Social Justice Work
Putting our UU beliefs into collective action is the passion of our Social Justice Committee.
We believe that a just world is possible. We offer opportunities for our Fellowship's members and friends to act for change to improve the lives of our neighbors, both locally and in our world community. Putting our faith into action, we work to give life the shape of justice.
Community service and social justice projects allow all of us to take part in making the world a better place -- join this committee to help make it happen.
Some examples of recent & annual projects
Guest at Your Table
KUUF families place a Guest at Your Table box on their families' tables - usually around the time of Thanksgiving - and discuss together what it means to welcome a guest to your table. They talk about how we can have a guest at our table by supporting the work of the UU Service Committee.
And each year a huge stack of Guest at Your Table boxes are returned to KUUF, raising over $1,000 annually (in lots of pennies and other change) to help protect the basic human rights and inherent worth and dignity of all.
The Guest at Your Table experience of families learning together has built lasting connections to UU values for generations of UU youth.
Annual Guatemalan Dinner
The Social Justice Committee hosts an annual south of the border experience! Participants share delicious ethnic dishes and hear from the recently returned accompaniers of the Unitarian Universalist Central America Network.
Speakers talk about their time as human rights accompaniers, give updates, and show photos of the communities in Guatemala where they have lived. A past speaker spent 10 months accompanying the people of La Quetzal, the returned refugee community in the jungles of the Peten. Another lived and worked for 7 months with the witnesses for the ongoing genocide cases from the remote rural communities of Ilom and Xix.
The dinner presentation features a silent auction and free-will offering to raise funds for the UU Central America Network's ongoing human rights work with the people of Guatemala.
Since 1996 KUUF and the Kitsap community have been essential partners in this crucial work.
Cuba Friendship Caravan
Pastors for Peace
During their two-week caravan across the U.S., Pastors for Peace expected to collect 100 tons of humanitarian aid, specifically focusing on Cuban elders this year. They intend to deliver school busses, educational supplies, medicines, and medical supplies gathered along 125 caravan stops across the US and Canada.
Once the aid is collected, they’ll attempt to deliver it to Cuba without US treasury department licenses, as Pastors for Peace rejects the licensing system as both immoral and illegal. They believe it inflicts suffering and uses medicine and food as weapons of war, which is illegal under international law.
The United Nations as well as an overwhelming majority of nations around the world has called for an end to the US blockade. Support is growing in Congress to lift the licensing requirement, but the Bush administration has instead tightened restrictions as part of homeland security.
Seventh Principle Project
Unitarian Universalists have no creeds or dogmas. We are guided by Seven Principles which bind members and churches together. The Seventh Principle of Unitarian Universalism is Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Members from the Earth Based Spirituality and Social Justice Committees have come together to see how we, as a fellowship, might act in closer alignment with that principle and make a fundamental commitment to live in closer harmony with the earth. At our request, in June 2005, the KUUF Board of Trustees adopted the following policy:
Seventh Principle Policy for KUUF
In order to support the seventh Unitarian Universalist principle, and to provide a model for our member households and the larger community, Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (KUUF) desires to minimize its chemical impact on the environment. Of particular concern is the fellowship’s septic system which lies above an important and fragile salmon stream.
It is therefore the policy of KUUF to use non-toxic chemical substances in all aspects of the care and maintenance of its grounds and facilities except when no alternative is possible. The following is a partial list of specific examples:
- Bathroom cleaners will be phosphate-free and non-toxic
- Artificial fragrances (commercial air fresheners) will be avoided
- Dish detergents (hand and machine) will be non-phosphate • All cleaners will be biodegradable and free of artificial fragrances and colors
- Paints and stains will be water-based
- Fertilizers will be from organic sources and used in moderation to avoid run-off
- Moss deterrents applied to the roof will be non-toxic
Old cleaning and maintenance supplies that do not meet the seventh principle standard have been removed from our premises and replaced by non-toxic products. Fellowship members have been asked NOT bring cleaning products from home, but rely upon those supplied. The Seventh Principle Project will continue to explore ways that KUUF might live in closer harmony with the earth.
UUSC/Equal Exchange Coffee Project
The Social Justice Committee offers Equal Exchange Coffee as a fundraiser for the KUUF general fund. In addition, UUSC receives a percentage of the sale proceeds to provide grants to human rights initiatives in the coffee-growing regions like the current women's leadership training course at the Manos Campesinas cooperative in Guatemala; in addition, Unitarian Universalists are provided with a simple way to promote UU values in daily life and another connection to UUSC's human rights work.
In essence, the UUSC Coffee Project links UUSC, Equal Exchange, small farmers’ organizations, human rights organizations, and UU congregations in an integrated web of support for sustainable, participatory economic development, community empowerment, human rights, and fair trade. Participation in the project strengthens the mission and impact of each partner.
Supporting fair trade practices puts UU values to work.
Why not let your coffee and tea purchases go to work for UU values.