The role of the Social Justice Committee (SJC) is to:
- Regularly inform the Fellowship of issues of social justice that need immediate attention, particularly local actions and develop and make visible social justice programs in our congregation and community.
- The Committee 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
- Serve as the primary contact for social justice efforts between the Fellowship and other agencies or groups. By consensus, the Social Justice Committee may speak or act in support of a social justice issue in the name of “The Social Justice ?Committee of the Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.”
The SCJ 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 Committee currently focuses their efforts in these areas:
- Environmental concerns.
- Social concerns that may include:
- Equity in Racial & Criminal Justice
- LGBTQQIA rights
- Action to ease homelessness through such groups as Neighborhood Alliance of Lorain County
- Reproductive and healthcare freedom
- Human trafficking
CAUSES OF THE MONTH
Each month the Fellowship donates offertory money to a worthy cause which we call Causes of the Month. These causes are chosen from a list provided by the congregation who then vote on them. The top 9 are then selected by the Congregation. We have 4 permanent causes. They are the Minister’s Discretionary Fund whose monies are used to support members in need. The Unitarian Universalist Emergency Management Fund whose monies are sent to support families in need following a natural disaster. The Guest At Your Table program which is a Unitarian Universalist Service Committee program that uses monies in support of refugee and immigrant families. And Oberlin Community Services Helping Hands which provides support specifically during the holiday season to families in need.
Our other causes include:
Let’s Get Real – The only centralized Lorain Co. alcohol and drug counseling resource center. Their mission is to provide information, education, and recovery assistance to family and loved ones in their journey from addiction to recovery.
El Centro – Focuses on meeting basic human needs, improving physical and mental health, and providing community development as Lorain County’s only bilingual social service agency. Donations support its food pantry, create access to mental health services, offer summer workshops for low-income youth, offer citizenship exam classes, and much more.
Family Planning Service of Lorain County – Offers affordable reproductive health care to both men and women and their families at medical offices in Elyria and Lorain and provides health education programs on request.
Genesis House – Provides temporary safety, shelter, food, aid and support to the victims of domestic violence and their children in Lorain County.
The Haven Center of Neighborhood Alliance – Provides shelter, hospitality, meals and comprehensive support services to families without homes. Provides homeless men and women in Lorain County with beds, meals and support, including referrals for work, vocational rehab programs, and help in applying for affordable housing.
Lorain County Free Clinic – Provides comprehensive health care at low or no cost to the uninsured.
Lorain County LGBTQ+ & Allies Community Task Force – Collaborates with community partners to facilitate access to local and regional services and engages the community at large to support Lorain County’s LGBTQ+ community. The Task Force was organized in early 2017 to identify the unmet needs of community members.
Lorain County Rape Crisis (a service of the Nord Center) – Provides free and confidential support and advocacy 24/7 to men and women of all ages in Lorain County who are survivors of all forms of sexual assault.
Oberlin Weekday Community Meals – Serves a free hot meal to anyone in need Monday through Friday, feeding an average 25–30 people each evening, with numbers higher toward the end of the month when other supports, such as food stamps, run out.
The cause of the month for January 2021 is Let’s Get Real. A 501c3 nonprofit recovery community organization in Lorain County, its mission is to assist families and their loved ones in the journey from addiction to recovery, a growing challenge in these pandemic times. The organization is a partner in ongoing projects in Lorain County, as well as offering support groups weekly. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of its gatherings are now on Zoom, although some in-person meetings resumed in December, following strict protocols.