UUANI (Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois) is organized to build power among UU congregations in Illinois, in order to put our UU values into meaningful, concrete far-reaching action toward social justice. We work collectively with each other and collaboratively with effective partner organizations to influence the creation of meaningful social change toward justice, beloved community, and a healthy planet.
Fair Trade Products
The ALUUC Social Action Committee (SAC) will be selling Fair Trade products (coffee, teas, cocoa, and chocolate bars) the second Sunday of each month. The purchase of fair trade goods through the UUSC Coffee Project benefits agricultural cooperatives through UUSC’s Small Farmer Fund. The UUSC Coffee Project is collaboration between the UUSC and Equal Exchange, a worker-owned, fair trade, company based in West Bridgewater, MA. UUs have the highest participation rate of any denomination in Equal Exchange’s Interfaith Program!
Justice Sunday 2012: Justice Is the Human Right to Water
On May 13, 2012, the Social Action Committee led the Justice Sunday Service. We were very fortunate to have Emily Carroll, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch in Chicago. Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. Emily discussed the issues of water privatization and what is happening in Illinois. She shared information about SB 3573 (Illinois Water Privatization Bill) and asked interested persons to contact their representative. Emily stated that SB 3573 aids private water companies in their quest to acquire publicly owned water systems and dramatically raise water rates, while at the same time providing poor service that can threaten public health and the environment.
The Social Action Committee will soon be reactivating the Scrip program to raise money and give church members a chance to donate to ALUUC while doing your normal shopping and without costing you a dime. “Scrip” is really just another name for gift cards. You buy them in advance and then use them when you do your shopping. The difference is that a percentage of each purchase comes back to ALUUC. Companies make a higher profit when gift cards are used because they get the money before having to provide the goods or services. They share a part of this higher profit with the church, and the result is that you pay the same price as you would have with cash, but ALUUC gets a piece of the profit. We will be using the Great Lakes scrip service and we need a volunteer to serve as Scrip Coordinator. Click here to read more about our program.
Change for Change
Our congregation usually has an opportunity each month to contribute to a wide range of community organizations. Usually on the First Sunday of the month, there is a Change for Change collection, where we collect change (and other monetary donations). This money then goes to support one organization that has been selected for that month.
On the Third Sunday of the month, we usually have a special collection of items for an organization (usually the organization that we also are doing Change for Change). These items vary from organization, ranging from food (for local food banks or after school programs), office supplies (for charities or school-aged youth), to even items for a local animal shelter (Animal Protective League).
A Note From the Social Action Committee
On Saturday, May 19, 2012 ALUUC hosted a booth at the Springfield Pride Event. UUs from as far away as Connecticut stopped to congratulate us for being there. Our tent was festooned with colorful flags of many different religious traditions, and people were very interested in the articles and pictures of Rev. Woulfe performing civil unions. The gift of free water and our colorful band of volunteers attracted people of all ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles. A heartfelt “Thank you!” goes out to all who helped out, and especially to those who braved the hot sun to make sure the message of the inherent worth and dignity of every person was heard: Brandi Boosinger, Shaun Boosinger, Margaret Demaree, Kurt DeWeese, Peggy Fenley, Beverly Holmes, Chris Hull, Shanna Hull, Mindy Miller, Susan Solon, and Lynnda White.
Justice Sunday is in full swing. This program practices UUSC’s approach to its work: collaborating at the grassroots level to build awareness and make a difference, through eye to eye partnership. During Justice Sunday, individuals and groups around the country turn their focus to the human right to water. UUSC has created a space to learn from and support each other.
Membership in UUSC helps achieve these goals too. Membership includes monthly Values in Action newsletters, semi-annual Rights Now magazines, and periodic action alerts tailored to your specific interest areas — to keep you informed, and provide you with tools to engage in the work with us. And we get to hear from you! Because advancing human rights is the work of many hands, we hope you will consider Justice Sunday a good time to renew or begin your UUSC membership. Become a member today at uusc.org/donate_justicesunday
UUSC is an independent membership-based human-rights organization and receives no funding from any government or denomination.