Social Justice

Are you interested in MAKING A DIFFERENCE in Delaware by taking action on important social justice issues?

Join our Social and Environmental Justice Committee. Meetings of the committee are open to anyone, and we appreciate hearing about your passions regarding specific justice issues. Contact Mark Jarrell for more information and/or to let us know you’re interested.

Meetings are on the second Sunday of the month at 12:00 p.m. after the virtual coffee hour following the Sunday service. 

The committee sponsors several ongoing events:

Monthly Congregational Donations – The Social and Environmental Justice committee has decided that in view of the growing food insecurity in our country as well as locally, that we would be focusing our resources (i.e., our monthly congregational donations) on The Food Bank of Delaware for the next 7 months, starting with our December, 2020 donation. The Food Bank’s main facility is in Newark, but they also have a large facility in Milford. The mission of the food bank is to provide nutritious foods to Delawareans in need and facilitate long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty through community education and advocacy.

The Food Bank needs volunteers to help pack and distribute the food so we encourage investigating opportunities to help out there as well. You can sign up online. A wide variety of tasks are necessary over the month. You could be assigned to one or two of these. jobs, for example, making senior meal boxes, USDA boxes, helping out in the healthy pantry center, creating backpacks for our Backpack Program, sorting or boxing frozen foods, creating donated meal boxes, or sorting through donations!

You can also sign up for advocacy and learn ways for you to make a difference in helping to bring about a fairer and more humane system.

You can donate food or money, volunteer or advocate through their excellent website at Food Bank of Delaware. We hope that each of you will find some way to assist with the issue of food insecurity in Kent County. The need has grown so much bigger since the pandemic and the loss of so many jobs.

Your donation to the Food Bank is 100 percent tax-deductible. If you need to phone in your information, please contact Caitlin Custer atccuster@fbd.org or (302) 292-1305, ext. 253.

The Newark Branch is located at 222 Lake Dr., Newark, DE 19702. Their phone is (302) 292-1305. The Milford Branch is located at 1040 Mattlind Way, Milford, DE 19963. Their phone is (302) 424-3301.

Social Justice Sundays – Prior to the pandemic, the 3rd Sunday of the month was Social Justice Sunday at UUCD. We donated the collection plate (not including pledges) to a 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.

The Dover Interfaith Men’s Shelter (DIMH) –  The first Monday of each month UUCD members prepare and serve dinner at the Dover Interfaith Men’s Home (DIMH). Prior to the meal, we gather and listen as some residents share joys and concerns. After serving, we join them for dinner. Kitchen clean-up is the responsibility of the residents. Those of us who have been part of this experience return to help because we realize we are gaining as much or more than we are giving. Each month, one person serves as “head chef,” and is responsible for planning the menu and gathering all necessary ingredients. If you would like to serve as head chef, contact Sara Russell.

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.

UUDAN – The purpose of UUDAN (Unitarian Universalist Delaware Action Network) is to educate, mobilize, and coordinate UUs on advocacy for social justice issues in the State of Delaware in coalition with other advocacy organizations. UUDAN contributes to the community of UU congregations in the State of Delaware by offering members of UU congregations the opportunity to engage with legislative advocacy.

a. Read more on the UUDAN website: http://www.uudeladvo.org/wp/

b. SIGN UP for Action Alerts that make it easy for you to take action to contact your representatives or to engage in other acts of justice. This is not a high volume subscription … but the alerts they send are timely and super helpful. This is the direct link to join UUDAN (http://www.uudeladvo.org/wp/526-2/) — be sure to select UUCD as your congregation, and click the option to sign up for updates.

Social justice paramount for Unitarian Universalists, who have a historical tradition of “deeds not creeds.” This is a great way to put your faith into action to improve the lives of others and make the world (starting with Delaware) a better place.