Social Justice Issues
UUCSJS Anti-Racism Task Force and Black Lives Matter
The UUCSJS Anti-Racism Task Force strives for justice, equity and compassion in human relations; has a goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; will not allow injustice to go unchallenged, particularly in light of recent tragic events involving police brutality and institutionalized racism that target the black community.
We acknowledge that people of all ages and races are killed by law enforcement, yet black people ages 20-24 are seven times more likely to be killed by law enforcement; mass incarceration is an urgent concern because 40% of black students are expelled from U.S. public schools; and one out of three black men is incarcerated during his lifetime.
We resolve to support the Black Lives Matter movement and Black-led racial justice organizations; to engage in intentional learning spaces to organize for racial justice with recognition of the interconnected nature of racism coupled with systems of oppression that impact people based on class, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and language; to work toward police reform and prison abolition (which seeks to replace the current prison system with a system that is more just and equitable); and to recognize that the fight for civil rights and equality is as real today as it was decades ago.
No matter who you are, black lives matter, and a system of fair, transformative, and restorative justice that is accountable to communities is something to which each of us has a right.
We exist to learn and educate, build connections, engage with others, respond to calls for action, stay committed to the Black Lives Matter movement, and 'show up.'
The UUCSJS Social Justice Committee also focuses on the topic of Sustainability and Environmental Justice.
We have been able to reach out to local environmental groups and join our efforts with theirs to make positive changes in our community. In the past year, we have tabled at several local eco-fairs, provided educational opportunities at our UU Center (which were always free and open to the public), written letters to representatives requesting their support with social justice and environmental issues. We have also continued our support for local peace groups, hosted our annual Iraq War commemoration, and much, much more. Committee members staff a table each Sunday after services in the lobby to provide the congregation with Fair Trade products and information about opportunities for social action.
Our Committee meets after service at 11:30 on the first Sunday of every other month. Between meetings we have telephone conference calls when needed. The focus of these meetings is to work on fine tuning and implementing the initiatives and goals we have set in the areas of Environmental Justice, Ethical Eating, Animal Rights, and Fair Trade, and more. We also evaluate and take on additional UUA congregational study/action initiatives and priority issues set by the UULMNJ.
Meet up with us on Facebook.
Other Social Action initiatives:
Water ShieldUUCSJS has joined other faith communities in New Jersey by participating in the GreenFaith Water Shield Certification program. Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is an environmental organization made up of diverse religious communities. The organization believes that protecting and honoring the earth is fundamental to religious thought, and has created numerous programs that address consumption habits.
To earn our Shield Certificate, our congregation must complete a number of steps.
- Create of a Water Team (Jesse Connor, Barbara Fielder, Steve Fielder, Ron Hutchison, Barbara Miller and Jack Miller), has already been completed.
- Publicize and carry out a Water Weekend, which was held August 2013.
- Sign up at least 20% of our congregation to enroll in the Household Water Pledge. The actions required for completion of the Pledge are broken into Light Blue and Deep Blue components, both of which have indoor and outdoor components. Light Blue Steps, such as committing to turning off the faucet while brushing teeth or sweeping sidewalks instead of hosing them, can be easily completed by most of us. Deep Blue Steps, such as installing rain barrels or creating rain gardens on our properties, may require more effort. We must also create an Action Plan that satisfies Light Blue and Deep Blue steps for our building and grounds.
- Required Religious Education classes. The classes for children and teens are taking place during regular RE time. The adult class, which will follow a Sunday service, will view and discuss the film Flow: For Love of Water.
To protect our precious groundwater, take your hazardous waste to your county's next Hazardous Waste Residential Drop-Off Program.
In Atlantic County, hazardous waste can be dropped off the first Saturday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September, November).
The location is Atlantic County Utilities Authority, 6700 Delilah Rd., Egg Harbor Township.
Some of the accepted materials include:
- 1 lb. Propane Cylinders ONLY
- 12-Volt Batteries (for cars and boats)
- All Cleaning Products
- Auto Care Products
- Chemistry Sets
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs(CFLs) *
- Floor Products
- Fuels/Motor Oil
- Furniture Polish
A complete list of accepted and unaccepted materials can be found at acua.com.
Cape May typically conducts 2 Household Hazardous Waste disposal days per year. At this time, the 2014 dates have not been published. Contact Cape May County for specific program information. Contact Tony Moncman, Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority, at 609-465-9026 or email: email@example.com.
* You can also take your CFL lightbulbs and old power tool batteries to Lowes. Look for the bins next to the return department.
UUCSJS ANNUAL NATIVE PLANT SWAP & SALE for 2015!!!!(The documents below are all PDFs)
Want to Swap or Buy small plants and seeds?
Want larger container-grown native plants not generally available in local Nurseries?
- Native Nursery-Grown Plant Sale Info (one page)
- Native Nursery-Grown Plant Sale Order Form (six pages)
Other ways we care for the earth:
UUCSJS BUTTERFLY GARDEN VOLUNTEERS
Members and friends of our congregation designed, installed, and maintain a butterfly garden at Patriot Lake in Galloway Township. Our garden, located behind the library and near the newly renovated playground, is a gem; it's alive with beautiful nectar rich flowers and butterflies from May through September to the delight of all that pass by.
Some additional materials to help garden in an environmentally conscious way are the following (link to pdf files):
How to Create a Butterfly Garden
Landscaping for Birds