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 2016 - How will you engage in service?

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

The third part of our mission statement is to “engage in service to transform ourselves and our world.” In order to help make this a reality, Social Justice Teams (SJTs) were started in spring 2015.

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.

All teams welcome new attendees at their meetings. We invite you to attend a meeting and find a team that is right for you. A reminder: the teams are structured with at least five core members. When an action is called for, we are all expected to participate as we are able.

For general questions, contact the Social Justice Coordinating Committee: Jeff Tomlinson (jefftomlinson8@gmail.com), Mary Cavallero (marycava4@gmail.com), Pamela Cuchinell (pamelajcny@gmail.com), and Meredith Garmon (minister@cucwp.org).

For dates of meetings, check the CUUC events calendar.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Environmental Practices

The Environmental Practices group has prepared a list of actions that each of us can undertake to help our environment. The team is mapping out steps to be taken on the path to CUUC receiving accreditation as a Green Sanctuary. The UUA's Green Sanctuary Program is a multi-year congregational undertaking that aims to align the congregational culture with long-term environmentally-aware faith practices. The program requires congregations to complete projects in the four areas: Worship & Celebration, Religious Education, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Living. We would love to have your input in the planning process. Learn more about What You Can Do Right Now. Contact: Janet Bear (jsbear1@gmail.com) or Charlie McNally (mcnally@pobox.com).

Hunger and Homelessness

The team recognizes that the issues of hunger and homelessness exist in our local communities despite the appearance of affluence in Westchester County. We partner with the best of the service providers already working in this field. H&H organized collections for the Coachman Family Center (gift cards for Christmas presents), the Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry (cash, used toys, and books), the Bedford Correctional Facility (new toys), and mittens, hats, scarves, toiletries, and underwear for local shelters. H&H will support HOPE (Help Our People Eat) Services in New Rochelle with prepared meals for their soup kitchen. Our previous events have benefitted Open Arms men's shelter, Furniture Sharehouse, and the Urban League. 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 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. This social justice team is now planning our Welcoming Congregations renewal, starting with the educational forum "Transgender 101" in February 2017. Other educational programs are planned for the spring 2017. Contact: Tony Arrien (arrien@optonline.net).

 

Women's Issues

This 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. In January 2017 we will demonstrate in the Women's March on NYC to promote advancement of equality and human rights. We continue to partner with Planned Parenthood to participate in the annual Family Planning Advocates Day of Action in Albany. Contact: Julie Gans (julieagans@aol.com).

 

Refugee Resettlement

Anyone who can devote time and resources to support a refugee family is welcome to serve on one of the following committees: Housing, Employment, Education, Health, Community Connections, Language Translation/Interpretation, Transportation, and Finances. Volunteers are needed on a regular, occasional, or one time basis. Contacts: Barbara Lowney (bjgaube@gmail.com), Paula Meighan (paula.meighan74@gmail.com).

 

Economic Social Justice

The plan of the Economic Social Justice Team is to investigate the local impact in Westchester of the "Fight for 15" movement to find where we can help workers outside of the Fast Food industry make similar gains. We will also run a forum for the congregation about how income inequality affects our society locally and globally, based on the book, The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. We will inquire about running a similar forum for RE, to help our children examine how wealth disparity impacts the social fabric in their schools. Contact: Pat Lavin (patlavin@optonline.net) or Alan Trevithick (dramt1960@gmail.com).
 

Racial Justice

This team merged with "In the Spirit of Truth" which has been meeting for over 20 years at CUUC. The beginning of each meeting focuses on actions our team can take to combat racism and to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Various team members have participated in meetings and protests in the NY area and report back to the team. The remainder of the meeting is devoted to "In the Spirit of Truth," a process that allows participants to be introspective and to talk frankly and confidentially with each other 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 their fellow human beings. Contact: Jeff Tomlinson (jefftomlinson8@gmail.com).

 

More Ways You Can Serve the CUUC Community