Our Social Action and Community Service

Engage in service to transform ourselves and our world...
 
Members of CUUC with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins at Justice March in White Plains, NY July 14, 2016  CUC rallies at the People's Climate March  CUC engages in the People's Climate March
Rally for Justice (left, with State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins), July 14, 2016, White Plains
“I was amazed at how two miles seemed to melt under my feet as I walked in the middle of a crowd chanting 'Justice, justice now!' How invigorating it was to be literally part of a movement, even in such a small way." ~ Mary L. C. 

Our congregation functions as a wonderful mosaic of our professional staff and member volunteers. Our member volunteers give back to the community in countless ways and in many roles. Below are several of the major programs to which our members dedicate their time.

Please sign up or contact Jane Dixon at lilrhodie@gmail.com or (914) 949-5919 to see how you can get involved in any of these activities.

Download a list of ideas for how you can practice social action right now: What Can I Do to Help the Environment?

Social Justice Teams - How will you engage in service?

Planned Parenthood Lobbying Day in Albany, NY - January 25 2016

The third part of CUUC's mission statement is to “engage in service to transform ourselves and our world.” Our goal is for each Member and Friend to participate on one team. This is an invitation, not an obligation, to be involved as you are able and as your time allows. Which Social Justice Team would you like to be a part of? They all address important issues, so look for one that resonates most powerfully with you. For general questions, contact one of the Social Justice Coordinators: Jeff Tomlinson (jefftomlinson8@gmail.com), Mary Cavallero (marycava4@gmail.com), Pamela Cucinell (pamelajcny@gmail.com), and Meredith Garmon (minister@cucwp.org). For meeting dates, please check the CUUC events calendar.

JOIN A SOCIAL JUSTICE TEAM

Animal Advocacy

The Animal Advocacy Social Justice Team was formed after a group of congregants gathered to discuss their mutual interest in animal welfare. The team is broadly intended to nurture respect for all living creatures, foster compassion for our furry and non-furry beings, and engage in service to bring awareness of the interdependence of animal life to the attention of our congregation. Members feel an urgency to join others concerned about the environment and the spectrum of plants and animals to advocate for our fellow beings in ways simple and complex. Contact: Doreen Rossi doreenrossi@hotmail.com

Economic Social Justice

The Economic Social Justice Team investigates how income inequality affects our society locally and globally. The team is currently reviewing the UUA Statement of Conscience on Escalating Economic Inequity (uua.org/economic/escalatinginequality/escalating-inequality) in preparation for leading CUUC discussion around understanding and supporting the measure, and exploring potential speakers on topics such as Time Banking. The team usually meets on the third Sunday at 9:00am. Contact: Pat Lavin (patlavin@optonline.net).

Environmental Practices

The Environmental Practices Group is working toward CUUC receiving accreditation as a UUA Green Sanctuary. The group's theme for 2017-18 is Reduce the Waste Stream! EPG is exploring bringing food composting to CUUC and beyond, working on the idea of expanding textile recycling in our communities, and hosting educational events such as a movie and discussion about composting and "Reducing the Waste Stream." In general, the group meets on the second Sunday of the month. Contact: Janet Bear (jsbear1@gmail.com) or Charlie McNally (mcnally@pobox.com).

Hunger and Homelessness

Despite the appearance of affluence in Westchester County, hunger and homelessness exist in our own communities. The Hunger and Homelessness Social Justice Team provides education about these issues and advocates for our neighbors in need. H&H supports the Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry; the Food Bank for Westchester (foodbankforwestchester.org) and their “backpack” programs; prepares meals for HOPE (Help Our People Eat) Community Services in New Rochelle (hopecommunityservices.org); and collects gifts and necessities for Hour Children at the Bedford Correctional Facility (hourchildren.org), The Coachman Family Center (westhab.org/familyservices), Open Arms Men’s Shelter, and Samaritan House Women’s Shelter (liftingupwestchester.org). New team members are always welcome! Contact: Jane Dixon (lilrhodie@gmail.com).

LGBTQIA Justice

Our UU Seven Principles remind us that each being has worth and dignity, and that worth includes our gender and our sexuality. The LGBTQIA Social Justice Team discusses Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual justice issues. In 2005, CUUC was certified as a "Welcoming Congregation" after completing programs to increase understanding and inclusiveness of LGBTQIA issues. We are now working on our Welcoming Congregation renewal, and the LGBTQIA team has held educational forums and hosted film screenings for the congregation and community. The team also hosts an annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Service in November. The usual meeting date is 2nd Sunday of the month at 9:00am. Contact: Tony Arrien (arrien@optonline.net).

Racial Justice

The Racial Justice Team focuses on actions we can take to combat racism and to support movements such as Black Lives Matter. They have hosted the adult education curriuculum Beloved Conversations, film screenings of the documentary "13th," and book discussions of Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson and The Third Reconstruction by Rev. William Barber II. Team members have attended and reported about meetings and events of local organization such as NAACP of White Plains and Greenberg, the Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform. The Racial Justice Team meetings include the "In the Spirit of Truth" group, which has been meeting for over 20 years at CUUC. ITSOT plans and coordinates activities such as the Kwanzaa celebration event in downtown White Plains and the Juneteenth worship service at CUUC. Team meetings close with the ITSOT sharing circle, where participants can be introspective and talk frankly and confidentially about race, racism, and other forms of bigotry, toward a better understanding of their own and others’ attitudes and reactions, and toward a more loving daily interaction with our fellow human beings. Contact: Jeff Tomlinson (jefftomlinson8@gmail.com).

Refugee Resettlement

The Refugee Resettlement Social Justice Team along with five other congregations in the White Plains and New Rochelle area have formed the Interfaith Council for New Americans, or ICNA. ICNA works under the supervision of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to prepare for, and assist with, refugee resettlement in our area. With the current travel ban on refugees, the team is currently exploring other ways we can assist refugees. Contacts: Barbara Lowney (bjgaube@gmail.com), Paula Meighan (paula.meighan74@gmail.com).

Women's Issues

The Women's Issues social justice team promotes social action for just and compassionate laws for family planning, reproductive health, and gender equality, as well as pay equality and the prevention of gun violence. The team organized approximately thirty people to participate in the Women's March in NYC in January 2017.  Members continue to partner with Planned Parenthood to participate in the annual Family Planning Advocates Day of Action in Albany. The team has also sponsored postcard mailings and petition drives to local representatives focusing on women’s health issues. Contact: Julie Gans (julieagans@aol.com).

More Ways You Can Serve the CUUC Community