Social Justice

Social Justice meetings are on the second Sunday of the month at 12:00 p.m. after the 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 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.

Link of LoveLink of Love – The Social Justice Committee thanks all who have donated to the Link of Love plate collections over the past year. The beneficiaries of your generosity have been citizens who have recently been released from incarceration. These individuals do not have the resources to acquire birth certificates and state identification, the basic building blocks to starting a productive life. In one case a small fine was preventing an individual from moving toward independent living. Another individual was provided a used, refurbished bicycle which allows him to attend daily addictions treatment and probation appointments every week. It also makes his local job search feasible. Your generosity is making a concrete difference for individuals who are dealing with economic inequality.

The UUCD Social Justice Committee developed this program in response to the UUA’s direction to address Escalating Income Inequality. The Social Justice Committee 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 partnered with Link of Love, an organization which targets this population through their New Beginnings program.

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.

UUDAN – The Unitarian Universalist of Delaware Advocacy Network encourages all to join in the effort to support state legislation which aligns itself with UU values.  Sign up is easy on the UUDAN website.  There are openings on the coordinating committee which allows members to suggest and advocate for specific issues and legislation. All meetings are held on Zoom.  No travel necessary.