Social Justice Teams

LOVE IS THE DOCTRINE OF OUR CHURCH… AND SERVICE IS ITS PRAYER

WHY DO WE DISPLAY THE ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ BANNERS?  Click Here for more information

As Unitarian Universalists we believe that all of us are called to help shape a more just and compassionate world for all people. Our social justice teams and projects focus on equitable access to resources for all members of our society. Our social service teams and projects focus on helping to meet the immediate material needs of members of our community.

Social Justice Coordinating Committee

The Social Justice Coordinating Committee lives out our Unitarian Universalist covenant of love by working for social justice and social service in our community and the wider world. Most members of our church participate in social justice and service projects through donations of their time and money. All those with a passion for social justice and service causes and activities are welcome. The Social Justice Coordinating Committee meets via Zoom on the fourth Sunday of every month after service. Contact: Stephen Sacks.

 

Social Justice Teams and Projects

Faith in the Valley  Faith in the Valley is an interfaith coalition of congregations and justice groups in Fresno working together to create systemic change in key issues facing our city, including: substandard housing, access to jobs that pay a living wage, immigration reform, protection of undocumented individuals, police accountability, gun violence, voter registration in underserved communities, and youth at risk. The Unitarian Universalist Church is an active member of Faith in the Valley, and our Faith in the Valley Social Justice Team can help you get involved. Contact: Ellis Vance.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability Team  The Environmental Justice and Sustainability Team is composed of  individuals who are very knowledgeable and professionally involved in current environmental issues as well as persons with a sincere dedication to achieving and sustaining a better quality of life for all residents in our community. The Team meets monthly (via Zoom) and is open to all who are interested. Contact:  Kathy Boudinot-Johnson.

Monthly Social Justice Collections  On the second Sunday of every month our church takes up a collection to support a local nonprofit organization that is working to make the world a better place. Since 2013 we have donated more than $60,000 to approximately 40 organizations. To nominate a group, contact Stephen Sacks.

LGBTQ Rainbow Pride Parade Team  We help get the congregation prepared to march in Fresno’s annual Pride Parade. We plan publicity, creative attire, and items to give away. We also staff a table at the Pride Festival after the parade. We’ll participate again when Fresno Rainbow Pride is able to resume in-person events. Contact: Ellis Vance.

Prison Ministry

Our team supports the inherent worth and dignity of prisoners in the Chowchilla prison through an annual goodie bag collection of personal items, serving more than 3,000 women prisoners annually.  Contact: Joanne Michelson.

Church members and others offer transformative workshops in prisons through the Alternatives to Violence Project.  Contact: Barbara Cutright.

Through the Unitarian Universalist Association, church members can support incarcerated individuals by donating to the Church of the Larger Fellowship prison ministry and by participating in its letter writing program. Contact: Patty Bennett, Coordinator of Congregational Life, msc@uufresno.org.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby  Join church and non-church members who care about global warming and environmental sustainability issues.  Help us take specific actions in advocating for governmental policy changes.  Contact: Connie Young.

Earth Day Fresno  Earth Day Fresno is a committee of volunteers with a passion for environmental stewardship. We collaborate to host a one-day community event each year in April around Earth Day. Our mission is to inspire people to make changes in their daily lives to help restore the ecological health of our San Joaquin Valley and the world. We are looking for people with experience and passion for event coordination, community organization, bookkeeping, fundraising, environmental justice, and media relations. Contact:  Karin Livingstone or info@earthdayfresno.org.

Sanctuary Action Team  The Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno has voted to become a Sanctuary Church and provide safe housing for undocumented individuals in danger of imminent deportation. The Sanctuary Action Team is a group of church members who care about immigration issues and reform, and will mobilize the congregation if we are called on to host and house an individual or family in need of sanctuary. Contact: Amanda Dinscore.

 

Social Service Teams and Projects

Food Collection  Members of the congregation contribute shelf-stable foods for people who need our help. The bin for donations is in front of the church office on weekdays between 9:30 am and 3 pm. Tuna, canned corn, peanut butter, and cereal are needed for the food distribution program at Wesley United Methodist Church, serving households in the surrounding El Dorado Park area. Non-refrigerated single-serve meals including soups, vegetables, fruits, and beans, especially those that can be heated in a microwave, go to stock the food pantry for families of children receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Central California. See the list of requested food items here. Everyone is invited to participate. If you have questions about acceptable food items, contact: Stephen Sacks.

Wings Advocacy Fresno — Homeless to Home: Restoring Hope and Dignity  Wings is a nonprofit started by members of our church and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Homeless Advocacy Committee. Wings volunteers serve Fresno’s formerly homeless, newly housed families, veterans, individuals, and women and children fleeing domestic violence. Volunteers and donations of gently used home furnishings are always needed. Contact Wings at www.wingsfresno.org or furnishings@wingsfresno.org. Contact: Bev Fitzpatrick.

Monthly Hot Meals at the Hotel Californian  On the third Monday of each month, members of our church prepare and serve a meal for the residents of the hotel who have no cooking facilities. About 70 people are served each month. This project is inactive during the pandemic. Contact: Sean Clines.

 

To learn more about the social justice work in our congregation or to find out how you can help us make the world a more just and peaceful place, please contact Patty Bennett, Coordinator of Congregational Life, at msc@uufresno.org or (559)322-6146 ext. 15.