Social Justice and Social Action Efforts
of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff


UUCOC Social Justice Ministry Logo

"Love is the doctrine of this church and service is its prayer."



First Tuesday Social Action Film Festival

CoSponsored by the Dallas Peace and Justice Center




The First Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm the UUCOC hosts free screenings of socially-relevant films followed by a community discussion, which often includes actions we can take for each issue. Films are shown on the large screen in the sanctuary and are always free, including the popcorn and soft drinks! Donations are accepted to cover the cost of our license agreement and the purchase of new films.

Please visit our Film Festival page for details on this month's featured film.

it gets better logo

We Stand on the Side of Love!
Please check out our "It Gets Better" Project Page!

Events for North Texas


Keep an eye on this space for special events and activities in the North Texas area and sponsored by the Social Action Ministry and other Social Action & Justice Organizations:


From - Rev. Chuck Freeman to all Texas UUs joining in the March on Austin, January 21st:

We will join with Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Justice for this march. I'm one of the founders of this coalition and on the Advisory board.

We will meet on the WEST steps of the Capitol starting at 11:30. Come grab a sign, and we'll march together.

Wear your yellow shirts and bring your banners as well!

See you there!!


February 15, 2017 - Texas UU Legislative Action Day
April 2017 - Earth Day Oak Cliff
May 2017 - Cinco de Mayo Parade


Social Action Around the Cluster

Click Here to Deliver this RSS feed to your own Desktop
 

UUCOC Social Justice Ministry

The UUCOC Social Justice Ministry meets the second Sunday of every month from 12:30-1:30pm in the Hope building. Our meetings are open to the public and people of all faith traditions are welcome.

The UUCOC has a long-standing commitment to a just and equitable society. We are dedicated to social justice as part of our church life, and with the actions we take in our personal lives and the greater community.

We encourage one another and our community to "Stand on the Side of Love" whenever and wherever injustice is present. As stated by our Minister Mark Walz, "whenever the world is cleaved in two between love and fear, we must choose love."

It is out of love for our country that we work to make it more fair. It is through abiding love for all people that we speak to amplify the voices of those who are hurting or oppressed. Our love for this planet and the life it supports urges us to take actions to repair it and protect our environment.

Through the efforts of our Social Justice Ministry and individual members we are involved in addressing a diversity of issues. We are working to further the principles of our faith, including peace, non-violence, social justice, social service, and respect for our environment. The UUCOC community is committed to fulfilling UU principles through direct service, and through work toward social change.

According to the UUA there are five types of social justice action:

1. SERVICE:

The purpose of social service is to meet the needs of persons in distress.

Examples: collecting money, donating food or clothing, tutoring, sheltering the homeless, programs for senior citizens, food programs, youth clubs, hospitals

2. EDUCATION:

The purpose of social education is to educate people about the importance of a social issue. The goal is to inform people about the aspects of the issues and also interpret the issue within the context of liberal religious values.

Examples: Public meetings, workshops, resolutions, drama, public forums, worship services and sermons.

3. WITNESS:

The purpose of social witness is to make public by word or deed the convictions of an individual or organization regarding a particular issue.

Examples: Participating in demonstrations, vigils, and marches, writing letters to the editor, passing resolutions, communicating to the wider community through press releases and/or press conferences, organizing petition campaigns, changing our lifestyles

4. ADVOCACY:

The purpose of advocacy is to work through the legislative process to impact public policy.

Examples: Visiting elected representatives in a delegation, writing letters to elected officials, giving testimony at public hearings.

5. COMMUNITY ORGANIZING:

The purpose of community organizing is to participate in the process by which decisions are made in places of power. The focus is on the power of institutional structures and how that power is used. This approach is based on the recognition that individuals have little power to change their situations without the support of groups who know how to organize and influence power.

Examples: Developing a strong organization, influencing policy and decision-makers and holding them accountable, empowering people so they can achieve self-determination



SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE REPORT

You can click here for past meeting notes.

JANUARY 2017

The Social Justice Ministry meets on the second Sunday of each month, at approximately 12:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.

    Announcements this month include:
  • Share the Plate for the fourth quarter of 2016 raised $385 for the LULAC Rainbow Council.
  • Share the Plate for the first quarter of 2017 will be split between American Indian Movement of Central Texas (January) and Social of Native Nations (February and March).
  • Rebecca is the contact if you would like to attend the Women's March in Austin on January 21.
  • The February film will be "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" - tell your friends, and share on Facebook.

NTUUC (the North Texas Unitarian Universalist Congregations) is urging all UU's and friends to participate in Legislative Action Day, February 15, to lobby our legislators on three key issues: Reproductive Justice, Immigration/Refugee Justice, and Income Inequality/Economic Justice. UU's from all over Texas will converge on the capitol in Austin to meet and discuss these issues with our state legislators. NTUUC is sponsoring up to two buses at no charge to participants (however, donations will be accepted to defray costs), lunch on your own. We will be briefed on how to talk with our legislators. To register to attend (and also sign up for a seat on the bus if you'd like not to drive), go to www.TXUUJM.org/LAD

We will begin collecting batteries (Scott has a box in the booth) of all types, for recycling. Also, Kathy will be putting out a box to once again to collect printer cartridges - they can be returned for credit, which could go to help with the church supplies budget as well as keeping cartridges out of the landfill.

We were disappointed to learn that there will be no Oak Cliff Earth Day this year - the organizing committee has decided to take a sabbatical and regroup. Also, we were unable to participate in the MLK Jr. parade this year - we just couldn't get an entry together - but we will begin planning for next year later this year.

Are you familiar with Guest at Your Table? It's a program sponsored by the UU Service Committee to support work with refugees. Look for more information in the next month or so. The Social Justice Ministry will be coordinating with RE in bringing this to you.

Leadership Development is looking for a motivated, passionate individual to co-chair the Social Justice Ministry. Contact Robertus, Susan or Barbara if you are interested. The goal of the SJM is to be decentralized - that means, that one person doesn't do everything. Each member of the group who brings a project or cause is a "sponsor" and the group supports them in their efforts.

That's All Folks... Anita Mills, Interim/Ad Hoc, Temporary Chair





The Social Justice Ministry has an ongoing interest in hearing project ideas from the community, and in finding ways to partner with other organizations to foster social and environmental justice. A number of projects our congregation is involved in are listed below.

Please also check out our Links page for many websites of interest to our Social Justice Ministry members.




Member Spotlight


How the Social Justice Ministry's First Tuesday Film Festival Changed My Life
- By Dee Stofko

First of all let me say, my life needed changing. After several mind-numbing years of raising three kids - now all safely ensconced in college - it was time to start paying more attention, living more responsibly, being more compassionate. The UUCOC's First Tuesday Film Festival helped shape the new me.

Since watching, "The World According to Monsanto", "Sustainable Table", and "Peaceable Kingdom", I have become vegetarian. I have been made aware of factory farms - cows, pigs and chickens living in close, dark, unsanitary quarters, shot full of antibiotics, being fed GMO-corn to fatten them up quickly which, in turn, has fattened us up. More importantly, I have learned how to eat healthier by eating organic; to be more environmentally conscious by buying locally; and to make my voice heard through emails, calls and letters when my government does something that I don't like.

"An Inconvenient Truth" and "11th Hour" awakened me to how my choices were destroying our planet. My family now recycles, composts, uses organic fertilizer and organic household cleaners. We have changed our electric supplier to one which uses wind and solar sources. We have traded our gas guzzlers for a diminutive Yaris and a Hybrid Prius that averages 45 miles per gallon.

"At The Death House Door" nudged me to join the "Coalition for Texans Against the Death Penalty" which keeps its members apprised when letters to the Governor and Board of Pardons and Paroles for Clemency or requests for Stays of Execution might help. I believe we were instrumental in the Supreme Court's decision to review the death penalty case against Hank Skinner.

Other films included "China Blue" which taught me about the deplorable conditions of Chinese blue jean sweatshops. We now search for fair-trade, union-made, or cooperative-made clothing. "The Two Towns of Jasper," "Reel Bad Arabs," and "The Canary Effect" opened my eyes even wider to racial and social injustice. I made calls to my Senators, Congresswoman and other Democrats to help get the Healthcare legislation passed so all Americans have an equal opportunity to be healthy. "Rethink Afghanistan" helped me reshape my thoughts about U.S. involvement in that country and become a true advocate for peace.

There were other films I saw and there will be other films to come that will continue to change who I am. I like the person I am becoming more than the person I was. To change the world we must first change ourselves. I will gladly continue going to the First Tuesday Film Festival at the Oak Cliff Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff and I urge you to do the same. You might just like the new you.





Labyrinth Walk Coffee House (LWCH)

The Labyrinth Walk Coffee House is held the fourth Saturday evening eight months of the year. We showcase talented musicians in an intimate setting with excellent acoustics for a unique concert experience. Fair trade and organic coffee is available for purchase, as well as soft drinks, tea, and a tasty variety of pastries.

Visit our website at www.labyrinthwalkcoffeehouse.com for schedule details and to purchase tickets online. Discounts are available for students and UUCOC members. The LWCH proudly offers the Williams Sound Personal PATM listening system for the convenience of those needing hearing assistance.

All proceeds from the LWCH are used to provide entertainment and support local charities.

Our 2010 season beneficiary is The Family Place, the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area. Please click The Family Place logo to visit their website and support their efforts to end family violence.





Photograph of folks clearing space for a compost pile as part of our Green Sanctuary Project

Clearing space for a Compost Pile as
part of our Green Sanctuary Project

Green Sanctuary


We have begun our journey to become a "Green" Church and are actively working on raising environmental awareness within our membership and community. The UUA's Green Sanctuary Project involves an extensive process to "green" every aspect of church life, as well as work to bring envoronmental justice to our community. We are implementing programs to control our environmental impact and help educate ourselves and others on what can be done to preserve the resources of this planet.

Look for our regular recycling bins in both buildings, and bring in your old printer cartridges and cell phones for the recycling box in the foyer. You can find more information on our Green Sanctuary Project here.




Welcoming Congregation


In November 2005 we were officially recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as being a "Welcoming Congregation." This means that the UUCOC underwent a voluntary effort to become more welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The process involved a series of educational events, organizational assessment, and community outreach. We continue to address inequities for gay, lesbian and transgender people as part of our ongoing justice work.




Rev. Mark Walz addresses a peace rally in Dallas

Rev. Mark Walz speaks at a rally in downtown Dallas
to end the Iraq war.

Dallas Area Interfaith



The UUCOC congregation voted in November of 2007 to join the Dallas Area Interfaith Association; a group of 60 congregations in the Dallas metropolitan area. This allows us to partner with a broad coalition of religious organizations working on local issues of importance. DAI makes it easy to step in and get involved in a number of issues that affect our community.



Oak Cliff Churches for Emergency Aid (OCCEA)


This is a collective effort with many of the churches in the Oak Cliff area working together to meet the emergency needs of persons living in Oak Cliff. By combining resources, OCCEA is able to distribute food, personal items and financial aid to many people. Referrals are made to service providers who can help with long-term needs.

OCCEA is located in the Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church at 6000 S. Hampton. Their telephone number is 214 943-7757. Click here to visit their website. Volunteers are always welcome!



School of the Americas Watch


The Social Justice Ministry of the UUCOC and the Dallas Peace Center have sponsored trips to the annual November The School of the Americas (SOA) Watch rally and vigil as part of our ongoing work for human rights.

Our representatives at the 2007 SOA Watch


Located at Fort Benning, Georgia, and renamed as the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" in 2001, SOA is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers whose graduates have consistently used their skills to wage war against their own people. The mission of SOA Watch, as a nonviolent movement that stands in solidarity with people of Latin America, is to close the SOA/WHINSEC and change the oppressive U.S. foreign policy that the SOA represents.



Congregational Social Justice Resolutions


2009: Our church passed a Medical Marijuana resolution by a unanimous vote of the congregation.

We believe that licensed health care providers should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subjected to criminal sanctions for using medical marijuana if their health care provider has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.

Current work on passing a Texas Medical Marijuana law is being done by Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care.


2009: Our church passed an Anti-Sweatshop Resolution by a unanimous vote of the congregation.

This was a resolution to encourage the Dallas City government to pledge to avoid sweatshop garments when purchasing their uniforms. Current work on Sweatshops is being done by Sweat-Free Communities. They help communities, governments, churches, schools, etc., develop sweat-free policies.





As a religious community we abide by all IRS Guidelines for non-profits, which are: IRS Guidelines and Congregations: The Three Rules

1. No Limits on Advocacy and Education (activities that raise awareness on a given issue but don't encourage the public to support /oppose specific legislation).

2. Narrow Limit on Lobbying (advocating for or against specific pieces of legislation).

3. Total Limit on Partisan Politics (anything that advocates for or against candidates or political parties





UUCOC Rainbow Chalice Logo

3839 W. Kiest Blvd.

Dallas, Texas 75233
(214) 337-2429

OakCliffUU Site Map


Sunday Services: 10:00am

¡Se alquila!

First Tuesday Social Action Film Festival

Labyrinth Walk CoffeeHouse Logo

A member of the
North Texas Unitarian
Universalist Congregations
(NTUUC)


Follow Us On
Follow UUCOC on Twitter

Join Us On
Follow the UUCOC on Facebook

Share This:

goodsearch logo
Web This Site



Social Action & Justice
Social Justice at UUCOC

NorthTexasUU News

Click to sign up for this RSS feed
subscribe to this rss feed


Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost.

Amazon.com
Customer?

amazon.com home page

Click and a percentage of
your purchases will help our
fundraising efforts!



Donations to UUCOC:



Please use this button for
fulfillment of Pledges: