Dear UU Advocates for Justice,
The Poor People’s Campaign kicked off in Illinois with a rousing press conference in Springfield on February 5, including an impassioned appeal by our own Rev. Krista Taves from the Unitarian Church of Quincy (see video here – Rev. Taves starts at 33:20). That same day in Chicago, a number of UU clergy were part of a 100 Clergy for DREAMers action led by immigrants and DREAMers. UUs were part of the February 14 Peoples Budget Action for a Fair Tax at the Capitol, and out front doing street theater for the March 27 Fair Tax Now rally in Chicago. Meanwhile UUs have been part of organizing Fair Tax town halls around the state, meeting with legislators in nearly a dozen districts from Carbondale and Champaign to Palatine and DeKalb, and setting up our first phone bank at the UU Society of Geneva!
UUANI has been part of organizing each of these actions, and we invite you to join us for one or both of two upcoming actions either in Springfield or by participating in our online Actions of the Week:
- The April 17 lobby day for the Fair Tax, restorative justice issues, and overriding the governor’s veto of gun dealer licensing, sponsored by Community Renewal Society. The afternoon will be a Poor People’s Campaign action in the Capitol rotunda.
- The April 26 lobby day for environmental justice issues and voting reform sponsored by the IL Environmental Council and Faith in Place.
To inspire, prepare, and sustain us for this work, UUANI, the UU Prison Ministry of IL, and YaYA Justice co-sponsored the first UU Justice Event for Chicagoland/Northern IL on March 23-24 at Countryside UU in Palatine. Friday evening we heard insights and experiences from four amazing frontline transformative justice activists, who taught us about building communities based on real relationships in which we care for and provide security for each other–starting with housing–and about the importance of being willing to be uncomfortable and go beyond the four walls of our churches. Saturday we had workshops on dignity in re-entry, restorative justice, environmental justice, immigration justice, hands-on volunteering, Beloved Conversations, legislative advocacy, voter engagement, and the Poor People’s Campaign. We began the day by gathering stones representing the gifts our communities bring to this work, and we ended by tearing down a “wall of rage” and building a “bridge of solidarity.”
- We will have our first UU Justice Event for Central/Southern IL on Saturday April 14 at Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield. We will begin with worship and networking, followed by workshops on the UU Prison Ministry, environmental justice, immigration, the Fair Tax and voter engagement. The afternoon will consist of the downstate training for the IL Poor People’s Campaign. Please register here so we can plan for lunch.
Stay tuned for more opportunities for action during the Poor People’s Campaign 40 Days of Action in May and June. Join us as we build community for justice across the state!
Peace and Power,
Rev. Scott Aaseng, Executive Director (he, him, his)
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI)