identified those re-entering society in our local community as the demographic for our attention. The UUCD commitment is to assist ex-offenders toward an independent, self-sustaining life for themselves and their families. We are partnering with Link of Love, an organization which targets this population through their New Beginnings program. Our UUCD family will be asked to contribute the plate collection on six Sundays throughout the year for the specific needs of ex-offenders who have been able to secure housing and employment. Direct appeals to the congregation may be made throughout the year as specific needs arise.

The purpose of this initiative is to be a part of the solution to Escalating Economic Inequality. The Study part of this initiative is in the planning stages and will most likely include gathering information and conducting discussion opportunities.

The Common Read – The “Common Read” for 2019-2020 for UU congregations are the two related books: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015) and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, 2019). This Common Read invites UU congregations, communities, and individuals to learn the story of trauma and resilience that is the Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. The former, published in 2015 by historian and activist, Dunbar-Ortiz, challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. It is certainly written from a different perspective than those familiar histories most of us studied in school. I suggest that UUCD, as a congregation, consider how we might participate in this national UU project to read and digest the narrative presented in these two books. The UUA expects to post discussion guides sometime in November. Expect future newsletters to elaborate on ways we might engage with the common read as individuals, as a congregation, and potentially also as a cluster or a denomination.

Your thoughts and ideas are welcome. The Social and EnvironmentalJustice Committee and Worship Committee are two groups who may collect these ideas and propose options.  – Sheryl Winsby