Social Justice

The Social Justice Team’s role is to 1. Regularly inform the Fellowship of issues of social justice that need immediate attention, particularly local actions; 2. Use the following three national programs/certifications to guide our activities: a) The Ministry for the Earth Green Sanctuary Program; (b) The UUA Welcoming Congregation Program; and (c) Standing on the Side of Love. Using these three guideposts, the team will identify for the Fellowship, on an annual basis, the coming year’s major issues for study and action in the areas of social justice;  3. Serve as the primary contact for social justice efforts between the Fellowship and other agencies or groups.  By consensus, the Social Justice team may speak or act in support of a social justice issue in the name of  “The Social Justice Team of the Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.”

The Social Justice Team acts to promote social justice activities, hoping to involve most of the congregation in one way or another to support important community efforts. The Social Justice Team has two main thrusts in our work:

  • Environmental concerns as pursued by the Green Sanctuary Task Force.
  • Social concerns in the areas of Equity and Compassion are undertaken under the umbrella of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Standing on the Side of Love Campaign.

This may include:

  • Immigration,
  • Equity in Racial & Criminal Justice,
  • LGBTQQIA rights,
  • And action to ease homelessness through such groups as Family Promise of Lorain County.

Causes of the Month for 2018-2019

Each month the Fellowship donates our offertory money to a worthy cause. And each year the Social Justice Committee prepares a list of about 20 worthy causes which is submitted to the Fellowship for a vote at the June Annual Meeting. OUUF members are asked to choose 10 causes to receive offertory money. (Two Sunday offertory collections are left undesignated for emergency distributions that will be selected by the Social Justice Committee, based on urgent needs of local groups or national or international crises.)

The list submitted for 2018-2019 was based on agencies chosen by the Fellowship over the past ten years — 2008-2017 -­- with some additional agencies in need of donations to handle the expanding needs of their Lorain County communities.   Some are county agencies which help our members and neighbors; others are local Oberlin groups.

Rationale for Monthly Placement of Causes

The order of the presentation of the Worthy Causes is based on designation of awareness months, the various agencies’ activities in the larger community, and possible services or actions in our Fellowship.

NOTE: The July 2018 Cause is an emergency distribution to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which is asking us to help it support Central Americans facing continued violence at home and migrant families facing forced separation and detention as they seek asylum in the United States. (The generous UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY, will match our gift, dollar for dollar, doubling the amount of our donation.)

Month-by-Month Assignment of Top-Ten Causes for 2018-2019

JUL –  Emergency Distribution to Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

AUG – Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

SEP – El Centro

OCT – Starts Within Organization

NOV – Genesis House

DEC –  Oberlin Weekday Community Meals

JAN –  Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County  (National Human Trafficking Awareness Month)

FEB –  Family Promise of Lorain County

MAR – Lorain County Free Clinic (Free Clinic Awareness Month)

APR – Lorain County Rape Crisis (Sexual Assault Awareness Month)

MAY – Family Planning Services of Lorain County (fundraising month)

JUN – Emergency Distribution